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SCS366M The journey home - Part 2 - Ireland
O'Malley's 74TN505 (ex-SCS366M) in his yard in April 1999.

Fly me to the Emerald Isle

Saturday morning at 05h30 was very dark. It was so dark in fact, that the car decided to drive me  towards work in Bracknell rather than to Stansted Airport. Luckily this was the only thing to go wrong all day. Saturday morning at 07h30 at Stansted was also very dark.   It livened up inside the terminal building, as the Virgin check-in assistants seemed still unfamiliar with the exercise of loading planes.   In all it took 40 minutes to deal with a handful of passengers requiring at least four queues.   The flight was fine, even if the coffee cost one Irish Punt. The captain informed us that the weather was soft and sure enough we were greeted by that familiar scene of drizzle.


The first Irish person to greet me at Shannon was the assistant at the Avis desk. Hiring a car in Ireland can be a fraught business, as all the rules, regulations, exceptions and taxes have to be explained. Once I had signed, initialled and given a thumb print, I was then told that I was the proud hirer of a one year old Cavalier. However it was to be my steed and its first journey was to O’Malleys, just on the other side of Limerick. A quick look round the yard, and I confirmed that the right bus had gone to Belfast, as 75TN505 (ex GCS792N) was parked up in the mud at the bottom of the hill. Money and documents exchanged, I bid Edward farewell and decided to phone for the latest news from Stena.

Run for home

An excitable fellow at Belfast harbour exclaimed that the 12h20 sailing was cancelled, Larne was completely closed and nothing was guaranteed to Stranraer for the rest of the day. I was shaken but not stirred. It’s a long way to Tipperary and even further to Dublin when the road is obstructed by tractor upon lorry upon Mini Metro . Fortunately there is a ring road round the side of the capital saving time and hassle. Unfortunately a Bus Eireann coach had broken down at the key roundabout.   So once I was heading north I felt more comfortable that I would reach my destination in time for the 19h45 sailing on which both I and the bus were booked.


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