Could A Red Cow Catapult Be The Answer To Dublin’s Commuter Problem?
WITH yet even more delays on Ireland’s most congested motorway, the M50, WWN has a look at some of the more alternative ways a commuter can gain access to the city centre in time for work.
Located at the Red Cow interchange on the outskirts of the city, we meet up with entrepreneur Thomas Holden, whose Red Cow Catapult has been in full operation since 2016 and caters for 1,300 commuters every day.
“It might not seem a lot, but it’s early days yet,” Thomas explains while securing a middle aged businessman into one of four giant catapults that are strategically pointed at the city centre, “we had a few hiccups at the start due to crosswinds and that, but we’ve finally mastered it,” he said, before pulling a lever and sending the man several hundred feet into the air before disappearing out of sight.
“As the crow flies, he should land in the Liffey outside Heuston station in about 2 minutes,” Holden confirmed, now loading another commuter, “we have spotters on the other side, ready to take them out of the river, it’s the quickest way into town”.
Travelling at 150 miles an hour over the packed city streets seemed insane, almost ludicrous, but like any frustrated commuter this reporter was willing to give it a go.
“Just put yourself into a fetal position and you’ll be fine,” the entrepreneur advised as he handed me my briefcase, and a signed contract that waived my rights as a human being, “and whatever you do, hold on tight to your belongings as an iMac pro took out a cyclist last May… we don’t take any responsibility for that kind of thing so if you can sign your name here we’ll send you on your way”.
Literally seconds after dotting the I in my name, I was catapulted into the air over the adjacent JFK industrial estate. The velocity created a wind which made it hard to breathe and I began hyperventilating. I could feel myself starting to spin around the halfway mark, over Drimnagh, as I began my decent towards Hueston station. The time seemed to drag as images from my life flashed before me, before splashing down narrowly missing the bridge that brings you onto Wolftone street, where a team of ‘catchers’ were waiting.
One thing I wasn’t expecting was the pain from hitting the water so hard. I dislocated my shoulder, but remembering the static traffic below on my journey made it worth it. Also, I was drowned wet, but all-in-all, a good way into the city and would highly recommend it to anyone willing to fork over the €400 fare.
Bottom line: the red cow catapult does exactly what it says on the tin. 8/10.