| 17.5°C Dublin

Close

Premium


'I was brought to Shannon airport, aged about 10, as a special treat'

Mary Kenny


Despite the environmental benefits, it's sad to see air travel have its wings clipped

Close

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Ah, the empty skies! Climate campaigners may celebrate the 41pc decline in air traffic since the onset of the coronavirus - the air is purer, the birdies are singing louder - but it's sad all the same. We may reflect that many of us have probably lived through a golden age of air travel, ever since Dublin Airport was opened 80 years ago, in January 1940. Some may even recall that it was once called 'Collinstown' and that children were taken to the airport for their special First Communion treat, just to watch planes take off. I was brought to Shannon, aged about 10, as a special treat, and I thought it was the most exciting place in the world. I resolved there and then to be an air hostess, deviating from my previous aspiration to be a prima ballerina.

Ireland's geographical position made it a natural for the development of aviation: Alcock and Brown's famed first transatlantic flight came to land at Clifden in 1919, and the sight of the islands off the west coast of Ireland from their open cockpit was a signal that they had made the perilous journey. Charles Lindbergh said that to glimpse Ireland coming into view from the air was an epiphany confirming success in flight.


Most Watched





Privacy