How I got locked in the Irish Press (in more ways than one)

Press group 1995 sit-in 004 copy

The Burgh Quay 18: The crew who occupied the building after management stopped the presses. I’m third from the right at the very back.

Busking

Red tops: Richard Balls and I busk in aid of the Press fund on Grafton Street in August 1995. This picture was taken by a tourist who posted it to Rich

 

Remembering the 1995 storming of Burgh Quay 

Irish Examiner, 23 May 2015

On the 20th anniversary of the closure of the ‘Irish Press’, journalist DAVE KENNY looks back at its last days, involving a sit-in, a new publication, celebrities, pints, booze, and pubs. The dispute was a breath of fresh air after years of stagnation

“The b***ards are trying to get in!” The former Republican Prisoner raced through the caseroom and down the back stairs, cursing and puffing.

His voice trailed away as we sat, nerves flickering, in the light of the night-town reporter’s TV. I lit a ciggie, convinced I wouldn’t have it finished before the Swat team of security guards swarmed into the newsroom.

“They’ll never take us alive,” someone remarked, drily.

“Oh yes they bloody will,” I replied, fully intending to be first under a desk when the baton charge kicked off.

It was Saturday May 27, 1995 and the presses had stopped rolling at Burgh Quay. The Irish Press had been founded with IRA money and so it seemed fitting that former Republican prisoner, Gerry O’Hare, had gone down fighting at the back door.

“That’s the last we’ll see of him,” I thought. I was wrong, Gerry re-emerged a few minutes later. Management had not ordered a storming of the building. It had been sealed off though. We were now fully-committed to what would be one of the most bizarre four-day sit-ins in Irish history.

It all began on Thursday May 25, when our NUJ chapel went into mandatory session over the sacking of Colm Rapple. The finance journalist had been fired for comments he made in the Irish Times about the management of the paper, which had been founded by Dev in 1931.

The Press workers had laboured in a Dunkirk atmosphere for years, producing newspapers with meagre resources and poor pay (we hadn’t had a rise in a decade). Loyalty to the titles and each other was what kept us going. Rapple’s sacking was the final insult. No paper was produced that day.

Management ultimately refused to engage in a meaningful way. They wanted to liquidate the business, clear their debts and carry on as a company that no longer produced papers. They succeeded in this, but we weren’t going to give up without a fight. We would find an examiner and force Dev junior and Co to talk and walk.

The day after Rapple’s sacking, management ordered us to leave the building. We ignored them. Technically, we would remain at our desks, available for work.

That evening, I took my ‘cutline’ break in the Regal bar on Hawkins Street. I was depressed and scared. I had entered the paper as a copyboy, aged 18, in 1985, working my way on to the sports sub-editors’ bench. I knew no other way of life or work.

I started just as Hot Metal was ending. I remember the smell and the noise of the old caseroom, with its snarly overseer and inky men sitting behind tall, elaborate Linotype machines. I later learned that my great-grandad was the first Master Linotype operator in Ireland. Little had changed since his day. This was a world of archaic work practices – where you could be reprimanded or ‘chapeled’ for touching a page proof without permission.

It also had had its own language. There were non pareils, ems and ens, widows, orphans, galleys and Dragon’s Blood (Google them). Then there was The Stone, where pages were laid out back-to-front. The Stone sub-editor was not allowed to stand on the same side as the compositor/printer and so had to be able to read stories back-to-front and upside down.

Three months after joining, the papers closed and re-opened over a dispute involving new technology. Editorial direct-input computers had been bought, negating the need for the Irish Print Union.

A compromise was reached where stories were written on the computers, printed off and sub-edited by pen. They were then sent to the caseroom to be retyped back into the system. It was an untenable situation. It was also one fraught with danger, depending on the time of the evening and the amount of alcohol consumed.

On one occasion, a story about a famous ballerina “walking into the room and heading straight for the exercise barre” appeared as ‘Famous ballerina wa*ks into room and heads straight for the bar’.

There were also cases of the English soccer team “wearing the shite [white] shirt with pride” and boxers being out for something that nearly spelled ‘count’.

The madness of this solution was not out of place in a national institution with the emphasis on ‘institution’. The place heaved with characters who couldn’t have worked in any other industry.

Most of the milder nut cases self-medicated in Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street. Booze was central to everything. My ‘interview’ for copyboy had been conducted in Mulls and consisted of me buying the chief sub a pint.

Levels of inebriation varied throughout the week – peaking on a Wednesday evening when we had been paid in cash. Work started at 4.30 with our first pub break between at 9.30 and 10pm. There were strict rules about not abusing this privelege. I recall a sub receiving a bollicking for being tardy.

“You’re five minutes late,” scolded the chief sub.

“Well YOU try drinking four pints in only half an hour,” came the reply.

Then there was the hack who fell on ice, breaking his leg, as he walked to the last bus. The next day, colleagues reported that he had broken his leg in two places: Mulligan’s and The Regal.

I remember one evening going for drinks in the Irish Times Club on D’Olier Street at 3am and waking up on a cliff ledge on Killiney Beach – eight miles away – several hours later. A drinking companion was asleep and snoring happily on the sand below.

One particularly bonkers journo was renowned for eating raw fish (heads and all) at the bar in the White Horse. One night he was asked to hold a tenner while two punters sorted out a bet over a soccer result. He ate that too.

This was the world I knew – before the advent of mobile phones, social media and selfies. It was ending while I sat in the Regal on the second day of the dispute. At closing time, I went back to the office. I had suggested the previous day that we do our own newspaper. Those present, including Liam Mackey (of The Examiner), began to write and assemble the basics. I raided the caseroom looking for a masthead and other ‘blocks’ (graphics).

The XPress was born and continued to be published until after the All-Ireland final of that year. It raised much-needed funds and kept us in the public eye.

The paper cost a penny, but the public were generous and money poured in to support the workers’ families. It was sold in bars and on street corners: at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis and the races. Celebs queued up to be photographed in it: U2, Norm from Cheers…

Household names were quoted in it, bemoaning the IP’s fate: Mick ‘Miley’ Lally, Liam Clancy, Joe Duffy, Dave Fanning, Neil Jordan, Bono, Eamon Coghlan, Gerry Adams (when he wasn’t fashionable), the current President, members of the UUP…

Politicians of all hues lent their support, except for one ‘socialist’ TD who told our Chief Sub that we “couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery”. This was ironic as he was walking into a piss-up at the French Embassy for Bastille Day at the time.

PJ Mara dropped in a cheque for £250 (not in a brown envelope) and Tim Pat Coogan donated £200 made payable to Mulligan’s. Mackey’s Hot Press connections came in handy. He got a world exclusive interview from U2 for the XPress. It’s still being read online today.

He also brought Jack Charlton’s team to the back door to lend support. Steve Collins was with them, looking slightly confused – as was Jack. Liam later pointed out that there was always some confusion when Jack was around.

“How long are you here, Liam?” he asked through the back door.

“Five years in total,” replied Mackey.

“Five years?!!” Jack was impressed with our staying power, until it was pointed out that Liam was referring to his tenure as a Press scribe, not the length of the occupation.

Brendan O’Carroll arrived too.

“I’ve come to get the solution to yesterday’s crossword,” he said. It may not seem funny now, but it was hilarious at the time.

Looking back, it was hard to believe the support we got. Sky News came to the back door and our protest went international. There was even a letter of support from one of Russia’s leading dissident poets, Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

What made the Press sit-in different to other industrial rows was that the titles were still woven into the fabric of Irish life. They had the power to challenge at a time when politicians and the church still held sway.

We were white collar workers occupying a landmark building. Journalists are an inert bunch. We report on other people’s actions. Now we were taking direct action – and the public loved it. I did too: I was 28 and sticking it to The Man. The dispute was a breath of fresh air after years of stagnation on Burgh Quay.

The 18 occupiers would have given anything for a (literal) breath of fresh air. The roof had been closed off, so there was no access to the elements. The place stank of cigarette smoke, curries and BO. We were manky and one of our number had to be treated for septicemia after cutting his leg in the canteen. The joke was that he got foot poisoning where others might have got food poisoning.

Hot water was cut off. I showered only once, descending into the deserted machine hall to use the facilities. I lost certain parts of my anatomy when the freezing water hit me.

We worked on the XPress and were kept busy with various tasks allotted by the beleagured Mother of the Chapel, Louise Ni Chriodáin. Gifts flooded in and the newsroom resembled BBC’s Swap Shop, with tables groaning under the weight of food, booze, toys, clothes.

There was a steady stream of smokes arriving too. Tom Kitt TD even got off a flight from South Africa to drop in Duty Free cigs to the hacking hacks. Cork looked after us well: Murphy’s made a special delivery to keep us hydrated.

Sleep was always elusive. The newsroom was filthy and there was always the fear of rodent activity. I had worked with a few rats: I didn’t want to sleep with them too. I spent my nights on a desk in the subs area. The phones rang throughout the night and there were 5am fire alarm ‘calls’. The lights flickered non-stop.

The fatigue bred giddiness and irritability, but also forged strong bonds. Since then, I have always looked up, with affection, to Mackey as an older, cooler brother in the business.

On Day Four we were instructed by the NUJ to vacate the building as Labour Court talks were beginning. That night, as Sky News broadcast funereal reports from the back door, we barrelled into the beer. Despite our depression at the impending evacuation we did a chariot race on swivel chairs around the newsroom.

Friends and colleagues left Mulligans and serenaded us from the street below the canteen windows. We sang back. I think I croaked The Rare Ould Times.

The following morning, we assembled in the canteen and waited to be ‘liberated’. I expected a few friends, my girlfriend (now my wife) and others to attend. Then I heard the drumming…

a 1,000-strong parade was marching up to the back door.

I walked down the steps and was absorbed into a crowd of people who would never reassemble under such extraordinary circumstances again.

The Press closure was a coming-of-age thing for me. Even though we failed to keep the papers open, the dispute taught me to stand up for myself. Its biggest achievement was the creation of a single-minded entity in an industry populated by mavericks.

Our unity proved that, despite the outcome, it is always worth standing up to despots. Even if it’s just to irritate and embarass them.

Now, as I look at the industry, I wonder if we exaggerate the importance of newspapers. Our work influences and entertains while the presses are rolling but, once a paper has gone, the earth continues to spin and governments continue to govern.

The Press, like the Trib, isn’t even toilet roll at this stage. Would the public now care if the entire industry vanished overnight?

There are those of us who would – but then we’re still afflicted by the glorious madness of the Newspaper Age. And not one of us is seeking to be cured.

Press Gang, edited by Dave Kenny, will be published this August (New Island books).

ENDS

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Celtic Tigger: how Brown Bag and Co are getting the world animated

From Oscar nods to BAFTA nominations, Irish animation is going through a golden age. Dave Kenny spends the day with its ‘poster boys’

Irish Examiner, 10 November 2012

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Noddy has a murderous look in his eye. Years of tolerating Big Ears jokes, and driving a car that’s clearly too small for him, have taken their toll on his sanity. He’s snapped. The butcher’s knife in his right hand is poised to strike the retreating pig, Olivia.

She trails a skeletal arm and grimaces. Noddy is Toytown’s Freddie Krueger and this is ‘Nightmare on Elf Street’.

“Maybe we should clean that up before we take the pictures,” Cathal Gaffney advises our photographer. It’s the day after Hallowe’en and some wag has doctored the cardboard cut-outs that hang on the foyer wall of Brown Bag Film’s Dublin HQ.

I’m here to spend a day with the poster boys of Ireland’s world-beating animation industry. If first impressions are anything to go by, it’s going to be fun.

“They’re calling the animation boom ‘The Celtic Tigger’,” laughs studio CEO, Cathal. “I hope it’s not prescient…”

He needn’t worry. The Irish animation industry shows no signs of slowing down. It’s exploded over the past five years and Brown Bag keep throwing fuel on the flames. Last week, they announced that they are making their first feature film. The week before, that they have recreated Peter Rabbit for the BBC. The week before that, that they – and Boulder Media – have been nominated for Emmys.

It’s not all Brown Bag, though. Earlier this year, JAM Media won the Producer of the Year, and Monster Entertainment won European Investor/Distributor of the Year at Cartoon Forum 2012. Irish animators have been nominated for every major gong including four Oscars, four Baftas, and eight Emmys. Irish-made series are being watched by millions of kids globally.

Some of those top-grossing shows include: Doc McStuffins (Brown Bag, Disney Channel, currently the No1 pre-school show in the US); The Happy Hugglemonsters (Brown Bag, Disney, broadcast in 150 countries); Octonauts (Brown Bag, BBC); Roy (Jam Media, BBC); Picme (Jam, BBC, broadcast in 95 countries); Baby Jake (Jam, BBC); Skunk Fu! (Telegael/Cartoon Saloon, BBC/Cartoon Network, sold to 120 countries); Dive Olly Dive (Telegael); Abadas (Kavaleer, BBC); The Amazing World of  Gumball (Boulder Media, Cartoon Network).

The industry is now a central component of our digital and creative economy.  The latest figures, for 2011, show that Irish studios employ upwards of 2,321 people.

€110m was spent on animation productions here last year. €23m on Irish labour costs. The industry is entirely Irish-owned and, as it’s 100pc export-led, has unlimited potential for growth.

Andrew Fitzpatrick, veteran former head of Don Bluth Entertainment and now MD of brand management company, Monster Entertainment, has watched the industry skyrocket.

“When I got involved in the 1980s, there were just two companies producing animation here: Emerald City and Sullivan Studios, which eventually became Don Bluth Entertainment. Now, there are more people working in animation in Ireland than there are in Germany.

“The industry is much stronger now as it’s diverse. It doesn’t depend on one player and the companies involved span feature film, TV, games and commercials. Many of them own the intellectual property (IP) rights to their own original content, which can lead to long-term financial strength.”

Ireland’s success rests with Section 481, which gives generous tax breaks to investors. Andrew believes that retaining the incentive is vital for the future of Irish animation.

“Even though our industry is healthy, we’re likely to face competition from improved incentives in places like the UK. Then there’s the threat of low cost locations such as India and China. We need to ensure that our incentives and cost base remain competitive.”

The threat of cheaper competition coming from abroad doesn’t faze Brown Bag co-founder, Cathal.

“Obviously it’s a consideration for us, but we’ve positioned ourselves as a niche player at the very high end of quality 3D animation. There are not that many companies in the world that have the same infrastructure and expertise as us.

“We’re the premier producer of quality 3D TV animation for kids. Doc McStuffins is the number one preschool show in the US. It’s taken Dora the Explorer off the top spot.”

It’s taken a long time for Brown Bag to get where they are. The studio was founded in 1994 by Cathal and Darragh ‘Doc’ O’Connell. They now employ 150 people and have worked with the world’s biggest entertainment names, including Disney, Nickelodeon, BBC and Silvergate Media.

In 2002 they received thir first Oscar nomination, for Give Up Yer Aul Sins, followed by their second in 2010 for Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty. They have Bafta, Ifta and Emmy nominations for The Octonauts and their TV shows air in 150 countries.

Not bad for two students who dropped out of animation college to pursue their dream.

Has being Irish helped them? Cathal is suprisingly emphatic.

“I’m very proud of being Irish, but Brown Bag Films is an Irish company by geography, not an ‘Irish animation company’. We don’t do the Darby O’Gill stuff and take it globally. That’s not our audience.

“We also don’t do animation for the home market. We can’t do work for RTE as they spend less than 1pc of their independent production budget on animation. It’s a shame, as there’s a brilliant children’s department there. It’s just not given resources.

“I feel really strongly that Irish children have as much right to quality homegrown programmes as their parents.”

It’s RTE’s loss, given the standard of show Brown Bag now produce. It’s a measure of their international reputation that they have been tasked with reinventing one of children’s literature’s most enduring characters, Peter Rabbit. I walk through the warren of studios and desks to where the Bunny Brigade are working.

Director David McCamley and producer Erik Vigneau are checking shots for texture and continuity. It’s painstaking work. Lily Bobtail flits back and forth as she adjusts a picture on the wall of Peter’s burrow. Something the untrained eye could never hope to see is discussed and fixed.

“Everything has to be perfect,” says McCamley, who also directs Noddy. “The fur, the way the characters move. The rabbits must behave like rabbits, although they have been humanised.” On screen, Benjamin hops after Peter and Lily who are walking upright. The realism is extraordinary. The scenery behind them is breathtakingly beautiful.

“We visited Beatrix Potter’s  English Lake District and took thousands of photographs. We wanted to get an authentic Potter feel to the series. It took a year to make the opening,  22-minute Christmas special.”

McCamley suddenly opens his iPad and shows me something I hadn’t been expecting to see: Peter Rabbit’s debut after a TV absence of 20 years. The screen explodes with colour and movement. There are red squirrels everywhere. They fall from their branches like maple leaves in a gale, fanning out across the snow, swarming, running, jumping, jerking…

At their head is a wild-eyed rodent in an aviator’s helmet. He sniffs the air. It’s Squirrel Nutkin – and he looks like he’s been at the Bolivian marching powder.

“He’s a real mad head,” laughs McCamly.

McGregor’s garden is covered in snow. The ‘camera’ traces the flight of a snowflake, passing (and introducing) the various characters before floating through the door of Peter’s burrow. The speed and majesty of the sequence bring a lump to my throat.

Across the corridor, Doc O’Connell is finishing a phone call to the States.

“We’re having a revolution here. It all started with Don Bluth and then took a long time to return with its own Irish twist. The Americans sowed a seed and it took 15 years for it to grow.

“I remember wanting to draw comics in the 1980s. and there was nothing there. Everyone said I was throwing my life away, but I just wanted to draw. My parents were distraught at the idea. But now we’re offering careers that are safer than banking.”

Success brings obvious financial awards, but the creative process always comes first.

“We’re not interested in doing a project unless we’re really drawn to it. We won’t do stuff just for the money. We have to love and believe in it. It has to be something that will reach a lot of people. Something like Peter Rabbit.”

Apart from Peter, there are loads of goodies in development.

“We’ve launched an adult-skewed company called Icehouse and are looking at the computer games market. (Let’s just say there are dinosaurs and Nazis involved.)

“There’s an animated sit-com set in Ireland in development, and another called Midlife Crisis. It’s about a guy who goes away to LA to become an actor…”

How adult will BBF become? “Ricky Gervais, Family Guy, The Inbetweeners. We’re not afraid to push things, that’s why we came up with Icehouse so it doesn’t infect the Brown Bag brand.”

Doc shows me a clip of something currently in development. It’s rude. Very rude. And very, very funny. It actually features a naked dancing president…

So where does Irish animation go from here?

“Education is critical,” says Doc. “Irish animation has been so good at what it does that demand now outweighs supply. Many studios have to outsource abroad. Animation and third-level must make sure that we have enough homegrown talent to feed the industry.”

That’s especially true as Brown Bag are entering the feature film market. Next year they begin pre-production on Night Glider, which will be co-produced with Wind Dancer Films and directed by Doc.

“It’s about a flying squirrel who thinks he’s a superhero,” he says. “It’s like Kick Ass with squirrels. It’s very cool and very funny.”

Very cool, very funny and nuttier than squirrel crap. Just like Brown Bag, I conclude, as I avoid Noddy’s murderous glare on my way out.

Link to original article: http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/animation-nation-brown-bag-213412.html

When a town shuts up shop

Picture: Maura Hickey

 

 

Irish Examiner, Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The closure of up to 100 businesses in Dun Laoghaire since 2008 has torn asunder the landscape of my youth, says Dave Kenny

It’s high tide at Sandycove as I start strolling into the past. A small girl is paddling on the tiny beach, despite the raw October weather. She’s wearing a padded anorak.

Two middle-aged women emerge from the waves like a pair of shrivelled, purple Venuses and splatter across the flagstones to their towels. Rainclouds are tumbling in over Dublin Bay and still bathers refuse to accept that summer’s gone. People swim here all year around. Generation passes its towels on to successive generation. Recessions may come and go, but Dun Laoghaire people will always have the sea.

The financial crisis has broken our town. Up to 100 business have closed since the boom-bust. Many were landmarks of my childhood. Today, I’m walking from Sandycove through the town’s main thoroughfare, remembering those businesses and what they meant to my peers and I.

The first casualty appears in Glasthule. The old Forum cinema is now a supermarket. Movie posters have been replaced with posters advertising deals on meat and veg.

The Forum was the epicentre of our youth. Live and Let Die, Star Wars, ET, Superman, Rocky I,II,III… all watched through a haze of smoke, over cardboard tubs of rock-hard ice cream.

The most important night of my life took place in The Forum. My wife and I went on our first date there, 20 years ago next week. The lucky thing. Now the Forum is a bland Centra, topped with apartments – a victim of the build-them-high boom.

Further down the road, I pass the door of what used to be a dress hire shop. I rented my Debs tuxedo there. I nearly had a heart attack when I brought it home just before the dance. It was appalling: all Liberace frills and elephant ear lapels. Not even the most desperate cabaret singer from the Noggin Inn would have been seen dead in it.

I didn’t have time to bring it back and can still the look of horror on my partner’s face when her parents answered the door to me. To this day, I’m convinced I heard someone say “Jesus, it’s Sonny Knowles”.

I move on. Across the road, my old school, Presentation College, stares dully back at me. It closed a few years back, just before the crash. Dun Laoghaire Tiger children, presumably, were above going to a non fee-paying school.

I stroll on through Summerhill Parade, where I kneeled beside a dying friend 20 years ago and past the People’s Park. I try to remember which front belonged to the Pierrot Snooker Club, where we played Asteroids and PacMan. Is it the shop selling Asian food?

I pass McDonald’s. It opened to great fanfare in 1979. I cut out a voucher for a free bag of ‘fries’ from Southside Newspaper and we cycled from school to taste this exotic new piece of oily Americana. Somehow, I managed to annoy a gang of Skins whose leader loafed me and stole my schoolbag. We later found it in the ornamental pond in Moran Park, drenched in wino pee.

The pond is gone now. So is the lawn bowling club it overlooked, with its ancient members playing elderly marbles in their whites. The trees surrounding it, where we swung doing monkey impressions for the bowlers, have been uprooted to make way for a new super-library. All that timber and grass gone to make way for more concrete. Just what the town needs.

The old Bank of Ireland building is still unoccupied. BofI moved across the road years ago and yet the buidling is still empty. I remember opening an account there with my confirmation money. I can still feel the thin blue deposit book in my hand. I ran up my first debts there too.

Between McDonald’s and Dunnes, there is a run of empty shops. I cross over to the shopping centre. A key scene in The Snapper was filmed on its escalators in 1993. The one where Mr Burgess shouts “I love you, Sharon!” You can just make out O’Connor’s Jeans Shop in the background. It’s closed down now.

O’Connor’s was the most important clothes shop of my youth. It had every style of jeans imagineable as it was dedicated solely to denim – a new concept back then. Prior to its arrival, my mother used to take me jeans-shopping to another place down-town which only had stock from the Bay City Rollers era.

I bought a pair of 501s in O’Connor’s and finally became fashionable.

I walk across the cobbles on lower George’s Street, to where Connolly’s shoe shop used to be. Connolly’s was quintessentially Dun Laoghaire. In the ’80s, people would arrive early at The Forum just to laugh at its advert, which was always screened before the main film. The same ad ran for decades, proudly ignoring fickle fashion and proclaiming the beauty of patent leather and buckles.

I got my first pair of Clarke’ Nature Trekkers in Connolly’s. They were brown with piping. They measured my feet in a metal machine that looked like an old credit card imprinter. Nature Trekkers were supposed to last forever. I saw myself splashing through pools and up forest ravines…

“You better keep those clean,” my mother would say, interrupting my day-dream, “or I’ll have your guts for garters.”

Yards away, on the corner, there’s a new toy shop. It used to be Knowles Electrical, which closed in 2011 after 47 years in business. Knowles was an institution. If it had a plug, it sold it (except for baths, naturally).

My mother recently gave me her old Knowles’ electric whisk. I can still taste the cream it whipped to fill sponge cakes for Sunday teas in front of Glenroe.

Finally, I come to the crossroads at Cumberland Street. There are more dead-eyed buildings here. The Cumberland Inn, once a landmark pub, is derelict. Across the road is the Dole Office. I remember the traffic between the pub and ‘the labour’ in the 1980s. I signed on there myself in 1995, when the Press shut.

It’s a fitting place to end this journey.

Dun Laoghaire is struggling. Towns across Ireland are suffering the same fate. The recession isn’t just ruining ‘businesses’, it’s demolishing landmarks and lives. Shops are not just places where you buy things. Alongside the shoes, jeans, books or veg, there are rows and rows of memories.

If a town has a heart, then its shopfronts are its eyes. Bright and inviting when open, dark and depressing when closed. Look into a blacked-out window and all you see is your reflection looking back at you.

It’s not all bleak, however. Recessions may come and go, but Dun Laoghaire will always have the sea to enjoy. And the ferry to Britain, for those who are young enough to take it.

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