This isn't the nightclub is it?


Lets go back to when wet look hair gel was my vice and i couldn’t go out without my silver dog tags. Thats right people, I'm going back to my college days. 

Set the scene

*In the year 2008 i moved to Dublin to start a internship as part of my degree. Niamh who was also doing the same degree was also placed in Dublin, we moved in together.  We moved in with Bridget who Niamh had grown up and had been living in Dublin since the last September. Straight to the point, we all became best friends from our time living together. This blog post is going to centre around  summer 2008 a weekend trip were i went to Kerry with Bridget for the first time to go out with Niamh as she had already moved back.  Shit went down is basically what I'm trying to saying.*

Getting the train to Cork at this stage was a passed time of mine. We would be hitting up Cork Friday evening my home, my hood, my ghetto and would be spending the night at my parents house. Then  we were to heading on to Kerry the saturday morning, curtsy of a lift from Eilis ( Bridget’s sister.) Back in 2008 i had a kick ass iPod Touch 1st generation which i would fill with random movies to keep me entertained on the train journey down. As Bridget was coming too i had to put suitable crap for both of us on it to keep us going. Thats right people, we had one ear bud each of a pair of headphones.  I don’t know if you have ever been on the Friday 17:00 train from Dublin Houston to Cork Kent station but if you have, you know its more rammed then a gay club giving out free lollies. If you don’t get a good seat, basically your stuck next to father McCarthy for the next 3 hours, while he hums and reads prayers. Luckily on this trip i had Bridget. We arrived huffing and puffing to the train, and barged our way through to sit at one side of a table where by the other side was occupied by two quiet girls. 

(Little side story about one of those girls) One was a blonde girl that for some strange reason, always ended up either next to me or across from me on that same train every month. This was to the point we actually developed a little friendship and would chat away going home. She enjoyed watching dvd’s of top gear on a portable DVD player. Thats all i can remember of our relationship.  On my commute to work these days, i see the same people all the time, does it mean il chat to them? Does is fuck, they could be murderers or rapist, i stick to my Judy Bloom novel thank you very much. Guess back in the days of Ireland circa 2008 such thoughts didn’t come into my head, and it was Ireland lads, much safer sure isn’t it.

Back to my point, we sat and i whipped out the iPod with a knowing smile. This will keep us urban youths entertained on the way home. Whipped on the family guy movie ( yes i was still watching family guy back them) and away we went. Of course we both woke up 5 minutes before the train pulled into Kent station in Cork. I don’t know why i bothered. That train back then i used get unreal sleeps, it used to lull me to slumber like nothing else.

Are you ready are you ready

As we had a spare evening, we intended to get drunk in Corks Finest gay bar.  Accompanying us to catch up and help drink were two my oldest friends Sinead and Amy. As its 2008 my look consisted of stone washed flared blue jeans, dirty white plimsols, a checkered white and blue shirt that had pockets on the arms (very handy for gum and the likes)  buttoned over a white t shirt. I then added my own touches off a belt that had a cow print on it ( This actually once belonged to my older brother Richard so blame this one on him) and a sliver chain combined with my must have silver dog tags. All that was left to do then was litter my hands with as much black bands as possible, use an entire bottle of wet look shock wave gel and this bitch was ready for his night out, some one pass him a bottle of vodka.

Instinct, which has now closed down luckily, was surprisingly busy that night, it had 2 or 3 other occupants other then ourselves. That didn’t matter to use, we were necking pints of Bulmers and double vodkas with the orange dash ( still makes me wretch thinking about that fecking orange dash - pure cordial what were we all thinking?) chain smoking in the smoking room and grinding up and down the stripper pole. 

The night passed by in a flutter of pictures from everyones cameras ( back in the days were everyone and there aunty had a digital camera to take loads of dodgy pictures they would regret for the rest of there lives with.) and dodgy drinks. I  do have one clear memory of us all dancing very excitedly to ‘Hot Chip’s’ ‘Ready for the floor’. Sinead in particular was very exciting about this.

Cold shoulder

The next morning me and Bridget and our ridiculous hang overs wondering into to Cork city to quickly shop while we waiting for Eilis to collect us.  As we always were back then, a hour late, we were picking out clothes in topman for myself when Eilis rang to say she had been waiting already 15 minutes for us on the bridge by the Bemish factory. Shit. I grabbed a new pair of shoes and some other crap and quickly paid. ( the dirty white plimsols from last night wouldn’t suffer another night as i wanted a fresh pair of the exact same shoes).

This was my first time having the pleasure of meeting Eilis. Bridget forewarned me with the following.  ‘ oh by the way Eilis can be really shy, so do not worry if she is quiet’.  My brazen 19 year old self replies with ‘ oh sure il get her talking i can make everyone talk, she will love me’ - i was so confident wasn’t i?  As we get into the car i throw her a quick ‘Hi ya - sorry we were late blame me and my feet har har har’. There was dead silence. Bridget then said the same thing, to which Eilis replied ‘ ya its fine’ did you bring my dress for me to wear tonight?’ and we were off. 

The journey to Ballinskelligs were Bridget and Eilis started out in life in Kerry is not as you would put it a straight forward journey. No this place was fecking ages away, a cool 3 hours almost - totally feels like 5 hours though.  You do what you can to pass the time, have a chat.  Eilis was filling Bridget in on updates on her niece Katie and how she was getting on - a mere baby back in the day.  I try to get involved in the conversation ‘ oh she's gorgeous, she's the same age as my nephew Jake. Dead silence from Eilis. It was up to Bridget to keep the conversation going on both sides for the entire journey. No matter i made due with some light conversation with baby Katie who was sat next to me at the back of the car, she couldn’t talk but she did like pointing her finger when i done it too. 

We stopped at a off-licence to pick up drink before heading to there mothers house directly as they put it ‘ theres no local off-licence near it’. That was putting it likely. There house was right at the end of the road, on a cliff outlooking the sea and that island that monks used to live on Skellig island.  If you guys think that i am from the country when i say  i am from Ireland, you haven’t seen anything like this yet. The view was picturesque i couldn’t get over that people actually came from locations like this. When they said no local Offy, they meant no local anything - there wasn’t even a shop in walking distance, driving distance to the local shop was 20 minutes. 

Eye Spy

Any how, we arrived fine. Myself and Bridget chatting away happily. Eilis giving me the cold eye. When Bridget wasn’t looking I'm pretty sure she gestured her two fingers to her two eyes and back at me and then followed by a quick finger across her neck.  Bridget’s lovely mom had a fry made up for us as soon as we arrived and we sat down with nothing to do. Until of course quiet as a mouse Eilis pulled out a deck of cards and suggested we play kings with the cans of kopparberg we bought in the offy. I was even allowed play - that must of taken some persuading by Bridget. It turns out none us knew how to play the game properly and starting playing higher and lower and stuck to drinking our own cans. After we got board of this we started to play eye spy, it wasn't really a drinking game it was more of something to do while we drank, and it was kick ass. As we got a little bit on the merry side Eilis starting chatting away to me with no drama’s.  Basically she used to be so bloody shy she couldn’t really talk to people she didn't know. But get a drink inside the girl and move over Bridget i got me a new best friend.

As the evening wore on we all started to get ready to hit the local town Cahersiveen which was only a 30 minutes away after all. ( I can hear all my Kerry friends now shouting at the screen, going its not fecking 30 minutes away its like 5, NO ITS 30  never trust a Kerry persons timing keeping). I bet you cant wait to hear what fashion forward thinking outfit i was wearing that night? Well let me tell you. I was wearing a different shade of blue stone washed flared jeans. Combined this with a white t shirt with photos of palm trees all over it with 3 buttons in the middle to help show off my big boobs . I  of course added my own touches again of  my silver chain and silver dog tags this time with multi coloured bands around my hands. I know i know my outfits were so varied  we got a fashionesta in the building ladies and gentlemen.  Of course i used a bottle of hair gel again, and put on my new shoes. In the rush of that morning i realised the shoes i bought were actually a size too small shit. To my 19 year old slightly drunk self, sure that didn't matter at all i wouldn’t be walking much i would be sitting  and drinking.


Bill, Bridget’s and Eilis’s mothers partner kindly dropped us into town. Bill is great craic completely country irish in every-way. I don’t think i could understand a word he said, but as i got drunker it seemed i understood each word better and better. The first stop on the night-out was to hit one of the girls friends house for a few pre drinks, here they were worried that i would feel left out and get quiet. Cut to me standing in the middle of the girls room tackling her teddies and rolling around laughing.  After this pit stop we had to go and meet Niamh which we were dying too do.  Niamh was waiting in one of the local pubs. It was here that i first came across the glorious shot that is unfortunately called ‘Stiffys’. This shot when combined with a Smirnoff ice, tastes exactly like the sweets ‘Frosties’. it was glorious.

 That night i must of had about 12 of these shots. For some reason every time we entered the bar we decided to get  a double shot of this and a bottle of smirnoff ice into a pint glass gather 3 straws and myself, Bridget and Eilis would down the drink.  I remember clearly it was in the pub that we met Niamh that we decided to get a stronger shot - aftershock. I wont lie people, i could never take this shot easily. After we downed the shot, i started to get the familiar wrong feeling.  This bitch was coming back up. Bridget had been my drinking partner for more than half the year, she new the face very well. She tried to grab me by the hand and  lead me outside as to not vomit in the pub, too late as she grabbed and started walking me towards the door, i vomited all over her hand and pub floor. Everyone saw I'm guessing from the  ‘ did you fecking see what that guy just did?’ Shouts as i went through the door. 

Go home Ray, your drunk i hear you chant. My lovely reader i am truly sorry to say back in the day, a vomit on the night out was just the beginning and no reason at all to fore go the many more adventures to come. I struggled on, or as it usually goes, i felt loads better and started drinking again.  It was about that time in the night were the masses were making there way to the clubs for the rest of there drinking night. Myself and Niamh stumbled up the street towards the infamous ‘The Harp’ were all the locals went ( as it was the only club in the town).  Niamh being a local you would think knew the place like the back of her hand.  You would be wrong, we thought we say the sign and thought we were there. We stumbled through a door and started up the stairs all the while laughing and chatting away. We then went into the only open door chatting away not really taking in our surroundings. At some point in the conversation we were sitting on a sofa looking around when i went ‘ Is this the club?’ Niamh then went ‘This isn’t the nightclub’. We had in-fact wondered into someones sitting room. We ran bursting with laughter all the way out of the persons home and down the street towards the actually club. Finally we caught up with the rest of the gang and entered into the club.  When it came to paying entry, Niamh suddenly  shouted ‘ Its his birthday can we not leave him in for free?’ And so i got in for free as did she. Apparently this is a local trick. 

The Harp is one of the most typical irish clubs in a small town there is. Everyone and there grand mother was in there, the music was about 2 years out dated and place had a local hall feel to it.  We were the first in, and so headed straight to the dance floor to get our groove on alone.  About 5 minutes later the place was jointed with locals.  this is the kind of club that plays the Eastender’s theme tune to get the crowd going and they did, twice.  There was drink all over the floor and all the girl’s knew everyone inside the club.  Inside we had many more shots and more time in a smoking room chatting away.   It was inside the girls bathroom ( i don't know why i was even inside there) - that i met Tara. Niamh’s sister, who was smoking out the window of it ( I'm pretty sure she was, if you weren’t tara apologies, but thats what my mind has made up).  Then the  Eastender’s theme came on for what felt like the 7th time and Tara ‘Shouted ‘ MY GOD WHAT A CHOOOON…’ and ran to the dance floor to bust a few moves which included the worm. Im sorry Tara this is exactly what happened even if you choose to believe other wise i have many witnesses. 

At one point in the night one of the girls friends was terrified as a group of rough girls had there eye on her for some reason or other. Me being me got involved and was like oh dont worry we’ll protect you. At some point in the night i came out of the bathroom to see this crowd  on the dance floor divide as this girl runs from the group, i try to help and protect her by standing in front and get punch in the face by tiny fat girl and then a punch in the stomach by some beast of a girl. In the whole ordeal of this i meet for the first time Michelle Clifford ( sorry about using your entire name Michelle but i cant seem to say just Michelle). She had got thrown to the floor when everyone was scattering and was trampled upon. The first time i met her i was helping to pick her up off the floor while she was saying ‘ i wasn’t even trying to protect her i was just trying to get the feck out of the way’ oh Michelle Clifford you and your ways. The beast of a girl i was telling you about, came up to me later in the night, put her hand to my face and said in her scarily masculine voice - ‘ did that hurt baby, did that hurt’ - i didn’t know if i should be scared of turned on. I chose both.  Months later i find out that the girl i was trying to protect had actually poured a drink on the beast which is what made her mad. the little shit. 

So it came to the end of the night. We all had some local chips and started the commute back to the girls home. Everyone comes from different local villages so we all had to go our separate ways. I distinctly remember walking up towards Bridget’s house laughing away freezing our butts off.  Eilis was chatting away how we all are best friends now and will always go out drinking together all of us. I looked to my shoes which were still one size too small. They were stained with red Stiffy shots, some blood from my squashed toes and a little bit of vomit too. This was definitely a sign of a good night.  

Back to the future

We are all still friends and try to catch up when we can.  This can be extremely hard as we all live so far apart these days, but we still try to meet up for a weekend away of the same old shenanigans.  Sinead is living in Dublin, and the chairperson of the ‘Hot Chip’ Ready for the floor’ appreciation group. Amy in living in Luxembourg and stealing there economies secrets to try and fix Irelands. Bridget is off in Dungannon  in Northern Ireland teaching everyone how to make ‘Stiffy shots while dancing in platform barbie shoes. Eilis is now talking the ear off local strangers at bus stops across Cork city.  Tara is teaching a dance class to the theme tune of Eastenders.  Michelle clifford has taken up the sport of diving as she was so good at it back in the day. Niamh is now providing walking tours around her village, she frequently leads them to the wrong locations.  While i myself learned not to vomit as much from drink at lest not over my shoes.

Us gang in Instinct - they will kill me
Look at all that gel

Myself and Sinead on stripper pole

Amy and Myself.. oh our youth

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