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Bringing It All Back Home
Bob Dylan at Slane - The music, the magic, the mayhem and so much more...
Niall Stokes, 27 Jul 1984
Whooooooosh!! Whooooooosh!! Squads and squalls! Fuckitfuckitfuckit!! Oh why does that hewer up on stage send hundreds of gallons spurting out over me? Whooooooosh, uhn, not again . . . Whooooooosh. Aagh!!
Soaked to the core, like soaked. This is no fun at all. Really, you pay your £12.50 and some bollocks up there pisses all over you.
Now, in America, where the temperature goes up to 100 degrees at gigs like this, it's a real valuable thing to do. But here? As the shadows lengthen and the cold Irish night wind rustles up ripples on the fatal Boyne, no sir. It's pneumonic. So blow it out your ass.
In the interval between UB40 and Bob Dylan, a rather harassed looking journalist hurried by. He stopped for a breather. "Jeez, I didn't think I'd actually have to work here", he explained, "but now there's the drowning on top of the riots". He screamed a bit and away he flew.
While the music provided an effervescent carnival backdrop outside, the politicians on site ate and drank enthusiastically in the castle. Alexis Fitzgerald sent a glass smashing to the floor.
"Bloody idiot", he joshed. "You can't take him anywhere". Mary Harney, who would later be embraced by the bounteous affections of Eamon McCann, sat happily among a group of political rivals. Mary Flaherty, a former Junior Minister stood waiting for a glass of white wine. In a world of her own, she gave an unconscious wiggle - a sexy wiggle. Her glass of wine arrived.
Dick Burke stayed longest. Did he have an interest in Bob Dylan? "Oh I'm only the chauffeur today", he admitted. "My children are out there enjoying themselves". How were things shaping up in relation to the Commissionership? He did an up and down motion with his hands and smiled suavely: mostly the hand went down.
Would Garrett Fitzgerald shaft him? "Oh I wouldn't put it in such personal terms. They have their own pressures to answer to". At the suggestion that he was being supremely diplomatic not to put it in personal terms, he laughed "I want them to make their decision. Until then I am a Commissioner and I keep my counsel,. But once they make that decision then" - his gesture was dramatic - I am a free man. Then I will act".