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Ross O’Carroll-Kelly: This is still the Vico Road. Pandemic or no pandemic

There are landmork moments in our children’s lives. First day of school. First time you hold their hair back so they can vomit a naggin of vodka

‘Ross,” Sorcha goes, “can you hear that?”

I'm there, "Hear what?" because it's, like, two o'clock in the morning and I'm pretty much asleep here?

She’s like, “There’s a porty going on at the Felton house.”

I’m there, “Yeah, no, you go if you want, Sorcha. I’m pretty wrecked, it has to be said.”


She, like, properly shakes me awake then?

She's there, "I'm not saying I want to go. I'm saying they're having an actual house porty – in contravention of the Covid-19 restrictions."

Sorcha hasn’t been sleeping since she found out that her old dear is having sex with my old man, and her old man is having sex with my old dear. We’re some family, it has to be said. The Lannisters with a better postcode.

I sit up in the bed and I switch on my bedside light. I can hear Camila Cabello singing Havana, and the sound of laughter and cheering and smashing glass.

Sorcha has her phone to her ear.

I’m there, “Who are you calling?”

“Who do you think?” she goes. “Joy focking Felton. Here, it’s ringing,” and she hands the phone to me. “You talk to her. Remind her that this is still the Vico Road.”

I’m like, “Me? Why me?”

"Because I'm in the Killiney Choral Society with her. We're supposed to be doing A La Nanita Nana at Christmas and I don't want any bad feeling between us."

I can hear the woman on the other end of phone going, “Hello? Sorcha? Hello?”

I hold the phone to my ear and I’m like, “Quick question, Joy – what the literally fock?”

She’s like, “Ross? It’s two o’clock in the morning.”

“Yeah, I know what focking time it is. I’m ringing about the basic porty that’s in, like, full swing in your gaff.”

“Tell her it’s the Vico Road,” Sorcha goes.

I’m there, “It’s the Vico Road, Joy – pandemic or no pandemic.”

The woman goes, “We’re actually away at the moment, Ross. We’re in Roundstone.”

Yeah, her and everyone else in south Dublin with a boat. The Sailtacht, as I call it.

I’m there, “So who’s in your gaff?”

“Oh,” she goes, “it’s just Mórrígan and her pals,” as in Mórrígan, her teenage daughter. “They’ve just come back from their Leaving Cert holiday.”

“Leaving Cert holiday? I thought the Leaving Cert was cancelled?”

"They still put in the work. We couldn't not let her go to Magaluf. Then we thought her and the girls could all quarantine in the house for two weeks after they came home, while Gorvan and I stayed in Connemora."

I hear a cheer go up from next door and then a chant of, “Drink! Drink! Drink! Drink!”

I’m there, “Well, she’s definitely brought the spirit of Magaluf home with her. Is there any chance you could maybe ring her and ask her to keep the focking racket down?”

She’s like, “I will not!”

“Excuse me?”

“They’re young people. They’re entitled to have a bit of fun. They’ve been locked up for long enough. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going back to sleep.”

She literally hangs up on me then.

Sorcha goes, “What did she say?”

I'm there, "It's Mórrígan and her mates. They're back from Maga and they're having some kind of, I don't know, quarantine porty?"

"But she is going to ask them to keep the noise down?"

“No, she said they’re entitled to a porty after what they’ve been through this year.”

Sorcha throws back the duvet. She’s like, “Come on, get dressed.”

I’m there, “Where are we going?”

"If Joy isn't going to teach her daughter good manners, then I'll have to do it for her – A La Nanita Nana or not. Put your mask on."

Sixty seconds later, the two of us are trotting out the door, and Sorcha is trying to summon up the anger for a fight.

“That’d be typical of Joy,” she goes. “She lets Mórrígan do whatever she wants. Too busy trying to be her best friend to be a proper mother to her.”

The Felton gaff is a scene of absolute mayhem. There must be, like, a hundred people in the house and the gorden – we're talking girls and boys – and they're doing shots, and dancing, and getting off with each other, and jumping in the swimming pool, like the whole Covid thing was just a bad dream.

Sorcha’s there, “There is no way all of these people are quarantining,” as we walk through the house looking for Mórrígan. “This is an actual house porty.”

We eventually find her outside, beside the swimming pool. She’s sitting on some random dude’s lap and drinking what looks very much to me like an Aperol spritz.

Sorcha goes, "There is, like, zero social distancing going on in this house."

As an opening line, it’s not great and it doesn’t really land anyway.

Mórrígan goes, “Sorry, I can’t hear you – can you maybe take off your mask?”

And that’s when Sorcha ends up totally losing it.

She's like, "No, I will not take off my mask. Because some of us are responsible people who are making – oh my God – huge sacrifices to try to stop the spread of this thing, while others are just, like, carrying on as if nothing has happened." "Who's the MILF?" the random dude goes.

But Sorcha refuses to take it as a compliment.

She’s just there, “You know, I don’t blame you, Mórrígan. I actually blame Joy. This is what comes from light-touch parenting.”

"And what about your daughter?" Mórrígan goes.

Sorcha’s like, “Don’t bring Honor into this. She might not be perfect, but at least she respects the guidelines we’ve all been asked to adhere to if we want to stop the spread of this – “

“Is that not Honor over there?” Mórrígan goes.

And with a horrible feeling of inevitability, we follow her line of vision to a girl holding a red plastic cup, staggering around the patio like a new-born foal.

“Oh! My God!” Sorcha goes, before bursting into tears. “Oh! My! God!”

There are landmork moments in our children’s lives. First day of school. First Holy Communion. First time you hold their hair back so they can vomit a naggin of vodka into a neighbour’s swimming pool.

To be honest, I’m surprised it’s taken 15 years to get to this point.

Mórrígan just, like, smiles at Sorcha. Then she goes, “I blame the parents.”