On being a Newbie Roller Derby Announcer

Picture it. You’re at the derby game. There are a couple of hundred punters in the audience, many of whom have never seen a bout before. You have a microphone. The sound is muffled, and the audience can hardly hear you over the music. Ten players and seven referees are whizzing around a track at speed, Players are manoeuvring, blocking, passing and falling, then a referee signals and three players are sent to the box for different infringements – play continues. While you’re scrambling at your programme to decipher the name of the jammer who is left on track, she calls off the jam. By the time you realise, you’re trying to announce it while you’re figuring out how many points she scored and before you can finish your sentence, the next jam is lined up and ready to go – you swear creatively, a five year old gasps. Next jam, you announce that the blue blockers should really try to slow their pack down to give their jammer a chance to score some points – the blue blockers hear you and take your advice – to the absolute rage of the red team. Then you launch into a long, involved story about how funny you usually are – while a botched star pass means that the jammer is sent to the box, the pivot doesn’t know WHAT’s going on, and there’s a jammer switcheroo  - the bench coaches are chomping at the bit to tear strips off the head ref, and because you’re not up to date with the rules you’ve no idea what’s going on, let alone what you should tell the audience. And there’s still 15 minutes left in the first half. Ouch.

mordorHere’s the thing. Announcing a Roller Derby bout is not a situation where you can just rock up to the mic just before the bout and say what you like.

Much of the above scenario is nightmare material, but individually, they are all mistakes that a rookie announcer can make. A derby announcer needs to have a solid grasp of the rules, be able to follow the action in a jam – down to knowing which ref is calling which penalty on which player for which action without “coaching from the mic” or giving away what’s happening before the other team has figured it out. At the same time as following the action, they need to translate it for the audience while keeping them entertained. But they can’t allow their personality to overshadow actually calling the game. Add to that taking direction from the head referee regarding timings, plugging sponsors, charities, upcoming bouts and afterparties, making safety announcements, hyping up the audience during lulls and timeouts while keeping them informed of what’s happening, and keeping vague track of penalties, scores and other game stats – and it’s no wonder that most derby announcers are absolute loop-the-loops.

I’ve announced at six or seven derby bouts at this point, and have an absolute blast each time I do it – AND I learn something new each time. They say that the best way to learn is to do – so I’ve been doing as much as I can, thanks to the awesome Irish leagues who are happy to invite me to announce for them. The next step in learning is to get shown the ropes by a more experienced hand. I was lucky to get to pick the brain of Sven Will I Be Famous when he was over refereeing with the Canny Belters of Newcastle against the Cork City Firebirds and the Limerick Rollergirls in Little Island, and had the privilege of working with the legendary El Toupée when Dublin Roller Derby took on Paris Roller Girls in a double header (that’s him in the blue tutu, isn’t it LOVELY?)

That was an experience that really opened my eyes to what it means to be a “mouth”. The man was on top of all of the action, could read the play and translate it for the audience without giving away upcoming manouevres, and managed to be both rowdy and entertaining the whole while. It was difficult to get a word in edgeways (not that I’m complaining) because I just don’t have the ability to dissect the game that he has gained from years as an NSO, studying the action from multiple angles and learning the rules and the game inside out.

So, now that I’ve experienced the gulf between the announcer I am currently and the announcer I want to be, I’ve got a plan of action. The first step is to put myself out there as available in Ireland. I’m currently one of the most experienced announcers in the country, having been a home announcer for almost all of the bouting leagues – I’ll get the full set on the 28th when I visit Belfast Roller Derby to announce for them in their bout against Limerick Roller Girls.

Next plan is to Watch More Derby – I’ve been pretty lax about this, spending more time watching Battlestar Galactica and Buffy than championships, but to up my game as an announcer, I need to be able to follow what’s going on on the track. This means more derby!

The final part of this stage of my evolution as a mouth is to travel and work with more experienced announcers. I’ve applied to announce at the Men’s Roller Derby World Cup next year. I’m not sure how my application will go, but a tournament like that will definitely attract the best of European announcers as well as some zof the die-hards from across the water – it’ll be time to see the greats in action and learn from them.

One other suggestion I’d make to people new to derby who are thinking of becoming announcers – do a few rounds as an NSO first. You’ll learn about the mechanics of the game and what the referees actions mean and it will stand to you when you are holding a microphone! Other than that, just go for it!

See you all in Belfast on the 28th – followed by Dublin on the 12th of October!

 

On Street Harassment

I stood up to a street harasser yesterday and I’m glad I did. Here’s a fuller version of the story.

First, some context:

A train full of people returning from a sporting event is an experience. I got the train from Limerick to Dublin yesterday and the first leg was full of Cork and Limerick supporters on their way home. I was on the train 15 minutes before departure and there were only a few empty seats dotted around the carriages. I didn’t fancy being surrounded by a gaggle of sweaty, sunburned, boozy singer/shouters, so I was delighted to see a seat beside a lone, sober, normal-looking woman. When I asked if I could sit next to her, the first thing she said was “oh thank god, you look sober and normal!” We got talking and she turned out to be a lovely, chatty person. She was also a bona fide stunner with blonde hair, perfect makeup and a cute outfit. It turned out she’d already told a few unsteady men that her friend was on the way to avoid having them sit beside her. One of them had even pawed the sweets she’d brought for the journey before asking if he could have one. She gave him the whole packet to get rid of him!

First leg to Limerick junction was uneventful enough – the train was packed and there was a lot of good-humoured singing, chanting and slagging between the Cork and Limerick lads. Except for the guy who just kept staring at my new buddy. Seriously staring. Not just “Wow, she’s gorgeous”. As in, you could tell he was NOT thinking pleasant things and didn’t give a shit if she noticed or it made her uncomfortable. It made ME uncomfortable and I was just watching him stare. We didn’t say anything TO him, but it was seriously icky.

We changed trains at Limerick Junction and that was the end of *most* of the hurling fans – except for the group of six who were seated behind us and drinking and shouting (yes of course it was the quiet carriage) They were delighted that some “lovely girls” were on the train and wanted us to chat to them, offered us drinks etc. We did banter with them for a bit as they seemed like good-natured guys, but after a while we sat back and stayed quiet. All of a sudden we were flies on the wall and couldn’t help overhearing their conversations and the derogatory things they said about their wives, girlfriends, ex girlfriends, about escaping the “ball and chain”, not shagging the au pair cause she’s too skinny, girls not putting out, girls putting out too much, ugly girls, crazy girls, demanding girls etc etc etc etc etc. It was disrespectful and gross and somewhere on the scale between irritating and infuriating.

So there’s your context – here’s the main event

We arrived at Heuston station and my lovely new buddy and I were heading along the platform. We had reached the front of the train when my senses went on alert as a young woman who had collected her bike and was pushing it in front of her was stopped by a man who stepped in front of her, put his hands on the handle bars and leaned towards her while making a face with his mouth open. My first instinct was that it was HIS bike which the woman had taken, as that was the only acceptable reason I could figure for the heightened level of interaction. After a moment, I realised that the man was invading the woman’s space for different reasons and I could tell by her body language that she was deeply uncomfortable, but didn’t want to be rude. As I passed, I heard her say “No, thank you” and she moved out of the way and continued up the platform. The man’s companion looked at me and my friend and said “He’s weird isn’t he”. I said “Yes, he is” and we kept walking.

I wanted to acknowledge to bikewoman that I’d seen what had happened so I approached her and asked if she was OK, She said she was fine, and I indicated that I’d seen what had happened with the men. She made a shrugging, rueful smile that I took to be a “you know what it’s like” expression, thanked me and headed off up the platform. Almost immediately, I spotted the two men who’d interfered with her bike earlier walking up behind her. I suggested to my train buddy that we walk up beside her to put the men off talking to the woman again and she agreed.

Before we got there, however, the same man reached for the woman’s bag which was hanging from the handlebars of her bike. That was enough for me and I caught up with the woman and interrupted the men. I can’t remember the exact words or even order of the conversation (adrenaline, you know) but I started with ” Hey, don’t touch her bag. Leave her alone.” The guy protested that he was just helping her with her stuff. I asked the woman if she wanted his help and she shook her head and said that she was ok, thanks. I repeated to the man to leave her alone. He wanted to know who the hell I was and implied that he and the woman were friends. Again I asked her if she knew the men and she said that she didn’t so I told them to stop interfering with her and to leave her alone.

At this point the man’s buddy joined in and told me that *I* was interfering and that it was none of my business, but I agreed but said I wasn’t going anywhere til they left her alone. I started to try to reason with them and say that they may be nice guys but that there was no way to tell, especially if they were bugging a woman who was by herself, but they got quite aggressive and insisted I was interfering and that I should fuck off. I basically stood my ground and eventually they started insulting me, calling me an ugly cow and a dry bitch, but they walked off.

The bicycle girl, my train buddy and I were quite wary walking out of the station, in case the men should reappear, so I called over a security guard and asked him to walk with us to the door of the station. We spotted the two men at the tram stop outside and the security guy seemed quite interested in going over and having words with the men, but none of the three of us wanted to take it any further. I had originally been planning to get the tram into the city centre, but I didn’t want to risk further confrontation with the two men, so my train buddy suggested we the three of us adjourn to the pub for a drink, which we did – and we had a lovely time bonding over how creepy and awful some men can be if they think they can get away with it, how terrifying it can be to be harassed or followed by a stranger (yes, we all had experienced this more than once) and how it can be nerve-wracking to stand up to a harasser because you never know how aggressive they will get. It was genuinely nice to bond with these women despite the shittiness of the circumstances.

So there you have it. It’s too late at night for much analysis of the wherefores, so I’ve tried to give you the events as I saw them, straight up as I could. Here are the whys though – from my point of view anyway.

I stood with the woman being harassed for a number of reasons

1) I was sick and tired of hearing and seeing women being objectified and derided that day

2) Having been harassed, I know how it can feel like you’re completely alone when it happens even if there are people around.

3) I know that the woman would have been able to get away from the men by herself most probably, but I wanted to stand up to them and let her know that she wasn’t alone and that I had her back.

4) I don’t want to feel like it’s “none of my business”. Street harassment is EVERYONE’s business. If someone stood up with someone being harassed every time it happened, I think the harassers sense of power would be reduced, making them less likely to harass someone in the future.

As an addendum to this story, when I was getting the DART home, full of warm fuzzies at doing my Good Deed, I overheard a bunch of lads talking about women they knew. One of them was complaining that when he took a girl home, he discovered that “the bitch was on her period. After all my hard work.”

It never ends. But it MUST fucking end.

The End.

 

Cuntbuckets, Mooncups and how I learned to stop worrying and love my period (kinda)

This awesome mooncup plushie is by Unicorn Reality

This awesome mooncup plushie is by Unicorn Reality

This post is aimed at people who menstruate. It may be interesting to those who don’t, but if you complain about it being about menstruation having read it, I’m going to mock you.

I’ve been hearing about the next great leap in feminine hygiene (now there’s a phrase I hate with a passion) for quite a few years now. The silicone menstrual cup goes by many names, almost all of them with a touch of the earthmother off them. I call them cuntbuckets myself – because that’s basically what it is. It’s a little medical grade silicone cup that sits in your vagina during your period. You stick it up there, it collects your menses, you take it out every 4-8 hours, empty it, rinse or clean it and shove it back up for another spell.

Sure, some people have an aversion to their own bodily emissions, but the little goblet of gobbets is actually quite the miracle – it doesn’t absorb anything, just collects it so no dryness, and because the capacity is more than you usually need and it forms an effective seal, nothing gets through so you don’t need a selection of “period knickers”. ALSO, those awkward and creepy photos of girls in nightclubs with their tampon string hanging out could become a thing of the past – wouldn’t THAT be wonderful?

Insertion and removal is a bit more hardcore than tampons, mind, as it can involve a bit of manoeuvring (some folding, pushing, squeezing, twisting, bending and fiddling also), but there’s a definite knack that I’m getting better at after a couple of days. I’m no longer practically fisting myself to get at the damn thing, and I now know what “bear down” means. There’s a little stem on the end that’s meant to be trimmed to size and can be used as a handle when removing. Keep it as long as you can without irritating yourself is the best plan, at least until you’re used to it.

The lack of leakage, the fact that it’s not collecting sweat and farts along with menses, and the fact that it lets my vagina do its thing without absorbing things it doesn’t need to are the major selling points for me, that and the fact that I won’t have to buy another one for at least a couple of years, saving me a fucking fortune on ladycleanliness. Bonuses all round – plus, you know, no lumps of bloody bleached cotton or plasticy “wings” clogging up drains, landfill and being scavenged from bins by wild toddlers or domestic dogs.

So, if you have a vagina that leaks blood and stuff every month or so, give these lads a go – I’m definitely a convert. I have a Mooncup myself – it comes in a little cotton bag for storage in-between times, and the instructions are quite comprehensive and easy-to-follow. I bought mine in Boots, but mooncup.co.uk also has lists of Irish stockists in a lot of towns around the country. There are two sizes – A (for people nwho have given birth without cesarean and other people with vaginas who are over 30) and B for folks UNDER 30 who haven’t squeezed a small human out their vagina – and it costs in the region of €28.

If any of the mental images caused by this post made you feel awkward and/or aroused, be glad I didn’t include actual images. Also, please contact me for my paypal account details. Baby’s gotta eat.

The Good Ship Jobseeker – To intern or not to intern?

image

I sent this poster off with a recent application. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Applying for a job? There are many of us in the job application boat at the moment, and some are dealing with it better than others. I find it absolutely gut-wrenching to put myself forward to be accepted or rejected. I absolutely hate doing it, but I’ve been out of work now since I took redundancy in September, so it’s time to pimp myself out to prospective employers.

What started out as “I’ll concentrate on college while I move my life to Dublin” turned into “ah sure it’s  nearly Christmas now, I’ll look more seriously when the new year arrives” turned into “I’m terrible and no one will want to employ me and I hate myself.” Having hopefully turned the spiral into depression around – I’ve had plenty of practice by now – I’m ready to get properly serious about looking for something to do for cash. I’ve given myself a month to get a rake of applications in, but really, the job (well, internship) I’ve just applied for is the one I want.

My career change from Radio Production Person to Digital Marketing Person has always had the Arts in its sights. Call me idealistic, but I’d like to spend my charm and effort on informing people about and enticing people towards the wealth of artistic talent and endeavour strewn around the country. So when an internship opportunity presented itself in the Marketing department of the IFI, I was determined to give it my best shot.

I hate the idea of working for nothing, but it seems that marketing internships are the best way to gain a foothold in this industry. If a JobBridge internship is going to pay me slightly more than the Dole – and quite a bit less than the minimum wage for an experienced adult – then that is better than no money at all. Hopefully, the training and experience I would gain would be worth the slightly-straitened circumstances.

It’s an odd one, but I would rather do a genuine internship and get some money from it. The JobBridge scheme is not intrinsically evil – it’s the companies chancing their arm looking for free (experienced) labour that have given it such a bad name. And, well, if the scheme exists, I’d rather see Arts organisations benefiting from it (and providing experience and training to up-and-coming awesome folks like myself) than cheapo companies looking for experienced web developers to make them a website for free, or shelf-stackers, or yard workers, and having the gall to call it an internship.

It’s still something I have to justify to myself, though. I know that the fact that I’m in a financial position to work for very little puts me at an advantage over people with families and mortgages and partners who are also out of work. That said, taking redundancy was in part to enable myself to make this change. I may as well take the opportunities if they arise.

I’m also determined to enjoy the job application process. I figure the more passion and  personality I put into applications, the more positive the initial impression I make will be. Those of you who are now numb from numerous unsuccessful interviews and cover letters will probably tell me that I’m on a short road to angst, but I’m going to try it this way for a while, at least.

Wish me luck – and I’ll keep you posted on how I get on!

What’s in a name?

Image by bump

Image by bump

It’s been quite a journey to figure out who I am. On my birth cert, my name is Sarah Ann Ryan. I read Anne of Green Gables as a kid and began insisting on the E at the end of Ann – why wouldn’t you? My secondary school operated through the medium of the Irish language and insisted I use the full translation of both of my names – Sorcha Ní Riain. During university, I used the English version of both of my names Sarah Ryan for most things, and Sorcha Ní Riain for my Irish modules. For the next two years, I was Sarah Ryan.
I decided in 2005 when I returned to Ireland from a year in New Zealand to use my given forename – Sarah, and the Irish version of my surname – Ní Riain – for everything. I changed as much as I could, but I was surprised that NUIG, where I was studying at the time, wouldn’t accept this. I had to use either the name on my birth cert, or change the whole thing to the Irish translation.
When I finally started work at RTÉ, I began to use Sarah Ní Riain, and gradually expanded its use to all aspects of my life. To change your name to the Irish version in Ireland, there is no need to do this legally by deed poll, so long as it’s the name you regularly use.
It’s been a journey, but I’m happy with my name now. It’s MINE, not some version of my name that some organisation or another is insisting on. My journey towards my own name has had two stumbling blocks.
The first is getting people who’ve known me during my journey to accept that Sarah Ní Riain is now my real, official and only name. For most people, this just takes time, and I don’t mind at all if people forget. The other side to this is people thinking that I don’t mean it, but really, I do. And you might think I’m being flip, but I honestly think this is the only name I’ll be happy with.
My given name – my forename, my first name, my “Christian” name, is Sarah. Not Sorcha. The two words have a few letters in common, but they look and sound totally different. They MEAN different things. Sarah is a biblical name meaning princess. Sorcha means Lightness, Brightness or Brilliance. I prefer the meaning of Sorcha, true, but IT’S NOT MY NAME. The only reason that Sarah corresponds to Sorcha “in Irish” is because of use, not logic.
In Gaeltacht areas, children will be registered with English names like Grace, and then called the “Irish version” of Gráinne for their entire lives.
This has led to the most annoying questions for people with Irish names. A friend’s baby was recently named Caolán – and of course the question they get is “What’s that in English?” Caoimhe, Fionnuala, Cathal, Maoilíosa, Gormfhlaith… they are NAMES. Unless they are commmonly in use as equivalents with the same root – like Sean/John/Johann/Jean – they are  not the same thing, and your given first name should be your name unless you have some odd family tradition.
Now, family names – my reasoning on this is that Ryan is an anglicisation of Riain – so returning to the Irish (i.e. original-ish) version of my family name is no big deal, and indeed much preferable to me.

So there you have it. My name is my name, and now you know why!!!!

P.S., if you want to learn how to pronounce it, it’s nee REE-uhn. The “ní” is an indicator that I’m a girl as opposed to part of the name, so the emphasis is on the REE part!

2012 Easi-Meche Highlights:

The most amazing family portrait of all time.

January:

Falling on my head and getting a concussion. ROLLER DERBY!

February:

Got me a KitchenAid Mixer. BAKING!

Being Line-up Manager for LKRG ROLLER DERBY!

March:

Paris with my choir peeps. SINGING!

May:
Bridesmaiding for my honourable friend Maeve. FROCKS!

BEARDLESS DAD! OMG!

June:

Frankfurt with my derby peeps. ROLLER DERBY! FROCKS! DANCING! NUDITY!

July:

Ayrshire for the Sutton-Kent nuptial extravaganza. Words were said. DUCKS! MOVIES!

Falling in love with a guitar. STRUM! STRUM!

September:

Finishing up after 6 years with RTÉ lyric. LOVELY COLLEAGUES WERE LOVELY!

Becoming a roller derby announcer. AND SHE IS THE LEAD JAMMER OF THIS JAM WHICH OH WAIT IT HAS JUST BEEN CALLED OFF!

Going back to school in NCI! BRAIN FUNCTION ONCE AGAIN IMPORTANT!

October:

Berlin birthdaying with my ladies! EATING! WALKING! ROLLER DERBY!

Shacking up with my gentleman in Dublin. LIVING IN SIN!

November:

Flatlining on an operating table and freaking the shit out of a medical team. STILL HERE, BITCHES!

December:

Triumphant return to Limerick for Ancór Christmas Concert. SINGING!

As usual, I am so glad for the folks I know. Thank you for everything and I wish you every good thing in 2013.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a year to ring in!

Weltschmertz from an atheist

Some days I wish I believed in God. After hearing of the events in Connecticut today, this is one of those days. Today, faith would give me both someone to rail against, and would give me solace and comfort in the thought that those murdered had eternal souls, or a chance at rebirth.
Instead, I’m confronted with the bleak reality that a human person was either born or became so damaged that they could murder their family, along with innocent children and adults. To me, those lives are gone and there’s nothing to attribute their deaths to other than humanity.
The sickening media frenzy – half-cooked facts, interviews with shell-shocked children and parents, blaming guns, blaming liberals, blaming tv – is all part of the the disgusting mess of humanity.
This terrible tragedy that has blasted a community to pieces is an all-too-human occurrence.
Some days, being a fellow human is really damn hard. Today is one of those days.

Reflection, roots and rapid-fire ideas.

It’s official. I’m finally a Dubliner (or whatever it is that real Dublin people call blow-ins from down the country). I’ve handed back the keys to my lovely apartment in Limerick and torn up as many Limerick roots as I can, or want to (Ancór and Limerick Roller Girls 4 LYFE!). I now live in The Smoke that is bigger than the other Smokes on this tiny island. I am cohabiting with Mr. Knows-I’m-Right and have even ventured to Portmarnock for a walk on the beach.

Now that the Tree of My Life has been prised from the fertile soil of the Mid-West, it’s time to put down new roots in Dublin. Finding a new doctor, dentist, hairdresser and Thai takeaway is one thing, but getting settled in a place is about a lot more than practicalities. Working out when’s good to meet my bestie for post-work drinks, getting into the habit of going to talks and tweetups, finding a new craft group to intermittently attend and working up the courage to join Dublin Roller Girls are all little obstacles in themselves.

I didn’t leave the house once this weekend, so I’ve set myself the challenge of doing at least one sociable and one educational (outside of the coursework hanging over my head) thing per week.

Last week’s educational thing was the Defuse IXDA talks in the Sugar Club. Attendees were subjected to eleven Ignite-style quick talks on topics ranging from
Designing For the Future Old: Complexity and Ethnography to How content strategy can help you get a date. The venue suited the informal format, and the free bottles of Bavaria were also much appreciated. What I took from the event was the idea of awareness – from being aware of how you are perceived by those around you, to awareness of the invisible infrastructures that make our lives easier. Definitely well-worth attending – fun and thought-provoking!

My sociable thing was visiting friends with a new baby. Suffice to say, the baby has a CROCHETED VIKING HAT!

The paper of note took note.

For the last week, I’ve been equally upset and outraged by the case of Savita Halappanavar, who died in Galway on October 28th after contracting septicaemia following a drawn-out miscarriage. The medical team waited until the foetal heart stopped beating before removing the foetus, even though risk of infection was extremely high. I’ve contacted my local TDs (only one had the decency to respond so far) and stood outside the Dáil with crowds of people twice. I also wrote a letter to the Irish Times, which was published today.

A chara, – In the past few days, mention has repeatedly been made of the “abortion lobby”. Those who want the government to legislate for the X, A, B and C cases are not the “abortion lobby”. They are the majority of the electorate of this country, and have been since 1992. – Is mise,

SARAH Ní­ RIAIN,

 

The people upset and angry about this are not agitators. They are ordinary voters, male and female, and they are sick to the teeth of the delay in legislation that has caused at least one needless death.

I’ll be at the Dáil again tomorrow, and for as long as it takes the Government to wake the hell up and legislate.

#NeverAgain

 

Getting around Dublin: three essential Android apps…

So, you’ve just moved to Dublin and you’re trying to make sense of the public transport system. Don’t bother. The two Luas lines, the bus system and the Dart and rail systems are all pretty much independent of each other.

Leap Card Logo

Leap Card

What I recommend you do – get yourself a Leap card. The fares are a little cheaper, you don’t have to worry about carrying cash, and it’ll work on all public transport. Bear in mind that you have to touch on/off for each separate leg of your journey – each leg is charged as a separate journey. And you don’t touch off on the bus – just tell your driver where you’re going and he or she will subtract the fare from your card.

So now you’ve got the means – how do you find out where to go? I have two go-to public transport apps – and neither of them are issued by a public transport company. The first is Next Train Ireland by Stephen McBride. There’s a free and a paid version of this app, which keeps track of train timetables and real-time arrivals and departures. If you’re getting the Dart or a Commuter, it’s a lifesaver. I forked out the princely sum of EUR1.99 because the developer has done such a good job. The only feature I’ve felt the absence of is the ability to swap your station choices around when searching the timetables for your return journey. It would also be useful to know which platform the trains are serving in Connolly – but I assume this data just isn’t released by Irish Rail. As a companion to this app, Stephen McBride has also released a set of Next Bus Dublin apps, which I have not used.

The other app which makes my life ridiculously easy when planning a journey on the go is Hit The Road Dublin. You enter your starting point and destination, and it will work out your itinerary using Dublin Bus, Luas and Dart – including connections and departure times. The best part about this app is that it will give you a few different options, so you can use the itinerary that suits you. If you’re new to Dublin, or an intermittent user of public transport, this app is a lifesaver!

Hailo App Logo

Hailo

Finally, for the times when you’re in a rush, or when it’s late or you’re feeling flush and want to take a cab, there’s Hailo. They’ve been running a pretty concentrated advertising campaign in the city recently, but this is one app where you can believe the hype. Hail a cab based on your location – it contacts the closest cab to you and you can track it as it travels to you – there is direct contact between you and the driver. The company are very strict in the standards of car/driver they take on, there’s a rating system for both driver and passenger, and if you’ve left something in the cab, it’s very easy to report it directly to the cab you were using. Best of all, you can pay either by cash or card, making it a fantastic option if you’re short of cash and nowhere near an ATM.

So, that’s it. I have used my car a total of twice in the last three weeks, thanks to these apps. I will never understand the stage system on Dublin Bus though, Baby steps! I’d also love to know what transport-based apps you’d recommend, especially Dublin Bus or Dublin Bikes related!