Saturday 21 October 2017

Donal Lynch: I felt jealous of fat girls at Wes, they had bags to mind

Donal Lynch examines the legend that was the Wesley disco, and looks back on his teenage trauma of slow sets and too many alcopops

Photo: Depositphotos
Photo: Depositphotos
Donal Lynch

Donal Lynch

You're a teenager, you'll be going to discos now." When I hit puberty, these words struck cold terror into my heart. Just when I thought the worst of adolescence was chronic sexual desire that was unlikely to be fulfilled for years, there came into view a new, yet loosely-related horror: watching other spotty youths fulfil their sexual desire while listening to syrupy pop music. The setting was different rugby clubs around Dublin. But most often, it was Wesley, the "much loved" youth disco to which "Southsiders bade fond farewell" this past week, as it went under reconstruction.

My farewell was less than fond. But then, Templeogue, where I grew up, isn't proper Southside. Ross O'Carroll-Kelly panicked when he got to the ghetto of Terenure, and Templeogue was like its more anonymous Legoland-y cousin.

Our school was rubbish at rugby. Not fee paying. And we kind of prided ourselves on these facts. In Commitments-speak we were the blacks of the Southside.

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