Saturday 1 August 2009

Aboard the Enterprise

The Enterprise, is not a star-ship seeking out new life and exploring new galaxies (or whatever the opening lines are)

It is, in real life, the rail service from Dublin to Belfast.

During the darkest days of the troubles it was seen as a beacon of hope, that communities could work together, Iarnród Éireann and Northern Ireland Railways working across the border where politicians may not have done.

However, in it’s past it served another function.

My parents spent a couple of years living and working in Ireland in the 1960s, and Irish they knew called it the Pill Express.

The train’s main purpose (at least from a northbound point of view) was to pop across the border and pick up those items you couldn’t get in the Republic, namely contraceptives and Marks and Spencer’s undies (Though I don’t think the latter were actually banned, just not available – You had to have Dunn’s St Bernard range)

Today M&S have branches all over the Republic, and last night I had the horrific experience of watching an Irish health board contraceptives advert on the Irish channel 3

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