Saturday, 11 October 2014

Going forward - or backwards... another bubble in the making

Oh dear.

I used to think that Bernard Manning was just an ignorant, Hitler-loving, racist, anti-Irish arsehole.   Now I think he might have been some kind of visionary.

Just a few short years after the property bubble bail-out, Paddy and Mary are  borrowing more than they should to such an extent that the Central Bank, those fine gobshites who oversaw the country's first bankruptcy, are now insisting on (from January) some earnings-to-borrowings ratio restrictions!

Do they really need to be told?  

That's the problem with the bail-out culture.   Lessons are not learned, and the failed become the future.  Again.


I can't be arsed with it any more.  Let's get a few more chords in... escapism is the only option, it seems.




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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Irish road safety video... RSA and Gaybo be ashamed

Do you ever get fed-up with those silly, nonsensical "road safety" advertisements the authorities transmit through RTE?

I know I do.  Surely they'd be better off instructing people how to drive rather than trying to be poor-people's Steven Spielbergs, with their film shorts of cars somersaulting and flattening kids on swings and the like?

How to use motorway lanes, for instance?  How to use a fucking roundabout?  What those orange lights on the corners of their cars are for?

I've been out and about in the fair hills of Wickla putting together my own road safety effort... watch and be enlightened!

PS, before anyone rings Joe Duffy - no speed limits were broken in the making of this video.



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Friday, 11 July 2014

Garth Brooks Croke Park gigs - gombeen Ireland in action


The whole Garth Pukes  – sorry, Brooks – thing is yet another example, as though one was needed, of gobshitery and Irishry.

Here’s a summary:

The  GAA (Grab All Association) has an agreement with local residents as to how many gigs can be held at Croke Park.    It deliberately flaunts this agreement and exceeds the agreed number.

The promoter of the Garth Brooks gigs, Jim Aikin, must know this but sells the tickets anyway -  as early as January if comments on The Journal are to be believed.

He only submits his application to hold the gigs in April, which means by the time due process would be excercised by Dublin City Council, we are nearly at the time when the concerts were advertised to take place.

After the process, which takes into consideration residents’ objections, the gigs are refused, as might have been predicted.

Next, objectors are issued with death threats and the TV is full of footage of a large Texan in a silly hat promising he will swim to Ireland to meet with our prime minister to ensure his five gigs go ahead.  (Swim, Garth… please). 

The bloke who runs those awful O’Carrolls Oirish tat shops is interviewed  on RTE news, against a backdrop of green stetsons with shamrocks and Garth Brooks in the shape of Ireland on the front, saying how awful this is for the Irish economy and Ireland’s reputation.  

(Never mind the fact that those awful shops have probably done more harm to our image than anything since the odd few thousand incarcerated “unmarried mothers”, “fallen women”, and countless children buggered by our priests, aided by our police force, successive governments, and "The Peeple"  in general.)

The whole thing is still rumbling on and you can’t turn on the telly, read a paper, listen to a radio or look at your smartphone without hearing Garth professing how much he loves Ireland and the Irish and how we should ignore our planning laws in order to facilitate a cowboy and a bunch of money-grubbing gombeens.


It’s business as usual, then.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

800 Tuam babies' grave. Different back then?

With all the bullshit of the 1916 rising centenary awaiting us, it might be timely to consider the “visions” of  some of its participants, namely the faction of bourgeoisie nationalists who won out and came to power in the end.

Padraig Pearse achieved his blood sacrifice, of course, something he held in high regard.  He envisaged a tee-total, Gaelic-speaking, Catholic Ireland (see Tom Garvin, Preventing the Future: How Ireland stayed so poor for so long).   That’s “revolution”, Irish-style.

Mercifully, the Brits put a bullet in Pearse – sadly, however, they left de Valera alive and well in order to impose his vision of a rural, conservative, Catholic, ill-educated backwater of Europe on the new State.   He succeeded splendidly.

Hence the latest revelation of 800 babies, mostly the offspring of “unmarried mothers”, 
who died in this brave new State’s care at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Galway.   The mortality rate of 35% at this institution was far higher than in general, and the dead babies were put in a large unmarked mass grave.  One might be forgiven for concluding there was a deliberate policy of neglect in order to rid  the pure new Ireland of inconvenient "illegitimates".

You might have thought there would be outrage now in Ireland at this, but no.  It’s just another scandal and it was a long time ago.

Not as long ago as the Vikings, the Norman invasion, the Tudor plantation and the famine, of course – which many Irish “remember” like yesterday, indoctrinated as they are, and still swear revenge for.   Predictably, the Gaelic version of Irish identity foisted on us carefully forgets the fact that Ireland's original inhabitants – the ones who built Newgrange – were a pre-Celtic people.  

But back to the matter of the 800 babies.  Things were different back then, you see, when the Irish State’s genocide of “illegitimate” babies was going on in religious and State institutions, with the acquiescence of the Garda and the Irish Peeple themselves.  So move on, forgive and forget and all that. It's all in the past.


Have a look at this Indo article on the topic, and how many of the comments on the article take such a tack.   “Things were different then”.  That’s OK then.

Things were different in Europe when the Jews were being rounded up and murdered by the then German State authorities.  The difference is Anti-semitic attitudes in Germany and elsewhere have since been addressed, and lessons on the dangers of narrow myth-based nationalism have been learned


The problem in Ireland, is that things really aren’t that much different at all.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Racist attacks on People Before Profit candidate, Memet Uludag, election posters in Castleknock Ward

"It's much better than you, you stinkin' Irish pig!"
George Stone, character in film The Untouchables

"The cottier's cottages were built with local stone or turf and thatched with rush or straw. Many cottages did not have windows and chimneys. Windows, when they existed, were often too small for a man to put his head though. There was often, but not always, a hole in the roof to let out smoke. Ventilation was always bad. Pigs, poultry and other animals lived with the family, often sleeping in the same room."  
The Great Famine, 
www.maggieblanck.com/Mayopages/Famine.html


Ironic then, given the Irish association with pigs in terms of insults and historical connections, to see the following election poster for People Before Profit  election candidate for the Castleknock ward, Memet Uludag, defaced in this way.  Note that the Fianna Fail candidate above, whose party bankrupted the country, remains unscathed.





There were several of these spotted on Roselawn Road, Blanchardstown.  It seems some ignorant racist scumbag - or group thereof - targeted Uludag, a naturalised Irish person who is originally from Turkey, on the presumption he is a Muslim.

Never mind that fact that someone from a group such as People Before Profit is quite obviously a socialist and an internationalist, and is unlikely to have much truck with fundamentalist Islam or any of its "values".

Even when I lived in east London, during the hey-day of the BNP, I never saw anything like this.  

Amazing how little attention things like this get in the Irish media, and how little our otherwise forthright and opinionated chattering classes have to say on the matter of racism and prejudice -  so rife in Irish society.


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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Patrick Kavanagh – Epic

You'd be worn out with it all – the same old, same old.

In "the news" lately:  Irish judges the highest paid in Europe, ditto TDs, teachers, coppers and all the rest.  

Speaking of the latter, there are ongoing (and still unaddressed) allegations of Garda corruption...  maybe we'll have a tribunal or Government investigation exposing it all in 20 years' time?   Maybe a few of them will get a taste of their own medicine and sample the inside of a jail?   

But no, didn't the great Irish public vote against giving Government investigations real powers in a recent referendum?  So the corrupt can continue to come out smiling for the cameras whenever such "investigations" take place. 

The Irish public. "The Peeple".  

The  same gobshites who voted for Charlie, Bertie, Lowry, Callely and other assorted shysters year-in year-out, decade after decade, all the way back to Dev himself.   The same gobshites who voted to keep the senate.

If you think about it too much you'll end up going insane... this is what the Irish people want, after all.  And you don't want to end up like them.

Sure 'tis a great little land.

And what better way to sum up Irish parochialism and small-mindedness than this 1938 work by Patrick Kavanagh?     "The Munich bother", by the way, is the Munich Agreement: when Chamberlain famously appeased Hitler in a hope to stop further Nazi expansion... "peace for our time".    

We all know what happened next... "The Emergency".  



Epic


I have lived in important places, times
When great events were decided, who owned
That half a rood of rock, a no-man's land
Surrounded by our pitchfork-armed claims.
I heard the Duffys shouting "Damn your soul!"
And old McCabe stripped to the waist, seen
Step the plot defying blue cast-steel -
"Here is the march along these iron stones."
That was the year of the Munich bother. Which
Was more important? I inclined
To lose my faith in Ballyrush and Gortin
Till Homer's ghost came whispering to my mind.
He said: I made the Iliad from such
A local row. Gods make their own importance.

Patrick Kavanagh




Thursday, 13 February 2014

Gardai bug Ombudsman shock?

Should it come as any surprise? 

The Garda have been bugging people for years, in so many ways. Even Justice Morris, who headed a tribunal of inquiry to investigate gardai misdeeds in Donegal in the 90s and 2000s.

The Morris Tribunal found extensive corruption and criminal behaviour by gardai in that county, some of whom tried to frame members of a family for murder. 


 They also planted “evidence” on people, and hid guns and explosives which they “found” later and claimed as arms caches, to aid their promotion.

 Indeed, Morris himself reported that "The Tribunal has been staggered by the amount of indiscipline and insubordination it has found in the Garda Force.”

The Garda also tapped phones of prominent journalists in the 80s, at the behest of the Fianna Fail minister of justice, Sean Doherty.


Given all this, is it really too far-fetched to think that the good folk at the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) suspected their offices might have been bugged? And is it any surprise that the last people to whom they might report their suspicions would be the Garda themselves?


The Garda are habitually uncooperative towards the GSOC, even sometimes refusing to submit documents to the ombudsman when claims of misconduct are being made.

The force also resisted attempts by the GSOC to look into the recent penalty points scandal, in which some gardai wiped the penalty points slate clean for themselves, their mates, their families, certain politicians and GAA “stars”.

Let’s play detective for a minute and ask who would possibly want to bug the GSOC’s offices?

No need to call Inspector Morse, is there?


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Neknomination and a tsunami of hysteria

Look, I'm no spring chicken – far from it.  Any fluff to be found on me springs out only from my ears and nose.

But even I cannot help but have a good laugh at fogey Ireland when it comes to the web. If the reactions of the papers, RTE, Internet sources of less authority than this one, and high court judges are anything to go by, we are facing into an neknomination abyss.


 "Neknomination", if fevered reports are to be believed,  is "an online craze" sweeping the youth of Ireland, including our student future elite. You can tell they are students by the fact that they aren't able to spell "neck".


The Irish Independent describes it thus:

WHAT IS NEKNOMINATION?
Alyson Henry – 03 February 2014

NEKNOMINATION is an online drinking game that has gained momentum in recent weeks in Ireland. The aim of the game is to down a pint of alcohol and then nominate someone else to do the same, giving them a window of 24 hours to do so. Most people who take part make a video of themselves carrying it out, and post it on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter.

The concept of the game has been described as: "Neck your drink. Nominate another. Don't break the chain, don't be a d***. The social drinking game for social media! #neknominate. Drink Responsible".

Some try to take Neknomination to extremes, downing disgusting cocktails or aiming to be ever‐more flamboyant or outrageous, sometimes with dangerous results.

The deaths of two young people this weekend have been linked to the game, causing concerns as to the impact the trend is having on young people and drinking habits.


According to latest reports however, it now seems that at least one of the deaths above had nothing to do with "the craze" but that reporting it so was due to the climate of neknomination hysteria

I see another angle here: that bit about "young people" and "drinking habits".  You just know where this is going – the authorities raising alcohol prices on the pretext of acting in the interests of spoiled brats who should know better.  And where do they get the money anyway?  Mummy and daddy, I presume?  So where do they fit in with  all of this?

More incredibly, if that most out-of-touch section of the Irish populace – the judiciary – is to be believed, neknomination will result in a tidal wave of murder and rape too.  See below:


A High Court judge has said if Internet drinking contests continued, they would result in a “tsunami” of homicide and rape prosecutions before his court.

Mr Justice Paul Carney was speaking as he was sentencing a 38-year-old Waterford man who, after drinking six to seven pints of Budweiser, raped an acquaintance having offered her a lift home from their local nightclub.

The man yesterday received an eight-year sentence with the final three years suspended. An 18-month post-release supervision order was also imposed and the man was registered a sex offender.


Woah!  Steady on, Your Honour.  First of all, the man above is 38 years old.  

Apart from that, It's something of a leap – even from comfort of a well-upholstered judge's seat – to equate a stupid drinking game played by young people incapable of actual social interaction with acts of murder and rape. 

Surely if all these silly dares take place in front of a PC, laptop or smartphone, it's more likely that participants with be up in their bedrooms with the doors locked, and are more likely to fall into their beds after their J├Ągerbombfest?   They're quite possibly less likely to be outside causing inconvenience to others, as happened in my day. 

And rape?  Sorry, I am not making light of this, but has Judge Carney never heard of Brewer's Droop?  If our pampered youth manage to stagger out of their safe suburban homes after a session of neknomination, they are highly unlikely to be any condition to rape or murder.

No more than Grand Theft Auto, a silly craze cannot be held responsible for such serious crimes.    Someone who does such things will do so without any encouragement.  

We are faced with a tsunami of hyperbole and hysteria, more like. 


Monday, 27 January 2014

Garda whistleblower and penalty points – one law for us and one for them

Some people think very highly of gardai, that they are there to protect us and all the rest.   I must confess that I'm not one... I've only every been inconvenienced by them. 

The first time I was about 8 years old, and awoke to the sound of banging on the door one early morning.  Minutes later, a plain-clothes redneck with his gun holster showing from underneath his substantial lapel was in my – and my brother's – bedroom, blustering the big "Hello lads", in the creepy, voice-of-authority manner that teachers and priests of the time also employed.

The second time I was about sixteen, and had forgotten about a tin of Dandelion Market grass that I had bought months previously.  I'd tried it and thought it was crap, before consigning it to a mantlepiece in one of the empty rooms up the house (we lived in the rented ground-floor flat of a rather dilapidated Georgian building).  

I thought I'd been had, to be honest with you, and the hustler who had sold it to me had given me a tin of thyme.  The bould boys in blue were of another mind, however –  apparently it was the real thing.  They confiscated it, of course.

They were welcome to it, as far as I was concerned.  I thought it was utter rubbish, and felt no effects from it at all.  To this day I can't figure out the fascination with cannabis that many people have, including hick gobshites like Luke "Ming" Flanagan.  

There aren't too many of you, I'm sure, who can boast about their gaff being raided, not once - but twice, during their childhood?  "Why did it happen?" you ask.

Well, we had a very bad time with landlords in Yours Truly's formative days.  On one occasion said landlord even turned up with some heavies and threatened the old man, who was having none of it, to his credit.    I think the old dear then approached some splinter group – possibly Official Sinn Fein (who now make up much of the Labour Party).  

We ended up appearing in their paper, as they took some pictures and highlighted our rather poor living conditions.  Before they did that, though, I had to take down my "Leeds United" pennant from the wall – so much for them being internationalist socialists, eh?  Even an 8-year-old kid could see something odd about that.

Then there was a mad aul'wan who lived down the road, whose hubby was in Portlaoise.   The old dear used to chat to her if she bumped into her in the street.  She was very fond of animals - I remember remarking at the time - but not so much of people, given the IRA's (and loyalist terrorists) penchant for unspeakable atrocities during that awful era.

Maybe speaking to that aul'wan was enough to get the plain-clothes men out of their Cortina a second time, all those years after the first visit?  Who knows?   

To this day I continue to be inconvenienced by them.   You visit any Friday-night city in the UK, and you will be amazed by the amount of fuzz on the beat in potential watering-hole trouble spots.  

Then have a saunter through Temple Bar on a Friday or Saturday night, as scumbags prowl the streets looking to rob and batter drunken revelers.   It really is a frightening place, and those fluorescent yellow jackets are a puzzlingly rare sight amid all the mayhem.

In fact, the only time I regularly see the gardai is when I am in the car, and spot them pointing their laser guns at traffic on roads with inappropriately low speed limits.  Or hiding in the backs of vans with blacked-out windows doing the same thing.  

And is it any wonder that they dedicate so much time and resources into applying aspects of "the law" that they themselves are immune from, if the snippet from a recent Indo article is to be believed?




Garda whistleblower makes new charges over penalty points

25 January 2014

A GARDA whistleblower who is due to give evidence to TDs next week has made a fresh batch of penalty point allegations to the Dail's spending watchdog.

They include claims a garda arranged for the termination of penalty points for 10 members of his own
and extended family.

Several cases where senior gardai allegedly quashed points for other officers are also cited in a letter
from the whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe, to the Public Accounts Committee.

Also highlighted are several instances where senior officers allegedly cancelled fixed notice penalty
charges even though the offences occurred outside of their district.

ADVICE
The new claims come as Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan awaits legal advice from Attorney General Maire Whelan on whether he can stop Sgt McCabe giving evidence to the committee.

Sources close to the commissioner have indicated he does not want to have to seek a High Court
injunction to halt next Thursday's hearing and is hoping that a compromise arrangement can be reached.

The commissioner believes discipline and order within the force will be compromised if a subordinate
officer is allowed give evidence to the Oireachtas.


It looks like the Garda commissioner is here demanding that honesty within the force is to be avoided at all costs, though baulking at a High Court injunction to thwart the enquiry – which even he might see would not go down too well with the public his members like to hassle.

How, even in a rotten counrty like Ireland, can an  an honest copper  who is prepared to give evidence against corrupt colleagues be seen as a threat?    As a catalyst for "a breakdown in discipline and order in the force"  no less?

Bizarre... even by the standards of the place.

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Tuesday, 21 January 2014

CAPTCHA - so illegible that only spammers can make it out


Hello, for all time i used to check web site posts here early in the break of day, because I love to find out more and more.  my web-site: best e cigarette review.

Just an example of the numerous spam emails the blog gets (and I know we've touched on this before).     Whenever you have spam, of course, you have CAPTCHA – described by Wiki in the following manner:

"CAPTCHA (an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart") is a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human."    

You'll be familiar with CAPTCHA,  and will no doubt have torn clumps of scalp from your head while trying to decipher it.   

Cracking the revamped  WW2 Enigma code was a huge challenge, until those chaps at Bletchley Park discovered the existence of a fourth rotor on the encryptors of the Kriegsmarine.   But cracking CAPTCHA?  Not a chance (see below).



Even at that size you can't make head nor tail of it. It has become so illegible that humans can no longer make it out.  

Spammers still can, if my inbox is anything to go by.   The other problem is that people post comments that never reach me –  I know this as they've complained their contributions haven't seen the light of day.  

As if the Sisyphean task of the poor blogger was not uphill enough – eclipsed as his/her medium has been by Twitter, Facebook and all the rest – without this rotten software making the gradient even steeper. 

Thing is, CAPTCHA had improved recently – it had become more legible with easier-to-make-out text and a photo containing a number.  Comments came in unimpeded and the spam box grew no bigger... so you have to wonder why they changed it again.

Turning it off isn't an option, as it means my phone would never stop ringing for spam notifications, so it looks like we are stuck with it.  

Sorry for the inconvenience...


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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Beep if you're Irish - Leo Varadkar and road safety

Given that we still have the highest birthrate in the EU, it will come as no surprise to you that so many Irish people are forever on the horn.  But what about in the motoring sense?

In my experience - and I have lived in the UK, worked in Germany and Luxembourg, spent a bit of time in Brussels and driven as far south as Mazarron in Spain and as far east as Halle in Germany - Irish drivers are bloody awful.  Possibly worse than the Belgians.

Despite the country having more roundabouts per square centimetre than a badly chickenpoxed visage has pock-marks,  the Irish don't know how to use them.  "Signal, turn" is an abstract concept for them.  Either that, or they are trying to save the planet, the polar bears and electricity by not using those orange things on the four corners of their automotive conveyances. 

Three lane motorways?  The inside lane is usually left empty, with the exception of trucks - often going at higher velocity than private cars in the middle and rightmost overtaking lanes.

Red lights?  They are like those things matadors wave at bulls, and simply invite a reckless charge. On my miserable little half-hour lunch break in Dublin's city centre, I routinely lose count of how many times I see some arsehole break a red light, when there are pedestrians just about to cross the road, only to get as far as the next set of lights. 

The solution for all these ills from our  transport minister, Leo Varadkar,  is to put average speed cameras on the motorways. Well Leo, it is obvious that only a great mind like yours can qualify for, and get through, seven years of medical college.

But I digress.  Have you - apart from your missing tax money that goes towards financing children's allowances - noticed the latest craze for the horn in Ireland?  It seems the only part of a car's anatomy Paddy and Mary are familiar with is the button in the middle of the steering wheel, which is often used as a kind of retaliatory device.

I've never seen this anywhere else.  It is a relatively new thing that's only become apparent in the past couple of years, and is a sad reflection on  the generation of gobshites that are the future of this fucked-up little country. It's like an auditary affirmation of their utter arseholery, and saves you the trouble of having to consult BoardsDotIE or PoliticsDotIE.

Here's an example.  A few months back I was on the road leading from Clonsilla to Castleknock, when the car in front had to slam on its brakes when some half-wit emerged from a side road.   Understandably, the driver of the car who had averted an accident by hitting the anchors beeped his/her horn.  What was the response from the gobshite who pulled out from the side road?  A contrite wave, a finger pointed to their thick head, an acknowledgement of being in the wrong?     No, of course not  - they beeped their horn back.

Can you think of anything more stupid?   To be honest - and maybe I shouldn't say this - if I had been in the car that had to stop, I might well have followed them to the next set of lights and punched theirs out.  

And that would have done a lot more for road safety in this country  than Leo Varadkar and the RSA ever will.


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Friday, 3 January 2014

Done Deal car for sale – no "Polish" / "foreigners" need apply

This ad, evidently placed in DoneDeal recently by some thick-ignorant gobshite, has – understandably – prompted considerable controversy on the web.  

It was recently taken down by said advertising site, but here is a cache screenshot so you can see it in all its glory, orthographic inaccuracies included.

But is such ignorance so surprising in a country where a senator can proudly declare he will not get into a taxi driven by "an obvious non-national"  and then argue that his comments were "taken out of context"?

Leading by example?

It's shocking how little debate there is about such attitudes, especially as they appear to permeate all levels of Irish society.





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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Off the trolley at Christmas.

Christmas comes but once a year, and it is just as well in my case.  I don't know what category you fall into -  Pioneer abstainer, vegan pagan or, like me, blathered blogger; it's difficult to avoid the stuff even if you wanted to.

You see, on the left, a picture taken of a Tesco trolley destined for Gombeen Manor.  Well, you've got to have some booze there in case someone drops in, don't you?  It would be rude otherwise.

But isn't that what Christmas is all about, as an older Gombeen Nation post attests?   "Christmas", albeit with different names, existed this time of year among the ancients, long before the Christians (and other religious deceivers)  came along and attempted to take all the fun out of it.  

I remember as a kid finally teasing out from my Old Dear that Santa didn't exist.  The next logical question was "what about God?".  "YES, HE DOES!" was the unequivocal reply.

So you see, you can believe whatever brand of nonsense you want.  For my part, I'm off for another beer or two before the Leeds United v Blackpool match kicks off. 

 Another example of the misery that blind faith can bring...

Merry Christmas - in every sense.







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Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Blades at the Olympia Theatre - Boy One. Meantime Bono hobnobs it at Mandela memorial in South Africa

"Almost forgot to take you down Memory Lane..."

It was great seeing The Blades' "reunion" gigs  at the Olympia Theatre this weekend.  Not a full reunion really, but a two-off, so we're told.  It was a fantastic couple of nights.

 Back in the '80s The Blades were Dublin's best band, and I was lucky enough to have seen them as a three-piece at the Magnet on Pearse Street  -  that's like saying you were in the GPO in '16 or, more important, at the Sex Pistols in the Hope and Anchor in '77.  

They also played residencies in McGonagles and the Baggot Inn, had slots in Harcourt Street's TV Club, and played their farewell Dublin gig in the Olympic Ballroom, Camden Street, in 1986.   

Inspired by the Beatles as a kid, and the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Jam as a teenager, Paul Cleary - the band's songwriter - was one of the best around.  A look at the lyrics of "Tears that tell the truth" - along with a listen to that brilliant bass run - will confirm that for you.

Here's a snippet captured with my own fair hand at the Saturday gig, a song called Boy One:




The Blades and their contemporaries, U2, shared the bill at the Baggot Inn for six weekends on the trot in 1979.  U2 subsequently became one of the world's biggest bands, while The Blades languished in Dublin and never saw fame and fortune.   Paul McGuinness must have been doing something right, then...  he must have been a miracle worker, in fact.


Interesting so, to see mega-popstar Bono hobnobbing it with the likes of George Bush at Nelson Mandela's memorial do in South Africa last Tuesday, while Paul Cleary prepared for his Olympia gigs.

In 1984, Cleary gave his support to shopworkers at Dunnes Stores who refused to handle produce from the apartheid South African regime and went on strike over the issue.  If you'd been around in the 80s, a time of rampant unemployment and emigration, you'd realise what an incredibly brave, principled stand that was.   

Here's a poster advertising a benefit gig at the time:



Where was Bono back then, I wonder?



Here's to The Blades, Dublin's best-ever band.

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