Obama's rocky road to the Aras
US President Barack Obama can expect a bone-jarring journey to Aras an Uachtarain on pockmarked roads destroyed by the big freeze. Potholes littering the main roads of the Phoenix Park, pictured right, will only be filled on a temporary basis until funding is found to carry out major resurfacing works, the Office of Public Works (OPW) said yesterday.
But Mr Obama won't have to worry that any punctures will make him late for his appointment with President Mary McAleese -- his limousine is well-equipped to deal with the worst Irish roads can offer. Nicknamed "The Beast", the Cadillac limousine is reportedly so tough it can withstand a rocket-propelled grenade attack. Its tyres are 'run flats', so the vehicle will keep going even if shot at or punctured.
Motorists have complained about the potholes after two bitterly cold winters destroyed the road surface, with heavy commuter traffic also partly to blame. Around 30,000 motorists a day travel through the park.