Thursday 18 January 2018

Ryanair boss wants to 'shoot cyclists' and make Dublin more car-friendly

Michael O Leary with US Ambassador Kevin O Malley at the Aviva Stadium conference Photo: Sam Boal/
Michael O Leary with US Ambassador Kevin O Malley at the Aviva Stadium conference Photo: Sam Boal/
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary went on the warpath over city transport yesterday, saying that "we should take the cyclists out and shoot them".

The typically outspoken comments from the airline chief executive came at a conference held in the Aviva Stadium on a morning when Dublin was gridlocked due to the Luas strike.

But Mr O'Leary had his own ideas on how to solve the transport chaos - which certainly did not involve more people biking to work.

He was responding to earlier remarks from Dublin City Council about enhancing cycling in the capital.

"That's all we need in Dublin is more blooming bicycles," he told the Creative Minds conference.

"In a country where it rains about 250 days a year, the way forward for Dublin is more bicycles? Let's just go back to walking altogether. Soon we'll be living in caves designed by Dublin City Council.

"Traffic won't work, there's nowhere to park the cars -and yet this is a smarter way forward? We should take the cyclists out and shoot them."

Mr O'Leary pointed out that huge numbers of people who work in the city have to commute long distances.

"Given that this is a low-rise, broadly based city - and I speak as one of the commuters who commutes on a daily basis from Mullingar - I can't do it by bicycle... I want to drive.

"I expect Dublin City [Council] to come up with a smarter way for me to get around Dublin and be able to park my car somewhere in the middle of Dublin without it being dug up every six weeks so we can have some other faddy, non-sustainable public transport solution.

"I hate to pick on Dublin City Council, but, s**t, they're here and they deserve a slapping."

Cycling Ireland hit back, insisting Dublin City Council "has been doing great work in promoting cycling in the city, and in creating a better infrastructure for all road users". It said the public bike system is one of the best models in the world.

Irish Independent

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