Thursday, January 11, 2007
At the risk of descending too far into an irrational obsession with the over-moneyed kip of an island he was born on, Seanachie tips his hat off to the good readers of Blogorrah for naming Sligo the shitest town in Ireland. There will be many in the town to take deep umbrage at this accolade but I find it refreshing that Sligo is finally getting recognised for something. Seeing as the Sligo card is usually only played by myself when challenged with talking to French people I couldn't be arsed humouring(once they hear a town that is not Dublin or Cork, their tap of patronising clichés about the hard-drinking, rugby-playing, English-hating [their words, not mine] Irish runs suddenly dry), a bit of a profile is no harm at all. I agree wholeheartedly with the assessement of the Sligo penchant for the rocker look, but, in fairness Sligo has always been a rocker town, the local Teds rioted at a screening of Rock Around the Clock in the Savoy in 1955, after all. If you want Mod culchie-chic, you'd be better off going to provincial hotspots such as Carlow or Castlebar.
Anyway the local chaws pride themselves on Sligo being a bit of rough, and yes, it is damn ugly, and it has got only uglier in the past ten years, with the advent of the new retail park, that has integrated Sligo into the United Kingdom better than 800 years of Imperialism ever managed, and also the appearance of Lidl and those shocking developments on Rockwood Parade (pictured). The snootier locals will point to the Niland Gallery extension by McCullough Mulvin and the gothic courthouse as evidence of grandeur but Sligo has always been an ugly little town surrounded by beautiful countryside. And it's all the better for that; Sligo townies are spiteful people with high cheekbones and low foreheads, and they tend to be a bit quick to have a go at innocent bystanders, but squeezed in in between those ugly, ramshackle Victorian buildings are some of the best pubs in Ireland and a surprising tolerance for 'aayrt', as the locals call anything that doesn't involve football or drinking. Now, Seanachie is set apart from all this by his Ballymote origins; as any Sligo person, townie or buff (that's a culchie within a culchie, if you must know) will tell you, there's a sight of a difference. So I have been spared that awful nasal accent and instead been given a pleasing lilt that unfortunately attracts all manner of idiots from Cork who think I'm from somewhere along de banks. Marya. And I believe Dundalk's not all as bad as it's cracked down to be. Have Blogorrah readers been to Athlone or Tullamore? Or Dún Laoighaire, for that matter? I bet not.