An article in 'In
Dublin' points out that less than 1% of Americans with Irish surnames could
tell you what the Red Branch was, or who Cuchullain was, but most of them could
tell you who King Arthur was, and who Merlin was, and that the Irish don't market
their history very well. Stating the bloody obvious.
I could do it. Find the information, get the graphics together, and all it would
take would be the National Museum to give me appropriate amounts of Research
and Development money. And it would be better than The Viking Exhibition.
and, on a radio quiz,
some Dublin dork didn't know from which novel by Dickens involves a character
named Tiny Tim (A Christmas Carol, in case you're wondering), or in which County
Cape Clear was (Cork, but he guessed Mayo),
Seen the video, now
Escape stories. Bolt cutters, but Paddy Moran got hung anyway, even though he
didn't do it. Plunkett and Grace Gifford married on the eve of his execution.
10 minutes, then shot. Markoweitz. Pearse, and in the next cell, his brother,
unknown to each other. And Connolly and De Valera and Parnell, and the execution
yards, and The Invincibles who were vincible, and the Fianna Eireann, and The
Astor landing at Howth, bringing in the guns; and the simple crosses, one at
either end of the Stonebreakers Yard.
And I bought a copy of Emmet's Speech, from a woman who got really passionate
about the injustices wrought against the Irish. Hey, I'm with you, lady.
Out, through the
carved gateway of the manacled serpents, to Emmet Street.
Irish Tourism Office
begins Watling Bridge
And there's hundreds of the mad buggers, swimming the Liffey, and no doubt they'll
all be suffering some kind of intestinal nightmares tomorrow. Still, it was
fun to watch the Jack Yeats painting come to life. And the guys leaping off
the Ha'penny Bridge are actually living out a fantasy I've often had crossing
according to the news, divorce causes the sexual abuse of children. Bejaysus,
do priests get divorced ?
And the main game is about to start. Shannon and I have just nipped down
to to watch this thing.
Offaly have scored the first point, and after 10 minutes and 2 seconds, Clare
scores. Even listening on the radio you can here the bodhran beaters in the
And Clare have just taken the lead, 3-2.
But Johnny Dooley's last point has put Offaly back in the lead.
And Johnny just hit another one !
Offaly 1.6, Clare 0.8
And Clare have just levelled the score.
Offaly 1.7, Clare 0.10
But Johnny Polkington's just scored for Offaly.
Offaly 2.7, Clare 0.10
and Conor Clancy's
been injured, in the head, but they're strong these boys, "as strong as
two horses", apparently.
now Kevin Kinehan's
done his knee. Not looking good for Clare.
Fergus Tuohy, a point for Clare, two points the difference, less than a goal
and Clare leads!
with less than 4 minutes to go. Eamonn Taft goaled!
Offaly 2.8, Clare 1.11
number 11 for Offaly's
stuffed. They're bringing out the spray.
another Clare point,
by Anthony Daly! The other three in Whelan's are going nuts.
Clare has a free!
they've won! The
crowd invades the field. Score, Offaly 2:8 - Clare 1.13
Noises from the flat downstairs, odd noises, imagining the havoc that the fat
arsonist and his gang of shitheads were creating throughout Tailor's Court.
Then beginning to imagine having to do a lecture on 'Ireland', thinking of the
words, and Tara and Cruachain and Emain Macha and Queen
Medh and Cuchullain
Patrick and King Loighaire, and how St Patrick has
become the Cuchullain of Irish religion. And then, naturally, the secularism
the equivalent of fascist thought.
Street. A mug of black coffee and a pot of Earl Grey. The
usual. Jillian serves, enveloping herself in steam as she warms each pot.
in a zonked-out kind of newspaper reading mode, the French and their precious
bombe, the state of the British Labour Party, the first live gig by the Stone
Roses in five years, and a Steeleye Span reunion concert, and the German economic
system is working wonders, apparently.
Caoineadh - keen, lament, elegy, cry, weep
ki:n'e (with an upside down 'e') - more or less "keenya"
So, I guess the Davy
Spillane track on Riverdance translates into something like Cuchullain's Lament
or Elegy for Cuchullain. There's all the pain of the Famine in that tune. I'm
guessing that keening is the usual translation.
And looking through the Irish Fiction section, getting buttonholed by some woman,
Spanish I think, wanting Irish fiction to improve her English. Dubliners, or
Portrait of the Artist? Definitely not Ulysses. Yeats. Behan's 'Borstal Boy',
Keane's 'Bodhran Makers', she seems to go ecstatic over Oscar Wilde, Kavanagh's
'Green Fool'. She wants things with dialogue, question and answers. Shit, lady,
I can't remember. Browse. Leave in the company of her slightly aggro son, whose
idea of hell is ending up in bookshops with his mother.
Wonder if the Clare supporters are still vaguely wandering the streets of Dublin,
still wearing their saffron and blue tops, with matching strips of plaited wool
have found their way back to Clare by now. They all had this utterly forlorn
miserable look on their faces, as they they'd tried hard to celebrate all night
long, fell asleep god-knows-where-because-they-can't-remember-either, and are
hoping their tour bus is waiting for them, if only they could remember where
it was parked. And 'it's a long long way from Clare to here' is haunting their
News .. Greenpeace raids on Murora Atoll; a ship load of cars is sinking somewhere,
and a Japanese radio station broadcasts nothing but the sound of a human heartbeat
24 hours a day .. and Mark Kennedy is being flown into Vienna for the Ireland
vs Austria soccer match, whoever he may be, and NATO warplanes have 'roared'
over Serbian territory, whatever that means.
Museum, and the security guard, Maeve, is from Belfast. She's cleaning one of
at morning coffee, the guy being pointed out who was, apparently, Ireland's
leading archaeologist, but who gave it away and got into tourism instead, specializing
in tourism for the well-heeled. The group with him looked as though they dripped
money. Bet they stay at places like the Shelbourne and Ashford Castle.
Sitting in the work
room, reading the Illustrated History, stories of Newgrange, St Patrick, Vikings,
Strongbow, Cromwell, the Battle of the Boyne, Famine, Emmet. Read for about
an hour, 'til about 2:30, 'til I though that maybe I should get back to the
Round Towers. Utterly bored with Westropp's Round Towers. Done nearly three-quarters of all the Round Towers in Ireland,
TJW must have been on a personal mission to photograph every bloody Round Tower,
from the huge, complete ones; to the weird ones, the kind of ones that begin
hexagonally than become circular, to the ones where only the 'stump' remains,
and he has a habit of taking two photographs, presumably 'front' and 'back',
or 'north' and 'south' views or something, then another one, a close-up of the
And I think I figured
out why neither Cuchullain nor Medh nor anything between Newgrange and Saint
Patrick gets a mention. Because there's elements in
those stories which are mythological. And, apparently, for too long Irish history
has been denigrated as 'mere' mythology. Maybe that's why they pay it such scanty
regard in general. Maybe that's why The Tain Trail is so hard to pick up. Why
Cuchullain's stone is rarely visited, why Ferdia's ford in Ardee is not sign-posted.
the demo is on at the French Embassy.
'Glennagalt' is another madman's glen, which according to 'Visiting the Places'
is 8 miles west of Tralee. And despite bringing home the half-inch maps from
the Museum, still can't find it. From the description, it's similar to Sweeney's Glen Bolcain, with mind-restoring fresh water and cress. I guess I'll have to
find it on the 6 inch maps, somehow. 8 miles 'west' is pretty vague.
Finished the Illustrated
History. Ends on 31 August 1994, the day of the ceasefire, with the headline
'Peace At Last!'. Bet they didn't think that a year later, the Brits would not
even be able to agree to a date for all-party talks to begin. Still wrangling
over the decommissioning of IRA weapons. Odd, aren't the Proddy groups armed
as well? Why is only one side being told to lay down their weapons? Maybe it's
just something I don't get.
And the bloody French have just exploded their first 'test' bomb, somewhere
near Tahiti. They're being accused of 'Napoleonic Arrogance', which may be an
unfortunate comparison as, no doubt, Chirac would be probably flattered by the
comparison. Which reminds me, what is the French for "you stupid French
And Austria defeated Ireland 1-0.
Spent most of the
evening reading The Beckett Country. Childhood, spent in Foxrock, walking the
Dublin Mountains. Glencree. Hell Fire Club. And must have a look at 6 Clare
Street upper windows. Either he lived there for a while, or the main character
of More Pricks Than Kicks, or Murphy, does. Couldn't concentrate, or take it
all in, as I've only read Waiting For Godot, which is apparently set in the
Wicklow Mountains, and Vladimir and Estragon both speak with an Irish lilt,
apparently. Never noticed, actually.
process' threatened, as the Brits have cancelled the Anglo-Irish summit.
Safe, I guess, apart from meeting Ned, walking up Kildare Street, with his stupid
hat on. He's 'deaf in the street', the result of overdoing the masturbation,
And now, roll the drums and blast the trumpets, I've catalogued the negatives
of photographs taken of every Round Tower in Ireland. The one at Ferns looks
the best, it's attached to a ruined cathedral.
Glennagalt = Gleann na nGealt, also called Glannagalt, according to O'Donovan.
But can't find it on the map, either. Just descriptions of how to get there.
Maybe they figure that you'll find it naturally if you need to, Like Sweeney
did. Yep, he hung out there too.
HF and Waterstones.
Got watched by the security in HF, while I was browsing. Damn, and I was contemplating
shoving The Annals of the Four Masters down me jocks, along with the complete
works of Stephen King, in hardback, too.
Dublin Bookshop, in Grafton Street, watching the sailors from the Vespucci watch
the girls in school uniform, who were probably watching someone who looked like
someone in Boyzone but probably wasn't.
from Kylemore Bakery. The girls who work in there have to wear stupid pink hats
and uniforms with pink trims. No wonder they look so miserable, although maybe
it was just the time of day.
And just had the only cigarette for the day, and eaten the Hollandais cake.
Borrowed O'Donovan's O.S.Letters on County Kerry, vaguely hoping he's got something
to say about Glennagalt, or Glannagalt. Bet he won't.
Bloody hell, he does! Two
pages no less, so here goes ...
And the local yobs have kicked in the back door of the building on the other
side of Chancery Lane, setting off the demented alarm. Maybe they imagine they're
only pissing off the owners of the buildings who have to appear sometime and
turn the bloody thing off. That's if they're capable of imagining anything anyway,
which I strongly doubt. They have heads full of shite.
Riots in Tahiti. Excellent!
Museum, via St Stephens Green, hoping for a little last minute Liam-spotting.
But it looked as though it was only the stunt team for Michael Collins. Wonder
what Michael Collins did that calls for a stunt team?
And TJW 20:24 is a negative of the Railway Station Man from Ballybunnion Station,
in Co Kerry, in 1909. In his neat uniform, beside his gleaming engines, both
tooting away as the steam roars from both.
Looking through 6" map after 6" map of Kerry. Found Glannagalt ..
and .. Sweeney's well!
Ardfert. Bloody Ardfert. Looking at the photos, and
wondering if I'd cleaned up the individuals who may have been buried under those
And then .. the miracle .. a named individual, a Michael Fox, in the horse and
cart on Smerwick Strand. Incredible. Wonder who he was? A local? Maybe one of
Westropp's gophers? They guy with whom Westropp got pissed the night before?
In Nassau Street,
Judge Roy Beans' has a notice in its window telling all that French wine has
been removed from its stocks, and if you think it's safe - test it in Paris.
Reading about The Tain.
or Maeve, had to have 30 men per day, or Fergus once. The Lia
Fail, the penis of Fergus itself.
Sharkey's book, Padraig na Searcaigh, mentions the possibility that the
real Lia Fail is now buried under Rath Cruachan. Wonder if she woke up
in the morning, pondering the daily question, then maybe asking a team
of servants "bring the royal Fergus".
The Tain has an episode when Cuchullain kills a woman, Finnabair,
I ever give a lecture that includes a reference to the Lia Fail, I'm going
to begin it with "All of you who think it looks like a penis, smile."
On the bus, the 6B to Kerrymount
Avenue in Foxrock. Still waiting. No, moving! Eden Quay. Don't
know what happened to the 86 from Fleet Street, just wasn't there. Timetable's
the same though.
D'Olier Street, Trinity,
Nassau. Yes, it all seems familiar, 6 Clare Street, Merrion Row North. Holles.
Northumberland Road. US Embassy, must be Ballsbridge, and that's the Dodder
down there, flowing against rocks, shallowly. Anglesea Road, pass the RDS. Ailesbury
Rd, Stillorgan (must have a Glascock). RTE. A scoill, girls green long green/white
tartan. Wish we'd sent the kids there. Texaco has a 'GAA Special Glass Offer'.
On the right 'Oatlands College'. In Stillorgan now, a detour, a thatched pub.
The woman with the book opposite has disappeared. St John of God. Daughters
of the Cross. Disciples of the Divine Master. Turning, Mart Lane, Westminster,
Torquay Road right, Brighton Rd left.
Kerrymount Avenue. Ascail An Cheire.
the bus driver gave me 'the shout'.
And, on the corner, Cooldrinagh. On the second floor is a bay window,
the room in which Sam Beckett was born.
if the tennis court was there then?
And the present owner of Cooldrinagh has just wheeled out two massive
rubbish bins for collection. I guess the bins will wait, together, side
by side, like Endgame.
current rector: Rev'd Kenneth Kearan
And 'Manor House', in the Brennanstown Road, is for sale. One and half acres.
'Impressive Residence' the sign says. Maybe understating it a little. 'Fecking
Huge' might be better.
Barrington Tower, Foley's Folly, hidden behind housing. Dolmen House, bet they've
got it somewhere. Probably have to buy the house to see it, at least it's for
auction, by 'Lisney' 6615222
Or Druid Glen? next door. This place has it's own dolmen.
Waiting for the 84. Over the road is the Cornelscourt Bridge. Behind me is the
'Magic Carpet' restaurant. Have no idea how long the wait for the bus will be,
as I can't figure out the timetable, although a bus left Bray at 9:30, it may
The 'local' DB bus driver gives me a lift to the 46A bus stop, near Kill Lane
on the Stillorgan Road. 4 k's to Dun Laoghaire, 2 to Kill Of The Grange.
the 46A arrives, finally. Richer Than A Cranberry.
Bar, an exhibition called 'I Love You'. Photographs. Hands held, the three Kavanagh
women. School stuff, a blackboard with 'fantasize' written all over it, folded
school uniforms. A child's drawing of the things she loves, including 'my dog'
and 'my god'.
Across the bridge to Capel Street, then Strand Street and into Behans. The woman
there tells me "the band, about 9." Cruachan, which seems to be something's
connected. In Cornelscourt Dunne's supermarket, the newsagency, National Geographic
has yet another article on the origins of man in East Africa. The article's
by Meave Leakey. Yet another bloody Leakey paleoarchaeologist. Pictures of teeth
and jaws. Drawings of legs. Must read it. But Meave? She's a long way from Cruachan,
a long way from Roscommon. A long way from there to here.
Another anti-French demo at the GPO on Saturday, at 3:30
from the bus, a Celtic circle and a Celtic cross within it, maybe a Maltese
cross, at the entrance to St Stephens Green, drawn in chalk.
And C's just rung the Dublin Corporation to inform them that raw sewage is flowing
down Lord Edward Street. Can't believe that no-one else has rung. Not one person.
None of the shopkeepers for whom shit is thick outside their premises. They
promised to take care of it this afternoon. By then, it will have made it's
way, oozing and follooping down Dame Street, to College Green, flowed through
the entrance to Trinity College, over the cobbles and through the arch. Jaysus,
they're probably so used to shit down there that, by tonight, it'll have been
enrolled, have a student card, and getting itself a drink at the student bar.
Copying out screeds from Heart
of Ireland, which has just a tad more detail about
Saint Patrick and the deaths of Laoghaire's daughters, on pages 368-370.
"We're Cruachan, and we're from Pagan Ireland !" Yeah, right,
if Tallaght counts as Pagan Ireland. Still, I applaud what these guys are trying
to do, but it was just too feckin' loud, and my ears are still ringing, even
though I could only stay for the first four or five pieces, after 'Brian Boru',
but before 'The Exile of the Sons of Uisneach' was introduced.
Most of the band
were dressed as mighty warriors, kilts and plaids and brooches, except the drummer
and the crippled keyboard player. Jaysus, it'd be easy to rag these guys as
poseurs, as heavy metal wankers, but that would too easily dismiss the idea.
And the idea is brilliant. So obvious, you have to applaud these guys for the
doing of it. The Tain and the other mythological cycles do lend themselves to
heavy metal, the idea of 'swordland', and the heroes and the bravery and battles
and slaughter, and slightly evil queens, and mighty kings swearing dreadful
oaths, and sudden death, and brutal combat, raining death upon the enemy, and
revenge, and acts of great tenderness and the appeal to other gods. Yet they
were just too ordinary. Everything loud, the vocals sung in a demonic torment
so they could not be understood. Don't kid yourselves that your material is
beyond generational definition. The stories are mine, and yours. And when the
heavy metal took over, as it too often did, they were no better than any other
head-banging boyos on the night. The 'trad' stuff was leaden and repititious.
Still, it only cost
£2.50, and a definite bonus was at a nearby table was the
Henry Street hair-wrapping goddess herself. Most of the audience
in their heavy metal uniforms. T-shirts of Entombed, Blood and Death, and Satan,
while Napalm Death was also a popular choice.
about Cruachan, the band. Guess it's hard not to when your ears are still ringing.
I should be manager of that band. Add a fiddler and dispense with the bodhran.
Get a better drummer, the one from the support band was much better, and impose
a total ban on cymbals. A second vocalist, one capable of singing less like
the mandatory demon from hell that seems to be obligatory. Hell, if your songs
tell stories, then let the stories be told. And, for a reasonable amount of
time, get quiet. Loud is not loud if there's nothing else but loud, I suppose
there's louder. But if it's as loud as the system can be loud, then it's monotonous
and boring. The stories, the tales, the songs are not boring, life, death, honour,
glory and love cannot be boring. And get a chick in the band, a heavy metal
goddess of Henry Street herself maybe. Women feature in the
tales, Medh, Emer, let them speak for themselves. Or is heavy metal, by definition,
sexist? Jaysus, almost feel like reading The Tain again, and what was The Exile
of the Sons of Uisneach all about?
PortoBello Pub, on Richmond Street, near the Grand Canal bridge, and a wee bit
a session happening, a couple of fiddles, a flute, accordion, a few guitars,
mandolin, and banjo. We're nearer the back, where there's books around the walls,
ones that haven't been read in a long time. 'The Complete Book of Gymnastics',
'Shardik' and 'The Complete History of Education', jaysus, think I'll give that
one a miss.
And the Grand Canal Tour walk was, well, wet. Beginning from the Portobello
Bridge, in front of the old hotel where Jack B Yeats lived in the 1950's, then
Leeson Bridge, Paddy Kavanagh, Baggott Bridge, stories about each bridge along
the way, and the water clear enough to see the garbage, the traffic cones, the
guitar shell, to the Waterways Information Centre, where there's working models
of canals and locks, drawings, some artefacts, Paddy's poem on the joys of just
sitting by the Canal, then a polite round of applause for our tour guide, Ruth.
And the Patrick Street Londis just got better. They now have the legendary
On the way
down, noticing the advertising for the nearly refurbished Iveagh Baths,
showing people working out and swimming. Remind me to avoid paying the
undoubtedly exorbitant membership fees.
St Enda. The Pearse Museum.
If Pearse had his way, Ireland would be totally Irish speaking. And, according
to the guide, an attitude that got right up Joyce's nose, as Pearse's way of
promoting Irish involved the denigration of English. Think I'm with Joyce on
this one. Anyway, we've been given the tour, by a white-haired man who seems
to live in the past, say 'yes' a lot, and gets lost mid sentence. We're shown
the Headmasters Room, Willie's sculpture, the photographs, the exhibition of
display cases, from childhood through to the 'legacy', and the places in between.
Apparently, Eveleen Nicholls was Patrick's only love interest. No more than
Orca or Orla - Orla probably, can't imagine too many parents naming their daughter
after a whale, taking us on a tour, even though it's only C and me in the group.
Through the castle, most of which is in the midst of renovations. Staircases
moved, revealing walls built by successive owners, furniture and fittings flogged
off by others. Brilliant ceilings. The Greek influenced architects in one corner,
the Italianates in the other. The reception room, ballroom, ladies rooms, gentlemens
rooms, no bathrooms, the two bedrooms, niches for the chamberpots in the stairwells.
The awful paintings left in some of the ceilings by the Jesuit owners.
Still, probably enjoyed it more being half renovated than complete. The stories
of the renovations being as interesting as the 'what happened here' stories.
The 1½ tons of water bending the ceiling; the resin used violating the
'Code of Venice' which forbids irreversibility. The 'ghost'. The girl in the
yellow dress, after being locked in a cupboard while the two duellists competed
for her hand, successfully killing each other, and leaving her to die in the
cupboard. Her bones apparently crumbling to dust, but her yellow dress bring
cut up to make cushions by Lady Blackburn. Yeah, right. Good story, though.
Amazing, these Irish girls that just seem to die on the spot.
Still, Orla was cute. Red haired and freckled. Obviously an architecture student
from somewhere, with skinny legs and all.
And while I've been sitting out here on the balcony, some kid from Swifts, after
pressing the buzzers and getting no answer, and not getting in, decided to throw
a screwdriver through the window above the entrance. Jaysus, I mean, that's
normal, isn't it. What an utterly brainless and stupid prick.
The garda is being
called. I saw it happen, if I'm asked to identify anybody, I'll suddenly not
remember. Christ, these bastards know where I live. Our windows would be next.
The garda are here, the screwdriver throwing prick is David Johnston. He's known
to them, as an utterly malicious bastard. Not that I care, but you do have to
wonder about what's been done to kids like him that turned him into the shite
that he is.
And the boyos who are part of David Johnston's gang, are back on Bride Street.
I'm wondering if it's possible to plan mindless acts of violence, or if that's
a contradiction in terms. They're all stupid pricks, anyway. The fat arsonist
is one of them.
And, according to 'Visiting the Places', Rathmooney is where Cuchullain wooed
Emer. Two miles north of Lusk, known as a 'bruiden' hostel. Which were centres
of feasting, apparently.
Not feeling particularly safe, with thoughts of the bastards who'd do anything
to get inside Tailors Court. And with the Junior Cert results out today, they'll
be pissed as well, an annual binge, according to the news.
Westropp has photographed Ardfert
Abbey. Didn't know they had an Abbey and a Cathedral,
and something called Temple-ne-hoe (Temple of the Virgins).
And Michael Hutchence has just been fined £2000 for belting a photographer.
Maybe they should've just put him in a room with Bob Geldof for five minutes.
Can't imagine that Bob's a big INXS fan.
Down to Colm's the Chemist. Didn't get Colm this time, may have been Colm's
grand-daughter, she's better looking than Colm, despite the caked-on make-up.
She looks kind of orange. It's a popular look around here.
And in Liam's essay for art, regarding prehistoric art, begins "Newgrange
kicks Stonehenge's butt". Bet that'll impress his art teacher.
get back the the session at the Auld Dubliner 'til after midnight. The best
session so far. Two pipers, Donnica and Ollie, and the bodhran player from
Boa Island. Tunes, long, long, sets of 'em, the piper's are firing off each
other. Great. On the way, discovered I'm a two pint man.
And all the Junior Cert people are in the streets, some trying to buy drinks
at the bar. The chicks tarted up to glory, 15 year olds trying to be 20.
Westropp wrote that
"In Tooreen, not very far away, another outrage on our antiquities was
avenged on the perpetrator. A man blew up a dolmen to clear his land, and in
the explosion he was struck on his right hand by a splinter of stone, and was
TJ Westropp. Prehistoric Remains (Fonts and Dolmens) in the Corofin
District, CO Clare (No. XI) p.238
According to the news, they're about to crack down on the black market tobacco
and cigarette sellers in Henry Street, again. This time they've come up with
an economic argument, about how much revenue is lost to the government because
kiddies can buy cigarettes for £2 a pack, rather than the £3 in
the shops. Shows how much they know. On the streets, they're £1.50. Guess
the previous argument didn't really have that much impact on the Irish. Health.
Jaysus, as if that's going to cause the thousands of kiddie smokers to suddenly
give it away. But, if I can't by the Samsons anymore, maybe I really will have
to stop. In the shops, Samson's are £7.
and during the night,
sounds of violence outside. Two guys, one slightly more paralytic than the other.
The really pissed one wanting to lie down on the road, his friend just trying
to drag, shove, roll, push, hit, abuse him off it. Getting him near the footpath,
only to have him lurch back again, and lie down again.
Stayed awake thinking of why someone would have a death wish like that, and
wondering if his parents were proud of their sons' death wish, wonder if they
even knew their boyo was pissed and wanting nothing more than to die.
Then, later, hearing the sound of an ambulance, and wondering if this boyo's
wish had been granted. Also, on the news, a man kicked and punched and robbed
of £1.50. Maybe he was keeping it especially, intending to buy the new
'In Dublin', due out today. And today is, apparently, the first of three 'Daisy
Days', supporting the depression support group AWARE. Maybe they should have
been around here last night.
'Checking current index records - please wait'. Okay then, but I've been waiting
a suspiciously long time, somehow holding down the f8 function has stopped it
in its tracks. A whole bunch of Promontory Forts in a townland called Courtmacsherry.
A radio competition has a two week holiday in Australia as its first prize,
and the idea of winning, at the moment, is kind of tempting.
Reading Voices in
Ireland, by P.J. Kavanagh. The literary uses of Ireland's places. Read the Cruachan
stuff first, and it's all there. Glen Bolcain, St Molings, other writers, other
places. 'At Swim Two Birds' is set in the Red Swan pub in Lower Leeson Street,
but there's no pub with that name there. Pity, I'd have a pint there if was.
The Bosnian Serbs are withdrawing from Sarajevo.
Does this mean that all the 'hunry and homeless' beggars, who suddenly discovered
there Bosnian ethnicity in Dublin, are about to piss off home ?
for the 41, to Dublin Airport.
goes to the airport ?" I'm asked.
"I guess so, yes."
"Oh, you don't know," he says.
Well, if I knew what uhporten was, I might. It wasn't airport.
My Dad's arrived.
National Concert Hall
With Liam, in our places, Red Balcony 19 & 20.
The choir appears, then the Orchestra, then tuning.
Then Liam O'Flynn. It's the Brendan Voyage, live. If you have no idea what The
Brendan Voyage is, by Shaun Davey, then there's something seriously missing
in your life.
And near the end, I'm near tears. And applauding 'til my hands hurt. There's
presentations, flowers, framed CD's. Happy Birthday Liam.
Now Gulliver, the new one. The fiddler at the back is rather cute, and I do
believe that viola player over there is chewing, she'll probably spit in a minute.
Over on the Blue Side, is Shaun Davey himself.
about seventy minutes
Bits of Gulliver were excellent, anthemic, spine-tingling, but between those
moments there was stuff that wasn't, well, quite, together.
To Moore Street,
for the fruit and vegies, loaded up in the backpack. Then, along O'Connell Street,
over the bridge, Westmoreland Street.
"What's that ?" Dad asks.
"Trinity," I reply, for the third time in two days.
We go in. Through,
over the cobbles, around, waiting in the queue, with millions of American tourists.
No, it's quite alright, I'm just carrying at least 100 pounds of fruit and vegies.
We're herded like cattle through the Kells exhibits, the information, the book itself, the Book of Durrow,
the Book of Armagh.
Then through to the Long Room. Which absolutely blows Dad away.
Stupid American question
of the day, "Why does Aristotle have an 'f' in it ?". The Spirit of
Gump lives on.
To Grangegorman Upper.
Down Bridge Street, and along the Quays, up Queen Street. Grangegorman
Lower, then Upper. Passing old warehouses, then, after the £1 entrance,
Holy Bleedin' Sacred Heart o'Jaysus, Dublin as it was in 1916, just after
the GPO's been shot to shit, and there's Clery's, Mooney's, the Turkish
Baths, Hannans, asbestos socks, trams, armored cars.
It's the set
for Michael Collins, and it's breathtaking. There's voices roaring over
loudspeakers, there's Red Cross nurses, uniforms, Black and Tans, Merrion
House, tram tracks, cobbled road.
A Dublin Castle tour, taken by Tara. Good name for an Irish tour guide. I'm
the only one to ask a question on the tour. If Connolly was injured, why did
they bring him to the Castle, and not a hospital. Because, apparently, it was
used as a hospital then. Still, I asked. The other tourists were mostly French.
Maybe they didn't understand Tara. Maybe they didn't have Jacque Chirac's permission
to speak, or to question.
Braveheart is a bloody good movie. Glad I saw it in an Irish cinema, as they
clapped and cheered when the Irish joined with the Scottish after charging down
into the battlefield on the orders of the English. Almost a deathless silence
before that moment though, as every Irish mind was thinking "surely we
didn't ... ", then relief, as no, they didn't.
by the successful attempt of Dublin cinema-goers to turn the Savoy into what
looks like landfill. So much garbage, a graveyard of half-eaten popcorn and
For a service.
Shown to one of the special pews, the ones with the red padded seats.
And today is the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity. But I knew that, was
keeping count. There's the Carolan Memorial, and a nice stained-glass
of a green-robed Hibernia.
The choir enters. Second time I've seen them in three days. They're seriously
good. Well, you would be if you'd been rehearsing since 1432.
"She was beautiful ..." the sermon began. What, or who, is this guy
talking about? Turns out to be a description of the Titanic, and ended with
a line about how JC is our lifeboat. The Titanic stuff was great, but the link
at the end was, well, a tad tenuous.
In Whelan's, watched The Dubs 1:10 defeat Tyrone 0:12 in the All-Ireland football
finals. Not a good game of footy actually, even the commentators called it scrappy.
Thought the score was tied a few seconds before the end, but the last Tyrone
score was disallowed, according to some rule that I didn't get.
Outside the Auld Dubliner in Temple Bar, there's hundreds of Dubs in blue-shirts
drinking, whooping, giving hell to any misguided Tyrone supporter that had to
walk through the mob. But, it's all kind of subdued, like they have to work
up the effort to be really enthusiastic. Grafton Street is almost lifeless.
There's been a SFX truck outside Bull Alley, cobble-stoning part of the Iveagh
Buildings for a Michael Collins shoot tomorrow.
Maybe Liam will be here himself, probably legging it up to Burdock's for another
bag of chips with vinegar. Hope he doesn't litter up our street when he's finished,
or shove the discards behind the Viking Stone, or over the railings of St Werberghs.
He probably won't, he's not a Dub.
Outside Quay Travel, there's a guy who must have the world's most boring job,
just sitting and holding the Quay Travel sign. 'Quay Travel. Blackpool. Isle
of Man & Sun Holidays'. Nothing else, just sits and holds the sign. He has
the choice of smoking or not smoking, and that's about it. He has a walkman,
which means he's doing something besides holding the sign. I don' think his
heart is in his job.
the filming of part of Michael Collins, in the Iveagh Buildings just across
the road. The 'Black and Tans' having garbage thrown at them by the occupants
of the building, then the B&T's returning with machine gun fire. Bejaysus,
it's loud. Yelling, "Black and Tan bastards !", more yelling,
more fruit and vegies flying, more machineguns, blatterblatterblatter.
Quite looking forward to seeing this scene on the big screen, whenever that
may be. I'll be the one leaping out of my cinema seat, letting everybody
know I saw it being filmed ..
They've finished filming for the day, but the crowds of onlookers are still
there. The old guys maybe remembering the real Black and Tans of seventy years
ago, maybe wishing they'd brought the bloody pitchforks from their garden sheds,
probably wishing they'd remembered to put their teeth in that morning so they'd
be comprehensible as they yelled "get out ye black and tans! get out ye
bastards !", maybe the years between then and now have disappeared, maybe
they're just getting the chills at the sight of these costumed actors.
And there's kids everywhere. The fat arsonist who wants to argue with the crew;
the bolt-throwing window smasher, the braindead grey-haired guy from the Napper
Tandy who images his directing the traffic as it turns into Bride Street, some
kid named Joxer blowing snot from his nose, and the girl on the gate who's passing
the cigarette around, with the other brainless wonders of the Liberties.
TJW's book of obscure Promontory Forts around the Cork Coast, beginning at Skibbereen,
and ending at Ballcotton, and near the end, Power Head, a tempting name if ever
there was one. And more obscure churches in obscure places.
Feck. This is unbelievable. Where the hell is this Kiltinanlea in Clare? First
clue is that it might be on Map 28 of the 6" series, but no, that
book doesn't exist, it's gone. I find maps 10-30 on Raghnall's table, but 28's
disappeared. And it's not among the maps to be refiled. Kiltinanlea might not
even by the 'right' spelling. Is it a town? a townland? This is seriously pissing
At morning break, learnt that the four previous directors of the National Museum
were quite mad. Michael Ryan, Barry Raftery, and the others. All mentally unbalanced.
Maybe it goes with the territory but Raftery's Pagan Celtic Ireland is almost
a bible here.
A Westropp negative of two women, near the stone wall of the old church in Tomfinlough,
which O'Donovan calls Tuamfinlough, which, apparently, translated into 'The
Tomb by the Beautiful Lake'. Don't know who they were, maybe one of them was
Grafton Street. The depressed banjo player is back in town, unfortunately. Maybe
he's been holidaying in sunny Spain or somewhere, but he hasn't learnt only
new tunes, the same slow versions of Molly Malone and other pieces from the
hack range of Irish songs.
Showing Dad around. Henry Street, Market Street, show him the stained glass
in the Mary Street Bewleys, Capel Street, passing Slattery's, to Church Street,
the gate of St Michans is open, but he doors are locked. Closes at 4:45, according
to the sign. Maybe that's when the Proddy God knocks off for the day, wanders
home, and sinks a pint or two. Cross the Liffey, along the Quays, to Fishamble
Street, The Messiah Plaque. To Christchurch. It charges admittance, £1
for adults, children 50p, maybe that's how the Proddy God pays for his pints,
and picked up a brochure for Vivaldi concert, and asked about the price of the
tickets, "£10" was the answer, snapped back by some stuffed
suit with a tie. Bugger it, then. They only intend to play two of the four seasons
anyway, Autumn and Winter. Back, extolling the virtue of Leo Burdocks.
Down to Thomas Street, passing Mother Redcaps. Yes, and that's where Emmett
got hung and decapitated. Meath Street. Francis Street, looking at antiques,
The Coombe, up Bull Alley.
In the roof garden. Sitting in the dark, watching the cityscape towards the
Guinness factory. Steam, massive amounts of it, lit underneath somehow, so much
that it looked as though Arthur's place was ablaze.
Burlington Hotel, Upper Leeson Street
For the ostentatiously
well-heeled. For Americans with too much money, with a Victoriana lounge. Suits
and ties, and the white sugar bowls have just been refilled. You really have
to wonder about the type of 'irish Experience' the ilk who stay in places like
this have. Different from mine.
The CIE bus leaves
from here, Dad's going touring.
St Stephens Green. Over there is the Braille Garden, the plant identification
tags are in braille
And where the hell is Kiltoola. It's not in the Townlands index, it's not in
John O'Donovan's survey of Clare. It's either a misspelling, or it only exists
in TJW's head.
Nell, the rheumy old ex-Museum type, who's been working in here, has insisted
that the window in front of my desk by opened. It's cold. If I get sick again,
I just may have to kill her. I'll probably be able to get some help from the
Museum's military expert, whose birthday it is today. They presented him with
a cake topped with toy soldiers, army camouflage, toy guns ...
Forgal, who was Emer's father, was Lord of Lusca, that is, Lusk. His dun, that
is, fort, where Cuchullain carried off Emer, is there. It's marked on Sheet
8 of the Dublin 6" map series, a 'mound' to the North-West, passing the
Monastery (site of) and Presbytery, five road junction, on the edge of the third
and fourth farmers fields, on the left. But according to the 6" map, there's
nothing there at all. Nowt. Maybe it's all been flattened by farmers.
Listening to Mike Scott's new CD through the headphones. He's found God, unfortunately,
and singing "What Do You Want Me To Do ?" If God has any sense, he'll
tell Mike to put out a CD as good as Fisherman's Blues, if not This Is The Sea.
Burdocks, waiting in the queue, watching girls drown their chippies in vinegar,
but eventually get to order, three haddock and two serves of chips.
Ouside Dunnes. Down the street, a man with a tattooed hand asks us to help the
unemployed. No, dickhead, that's what you say when you're selling the Big Issue,
when you're begging you ask for spare change or for the price of a cuppa tea.
Doheny and Nebitt's. It's busy.
Ely Place, the Norwegian Exhibition. Ground floor, photographs. Of the Vatican
Gardens, of John Gielgud, of Amanda Ooms flashing a tit, of Anne Grethe Preus
the rock singer, of Odd Nerdrum the painter and Per Ung the sculptor. Upstairs,
the Gallagher Gallery, paintings and sculpture. One of chairs and windows, given
pretentious titles, The House of Protection, To Ask Is To Have Where Answer
Is Given, Standing On My Own Two Feet, which might be okay if the subject matter
were not entirely chairs and windows.
Widerberg's bright paintings of Northern Lights, and mystic people part
of the Universe they inhabit, outlines glowing orange outlining the blue
within, Odd Nerdrum's heroic types wearing skull caps (must be a Norwegian
thing), Solo Morte, the dead face made full by its' own reflection.
Sculptures, Per Ung, Adam and Eve, the woman with the masks of Tragedy and
Comedy, the Wanking Woman who I reckon is Mrs Ung.
In the next room
the Royal neo-Celtic stuff, dragons, spirals, drinking horns, boats in an armada
formation. Apparently the neo-Celtic was a looking back to the past, as part
of the Norwegian struggle against oppression. Didn't know they had a struggle,
but apparently Norway was a colony of Denmark for some time.
Burger King, O'Connell Street, waiting for Liam to emerge from the Savoy. Lisa's
serving, she looks a bit grumpy at the moment. Been walkies, while waiting.
Frederick Street, a shop with the most amazing amount of crap in the windows,
Irish badges, coins, comics, phone cards, leprechauns. Thinking it's a pity
that Walton's display window, that used to jut out of the wall, has been removed,
probably got damaged too many times. Jaysus, with the brilliant stuff they had
on display there I'd be tempted too, just gimme the rock. Somehow finding Eccles
Street, from the old hospital end, opened 1861, must have been there when Leopold
left his house that day. Wish I had the Joyce Map, vaguely hoping to find Oldhausen
the Butcher, who's still in business, apparently. Dorset Street, the red corner
shop. Gardiner Street Upper, then Lower. Mountjoy Street. Summerhill. Bus Depot.
The Kasbah looks more ruinous everytime I see it. To Talbot Street, Abbey Street,
O'Connell Street, passing the Savoy and another tourist shop that's stiflingly
hot. Up O'Connell, Ambassador, left, up Parnell Street, the Young Traveller,
I love that place. I'd live there if I could. The Black Church is still closed,
somehow I don't think it's still a going concern as a church. Down Dorset, then
Frederick. Tom Mack's pub, with the brilliant Guinness sign that's been there
forever. The Gardens of Remembrance, closed. Back to the Savoy.
Back to the apartment, found a penny near the Ha'penny Bridge, would have given
it to the hunry and homeless, but there were none around. Probably at home,
My sister just rang to tell me that the AFL Preliminary Final just finished
10 minutes ago, Geelong 20.9 just killed Richmond 6.4. Jaysus, we're in the
a bit later
at Shannon's gym practice, people were picking up chestnuts in the schoolgrounds.
She was tempted to collect some too, but probably wouldn't have known what to
do with them. Cook them, boil them, roast them, lightly soutee them, or just
grab the lot and throw them at the fat arsonist.
Hodges Figgis. Upstairs, in the Art section, reading a book which was a collection
of clippings and photographs about death. Sugar, my blood, salt. The bodies
that get torn apart by vultures. Intriguing but depressing.
"Still on the Shannon, downstream a little between Clonmacnois
and Shannonbridge, is Devenish island, in Irish Snámh-dá-en, literally,
'Swim-two-birds'; one of the resting places of Mad Sweeney when, bird-like,
he fluttered all over Ireland after the battle of Mag rath (Moira). It is the
surrealist-sounding title chosen by Flann O'Brien for his great comic novel,
in which Swwney appears among other phantasmagoric characters and stout-swilling
Dubliners. Flann O'Brien (1911-1955) (one of several pseudonyms; real name Brian
O'Nolan) spent a happy part of his childhood in the flat bog-landscape of Tullamore
(Offaly), not far away. It is pleasing to discover that Swim-two-birds exists
P.J. Kavanagh. Voices In Ireland. John Murray, 1994. p.150
Shannon's cutting the tokens from the CocoPops packet. Only three, but to get
'Polly and the Puppies', she needs eight. Her new-found hearts' desire.
Bewleys. Westmoreland Street. Settled down for a good read of the three issues
of Hot Press. But only got as far as the editorial in the first one, about Brenden
Smyth, the pedophile priest, or one of the many, but the only one jailed so
far. The editorial has a great phrase, about how his victims now have 'the worm
in the heart'.
Hugh Lane Gallery, for the midday concert, another in the series. The composer
has just finished introducing his second piece, he calls it a rhapsody, but
sounds more like an atonal mess. A few seconds of gentle notes, then a loud
whacka-whacka-hit, a chord, a few weird noises, then just mix-n-match the ingredients.
Then 'Lines and Configurations', bass clarinet and marimba, actually, it should
have been called 'Sounds In Search Of A Time Signature'.
The last item. "This is new music of mine .. way out on the edge .. fractured
.. lonely .. like ice cubes in a cold glass." Bejaysus, the introduction
is more of a wank than the piece itself.
Then a quick look
at the Madonna
Irlanda, the best thing here, although if you're into Corot,
you're in heaven here.
The Quays, the Sunday Morning market's still on, with the worlds' greatest salesman
in full flight. We buy 16 Ferroro Roche's for £1. Brilliant.
St Stephens Green. Shannon's just stopped to tie her shoelace on the James Joyce
And His Corkonian Father's Green Seat, the one that faces Newman House, but
which now has a parking meter virtually plonked right in front of it, so Joyce
and his Dad would be able to see how much time they had left before one of the
Brown Bombers slaps an infringement notice on their windscreen.
Dunnes, buying bread but on the way out, buying a Dubs t-shirt for Shannon,
the one with every well known Dubliner on it, supporting the Dubs. 99p, sold
to me by the lovely Aran.
In Hot Press, there's an article about Roger
Casement. Gay, apparently. Maintained something called the Black
Diaries. And, on the news, Bob Geldof may be buying the Gaiety Theater, after
"being spotted there" several times over the past few months. Hey,
Bob, where were you when I walked past ?
Howth, picking blackberries along the way, half filling a margarine container.
Then to the top, looking out over Dublin Bay, a ferry leaving, and it's windy.
In the restaurant. Out the window is Howth Harbour, where the guns for 1916
were landed and given out to the eagerly outstretched hands on the harbour wall.
Nearby is a monument, not to that event, but of an anchor and a Celtic Cross,
to commemorate those drowned or lost at sea. Sad. Comments, on the side, "although
your light has been washed away ..." and others. Fathers, brothers, sons,
swallowed up by the sea the instant they took it for granted, assumed it was
a friend, turned their backs on it for just the shortest time.
Then to the rhododendron gardens, up the rocky outcrop, having a picnic up there,
and not caring that picnics are banned up there.
The view over the harbour, Irelands Eye, and whatever the island beyond that's
The bus terminates in Marlborough Street, so took Dad to the Pro-Cathedral.
A woman praying at each of the statues in there. Mary, Jesus, kneel and pray.
10 and 20p candles. The tomb for Francis and Eleanor Cruise, and I'm wondering
if they're related to Bridget, of O'Carolan fame, his one true love, or maybe
related to Tom, the Top Gun himself.
back, and Matt (Botanic Man) holds the door open for us. He didn't seem too
depressed for a man whose wife is bonking his best friend, or, as Matt put it
the other night, "sowing her post-marital wild oats". Actually, he's
The Lord Mayors Walk, Molesworth Street, Waterstones, then over the road to
Hodges Figgis, then passing the hole in the ground that was Brown Thomas and
The Bailey, passing McDaids, the only pub in Dublin that Brendan Behan wasn't
banned from, through the Powerscourt Arcade, looking in Giles Norman's shop
stories about watery tarts in O'Donovan's papers ...
Liffey Street, Bridge. In the Merchants Arch, a beggar with a child, behind
a cardboard sign. 'I Am From Bosnia. Please Help', and passers-by leaving him
a heap of coins. Pounds and Pounds. Bosnian? Jaysus, if he's a Bosnian then
I'm a Serb. Must be one of them Clontarf Bosnians.
The Dublin Library just rang, 'At Swim Two Birds' is finally in.
Phoenix Park. Taking Dad on a Greatest Hits tour. Explaining things along the
way, Mullingar House, the cromlech, the Pal Cross, the US Ambassadors Residence,
Mary's place, her light still burning but there's no unruly lines of returning
countrymen waiting to be welcomed home, then down passing the zoo, the seals
willonking, then into the coffee shop, to the Wellington Monument, walk past
the Sean Heuston statue. Out through the entrance, up to Kilmainham Jail, walk
the distance. The Jail, a monument to the rebel leaders of Ireland; Young Irelanders,
United Irish, 1916, 1798, 1856, the Invincibles, the Civil War, De Valera. The
tour begins, even the obligatory OPW slide show is better than usual, and Catherine
O'Connor is our tour guide, who warns us about the height of the doors, she
has a sense of humor, and pathos, and appears genuinely enthusiastic. And bonus
points for attempting to explain the Civil War, in two minutes, it ain't easy.
The Stonebreakers Yard, the crosses, the cells. Bejaysus, I didn't know they
had Emmett's chopping block.
A walk through the
Royal Hospital, and student artists are drawing various aspects of the Hospital's
architecture, the windows, the arches.
Out, up towards James
Street. The Barn Owl, the converted church that's now a lighting shop, Crane
Lane and now the Guinness Hopstore. Another tour. Watch the 15 minute Guinness
ad, "hey mister, bring me back a monkey !", then the displays, the
coopers at work, others, then the free sample room. Yep, free Guinness, my favourite
kind. Pity it ain't in pint glasses.
Then back, up Thomas
Street, but somehow deviated to the Liffey. The Four Courts dome now covered
with scaffolding, and the flagpoles are now fluttering with brightly coloured
And tonight's radio talk-back topic is whether good sex is important to a good
relationship. Jaysus, don't they just love talking about it, never miss a chance.
Talking about the incomprehensibility of really large numbers. Would one's grief
be greater if 60,000,000 Jews had died rather than 'only' 6,000,000. Would the
grief be less if it has 'only' been 2,000,000. Would it be on par, then, with
the grief one feels for the victims of the Famine, or is it just different.
To the Busaras, Dad's off to Northern Ireland. Ulsterbus Goldliner, Gate 13.
And, on the way, some school chick with the ear-lined studs, rings, and the
Bejaysus, Westropp, is it Drumcreely or Drumcrelly. It makes a difference.
And, in the attempt to change the spelling from Ballyvaughan to Ballyvaghan,
this computer's just had two heart attacks. It tells me that it's merely 'checking
the current index', but it's not, it's died.
Cross O'Connell Bridge, up to Henry Street, passing the GPO which looks disappointingly
peaceful, buying Samsons. Our Price is being refitted as yet another Virgin
the bridge, merchants Arch, a beggar with a cardboard sign 'I Am From Bosnia.
Please Help'. Yeah, right, and next week you'll be from Rwanda. Or maybe
they've just learnt how to spell 'hungry'.
back, passing the Olympia and walking through the Castle, you know when you
arrive at Tailors Court by the smell. The drain out the front that's been leaking,
not just water now, tissues, shit, floating down past the Napper Tandy. I'm
amazed that it's not fixed, that no-one else rings the Dublin Corporation. Still,
having both a shit-spilling drain and the kids from Swifts outside your window
is much the same thing.
At last, there's two guys having a poke around the manhole cover outside, but
not the one that's creating the torrent. They replace the lid of the wrong one,
Alien's Office, renewing the registration.
We're number 36,
and they're up to 26, so this may take awhile. At least 25 got short shrift.
Forgot the stamped, endorsed, and signed in triplicate bank statement didn't
she. I mean, that's so blatantly obvious.
The room is full. Americans, Asians - one of whom is sniffing back enough snot
to blow his brains out. Meanwhile, 26, Dr S Mahmoud is being told to get a letter
from his college
27! The middle window is really getting through them. But 27's just left.
Some old couple have been bogging up the end window all the while, and the snotty
one's been handed a tissue, must have been near brain melt-down time, but the
guy on the other side, one of the Middle-Eastern types has taken up the snotty
28 has trouble spelling his name,
"T ?", "D"
"D ?", "D ... for Dea."
"T ?", "Yes, T .. for Dea."
uhhmm, I think 'T for Tommy' would have been a better word to use.
Yay! The old couple have finally gone, must've figured out it wasn't worth the
precious moments they have left on this earth wasting it on the Irish Aliens
Office. Fair enough too.
Wonder where the one with the bad teeth is? Maybe she's ill, maybe someone reached
through the window, grabbed the bitch, dragged her bodily through, on to the
waiting side, while he's screaming "whaddya feckin' mean previous employers'
wifes' grandmothers' maiden name signed in triplicate from the registry of births
deaths and marriages !" as he slams her against the so pale green they're
almost grey walls. Wish I'd been here to see it..
Shit. There she is, like Shane MacGowan's sister from hell. She's smiling. Yep,
her malicious bitch smile. Sent some guy back to his seat, closed the window,
and obviously thinking "got that one, on rule 1154 sub-section 25viii,
point 2, that all people registering as aliens must be told to come back at
some unspecified time when they'll be told they should have been in yesterday."
Bet they do exams in obstructionist theory, being difficult 101 and 201 ...
and specialist courses in officialdom, red tape and triplicate theory. If in
doubt, ask for it to be stamped, authenticated.
I wonder if they're easier on these useless bunch of student-type slags, the
Swiss at the desk with the shaven head, the guy seated next to him with the
metal-decorated baseball cap, or the overweight Ugandan there.
than they are with someone who actually contributes something to this country.
Hell, if the photographs I've catalogued are being used to track down, or at
least identify, what's been taken from this country, then my work is of value,
of use to the heritage of this country. Just wish they were paying me for it.
Rather than just the very ..
occasional cuppa, two so far. I wonder what does the Museum do with all those
American notes that get stuffed into the donation box? Speaking of Americans,
the one at the desk, 35, who lives at Halfpenny House, Lower Ormond Quay, doesn't
know his own phone number. He's gone, I think, they'll have him on a technicality.
But, Holy Bejaysus, Sinead MacGowan, behind the desk is all smiles at this one,
she's letting him get away with it, all that training just gone in a flash.
She has her eye on the bigger picture here, permanent residential status in
the USA. Jaysus, don't they just love Americans here. Not only will his registration
as an alien be through within the next minute, she'll be carrying his lovechild
in even less.
yes, we're next, probably after the American at the desk is through writing
whatever it is he has to write. Can't see Ms MacGowan from here, but "I'll
just get you to fill out your National .. whatever .. and I'll be back to your
shortly." Probably her little black heart's going pitta-pat and needs time
to recover, to collect herself, to take stock of all those years of study, take
a bureaucratic stance, insist the paperwork is done, demand that he come back
at the previously specified unspecified date, remembering that she must frustrate,
annoy, and belittle at very opportunity. Nay, verily, create the opportunity
to treat all before thee as shite. Though shalt destroy the Cead Mile Failte
image. Thou shalt not be co-operative. Thou shalt follow procedure to the letter,
and certainly though shalt not deviate from the rules and regulations, and though
shalt get all paperwork endorsed and signed in triplicate.
Our files are being
dragged out from somewhere, from wherever they're kept. Probably in the red
one marked 'Dangerous'. Photographs of me with Gerry Adams, me and Sinead O'Connor,
It's done, renewed, valid 'til 2/1/96. Unbelievable. And a chat about the Brown
Thomas window at Christmas.
And it's the third quarter in the 1995 Grand Final, and Geelong is being killed.
3 goals to 13.
And at the ad break, 6 to 16. Bloody Williams, the bastard. Ablett's not doing
6 to 18
6 to 19
and they've just got another one. Ten minutes to go, and its 7 to 20
Geelong 7:13 Carlton 21.14
two quick ones with
3 minutes left. Whoopie.
Now another one from Billy 10:13
yet another from Billy 11:14
it's over, and
that's it, and Geelong's out of its misery. Shite shite shite. Ablett didn't
even get a goal.
The Famine Exhibition.
Our guide is Margeurite Grey. History, the farms, the potato, the blight, the
famine, the "noses on" part, real leaves from the blighted spuds on
display, the typically English bastard response. Peel, Trevalynn, poor houses,
work houses, the quarter acre and the conacre, the soup kitchens. Emigration,
The best bit were the actors, in character. While a woman, bathed in green light,
spins and cards wool, her Kerryman farmer 'husband' explains what 'lazy beds'
were, and asks "Margeurite, what'd be happenin' to m'potatoes over here
Leave, with an incredible urge for potatoes. A plate of roast spuds with butter.
Hell, any bag of crisps will do.
And if Matt Molloy has become a piss-pot and has taken to walking up and down
Bride Street, then that's him. Maybe not, but you never can tell. Maybe he's
seeking inspiration for the next Chieftains CD. The Bride Street Suite, Leo
Burdock's Reel, The Napper Tandy Polka, the Chancery Lane Jig. Maybe a song
inspired by the woman who just walked by him, lyrics that go something like
"feckin' this and feckin' that and feckin' the other feckin' ting."
So, Shane MacGowan, eat yer heart out. Poetry in the streets. Maybe Matt's in
the Napper putting a tune to it this very minute.