Please don’t get me wrong about this; I absolutely love snow. If I had my way, we’d be living in a winter wonderland from 1 December to 28 February every year. But I simply do not understand why the country has to come to a stop because of it. We get a cold snap and everything skids to a halt. What gives people? Surely it is not that difficult. We were given ample warning that this was going to happen; it’s not like we’ve never seen snow before. We had it last year, and the year before that, and the year before that as well.
For instance, in the early hours of Saturday morning, the temperatures dropped and we had heavy thunder and lightening, with lots of hailstones; which due to the dry conditions and low temperatures, didn’t melt, giving the appearance of snow. That was Saturday, and it was light, and managable, and it really should have been the clue for the City Council to get their act together. However, this would have involved joined-up thinking, or God-forbid, thinking – so obviously that didn’t happen.
Fancy a laugh? Here’s the Dublin City Council’s road salting plan. What I find really fascinating about it, on a local scale, is that Cooley Road in Drimnagh is salted, yet Errigal Road isn’t. Despite the fact the Errigal is a busier road, with three bus routes, and heavy pedestrian traffic as people slip slide their way up to the shops, butchers, greengrocers, chemist and post office at the top of the road. But naturally it’s perfectly reasonable to grit Cooley Road, and blithely ignore Errigal. (I have just pointed this out to the Roads Department of the City Council, so we shall see what they have to say on the matter.)
It’s not as if we haven’t had the practice of snow and ice; last January we’d a month of it. One would have thought that the Council might just have got the jist of by now, or Bertie Ahern like, are they suffering from selective memory loss? Did they conveniently forget last year’s month of snow and ice? Granted, they handled it so badly that, if I was them I’d want to repress that memory also.
Snow is really a wondrous thing. Despite, the chill and the inconvenience, it brings out the best in people. It really brings out our inner children, and people walk around in flurries of snow, wrapped up in childhood delight. And there’s a wonderful feeling of “Dig for Britain” – yes, the snow has arrived and it’s made life more difficult, but life must go on. We must force it to go on. This was illustrated last year by the Drimnagh Residents’ Association who, very proactively, started knocking on people’s doors, checking on the isolated and the elderly; making sure that they had enough provisions in, and offering to go to the shops, post office, etc, for the more infirm members who of the community, who had been immobilized by the the ice.
So therefore, I would implore the City Council to get off its arse, and to actually put in a decent effort to plough the roads. Why not use the New York model, and affix snow-ploughs to the front of the bin lorries? And also, probably more importantly – salt the footpaths! The city centre is a like an icerink, not to mention the conditions in Drimnagh. The City Council is showing it’s typical disregard for pedestrians and indefatigable belief that the motorcar must reign supreme within the city centre so the roads are salted, so that cars can travel, with absolutely no heed paid to the plight of pedestrians. This is not good enough.
This is Day Five of “the Snow”, and compared to the heavy drifts that have fallen on parts of Carlow, Kildare and Wexford, Dublin has gotten off very lightly. The chances are that we could have another five days of this, at least. Now, we’re faced with two choices: let everything slide to a halt, or not. So let’s take the latter; let’s “Dig for Dublin.”