Thursday 19 October 2017

Long and treacherous drive to the Big Smoke – it was hell out there

Greg Harkin

FOR once all the drama on the drive from Donegal to Dublin on a winter's day was in the capital.

The traffic crawl from Letterkenny to the Border at Lifford en route was nothing to do with the weather. Early morning farmers in their tractors were responsible for this particular traffic snarl before clearing into Tyrone and the dreaded A5 to Aughnacloy.

You couldn't get a snowflake for love nor money. But all that changed in Ardee, Co Louth, as the wind and the snow came crashing in around the windscreen.

The drive from the north-west is a pain at the best of times.

Now that the Government has decided to axe funding for an upgrade to the route, it's not going to get better any time soon.

Just outside Ardee, the BMW 4x4 behind me decided I wasn't going fast enough in the slush and the 80kmh winds.

Thankfully, the driver who had been tailgating me got past without killing me, himself or the driver of the oncoming car. On the M1, things got more interesting as snow and hail battered down at the toll plaza.

But once again, many motorists were driving at speeds not suitable to the conditions, swerving in the winds with visibility very poor. It was hell out there.

Blizzards of snow and easterly winds shook the car. By the time I reached the Port Tunnel, four hours after I started out, the snow had stopped.

On Dublin's quays, unfortunately, so had the traffic. It took 40 more minutes to reach the city centre and I wondered aloud: "How the hell have those tractors from Lifford made it to the Big Smoke in front of me?"

They hadn't, of course. It's just city traffic. God help you urbanites.

Irish Independent

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