My first visit to Dublin was on Friday 23rd March 1990. On 29th March 2019, there I was again 29 years later.
The date of that first visit is easy to pinpoint. I was in the city on a day trip for a meeting. After it, I felt the urge to try a pint of Guinness in a Dublin pub before heading back to the airport. The pub I chose was full of Welsh rugby fans, in the city for the Ireland v Wales game the next day.
Scotland’s rugby team had surprised championship favourites England the Saturday before, and won the Grand Slam in the process. As soon as I opened my mouth to order my pint in that pub, the Scottish accent produced cheers and singing (some of it slightly unkind towards our English cousins).
Needless to say, I didn’t pay for my pint… nor the second one.
The meeting was about my law firm’s preparations for the creation of the EU Single Market in 1992. We had plans to set up a network of collaborating law firms throughout the EU. I met a Dublin firm to discuss it all.
The Dublin firm did not join in the project, but the meeting did lead to a productive bilateral relationship lasting many years. They were fantastic to work with.
Last month I was there because I did not want to be in Britain on Brexit day. The reasons are not easy to explain, but something deep inside me felt the need to express my revulsion in some symbolic way. Dublin is a quick and easy place to visit from Scotland.
Applying for political asylum did cross my mind, but May got a postponement of the Brexit date and the immediate crisis passed.
ⓒ iain taylor, 2019 🏴🇮🇪🇪🇺