Mick Donnellan’s novels “El Niño” and “Fisherman’s Blues” NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK FROM AMAZON!



El Nino Cover-1


Review Excerpt “….perhaps the most exciting part of this publication is that it comes from the heart of Mayo. Set in Ballinrobe, then spanning to Galway and back again, Donnellan has taken the West of Ireland and firmly placed it on the crime writing map. With flavours of Dashiel Hammet and Micky Spillane, the author never loses sight of his own locality. The poetry of Ireland’s West is always fresh on the page. Everything from the bustle of Galway city, to the curious streets of Ballinrobe bounces off the book with the kind of vivid imagery and poetic description worthy of the world’s finest writers. Apparently, we have entered an explosive time for West of Ireland fiction and long may it last…”


***Buy El Niño in Paperback now!***

El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster
of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. Her
father named her El Niño because the night she was born there was a storm, and he said it signified the way she was to live her life. And right he was. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough chick ideals. This is Noir
at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps him up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.


Pick up El Niño on Amazon today! Buy ​El Niño Now!

Want to support the author 100%? If so, please purchase from the first option on the link (Amazon) and not the resellers listed afterwards. Writers don’t receive royalties from reseller sales.


Fisherman’s Blues –

is the hilarious new novel from Mick Donnellan.Dark and audacious, written in a distinct West of Ireland vernacular, it covers a myriad of genres from Crime Noir to comedy and an odd bit of religion. Fresh in its language, vivid in its descriptions, the book
sings with the signature style of all Donnellan’s previous work, and a bit more. Delving into the lives of drinkers, lovers, thieves and scam artists, the story weaves a web of intrigue and curiosity that ends with an unforgettable bang. Not without its poignant
moments, the plot hinges on the chaotic consequences of three unlikely comrade’s attempts to save their lost relationships, while unintentionally ruining the plans of a rising criminal’s efforts to take over the city. The question is: Can they succeed? And
if they don’t, what then? And where have the women really gone? 

 Click here to buy Fisherman’s Blues today




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Ciara Solzenheim –


‘What are you going to do?’

‘Use it?’


‘It’s free money.’

‘But it’s not yours.’

‘Who cares?’

‘They’ll know at the shop.’


‘Because it’s not in your name.’

‘Sure they don’t care.’

‘They’ll ask you where you got it.’

‘I’ll tell them.’

‘What’ll you tell them?’

‘That it arrived in the post.’

‘Without your name on it?’

‘I’ll probably leave that bit out.’

‘See  – that’s why it’s wrong.’

‘It’s €1.20. It’s not a fortune.’

‘Still – what about the fella that was meant to get it?’

‘It was a girl.’

‘What about her, then?’

‘She doesn’t live here anymore.’

‘What’s her name?’


‘Ciara who?’



‘Must have married a Polish fella or something.’

‘You should throw it in the bin.’

‘Sure then it be no good to anyone.’

‘What if she’s missing?’

‘How do you mean?’

‘What if she’s a missing person, and everyone’s looking for her, and then you use the voucher, it comes up in some database and it gives everyone false hope?’

‘What if she has emigrated, living in Australia, and doesn’t care who uses her Tesco vouchers?’

‘What if she’s broke, and really needs the €1.20 and she can use it online and then she tries and it’s like – hey, some dickhead already took it.’

‘Then she should have left a forwarding address, or logged on and told them to send it somewhere else.’

‘Maybe she couldn’t. She might have no hands.’

‘How the hell’s she going to use a voucher with no hands?’

‘I don’t know – I’m not….handless. But still. It’s wrong.’

‘What if it’s the world trying to do me a favour?’

‘A €1.20 favour?’

‘Yeah. I could buy a scratched and win €5,000.’

‘And if you do – will you track down Ciara and tell her?’



‘Probably not. I could use it to go to Spain. On Holiday. Or buy a car.’

‘And what if the plane crashed? Or the car hit the wall and you ended up blind?’

‘Why blind?’

‘As a punishment. Try writing your books when you can’t see.’

‘For using a €1.20 voucher.’

‘For stealing.’

‘Who am I stealing off?’

‘Ciara Solzenheim.’

‘But she’s not here.’

‘Still – the Buddha would know. Karma would know.’

‘Fuck the Buddha. He’s not paying the rent.’

‘He’s testing you.’

‘You can say that again.’

‘What if she doesn’t want to be found?’

‘Why wouldn’t she want to be found?’

‘What if she’s in the Witness Protection Programme.’

‘That’s only for Americans.’

‘They have it here now too. I know a girl in it.’

‘Sounds secure as hell.’

‘I’m not supposed to tell anyone.’

‘Is her name Ciara Solzenheim?’

‘No – but imagine you go to the Tesco, use her voucher, it comes up as not valid. The cashier asks – who’s Ciara Solzenheim? The security guard overhears it. He’s connected to a local gang in town and tells them she’s back around. Some fella was in the shop. Knows her. Then they come looking for you….’

‘That won’t happen.’

‘How do you know it won’t?’

‘It’s a €1.20 voucher. It’s not going to down planes, crash cars, make people blind or get people killed….’

‘Best of luck so.’

‘What am I supposed to do?’

‘Ask yourself – What would the Buddha do?’




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Touchdown in Toronto –


Greyhound bus travels. Travels through the rainy dark and the Kerouac night and on toward the great purchase of a wonderful automobile.

People slept, and watched films on computers, or just stared out the window at the years gone by.

Thrump rump go the wheels and we eventually pulled up in Toronto.

There to meet a fella called Trevor.

He lived in some house somewhere.

You had to take some kinda bus, and get off at some kinda stop and then take a ghostly train from a cold lonely station.

And walk by some kinda shop and take some kinda turn and go up a stairs after going through some kinda gammy door and then you were there.

The whole building had the rickety feel of a film set, real but not real, lived in but temporary.

It was a two bedroom flat with a weird smell of wet clothes.

Sun glared through the window, diamond on God’s finger, spread shadows of light across the carpet floor.

The telly was on, too,  some kinda telly, connected to something.

There was numbers on the screen, like you’d see on a phone. And some kinda animated creature on the bottom corner, looked a bit like Micky Mouse, had it’s arm folded, waiting to be told what to do.

‘That’s my telly, man!’ Said Trevor. ‘I’m trying to make phonecalls with it.’

Trevor was black and had a shape like Shrek or a teenage mutant ninja turtle. He had the car for sale and that’s why I was here.

I dropped my bags and said: ‘Phone calls from the telly?’

‘Yeah, man! You want a drink?’

It was ten in morning. I said: ‘What you got?’

‘Wild Turkey, Jameson, Vodka, Rum…beer.’

‘I’ll have a Wild Turkey and wash it down with a beer.’

‘I like your style. You got here early.’

’18 hours on the Greyhound, I won’t complain.’

‘Cultural experience, huh?’

‘Something like that. What else do I need to buy the car?’

‘You got the money?’


‘You can drive?’

‘I can manage.’

‘Ok, just go get your licence and we’re set.’

‘I have a licence already.’

‘Is it Canadian?’

‘No. Irish.’



‘State says you need a Canadian licence.’

‘Can I not just wing it?’

‘You could – but then I’d be responsible for selling you the car, cops be after me, man. Just Call down the DMV and they’ll swap it for you.’

‘Just like that?’

‘Formality bro.’

Went to the DMV. Told them the craic. The woman behind the counter said: ‘Ireland’s not in the UK, is it?’


‘See, that’s a problem.’


‘We can only swap Uk Licences. It’s a Commonwealth agreement.’

‘So what do I do?’

‘A highway test.’


‘You have to do a Highway test, and a theory test.’

‘Can I do that today?’

‘No, it’ll take three weeks at least.’

‘But I just bought a car. Can I drive it while waiting?’

‘Absolutely not.’

‘But I need to get back to New York – and then on to Chicago. What am I supposed to do?’

‘Hmm…she said. ‘You could always get the Greyhound?’



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Greyhound from Port Authority to Toronto –

Exterior. Port Authority. New York.

Getting the Greyhound to Toronto to buy a car.

Big plans for a road trip.

Pure Kerouac job.

Now. Some fella with a fancy suitcase was after putting money into the vending machine but it wouldn’t work.

His diet coke didn’t come down and he wants to speak to a manager. His wife keeps saying: ‘Forget it about it, honey. It’s just a coke.’

‘I can’t ride all night if I’m thirsty.’

‘Just get the damn bags already!’

Then a woman skipped the queue and another woman said: ‘Hey, bitch, who the fuck do you think you are?!’

‘I was here first.’ She said.

‘No you were not you arrogant cunt, get the fuck back to where you were.’

‘Excuse me,’ she said. ‘how dare you talk to me like that. I’m a physician.’

‘I don’t give a fuck if you’re a fuckin goddamn astronaut, get your bitch ass back to the back of the queue.’

‘Lady, you need therapy for your anger.’

‘I need to kick you where it fuckin hurts.’

‘Ladies!’ Shouted the bus driver. ‘Be cool. Ok. Everybody just relax. You will all get seats.’

‘Greyhound, huh?’ Said an old man beside me.

‘Is it always like this?’

‘No,’ he said. ‘It’s usually worse.’


Rare silence, then he said: ‘Last year a guy was sleeping on one of these buses, had his headphones on too loud. Guy behind him didn’t like it so he attacked him with a knife.’

‘Was he ok?’

‘Everyone was evacuated. The crazy motherfucker keep going til he cut the man’s head off.’

‘Is that true?’

‘True son. Cops arrived to see him laughing like a maniac, holding the severed head out the window to show everybody.’


Interior. Bus. It smelled like old sick on a carpet.

The driver made a speech.

Said we were now in his territory and it was his rules.

And it was illegal to smoke. And if anyone smoked there’d be serious consequences.

And we should think about the health implications of cigarettes for ourselves and those around us.

And if anyone smoked in the toilet he’d know because he had sensors and he’d take the utmost serious action if anyone broke the rules.

He drove off then and the woman in front of me took a piece of chicken out of her pocket and started eating it.

Then she put on loud music from her phone. Some kind of rap. I thought she might get sprayed with bullets from an Uzi but no said anything and that was a relief.

Down the back, two Japanese were watching films on their laptop and the man across the aisle was mumbling at the window while touching himself. Other than that it was fairly quiet.

This was back when I used to drink so I took out a bottle of red wine and pulled on that and thought about sleep.

Next thing.

There was an almighty blast of alarms and electronic squeals and the overhead lights came on full blast.

The bus didn’t grind to a halt, more like skidded and almost lost control on its way to the hard shoulder. It was hardly stopped before the driver was half way down the aisle en route to the toilets. I was thinking he must have a serious case of the scuts.

He got there and pulled open the door and we all got the choky scent of cigarette smoke mixed with stale piss. Inside sat a very surprised Mexican man half way through a Marlborough.

The driver didn’t say anything, just pulled him out by the collar and dragged him up the bus and dropped kicked him out the door.

Middle of nowhere.

We had to wait for the cops arrive.

When they came, with sirens and full flashing lights, they interrogated the Mexican, then arrested him and left.

The bus took off after and everyone was quiet and no one else smoked.

I thought about listening to some music on my headphones but said I better not chance it just in case.


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Apple Controversy in Athenry –

‘Would you like a fried egg?’

‘No thanks.’

‘That’s good cos the eggs are all cracked. Tea?’

‘I’ll chance coffee.’


‘No thanks – I’m lactose intolerant.’

‘Milk is sour anyway.’

He went to the kitchen.

I checked out his bookshelf.

Lots of hardbacks on history and philosophy. Glue bound chunks of captured world events and thought.



The Girl in the Picture.

He came back with the Maxwell House, said: ‘Check if that’s too hot.’

It wasn’t. I said: ‘Perfect. Thanks. I like the books.’

‘Keeps me busy.’

‘Good bit on Vietnam there?’

‘I did a Phd on it. Did you ever hear of Agent Orange?’

‘I think so.’

‘The American Army sprayed it over the University of Hawaii in the 1960’s.’


‘They wanted to see how it worked?’

‘What does it do?’

‘It’s a Herbicide with a lethal component called Dioxin. They were testing it out for use in Vietnam. If they could kill all the vegetation on the trees then the Vietnamese would have nowhere to hide during the bombing campaigns.’

‘Did the army not know it was dangerous?’

‘They did. It was proven to cause Cancer, Leukaemia and horrific birth defects. They could have taken the Dioxin out and just used the plain herbicide but the process was deemed too expensive so they just left it in. They were smart like that. Money smart.’

‘I heard there’s a theory now they spray mind control chemicals disguised as the exhaust fumes from airplanes.’

‘Chemtrails.’ He said.

‘That’s it, yeah.’

‘Would you like a biscuit?’

‘I won’t, thanks.’

‘Good, we don’t have any anyway. Did you hear about Apple?’

‘Yeah, I heard they were building a factory down the road.’

‘Not anymore.’

‘Why not? I thought it was all planned.’

‘It was. but now it’s all gone to Denmark. It was the objections that put them off.’

‘People didn’t want it?’

‘Everyone around here wanted it. Look around you, there’s nothing else. The town is bypassed. Businesses are closing every ten minutes. We needed a boost. One worth 800 million.’

‘Was it the planning?’

‘The planning was accepted. Everything was fine, next thing this crowd started kicking up. People that aren’t even from the area.”

‘What were they protesting about?’

‘Frogs and flowers and all the usual bullshit. What’s a young lad supposed to do around here? There’s no work, there’s nothing to pass the time, no future. All he can do is emigrate. If Apple came there’d be some hope. Do you want a slice of Apple Tart?’

‘No, thanks.’

‘Good. It’s there since Christmas. What do you think about this storm?’

‘The Beast from the East?’


‘Looks like the worst is over.’

‘Depends.’ He said.

‘On what?’

‘The Chemtrails. That’s what’s causing all this. Same as the University in Hawaii. We’re just Guinea pigs. They’re testing out ways to control the weather, and then they can control us using Social Media.’

‘Them Iphones have a lot to answer for.’

‘They do. Sure that’s all you need – fear. Bit of snow and a Red Alert and the whole country can be shut down. That’s where they went wrong with Agent Orange.’


‘Trying to physically control people. That’s impossible. It’s always been impossible. Taking over their minds is much simpler. Do you want a lift somewhere?’

‘You’re grand I can walk.’

‘No problem. Car’s fucked by the frost anyway.’


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The Coinbase Catastrophe –


‘So, I’m sitting at home.’

‘You’re sitting at home.’

‘And the news breaks.’

‘What news?’

‘You didn’t hear?’

‘I don’t know, you haven’t told me. What news?’

‘Fuck. Fuckin news. Fuck. About the Crypto.’

‘What about the Crytpo? The Bitcoin thing?’

‘The Bitcoin thing. The Litecoin thing. The Ethereum thing. The whole fuckin thing. And Coinbase.’

‘What’s Coinbase?’

‘It’s the biggest exchange for Cryptocurrencies and people were saying it was hacked – not working – charging people’s cards unauthorised amounts.’20180219_2157471544315982.jpg

‘Like how?’

‘Like if you bought a €100 last week, then it duplicated the charge. So now another €100 goes out. And then it does it again. And again. And again. One guy got done for $67,000.’

‘Christ  – can people get it back?’

‘Visa said it wasn’t their fault. Coinbase said it wasn’t them. There’s a group of dicks in the middle called Worldpay.’

‘Who the fuck are they?’

‘They set a thing called a Merchant Category Code – which is supposed to assess the risk and dictate the price of a transaction going from buyer to seller. So when you buy Bitcoin – it goes under a certain Merchant Category Code. Different codes for different things, like an online sale, an over the counter transaction or an ATM Withdrawal. ‘

‘So what code does Coinbase go under?’

‘Up to this it was just classed as a regular purchase online. Like buying something from Amazon or E-bay but these stupid motherfuckers at Worldpay fucked it up. They changed the Code so it would be classed as a “Cash Advance”  like when you use your credit card at an ATM. So imagine you withdraw €100 from the machine and there’s a fee of €2.50. Now it’s the same when buying from Coinbase. Boom – easy money for Visa and Worldpay. Just like that. But guess what?’


‘The assholes backdated it.’

‘How far?’

‘January 22nd.’

‘What’s that mean?’

‘Means if you bought Crypto on Coinbase after January 22nd it was now liable for a Cash Advance fee according to the new MCC. But since the money had already gone out….’

‘They took it again?’

‘Exactly. They took it again, and again, and again, like a never ending loop til people’s bank accounts were cleaned. Til their rent bounced. Til their loans went unpaid. Til the motherfuckin bank is calling up folks saying “…hey, sir, where’s your dumb mortgage you stupid fuck. Oh, you bought Crypto? What the FUCK did you think was going to happen?!” One guy couldn’t feed his kids, put gas in his car, pay for a bus to work. Nothing.’

‘Was that what that was about? The fella on Twitter, saying he lost everything, his account had been hacked and….’

‘Hacked? Fuck hacked, accounts were robbed, man.’

‘Was it just Visa Credit cards?’

‘No, debit too.’

‘So they just took the money from people’s accounts? Totally unauthorised? And what if the money wasn’t there?

‘Shoved it into overdraft – then guess what, you get charged Overdraft fees too.’

‘Couldn’t people just close their Coinbase account?’

‘Didn’t matter, even when people removed their card details. The charges just kept coming….and coming….and coming….so everyone blamed Coinbase. Cos that’s what showed up in your statement, right? Everyone said they’d fucked it up. Didn’t know what they were doing. 13 million Coinbase customer accounts exposed to this shit.’

‘So where’s it at now? Coinbase took the money? Or Visa and Worldpay took the money?’

‘Visa and Worldpay eventually made a statement. Said it was “Not the fault of Coinbase.”

And admitted the MCC thing, but the “…exact cause is yet unknown….’ so who knows?’

‘Did people get their money back?’

‘Eventually. The charges were reversed. But not the fees, or the unauthorised overdraft charges, or the nasty taste left in your mouth cos all your payments been bouncing for days….’

‘Maybe it was a conspiracy by Visa and Worldpay to get everyone to stop buying Crypto? To make it look Volatile. And unsecured. And financially dangerous.’

‘Yeah – and guess what. It motherfuckin worked.’

‘So you’re not going to use Coinbase again?’

‘Would I stick my dick in a blender? Same answer.’





“Joint Statement from Visa and Worldpay for Coinbase customers” by @coinbase https://blog.coinbase.com/joint-statement-from-visa-and-worldpay-for-coinbase-customers-9a6f2ff5f3b3




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Rural Galway –



The car knows when you’re going West. Has an equine sensitivity.

Starts to shake a bit.

Dials on the dash get a bit ropey.

Bermuda Triangle job. Except you’re in rural Galway.

I parked up around 3pm. I was there to meet Noel.

Noel knows everyone, stands at pub doors, smoking and keeping an eye on the traffic. Blue jeans and brown leather jacket.

Patterned shirt and hair greying on the side.

Smokes like he hates it.

Twenty Major man, walks down the street like a cowboy, tips of his hands in his pockets, arrogant swagger of a man that has it all solved.

Self appointed local historian.

‘Place is gone to pure fuck entirely.’ He says.

‘How so, Noel?

‘Sure the bastards have it ruined.’

‘Anyone in particular?’

‘Don’t ya know yourself now. Are you in a rush?’

We were on the way to his house to buy a phone.

I’d seen it on DoneDeal the day before.

 ‘No.’ I told him. ‘What about you? Working today or anything?’

‘Work? Shtop. The pricks around here can’t afford me.’

‘What do you do?’

‘Carpenter for years. But I’ve a truck licence too. Are you looking to buy anythin else?’

‘Like what?’

‘I know a fella sellin bags of turf.’

‘Don’t need turf.’

‘Let me know if you do. Fuckin funeral this evening too.’

‘Anyone you know?’

‘Some bollix back from America, but sure you have to be seen. Do you want a tip for a horse?’

‘You’re grand, thanks.’

‘This is my place up here.’

We walked up a stairs. On the second floor there was a Chinese, and a hair salon and a place that did Thai Massages. He winked here as he pulled the door back for the next flight of steps.

His place was a rooftop flat.

One of four box like abodes packed together for bachelors, loners and the abandoned elderly that had nowhere else to go.

You could hear the town buzzing below. Cars beeping, people shouting.

In distance was the Church Steeple.

Goalposts of the football pitch.

Smell of MSG from a defective extractor fan.

Eons of linguistic Galway vibrating through the air.

Intense social history carried through the raw cold.

Everything existing at once.

Before, here, after and forever.

A fluid moment of singularity, unique to Ireland’s West.

An unrecognised immunity to dangerous progress.

Noel walked over to the edge, observed the horizon, waved his hand like an emperor and said: ‘Did you ever see such shite?’

‘Doesn’t look too bad.’

‘The whole fuckin place should be burnt to the ground.’

Silence, then he said: ‘Who’s she?’


He pointed down to a girl standing against a car. She was maybe fourteen. Sixteen at best. ‘Her.’ He said.

‘I don’t know, Noel. I don’t live here.’

He waved down. Put on a squeaky voice, like you’d talk to child and said: ‘Hiya….hiya…’

She looked up and frowned. An experienced frown for such cases. Then she looked away.

Noel was taken aback. ‘Little bitch.’ He said. ‘They’re all weird around here anyway. Do you want this fuckin phone or not? I’ve a pint left after me on the counter. C’mon.’




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The Hippies –

His hands were shaking, the place was freezing.

Grey stubble and long fingernails.

The table was strewn breadcrumbs and a bowl of rotten fruit.

Curtains blew in the open kitchen window, even though it was snowing outside.

He’d been in an accident. I know this because he said: ‘I was in an accident.’

‘Was it bad?’

‘It wasn’t my fault.’

‘Someone crash into you?’

‘I crashed into the back of someone else. Court next month.’

‘How can you crash into someone else and it not be your fault?’

‘I was drugged.’

‘Who drugged you?’

‘People I had living here.’


‘They were stuck for a place to stay. I felt sorry for them. So they were staying here.’

‘And they drugged you?’

‘At first it was little things – money going missing. Money I left out for the TV licence, and the electricity. And food from the fridge.’

‘Were they locals?’

‘So called hippies.’

‘What they drug you with?’

‘Some kinda horse tranquilizer. They slipped it in my tea and then asked for a lift to the dole office. By the time I got there I didn’t know where I was. They had a waiting car set up and I drove straight into the back of it.’

‘Were the guards called?’

‘They were. Did me for drug driving.’

‘What they say when you told them what happened?’

‘Said to save it for the judge.’

‘Where they now?’

‘The hippies? They got €10,000 each and hit the road. Haven’t seen them since. I could be looking at time for dangerous driving – off the road for sure. There was people here looking for them last night.’


‘People they owe money too.’


‘Who knows?’

‘What you say to them?’

‘I wasn’t here. My brother was.’

‘What they say to him?’

‘He wouldn’t answer the door.’

‘Good plan.’

‘Not really, they kicked it in anyway.’


‘So now I need a new door.’

‘What they say to your brother?’

‘Nothing. They hung him out the top window by the legs.’

‘Poor lad.’

‘Then they dropped him.’

‘Was he ok?’

‘Not really. The neighbours were very annoyed.’

‘Were they giving out?’

‘Woman next door complaining she couldn’t sleep. Sure it wasn’t my fault.’

‘Will they be back?’

‘You can be sure of it.’

‘What’ll you do?’

‘They usually come at night so I sleep in a doorway downtown and I come back here during the day. My brother was caught cos he wouldn’t leave with me.’

‘Is he going to be ok?’

‘Dunno. Ambulance was here. He’s in the hospital but I’ve no car to go over so I don’t know. Do you find it cold here?’


‘I’m going to burn an armchair later.’

‘That should help.’

‘Do you want tea?’

‘No thanks.’



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Paying the Penalty –

On the way to the airport – something went “Ding.”

It happened again on the way back.

Two weeks later the letter arrived.

The tone went as such:

You haven’t paid the toll, Micky.

There’s a penalty now, Micky.

Pay 12 Euros Micky or some awful things will happen.

They even had a list of places and methods on how to give them money.

The first one was in “Participating Payzone Outlets.”


I took a picture of the letter and brought it to the nearest Payzone.

“Yes.” Said the man behind the counter. “We can do this. What is your reg?”

I gave him my Reg.

“Great.” He said: ‘And how are you paying?’

“With my phone – Android Pay.”

“Wonderful.’ He said. “And can you pass me the letter?’

‘I have a picture of it.’

“Oooomp…” He said. ‘You need a physical copy, for the barcode. We can’t do this here. Have you tried just doing it online?’

‘No. But I will now.’

Later online. A big flashing symbol said “Click here to a Pay Penalty Now.’

So I clicked that. Then they asked me for the Journey Reference Number.

And I put that in.

And they came up with a lovely picture of my car and number plate.


And that was it. No option to Pay. No option to go forward, or back, or click anything else. just a picture of car and number plate.

By now, the letter was in Mayo and I was in Westmeath.

So I rang the Oul Fella and asked him to bring it physically to the Payzone and get it sorted. Half hour later he rang and said: ‘They won’t accept it.’

‘Why not?’

‘It comes up as: ERROR. And that’s all they said. They suggested doing it online?’

‘Tried that – won’t work.’

‘You could always ring them?’

Later on the phone, an automated voice gave me the option to Press 2 to Pay a Penalty.

So I pressed 2.

She asked me then for the Journey Reference Number.

So I put that in.

Then she said she’d transfer me to a customer service agent.

Then there was ringing and then another robotic voice said: ‘I’m sorry, we’re having difficulty. Please try again later.’

Tried later. Same.

Tried later. Same.


Eventually someone said: ‘They have an App! Have you tried downloading it? That’s probably all you need to do.’

So I found the App.


Hit Download and a message popped up saying: ‘Your Device is Incompatible with this APP.’

So there was no hope for the App either.

Went to Twitter. Asked them there.

Nothing back .

Went to the contact form on the site.

Asked them there.

Nothing back.

And now it’s too late. The deadline is gone by and some awful things are going to happen.




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