New road opens up for politicians

If you are a busy politician you don't want to be held up in traffic when you have important business to attend to.

Lucky for Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his transport secretary Conor Murphy had no such problems after the final section of the new high speed road link between Belfast and Dublin was opened solely for them.

The pair's cavalcade drove down the new road in the wrong direction as officials shut the new dual carriageway.

Luckily, the group did not needcar breakdown cover which would have been slightly embarrassing in front of the assembled media.

The men were greeted by Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness.

"I hope you didn't break the speed limit?" he asked Mr Cowen.

"I think I did," joked the Taoiseach.

Conor Murphy was a little late, and the South Armagh man raised a further smile when he revealed he had gotten lost on his own doorstep.

But all three hailed the new road link, and Mr McGuinness added: "As I came through Newry this morning I saw a man in a pony and trap, and I said to myself what greater contrast can you have when you think that was the mode of transport something like 150 years ago, and what we are seeing today is light years away from all of that."

Copyright © Press Association 2010