The Tesco Supermarket on the Ring Road has been doing great business since it opened over six years and as you know operates 24 hours a day. I’m told it has one of the highest turnover of all the Tesco stores in Ireland The associated petrol station has also been doing phenomenal business, I reckon there must be a tanker delivery per day to cope with the demand. During regular hours there is invariably a queue waiting on all 8 pumps. Price, of course, is the big draw plus the club points on offer and the best of luck to them. Though I must add that recently it is no longer the price leader in terms of cost per litre and better value is available elsewhere around town but convenience for shoppers continues to drive the demand which in turn gives rise to the aforementioned queues. However, given the location and configuration of the layout near the service station’s entrances/exit poses a potential traffic hazard. In fact there are two distinct situations worthy of study in this regard.

Firstly, on approaching the car park entrance itself, one is presented with two options, left or right. The majority of drivers turn left but others go right (though few of these indicate!). These latter right-turning drivers are heading either for the Home Base side of things or the petrol station itself. But those drivers who are turning right here into the petrol station are presented with something of a ‘blind spot’ created by the shrubbery at the left bend of this crucial corner. I urge once again that this set up be studied with a view to a solution.

Secondly, while there is a choice of entry all emerging traffic exits the one way- a great volume of traffic at that. Again while at one level it’s a great business for Tesco, a significant side effect is our old friend the queue or even multiple queue can extend right around the corner there creating a blockage for cars wishing to exit only. Again this needs to be looked at and as there is ample space. There is plenty of scope for a re-jigged lay out to facilitate visibility/sight lines and ease of passage. Though I raised this issue previously calling for the hazardous layout described above to be studied and remedied but no obvious remediation work was undertaken. However, the situation has not remained unchanged as the ‘offending’ mass of shrubbery at this blind-spot has grown even taller and thicker. So please Mr Tesco – let the dog see the rabbit!

The Pub With No Beer

The Dunmore Road area has been well served with a great variety of pubs and bars and all sorts of restaurants and eateries. Despite what I said previously about non-indigenous names within some housing estates, I think pubs have a kind of license to break that rule and be imaginative or inventive or romantic or even exotic while more traditional houses proudly keep to the family name over the door. More recent arrivals included Becketts, Oskars, and the Uluru which came as a surprise but didn’t take long to assimilate itself into the local lexicon/lingo.

The Cove which harks back a good few years has undergone a number of refits/refurbishment over the past decade or so. While my memory of this bar goes back to the final year or so Eddie Rodgers era, my strongest memories are those associated with Harry and Margaret Boyle years and that would be true of many people. Harry agrees that there is a great book in it and who knows we may get around to it some day! Then there was Orpens whose story I told a few years ago. The place itself is well over a hundred years old while the Orpen family were involved there for over 60. Now it has re-emerged as Becketts and is doing well, both as a pub and restaurant and will celebrate its 5th birthday next May.

Then there was the other ‘new kid’ on the block ie Oskars which carved out a name for itself and was a real classy joint with great food and music nights. Over the past couple of years Nicky O’Brien had built up a strong and loyal local clientele ably assisted by a fine and friendly staff. Alas, the cold winds of recession impacted on the fortunes of the Tweedy Group resulting in Oskars closure a few weeks back. We look forwards to its return with Chris, Mossey, Rachel et al back manning the pumps. The grandees of the trade locally are Kennedy’s of Callaghane and Jack Meades/ The Half-Way. Great houses both. And of course what about the well named Brass Cock Bar, part of the Woodlands Hotel which does a reasonably good local trade, as well as lots of functions.

But did you know that there was another pub in the area which for a long time now has been a pub with no beer as it ceased to trade as a pub since the mid/late 50’s. This traded as James Murphy’s of Grantstown. The house until recently stood there on the main road between Riverview and Booterstown. Des Phelan who grew up there said that his father Patrick inherited the property but continued to trade under the established name of James Murphy. He remembers pony and traps being tied up outside in the fore yard (no outer wall there then). I’ve met some old timers who recall having a drink or two here back then in more leisurely times. The old house has been replaced by a wonderfully designed doctor’s surgery run by Dr Pat Devlin.

So the appropriate conclusion is a hearty ‘Slainte’!