A sheep at the wheel

Posted by The Skibbereen Eagle | August 10, 2016 0

Blasket
Mistakes can happen to anyone but you do have to wonder just how this one occurred. Last night, a driver decided to take a trip to the picturesque Dunquin pier in Kerry – where visitors get the ferry to the Blasket Islands. Unfortunately, it’s a notoriously twisty, narrow pedestrian-only road – and the inevitable happened.sheep_design_ireland_t_shirt

To nobody’s surprise except his own his car got completely wedged in at one of the tight corners. For reference, this is the area we’re talking about – beautiful but definitely not car friendly. The photo was posted by the Blasket Island Ferries Facebook page, who discovered the man (as they point out, “a Dub!”) first thing this morning completely blocking access to the pier.

“It would be the busiest week of the year for us, so plenty of people were a little annoyed at not being able to catch the ferry this morning,” said Sibéal Ní Lubhaing of Blasket Island Ferries. Sibéal said that the man had been there all night: “The guy drove down there last night and stayed sitting in the car the whole night. He didn’t ring anyone for help.”

The man was let out though the boot this morning and the county council sent a digger to free the car in the last hour, which sustained plenty of scratches. Not a mistake you make twice anyway and not one he’s likely to forget in a hurry as the Facebook post has gone viral – it’s already been shared over 1,000 times.

Known by some locals as Sheep’s Walk, the precipitous path to the Dunquin pier is famous for a picture postcard image of sheep winding their way uphill after being taken off the islands by ferry. But it is also a notorious accident spot with drivers routinely getting stuck after edging downhill only to find the pedestrian route is too narrow and then burning out their clutch trying to reverse back up. It has also become a popular spot for daredevil downhill mountain bikers. The top of the walkway is posted with numerous signs warning of the dangers and that it is inaccessible for cars but strangely Kerry County Council has not installed barriers or bollards to prevent incidents like this happening.

Kerry County Council and local Gardai were called to the scene when the man was found. A Bobcat loader was brought in to tow the car up the path and several sailings of the ferry to the islands had to been cancelled leaving hundreds of tourists and visitors high and dry. The clutch on the car was burnt out but Ms Ni Lubhaing praised the rescue team who added little to the dents and scrapes caused by the downhill drive. She said: “When our guys were talking to the man he was saying that he would climb out the window. But it is a sheer drop on either side there where his car was jammed. He had gone two thirds of the way down the pathway. It’s amazing that he got that far.”

sheepwalk

The Skibbereen Eagle

The Skibbereen Eagle

In 1898, to widespread bemusement, a small Provincial Newspaper in an equally small town in the South West corner of Ireland sonorously warned the Czar of Russia that it knew what he was up to and he should be careful how he proceeded for “The Skibbereen Eagle” was wise to his game and in future would be keeping its eye on him! It is doubtful that Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, even noticed the Eagle’s admonitions but as history soon proved he should have paid closer attention to the Eagle’s insightful opinions!

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