Aer Lingus launch delayed..

The Irish Times’ bloggers have been having some fun with today’s front page image – as captured at yesterday’s announcement by Aer Lingus. Blogger 73man is also having some fun.


  • stavros


    What was the power point presentation about?

  • Richard Dowling

    Funny what a little belly rub will do for you!

  • smcgiff

    Paisley says, ‘A fine piece of tail’ before adding in his own mind… ‘And the plane isn’t half bad either’

  • jp

    paisley : “I’m sure it will fit like glove dear, thank you”

    Man on right : “is this why we call them black bastards ?”

  • Kloot

    Dermot Mannion: “He has spotted the Shamrock.. im in for it now!!”

  • Tochais Síoraí

    ‘That’s it, Mr Paisley, give it a good rub and it’ll go up in the air’

  • Kloot

    Dermot Mannion: “Did he just let one rip ?”

  • Sorry, can’t match such scintillating wit.

    However, my interest was caught by the Analysis column, by Ciarán Hancock, in today’s Irish Times. This is specifically addressing:
    Aer Lingus’s cost base in Belfast will be significantly lower than in Shannon…

    It continues:

    While Shannon-Heathrow was profitable, Aer Lingus says it can get twice the return by operating these aircraft [previously on the SNN-LHR route] from Belfast to London.
    In addition, its cost base will be significantly lower in Belfast. The pay structures and work practices of staff in Shannon are based on agreements negotiated many years ago, which Aer Lingus argues are out of step with its low-cost competitors, primarily Ryanair. The 100 staff employed in Belfast will be on terms comparable with what other airlines offer there.

    While the piece does not add greatly to the sum of human knowledge, it intrigues me that this realism sits under two other articles about the SIPTU protests and the meeting of Aer Lingus staff at Shannon.

    Hancock’s conclusion is particularly telling:
    With a powersharing government now firmly established, the North’s economy looks set for take off.

  • Big Ian: And that’s why they call me ‘Big Ian’

    Stewardess: Er, ah, right, ah, a little too much information….where’s the door….er..

    Mannion: No, really, more like, this big.

  • Kloot

    With a powersharing government now firmly established, the North’s economy looks set for take off.

    Thats quite possible, but do you reckon the NI economy could fall into some of the same pitfalls as the ROI economy did. For example, is its infrastructure ready for it ?, public housing for all the economic migrants, indeed could NI attract a lot more economic migrants in the same way as the ROI did

  • slug

    kloot, NI’s main economic problem is lack ofinvestment in skills in the workplace. Forget company tax, skills are the big handicap.

  • Aquifer

    The republic totally screwed up their physical planning strategies, ignoring them by building suburban housing without public transport connections or local facilities. The congestion must be losing them investment bigtime, and heritage and environmental protection are a tragedy.

    The North has a better planning culture, but the scale of growth may be too much of a challenge. We need Craigavon scale thinking, but is anybody ready for that?

    Doing no big infrastructure plan is actually a plan for high housing prices and low growth, which suits the comfortably off all too well. No high rise housing on the already paid-for rail links on the North Down gold coast just yet.

    Relying on roads and planes for transport will be a mistake, as oil prices are set to rise in the next five years.

  • slug


    Now may be the time to revive and invest in Craigavon, which is on a good motorway and rail line in the heart of the growth corridor. In fact in recent couple of years there has reportedly been an increase in the amount of private home builds in Craigavon.

  • The Dubliner

    “Doing no big infrastructure plan is actually a plan for high housing prices and low growth, which suits the comfortably off all too well.” – Aquifer

    It would be better if you acquainted yourself with the details of the €184 billion National Development Plan 2007-2013 (and its predecessors) instead of making silly remarks about its assumed non-existence. That way, if nothing else, you can also avoid making silly remarks about Ireland having low “low growth” when it has had the highest rate of growth in Europe for the last 14 years. You should also acquaint yourself with the fact that Ireland employs more archaeologists than the whole of the UK, despite being considerably smaller than the UK, so your comment about neglecting our heritage is similarly unsupported by the facts. So, if you notice, that Aer Lingus airplane is flying with one engine – which is one more than your argument.

  • The Dubliner

    Ah, I see your context shifted from the South to the North in your second paragrapgh, Aquifer, and that the quoted text refers to the second, not the first, so ignore the above post!

  • Aquifer @ 07:21 PM:

    Historically, you are correct, as eny fule kno, flying in to Dublin, observing from above. All those individual estates developed from separate land acquisitions. That Superquinn or School may be just beyond your back fence, but it’ll take a two mile hike or drive, out onto the main road and back, to get there.

    Things have and are improving, but the bill for those classic planning failures need to be paid.

    I notice that today’s First Leader in the aforementioned Irish Times addresses it: Metro project raises questions.

    The 17km Metro North line from Stephen’s Green to Swords is budgeted at “at least €5B”: the Government has tried to hide this figure (“the biggest single investment in public infrastructure in the history of the State”) but didn’t use enough indelible ink to blot it out. The whole Transport 21 programme looks like the wrong end of €34.4B.

    If The Dubliner @ 08:08 PM believes the pie-crust promise of a “€184 billion National Development Plan 2007-2013”, then his City has mislaid its traditional scepticism. Am I right in thinking that is something like €35,000 to be taxed out of or borrowed on behalf of each and every inhabitant of the State?

    And, of course, there are lessons here for the NI Assembly. They amount to get it right first time, and don’t over-reach our resources.

  • hotdogx

    I agree transport 21 hasn’t gone far enough in some areas. The western rail corridor is not being reopened all the way to sligo, For the cost of just a couple of km of motorway they longfingered the claremorris to sligo section indefinately. They annoying thing is that all the track is still in situ and in CIE ownership. What bad planning! shame on our politicians in sligo tubbercurry etc, aconnection for freignt knock airport, shrine etc, lost. As part of a crossborder body a study could be made into the reopening of the sligo-eniskillen-derry line,

  • IJP

    Further to what Kloot says, the risk is that this is another attempt at the North effectively selling itself as a low(er)-wage economy.

    There’s no future in that.

    I would strongly second the infrastructure point too – the A1 disgrace is an obvious case in point, but frankly we don’t have ten years to wait for high-speed road and rail routes from Belfast to Derry etc either.

  • hotdogx – there’s a lot of projects that deserve the cost of “a few km of motorway” ahead of Claremorris-Sligo. Even ones with track in IE ownership.

    The metro price is inflated in part by the fact that this is the first metro line and thus has startup costs in equipment, depots etc. Future extensions of metro *should* cost less on a per km basis.

    This reaction to moves from south to north is all very interesting – when Sinn Fein come to the door in the South looking for votes will the reaction be: “feck off with your 32-county republic, my civil service job will be decentralised to Derry or Armagh or Coleraine”. Good job we don’t have that “pending reintegration of the national territory” nonsense any more eh?