Friday, 23 June 2017

More on the docks, and Leo Varadkar

Ireland's latest taoiseach (prime minister) happens to be gay, young (38) and have a dad from India. Cue plenty of international headlines making out like our country has suddenly become ultra progressive. As if.

For many back in Ireland there's a different story. Leo Varadkar also happens to be a neo-conservative whose politics and policies are far from progressive.

Oisin McKenna's angry broadside "Gay, Male, Votes Fine Gael" sums up these concerns. The poem comes from two years ago in the wake of Ireland's marriage equality referendum.

"At the same time they were promoting gay rights, Fine Gael was enacting pretty savage austerity measures and a range of other policies that were anti-equality,” Oisin says.

The poem has added significance since Varadkar's meteoric rise, and Oisin has made this superb new video based on the poem to mark the start of this year's Dublin Pride.

Besides a few glimpses of the parliament buildings of Leinster House, it's mostly shot around the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Spencer Dock - former dockland areas that epitomise the new forms of capital and money that are sloshing around the city.

The district also features in The Rebel Type, my forthcoming fourth book in the Moss Reid series, but Oisin's video  captures the area far better than my photographs.