search for something...

search for something you might like...

Ireland in the Rain (Part 2) Joe Ambrose continues his odyssey around the south of Ireland's hot spots

Ireland in the Rain (Part 2)

Joe Ambrose continues his odyssey around the south of Ireland's hot spots

by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor (2005-2018)
first published: February, 2010
The juxtaposition of the sharp architectural statement with the drained-of-life main street couldn't be more poignant

I go visit my home town of Clonmel and the so-called cities of Kilkenny and Waterford.

The Office of Public Works has done a good job in developing Clonmel's Main Guard (above), a historic structure defining the east end of the town's O'Connell St. I like the sparse unadorned style although, in its habitual deserted state, it represents something of an elitist statement or wasted opportunity. I inspected the space a while back in connection with an art project I'm working on and I couldn't help but that notice that the Main Guard's windows look out onto a run down, disappointing, O'Connell Street. The juxtaposition of the sharp architectural statement with the drained-of-life main street couldn't be more poignant. When I was a kid O'Connell Street throbbed with provincial life, playing host to a variety of locally-owned businesses which fanned the flames of social life and commerce.

Waterford has changed little since I spent four years at boarding school there. It still has that murky port-of-entry feel about it. Like Limerick, it boasts more than its fair share of shut down old businesses. Street corners are still playing host to corner boys, provincial yokels who'd be happy watching paint dry. The same hopeless live music venues put on shows by the exact same sort of ugly looking heavy metal types as formed such bands when I lived there. The city fathers have invested in improving the look of the place and the bus depot on the quays is a rare example of a new Irish building which is both aesthetically pleasing and utterly functional.

I head for the Book Centre, a monumentally ugly place but a very decent bookshop, much better than anything to be found in Limerick. There I manage to buy both Books Ireland and The Irish Book Review, two hard-to-find publications. I go looking for that old second hand record shop which, it turns out, has closed down since the last time I was in town.

Joe Ambrose
Literary Editor (2005-2018)

Joe Ambrose wrote 14 books, including Chelsea Hotel Manhattan and The Fenian Reader. Joe sadly passed away in 2018. Visit Joe's website which was completed just before his passing, for more info: JoeAmbrose.co.uk.
about Joe Ambrose »»

The juxtaposition of the sharp architectural statement with the drained-of-life main street couldn't be more poignant
week in music A bumper Bunch of Fives in December

dec 1st Steven T Hanley ⇒
dec 2nd Anthony Reynolds ⇒
dec 3rd Monde UFO ⇒
dec 4th Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard ⇒
dec 5th Alison Cotton ⇒
dec 6th Momus ⇒
dec 7th Stephen Coates ⇒
dec 8th Songe Riddle ⇒
dec 9th K Pontuti ⇒
dec 10th Maya Kuroki
dec 11th Robert Wringham
dec 12th RM Francis
dec 13th Cara Tivey
dec 14th Kurt Uenala
dec 15th Jacqui
dec 16th Pauline
dec 17th Dan Scrivener
dec 18th Mark Neeley
dec 19th Brian Harnetty
dec 20th Prehistoric Man .|. Badlands
dec 21st Christina and Rex .|. Kids Return
dec 22nd Lisa Blower .|. mmeadows
dec 23rd Dave Twist .|. Gemma Moore
dec 24th Heather & Theo .|. Hoogenboom
dec 25th - jan5 Tav Falco's 12 Days of Xmas

week in music the weekly guide to new releases

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

OUTSIDELEFT UNIVERSE

tav panel
OUTSIDELEFT Night Out
weekend

outsideleft content is not for everyone