Monday, October 22, 2007

A Prophet in his own land ...

In the course of my family history research, in Dublin's Coombe area this afternoon, I was trying to pin down the exact location of 15 Donore Avenue where Old Nick Fleming lived around 1898. I had it figured and was just about to take a photo when I noticed three tiny gurriers, who'd been trying to kick in a shuttered window, drift over in my direction.

One of them shouts at me

"Hey Mista, ya can't take photographs here".

"Feck off" sez I.

Then, "Go back to your own country!" yells another.

"My people were round here before you scutties were even thought of" sez I, followed by a menacing glance at which they scattered and from a safe distance they delivered a stream of standard Dublin invective:

"Speccy four eyes!", "F*** you!"

Irony or what?


  1. Ah, the carolled eloquence of Ireland.

  2. Diolch am y ganmoliaeth.

    Like I said elsewhere, Boyo, your subtitle is an inspiration to all.

  3. Could happen to a Bishop, or even a Kerry girl.

  4. I apologize on behalf of the gurriers. I wish I knew how to get into the minds of these kids early in their development to help them see that difference is good. Does their attitude come from their families, from older kids, or from tv / videos? On what basis do they define difference?
    Were they rehearsing alpha maleness, perhaps? And simply saying that you were on their patch? To be honest, I think this happens to stressed kids; kids that don’t have security at home. The big question of how to fix such a problem eludes me!

  5. Not for you to apologise.

    I agree with your comment on stress and insecurity. This always needs a scapegoat.
    However, I think that the absorption of the big influx on non-Irish in recent decades is going well overall. I do feel we are becoming a more broadminded and tolerant society, bar the nutters.
    I "taught" for about 10 days in the early 1960s in the Central Model School in Marlborough St. and it was a very depressing experience - underprivileged kids from up the road.
    I gather that this school now has a good reputation and I know that is also true of the junior school where Miss Whimsey's class is half full of Chinese from up the road and the kids love her (as do I though I never met her). So there's hope. But in the absence of a fairer society we are banging our heads against a stone wall.
    Thanks for the comment (and the exchange on Twitter, if that was you).