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Hen night

Rose Inn Street, Kilkenny Ireland

Rose Inn Street is nearly as old as Kilkenny. The Anglo-Normans put in a bridge by the castle on the River Nore where there had been an important ford. Kilkenny, already long a religious settlement on the right bank, became a medieval town astraddle the river.

I got a flat on Rose Inn Street in September 2001.

There were two main arteries through ancient Kilkenny, and still are. High Street goes north-south, parallel to the river, and John Street east-west from across the bridge. Rose Inn Street is really a continuation of John Street this side of the bridge.

During the 1798 rebellion, a blacksmith operating at my address was making pikes for the republican cause. He had made a hole in the castle-grounds wall, at the back of this property. He was storing the finished weapons in there before delivery. It was a bold move, and the English killed him for it.

203 years later, I moved in, above the mobile-phone store.

Rose Inn Street takes on a special character on weekends after dark, when large amounts of drink are involved. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are progressively intensive. General drunken loudness dominates the scene these nights beginning around 12:30 and lasting until about 4 o'clock.

Pubs close at 12:30 on these nights.* Of course, many people still want a drink. Up John Street are two major late bars — O'Faolain's and Langton's. Loads of drinkers go to these places. Langton's is a huge old ballroom dancefloor, a barn of an open space. O'Faolain's is the ruins of an ancient Welsh church moved, rebuilt, and housed in a modern structure. They're both full of people on a weekend.

Rose Inn Street is en route from many a pub to these late-bars, and between clubs both sides of the river. So there you have it. Plus, below my window and down two doors is Abrakababra, a typical Irish (bad) fast-food joint, open late. It's not good food — but drink is involved.

Fortunately, I sleep well in adverse noise conditions. So long as I've no need to respond to the disturbance, I'll sleep. Trains, viaducts, highways, housemates.... On Rose Inn Street, it happens to be revelers full of drink. Oddly, I don't think I'd sleep well in my own country if people were making the same level of noise below my window. But then again, Americans are different.

Anyhow, this is Ireland. These people are Irish. There's no harm in it. It'll be alright.

*Thursday closing time later changed to 11:30 PM.