Thursday, 18th January 2018
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

"Walk on by!"

Just over a week ago Ex-Ophelia left these shores to be

followed very quickly by the oh so terrifying, storm Brian. Brian was never a name that, in all honesty, struck fear into any man (sorry Brians of this world)! To me, this name will be forever associated with the BBC children’s, stop animation TV series, "The Magic Roundabout".

Those of a certain vintage, will recall that the snail in the Trilby hat, was called Brian. He never did anything exciting, or frightening for that matter. Episode after episode, he would do nothing more than wander ever so slowly and aimlessly, around the set and that roundabout. He attempted to dish out the odd piece of advice, but never an angry or cross word was uttered, by "Brian the snail".

If these weather themed names were to be maintained, then I think that the next few storms should have been called; Coral, Dougal or Dylan and not forgetting Ermintrude, the pink coo! None of these names would strike terror into any human being.

Caroline is the next designated storm for Ireland and the UK. Followed, coincidently enough by a Dylan. I assume not identified with the dozy, lethargic rabbit, from "The Magic Roundabout"? Apparently named, after the real Bob Dylan! There is even an Iona, a Hector, a Larry and a Winifred!!! I doubt there’s a scary forename, amongst this year’s chosen 21.

Is it me or has anyone else noticed, that the storms bearing female specific gender, are more wrathful and angrier than the male counterparts? I know I may have just opened up an astronomic can of worms with this statement, but it does seem so!

In the midst of saying goodbye to one storm and welcoming another, the Government’s post-budget road trip was cancelled last week. On safety advice both Leo and Paschal, quite rightly, chose to park the company jet, save on a wee bit of fuel and leave visiting Waterford City and County until a future date.

There was much excitement in many a local Fine Gael Councillor’s household, with this imminent visit of the two most powerful men in Irish politics. We even heard on thegrapevine, that they were coming to announce securing the circa €61,000,000 for our North Quay development. Alas, we will have to wait just a wee bit longer for this project to get over the line. In the meantime we continue to anticipate and be intrigued by the many other reported developments apparently in the pipeline, supporting this SDZ.

I just hope that these two TDs actually manage to find their way to Waterford. To date, this Government’s record has not been overly encouraging. Let’s face it, we are a priority to neither of these Dublin-Centric power brokers.

No good news on the money front!

But fear not, as we read about Waterford taking the lead in building a tranche of brand new council houses. The work of one Councillor doing another solo run, apparently! Yet our Minister is also claiming credit for this miracle delivery, of 31 new housing units in Waterford City. Read the small print! You’ll see that these have been scheduled, planned, designed and talked about for some significant time. They should have been provided long before even Ex Ophelia appeared.

Red tape and bureaucratic shenanigans, by senior civil servants, conspire to hold this project up. Sounds familiar? Not for the first time we have had to wait for someone else to line up his or her ducks.

Building council houses on Local Authority owned land has to be a simple, quick process, doesn’t it? By all accounts it’s not. There are many, many hoops to jump through. Why does everything have to be sooooo complicated? Can we not just make the right decisions and deliver on the "Programme for Government"?

Ex Ophelia and Brian have walked right on by Waterford, en route to another destination. They came promising so much and gave us a very small insight into the dormant power of nature. I am sure that they’ve both left plenty in the tank.

Will we get as excited when Leo and Paschal next storm into our City? I leave that for you to consider, dear readers.

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