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New video: Funfair gets ready for St.Patrick's Day in Dublin.

Big Wheel. Vomit Comet. Bone Shaker. Etc.
The funfair on Merrion Sq gets ready for Paddy's Day.

Do we really love our country? Our unending love affair with litter suggests otherwise.

Look at the photos below.
A beautiful riverside near Enniskerry in Co.Wicklow, despoiled by people who probably shout and sing their love for Ireland at rugby matches, football matches, or where-ever.
In comparison with our neighbours in England, Scotland & Wales, Ireland is a shocking sight - an utter tip. Or at least the part of Ireland I live in.
The cleanliness of Northern Ireland proves that things could be different. But why aren't they? It is the great imponderable.
We just seem to love litter.

The sky over Ireland this week. Shades of blue.

Apparently it is the least cloudy sky we have had since 2007. Literally no clouds.
Shades of sky blue

Adamstown - ghost-town more like! Watch the video.

I visited Adamstown at night recently. It was like being on the set of a post-Zombie attack. Nobody to be seen anywhere.
I half expected the undead to emerge from the shadows and start chasing me around the deserted streets.
The funniest thing is the signs outside the train station advertising Adamstown's nightlife and ambiance! Stock-photos of beautiful people sipping lattes and downing cocktails. But where??
On the plus side, the place seemed incredibly clean and the apartments were very nice. But too quiet.
Perhaps it is more lively during the week?

New VIDEO: The right to protest - a busy day outside the GPO on O'Connell St.

There is usually someone-or-other protesting about something-or-other outside the GPO. But I thought this Saturday was unusually busy.
A total of 7 different groups were rallying for attention, all within a few metres of each other:
  • Anti-abortionists
  • Pro-Falun Gong
  • Anti-Irish Bishops
  • Pro-Homeless
  • Pro-Palestinian
  • Anti-Cutbacks
  • ...& finally, Pro-Jesus.
Good to see that the right to freedom of assembly and expression is still exercised.

What are the icons of Ireland's cities?

Famous city icons...
  • Paris = Eiffel Tower
  • Berlin = Brandenburg Gate
  • London = Big Ben
  • Rome = Collosseum
Icons for Ireland's cities...
For me at any rate, Dublin is not defined by the Spire, the Hapenney Bridge or even (the soon to disappear) Liberty Hall.
Put me anywhere in the world and show me 2 tall red-and-white ringed pillars - the Pigeon House chimneys - and I'll think ... "Dublin".
Not so sure about Cork or Limerick.
Belfast of course = Harland & Wolfe cranes.

George Hook owes us €100! Video of cyclists stopping at a red light. (Well, 2 out of 3 cyclists)

Update Wed 24 Feb: Well George has paid up! Not 100 euro, but 1000 euro! Fair play.
I was invited to chat with George and Damien from Boards.ie on today's Right Hook on News Talk 106.

Just after 6pm on Thursday's "The Right Hook" on News Talk 106FM, George Hook offered to donate €100 to charity if any listener could prove that a cyclist stopped at a red-light during that evening's commute.
This arose from a heated debate about the 30KM speed limit, cyclists & general road safety.
Well George, get your cheque book ready!
The video below shows not just 1 but 2 cyclists stopping at a red-light - in full observance of the law!! (jump to 21 secs and 57 secs)
Unfortunately, it also shows one rogue peddler dicing with adventure and making an early break for it. (jump to 1 min 5 sec)
But surely that doesn't cancel out the other two! So, shall we agree to settle for €66?
And what charity to donate to?
George, we'll let you decide.
(This video was recorded at the corner of Pearse St and Westland Row before 7pm on Thursday 18th February.)

The ugly Irish - 16th most beautiful nation in the world.

More beautiful than the Dutch?!?
Less beautiful than the Welsh?
Wrong on both counts I'd say.
The top 20 (from The Strait Times newspaper)...
  1. US
  2. Brazil
  3. Spain
  4. Australia
  5. Italy
  6. Sweden
  7. England
  8. India
  9. France
  10. Canada
  11. Mexico
  12. Portugal
  13. Wales
  14. Russia
  15. Japan
  16. Ireland
  17. Argentina
  18. Netherlands
  19. Scotland
  20. Germany

Give a toss? Well, here's the sport for you - horseshoe tossing.

I noticed this Horseshoe Tossing place- ground-field-court (?) in Ballsbridge a while back.
Have never seen anyone using, but nice to know it is there.

New VIDEO: Through Wexford town by train - literally!

I visited Wexford town for a few hours recently. I have been here only once before and liked it.
A weird thing is that the train goes right thru the town with almost no separation from the street. Strange.
There is a fair bit of history to be seen - old town walls, abbey ruins and other stuff. Some nice small, windy streets too.
Overall a pretty nice place, though not enough greenery. Too much concrete everywhere, I thought.

New Video: Dublin's most horrible street is...

It occurred to me today just how awful Tara Street is. In terms of pure horribleness, it takes some beating.
It is book-ended by Liberty Hall & a shocking old Social Welfare office, and overlooked by the demonic Apollo House & Hawkins House.
Cars race along its rutted and potholed 4 lanes in a never ending convoy of noise. The gutters are filled with grime, hardened concrete blobs and general detritus.
Redeeming features?
It has an old Fire Station tower near the start of the street, but that's it. An awful place.

[Murmur] - Local stories by local people.

I noticed the signs below on poles around the River Liffey some time ago. They are in the shape of an ear, with a phone number, a series of digits and the word [murmur].
Out of curiosity I rang the phone number at the weekend.
It turns out they provide stories & local history as recalled by residents of the area: Sonny, Jimmy, Bart & Brendan & more. What a great idea!
You can see a full map of the signs and listen to the stories online at http://murmurdublindocklands.info/
A photo of a murmur sign
A photo of a murmur sign

New VIDEO: Hup! Yip! Hayup! Temple Bar Trad Festival.

Hup! Yip! Hayup! Jaysis, I love a bit of old trad from time to time. Hup there!

NEW Video: Windmill Lane, Dublin - U2 & Graffiti central.

Windmill Lane in Dublin has 2 claims to fame:
  1. U2 recorded many albums there.
  2. It is the one place you can spray-paint to your heart's content without risk of arrest.
Because U2-related graffiti has accumulated there for so long, a sort of 'blind-eye' is turned to it.
Of course, every now & then a fuss is made and the graffiti is removed. But it always tends to come back.
It seems a good idea to a place set-aside like that. Gives a legitimate outlet to those who simply MUST tag their name. Better there than on the side of some house or shop!

Truvo + LikePlace = Great start for deciding where to live.

Our partner website - Truvo.ie - now links back to LikePlace. (See image below.)
Likeplace on truvo

I gcomhrá le hÁine Ni Churráin ar Raidió na Gaeltachta.

Foto Aine
Ar maidin bhí mé i gcomhrá le hÁine Ni Churráin ar Raidió na Gaeltachta mar gheall ar LikePlace.
Is laithreoir den chlár 'Bearrscéalta' i Áine, clár atá dírithe ar cursaí Thir Chonaill.
Bhaineas an-sult an an agallamh - ach caithfidh má a adhmháil nach bhfuil mo Ghaeilge chomh líofa anois agus a bhí sí tamaill ó shin. Ar ais ar an staidéar!

New Video: As the lights go down - a stroll thru Newbridge.

I heard Tom Dunne on Newstalk FM slagging Newbridge (Co.Kildare) off.
He suggested it reminded him of some scenes from 'The Road'.
I disagree. I thought it was a pretty tidy place. A very pleasant riverside park and a good local theatre. Not too bad as Irish towns go.

Streetnames...surely we can make them a bit more fun?!

Streetnames - All the usual "Pearse Gardens" & "Connolly Heights" are fine - but why not have some fun!
Here's 2 great examples:
  • "I want that one": Little Britain St off Capel St in Dublin 1.
  • Rory Gallagher Corner in Temple Bar, Dublin 2. (Like the guitar!)
A foto of Rory Gallagher Corner
A foto of Little Britain Street

New Video: When snowball fights go wrong, the Gardaí are called.

The snow was a gift to to the kids who hang around Grand Canal Dock.
Unfortunately, fun snowball fights soon descended into near-assaults on passing pedestrians. Those snowballs pack quite a punch when slammed in your face.
Eventually the Gardaí were called. The kids legged it ... but something tells me they'll be back.
(Attention - Video contains immodest language spoken in strong Dublin accent.)

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