Welcome to Ireland - may the tolls rise to meet you!
NOT CONTENT with charging us exorbitant fees for taking a spin down the ‘Road to Hell’, the M50 powers-that-be have now decided to make it even more of a nuisance to do so as well.
As daunting as a trip to Dublin has become in recent times, it has been made all the more unpleasant by the jams of traffic waiting to snare you once you enter the M50 quagmire. Enjoy your time in Dublin; if your head gasket doesn’t blow, your temper soon will.
Zacchaeous may have been one of the most famed and dreaded tax collectors in biblical history but not even he could have devised a donkey tagging plan with such ingenious greed as the modern day ‘toll trolls’ who have motorists in this country over a barrell. Yes it was an inconvenience having to slow down for the barriers but the new ‘ must plan in advance’ rules’ are a recipe for a travelling disaster. Not only have they raised the charge for motorists who don’t take that route so often, but now you also have the bother of calling a call centre in the UK to pay your bill within 24 hours or else!
And they say they won’t let the foreigners away without paying either. In a recent survey as to why the eastern part of the country is experiencing a serious downfall in tourism, the expense of eating out and a lack of worthwhile activities combined with a generally outrageous cost of living were excuses enough. Now tourists are told that if they don’t pay our ‘state-of-the-art’ electronic road tolls they are going to be tracked down and prosecuted when they get back home. Welcome to Ireland - may the tolls rise up to meet you!
Didn’t the Government promise to take care of the tollhouses once and for all during the last election campaign or was that just another empty promise that we should put in our pockets and save for the next rainy day? But then empty promises are the extent of what we can expect these days. Daily users of the M50 are welcoming the removal of the barriers and apparently up to 70,000 of them have ordered their tags already. Best of luck to them, and here’s genuinely hoping that it is the answer to their commuting hell. You might get the feeling somehow that there’s another chapter, far from the concluding one, to be written yet.
ALMOST 50 years on and it’s great to see that Ireland’s most renowned ‘Lovely Girls’ competition still has the magnetism to reel the punters in.
The Rose of Tralee seems to have lost none of its popularity in a modern world of independent women, feisty feminists and the rest of us taking ourselves all too seriously. This bunch of ladies have no problem in getting up on stage, talking absolute dribble to Ray D’Arcy and then doing a little jig or a handstand to top it all off.
Be honest though, don’t the poor girls seem scared to death and just way too preoccupied with what they are going to say with their next breath? Next year, to get them totally relaxed and to give us all a glimpse of their true colours, they should drop the whole conversation procedure and have a massive game of