Small Print


The property bubble floats once again on the Fringe of 'Liffeytown'ONE OF the more esoteric events of the Absolut Fringe Festival will be artist Fergal McCarthy’s Liffeytown. From September 12th to 26th, 11 temporary red and green structures will be floating in the River Liffey, between the Ha’penny Bridge and O’Connell Bridge. If they look familiar to you, that’s because at some time you’ve probably played with tiny versions of the Monopoly houses and hotels they resemble.

McCarthy got the idea from the “craziness of the development and lack of planning at the height of the boom, when apartment blocks were being built all over the city, particularly in the Liberties, where I was living at the time. It was a time of disposable architecture, with no vision or longevity,” he says.

It was also a time during which it seemed as if the planners, if they could have built on water, would have done so.

Now McCarthy is planning to do just that, with his river-based installation. “The Liffey is the central axis of Dublin, yet it seems strangely forgotten about. This is my way of redirecting people’s attention to the river.”

The structures, made of perspex with aluminium frames and buoyed up by polystyrene, will be lit from within with LED lights at intervals once darkness falls. “They’re about the size of garden sheds. I wanted them to look like they’re habitable, that people could almost get into them.”

Not that McCarthy actually wants anyone to get into them – or onto them. If you’re taking a trip on the Spirit of the Docklandsboat any time soon – it is the one that plies up and down the Liffey every day – you’ll get to navigate through the floating red and green estate.

He’s not entirely certain yet what’ll happen when the backwash created by the boat hits the structures, but it’s unlikely they’ll sink as spectacularly as the property boom they represent.

– Rosita Boland

How 'The IT Crowd' got LOL

Anybody who enjoyed the recent run of Channel Four’s sitcom The IT Crowdmay have noted that, a decade after Father Ted, writer/director Graham Linehan remains somewhat of a comedy powerhouse – just in case you missed it, the entire series can be viewed online via Channel 4’s On Demand service.

A fascinating footnote to the show’s success was offered by Linehan during a brief trip to his native Dublin last week: the invaluable contribution made by an IT Crowdfan turned script editor, as enlisted via the internet.

Andrew Ellard wasn’t exactly unknown prior to his posts for pop culture fan-site Noise To Signal – he created internet and DVD elements for cult sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf. His insightful online critiques of IT Crowd episodes, however, drew the attention (via Twitter) of Linehan himself, who was impressed enough to invite Ellard to board the series in an official capacity.

Much as the success of Geek God Quentin Tarantino served to validate the existence of an entire generation of video shop clerks, Ellard’s breakthrough will give hope to millions of over-opinionated online voices out there.

Be very afraid.

Currently working on a stage adaptation of classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers, Graham Linehan was in town for his father’s 70th birthday and a well-attended “In Conversation” event, organised by the Irish Film and Television Academy. Joining him at the event was Frank “Father Jack” Kelly: the duo, plus other key Tedheads, have been busy filming scenes for a forthcoming “definitive” Craggy Island documentary.

Briefly returning to his journalistic roots, he recently penned an excellent article concerning the virtues of Twitter for Alan ”Watchman” Moore’s resolutely old-school underground publication Dodgem Logic– if you want to read it, ironically enough, you’ll have to purchase a copy of the magazine itself via

– Derek O’Connor