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Top 5 most memorable moments in Irish traffic in 2011

From Obama’s visit to a truck that spilled mayonnaise all over a road, we take a look at some of the standout moments in traffic on Ireland’s roads in 2011.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's convoy travels through Gardiner Street on 15 May
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's convoy travels through Gardiner Street on 15 May
Image: Brian O' Leary Photocall Ireland

FROM THE VISITS of President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth to the truck that spilled mayonnaise all over a busy junction, there were quite a few memorable incidents on Ireland’s roads this year.

The student protest in November in Dublin city centre and other protests even led AA Roadwatch to unofficially christen 2011 “The Year of the Protest, as “hardly a week went by without some kind of demonstration disrupting traffic”.

Here, we count down the top five most memorable incidents in Irish traffic in 2011, with help from the AA team.

1. VIPs cause lock down

The historic arrival of Queen Elizabeth II in May resulted in unprecedented security measures and massive road closures in Dublin, Cork, Tipperary and Kildare.

Aoife Carragher of the AA described it as “total lock down” never seen in Ireland before, with visits to the AA website and its number of twitter followers going through the roof that week as it fed travel updates to the public.

President Obama’s visit later the same month also led to major traffic disruptions, with thousands of extra motorists descending on Dublin and Moneygall.

2. A loose goose

Also among the AA Roadwatch Team’s top picks for 2011 are a number of wackier incidents, one of which involved the wanderings of a loose goose dubbed Gertie.

She brought lanes of traffic to a standstill at the notoriously busy Red Cow Interchange before being safely taken from the dangerous road.

“Ah yes, Gertie caused quite the flap that day!” laughed Carragher.  “We never did find out where she came from.”

3. Bare faced cheek

Another event to cause quite the kerfuffle on the roads this year – and generate a wave of calls for AA Roadwatch – was a Naked Bike Ride which took place through Dublin city centre last July.

“Ever the advocates of road safety, our bulletins that day advised drivers to keep their eyes on the road and cyclists to use Vaseline!” recalled Carragher.

4. (Not so) easy on the Mayo!

You’ll often hear Mayo mentioned in traffic updates – but there was a different type of mayo mentioned on Thursday 18 August, when there was a mayonnaise spillage at a busy junction in Birr, Co Offaly.

“Gallons of the stuff were literally slathered all over road causing treacherous conditions after a truck shed a pallet,” said Carragher.

5. Flash floods dampen spirits

Finally, the flash flooding on 24 October was a serious event that brought many of the main arteries in and out of the capital to a standstill.

Carragher said that AA Roadwatch “was the first port of call for stressed commuters trying to figure out their best plan of action”.

AA Rescue reports that their average daily work load on October 25 in Dublin was 143 per cent higher than the October daily average, due to water damaged engines.

Read: Top 10 TheJournal.ie stories that got you talking in 2011>

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