Eulogy for Sir Henry’s Club, Cork

A story by Oisín Twomey, age 18, Cork City

My breath fogging in front of me,

Amidst the crisp bright light

Of a frigid November morning

I find myself suddenly transfixed

By an ethereal apparition

Stemming from an unremarkable beer garden

From the door, the scent of spilled Carling Beer

Mingles with the body odour

Of a thousand cavorting chimpanzees

Dehumanised by low lighting

And yet all the more joyous for it.

Those who were passed out in bathroom stalls

Are now managers of suburban supermarkets

And the two in skirmishing in the corner

Are both married and working in finance.

The pedestrians walking past, digging their necks into

Their woollen overcoats

In some mockery of an elongated tortoise,

Seem oblivious in their entirety

To the pulsating beat drilling through my chest

From an echo of a young Cobain’s guitar

Or the throbbing thump of dance tracks

Spreading a soliloquy of scathing sound

Through the half empty, silent street.

What is now just another gentrified and genteel gastropub

was the home of countless companions

lost in time, and timid club goers

Making tentative eye contact with a bobbing head amidst

The raging current of riotous ravers

In the hopes of finding a kindred spirit

Within a sea of noise

How many magpies, mated for life

Stroll hand in hand

Past this derelict building in which they met?

How many more never spoke again?

Sir Henry’s was demolished before my birth.

A heap of rubble from an era gone by.

Yet it fascinates me still.

Has its dance floor truly cleared?

Or has it merely emigrated into

The eternal, rose tinted realm

Of the most precious memories?