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Messrs Sod and Murphy, whose respective laws have blighted my Irish stay, really outshone themselves on the last day of my Dublin sojourn. Finally, after five consecutive negative COVID tests and with my (seemingly innocent) flu symptoms gone, I was fit and well enough to go and have a pint or two of Guinness and to watch the All Blacks v Ireland second test in New Zealand at a local pub.
But Sod’s law and Murphy’s law dictated of course that as soon as things looked up, they came crashing down. As our Irish and Kiwi readers will testify, the men in green gave the boys (or that is how they appeared) in black a hell of a shellacking. And given that the game kicked off at 8a.m, there wasn’t even the chance to down (in liquid rather than Irish rugby style) the black stuff in compensatory sorrow.
What’s a solitary All Blacks supporter surrounded by a menacing Irish front row of Jack MacGowan (former ARI CEO and now sector consultant), Barry Geoghegan (founder of Duty Free Global) and Conor Dempsey (PR supremo for Walsh Whiskey) and such overwhelming evidence of sporting superiority on the big screen to do except take it on the chin and in good humour? At least we’ve got a chance of revenge next Saturday but I wouldn’t be betting my house on it as they say.
From the excellent Doheny & Nesbitt – now this is what you call a real sports bar instead of all those horrible, themed versions that inbreed and then proliferate all around the world – it was on to Dublin Airport for a spot of shopping before the short flight to Heathrow.
It’s great to see the tourists back at the airport just as they are back in the city. And what an outstanding showcase for Irish whiskey Aer Rianta International provides at The Loop (which rumour has it was named after a cunning Johnny Sexton-called backs move).
The Irish Whiskey Collection inside The Loop is one of the best examples of destination merchandise you will find in travel retail. Now this is how to champion a country’s finest products.
Perhaps inevitably the first offering to catch my eye was the tasting promotion for Walsh Whiskey right at the front of the main store, offering samplings of Writers’ Tears and The Irishman.
I watched an American couple in front of me try the former. The wife already had a bottle of Teeling tucked under her arm but one taste of Writers’ Tears Copper Pot had the husband pondering a second purchase. It looked though as if he was wavering.
“Go for it,” I intervened, “it’s a great, great whiskey.” And to my quiet satisfaction (though perhaps the result was more down to the charm of Brenda, the sales assistant) he bought it. How’s that for a dignified response to loss? You get ribbed rotten by their PR man and then you help sell his whiskey. Now will you let us win the third test, lads?
Brenda asked me if I’d like to try a drop of Writers’ Tears Copper Pot. What’s a crushed and fern-fallen Kiwi meant to say to that? Simply say, “Ah, just give me the bottle” and down it in one?
No, instead of shedding real writer’s tears, I sipped on the fine liquid version instead and then bought a bottle of the new Ulysses-themed expression to celebrate the centenary of Joyce’s great work.
I then related my story about watching the game with Conor and told her to watch out for her photo on my Blog. “Oh, Moodie,” she said with a laugh when I mentioned my name, “is that because you’re in a bad mood about the rugby?” Quite, Brenda, quite.