Eire Nua

Well – one gradually tunes in to the rhythms of the new Ireland.  Over at the Knock Marian Shrine, the crowds are unprecedented.  As the commentator on RTE said, the more the churches empty the more strength there seems to be in folk religion.  Interesting isn’t it?

And the threatened Aer Lingus strike is really interesting as well.  The West of Ireland political establishment is outraged at Aer Lingus’ plans to end its Shannon-Heathrow service.  Shannon is course established the world’s first duty-free shop and was also where Irish Coffee was invented.  But it also spawned a whole world of politics as successive Irish governments used Shannon to boost economic development in the West – and prevented airlines flying direct from the US to Dublin.  It was a bit like De Valera winning elections on promises to drain the Shannon.  But what is really driving the strike?  Well  Aer Lingus plans to make Belfast a major new hub and to employ pilots on different terms and conditions from those in Dublin.  Belfast instead of Shannon?  Amazing.

And finally, across the valley from Blogstead Na Mara, the three new houses at 650000 euro remain unsold – I think.  And the view which is supposed to sell them has been slightly impaired by the sudden clearance of a rather attractive wood which lay just below them .. cleared by a developer for the building of the next set of holiday cottages ..  and so it goes on.