Last chance to ‘phone home’

Bray People - - About Greystones -

PIC­TURE THIS. 2.00am on a rain-whipped Sun­day morn­ing and for some rea­son you’re driv­ing home alone on a de­serted back road where the only sense of ex­is­tence is the tiny lit­tle hamlet sleep­ing nine miles up the way.

Sud­denly the mo­tor starts to splut­ter and the bat­tery dies. You’ve long run out of phone credit and the last house you passed was four miles back.

Then, in the dis­tance, where there once stood a tele­phone box you see a de­ranged head with one eye, four teeth and a chain­saw ready to tear into your loins. Who are you go­ing to call? No-one it seems, be­cause the pow­ers-that-be won’t give you the chance.

Op­er­a­tions are un­der­way to up­root 2,151 of the 4,580 phone boxes around the coun­try and once the cookie starts to crum­ble, you can be sure it won’t stop there.

The eir­com bosses ar­gue that most peo­ple have mo­bile phones th­ese days and that van­dal­ism is just con­tribut­ing to a loss-mak­ing busi­ness.

But think of the emer­gen­cies that peo­ple find them­selves in. Mo­bile phones are un­re­li­able and with bat­tery fail­ure and credit ex­haus­tion a com­mon oc­cur­rence, peo­ple can­not rely on them when the clock strikes mid­night and they find them­selves alone in the dark.

Phone boxes and van­dal­ism have gone hand-in-hand ever since ET was in short trousers and this low us­age ex­cuse can­not be re­ally taken with much cred­i­bil­ity. Not when it comes to pub­lic safety.

Ev­ery area should have a pub­lic phone box within touch­ing dis­tance be­cause ev­ery now and then, some­one’s life de­pends on it.


THERE ARE cer­tain things that peo­ple from out­side the coun­try think of when you ask them about Ire­land. Guin­ness is one, leprechauns are an­other and hot on their heels, you have age­ing rock­ers U2.

Since Larry Mullen gave the band its heart­beat back in the mid-’70s, our very own ‘ Fab Four’ have re­fused to grow old grace­fully and in many ways walk-the-walk just as sylishly as they did when the hair was long and trousers were tight.

How­ever, as they release their new al­bum ‘No Line on the Hori­zon’, their first sin­gle might be con­sid­ered av­er­age when you com­pare it to the ex­traor­di­nar­ily high stan­dards they had set them­selves pre­vi­ously.

Per­son­ally, their brief flir­ta­tion with the blues on ‘Rat­tle and Hum’ was the high­light of an as­ton­ish­ing ca­reer and if they could ven­ture down that av­enue one more time, then they might just un­cover a comfortable en­vi­ron­ment where they could put the boots up on the ta­ble and recre­ate such gems as ‘When Love Comes to Town’ as they en­ter their mu­si­cal twi­light. And leave the po­lit­i­cal mes­sages back in the van.


THE heart-strings would tug ever-so-slightly for poor old David Beck­ham.

Tem­po­rar­ily ply­ing his trade in the plush sur­round­ings of Mi­lan, he moaned that some­times he gets ‘frus­trated’ while play­ing cer­tain games for LA Galaxy over in the United States, though he added that on oc­ca­sion as he jets from state-to-state, he has a lit­tle fun.

As a shadow of the foot­baller he was when he was at his peak, and earn­ing a re­ported $500,000 a week for some pretty hum­drum per­for­mances, you might think his Amer­i­can em­ploy­ers are en­ti­tled to feel a lit­tle bit frus­trated too.

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