The man returned to his new house after the bank holiday weekend. The “new” house in this Dublin suburb is in fact an old house he and his wife are having rebuilt. The job is an age behind schedule. In the lap of the Celtic Tiger, you would kill for a roofer with time to spare.
The house had been broken into over the weekend. Some kids half destroyed the place doing things – well, you wouldn’t want to get too graphic about it. The police arrived quickly, back on the job and eager to retrieve some browny points after the big “blue-flu” sickout. The house owner was enraged, furious and helpless. A weekend of much-needed relaxation, marred only by too much time ensnared in Celtic Tiger-inspired traffic, had suddenly faded by virtue of the vandalism of a few.
These aren’t poor kids, mind you. The police knew the score. Bored middle-class kids who deserved a good kick. The rebuilding of the house will go on, after the cleanup and if the owner can find a plasterer to finish the walls. Never mind the plasterer, the owner feels like getting plastered. But the job beckons tomorrow and whatever about the individual contractor, the Tiger doesn’t wait for the salaried.
The weather has been lousy, yet the Irish Times reports that more emigrants than ever are returning. There were three murders over the weekend in the Republic. The North is another story altogether, but not one to push poor Veronica Guerin or that Michelle Smith de Bruin too far off the Southern front pages.
Ireland is about to vote on great things, historical things, an agreement that will bring peace to the North, and maybe even to Wicklow, where the weekend had kicked off with a blazing gun battle and the death of a young man, a member of one the now four IRAs apparently battling for a greater Republic, presumably one where you will easily find a roofer and a plasterer the day after the Brits finally sail off to Holyhead or wherever they came from.
Tuesday morning and it’s off to the office. The Referendum Commission keeps blathering on about how important it is to understand the Articles Two and Three debate. But who cares about territorial claims to County Whatever when you can’t even defend your own little slice of the island against marauding teenagers. Lock ’em all up. But first you have to catch them. And in all honesty, you would be better off spending your precious time and money searching for that roofer or plasterer. And, lest we forget, the electrician. But that’s another story altogether. They must be all still in America. Still, some comfort. The alarms are now in and the house is more secure than Fort Knox. Next time the kids come they will be scared off by blaring noise and the roars of neighbors awakened from their Celtic dreams.