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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Smoother Biretta





















I found this image here.

Twenty-one random people and things I remember from Dublin.

Siena religious goods by the pro-Cathedral. Carried a killer range of Virgin Mary snowstorms. If I was twentymajor I could get a whole post out of that Nigerian chanteuse Sade going in there and trying on clerical hat after hat, and when the shop assistant asked what she was looking for answering ‘A smoother biretta.’

A first world war veteran and great-uncle (or something) of former TCD student union leader Ramor Dagge who ran a bookshop in Temple Bar, before it was Temple Bar. He had trench leg, I think.

The saw-player on Grafton Street, whose name was also (but sans-e) Dagg.

The heavily made-up woman who used to dress in green and play the accordion under the statue of Tom Moore, with a photo of herself and Ronald Reagan on proud display on the accordion box.

Joseph O’Gorman’s slightly shopsoiled Brideshead routine on his guided tours of Trinity College.

The woman who wore her grey hair up in a bun while she did her elaborate pro-life interpretive dance opposite the GPO on O’Connell Street.

The stuffed dog in the Franciscan’s ‘moving crib display in Parnell Square. It had jumped in the Liffey to save a drowning beggar, thus qualifying for taxidermic posterity.

The always black-clad figure of Deirdre O’Connell, Focus Theatre director and relict of Luke Kelly.

The shirtsleeved figure of Fred Hanna inclining, Mandarin-like, to his customers on Nassau Street.

Passing the offices of 98FM just as noted clerical fascist and clandestine shagger Father Michael Cleary was going in, to host the phone-in show that used to field calls from people called Ulick McGee and Conall Ingis, and Mountjoy prisoners anxious to tell their wives not to forget the ‘baby’ the next time they visited. Reader, the baby meant heroin.

The enormous Alsatian usually to be found, paws on the counter of a shop called Butler’s opposite Connolly Station. The shop always smelt of pee, carried a huge range of sweets in jars, and Ireland’s Own, which I would buy for the trip home on the diesel train, milking every last word of Father Ignatius O’Kiddyfiddler or Brother Manus McArselick’s latest hilarious adventures.

Coyle’s hat shop on Aungier Street, whose owner played a Stradivarius violin.

Knowing someone who lived, as a child (before it happened), in the house where Collins’s flying column shot all those British secret service men in their beds on Bloody Sunday morning in 1920.

The David Lynch mental bitchslap that is the Dublin Yeast Company which, I know, is still there, with its to-die-for range of caketop decorations and, I presume, yeast, and this next door to a five-star hotel right in the city cenetre. Don’t even ask. I don’t understand either.

Some churches. The now-closed church on the northside quays on the the way up to Smithfield that became the refuge of the Irish Tridentine movement and its renegade Latin masses.

The carved figure of Our Lady of Dublin and the casket of St Valentine’s remains, as presented to Fr Spratt of Dublin, in Whitefriar’s on Aungier Street (remove your Coyle’s hat).

A grotesque yellow pram shop beside the rocket-launcher-like St Audeon’s on its hilltop redoubt.

The word ‘hygiaphone’ on the ticket desk partitions in Connolly Station. I know I mentioned this before. Now Im mentioning it again.

Sea shells on James Clarence Mangan’s grave in Glasnevin cemetery.

The fact that the Irish version of Hammond’s Lane, near the Maguire and Patterson match factory on the northside, was ‘Lána an Chrochaire’, ‘Hangman’s Lane’.

Con Houlihan topping up his brandy in Mulligan’s with a bottle of milk he kept on the bar beside him, his back to a plaque in his honour on the wall behind him.

That’s it, Dublin, scumhole of gangrenous memories that it is.

2 comments:

cantona said...

Great blog...how can you not get comments to this? best one recently was from a friend who left Dublin 10 years ago and was back for the first time since: "Dublin's still full of knackers....but they get their tracksuits from lacoste rather than Penneys".....can't argue with that.

ooh_flirty said...

"slightly shopsoiled Brideshead routine"... GENIUS. He stopped short of carrying a teddybear.