Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Now that the Irish EU Presidency is coming to an end, it is time to lift the veil on one of its most potent instruments of success, the EUbike.

You may have thought, in your innocence, that the Presidency logo was simply a pretty celtic picture for putting on notepaper and thick reports.

Not a bit of it. The "logo" was actually derived from the design of the Irish Presidential EUbike. This EU bike has many uses.

It is used for training chairpersons for the inevitable bumpy ride they will get at the negotiating table.

It is invaluable during the pre-Presidency tour of capitals, where the Taoiseach and other ministers ride from the airport into town, enabling them to identify with the people and at the same time draw attention to the then forthcoming Irish presidency.

Turned upside down (no, not that again) it can be used for winding wool for Aran sweaters which are expected to sell out, or dare I say it, be given away to unsuspecting foreign dignitaries, during the Presidency. Any leftovers can be disposed of under cover of The Gathering.

We really have a lot to thank Bertie for. It was his denigration of the undemocratic peann luaidhe that made us appreciate all the more our inheritance from our Victorian forebears. This comprised, in general, objects which were fixable rather than disposable and which relied on crude manpower (main d'oevre) rather than all this newfangled labour saving petrol/electricity driven stuff. It also turned out that this inheritance was eco-friendly and far healthier.

So thank you Bertie for the motivation.

As far as the technical design is concerned, the celtic pattern concept was originally intoduced into the 1996 Irish Presidency logo by Ruairi Quinn, at the beginning of the Celtic Tiger, and, while not quite as bumpy as the present logo, it still had its rise and fall. But that was then and this is now and things have got a lot bumpier along the way.

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