An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, August 02, 2005  

Other ethical issues

Apropos (as Pat Kenny says) ethical living I have two other stories.

Last week the landscaper arrived. I'll give you his name as he is a member of a local famous family; the Holtons of Cloona. They are famous because there were 17 of them, 15 boys I think and maybe two girls? One of the wives did the plans for our house, one of them marked out our site, another works for Eircom and put in the broadband, another levelled the site and Kevin, the gardening one, arrived last week to sow grass-seeds and put in old railway sleepers as a kerb. We sat out on the patio with him on his last evening, drinking a beer and discussing the project. M. began to enquire about the origin of the sleepers. They are about 100 years old but Kevin told us that Ireland has run out of old sleepers to use and these ones actually came from Poland. There was a slight pause as we looked at the sleepers again....Poland...railways...oh noooooooooooooo.

posted by Sarah | 10:47 2 comments
Well, there are important safety issues around railway sleepers. Network Rail in the UK no longer permits the sale of sleepers for domestic purposes (basically because the sleepers have been used in an industrial environment and are contaminated with creosote. Probably should not be used close to the house or in a play area. (See
thanks Antoin. The guy who put them in did tell us that they are banned or something now because of the creosote. I think we were lacadaisical (is that a real word?) because they are pretty common. They are sort of half dug into the ground...hopefully they won't poison anyone....I'll check out that link to see how bad a parent and environmentalist I am
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