Limerick Through A Lens

Frazzled from not sleeping and bursting for a leak, I arrive at my city centre B+B to a pleasant woman who greets me in a lyrical accent such that makes me think the city could have no better name.

I’m here to capture the city on camera by photographing the marathons, the Riverfest,  and the night life. As it stands I’ve missed the start of the marathon and the start of the half-marathon. I hastily organise my camera and bag, punch O’Connell Street into Google maps, and look in horror at the estimation of it being 37 minutes walk to get there. It’s currently 1.50 so I estimate that I have about 15 minutes to get to the finish line to capture the half-marathon winners. (more…)

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Liam Neeson has a Profound Impact on Limerick Locals

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“I will find you, boy, and you’ll be in trouble then,” said a Limerick bloke who suspected I may have taken his photo (which I hadn’t – the actual photo I took is above this post. I thought it artistic because it was as if the traffic signal was giving the okay to go to Burger King, as often seems a good idea to a man when he’s consumed a few alcoholic beverages). I thought to myself: best case scenario he’s seen Taken and fancies himself as a bit of a Liam Neeson, worst case scenario he means what he says and “will find” me and “will kill” me. This  city is sometimes the subject of negative media reports, after all, so I decide to err on the side of caution and offered to show him the picture that I took so as to prove that I hadn’t captured his handsome face. I say handsome, however, not because he was actually a good looking chap (he wasn’t) but just in case he might have, in reality, “a unique set of special skills”, by which I mean access to bazookas and AK47’s, as apparently many gangs in Limerick do. Upon this offer, he stated, “I don’t need to see none of that shit, boy, but if I find out you took my photo I will find you and I will kill you.”

Thankfully, as you may have guessed from reading this post, I arrived home safe and sound.

The Galway COW, reporting live from Limerick.

 

Great Limerick Run 2016: “Waste of a Good Day’s Drinking,” says local.

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The Great Limerick Run today saw 14,000 people take to the streets to undertake the various races of which it is comprised. It includes a full marathon, a half marathon, and a six mile race.

Every runner has their own unique reason to run: some run to win, some run because of peer pressure, some run to raise money for charity, and some run to motivate themselves to shed a few pounds so as to become a slimmer, sexier version of themselves.

There is great support along the route and some spectators observe the goings on while swilling a few cans of cider. I encountered two such supporters along the route who were roaring, encouragingly, “C’mon lads, dig deep, dig deep.” Impressed by this obvious enthusiasm, I asked the men what they thought of the race, to which the swift reply was, “Waste of a good day’s drinking!” This was followed by much guffawing, as if the fellow believed himself to have made a very good joke.

Negative commentaries aside, it is clear that the participants in the race were having a good time with some participants minding their children and catching up with friends while going the distance. It just goes to show that there are in fact enough hours in the day if one is simply good at multitasking, which clearly many Limerick women are.

The full marathon was won by  40 year old Martin Doody from Caherdavin, Co Limerick. The first woman home was Dublin’s Ciara Hickey, with Peter Somba winning the 6 mile race.

It is clear, however, that most participants couldn’t give a fudge about the winners and were merely out to have a good time.

Galway COW news, reporting live from Limerick.

The Captain

56-DSC_6402 (1) “Row ye bastards! Row for your lives or we’re all done for,” he screamed in a wonderful rage that bordered on insanity. The boat was rocking violently and The Captain was sure he and his crew would find themselves as dinner for the fishes at any second. He only ever felt truly alive when death was a near certainty. He felt good, he felt like he could really enjoy the chaos and was glad he was The Captain and not one of the poor bastards rowing the boat, sweating, with every sinew in their bodies on the verge of snapping. There was a beauty in the prospect of imminent demise, as there was a beauty in the flashes of lightning that were cracking across the sky. The thunder roared and it excited him to his core. His eyes were wild and the driving rain soaked him to his bones. No woman could bring the excitement he was feeling right now. Thor was angry and The Captain was ready for any fury he could throw at him. (more…)

Trees and ADHD

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It has been scientifically proven by leading experts in the field of Treeology that humans are, in fact, evolved from trees.

Dr Treesdum of the Scientific Institute of Treeology explained his theory at a recent conference in Treeburg. According to him, all character flaws are not in fact flaws, but are all rooted in how far evolved from trees that each individual is. To illustrate this, he states, “ADHD is not actually a medical condition that needs to be treated with highly toxic drugs,  but is actually a branch of evolutionary progress which, in times long past, was essential to mankind’s progression from trees in the depths of African jungles into people in the Northern Hemisphere.” He explains, “Some people, like trees, are forever rooted to the same spot and are excellent candidates for factory work, shop work, office work, or any other job that effectively requires that a person stay in the same place for extended periods of time.” He went on, “The roots of what we call ADHD may have actually been a genetic mutation which triggered trees to shed their roots and explore further in their environment. There can be no doubt that this evolution led to the discovery of America, Australia, and basically anywhere else on earth that isn’t Africa.”

When asked to elaborate further, he said, “While the ADHD gene caused trees, and subsequently people, to uproot themselves and explore other countries, it is now of a somewhat problematic nature since the furthest regions of the world are now overpopulated and it’s now more evolutionarily advantageous to carry the gene for being rooted to the spot, since most modern means of survival involve this kind of stationary existence.” He stressed, “ADHD is not a medical condition to be treated with drugs but one which needs to be understood as something which evolution, at one point, favoured.”

When asked where his crazy theory originated, he said, “When I began my studies in biology, I was startled by how visually similar the branches of nerves and lung tissue were to trees which had lost all of their leaves. They say trees are ‘the lungs of the earth’ and it’s hardly a coincidence, but we now know that the truth is so much more than this.”

He concluded by saying, “While the current state of the world is difficult for people with ADHD, such people should not lose hope, ” he continued, “ADHD will again become a crucial part of human evolution, and afflicted persons will no doubt be perfect candidates for space exploration.”

Die Standing

Everything that his life had been was reduced to this. Every sinew in his body burned,  old manevery joint grated in such a way as to send sharp pains shooting through the very fibre of his being, like glass slicing relentlessly through skin and bone. His mind was fading, just as his body was weakening, but as long as he kept moving towards his goal he knew that he would be fine. His legs had been failing for years and so he had an increasing reliance on his walking canes, which had become like a second pair of legs throughout his daily trip to the shop.

Every day at 12pm he started out on this long, torturous hike. It was only half a mile from his house to the shop but to him, with the effort he had to exert to get there, it could have been Mt Everest. Never could there be an endurance athlete who exercised such willpower as this old man. Such was his focus, that he barely acknowledged the greetings of passersby that saluted him, not that there were many of those these days. Most people he had ever known had already perished in the relentless fires of existence. Many of them had rotted away, forgotten, in front of televisions in old folks homes, drugged up to their eyeballs so as not to be too much of a nuisance to the staff who cared for them; treated like children by these people who knew nothing and cared less about the lives of the empty decaying shells of those who used to be regarded as people. (more…)

Tuesday Night Trad Session in Garveys, Eyre Square

My mind aglow after my writing group’s meet, I spontaneously popped into Garvey’s pub in Eyre Square. It was a Tuesday evening some time after 9 and there was a trad session in motion. My focus shifted from the hands of one musician to another as they all became one with their instruments, creating a rhythmic energy that was bigger than any of them, but of which they were all an essential part.

A man with long curly black hair, who looked like what I’d imagine of one of Dumas’ three musketeers, thrummed away on his bodhrán, providing the session’s heart beat. It transpired that he was Spanish. A flame haired lady from Brazil (but who looked very Irish) fiddled away frenetically in unison. A Japanese man sat on the outskirts, enthusiastically endeavouring to hold the flow and lose himself in the rhythm. A bespectacled and bearded English gentleman fiddled along in harmony. A somewhat entranced looking Irishman strummed away on an Irish buzuki, providing a rhythmic consistency to the momentum. Another lady, slender and tanned, (I’m not sure where she was from) accordion-ed along with them, providing a melodic back drop which could almost make one believe in fairy tales, leprechauns, and the luck of four leaf clovers.
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