7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
So WWW.ERCRUGBY.COM got in touch with one of the top young writers in Dublin, Roisin Ingle of the Irish Times, and asked her to pen a few thoughts on her fair city.
Roisin will be writing three articles over the next month to give you an insight into what is on offer to people of all ages and persuasions.
In her first piece she gives her view on 'My Dublin'
DUBLIN can be heaven. Unfortunately on a warm day the River Liffey stinks to high heaven. But because I am more Dubliner than Irish woman, more urban Viking than country colleen I love my city, warts and all.
Most of the time I take the city for granted only truly appreciating the emotional attachment I have with my hometown while travelling back from the airport after too long away. But sometimes, when the sun is shining and everyone is smiling, I open my eyes a little wider and this is what I see.
At College Green, the imposing wooden gate door to Trinity College raises an educated eyebrow at the colourfully dressed students talking excitedly, arms waving madly watched by the Big Issue seller with the wooly hat who takes it all in from behind the privacy of a well stroked beard.
The statue of Molly Malone, an endearing Dublin cliché made flesh, sticks her chest out brazenly at the shoppers on Grafton Street. The beautiful people swish past with a click of their expensive heels buying newspapers from old men with twinkly eyes or stopping to listen to buskers doing the Beatles proud. None of them were around when John, Paul, George and Ringo played Dublin in 1963. Yesterday.
The pubs, the real pubs when you find them, are smoky - the ban on smoking in pubs kicks in next year - and noisy not with Britney or Justin or Kylie but with passionate talk of books and Bush, music and property prices. Talk of the night before, talk of the morning after, talk of the pretty girl in the corner, talk of the handsome man nursing a pint and a newspaper at the bar.
On the Southside of the city this means Kehoes, the Dockers, McDaid's, Bruxelles, Slattery's, O'Donoghues, Toner's. On the Northside, new social enclaves are springing up around the old market at Smithfield in the Chancery Inn and the Dice Bar. There are late clubs and early houses. There are places to show off in and places where you can hide.
Here are the steps in the alleyway where your heart was broken. Here is the ancient chip shop near Christchurch that is always guaranteed to lift weary spirits even if you always have to queue. Here is your teenage hangout. Here's where you laughed so hard you woke an old man dozing on a bench in St Stephen's Green. If the wind is in the right direction, the faintly burnt smell from the Guinness brewery wafts along the city's quays. So you have a pint in one of the glitzy, look-at-me new drinking houses, with soaring ceilings and every kind of beer, and you marvel at the last roars of the Celtic Tiger and try to reconcile it with the homeless man outside.
The Spire on O'Connell Street, whether you love it or you hate it, is a part of Dublin now. As much as Nelson's Pillar was before they blew it to bits. As much as the green, green grass in the Phoenix Park and the green, green glass on the financial services centre. As much as the Ha'penny bridge. As much as the food market in Temple Bar where you can sit and shuck oysters on a Saturday and swallow them with freshly squeezed lemon or a dash of Tabasco sauce. There is energy in this city. And bags of personality. And like most capital cities, there are problems. Rudeness. Racism. Rip off merchants. All reasons to roll your eyes. But mostly Dublin can be heaven. Enjoy.
By Roisin Ingle (The Irish Times)
By Roisin Ingle (The Irish Times)