Limerick Spring Table Quiz Wed Feb 18th 2015 – Dolans Warehouse

Just in.


limerick spring

Get your quiz-loving family, friends and neighbours down to Dolan’s Warehouse on Feb 18th.

Your Limerick Spring Festival of Politics and Ideas needs you!

Following on from last year’s successful festival, The Limerick Spring is back with another exciting weekend of politics, ideas, discussion and debate.

Running from April 17th  to April 19th, we are in the midst of planning at the moment, but we need your help!

Come along and support the The Limerick Spring – Festival of Politics and Ideas 2015 by joining us for a table quiz to support the festival.

€20 euros per table of 4.


You know it makes sense.

I’ll be there.  Will you?

Limerick Politics

Urbs Absurda Fuit

limerick city councilTwice-blessed is the ancient city of Limerick.  Though not twice named like New York, it was, for a brief time, twice bemayored, if such a word exists, and even if it didn’t half an hour ago, it does now.

The twice-bemayored ancient city of Limerick, so ancient that its escutcheon is ringed with a quote from Virgil’s Aeneid, though he was of course referring to Carthage and not to Limerick, when he observed in the very first book of his magnificent epic poem:

Urbs antiqua fuit

Naturally, any of us still alive who studied Latin for the Leaving will instantly translate that, but for the rest of humanity, let me just say that it means There was an ancient city.

Not a particularly inspiring or uplifting phrase, I always thought.  It’s just a statement.   There was an ancient city.

Particularly when the rest of the inscription reads: Studiisque asperrima belli.

What does that mean? you might be wondering.

Most people think it means well-versed in the arts of war but this is nonsense.  It’s actually the remainder of the following:

urbs antiqua fuit (Tyrii tenuere coloni)
Karthago, Italiam contra Tiberinaque longe
ostia, dives opum studiisque asperrima belli

And this translates roughly as

There was an ancient city (colonised by the Tyrians)

Carthage, against Italy and the distant mouths of the Tiber, 

rich in wealth and severe in the studies of war.

Now, why did somebody take the top and the tail of that passage and decide to put it on the coat of arms of a small city in Ireland?

There was an ancient city

And severe in the studies of war.

Precisely what a city consists of, nobody can really say, of course.  Some suggest a cathedral will do the trick;   others say that a royal charter is the thing which is all very well if you have royals available at a moment’s notice.  For myself, I’m inclined to go with the definition laid down by the great and beloved Joe Malone.

All a town needs to be a city, said Joe, is a chipper, an apple-stand and a whorehouse.

If Virgil had written Insula fuit, it might make some sense, or even more appropriately, Insula est, insula pulchra, but then there would have to be an ugly scene as representatives of Young Munsters lodged an official complaint against the flagrant favouritism shown by classical Latin poetry towards Shannon RFC.  It’s all about keeping it bitter, kid.

But going back to the coat of arms, you’ll notice they omitted dives opum, since the place was perennially broke anyway, but to my mind, this sort of thing reeks of the self-importance bestowed on themselves by small towns everywhere, and there is no city anywhere in the world with a more self-important bunch of clowns elected to public office, though I doubt if a single one of them has ever heard of Virgil or his Aeneid.

For those who don’t live in this neck of the woods, let me explain a little.  Until recently, Limerick had two local authorities —  one for the urban area and one for the rest of the county.   It’s hard to know which was the more pompous, though I’d hazard that the smart money would be on the city councillors.   After all, it was one of these buffoons, a particularly red-faced and overbearing specimen, who bellowed at protesters a few years back – This is not your democracy. This is our democracy.

In its infinite wisdom, the government finally amalgamated the two local authorities, helped in no small measure by the economic disaster that overtook Ireland, and propelled by Big Phil Hogan’s distaste for  the concept of local democracy.  And of course, the result was that two circuses came to occupy one Big Top.  That’s a lot of moth-eaten lions, tigers, performing seals, sword swallowers, trapeze artists, bunco artists, con artists, piss artists and self-important clowns all in the same place, and the result was inevitable.

The clowns ended up with two mayors in full regalia, like the Pope of Avignon and the Pope of Rome, frantically excommunicating each other while Europe looks on appalled. Or indifferent in the case of Limerick.

The similarities were simply terrifying.

Both men wore gold necklaces but were neither cross-dressers nor ancient Mayan kings.

Both had an enormously-inflated idea of their own importance.

Neither seemed aware of the fact that the mayor of Limerick has absolutely no power, except a choice of seat in the rain at the Patrick’s Day parade.

And most shockingly of all, both men were called Sheahan.  Magic or coincidence?

In truth, it was a great time-saver for both mayors, since one could give primary schools a half day while the other gave secondary schools a half day, but they didn’t see it like that.

Sheahan the Fatter had a loud and booming voice, but Sheahan the Beardy had a strong devotion to the GAA.  For three full months, the citizens of Limerick had to live with endless loops of spooky Twilight Zone music emanating from the very stones of our ancient streets until eventually they fell to their knees in submission.   Make it stop.  Just make it stop.

And so it came to be that Sheahan the Fatter became Mayor after an intervention by the Grand Vizier, who put a proposal to the Great Council of the People, even though the Vizier wasn’t actually elected at all at all, and great was the anguish and the teeth-gnashing of Sheahan the Beardy as the cry went up.

‘Tis Blessed Kevin of the Cross for Mayor.

And so it was and so it is and so it will be.

The Master of the Seat is called with the Holy Tape Measure of Carthage and in the fullness of time he will construct the Throne of the Ample Arse, well-suited to the noble buttock of Blessed Kevin.

But for now, our Mayor must go to London for a dinner with emigrants, even though the role of an elected official in Ireland has absolutely nothing to do with Irish people abroad, and even though their flight home costs about €20 if they shop around.  Assorted councillors, including two Shinners, observed that they’d lived in London and that emigrants would be grateful for the connection with home, conjuring up the astonishing image of Irish people all over London down on their knees praying for the arrival of Blessed Kevin in their midst.

How ironic that a man who spoke out against immigrants to Ireland would be offering comfort to Irish emigrants in the UK.

The official dinner, we’re told, will take five days, and the trip is to be funded by public money, but the purpose of the Mayor’s trip is a secret, it seems, if the uproar in the council chamber is any indication, when an upstart elected member asked for details of the trip.

As I said, the most self-important elected assembly in the entire country and possibly in the entire world.

Meanwhile, Blessed Kevin might appreciate these words of Virgil, also from the opening passages of the Aeneid.

Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso
quidve dolens regina deum tot volvere casus
insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores
impulerit. tantaene animis caelestibus irae?


(Tell me, O Muse, the cause; wherein thwarted in will or wherefore angered, did the Queen of Heaven drive a man of goodness so wondrous, to traverse so many perils, to face so many toils? Can resentment so fierce dwell in heavenly breasts?)


Limerick On A Beautiful Day

What a lovely morning.  What an utterly lovely start to the day, with blue skies and all the little birds threatening each other in song.  Not that you’d know it if you were listening to Radio RTEland, which informed the nation that we’d all be better off in bed because it was raining outside.

Outside their studio in Dublin.  Or outside their house, also in Dublin.  Or outside their car, on the way from their house, in Dublin to their studio in Dublin, but that’s the national broadcaster for you.  Meanwhile, here in Limerick, the weather was mild-to-warm with sunshine, but of course none of that matters in Medialand.

I got into the market a little late today due to a wild goose chase that should remain in the shadows, but when I finally made it, the rewards were great.

Very often on Saturday mornings, it’s nice to meet up with friends in nearby Nancy Blakes and have a coffee, but first, of course, it’s essential to pick up some delicious buns or cakes at one of the market stalls.

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But of course, you can’t walk through the market without being accosted by vendors selling other delicious fare, which is why not one, but two Turkish chaps stopped me.  The lad with this stall sold me a really tasty pastry sort of thing made with Feta and vegetables, Baklava, he called it.  As I left the Big Top, another Turkish man handed me a delicious lamb sausage and I guarantee you, I’ll be back to him next week, but with photos and lots of lip-smacking.

Limerick Milk Market


On the way between one Turkish man and the next Turkish man, I met this charming lady selling Clangers, though I don’t believe for one second her story of how they got their name.

Limerick Milk Market

It’s another sort of pastry thing, with a sweet filling at one end and a meat filling at the other, though there is a vegetarian option for vegetarians and for people trying to convince themselves that they’re vegetarians, and for other people who think it will make them healthier, and why wouldn’t they?

The idea is a lot like the Cornish Pasty, except that it didn’t originate in the tin mines.  It’s actually from Bedfordshire and you don’t throw away the crust.  But apart from that, it’s the same.  I got a sample and it was delicious.

All that before I ever get my nice cup of tea, which will be flung in my face unless I present a nice cake to the terrifying German barman.  I’m no fool, though, and so I have my delicious little confection tucked away here, ready to present in return for a nice cup of tea.

Hello.  I would like a nice cup of tea, please.

You will do as I say.  We own you.

Have a bun.

Oh thanks.  Would you like a nice cup of tea?

It’s great.  It’s all good.  I pass a happy thirty minutes among witty raconteurs and the weather remains good, apart from the cloud hanging over me.  I forgot to pay the electricity bill and they sent me a snotty letter, so I’d better stroll down to the Post Office and pay it.

Before leaving, I bump into a New Zealand friend.   A rugby-playing Maori cannibal type.  What do you reckon our chances are of beating South Africa?

Pretty good, he says, to my surprise, me being of  little faith.

You reckon?

I rickon,  he nods.

I bid my friends a good day and wander off, still enjoying the indescribable mildness of being, until I come to O’Mahony’s bookshop, a place of iconic significance to me.  This is the place where, as a teenager, I bought most of the books that made me who I am today, and therefore it’s almost a place of pilgrimage.

And there, in my place of pilgrimage, is the man who single-handedly, though temporarily,  convinced me that journalism is dead.  There, signing his latest book, is Paul Williams, a man whose access to hard information about criminals is in direct proportion to his usefulness to his Garda handlers.  There he is, in a bookshop in Limerick, signing copies of his latest book about crime in Limerick, even though the lowlifes he writes about are all in jail, and even though he has not the slightest access to facts about life in our town.

Paul WIlliams

I pause in mild surprise , but then I notice the title of his book: Murder Inc. This, according to Paul Williams is the nickname given to the small family of useless morons who, for a while, sold drugs in this town.  Who gave them this imaginary  nickname?  Nobody in Limerick, or anywhere else, except in Paul Williams’s imagination.  Limerick people just called them what they are: scumbags.

It was such a nice day up to that point.  What a shame that Paul Williams, a man who knows nothing about Limerick, should be milking an old story to death, and what a worse shame that Limerick people might be lining up to buy his book and solicit his X on the flyleaf.

What a further shame that should slavishly and moronically repeat his blurb in their What’s On section.  I see that they’ve taken it down following complaints, but here it is anyway.

paul williams blurb limerickie


This is a website paid for by our local taxes and managed by employees of our local authority.  Ponder that for a minute or two.  Promoting a self-publicising fantasist who has done as much as any man to tarnish the reputation of our town by talking up the activities of a small gang of scumbags for his own personal glorification.

Is that what we pay for?

Anyway, the gloom didn’t last long.  Paul Williams is far too small a man to take up my whole  day, there was a rugby match to see, and besides, it was quite a thing to see him pulling copies of the book out of his arse as easily as he pulls facts.  He should charge for that.

Finally, let me confess that I didn’t really expect Ireland to beat South Africa but the cannibal was right, as usual.

Yay!  Take that, South Africa!  And take that, Paul Williams, when you’ve finished fiddling with your orifice.



New Limerick Footbridge

Proposals for the newest Limerick footbridge have run into quite a lot of criticism, though the reason for that might simply be due to the way it was reported by the local newspaper.  This is no great criticism of the Limerick Leader by the way, since the nature of such papers by definition is fairly superficial.

The formula is  simple.  You have two choices.

Choice 1.   Send out a reporter with no understanding of the underlying technicalities, assemble  a story with a quote from a local councillor condemning the plan, an inane comment from the ever-available local resident and contrast it with the opinion of the equally-ubiquitous one man.  Illustrate it with a snap from our own photog or even better a graphic provided by the Council, and you have a ready-made condemnation of a plan that was prepared with great effort by people who actually thought about the design.

Choice 2.  Send out a reporter with no understanding of the underlying technicalities and have them slavishly report whatever PR tosh they’re thrown by the local authority.

In this case the Limerick Leader opted for Choice 2 but that’s local papers for you, and the Limerick Leader is no different.  The modus operandi exists everywhere in the world and it’s fine if you’re interested in death notices and soccer results, but if you want hard information, the local rag is not your go-to source.

limerick bridge

Many people I respect greatly have criticised the proposal for a new bridge, but this time I’m going to withhold judgement until I see how it works out.  If anything, from what I’ve seen so far, the plan isn’t radical enough.  What would be wrong with using the existing weir as the structural base for a walkway that follows the flow of the water all the way to the Shannon rowing club?  Now that would really be spectacular, if  wow-factor is what they’re looking for.  What would be wrong with cantilevering the walkway over the river so that people could experience at first hand the primal roar of the water as it rushes across the weir?  This is perfectly feasible in engineering terms and considering how limp the marina project has proven to be, perhaps it would finally take advantage of the huge undertaking involved in constructing the weir.

I’m not buying into the condemnation yet, until we see precisely what the logic is, but I would say that the logic needs to be challenged in a positive way.  Instead of the usual Limerick knee-jerk conditioned response, the safe old it-will-never-work answer, how about looking at the plans and suggesting how they could be even better?

Wouldn’t that be the imaginative way for our town to go instead of constantly finding fault with things and wallowing in the old, the safe and the familiar?


Elemental Festival, Limerick

Today I saw a human kangaroo.

I saw two Japanese men juggling.

I saw an artist gilding a piano-tuner’s window.  I saw the piano-tuner gilding his own window.

I saw a woman playing piano in an urban street-garden.

I saw children.   I saw joy.   I saw fun.

That’s Limerick.

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River-God Smiles On Limerick

This morning I took the Hound of Satan, my detested canine, for a walk.  As I get older, I find it more annoying to carry all the gear — cattle prod, taser, pepper spray, steel net, trident, heavy bludgeon and chalice of consecrated hosts in case of emergency exorcisms, but it’s all necessary.   You never know when you’ll meet a three-headed hound of Hades  or a postman jogging on his day off.

As it happened, all we met was a gaggle of minor demons more interested in possessing an Old Testament villager.  They recognised my Hound of old and scattered to the four sulphurous winds in a welter of brimstone and fire, screeching the True Name of Yog-Sothoth to the unperturbed swans who, I concluded, are unbelievers.

Limerick River Shannon

If we were a superstitious people, which of course we’re not, Heaven forfend, I think we’d probably conclude that our mighty river god is in a benign mood.

This river defines us in all our contradictions, our ugliness, our beauty, our courtings and cavortings, our sporting and our silly shenanigans.  Without this river, we Limerick people would be something else, some kind of bland central-casting midlanders, but we have this river, and there’s no getting away from it.

I’ve seen that thing flinging itself against the quay walls like a bear in a trap.  It’s taken too many of us and it will take many more, but today it was benign.  Today it felt calm, though you’d never make the mistake of thinking it was harmless.

Tonight, even at its extreme tide, it didn’t lash us with spray and waves.

Instead, it crept over the boardwalk like like an old cat and it licked us gently, but you’d do well to remember that this old cat still has claws.

Limerick River Shannon


Limerick’s Doughnut Effect — Suneil Sharma’s Retail Vampire Plan

I see Suneil Sharma is back again, still carrying Marks & Spencer around his neck like a rotting albatross he impulsively shot long ago and far away.

I fear thee, ancient Mariner! I fear thy skinny hand!

In his latest attempt to crack the Limerick retail market, this ancient mercenary is yet again claiming that M&S will rent a squillion square feet in his proposed development at the Parkway Valley, otherwise known as the rusting hulk of a failed development from the dreaded Celtic Tiger days that stands less-than-proud on one of the main routes into Limerick as a testament to the hubris of naked greed.

Suneil, you might remember, is the man who gave us the toe-curlingly embarrassing Opera Centre title for another failed development in the city centre, a title, incidentally, which some  local hacks lazily continue to use even though no such development ever took place and never will.

At the considerable risk of mixing seafaring metaphors, poor old Suneil is condemned like Vanderdecken, cursed master of the Flying Dutchman, forever more to round the Cape of Good Hope in his ship of ghosts.  But in Suneil’s case, the curse is forever to peddle the Marks & Spencer myth in the hope of getting planning permission for some ludicrous shopping centre that will do nothing but distort the shape of our city.  As if the ill-conceived Crescent shopping centre hasn’t done enough to depopulate the city centre, Suneil Sharma wants to create another retail vampire on the outskirts, to finally complete the doughnut effect that has destroyed so many cities around the world.

Early indications are that the council are at best tepid in their reaction to his plans and with good reason.  Given the council’s proposals to develop a new heart in Limerick (unfortunately with the inevitable and depressing Marks & Spencer meme as a central element), they’ll hardly jump all over the Ancient Mariner’s plan to skew even further the shape of the city.

Limerick springfield monorailIt’s not that I’m against Marks & Spencer.  I’m as fond of classy food halls as the next man.  It just seems to me that whenever anyone tries to build a shopping centre, or demolish a city block, the first trick out of the bag is M&S.

I have here a promise …

What’s wrong with us?  Do we live in Springfield?  Are we the Simpsons?  Don’t answer that — maybe we are.   After all, we react to a promise of M&S as if some out-of-town fast-talking Lyle Lanley was offering us a monorail.

What we need is a sustainable, properly-executed vision for our city, not some tacky retail theme-park on the periphery, regardless of the short-term and short-sighted promise that it would create a few temporary construction jobs.

Haven’t we moved beyond the sort of shabby cajoling that takes us all for idiots?  Not necessarily, since we re-elected a healthy quotient of venal, small-minded, uneducated, money-grabbing cynics to represent us on the newly-amalgamated council.

Watch these fools carefully as events unfold.  Pay close attention to the ones who support this proposal, and ask them hard questions.



Limerick Politics

Dead Presidents and Limerick Councillors

Limerick city councillors love their dead American presidents, but none more fervently than Pat Kennedy who feels a special bond to the famous (or notorious) Irish-American namesake clan whose gangster father bought the 1960 presidential election for young Jack, a man with a great tan, excellent teeth and a prodigious libido.

Jack would shag anything with a pulse and frequently did, often sending his Secret Service minders to summon random women from the adoring crowds, though history doesn’t record how many sweaty couplings he managed to squeeze in during the hour he visited Limerick in June 1963.  With all that waving to crowds, reciting patronising platitudes and kissing babies, he probably hadn’t much time for more than three or four liaisons.

JFK Limerick 1963

Kennedy checks his list in Limerick

But never mind all that.  Pat Kennedy is a big fan of JFK anyway.  For that matter, Pat seems to be a huge fan of American presidents in general, having named his son Thomas Jefferson.  The Founding Baby.

Pat’s latest wheeze is to rename a bridge in the city.  Via some sort of political stroke, the local councillors managed to change the long-established Shannon Bridge to the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge.  On two previous occasions when he held the pointless position of Mayor, Pat managed to get his name on plaques attached to bridges.  Indeed, one of those plaques is on the bridge he wants call JFK.  So good they named it twice.

If that bridge could talk, it would say Ich bin ein Limericker!!

Kennedy visited Limerick for an hour over 50 years ago, but somehow, Pat Abraham Lincoln Kennedy seems to think that’s enough and by hook or by crook, he’s determined to push the renaming through despite widespread public derision.  A man with Camelot blood in his veins won’t be bothered by anyone calling him a vainglorious buffoon.

Pat isn’t alone in this gobshitery though.  Because of a political deal to buy his vote for a Labour mayor, Kathleen Roosevelt Leddin, he has an unlikely assortment of supporters.

They are  Joe Eisenhower Leddin, Tom Truman Shortt, Lyndon B Hurley, Kevin Dubya Kiely and John Obama Gilligan.

Ranged against them are the evil Diarmuid Bin Laden Scully, Maurice Khomeini Quinlivan, Maria Stalin Byrne, Michael Saddam Hourigan, Jim Mao Tse Tung Long and Denis Castro McCarthy.

Pat is threatening legal action if the council try to prevent his illustrious relative’s name being affixed to the bridge.  He took advice from himself, apparently, since Pat is a junior counsel, as well as a primary teacher.  A junior counsel!!   And a primary teacher!!

Was there ever a more qualified man in the whole world?

Don’t cross Pat, is the message.  I hope he doesn’t send himself a huge bill for his time and expertise.

Councillor Pat Kennedy
Councillor Pat Kennedy

Pat Washington Hoover Clinton Bush Ford Nixon Quincy Adams Kennedy is a true frontiersman.  Men like him, with their coon-skin caps on the top of their heads and their muzzle loading muskets, fought off the English, they fought off the Indians, they defied Santa Anna at the Alamo  and they made this the great country it is today.

One thing though, that Pat might have overlooked.  The Kennedys don’t have a glorious history when it comes to bridges.

Only sayin’.







Adultery was their thing

America’s 10 least healthy presidents

I was JFK’s teenage mistress

Limerick popular culture

Culture and Chips

Hands up who doesn’t like chips?

Right.  Get out!

In my own case, it’s not that I don’t love them but that I have loved them too well, the tasty, crispy little carb-delivery systems.  Who hasn’t enjoyed the delicious pleasure of  creamy pints around the fire of your favourite hostelry, with good company, cheery banter and … chips?

Here’s a great idea the City of Culture folks have come up with.  Over the June holiday weekend, Limerick will be heaving with chip-related events, or events with a side-order of chips.  They’ve even got a genuine Spiegeltent, one of the few remaining in existence, and they’re going to set it up in Arthur’s Quay Park.

Limerick City of Culture Spiegeltent

On Thursday 29th May, Jerry Fish will rock the tent, or at least schmooze it with his very special brand of coolness.  That’ll be Jerry Fish and Chips.  Then, on Friday the 30th, the tent will host a culinary carnival  (that’s a big feed to you and me).  I think you have to get dressed up for it, but  this is Limerick, kid, you know?  Most of us don’t stand on ceremony, apart from a few retired models and the city councillors who are exceedingly fond of their robes and gold necklaces.  There will be more chips, which the retired models will probably decline, but the councillors might horse into , provided they’re free.

Saturday morning in the Spiegeltent is reserved for children’s theatre, while Sunday promises something the organisers enigmatically describe as breakfast with a difference.  I don’t want to raise anyone’s hopes here, so I won’t speculate on what the difference might be, but it’s probably not what you’re thinking.  I bet it involves chips.

And then, on Sunday night it is my favourite man, Jack L strutting his ludicrous stuff as he has done for many a long year since he first started gigging in Limerick and we all love him.  What’s not to like about Jackie?  Ne me quitte pas, Jacques.

You think the Spiegeltent is finished with that?  Think again.

Monday afternoon brings us Salon du Chat, backed by the ineffably wonderful Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, but here I must apologise to you, and also perhaps to Salon du Chat, for stealing a description of their schtick from another site.  It looks great.  I’ll be going.

Adding a touch of theatre and the surreal to the art of conversation, Salon du Chat recreates the atmosphere of Bohemian Paris, with a knowing nod to online chat rooms. Relax with a cup of tea and a bun, as you browse the Conversation Menu. Then our friendly chat hostesses will join you to spark up the conversation.  Like any meal the starters will get the palate warmed up, while mains are for meatier matters and dessert could get risqué …

Grounds for… 

Living on Less 

Having a Domestic

Learning The Hard Way

The Kindness of Strangers



It’s a girl

Zero Waste Life

The Picture of Mental Health

Unshockable Me




Pillow Talk

Virtual Disasters

What I Live For

Sticky Dates

Just desserts


Lovin’ it.

Oh, you thought that was all, did  you?  Think again.

On Thursday and Friday, the Irish Chamber Orchestra are doing Carmen in the Milk Market.  With chips.  Carmen and chips.

The TomCat festival is happening in Thomas Street and Catherine Street, organised by lunatics local business people.  There will be plenty of chips.

The Rugby Sevens festival is happening in LIT sportsgrounds and I’ll tell you now, if I miss this, I’ll be kicking myself for the rest of the year.  There might not be too many chips at this, but you can’t have everything.

Is that it?  Not quite.  What festival would be complete without the World Chip-Making Championships?  My only gripe is that they don’t have a World Chip Sandwich Made With Real Cottage Loaf and Melted Butter Dripping Through Your Fingers Championship.  Nice!

I’ll tell you one  thing, by the end of this, we’ll all be fat bastards, but at least we’ll have a laugh piling on those pounds.

That’s Limerick City, kid!!


Saint Patrick’s Day

Thanks to climate change, the weather is fairly mild this year, which means there weren’t so many blue-thighed obese-children marching in bands, but even one is more than we need, and anyway, what we lack in fat frozen children, we make up for in loud drunken knackers filling the less discerning pubs with double buggies and stuffing their obnoxious offspring with crisps and fizzy drinks.

Long ago, St Patrick’s Day represented some sort of vague, ill-defined celebration of something.  What that something was, people weren’t too clear about, but it involved children buying cheap little badges, grown-ups wearing lumps of clover on their lapels for no obvious reason and local businesses promoting themselves by driving trucks slowly through the city with signs on them.

St Patrick's Day Limerick

 That was the St Patrick’s Day parade, and that was the end of it.  Nobody went out and got hammered.  Nobody threw up in the church — that was reserved for Midnight Mass at Christmas.  People just went home again because, I suppose, they had no money.

Ah, the good old days.

Here’s a few pics from a time when people knew their place.

St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick


St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick

St Patrick's Day Limerick

After all that excitement, a fellow would need a pint.

St Patrick's Day Limerick