Jul 092012

The media have gone insane over these Phoenix Park stabbings, branding all Dubliners with the scumbag label, as if a few random violent attacks could somehow define an entire city.

Now, I can understand why people might become violent when they turn up for a band and find out that they’re really just three fools playing records, but let’s leave that aside and stick with the issue: labelling an entire city.  Naturally, we here in Limerick would never dream of inventing damaging labels for Dublin just because nine people were stabbed at a gig in the Phoenix Park, or because a journalist was randomly murdered as he walked home, or because criminals routinely shoot each other dead in pubs.

We’d never call Dublin Gun Town, or Skangerland or Howya Heaven.  That would be crass, simplistic and lazy, but we also understand that these stupid labels can go viral and cause real, tangible injury to a city’s reputation.  Therefore, despite the wave of violence sweeping across Dublin, we will resist half-witted generalisations and continue to remind anyone prepared to listen that the climate of fear on the streets of Dublin is caused by a very small minority.

The statistics are incontrovertible.  Many Dublin people have never been stabbed.  Not even once.  Outside the bad areas, life is relatively normal, and people go about their daily business as if the conflict never existed, but of course that will never satisfy the sensationalist media.

I don’t care.  I’m sick of our towns being labelled by idiot journalists, so it’s time to make a stand, and I’m going to say it now.  Dublin is safe.  It doesn’t deserve the reputation foisted on it by the tabloids.  Most people walking the streets of Dublin are perfectly secure as long as they observe basic safety precautions and keep an eye out for trouble.

These days, wherever you travel, when you tell them you come from Dublin, they retreat with hooded eyes and mutter Skangerland.  It’s wrong and it’s unfair, so let’s stop calling Dublin Skangerland.   The violence is the work of a small minority.

Most Dublin people are ordinary, decent folk, surviving in the face of vicious gang warfare with armed police on the streets, and they don’t deserve a label that damages their livelihoods and reduces their children’s chances of employment.

Stupid labels are never good.



  24 Responses to “Labelling a City — Dublin Stabbings Whip Up Media Frenzy”

Comments (24)

    Nicely put sham :-)


    “just three fools playing records” hahahahahaha. As a self-confessed music-snob, at least someone understands why I (almost) literally “hang the DJ” sometimes


    DJs = professional button pushers………


    Been around castleknock or blanchardstown lately? Dodgy as fook. Have family living in blanch and thirty years ago, it was a nice, decent, clean village. My nephew works in a local petrol station and has been held up at gunpoint. Twice.

    What was your point again?


    My point was labels.


    Okay so it’s not acceptable to refer to Blanchardstown as smack central? Because that’s exactly what it is.


    That worked really well for Limerick.


    I’m not convinced by your pleadings for Dublin,ha ha.


    As if it wasn’t bad enough being born with an awful taste in music, you get stabbed for it while attending a performance by three vinylologists.


    I remember when Jim Kemmy complained in the Dail about Limerick being catagorised with the not so tasteful moniker of “stab city”. I’m glad that name went out of fashion. Limerick’s not so bad in my opinion. Mind you, I could think of more than a few names for Dooblin myself; over-priced being one of them. Only time I’d head up there these days was if I had to.
    At the same time; Shannon, my current place of residence, is no more desirable to me than a halting site. I wouldn’t catagorise it with the title of ‘town’ – more like an overgrown housing estate.
    Give me Ennis (the town of my youth) anyday.


    Shannon is an odd place alright, it’s like you plucked a city suburb up and planted it in the countryside. Most people there could be considered “townies”. There are no culchie types as there should be in a small county town…….
    The fact that most of the town originates from nordy land only adds to it too ;)


    Your restraint is admirable Bock, the temptation must be almost irrestible. Still ‘Skangerland’ has a ring to it. People from Tallaght proudly claim to be from ‘Tallaght-fornia’ (but definitley not ‘Tallaght-Bama’). It’s wonderful that everyone has come up with a solution though, Gardai, OPW, Polititians, MCD Promotions, all wail in Unison ‘It’s a societal problem’ , thus absolving MCD from searching people for weapons, OPW for prohibiting people to enter Phoenix Park with Alcohol, Gardai for arresting people for being drunk in a public place, and polititians from providing the prison and courts facilities to addrss the issues. Of couse it suits, when everyone is to blame, nobody is to blame. Let’s raise VAT on wine……………


    If the powers that be cannot control whats going on on their own doorsteps in Dubland , what hope do us culchies have ?


    I regularly feel unsafe in most parts of Dublin, constant fighting, roaring, addicts roaming and begging in most parts of the city centre. It’s an awful city.


    Ah now Bock. As a Dubliner, I’m not fond of the cut of your jibe. I’ll get my coat…..


    Howdy Bok,

    I agree with you for the most part but while we shouldn’t label Dublin, the inner city including O’Connell street is very bad indeed. I’ve lived off Talbot Street for four years and it’s shocking some of the things I’ve seen.

    I have a link to a post I wrote about stabbings in the park as well.



    I totally agree you up to a point Bock and we shouldn’t label Dublin or any other city, but I’ve lived off Talbot St for four years and what I’ve seen in the area is shocking and getting worse.

    I wrote a similar piece on the stabbings in the park and the coverage.



    Well put.


    Good article.Any kind of labeling applied to the general population of any town/city/country/creed/race etc due to isolated incidents is witch hunt journalism and has time and time again proven to be destructive and dangerous.


    I think its a fair comment to ‘label’ Dublin. From the first light until the early hours, its junkie after junkie, thieves, scroungers and thugs just out to do damage. In the last two weeks all we’ve read about in the media is stabbings, robberies and a poor unfortunate journalist minding his own business walking home and ending up on the slab in the state pathologists in Marino. Dublin is a dangerous place and i disagree with anybody who says otherwise. If anybody believes otherwise, i suggest they walk up o’connell street, our main thoroughfare, and see for themselves the scum that currently prey on people in the city centre.


    Do you think we’ll see a Paul Williams special with a low voice-over and sinister soundtrack like they do for Limerick?


    @Gerry, I’ve lived off the back of Talbot street for four years and while the inner city is very bad and the junkie problem is getting worse. Your description that Dublin is a dangerous place is demonstrably untrue. Not once in my nearly 7 years of living in Dublin have I ever been robbed or murdered. Hassled by aggressive junkies, beggars and general scumbags yes, but always confined to the same areas of the city. I’ve lived in New York, Sydney,San Fransisco to name a few and they all have bad neighbourhoods and not one deserves to have a negative label attached to them because of the actions of a few.

    The worst city I’ve ever lived in was Waterford. I’ve never seen that level of random violence, yet I still wouldn’t label the entire city.


    “Not once in my nearly 7 years of living in Dublin have I ever been robbed or murdered” Never murdered.. not even once?! :)

    I have to say there are some skanky looking beggars once you arrive at Heuston station.. and that’s before you’d even meet the eh, boyfriend.
    They could definitely do with some rehab facilities up there though.. clean up the place a bit.
    There’s a totally different vibe up there.. people tend to keep to themselves more, aren’t as friendly etc.


    @FF1 For sure there are more than a few shanks floating about the city and the inner city has been abandoned by successive governments and its local TDs seem intent in ignoring their constituents, labour’s Joe Costello has his clinic around the corner from me, is in government and from what I can see does nothing for the area.

    Saying all that I honestly don’t get the same vibe you mention and I if ever go to my local danks the locals are friendly and the pints great. Spend a Saturday afternoon sitting outside a bar or cafe on South William St or Exchequer St and the vibe and energy is great. And that goes for most other areas in the city as well.

    Dublins far from perfect but it’s not Gotham either :o)

Leave a Reply