Publicans & tourists disagree over how upsetting St. Rosemary’s Lane is

Drogheda Borough Council is having to rethink its plan to rejuvenate St. Rosemary’s Lane, the laneway that connects Laurence’s Street to Bachelor’s Lane by the Augustinian Church, after making the mistake of speaking to tourists instead of just listening to business owners keen on printing new tourist menus.

The Drogheda Independent this week ran a story headlined ‘Laneway shame is upsetting tourists.’ The Faa Side can confirm that the majority of tourists who passed within sight of the laneway beside ‘tourist friendly’ Darby O’Gills pub did get upset, with some weeping uncontrollably. Dona Graziela Albertini, visiting the Boyne Valley with her husband Flavio, managed to say a few words between sobs. “Ita isa terriblay thata youra towna hasa degraded itaself bya opening a thisa horriblay tacky pub a beside a such a wonderful layne.”

Her husband, Don Flavio, comforted his wife before turning back and pointing at the pub with his cigar. “Looka ata thisa shit! We are froma Italia. We a are a nota estupido, fucking leprechaun bullashit! We a builta Roma while a you a were a stilla painting eacha other blue anda fighting over the cows.”

A Chinaman, who had flown directly by private jet from Shanghai to see the medieval alleyway in all its glory, rolled down the window of his limo and shouted very quickly “Cultural Violence! Like put McDonalds on Great Wall.” before heading back to Shanghai disappointed with the west.

Rosemary's Lane
Rosemary’s Lane – criminally under promoted as a medieval tourist magnet in recent years.

The story blew up after a local publican had again contacted the paper to highlight that anti-social behaviour in the laneway was depriving him of the tourist buck. Local historian Limpy Reilly informed The Faa Side historical correspondent Patches O’Knowledge that historically, the laneway would have been a place of brutality and few social graces; a place where sailors and stevedores came for a quick rut between pints of porter. Mr. Reilly explained that it was one area of the town that had actually preserved its medieval heritage quite well.

About ten years ago, the laneway was given a Celtic Tiger facelift. Gaudy facades were erected in an effort to stop people urinating there. However, all it did was provide salubrious surroundings for town winos and for the drunken late night trysts of the tracksuited (sometimes afternoon – ed.).

Joint proposals by local publicans in the area and the Borough Council to hire dwarves to dress as leprechauns and fight in the alley at weekends and on holidays (including Good Friday when they were to be plied with crystal meth rather than booze) may now have to be rethought under pressure from local tourist lobby groups. Under the proposals, local publicans had hoped to employ the troupe of dwarves that had recently been forced out of their traditional residence in Ship Street. They had it on good authority that this joint partnership programme would tick the boxes of both social partnership and business enterprise.

Tourists were to be charged €50 to run this gauntlet of fighting leprechauns before retiring to Darby O’Gills for green pints and freckled cailíns and the chance to test their combat skills against the locals as the evening wore on and the thin veneer of tolerance faded like a ageing boxer dropping his guard.

The Faa Side calls for a study to be conducted which measures tourist/wino usage in the lane before any further Council decisions be made.