Drogheda added another string to its bow this morning as it scooped first place on a Tripadvisor poll for the most erotic destination in Europe for 2016. Beating off stiff competition from Bangkok, Amsterdam and Tokyo, Drogheda became the first Irish town to be associated with eroticism since St. Patrick set about repressing the island in 432 CE.
A civic reception in Barlow House saw Dr. Fists McKevitt, the man responsible the putting Drogheda on the sexy map, accept the prestigious Tripadvisor nomination on behalf of the town. McKevitt, artistic and spiritual director of the uncompromisingly nubile Tullyallen Erotic Art Collective, gave special thanks to Drogheda Borough Council for funding his vision of public erotic art.
The project garnered widespread praise in erotic art circles for its boldness and grandiosity. The most visible of the public erotic artworks can be seen on the Baltray side of the Boyne. Standing rigidly erect despite the cold winter sun, the main chimney of Premier Periclase shocks yet challenges the viewer to question their own virility.
Selected specifically for its location, its propensity to sway during high winds gives it the illusion of throbbing, an unforeseen boon. Though it may appear circumcised, Fists has assured us that this is not the case and has predicted that it will become a significant landmark for the region as a whole. However, as to be expected in a small town, dissenting voices and nimby groups were quick to mobilise.
A rake of community groups opposed the public art work, even before McKevitt realized it was an idea in his own head. The most vociferous of the anti-erotic brigade are Greenhills Parents’ Association who feel that such phallic symbolism so close to impressionable schoolgirls could trigger a return to 1990s levels of teenage pregnancy. McKevitt disagrees.
“The Drogheda area has one of the highest fertility rates in the EU. We should celebrate our virility, not hide it away like some gay farmer on the outskirts of 1950s Dunleer, trapped by primogeniture, forever fated to misread each furtive glance, each spittled handshake at the cattle market as a double entendre before tractoring home to reproduce more shovel handed offspring with a smug country wife.”
McKevitt hopes the freshly painted and penis coloured chimney will complement the revamped Viaduct, which, he believes, exudes ‘strongly vaginal’ qualities, especially when lit up. For many though, the pièce de résistance of the commissioned art work is the stunning collection of three testicles, nestled like big hairy balls on a green in Baltray. There are rumours that the outer layers are actual scrotal and prepuce donations from the Collective and at a fondle, they certainly fooled this reporter.
“We reclaimed these from discarded anti-traveller rocks from the Great Traveller Invasion of ’95,” says resident erotic sculptor Jeano Russell, patting his balls. “People see different things. For some they represent the cycle of life. To others they are a representation of the type of people who play golf at the nearby links.”
Bestowing the award of Honourary President for Life on Mayor Bell, Tullyallen Erotic Art Collective’s Fists McKevitt eulogised the artistic U-turn in the mayor from self-confessed philistine to protector-in-chief of the erotic arts.
“It’s all very well having the vision, the sexual vigour and the artistic bent…But that means nothing unless you’ve a team of powerful backers who share your erotic vision. So with that in mind I’d like to dedicate this fine achievement to the men and wo-man of Drogheda Borough Council who, agreed to donate all €50,000 of a discretionary council fund to the erotic arts. And in particular, the man who made it all possible, Mayor Paul Bell.”
“Our Mayor deserves to be singled out for praise. He took some flak for saying he couldn’t understand The Wanderer sculpture there at Dominic’s Bridge during the summer – and in fairness to him, he comes in for criticism no matter what he does; be it catching lads robbing trolleys from a sitting position in his car, having the gall to have been elected or taking selfies with swans at McDonalds Drive Thru.
“If not for his leadership, this erotic initiative would have been confined to the backroads of Tullyallen and the odd time we do some sexy road paintings in Collon to cheer up the monks. Without him, a whole hape of unsexy charities would’ve got a little but not enough to make a difference.
“We have a saying in the Tullyallen Erotic Art Collective. When we’re not sure if our eroticism is too much we say ‘Grasp the shaft. Someone else will grasp it with you and if you pull together hard enough wonderful things happen.’ Paul trusted us enough to grasp our shaft. We’re glad he did. Welcome and thank you.”
Previous toppers of the Tripadvisor Erotic Destination lists recorded huge increases in tourism and double figure economic growth.