Don’t Forget Your Shovel


A woman walking in the snow in Glasnevin on March 4

I note that the current hospital bed crisis is in part due to pressure from slip and falls that occurred during the recent storm.

One contributing factor must be our apparent inability to clear snow from public paths and around homes.

This is not due to laziness or lack of civic pride but rather equipment failure.

I cleared 20 metres of snow at 8am each morning with a €7 snow-shovel.

I noticed other people using spades, garden hoes and even fireside shovels in futile attempts to keep paths clear.

What would be the cost saving to thousands of €7 shovels being left in town centres and on street corners during such weather events – allowing us all to play our part in keep this country moving and injuries down?

We could even allocate Tidy Towns points for additional motivation!

Adrian Mulryan,
Dún Laoghaire,
Co Dublin.

For the price of a shovel (Irish Times letters page)

Leah Farrell/Rollingnews

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42 thoughts on “Don’t Forget Your Shovel

    1. Nigel

      Like the Alanis Morisette song: ‘It’s ten thousands shovels when all you need is a knife…’

  1. curmudgeon

    I shoveled snow for three hours on two days in order to get the car out onto the road. Neibghours who did the same were few and far between. For the hundred or so houses directly around me only a few had bothered. Also no women at all helped do this. But they did have the cheek to park two cars outside my house in my on street spot when I came back from work. So I’m gonna go with lack of civic responsibility and common courtesy.

    1. Catherine costelloe

      Ah dont! Lead by example, knock on few doors, say ” We start at 2 and finish at 4, can you spare an hour?”.

    2. postmanpat

      I had the usual cheeky fella park his work van down my cul de sac next to my gaff even though he doesn’t live on my road probably so he cant be seen to be parked outside his baby mommas house by the social service inspectors. I made a point of heaping the snow all around the back of his van when digging my own driveway out. Later that day from my bedroom the man and the “single” mother were throwing exasperated shapes when they came down the road to move the van. It was fun watching them both digging away in the cold drizzle rain for an hour.

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            Roger Irrelevant.

            I’ve lost my Viz Profanisaurus. It used to make me LOL every time I read it. Must get another.

    3. Anne

      I’m not sure why you highlight no women helped? But if we are going to talk about gender based snow clearance, in my estate myself and another two female neighbors were out clearing snow. My husband was inside watching tv. I didn’t see any other men out clearing the paths. I suppose if people weren’t planning to leave their houses until the snow had gone this may be why they didn’t clear it. I only cleared ours as my sister in law said she was going to call in and I didn’t want her to slip.

  2. b

    Line up a load of shovels outside and ask anyone to take their pick…..

    think i’ve head that one before

  3. Jonjo

    Some people around my way cleared their drives and the footpath directly outside their drives. The problem was they just piled the snow up to the side of this. Which meant you were walking along the footpath and then you come to a 2-3 foot pile of snow blocking the whole footpath and have to walk out on the road to get past.

  4. filly buster

    seriously though, i hate all this “get off yer lazy botties and shovel” lark. Not everyone is able. And a lot of those who were able, couldve been minding their kids or whatever. Anyway, that aside, why isn’t anyone saying “WHERE THE fupp WERE THE COUNCIL?” .. the government shouldve had people out clearing the paths and roads, like any other country. And no wonder there was looting with not one guard on duty. it was pathetic, they just shut down the country instead of meet the issues.

    1. filly buster

      someone come at me .. i thought my view would bring some of the right-wing, old schoolers a knockin

  5. Eoin

    If you clear the snow from the path outside you property and someone slips and hurts themselves on that cleared area then you are legally liable.

    1. kellma

      This rings bells to me. In Germany, you are obliged to keep the path in front of your property clear so the reverse motivation is there. I remember having a conversation where I asked why people in Ireland didn’t clear paths in front of there’s and I was also told this.

      1. The Old Boy

        I hate that old nugget of legal misinformation (although I could write a book on common legal myths.)

        Its genesis is in the fact that if you clear snow and ice negligently you could be held liable. The most common example is the person who has the bright idea of clearing the path with a hosepipe or a basin of water, which then freezes into ice, unsurprisingly causing someone to slip.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          Neighbour of mine has a drainpipe coming off his gutter but no actual drain at the end of it – so water just runs onto the path. Always a little stream during heavy rain and a three-foot-wide patch of ice when it’s freezing. One time I suggested to him that it could be a problem for him if someone slipped. He dismissed that, said it’s been like that for 30 years so everyone should know by now.
          (If anyone says “cool story bro”, I’ll come round to them)

          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            I’m not saying it, just thinking it. With a comma before the bro, obv.

        2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          You should write it. It’d be a good one for nerd Christmas stockings.

          1. The Old Boy

            The problem with writing books that say “the law isn’t x, it’s y” is that some dangerous clown can always be relied upon to misinterpret it or rely on it for some actual legal purpose and make an absolute hames of the whole thing.

            If I were to write it in an accessible and hopefully entertaining way, there is no way I could put in all the exceptions necessary to make it even vaguely authoritative without it turning into a dry textbook.

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