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FORMULA 1 plan puts us all on the road to ruin

In a week when it was revealed that much of the business of State for the last government was conducted by Brian Cowen and his cronies over pints in the Dail bar, it came as something of a relief to temporarily escape the madness of how Ireland was run into the ground by revelling in the magic of Brian Wilson at the Grand Canal Theatre.

But it was in the taxi on the way home that the schizoid Irish way of doing things was rammed home yet again. Roadworks are a pain in the arse at the best of times but the sight of Pearse Street and chunks of the quays reduced to a single lane at 11pm was odd, to say the least.

The reason for all this activity, according to the taxi driver, was that Dublin City Council is getting its house in order for an event next year which will see Formula 1 cars zooming around the city centre. Leaving aside for the moment that Pearse Street is in pretty good nick anyway, there are a few things which don't quite add up here.

For starters, the current Lord Mayor of Dublin, Andrew Montague, was the 'on yer bike' merchant behind implementing a ridiculously slow speed limit on the quays, which meant that traffic actually moved faster in Victorian times. That Captain Slow's beloved stretch of road will see Lewis Hamilton and his mates tearing along at speeds of God knows what would, you'd imagine, have him up in arms. But no, not a peep out of him. Then again, such events are 'good for tourism', although how blocking off the centre of town will lead to a boost for businesses is beyond me.

But what's even more absurd is that the event will be sponsored by Bavaria, a Dutch beer company. Now unless I'm mistaken, Gaybo and the RSA have, quite rightly, been drilling home the message that drink and excessive speeding are the main causes of deaths on our roads.

Yet here we have the city of Dublin giving itself over to a weekend where they expect a couple of hundred thousand people to watch cars being driven extremely fast while being made aware that this has been brought to you by a brewery. What a country.