There has been much debate in recent days in Ireland about new laws designed to make cyclists more compliant with the rules of the road. Introduced by Minister Pascal Donohoe, the law calls for a €40 fine for cyclists who break red lights, travel on footpaths and travel the wrong way up a one-way street.
The restriction on cyclists being on footpaths has been limited though, because it is thought that sometimes, for safety reasons, cyclists need to mount footpaths (for example in school environments). So they have limited that law and handed it over to Garda discretion by creating the offence: “Cyclists driving a pedal cycle without due consideration for others”.
The main purpose of the E-Skoot, its raison d’etre, is that when you combine it with public transport you can easily travel to a much wider range of locations. This makes it a very environmentally sound proposition, but also a very handy one.
Last night I put this theory into practice. My goal was to attend a music session with two friends of mine who play in the group, Old Hannah. (This is their latest single ‘West’)
The only problem with this is that they were playing in The Beerhouse on Capel Street and I live near the Cherrywood Roundabout in Cabinteely, 17 km away.
I have been lucky enough to have been given the use of an E-Skoot (pictured below) for a couple of weeks and I’m going to document my experience of using it here. You can view the official site for E-Skoot by clicking this link Electric Scooters, which will give you an idea of what this vehicle can do.
But that website will just show you the product. On Liversalts, you’re going to get the chance to see how I experienced E-Skoot, and the things that it allows you to do. I think it will cause a major change, a revolution in fact, in transport in Ireland. Continue reading
I was down in Galway a few weeks ago to appear on television arguing the ‘No’ side of the Presidential age referendum. That turned out to be good fun – especially scaring the colour out of my friends’ faces when I told them I was arguing for the ‘No’ side as detailed here.
It turned out to be an interesting debate and I was wowed by the professionalism and attention to detail shown by the UTV staff. They really do an excellent job in directing the debate and keeping it relevant and balanced. Continue reading
I have been having quite an amusing week. I had been asked to go on a TV panel discussion on UTV to argue the case for a ‘No’ vote in the upcoming referendum on lowering the age requirement for the President to 21, but for fun I left out which referendum vote for which I was putting the ‘No’ case, leading to much hilarity.
Many of my friends blanched at the news, and I could see their anger rising as I cheerfully kept up my enthusiasm for a ‘No’ vote. Of course, I couldn’t continue this charade very long – partly because I am just not that funny, and partly because I feel I have a moral obligation to try to persuade as many people as possible to vote ‘Yes’ on marriage equality. Continue reading
The N11 road is one of my major routes. When I don’t take public transport, it’s my main road into Dublin, as it is for anyone travelling from Wicklow and Wexford to the City Centre, along with the caravan of southside commuters.
As such, it is a highly visible spot for poster campaigns and every election, the N11’s lamp posts are covered in exhortations to vote this way and that, though I doubt it has much effect on voters. Postering is a way of showing your political strength more than anything else.
When the doctor opens up the wound and finds cancer inside, everybody understands the choice – it is either to cut out the tumour, or seal up the wound and allow it to fester. In the latter case, it is only a matter of time until the patient succumbs.
Surprisingly, however, the Irish Medical Organisation continues to leave the cancer inside, and hope that its outward appearance of health will fool everyone into believing that nothing is wrong.
The title of this post may seem esoteric and academic but it is one of the most important factors in determining our quality of life in Ireland. And I don’t mean some intellectual or abstract quality – I mean things like the lifestyle we live, the quality of our health service and the rights we enjoy.
In Ireland, debate for its own sake has always come second to winning the argument. The loudest, shoutiest, most insistent voice gets its way almost all the time. Making sense does not have to be part of that volume of self-righteousness.
It was that great American patriot and atheist,Thomas Jefferson, who is credited with the saying “When the law is unjust, resistance becomes duty”, and recent events in Ireland demonstrate that if we want a sane, caring society, we need to resist unjust laws as much as corruption and the lack of accountability in politics.
Is our judiciary really separate from their political masters? Were the acts of civil disobedience by the three water protesters really grievous enough for them to warrant an on-going prison sentence? Is it really appropriate to jail people so frivolously for what are essentially non-violent crimes?
This week the Health Service Executive response to a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General was sent erroneously to Oireachtas members and subsequently revealed in the media. Among other things, it showed that one HSE employee who traveled to New York took a ‘personal guest’ along, literally, for the ride.
The employee claimed the air fare for his/her ‘friend’, and the hotel bill showed that the two had stayed in the same room. Other claims showed that employees were claiming drinking expenses while traveling the world at the expense of the HSE, which is, after all 100% funded by the taxpayer. Continue reading