Archive for the ‘Dubliners’ Category

140 Characters

It’s all very intriguing and while the inspiration was drawn from Twitter, it is not about Twitter. 140 Characters is a series of short film clips, featuring 140 people in Dublin from all walks of life, answering one same question with answers that are each withing 140 characters or less. This is all part of the programme for Innovation Dublin 2009.

The blurb reads:

140 Characters

Shot over the course of one week in Dublin City, 140 Characters captures real people from Dublin City talking about their lives. The film features children, teachers, singers, travellers, nuns, fathers, mothers, dancers, hipsters, grandparents, dreamers, believers, cleaners, creative people & people who are creative with the truth.

Every person is different & every person gives a different answer.

In answering the question people reveal something about their lives, their community, their hopes. In listening to these people we can learn something about ourselves, our city and our society. 140 Characters becomes a snapshot that we can all identify with.

How would you answer the question? What was the question? Meet 140 Characters. Look at them and listen to their stories. You just might see yourself in there too.

That’s as much as I know, unless there’s a reader or two here who were tapped to participate in this project? In that case, will you be able to tell us what question you were asked? Pretty please? (Or was there some sort of confidentiality claused that you signed to?)

Otherwise, fret not. On Friday (that’s 16th October) there will be a free screening of 140 Characters in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar at 7.30pm. No tickets required, so just show up. Perhaps wrap up well, since the weather has gone a bit chilly in the last week or so.

Ps: if you watch the video on the official site, what do you think the little girl is talking about? I reckon, to get a role in the last Harry Potter movie. ;-)

Six Nations: Big Day for Ireland

irelandpclohessymed-copyIn a few hours, Ireland would be facing Wales for the Grand Slam. It was 1948 when Ireland won their last Grand Slam and its been long time in waiting. There is a lot of excitment and support the team. Go Ireland!! Good Luck!!

Photo Courtsey: RBS6Nations Wallpapers

Player of the RBS 6 Nations Championship

How was your Paddy’s Day celebration? Were you taking full advantage of the weekend festival line-ups, as well as yesterday’s parade (which seemed very similar to last year’s but with notable addition of Simpsons and family)? And for those attending the All-Ireland Club final in Croke Park on a beautiful spring day, did you enjoy the action regardless of which club you were supporting?

Now, with all those out of the way, the eyes are now on the upcoming final match of the 6 Nations Championship, between Ireland and Wales. The mention of you-know-what is almost taboo-like (that even I am a little scared of uttering the words) and to be honest, I have been all nerves about it since Sunday. In the last couple of days, I must have read more articles, pundit predictions and comments that I care for, each time with this rush of thumping heartbeat. I am as yet uncertain how I’ll survive until Saturday with this eternal palpitations…

The players in contention (images compiled from RBS 6 Nations website)

The players in contention (images compiled from RBS 6 Nations website)

All talks aside, there’s something else of matter too – the Player of the RBS 6 Nations Championship. It’s time to rally everyone to vote for Dublin’s favourite son – Brian O’Driscoll – and see him regaining this title this year after it was awarded to Wales’ Shane Williams last year. Brian O’Driscoll was the winner for both 2006 and 2007. Let’s help him get it back this year! You can vote for it on the RBS 6 Nations fan’s poll.

The contenders this year, apart from Brian O’Driscoll, are Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), Paul O’Connell (Ireland), Lee Byrne (Wales), Delon Armitage (England) and Sergio Parisse (Italy).

Yup, three Irish players ranked among the top 6 players of the tournament, that’s very impressive. Indeed, all the players above have shown great sportsmanship and skill on the field, and each of them worth of the title, but we want our men to win – so go on, cast your vote! Voting opens now and will close on Monday 23rd March at 5pm.

Ps: the mind games began, with Wales’ coach Gatland arrogantly undermining the ability of the Irish team. Re comment that his players dislike Irish the most, I think it’s very sad for someone in his position to bring comments like this into the game.

Maser not loved

Commentary on a mural by the ubiquitous Maser, seen on a hoarding beside the Bernard Shaw.


Dublin Gingerism

Having been in a mixed-race relationship in the past, I’ve gotten some racial abuse (“Stick to your own kind!” etc.). This has only happened once in Dublin and a few times in Turkey (I was only there for 3 days, the racists!)

However, I couldn’t help but laugh when a group of skanger urchins gave abuse to a poor guy who was walking outside Trinity college with his girlfriend.

Ah look at yeh, yeh ginger bollix!
(and then to his girlfriend) Is he yer boyfriend? What are ye doing with a ginger lad!

I think its funny that one of the physical features of being stereotypically Irish results with abuse like some minority group.

Time to Sober Up Dublin!


New liquor laws came into effect on Friday July 30th at midnight. The Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008, which seems to have slipped quietly under the radar of the alcohol-consuming public, includes the following changes:

New hours for off sales of alcohol.
• Tougher public order provisions allowing the Gardaí to seize alcohol from minors.
• A court procedure to secure a new wine-only off-licence.
• New grounds for objection to the granting of an off-licence.
• New conditions attaching to the granting of a special exemption order, and
• Holders of theatre licences will be restricted to the normal licensing hours unless additional hours are sanctioned by a special exemption order.

What this basically means people, is that we are being governmentally prevented from getting our drink on in the manner to which we have become accustomed. Now, I’m all for preventing underage drinking, but surely we could take a little guidance from our continental counterparts and encourage the education of children towards the dangers of over-indulgence and ensure more vigilant publicans and off-licence staff rather than giving the oul Gardai free reign to bait the shite out of poor little Timmy who’s been caught with a couple of cans of Dutchy down the shelters because he promised his ma he wouldn’t break ‘The Pledge’.

The bill also abolishes theatre licences, ensuring that all nightclubs, late bars and theatre bars now close at 2.30am. Currently in Ireland, we have relatively staggered closing hours, with pubs closing at 12.30am, late bars at 2.30am, and nightclubs and theatre bars at 3.30am. This sequential system has been found to reduce public order offences [UK Institute of Alcohol Studies], whereas there is no evidence to support the proposal that the new system of having a blanket closing time will have the same effect. The bill that has been passed effectively forces punters into the streets at the same time, putting added strain on taxi services, fast food outlets and local emergency services and gardai. Surely I am not the only one who can see that 1000’s of drunken Dubliners conglomerating on the banks of the Liffey to fight over a taxi or push their way up the que in Rik’s Burgers is going to cause more than a few squabbles? Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, doesn’t seem to think so. According to Deputy Ahern, “people would be staggering from premises to premises if we gave an opportunity to go from bar to late bar and then on to nightclubs”. Now, I am perfectly aware that we didn’t earn our reputation as a nation of drinkers for nothing, but since when is Dermot Ahern judge and jury in charge of enforcing punishment upon us for being fond of the sauce every once in a while? In the wise words of a friend, Ireland has grown into a “fierce progressive place”, and we’re no longer a nation of Jemmy-swilling ogre’s who need constant monitoring. As things were, revellers could finish up their drinks in their boozer of choice and then choose to either head to a nightclub/late bar/whatever or do a legger home. I’ll be the first to admit to occasionally succumbing to the alluring charms of The Gaiety and it’s promise of warm beer in plastic cups at 2.30 of a Sunday morning, but 9 times out of 10 the sight of a yellow taxi light taking the corner at Stephen’s Street is enough to have me skidding through the rain in 6 inch heels and hurling myself in front of said taxi screaming at the occupant to ‘take me home for the love of god’. My point is, most people know when its time to go home. Ok, there’s always going to be the odd hen party bride or drunken suit who’s been slumped at the bar in Cocoon since leaving Deloitte & Touche at 5 o’clock that evening – but if someone is determined to find the next drink, they’ll find it regardless. All the new licensing laws are doing is encouraging house parties, and in return domestic disturbance and neighbours from hell scenarios, along with turfing a load of drunk people out onto the streets of Dublin to make their way home in a city with an already sub-standard transport system.

The bill also prevents off-licences opening beyond 10pm 7 days a week with no exceptions. So if you decide to be a good little civilian and sit down to watch an RTE Saturday Night Movie rather than partaking in the nation’s apparent past-time of choice – binge drinking – you are no longer given the option to pop down the offie for a bottle of cab sav to accompany the giant bar of galaxy that you purchased for the occasion. Tough – you should’ve thought of it earlier.

Not to mention the fact that most nightclubs and theatre-licence holders will be losing an average of 8 hours business per week – with many of them choosing now to not open at all on a Sunday as they will have to close at 1am on ‘the Sabbath’. In a time of imminent recession, it hardly seems clever to be limiting the business hours of one of our most profitable industries now does it?

Call me a sceptic, but as far as I can see the new act achieves nothing but a quick fix to an age old problems. I’d love to stay and hash out some alternatives for our government to mull over between tribunals but it’s nearly 9.30 so I’ve to get myself down to the offo STAT.

Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!

Diet of Worms Table Quiz

The excellent comedy group Diet of Worms are doing a table quiz this Wednesday to raise some funds to go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Comedy, random trivia, prizes, what more could you want on a Wednesday evening!

Tables are 40e for a table of four and to reserve one email

Check out the Diet of Worms excellent youtube series, Dublin Stories. Funny stuff.


"Don’t worry, you’ll be dead soon"


Just back from hearing John Banville talk about Yeats in the National Library – part of a week-long series of free Yeats-themed events. I’ve been a fan of Banville’s ever since I read the line in “The Untouchable” where the narrator describes a writer he meets at a party: “He was genuinely interested in other people, always a mark of the second-rate novelist”. Wonderful.

Tomorrow’s event will be actor Patrick Bergin reading some of the poems. He’s unlikely to be as entertaining as Banville, whose reflections on Yeats included some fine literary stand-up (or to be accurate, sit-down) material –

On the ‘greatest poet of 20th century’:
“I think he was greatly helped by the fact that he had no sense of humour. It’s very difficult to be a great man if you have a sense of the absurd”

On Maude Gonne McBride:
“Of course, she never slept with him. She knew, as all women know to their amusement and all men know to their chagrin, that not being slept with is the beginning of a life-long passion”

Approvingly, on Yeat’s combined lack of education and pretensions to great knowledge:
“In his sixties, Yeats was overheard chatting up a young lady at a party: ‘Ah my dear, I’ve forgotten all my Hebrew.’ Banville added “It’s one I use frequently myself.” 

When asked if he’d ever written poetry, Banville offered this, from a poem he’d written to his girlfriend at the age of twelve:
“Don’t worry, you’ll be dead soon”

And lastly, just before he read Sailing to Byzantium:
“I resent Cormac McCarthy for stealing the first line of this great poem as a title for his bad novel…”

THAT is no country for old men… 

You can hear Yeats speak here

Cool Dubliners: Unarocks Mullally

Una If you live in Dublin you’ve probably bumped into Una without realising it. The woman is EVERYWHERE. Whether it’s writing articles for the Tribune, blogging at the famous Unarocks, rocking out with MeNoFemBo, talking on Phantom or RTE or just partying it up in town. We cornered Una and asked her a few questions about our favourite city.

What is your favourite thing about living in Dublin?

At the moment, the live music scene. Apart from the thriving underbelly of hard working local bands, a rising disposable income of the population, a couple of incredibly competitive promoters, and the proliferation of independent promoters has seen a dramatic increase in gigs – both big and small – venues, festivals and events. Sometimes you look at the weekend club and gig listings and realise that they rival New York and London for content and diversity. It’s pretty awesome.

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