Monday 19 November 2018

Red alert? Well maybe pale pink to my mind

Group chairman Sean Hogan speaking to the media following a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination group in Dublin. Photo: PA Wire
Group chairman Sean Hogan speaking to the media following a meeting of the National Emergency Coordination group in Dublin. Photo: PA Wire

John Masterson

Despite having travelled more than most people I am not a good traveller. I am packed days ahead and grumpy for about 48 hours. Once on the plane I have the gift of sleeping like a baby, a gift that has been absent the previous night or two. That is when things go well which is usually the case these days. Planes depart on time and arrive early. Luggage usually ends up where it is supposed to.

When things do go wrong I remain polite, but am fit to kill. I was tetchy after the big snow finally arrived in Kilkenny. Very late. We were colour alerted in some bonkers manner. I am all for getting sensible advice about the weather but I trust the apps on my phone far more than the hysteria from the National Emergency Coordination Group (NECP). There were a lot of restaurants closed on the Thursday in my part of the world when the weather was perfect. This is what happens when permanent and pensionable civil servants make decisions that will not cost them a penny. You can always over-manage risk when someone else is paying.

I got through it all, happy to be off to the sun on red alert Sunday. We drove the red alert M50 with cars passing us at 130km/h. Nobody in the NECP had noticed that conditions were perfect. All looked normal at the airport until we were told Air France had sent a smaller plane and 25 passengers were booted off until the next day. I was going to be as late in Havana as the Kilkenny snow. I politely inquired as to how the 25 were chosen (specifically 'why me?') but, as is the norm in these cases, nobody knows nothing.

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