I meant to mention it before, but I forgot, which is surprising because it’s big news. But then the memory isn’t what it was.
Bertie rang me last week. He must have got my number from the CIA.
Frankly [and I have to be honest here], I find it very difficult to understand Bertie at the best of times. Even when he talks slowly.
But he was obviously very excited to be ringing me because he was shouting a lot. And I mean really shouting. Maybe the line was bad at his end, but I could hardly understand a word he was saying. And I didn’t like to be rude and ask him to repeat himself. So I only caught the odd word. But it was enough.
The conversation was rather one sided. In fact he never gave me a chance to say anything. What he did say was [and I’ve left out the words I couldn’t understand]:
“I’ve been reedin your…..about de cycleway…..draw de line….callin around…takin out a contract..your name on it…don’t write…more..”
There were a lot of expletives in there too, but I put that down to his excitement.
I gather he wants me to design the new cycleway between Sandycove and Sutton for him and will be calling around soon to sign the contract! Wow!
So I have been working out some ideas. Now, I think I can save the government a lot of money here. Or maybe I’ll just charge them the full €40,000,000. They like paying out huge sums of money.
For a start, most of the cycleway is there already. The stretch from Merrion Gates to the Liffey is grand. So is the stretch from Fairview to Sutton. So that only leaves two gaps – the one between Sandycove and Merrion Gates, and getting across the Liffey.
The Liffey bit is tricky. I thought of a bridge, but then the ships couldn’t get in or out. I thought of a tunnel, but they probably wouldn’t build that high enough for a cyclist [they aren’t very good at measuring tunnel heights]. So I came up with a brainwave. Let’s build a ford. After all, Baile Atha Cliath is the Town of the Ford of the Hurdles. So this will be very traditional, and we might even get grants from the Heritage Council, and An Taisce.
So I’m going to build the cycleway across the bed of the river. The cyclists will have to hold their breath for a bit but I’m sure they’ll manage.
So that just leaves the stretch between Sandycove and Merrion Gates. I’m OK between Sandycove and Dun Laoire, but then the problem starts. The cycleway has to follow the coast, and the only way of doing that is to follow the railway, as the roads are all inland. I don’t think they’d like it if I took over the railway, so I had another brainwave. Let’s share!!
What I propose is to build a cycleway between the rails. Simple. It will be an incentive too, to the cyclists not to linger, so it will be good for their health.
As for the payment.. I suggest, Bertie that you contact Major Kowalski in the CIA. He is looking after my case. He’ll give you my address. The usual brown envelope will do, but mark it “Private – not to be opened by tribunals”.