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'What passes for a potato in Dublin is a pale imitation of the real thing'

Brendan O'Connor


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Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda

Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda

Andres Poveda

Magic: spuds

Magic: spuds

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Brendan O'Connor. Photo: Andres Poveda

When we are going to Cork, the elder child gets excited about The Big Dunnes. The Big Dunnes is out the road from my mum's house, and the elder likes to go there with her granny for a good old nose-around and to pick up anything from a dressing gown to a raincoat.

The Big Dunnes is distinct from The Old Dunnes, which is up the road in the other direction and which still soldiers on as a more manageable place for the mother and her cronies to get their day-to-day messages.

I, on the other hand, get excited when we get past The Big Dunnes, because once you pass The Big Dunnes, you are on the road proper to West Cork, and my body almost hums as it vibrates with the place. I'm not even from there, though my duchas and my muintir are located there. And I feel at home and relaxed and excited as we hit that road. Hope and history rhyme for me once we pass The Big Dunnes.