by Dezy Walls
The brave minister for tourism, sport and speed limits, Shane Ross*, is to hop in a car with Kerry rally driver, Alan Ring and race around the Ring of Kerry to show one and all that you can actually drive the full speed limit and still only kill sixteen sheep and a cyclist.
The Ring is a national road and everybody knows that speed limits of ONE HUNDRED KILOMETRES PER HOUR apply to national roads. That is the law! After this pleasant little spin I expect the minister will quickly change that law – having first changed his pants. Being also the minister for tourism Mr. Ross will appreciate that overtaking foreign drivers (average speed 35kmph) on blind corners is great “sport” – for which he’s also minister. Now, you see how they align such things under one ministry, Transport, Tourism and Sport. Who comes up with it?
The popular bet is the minister and our brilliant rally driver won’t get through Blackwater Bridge without slowing down to ninety five, but there you have the crux of the matter. Will they pass Blackwater Bridge at all, at all. Maybe the Ring is only considered a “national” road because it runs from one “very important, wow!!!, town” to one “excruciatingly overvamped town” – meaning Killarney to Killarney, often taking sneaky shortcuts up from Sneem. You see, for example, the Dingle peninsula south has only regional road status, being from Castlemaine to Dingle and back. Therefore eighty kilometres per hour is good enough for them.
Now, if the minister drives the True Ring of Kerry (Kenmare to Kenmare) and passes over Blackwater Bridge going east or west I believe he’ll re-designate the whole thing as regional, a reasonable eighty km per hour, almost safe for walkers and cyclists and stray sheep – all of whom concern him except the sheep. That falls under agriculture. There’s an idea. The minister for agriculture could sit in the back seat. What a show to amuse us of an autumn evening. And while you’re down ministers you could drop into our SMALL ROADS festival of Theatre this September. Note the title, Mr. Ross. Small feckin’ Roads!
* It should be noted that Mr. Shane Ross (on whose sense of humour we rely) is only just in the job and will, of course, be (speedily) fixing this and other anomalies around the country.
Hint to government and administrators in general. Be foolish, if you really must be, but don’t advertise your foolishness to millions of visitors at regular intervals along the road … Especially just before sharp bends
Footnote: In 2019 after much campaigning, the speed limits were lowered to 80km/h in most of the previously marked 100km/h zones. However, down tiny one lane, 2 car boreens, 80km is still madness as 30km/h is probably reasonable under those circumstances.