Archive for February, 2006

Queen Of Tarts…

Anyhew…. Enough of the preudo-political posturing :-) I completely unintentionally avoided almost everything to do with the riots last Saturday even though I was in the city centre (my very boring account of it and some wonderful tabloid headline are HERE)

The day wasn’t a total washout though; Oxfam Books on Parliament Street provided me with a CD copy of the first Fountains Of Wayne album for €6 and I had my first venture into the extraordinary Queen Of Tarts. I’d never been although it was a regular haunt of my wife when she was in Trinity…

In case you’ve never been it’s at the top end of Dame Street beyond Parliament Street on the right hand side and serves some of the loveliest confectionaries in the city. I had a triple chocolate fudge cake with chocolate grenache (did I spell that right?!?), my wife some lemon cream tart thing and both were lush to say the least. 2 great black coffees served in just the right size cup (not the huge monstrosities you get pretty much everywhere these days!) finished it off and the ambience is just great. It’s a small cafe but authentic looking and comfortable and great for taking refuge in the middle of a riot… :-)

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Double Jeopardy…

I know I won’t be the first or last to point this out but there will reportedly be 600 gardai protecting Air Force One on its refuelling stop in Shannon tomorrow morning… How many were in Dublin last Saturday? :-)

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‘Tis Lent

When Alfie Byrne, Lord Mayor of Dublin, met Mae West in Hollywood, she is supposed to have said, come up and see me sometime.

Alfie, always the gentleman, declined her offer by saying he couldn’t because ‘was Lent. Not one to be daunted, Mae just looked at him and purred, well when you get it back, come up and see me sometime.

Such is the urban folklore in Dublin. And maybe it was true but Lent is usually the time for giving up stuff and I am going to attempt to give up drink for forty days and forty nights. Well that’s not quite true because St Patrick’s day fall in between much to the rescue of Irish all over the world. That day we feel free to break out in honour of our patron saint of course, no other reason.

Now I wish well to all to the people of New Orleans, good to hear you are keeping your spirits up and your city alive. I hope to get there some day soon. Until I do, I am going to have a big old Pina Colada, party on down with John Kelly on the radio and leave you all with one more silly joke about Lent in Ireland.

My Name is Woman

To mark the upcoming International Womens Day on March 8th, the Immigrant Council of Ireland are hosting a photo exhibition by photographer Ursula Swoboda entitled “My Name is Woman” in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre on Foster Place in Dublin. The exhibition contains a collection of portraits of different women throughout the world living their normal day to day lives.

Are football hooligans the new patriots?

It has been there, the signs have been building up. Roy Keane going to Celtic has brought the perfect merger of Manchester United laddism to the Sectarian sectors of Celtic supporters. Not that Roy Keane is to blame, or the average Celtic support, but these elements are there and are dangerous.

Soccer violence has had small flash points before in Dublin. Take the Bohs/Rovers clash of 2004. Or there recent one 2006 clash

But nothing on the scale of last Saturday’s riot.

There on O’Connell street, the historical birthplace of so many trends in Irish society, senseless soccer hooliganism showed its nasty face.
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DART services disrupted by unofficial strike

There are reports coming in that there is currently an unofficial strike taking place amongst DART drivers in Dublin, which may affect the evening commute out of Dublin. Iarnrod Eireann have said that only a small number of Dart’s are affected by this unofficial action, but, I know, based on previous experience, these strikes tend to escalate pretty quickly. More news as and when I hear it….

Just another Day in Dublin

I knew yesterday was going to be an odd day when I couldn’t find two matching socks. I thought of wearing one black and one white but was saved from such a fashion faux-pas when, at the back of the hot press, a repressed sock decided it wanted its day out with its buddy.

I headed up to O’Connell street to buy my papers. There was the usual Saturday buzz of every nationality but given an extra twist at the Welsh rugby crowd where in town for the six nations rugby game . There was one big, big Scots man, strolling past Clearys wearing his kilt, knee high socks, white leather shoes with Scots flags on them, and a red blow-up plastic cowboy hat. And if that wasn’t enough, a black shirt carrying the words, “Brains”. Okey, and two old dears just giggled at him as they pushed their trollies. It was a just so silly, one of those daft days in Dublin. The Welsh, my favourite of the rugby crowd, they are the only people I know who when drunk, sing hymns and in harmony. Big, friendly people with yellow daffadoils . A colourful day. And I wanted a photo of a staunch Orangeman, waving a lilly outside the GPO so I took up my place at 12.30, when the parade was due to begin.

I leaned against one bus stop and chatted with a Indian lady who has come to be a psychiatric nurse. She likes it here as she thinks it’s quite but Dublin is very expensive. Tell me about it. Down the street, it became obvious there was trouble. I was trying to explain to the nurse the cause of the problem and she said, “Oh, like India and Pakistan”. Guess so. A English couple passed by saying they were up by the Parnell monument and the crowd was getting nasty. Black garbed, masked people shouting Real IRA and contuinity IRA slogans, line the side street, bangers and flares were being thrown into the crowd. Like most people, we had wanted to see the parade. Get the photo and boy, what photos,where on offer that day. Like most people we wanted to parade to pass quickly and quietly. Ignore them, just be another weird and wonderful day in Dublin. Well I guess it was.
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Stupid, stupid garda

How did they think they could political march down O’Connell street, a building site and not have trouble? I had hope that people would let the march go by and just laugh at them but no, they fed into the hate behind this parade. Gave what they were looking for – a riot. And the police are the main cause of it all. Feck the real IRA gobshite, the young scuts, this was a dreadful display of policing. I am not blaming the hyped up young gardai who were badly trained but their heads who left them open to such attack.

As for Bertie saying he defends the democratic right, does that mean it’s okey to throw stones? This march took place as I say down a building site. Choose your weapon lads, please? A stone, a barricade. a piece of iron? And as for the riot squad, they just hit out at everything that got in their way. Slap, bang, wallop policing belongs to the dark ages.
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Dublin City Riots

As Auld Dubliner posted here recently, the Love Ulster Parade is taking place in the City today. It would appear that there has been numerous riots in the City Centre today, with lots of cars and building being set on fire. I am not in the city at the moment, don’t know if any of the metblog team are there either.

It would appear that the riots have been planned and organised, and started out on O Connell street, where there is a lot of building work currently taking place, with rioters using building material to attack buildings, people and the Gardai.

Riots now appear to have moved on from the O Connell street area toward Nassau Street, Grafton St (Dublins main shopping street) and on towards Government buildings on Kildare Street, where it would appear the rioters have planned on converging.

The Love Ulster parade has been called off, with Gardai escorting the buses carrying the marchers out of the city to a pre-arranged meeting with Minister of Justice, John O Donohue.

There are reports of cars and buildings along Nassau Street being set alight, shops and cars being looted, and there are also reports of Pearse Street Garda station currently being attacked and set on fire.

There also appears to be a concerted effort to attack journalists and photographers trying to cover the riots, with many photographers and tv camera crews having their cameras smashed, and RTE’s Chief News correspondant, Charlie Bird has been seen running down O Connell Street with blood coming from his head.

It would appear that Gardai are starting to gain some control of the scenario, having broken the major group into a number of smaller groups, corralled into Kildare Street, Fleet Street / Temple Bar, and a group of about 200 rioters who had moved into the Jervis Street shopping centre. It would appear that the O Connell street area where the trouble initially was located has been cleared off, with cleaners moving in to clear up the mess, and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern on the ground inspecting the damage.

It would appear that as of now, 16:45, things are starting to calm down in the City Centre, as the Gardai are starting to bring things under control and disperse and arrset the rioters.

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Images from O Connell street just after the riots moved elsewhere in the City.

Some more images from the rioting today

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There’s loads more in our Flickr group too. Big thanks to phibsboro, johnnew and o6scura for their images

She most definitely does not “bang”…

A minor gripe about pubs, bars, restaurants in Dublin and sure isn’t that what God gave us blogging for? :-)

Music. It’s kind of my specialist subject. I’m a late-night radio presenter. Spent some of Saturday lunchtime in a bar; very swish and new, trendy, very austere almost… Music on the sound system? Snap’s Rhythm Is A Dancer blasting out closely followed by Gabrielle. Spent some time in my favourite cafe over the last 2 days. Yesterday? She Bangs by Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera (they’re normally a jazzy ambient kind of joint, at least they made up for that today with some Sigur Ros).

My point? How easy is it to ruin the vibe and ambience of your possibly expensive social location by slinging some oul cd on your €40,000 sound system…?

And yes, I am available to do playlist consultancy :-)

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