Tuesday, August 07, 2007

If You Build It And They Don't Come

The Lesser Horseshoe Bat was going to be disturbed by the building of the Ennis bypass. As the bat is a vulnerable species, something had to be done. People needed the road, but the bats had to be looked after as well.

Those in the know had a house built for the bats. Well, if they can build social housing for the Travellers, why not for the bats as well? Aren't they also honored citizens of the Emerald Isle? The bat house was custom built for the bats' every need, designed with the Lesser Horseshoe in mind. EU175,000 later, and the bats have turned up their sensitive noses.

At present, two years post-construction, the house remains vacant. In spite of all the input from bat experts, the ungrateful creatures have yet to set wing in the place. There's not a drop of droppings, no mating, nothing. And to cap it all, some swallows have taken over the place like a bunch of squatters, possibly terrorizing the bats out of their rightful home.

The new bat house had all sorts of bells and whistles, including equipment so that scientists could monitor and study bat behavior, but the bats have steadfastly declined.

In a remarkable display of utter insolence, the ungrateful mammals have taken up residence in an old school house. They were used to the lay-out and amenities, apparently, as the bats had been roosting in the house before the bypass was built, and they continue to use the same location while avoiding their new digs.

Scientists continue to hope that the bats will come to their senses and realize what a splendid house they could have if they would only give it a try. Taxpayers are hoping that the government will come to its senses and stop throwing away hard-earned currency on crack-pot schemes concocted by high paid eejits. Pundits might wonder if any of Bertie Ahern's mates, someone like Paddy the Plasterer, had a hand in the construction project.

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