Tuesday, 25th April 2017
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Welcome to the rest of the country

There is a real sense that if something doesn't happen in Dublin then it doesn't happen at all. The rest of the country were struggling to deal with a strike that has left roughly 100,000 people without any means of transport. During that time the strike only merited the third or fourth place in the running schedule of the news, hardly any editorials in the main newspapers and a general sense that the strike wasn't really happening at all.

How everything changed when secondary pickets hit public transport in Dublin last Friday. Up until then Dublin wasn't affected at all by the transport strike being held by members of the NBRU and SIPTU but the secondary pickets changed all of that. From hardly being discussed at all it was the first item on all news stations and all media outlets, covered extensively with officials, politicians and civil servants chased down for their opinions on what was happening and what they were going to do about it.

It wasn't until those in Dublin had to put up with the same problems that the rest of the country were dealing with for the last 8 days that you, for the first time in this dispute, got the sense that those in authority were taking things seriously. They were taking it seriously because it was happening in Dublin, affecting people in Dublin and therefore the media, based in Dublin, were taking it seriously. There is a feeling that maybe people outside of Dublin have a bit of a chip on their shoulder when it comes to the issues that concern them, that they read too much into things and that everyone in this country, no matter where they live are treated equally. As much as you might want to think that this is true the reality is very different.

Due to it's sheer size, the manner in which it has developed, it's huge economic power Dublin is treated differently and by default the people who live there. It is the same thinking and behaviour whereby everyone knows Mayo is getting way more of it's fair share at this moment in time.

Whatever the legalities of the secondary picketing last week it showed quite clearly the way in which things are really done, rather than the way in which they should be done, in Ireland. In the real world it is the squeaky wheel that gets the oil and if that means creating a squeaky wheel in Dublin than so be it. Dublin will just have to suck it up and try to deal with not having any public transport and join the rest of the country as we all wait and see what exactly is going to be done to bring some sort of resolution to this dispute. After all lightning can strike twice, even in Dublin.

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