I didn’t write what you are about to read, but it’s so funny and strange, I had to copy it.
It’s someone’s experience of Athlone. Or their opinion, whatever way you want to look at it, which is bizarre to say the least!
I copied it off a now defunct GAA web forum called “An Fear Rua“. An Fear Rua was run by a guy called Liam Cahill, if memory serves, and I imagine he closed it down due to sleepless nights worrying about the possibility of getting sued due to some of the crazy conversations that used to take place there on a daily basis.
It was quite common for folk to get banned off the site due to dubious claims about inter county hurlers, politicians and celebrities. Nobody was safe on it.
The web forum mainly revolved around the GAA, but there were some general forums as well which were hilarious. Even the discussions on the previous weekends GAA matches were as funny as anything you would see anywhere else online. God only knows what half of the contributors were like in real life!
Anyway, one day, somebody was on about Westmeath. I can’t remember if it was the hurling team or the football team, but whatever happened, the online conversation ended up discussing the pros and cons of Westmeath as a county.
It started badly and only got worse. For example, “firsttime” posted the following: “Westmeath is a county full of ignorant, backward, narrow-minded as*holes.”
That was bad, but a “Peter Dalton” then posted what was one of the funnier posts on the forum during its existence.
Whether Peter Dalton was actually Peter Dalton is another thing. I would hope not. Here is what he, or she, thought of Athlone:
“I lived in Athlone for four years, worst four years in my life
The places is full of settled travellers and small farmers who lost their farms and a new cross breed of travellers and farmers, the perfect mix of scum and redneck, that commonly have addictions to the heroin the army brings through the barracks from the Lebanon on the sly. Athlone has a raging smack problem, but is a totally landlocked town, so nobody could understand how such huge amounts of smack was getting into this small provincial town… why go to the trouble of bringing it from Dublin, Cork or Galway to some midlands dive when you could sell it in these big coastal city, this was along the lines of the general thinking on the matter.
Turns out some soldiers coming back from the Lebanon were loading the tanks full of Heroin, at this time Athlone was where everything coming and going from the Leb was cleared. Rise in smack problem Q.E.D.
The culture shock, especially from somewhere civil like Dublin, is intense. The place was bloody feral back in the 90s.
One year Scheer and Watercress came to Athlone RTC… it was poorly attended so for the next three years of my time there they had Abbaesque on instead…
*mimes slashing wrists*
And you have that lovely country thing of the locals hating students EVEN THOUGH the students are one of the few things bringing money into the town.
Of a friday, in Athlone, around 9pm you would hear for miles around the trundle of taxis coming from every farm house and tin roofed shack in the surrounding counties… all heading for “BOZO’S” night club in Athlone.
Where once in side all the men, identically dressed in blue jeans and white blue check shirts with the back of the collar flicked up (why?!?), they would savage an unholy feed of booze, molest women in the most base manners, savage more booze, puke on each other, puke on everyone else (it’s amazing how socially accepted vomit is in Athlone), then all the ones who weren’t off to sexually assault some poor lass down a side street, would head up to Supermacs to beat several shades of sh*t out of anyone who looked liked they deserved it.
I assure everyone these boys were all country stock true and true. Best friends would paste each other into the pavement using their fists. But by the next week it’d all be forgotten.
Granted most of these sorts generally move to Dublin for college, go to DCU, TCD or UCD or somewhere sh*te like that, doss around on the grant, and generally become the sort of assholes who ring up looking for last months invoice, or the sort of schmucks the bank sends you too when you havn’t paid you student loan in a year or two. This would point to while older pubs in the country are superior, supposidly cause all the ass holes have moved to Lucan and are trying to outdo each other with gimicky kitchens and spoiled children.
I lived with a country fella down in Athlone who used to cook two dinners when he was cooking, he’d lay both dinners out on two plates, just as if he was serving to people… then he would eat one and put the other one in his press (not the fridge.. the press) where it remain till dinner time the next day when he’d pull it out bing it in the microwave and tuck in.
I liked living in the country…. however Athlone was the most depressing place on earth, constantly grey of sky and suspicous of odour. But no matter how mental you thought you were going or how drunkly stoned and depraved your life was becoming you only had to have a quick look aorund you and realise that most folk there were a BILLION times worse off then you!
I firmly believe Athlone was built on some bad energy line or something, or a Indian burial ground, or the very gateway to the pit of hell itself.
The whole town needs to be nuked from orbit.”
I do not in anyway agree with him, but I did find the post quite funny. Half the time, on that forum, I didn’t know if lads were posting after ten pints of porter or not. A lot of the time, you’d see crazy posts late on Friday or Saturday nights. A sure sign lads were on the bottle before logging on. A recipe for disaster 99.9% of the time.
Other times, you’d have fellas on the wind up, or WUMs as they were affectionately known as.
The relationship advice topics were, by far, the funniest. I’d say half the time, they were a wind up. It’s pity the site is gone, and from what I can see, most topics have been deleted. I can’t seem to find any relationship advice posts anyhow!