Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Let's honour Scouts with Irish Rail bridge contract

Today’s Irish Times reports that a sea scout leader warned Irish Rail (Iarnród Éireann) of the impending failure of Broadwater Estuary viaduct just five days before a 20-metre section of it fell into the sea last Friday.

“One of my colleagues phoned Iarnród Éireann on Monday week and said it was in danger of collapse……… they did nothing about it. Only when it collapsed did they see the problem. Yet we could see that there was a serious problem developing long before it happened, over a period of two months, and it should have been taken more seriously by Iarnród Éireann”, a Malahide Sea Scout leader told the newspaper’s environment editor, Frank McDonald.

Irish Rail did send an engineer the day after the scout's warning but found everything to be in order. The last full inspection of the bridge was carried out in October 2007, with the next one due the same month this year.

Idea: Instead of employing expensive engineers to assess Irish Rail’s network of viaducts and bridges (and remember that part of the Cahir viaduct collapsed six years ago), why don’t we utilise the services of the country’s scouts, who number over 40,000 across the whole island?

From the above, it would appear that they would be more worthy of the public’s trust than Irish Rail’s surveyors and engineers. And what’s more – given the perilous state of the country’s finances – they would be a lot cheaper as well.

Particularly if we waited until Bob-a-Job Week.

Back to Gombeen Nation main page

5 comments:

Viking said...

great post!

The Gombeen Man said...

Cheers Viking. Thankfully, there's seldom a shortage of raw material...

Lew said...

"Irish Rail did send an engineer the day after the scout's warning but found everything to be in order. The last full inspection of the bridge was carried out in October 2007, with the next one due the same month this year."

Surely the "Engineer" if he/she really was one should not only be sacked but charged with maybe criminal negligence or something similar?

I don;t know the bridge or the circumstances of it collapsing, but imagine if a train happened to be crossing as it failed and fell into the water? how many lives could have been lost?

The Gombeen Man said...

Lots, Lew. The driver of a train going into Dublin just after Six in the evening noticed subsidence, just before an outgoing train packed with commuters going in the opposite direction was due to pass over it.

A close one.

Anna said...

Ordinary people also sleep walk…as well as officials.

A workmate, Paula, Was on the train, (not her normal route - she was on a trip up north) the week Beforehand. At that bridge there was an Almighty CRASH. (Possibly a girder or big lump of concrete slipping into the sea?).

Paula said passengers were white faced - she said 'as if we all knew something Serious had happened'. I asked did she say anything on disembarking - no – and this was a normal sensible woman in her 50's.
(So those passengers got off – and no one said a word to anyone in Connolly. The driver may have not heard this- Paula may have been in the last carriage.) Paula did say:' Of course I would have felt very bad if people had been killed!'.

My point is: it's not surprising there's little concern at official levels- if ordinary people won't take any responsibly for that which should reported/ protested against/ legislated for etc….

I commuted from Dundalk for 2 yrs, but gave it up 6 months ago- (NB those trains are Packed & loss of life could have been serious). But if I'd been on Paula's train and heard that crash, I would have reported it immediately - and checked what follow up action had been taken- and that I think is partly because I did not grow up here.

I don't mean to be rude - and I'm back actually V Glad to be living back in Dublin as a 4 year excursion in re-emigrating to N Ireland did not work

But again I note the amazing ability of Irish people not to report/ act on anything seriously wrong- people need to stir themselves of this sleeping beauty state. After all if everyone protested about everything that wrong here, the country just wouldn't be in the state it is in, would it?- Anna