Is There Any Need For Drink At Concerts?

I remember my first concert. 17 years of age and travelling to Dublin to see my favourite boy band was as exciting as it got. The atmosphere in the venue was unlike anything I had experienced before. As we walked up the aisle to our assigned seating I didn’t know what to expect.

Then the music started and I could feel it in my bones. As if that wasn’t enough, from out of the floor like some sort of magic trick the band popped up and there they were. My teenage idols in the flesh. I had almost expected them to be impersonators, but no, it was them and it was magnificent.

It’s a strong memory; not only because it was my first live show but because it’s the only concert that I remember that hasn’t been tainted by somebody who has had a little too much to drink.

I take a drink. I love a drink and that tipsy feeling where everything is a little funnier and truths leak out with a little more ease. However, I do not believe alcohol has any place in concert venues. I do not see the point in paying eighty or ninety euro to see a show that you won’t even remember the following day.

My first bad experience was at a Justin Timberlake concert. Mr. Trousersnake was doing his thing on stage and my cousin and I loved it. There were five inebriated girls behind us murdering every note and that didn’t bother me one little bit. I have massacred many a tune in my day.

This was the era of actual camera’s and I had mine wrapped around my wrist when I could feel a hand tugging at it. I thought someone is trying to steal my camera and I wasn’t having a bar of it. I turned to confront my assailant to see one member of the choir behind me about to faint. Her eyes were rolling in the back of her head and her body stiffened before she began to fall to the ground.

Now I know that this may have occurred with or without alcohol but the mayhem that ensued wouldn’t have if the girls were of sound mind.

Two of her mates grabbed her and tried to hold her up while the other two wailed and were of no help to anyone. I pleaded with them to let her fall to the ground. They didn’t listen. They proceeded to drag the unconscious girl, whose clothing was now in her arm pits, across the floor. What happened after that is anybody’s guess.

I had noticed how much they were drinking and wondered how they were managing without several trips to the toilet. The area we were standing in wasn’t over-crowded or too warm, so really for me it was the alcohol that contributed to what happened.

Not only was her experience ruined but it’s very hard to return to enjoying the show after witnessing something like that.

I’ve seen it all when it comes to alcohol related catastrophes at concerts. I’ve dodged vomit and fist fights. There’s been people smoking when it’s clearly forbidden. There was a couple who spent the whole show fighting and the teen that wept the whole way through while she texted. Then there was the lady with ten year old hair extensions that smelled like an old rug. She kept flicking her hair in my face before I had to simply ask her to stop. Her response: “I’m sorry but when I’ve had a few too many. I don’t realise what I’m doing.

Enough said.

I do not understand why you would part with your hard earned cash to not bother paying attention to the act, however that is your choice.

My beef comes when you encroach on my experience.

I’m there to see the show. If I wanted to be in a room full of drunken people I’d go to a nightclub and save myself a lot of money. I think there is no need for alcohol to be such an integral part of every social situation. If you do drink at every concert I challenge you to a sober experience.

Not only will you enjoy it but you’ll afford other people the courtesy of allowing them to enjoy it too.

The Irish Don’t Do Compliments

I’ve never really considered myself to be patriotic. I don’t have a great understanding of Irish history. I’m not a native speaker. The game of Hurling and the furore that goes with it, is well over my head. I don’t like spuds nor do I drink tea. Continue reading “The Irish Don’t Do Compliments”

Would You Let Another Woman Breastfeed Your Child?

I wasn’t the world’s most successful breast feeder. I fed all three myself for a while but nowhere near as long as I longed to. I was so adamant that I was breast feeding my first that I didn’t even buy bottles. Continue reading “Would You Let Another Woman Breastfeed Your Child?”

Tom Humphries’ Lenient Sentence Is Shocking

On more than one occasion this week I have had the thought that the world is regressing and not progressing. One occasion was when a senator declared that women shouldn’t play rugby that’s it’s a game more suited to men. I sighed. Another was when a controversial young man returned home after being released from a prison to what seemed like a hero’s welcome? I sighed. The most recent incident was when I watched a television show where a guest remarked that a convicted paedophile deserves compassion and sympathy.  I didn’t sigh.

I was fuming.

Our history of child protection is this country is laughable. In the 18th century children were kidnapped and sold to America, considered a valuable commodity. Orphans who found themselves in Industrial schools were abused. The long term crimes that happened within the Catholic Church have been well publicised. The fact that there are 3000 homeless children in the country speaks volumes.

Perhaps I shouldn’t have been shocked all those things considered. Still I wanted to jump down the tube and shake the man speaking to within an inch of his life. The man in question being the notorious Eamonn Dunphy. Not a stranger to being controversial but usually with regards to sporting events which don’t register on my list of things to take seriously.

The subject was the sentencing of Tom Humphries, a former Irish Times journalist, who was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for grooming a teenage girl and sexually abusing her. Dunphy passed comment that the man’s life is essentially over and that he’ll never work again.

‘he has to live with the shame’.

I wanted to scream at the television…… and your point is? Humphries groomed a fourteen year old child over months and months eventually leading to sexual encounters. He deserves to carry that shame and in my opinion deserves to spend more than two-and-a-half years in prison.

Over a three month period he sent that child 16000 text messages after getting her number through a third party. To put that another way that’s just under 200 text messages a day! This wasn’t a lapse in judgement. This was a premeditated, consistent, persistent and predatory hunting of a young girl to satisfy his needs.

The smell of privilege was stifling as I listened to people talk about that man. If this was Billy from Darndale on the dole there would be no such concern for the perpetrator of the crime. The judge spent more time talking about the effects this was going to have on the convict than on the poor girl who had to live through this ordeal.

I cannot fathom how the judge went into a room to make her decision and her mind wandered towards the criminal and not the child.

His life mattered more because he had a greater social standing?

I can’t say that without seething in anger. Our children have been wronged for so long but it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Not when you see results like these coming through the courts. Our children deserved better, they deserve better and I hope the sentence is repealed to highlight the injustice of what has just occurred.