In an unexpected move yesterday Dublin City Council announced that the landmark Ha’penny Bridge is to be sold to a Chinese bank and renamed The Bank of China Bridge.
Speaking at a packed press conference Dublin’s City Manager Paul Dillard told reporters. “While the City executive is not fully in agreement with the sale and renaming we have been instructed by the city council to proceed — and so we must.”
Dillard continued, “The initial proposal to sell and rename the bridge The Bank of China Bridge came about after a town twinning select committee of sixteen Councillors returned to Dublin after a two-week ‘fact-finding ‘ trip to Beijing.”
A Pedestrian Toll
Dillard went on to say “not only were they adamant that the Bridge be renamed and sold on the cheep but that the Bank of China would be given permission to operate the bridge as a pedestrian toll bridge.”
“I have to be honest,” the CEO and city manager said. “This decision by the Councillors flies in the face of all good planning and local government policies.
“However, they are the council and their wish is our command.” He sighed.
The China connection
Meanwhile in Ireland News has learned of strange and unusual circumstances which may have influenced the councillors in their decision.
The Beijing Eagle, a national Chinese newspaper, is reporting that sixteen Dublin councillors were spotted in a Beijing casino just before the announcement.
It is believed that the rights to the bridge may have been lost as part of a bet in the popular game in The Lucky Susie.
The Lucky Susie is notorious casino with many high stakes games, where fortunes can be lost in minutes.
Asked to comment on the allegations that some councillors may have overdone the ‘socialising’ while on their ‘fact-finding’ trip Mr Dillard said.
“Well, it’s not for the executive officers to comment on what councillors do on their downtime; however any allegations that the Ha’penny Bridge was gambled away in a game of mahjong will be investigated.
“However, we will be going through the expenses claims with a fine-tooth comb.”
In other news which may or may not be related, Dublin City branches of both Alcoholics and Gamblers Anonymous have been reporting a sharp increase in demand for their services.
A spokesperson for Dublin’s Well-Man STD clinic declined to comment.