A bridge too far

Posted by Shae on March 29, 2004

In Reply to: A bridge too far posted by masakim on March 29, 2004

: : : "For me personally, it's a bridge too far," smoker Shay Mahoney told Reuters as the ban came into force.

: : : What does the term "a bridge too far" mean (in this context)?

: : : Thanks!

: : In September 1944, the Allies launched Operation Market Garden to capture the bridge over the Rhein in Arnhem from the German army. The paratroops were unable to hold the bridge without any additional support and the operation was regarded as "a bridge too far." So the phrase has come to mean a target which is too ambitious.

: Frederick 'Boy' Browning 1896-1965 British soldier
: I think we might be going a bridge too far.
: expression reservations about the Arnhem 'Market Garden' operation to Field Marshal Montgomery on 10 September 1944; [quoted in] R.E. Urquhart _Arnhem_
: From _The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Fifth Edition_
: ----------
: In 1974 Cornelius Ryan wrote _A Bridge too Far_ (filmed in 1977)

In this context, 'the ban' refers to the Irish government's ban on smoking in the workplace. 'Workplace' is defined as any enclosed area where people are employed, including bars and restaurants. Shay Mahoney reckons that the Government has gone a 'bridge too far' because it has imposed a law that cannot be enforced and that has alienated a sizeable proportion of the voters.