Archive for March, 2009

The news on explosives

The recent shootings in Northern Ireland has evoked unity among the people in condemning the sad and mindless killings. At times of hardship in the wake of a recession, however, the idyllic peaceful pact of the last decade now seems more fragile than ever. While the majority has come to prefer the truce and learn to live together despite differences in ideologies, for some, the time is ripe to instill fear once again.

One of today’s dominating news headlines in Ireland has been the stepping up of security at the borders between the Republic and Northern Ireland, at the threats imposed by smuggling of explosives. The direction is currently from the south to the north but regardless, this doesn’t bode well for anyone that lives on this island.

News of explosives aren’t new. Even in Dublin, combing through the archives of the Irish Times, there are plenty of articles pertaining to discovering of hoax devices, of live devices, and of dismantling of viable devices. Like this, reported last weekend. What I find puzzling though, is the seemingly blanketing of successful explosions.

A few months ago, while I was out at the cinema with a friend, my housemate sent me a message to inform me that part of the road leading to our place had been cordoned off. She heard someone around whispering about an alleged explosion. By the time I went home though, the area had been clear and had this just been any other day, I wouldn’t have thought anything had taken place there at all. Next day, curious over the incident, we scoured through news sites and found nothing at all. We then supposed the alleged explosion was just a rumour and left it at that.

However, a couple of days ago, another friend, in a different part of the city, witnessed a car explosion before his very eyes. Concerned for his own safety, he legged it away from the site. Again, me being me, curious over the incident, was on the lookout for news articles again yesterday. Guess what – I couldn’t find anything!

Is it me or is this too weird? That devices found or dismantled made it to the news, but except for a few eyewitnesses nothing had been reported on cases of explosions in the city? Since when is there a shroud of secrecy around incidents like this? Is this an attempt “to protect” the people of Dublin from unnecessary worries or panic? Are these incidents something of utmost secrecy? (Will I get into trouble for even questioning this right now?)

Yup, no more free online check-in!

I knew it! As I suspected last month, when Ryanair announced the intention to abolish desk check-in, there’s going to be a sneaky reintroduction of web check-in fee. Well, there is no way they’re not going to exploit this now that everyone’s obliged to check-in online.

What do you know – it’s coming at €5 per flight per passenger!

There will be some phasing out of desk check-in service between now and October, with huge penalties in order to discourage anyone from going near those desks at all. For the whole shebang and gooblydooks on this, read this press release. Frankly speaking, how can this web check-in charge be “savings” that can be passed on to the passengers, I don’t know.

Of course, this spells more profits for Ryanair. They can finally charge EVERYONE again for check-in fees, not just non-EU/EEA travellers or people with luggage to check-in. In fact, this means you are actually paying them to do the work yourself! Without any designated airport desks, they also need not employ so many staff anymore so I expect some of them may be seeing their P45s sooner than they’re expected to. Ryanair would probably cite recession as an excuse for that or something.

I need a better paying job just so I don’t have to fly with Ryanair anymore.

Sign Of The Times

Seen on Pearse Street. Photo by Oisin Kane (used with permission)

Additional Paddy’s Day stuff

Oh yes, it’s March, and with Mo’s previous blog entry, he has duly reminded everyone that Paddy’s Day is not too far away from now. Are you all set for the fun and festivity in town, of which there are tons of events organised that are free for all!


A couple of things to bring to your attention. There will be an exclusive Paddy’s Day “Simpsons Irish Adventure” that will be broadcasted on Sky 1 and Sky 1 HD (I would have thought they’d broadcast it on RTE or something, to be more inclusive – Sky is not Irish!) and if you’re one of the many people who will be in town for the parade, look out for special Simpsons’ float, because Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart) plus a couple other producers of the show will be there too.

For family or even groups of friends, you can kick off the weekend with a trip down to the Dublin Docklands, where The Spheres will be entertaining the crowd with 4 scheduled shows. The shows are ticketed but free, and you should book for the ticket now before they run out. Apply online, and you’ll be asked to confirm for tickets at some stage so you can print them out and bring with you to Grand Canal Dock. From what I gather, maximum tickets that one can apply per booking is for 6 adults, 4 children.

For more event information of St Patrick’s Festival, visit their website, and for all those who wonders where the fireworks will be this year, it’s going to be down south in Waterford.

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