True grit in rural Ireland

Stop the bus! No literally, stop the bus. It’s awful bitter in the capital and they just can’t handle it!

There’s nothing like a bit of drama from the east to remind the rest of the country how normal and calm we can be in a crisis. A few fluffy flakes of snow drift upon the streets of the capital and it’s a national emergency.

Forgive me for my lack of sympathy but we’ve been dealing with crazy weather conditions for a month now. And it’s difficult, by all means, but only when the Big Smoke gets into bother does out national station make a big deal about it. Is this what I’m paying my TV licence for? I understand you might be thinking that, well, the population of Dublin is far greater than that of the Midlands, and that’s true, but severe cold conditions are far more crippling for those living in rural conditions than for those living in cities.

I don’t know about you, but I had a serious case of cabin fever over Christmas, but at least I had family and friends around to keep me entertained. So imagine how those who live on their own in rural parts of the country felt this Christmas. All alone, in freezing weather conditions, and with all our back roads grit-free any journey towards civilisation has been greatly warned against.

So here we are, stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no signs of our back roads getting gritted, and nothing to do. But that’s not half a important as some eejit in Dublin not being able to turn on their four-wheel drive. Well congrats to RTÉ, quality news reporting there if I do say so!

Not that I’m bitter or anything. In fact I’m getting used to the cold weather, it’s probably something that’s going to crop up every winter, so let’s all adjust. But in the meantime, perhaps out local authorities could see beyond the motorway and national roads and think about all those trapped in villages and small towns across the Midlands, where the only hope of freedom is the big thaw. And that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon!

So while there’s still forecasts of freezing temperatures, snow, fog, and whatever else the elements decide to throw at us, the main thing is to remember those living on their own. Life can be islolating enough as it is, but imagine how much more isolated you’d feel trapped in rural Ireland, surrounded by frost and snow.

At least in the Big Smoke amenities are within walking distance, and there are plenty of neighbours about.

We may not have as big a population as Dublin, and our people might not be viewed as being as important as their people, but we still matter, and a spotlight needs to be put on our local authorities, and Government to see how they are helping us deal with the situation. It’s one thiing being snowed in for a day or two, but it has been three weeks now, and there’s no sign of it letting up.


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