Where the streets have no shame
We here in the Sunday Independent lead a charmed life. We work in a street in the centre of Dublin called Talbot Street. In some ways it's like the main street of a provincial town. There are lots of pubs and a cut-price Guineys store. There are pizza parlours and pyjama gangs and the methadone centres are scarcely a stone's throw away. And in the evenings, or indeed the mornings, we hear the full- throated city songbirds, roaring and aggressive, or glassy-eyed and weak, depending on the addiction.
It's arguably a great place for journalists to work. All modern Ireland is here. In your office of an afternoon you can hear the gunshots that leave a man dead in Lower Sheriff St. And, there is a marvellous sense of history. Little seems to have changed since its mean streets provided a cloak of darkness for Liam O'Flaherty's Informer. Or since Joyce immortalised the streets behind us, Monto, the red light district, in Ulysses.
It's thronged with tourists and for some it must seem like a home from home. Take the Muscovites. There will be nothing strange for them in the queues at the cash-for- gold shops. What a lot of gold we have collected down here in the north inner city. And the Russians will surely feel even more at home now that we have our very first State-owned department store, Arnotts.