| 9.5°C Dublin

Incompetence evident in weather crisis


HAVING lived in Denmark for 12 years, the forecast of a bit of snow on Wednesday afternoon did not put me off making my trip to Dublin.

However, as I travelled across Dublin along the quays I began to get concerned: few cars and no gritters out considering the forecast.

As I approached the M50 the snow came and traffic came to a halt.

I decided to head back.

Along the quays the sleet had been compressed into Europe's largest ice skating rink. These were not the roads of a developed country.

Sensibly, in these conditions, buses decided to pull over rather than testing an emergency stop on a pedestrian.

Radio informed me the gritters could not get out because of the traffic, I wondered what they had been doing when I had been starting my journey.

I finally managed to get a flight out of Dublin on Thursday. The mere dusting of snow on the landscape showed how incompetent the management of these "adverse" weather conditions was.

It is not just the politicians who failed. In Denmark you are legally responsible to clear the pavement outside your house or shop. It would take 15 minutes to clear away the snow and put down some salt and the elderly could get out.

As bad as they are at dealing with snow in England, it is heroic compared to this effort.

Richard Lanigan
Kingston Upon Thames

THE debate about the use or non-use of the Army during the current state of emergency is pitiful.

The Army should be disbanded.

This is the second state of emergency in the space of two months and the Army is barely used.

This is in no way a slur on Army personnel themselves, but the way they are used. I am sure that the vast majority would like to be out and about.

The only times I have ever witnessed the Army in action is on the TV in Chad, assisting Securicor, filling bags with sand and, most lamentable, used as film extras.

Why can the Army not defend Government Buildings, leaving gardai to patrol the streets? Why can the Army not now go to rural areas and assist the elderly in getting food?

Maurice Carty
Renmore, Galway.

Irish Independent