If a new Galway company has its way, passenger carrying seaplanes will soon be landing on the Suir in the middle of Waterford city. Proposals for a sea-plane service from the Galway Docks to Aran, Limerick and Dublin took a major step forward last week after the project backers secured space for use as a ‘check-in’ area in a dockside hotel.

Harbour Air Ireland has already invested €7.5million on three ‘Single Otter’ sea-planes as well as €1.5m on developing the operation. They intend to introduce schedule sea-plane flights from Galway Docks and are ‘ready to go’ with the project. The company plans on first launching a Galway to Inis Mór service as well as a Foynes, Co Limerick to Inis Mór service, before expanding a Galway to Foynes service. They then have plans to expand their routes to other cities including Waterford.

Lucky punter

And as we head into Cheltenham, every betting person was delighted by a Kerryman’s accumulator win of €280,000 last week. The man from Moyvane bet €35 on six horses running at Lingfield and the big win on the Paddy Power website came from two separate bets. The main earner was a €5 accumulator that came in at 8/1, evens, 7/1, 4/1 and finally at 12/1. However, the lucky punter also scooped over €36,000 on a 20 cent ‘Lucky 63’, a convoluted series of 63 bets that covered all combinations of the winning horses.

Climber loses life

A sad story this week about a County Wexford climber and hill-walker who is well known in Waterford. Father of two, Richie Kinsella, 52, from Ballinakill, Ballycarney, was descending from a climb on Mount Kilimanjaro when he was bitten by an, as yet, unidentified insect. He and 24 other climbers had earlier reached the peak of the 4,600 metre mountain and they were negotiating the slopes on their return journey when the incident occurred. According to the reports, Mr Kinsella, a manager with the ESB, was able to walk on for a further four hours but he was then taken to hospital in Moshi where, within hours, his condition worsened and, sadly, he lost his battle for life.

Expert doesn’t want chainsaws at road accident scenes

Some time ago, in this column, I wrote about an injured man who was trapped in his car by a fallen tree at Rathdrum in County Wicklow and there was widespread criticism that neither Fire Brigade personnel nor County Council Staff were permitted to use a chainsaw to help free the man from the wreckage. It turned out that the fire-fighters were not trained in the use of chainsaws and the local authority workers were not permitted to use the devices after the hours of darkness.

However, last week, Wicklow’s Chief Fire Officer, Jim Dunphy, spoke to elected representatives about the situation. He insisted there were still no plans to use chainsaws at the scenes of traffic accidents. He said the use of such devices presented a lot of problems and, speaking from personal experience, he would not be advocating their use. He also pointed out that at a time when some other counties were trying to phase out their use, it would cost €1,000 per fire-fighter to be trained in their use and a further €10,000 would be needed for equipment. The Chief Fire Officer also pointed out that the injured man in question had been released from the car in 17 minutes without the use of a chainsaw.

Musicians are real people too!

What do you call a beautiful woman on a trombonist’s arm? A tattoo. What’s the difference between a banjo and an onion? Nobody cries when you chop up a banjo. What’s the difference between an opera singer and a pit bull? Lipstick. What do a violin and a lawsuit have in common? Everyone is relieved when the case is closed. How can you tell when a singer is at your door? They can’t find the key, and they never know when to come in. What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? A vocalist.

Mixed signals

An 85-year-old man went to his doctor’s office last week and told his GP that he had just acquired a beautiful 30-year-old girlfriend and they wanted to start a family as soon as possible. “Well”, said the doctor, “it’s not always possible for a man of your age to father children but the first thing we need to do is determine your sperm count. Take this jar and fetch me in a sample first thing tomorrow.”

The next morning, the elderly man arrived into the surgery clutching an empty jar. “What happened”, asked the doctor, “couldn’t you manage it?”

“I’m sorry Doc but, no matter what I did, it wouldn’t work. I tried it with my right hand and then my left hand. Next I got my girlfriend to have a go but still no joy. I even went in next door to Mrs Doyle and asked her would she oblige. She tried for an hour with the sweat rolling off of her but no go. Her daughter tried as well, the one who used to be Miss Waterford, but even she couldn’t produce a result.”

By this time the doctor, who thought he was beyond being shocked, was red-faced with embarrassment. “My good man”, he said, “you seem to have very understanding and broadminded neighbours.” “I have Doctor, I have”, agreed his elderly patient, “they all tried but we still couldn’t get the bloody top off the jar.”