1. Cheap pints
While the trickle-down effect in Ireland normally means politicians pissing down your neck and telling you it’s rain, one result of the inevitable crash has been the competition between the remaining drink purveyors to attract those who still have a pot to piss in. Without wanting to come across all Totally Dublin we thought we’d shout out for some recommendations on decent spots with decent prices. Hop House on Parnell St., Dublin is somewhere we often find ourselves with pitchers (the Cristal champagne of our new austerity) from around €9 and other deals on their korean finger food. Limerick rabble have been horsing into €3 Beamish and the Cork heads recommend Callanan’s for similar prices just off Sober Lane. Dicey’s has €2 drinks on Tuesday but frankly I’d rather shit in my own hands and clap then spend the evening there.
From the Wicklow Mountains to the Muglin Rocks, the Liffey sums up all that is good, bad and downright criminal about our capital city. When most of us think of this mascot of Dublintown it is the lazy, grey, sludge-lined river which snakes its way through the city centre to the coast. Its lazy flow a consequence that 60% of its water is abstracted for drinking water. Criss-crossed by bridges it splits south from north. A division that is evident in accents and class, which makes easy fodder for comedians such as Paul Howard or Andrew Quirke. The river’s boardwalk is where Dublin wears its heart on its sleeve. This is where the social inequality of post-tiger Ireland is most pronounced. Where unsuspecting tourists, rub shoulders with street drinkers, picnicking office workers, daytripping culchies, emo teenagers, some of the city’s more ‘independent’ traders and those that are caught in the grip of their wares. However further inland its shores are a patchwork of bad planning and unspoilt green spaces. The Liffey Valley shopping complex stands as testament to the unbridled consumption of a few in the name of many. Where else in western Europe would you get an area of natural beauty so close to the capital city cemented over within the last 15 years and stinking of brown paper envelopes. You might not want swim in it, Guinness don’t make their stout out of it but it’s ours.
It’s been a good summer for Dublin based music docs. Back in May, Dublin Community TV premiered A Joyful Slog, in a rammed Button Factory. It details the DIY leanings of a generation of Irish indie noise makers who probably treat Ian McKaye with the same reverence as your granny does the Pope. Aoife Nic Canna’s enthralling 6 part oral history documentary Folklore From The Dancefloor has been airing each Tuesday at 4.30pm as part of her regular Club Cheol slot on Near 90.3 FM. If your belly’s not full with that lot, there’s also Underestimated – a new documentary from That’s That Productions, it drags the story of Bassbin and the Dublin jungle scene out of some of its much loved lunatics and legends. If it’s not a famine, it’s a feast.
4. Heritage and Culture
There’s something for everyone during Heritage Week (19th to 26th Aug), even the most jaded of you lot. From Dancing at the Crossroads in Mallow, early photography at Strokestown Park House and a 1798 walking tour in Enniscorthy to guided tours of Little Jerusalem, Kilmainham Hospital and Medieval Dublin. It’s a positive countrywide event that an engage us in our local history and all for free. Something else to look forward to is Culture Night, which has been growing exponentially year on year. The doors of our institutes, galleries and collectives are thrown open for one night and the people have made it a night to savour for arts, culture and investigating our finest buildings.
5. The Defeat of Tesco In Smithfield
There’s been a significant victory against Tesco in Smithfield. The City Council rejected a second attempt by the company to operate an off licence in the premises formerly occupied by the Complex. After Tesco’s fall at the second Bord Pleanala jump last year, they came back on the rebound, their task made easier by the legal ejectment of the Complex by receivers working for NAMA. DCC also played the cultural card, permitting them to open shop (without the booze) as long as they come up with some sort of documentation as to how they’re going to implement a cultural framework plan for the area, which was originally conditioned under the initial development grant of permission. Face painting for kids on a Sunday morning?