In all the discussion about the potential €20bn price tag for the MetroLink from Swords to Charlemont via Dublin Airport, one point appears to be missed by the media and the commentariat.
Iarnród Éireann proposed to link Dublin Airport to the heavy rail network for a cost in today’s terms of about €500m. This would have also solved the capacity issues between Connolly Station and Clongriffin that slow Belfast and freight trains down to a crawl as they are forced to follow stopping Dart trains all the way to the city centre.
The proposed Dart+ Coastal North scheme does not attempt to solve this capacity issue that slows the Belfast Enterprise trains and will result in even slower timetables for what should be the premier InterCity rail service on the island.
Can we please stop regarding MetroLink as the sole option for connecting Dublin Airport by rail to the city centre? We can and should have both MetroLink and heavy rail connections at the airport as they have at Manchester Airport. MetroLink is intended for commuters from Swords and north Dublin to connect to the city centre, the heavy rail connection would be of national importance, allowing rail services from all over Ireland to connect directly to Dublin Airport. I would go so far to say that if Eamon Ryan were to direct the National Transport Authority to instruct Iarnród Éireann to build the link tomorrow, we would have rail to and from the busiest port of entry to the island of Ireland long before MetroLink is opened and at a fraction of
Mill Hill, London, UK
Fionnán Sheahan heaps praise on the Healy-Raes to bash Eamon Ryan but the reality is a little more nuanced (‘House of Healy-Rae has much to teach Ryan about playing to all sides of the green gallery’, Irish Independent, August 1). As local Fine Gael stalwart Frank Quilter told The Kerryman back in 2019, “it was Phil Hogan who helped to get the funding approved, he was trying to progress the project for years as minister”.
While Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are more than happy to let Eamon Ryan flounder in the media wars, the reality on the ground often is a step too far for journalists eager to continue to perpetuate populist narratives.
Listowel, Co Kerry
The letter, “President’s wife overstepped the mark with Ukraine letter” (Irish Independent, August 1) reminded me of the lyrics of the ballad, “She stepped out, I stepped in again, I stepped out and she stepped in again and...they leapt on his pipes, bellows, chanters and all...and that put an end to Lanigan’s ball”.
The suggestion that President Higgins should resign because his wife Sabina wrote publicly to a newspaper on a topic that has relevance to Ireland’s past, is disproportionate, if not as humorous as the lyrics in the Lanigan’s Ball ballad.
The Ukraine conflict arose because of the west’s refusal to take part in serious dialogue with the Russian Federation and the ignoring or discounting of the security concerns of the latter. This same misplaced western mindset equally applies to what’s happening with regard to China. If I might draw attention to Ireland (or Cuba, for that matter) and the lessons that might be learned from Ireland’s relationship with Britain (or America, in the case of Cuba) that contain parallels to what’s happening in Taiwan and Ukraine.
For example, because of Ireland’s western proximity to Britain, certain European rival powers of Britain – Spain and France – entered into strategic alliances with the Irish in the hope of containing the British. The latter viewed such alliances as unacceptable and so they conquered and subjugated Ireland; in the North (presumably because it was closer to Britain) they uprooted and displaced the indigenous Irish population and replaced them with British. The consequences of this action are reverberating up to the present day.
Édaein O’Connell’s piece on Saturday last (‘Power of community helps raise us all up’) is a gem. So powerful, yet simple, the subject of the article is obviously heartfelt.
The Irish seanfhocail is so apt here – Is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
Édaein is our Kerry Rose and our pride in her as our representative and as “one of our own” is huge. She has already brought such fun and style to the Kingdom – and having the gift of expressing that and her pride in her community is indeed a bonus.
Éacht mór déanta ag Édaein cheana féin!
Aodán Ó Murchú
Lios Tuathail, Co Ciarraí