A fine cigar was never a cigarette

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by James Leavey

The other day I went on a pub crawl in Dublin, starting with what is reputed to be the city's oldest alcoholic's watering hole, The Brazen Head, on Bridge Street just south of the Liffey. James Joyce used to be a regular here, in those glorious hazy days when you could still enjoy the freedom of a quiet smoke, indoors, in public, and among like-minded friends, with your pint of Guinness.

Wiping the tears from my eyes with my shamrock embossed green handkerchief, I shuffled on to The Palace in Temple Bar, long popular with the wheezing hacks from the Irish Times.


Smoke signals for a Happy New Year

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by James Leavey

When I came back to Dublin the air was full of winter rain and cold leavened with the buzz of optimism.

Ireland's capital had accommodated itself to its financial new dawn.  Grafton Street, the city's heart and pulse, was preparing to beat the Celtic drum to see in a very happy and prosperous New Year. 


Loading up the humidor, for Christmas

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 2.60 (82 Votes)

Almost every time I stroll down Grafton Street with a lit cigar on the go, some brainless intolerant gobshite comes up with the usual unimaginative comment, 'You smoke, I choke.'

And I always reply, with a flick of the ash in the hope it will fire up their redundant brain, 'Sounds like a good idea to me.'

Talking of which, the vapours from my Partagas corona were so dense, what with the lack of wind and Dublin's usual watery downpour, that I literally bumped into my old pal, Mr Guy Hancock, Ireland's eminent cigar ambassador.