Category Archives: Ireland

Writer’s block

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As avid readers of this blog will tell you, I occasionally write more than blathering blog posts.

I started this MidnightMurphy venture shortly after I arrived in Dublin.  During the months before I moved here, I was engaged in a readjustment phase to Ireland, from my childhood home in Limerick. I was also detoxifying after decades in Amsterdam. To help me deal with these major life decisions I started writing. Continue reading Writer’s block

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Seaside on Sunday

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My plans were noble for this Sunday. I was going to visit the Irish Jewish Museum on the South Circular Road. Sadly, by the time I had pulled myself together it was already 3pm – and almost closing time.

Wanting to have a somewhat productive Sunday I decided that a coastal walk would be an enjoyable alternative excursion. I had once heard loose talk in some sleazy tavern, that the Dalkey to Killiney coast walk was a  pleasant stroll. Continue reading Seaside on Sunday

Hitching a ride

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I was talking to someone about my recent experience hitchhiking in Leitrim. They looked horrified that I had engaged in an activity that would so obviously end with me buried alive in a shallow grave in the hills of the west. I thought about this on the bus, on the way home from work on Wednesday.

I understand people’s concern about this means of transport. A few horrible stories of murdered travellers about twenty years ago seems to have ended its popularity. It is a rare sight to see someone thumbing a lift these days.

It was not always so. Way back in the mists of time, during and immediately after college, it was my preferred method of getting from point A to point B. Firstly it was free, which was always a consideration for a poor student. Secondly it was what people did back then. There was no scandal in hitching a ride. It displayed an element of courage and practicality (even back then though people had justifiable misgivings about its safety). And you’d meet some interesting people along the way, who hopefully wouldn’t dismember you and feed you to the fishes.

I’ve had some interesting lifts. Continue reading Hitching a ride

Leitrim and the Shannon were worthy opponents, but I prevailed.

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Some weeks ago some friends asked me if I was interested in joining them for a week on a river Shannon barge cruise. Well of course I was. The problem however is the greed with which I had already consumed my holidays this year. Never fear, I told them. I will join you for the first night on the river. On Sunday I would bid them ‘Ahoy’ and make my way back to Dublin. My intention was to be back by early evening, so I could hopefully enjoy the celebrations, after Mayo’s victory against Dublin in the all-Ireland football final. Continue reading Leitrim and the Shannon were worthy opponents, but I prevailed.

Dirty old Dublin town

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This blog post will not be new to anyone sees my Facebook updates.

However seeing as it concerns my bus journey to work, I want to store it in a more permanent and accessible location than Zuckerberg’s platform – I have vague notions of turning these accounts of my daily trek to the wastelands into a musical (called ‘Why Me?’ – the theme song will be a voiceover, by the angelic Linda Martin – aged 39.)

That last paragraph is not remotely true, except for wanting to compile stories of my bus journeys in a central location. People seem to enjoy these journeys far more than I do. And I can smell potential.

On Thursday morning I had a dental appointment. Afterwards feeling all tender, I made my way to the top of O’Connell Street, to reach the bus, to whisk me away to the nothingness of my work location. I turned left onto Parnell Street.

The gathered crowd and the wailing shrieks on the pavement outside the electronics store Cash Encounters, drew my attention. Continue reading Dirty old Dublin town

Limerick – you’re a langer

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Having crossed the country yesterday evening, to spend the weekend in my hometown of Limerick, I was a man on a mission today.

I wanted to explore some more of the city in which I grew up, but knew very little about (we grew up slightly out of town so excluding occasional trips with the parents, we stayed rather local to our own neighbourhood). Continue reading Limerick – you’re a langer

Home sweet home.

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There are 8,000 homeless people in Ireland (of which almost 3,000 are children).

78 families became homeless in Dublin in June 2017.

800 people aged between 18 and 24 are homeless.

Almost 50% of homeless people in Ireland are under the age of 24.

On 1 August 2017 there were 2,930 properties available for rent in all of Ireland.

The number of available rental properties in Ireland on 1 August 2017 is the lowest number in recorded history.
Continue reading Home sweet home.

I’m going to Cork. Boy

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I am heading to the Irish Riviera this weekend. This is my personal (and highly unofficial) name for Cork. Being located in Ireland means that in reality, Cork – like all places in Ireland – has a deep and meaningful understanding of rain. It is true however that the temperatures there are marginally higher than the rest of the country, seeing as it is located as far south in the island as it is possible to go. Continue reading I’m going to Cork. Boy