Monday, October 16, 2006

New travel arrangements

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern T.D., today took delivery of the first Dublin Skanger ePassports, containing biometric data.

The new ePassports are presently undergoing independent testing in the Skangerlands. Under the Sythside visa waiver programme, participating Nortsoide Skangers must move to fully biometric passports before 26 October 2006. This has serious implications for Dublin. The new passports do not include fingerprints but many Skangers have lodged those at their local Garda station anyway.

It is hoped that the new system will be fully operational in time for the Christmas shopping rush to Grafton Street, where many Nortsoiders do cleaning work and other menial jobs. The City Council proposal to reclassify Henry Street as part of the Sythside, now that it has some nice shops, will give some peace of mind to any Jemimas and Barnabys who feel the need to visit.

Passport control offices on the Liffey’s bridges will be equipped with scanning devices and will be monitoring traffic crossing from Nort to Syth, just in case the Sythside would become overcrowded with dissident Nortsoiders.

The government had hoped to introduce similar passports for Sythsiders heading to the Nortsoide, but many Sythsiders are reluctant to travel, fearing kidnap, and instead use binoculars to look across the demilitarized zone at the Nortsoide.