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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Bleck Cra
2011-01-22 21:04:33
"On Newry
Picture: On Newry's doorstep amongst other things (Contract pics)

NEWRY AND MOURN
Newry has few redeeming features. Politically it is bigoted; much of its workforce is indolent; and it is visually hideous. Ugly shopping centres sell cheap alcohol to clamouring Free Staters; many northerners stay away and most Northern Protestants other than those disposed to live here, avoid it like the plague. It takes pride in being Irish but little in itself which embarrasses the city and the nation it represents. It succeeds less by its own endeavours than the happenstance that the North/South exchange rate favours it and when that rate reverts, Newry will resume its default position: asleep on the pavement until the next boom (sic) awakens it.
Very sad, because its potential to be breathtakingly beautiful far exceeds that for it to be ugly; for all of its citizens to be spectacular instead of too many being a spectacle. Much of its architecture is stunning; its canal banks and bridges of whinstone and white Mourne granite are bold and powerful; its old civic and commercial buildings are magical and dominate their space. Space alas too often full of beer cans, rubbish and social jetsam.
The self-righteous confidence that defines its politics is paper-thin: as thin as the line that defines the border. It won’t cherish its city because it is owned lock stock and barrel by Britain. But take it out of its political context into its natural one and you have what could be the most beautiful city in Ireland. Today, folds of liquid white silk billowed out from the pretty ankles of the Cuailnge and poured time-frozen tales of see-ers, Queens and warriors - a heroic Ireland - into Newry’s scruffy hinterland. On one horizon, the magical Mournes; on another, the mystical Cooleys. When you are in either, go and see Newry and be completely heartbroken.
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