Harvey Walnut

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence

Posts Tagged ‘Crime

What’s in a name…

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Nine stabbings in the Phoenix park, 3 deaths, 1 missing girl( thankfully returned safe and sound) and then last night we have 2 more men injured in stabbing incidents.  All in Dublin and all in space of a few days.

Yet I’ve not seen a single paper describe Dublin as stab city.  Were this to be Limerick, that particularly disgraceful moniker, would be plastered all over the papers and that pathetic excuse for a journalist Paul Williams would be turning up on every radio station giving his ‘inside info’ on the situation.

No nickname for Dublin,  no Paul Williams ‘articles’ on the ever-increasing amount of aggressive drug addicts with titles such as “Dublin’s Heroin Epidemic” or “Junkie Dublin”.

For far too long the crime level in parts of Dublin has been ignored. Unless there was a high profile gangland shooting then it didn’t really count according to most of the national newspapers.

While we shouldn’t get all Daily Mail on the situation or Irish Independent for that matter (twin masters of hyperbole) the level of aggression and random violence around certain parts of Dublin has been very high for as long as I’ve been living here, yet it has been ignored for far too long.  Yes the majority of the Dublin is very safe but the inner city does have a lot of problems.

It’s time the powers that be face up to the fact that inner city Dublin has been ignored for far too long and the results are plain to see.




Written by harveywalnut

July 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Posted in crime, drugs, dublin, Ireland

Tagged with , ,

A tale of two streets

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I have lived just off Talbot street in Dublin city centre for nearly four years now and I tend to have a mixed bag of feelings towards my neighbourhood. No exclusive brand name shops for us, nor venerable cafes steeped in history, offering savoury delights and exotic coffees in salubrious surroundings. Alas we rarely if ever hear troubadours vying for our attention and money, playing everything from Bach to the Rolling Stones as is common on Grafton Street.

You see, for many in Dublin, Grafton Street is to Talbot street as the Champs Élysées is to downtown Kabul; chic,desirable and unlikely that one will end up running screaming through the streets being chased by a foaming mob of lobotomised people.

For many in Dublin a trip from the south side to the inner city of the north side is something you threaten your children with if they misbehave. ‘If you don’t eat your greens, I’ll make you spend a day on Talbot Street! Then you’ll see what happens to those who wouldn’t eat broccoli”

And I admit it’s not far from the truth. My neighbourhood is infested with the living dead: for ever shambling about in what I call the junky shuffle; always at speed, but feet never quite getting far enough in front of each to avoid collision. Perfect locomotion being secondary to their all encompassing need. And then there is The Call.

The average person attempts conversation using their voice as an instrument. Engaging it in a myriad of tones and individual mannerisms. Conveying meaning with a mere hint of tonal change or a whisper of expelled air. Not so the shuffling denizens of Talbot St. In a form of reverse Darwinism they have reduced syllabi, created a single tone and upped the volume to loud. They can be heard calling each other from one end of Talbot St to the top of O’Connell St. It is of course mostly unintelligible to those of us for whom being medicated involves some aspirin and a doctors note.

None the less the neighbourhood is more than just the sum of its drug addicts. It has a character,a certain flavour that one can taste no where else in Dublin.  Along with a few Irish owned convenience stores the street has many excellent  Indian and Pakistani food stores and a plethora of cheap home stores run by people from a variety of nations. It has several excellent Italian restaurants and a Thai restaurant that for my money is as good as anything on the south side.

Add the Russian tattoo parlour, Chinese noodle joints and ubiquitous pizza places, at times it feels more ethnic than Irish, more foreign than local. Diversity is the best of what the street has to offer. It seethes with a manic energy, like a meth addled clown performing modern dance with a monkey for a partner, one feels anything can and will happen.

On any given day I gravitate between love and hate; drab utilitarian buildings and the human detritus caused by the horrors of heroin abuse can cast a shadow on the brightest of days. But yet, the life, energy and comedy of it all is as addictive as the drug that has ruined so many young lives in the area. And besides, some of Dublin’s finest pubs and purveyors of excellent stout stand ready to bring a little cheer. Old man smell, free of charge of course.

So drop over some day, take a wander enjoy the madness and maybe stay a while. You might just find you like it.

Written by harveywalnut

June 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm


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