In Dublin’s Fair City

I have just been trying to remember the last time I was in Dublin.

You would imagine I would go in fairly regularly seeing as it’s the capital city and is less than eighty miles away?

I honestly cannot remember.

I do remember seeing a Luas thing snaking through the streets but I have never been on one.  I remember seeing the Spike which is probably the most pointless [heh!], monstrosity ever to ungrace a city centre.  There are bridges over the Liffey I have only seen in pictures.  I believe there is a planking thing for pedestrians along the river too, but I have never seen it.  I believe it’s a good place to go though if ever you feel the need to inject something?

As a kid I used to cycle into the city centre.  My favourite haunt was the quays where I used to watch the coal ships unloading into the gasworks.  Then there were the Guinness ships – the “Lady Gwendolen”,  “Lady Patricia” and “Miranda Guinness” – which were regular visitors to the quays.  Maybe that was what first made me aware of the Black Stuff?  To this day I have lovely memories of the sights, smells and sounds of the quays.  Of course that’s all gone now with good honest to God, functional industries being replaced with bland, blank glass monstrosities.

Come to think of it, I think the last time I was in Dublin was to meet with my publishers [sounds good doesn’t it?!] and I remember just walking as quickly as possible from the station to the meeting and just as quickly back again.  I have grown to hate the city.  The decent old smells of the gasworks and Guinness’ Brewery have been replaced with traffic fumes and noise.  It has become a city crowded with knackers, beggars and foreign accents.

It’s a strange though but there is a possibility that I may never see Dublin again.  I can’t think of any reason why I should ever need to go in the future, and I certainly am never going to go in voluntarily.

I don’t think I am missing anything though.

I’m more than happy sticking with the mountains.

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Comments

In Dublin’s Fair City — 33 Comments

  1. It's always been full of Knackers and Beggars and the Foreign Accents give it an International feel.

    I still love the place

     

     

     

    • In the old days you might find a kid or two begging on O'Connoll Bridge or the Hapenny Bridge, but the last time I was there there seemed to be one sitting at each and every lamppost [and all of them with mobile phones!].

      Anyhows, you probably wouldn't be too happy in the wilds of the mountaintops?  Each to his [or her] own.

      • Back in the old days the begger kids and their mothers were locked away in the Religious run institutions to be abused and made work for their crust – thank fuck those days are gone.

        The current beggars on the most part leave you alone when you say "No" as long as you don't abuse them. 

        You should try Amsterdam and most other European cities to see really aggressive begging

         

        • I agree that there were some pretty bad things about Old Dublin.  But in the haste to get rid of all tha was bad, they destroyed a lot of the good stuff too.

  2. Years ago I had a birthday in Dublin – I was a Merchant Seaman then and drunk like

    a piss artiste [not Guininess] the streets were red, yellow and green with puke.

    • Welcome Dave!  You would probably still recognise the place then.  By all accounts the streets still run red, yellow and green.  The fact that all public toilets have been closed doesn't help!

    • Dave, I spent my 18th birthday in Dublin, 1969, just arrived on a ship called Bhamo (Elder Dempster) from West Africa. Went to the Shipping Office to sign off then hit the bars until it was time to get the midnight ferry to Liverpool. Happy days!!!

  3. Sorry Grandad, but I think you're being over cantankerous and nostalgic on this one.

    As capitals go, Dublin is fine. There are lots of nice green areas in and around Dublin, and the Quays and much else have improved since I was a kid. I think it would be pretty hard to find a large city that doesn't smell of car fumes,or have junkies, and noise.

    The real problem with Dublin is it rains too much there! but I imagine you get a fair amount of that on your mountain top too!

    Sure this isn't a ploy to keep us exiles away? or are you suffering from a fit of the winter blues?

    • Cantankerous, no.  Nostalgic, maybe.  I just got to wondering why a city I used to love so much as a kid holds no attractions for me whatsoever now.  You would think I would be interested in seeing some of my old city haunts again but I just have zilch interest in the place now.

      It was just an idle ramble through my head……

      • Things have obviously changed since you were a kid, but I'm sure there is still loads to  interest you in Dublin.

         Here is a suggested itinerary for your next visit. (No need to thank me!)

         Chose a sunny day, (I don't know why Dublin seems more miserable than other cities in the rain, perhaps it's the proximity of the sea), Begin with a visit to the museum of modern art, followed by a picnic in the Phoenix Park, then stroll back a long the quays and walk those planks by the river, (even have a sit down on one of the benches, there are still lots of 'characters' hanging around and they aren't all junkies and beggars, but watch your bag, just in case!).  Take the Dart to the sea, return in time for a couple of pints in a nice pub, and go back to your mountain top waxing lyrical and looking forward to your next venture to 'The Fair City'!

        • Hmmm.  Modern art?  So the core of your suggestion is that I should have a picnic in the park, followed by a few pints?  Not a bad idea.  I'll have a picnic in a field up the road and a few pints in the village after.  Not much difference and a lot less trouble?

          The general gist of my piece though is not so much a tirade against Dublin, more a tirade against all cities.  I have often stated that my idea of Hell on Earth would be a trip to New York. 

          Thanks for the suggestion though. 

          Oh!  Sorry!  You don't want thanking…..

  4. Ah! the good auld days….when The Liffey ran a very strange vomit green colour and stank like six month old rotten eggs. You could taste it on the air. The smog in the winter. The only decent shopping was in Grafton St, Henry St and O'Connell St. Beweysl Restaurant. Bang Bang with his key. The Street Cameraman on O'Connell St. "You'll get it now" he'd say, with his polaroid camera.

    De Herald or Press cries in the street of newspaper vendors. Wood Quay/ Housing/ Unemployed/ Anti Drugs/ PAYE/PRSI Demos and the H-Block Riots. The bombs, bodies and broken glass.

    Jasus GD where has it all gone?

    Now you can even hear Irish Moore St Traders conversing in foreign chat too.

    • The Moore Street traders would be long gone if it wasn't for the Foreigners keeping them going. The local population got too posh to shop with them.

       

    • This is definitely a Dublin I remember, and I loved it! But I still like it now. Cheap air transport and being part of the EU changed a lot.

      'Cheekie Charlies' in a Polish accent? Sounds good

  5. A few more miles down the road and you could be in Limerick GD.   Not  a bad spot for a city break.
    I find the atmosphere different in Dublin than here.. people are friendlier here I find.. more willing to help each other. Less inclined to keep to themselves-   Would that be like insular? 
    I'll think of a fancier word when my vocabulary improves sometime…   

    • Nosey? 

      Limerick is a grand spot all right but if I had to pick a city?  Galway?  Cork?  God knows.  I think I'll stick with the hills…

  6. I went back to Ireland 2 years ago and for the first time in 40 years went to Dublin its everything you said.. Then yesterday after seeing the poll that the Fianna Fail leader is the most popular leader in the country I give up on Ireland, I know that Kenny and 'Lord' Gilmore are gobshites but Fianna Fail?

  7.  

    For several years, I lived in Dublin from Monday to Friday and only returned to the Capitol here in Cork on the weekends. I have to say, that I found the people that I met there were friendly, easy company and I enjoyed my years in (and out) of Dublin. What put me off though, in the end, was the traffic. A car to me, is a device for whizzing you effortlessly from "A" to "B," where "A" is a workplace and "B" is the pub. 

     

    It was bad enough that it could take an hour and half in the morning in traffic just to get to work, but it was positively criminal that it could take just as long in the afternoon to get to the pub. I had to get a transfer back to civilisation.

  8. The biggest problem with going back to a place you loved as a kid is not only have things changed as they are bound to but, and this may seem absurdly obvious, you're not a kid any more. Seeing things through an adult's eyes tends to take the "magic" out of things you saw as a kid.

    This is most likely the reason I keep balking at going down to the only town/city I ever called home when I was a young one (even though it's 6 hours away instead of than a couple). I loved the place when I was kid and have many fond memories of the years I lived there. If I went back now I know it would be a melancholy experience at best.

    I think I'll stay in my mountains as well.

    • That ius a very fair point.  Things are never quite as we remember them and for that reason I have often avoided places that once I loved.  However The Dublin thing goes beyond that.  I think what I lament the most is the loss of Dublin's "soul".  It was a city full of character but now it's just a city full of characters.  The old red-brich Georgian buildings have dacayed and been replaced with modern glass monstrosities.  I get the impression it is trying too hard to be European, forgetting that it is really Irish.

      • I think I understand that as well. Not about Dublin of course, but about other places that seem to have lost their "soul".

        Ah well, there's firewood to stack. I'm getting to old to worry about lost places losing their soul. I'll just keep adding a bit of soul to the place where I'm at.

  9. An old man living in the mountains sitting at a computer bemoaning Dublin city… there's nout stranger than folk. Dublin hasn't changed much at all my friend, it's still itself.  I have some advice to impart…. switch off your computer and get out into them mountains and stop wasting what little life you have left.

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