By Ray O’Hanlon
Ships leave and arrive with the tide. But planes? In Derry, the tides that surge up and down the River Foyle might indeed have to be taken into account by aircraft using the city’s airport, which is currently under expansion.
The expansion plan was given the all clear two years ago and since then the airport’s runway has been lengthened in the direction of the river.
Now, however, the City Council has concluded that the runway should have been built in a direction away from the river. The problem is, £5.3 million already spent on the runway project now stands to be washed away.
The runway plan u-turn, according to a report in the Derry Journal, is due to the fact that updated studies show that aircraft using the runway that runs toward the Foyle might have to deal with extra high tides or even mud if a combination of certain conditions prevail.
The airport has been increasingly busy in recent years and is seen vital to Derry’s continued economic growth.
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The chairman of the council’s airport Committee, Andrew Davidson, said he was concerned that the council had been operating in a King Canute atmosphere.
"It is vital that we get to the bottom of this and sort it out as a matter of urgency," he told the Journal.
Dublin is not the only place in Ireland where hailing a taxi can be difficult. A Blarney, Co. Kerry, man recently attempted to hitch a ride home in a Garda squad car but was promptly told that the police did not provide a taxi service. According to the Southern Star, the man was directed by the Garda in the car to a nearby taxi stand.
Some time later, the Garda car drove past the taxi stand and the man was observed "roaring and shouting" by the officers. Apparently he was not roaring for a taxi. The man was arrested and charged with abusive behavior and refusing to obey an instruction delivered by a Garda officer.
University of Waterford?
Waterford does not have a university of its own and that is troubling to some local politicians. Progressive Democrat Councilor Oliver Cleary believes that the southeast of Ireland, and Waterford in particular, is losing out on multinational investment because it does not have a full-fledged university.
"Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin all have universities and Waterford is the only city which does not have one," Cleary said.
However, other local officials are not so sure that a new university is needed and instead want to see the city’s Institute of Technology developed to its full potential. The debate is yet to graduate to the voting stage.
Some like this cot
Dublin hotel owner Barry Canny is offering guests the chance to sleep with a Hollywood legend — at least in their dreams.
Canny, who runs the exclusive Browne’s Brasserie and Townhouse on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, recently paid £15,000 at an auction in London for a bed once used by Marilyn Monroe in her Hollywood office.
Canny is charging £350 a night for the privilege of a nap in the "Some Like it Hot" star’s onetime cot.
"It’s an enormously comfortable bed. The suite is booked out for over a year," Canny told the Irish Independent.
The bed has even attracted some living celebrities. Actor Jack Nicholson spent a night in the bed. However, Canny has resisted the temptation to hike the price because of other star snoozers. Every penny of the overnighting price is due to the bed’s original owner.
Four of County Clare’s most historic early monastic settlements are to get big boosts for their collection plates.
The minister with responsibility for heritage matters, Síle de Valera, has announced that £4 will be spent on preservation work and upgrading of Ennis Friary, Quin Abbey, Kilfenora Cathedral and Scattery Island.
According to a report in the Clare Champion, de Valera believes that the importance of the monastic sites in national terms had not been matched by spending in recent years. She was now determined to set that to right.