17:43 Thu 18 Dec 2008. Updated: 16:56 28 Jan 2009
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In all my trips to Dublin Airport over the years, this one is the first one where, going through the “nothing to declare” channel, I saw actual Customs staff performing typical Customs duties (no pun intended)—that is, they accosted some people at random and brought them over to have their bags checked.

It might sound ridiculous, but really, I’ve only seen staff of any kind about five times in more than ten years of steady travel, two occurrences being cleaning staff and the other two being Customs staff who ignored the people passing through and talked among themselves.

I strongly suspect that this is connected to economic issues, with the government here being quite worried about the revenue lost to people bringing cheap electronics in from elsewhere; my friend Kev thinks that the re-emergence of a Customs presence could be attributed to entrepreneurial types bringing in suitcases full of iPhones.

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