Meet ‘Slio­tar Mom’

David McWil­liams in­tro­duces the characters of post-re­ces­sion Ire­land.

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

Slio­tar Mom

Slio­tar Mom, the sub­ur­ban GAA God­dess, ar­rives on time with her per­fect “can I see the man­ager” hair-do. Her kids, Lor­can, Tadhg and Aoib­hinn, sym­met­ri­cally spaced, two years apart, bound out of the Citroen Pi­casso, non-sin­gle-use wa­ter bot­tles in hand. This woman could or­ches­trate the in­va­sion of a small coun­try.

Dad Bod

Dad Bod can be spot­ted early on a Sun­day in En­niskerry, Clon­akilty or Con­nemara, re­splen­dent in fluorescent yel­lows, pinks and lilacs, up on his feather-light car­bon-framed bike, the Ir­ish Mamil in all his glory, 100kg of man on 10kg of bike. Cy­cling is the new golf. Next stop, Iron Man. Quango Man Quango Man is hav­ing a great Brexit, like he had a great Y2K and a great foot-and-mouth cri­sis; he’s the Govern­ment’s go-to guy, a great man for a task force, loves a com­mit­tee and can’t turn down a work­ing group – all at the tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense. And Brexit? He hasn’t been in such de­mand since the IMF hit town.

The Fringe

No one told her she’d still be in a house-share in Rath­gar with 10 other peo­ple at 31, sell­ing ad space on so­cial me­dia, ffs! At this stage she’d ex­pected to have her own lit­tle ur­ban place, ceil­ing-to-floor book­shelves and a few herbs in the back yard. But here she is in her boyfriend jeans, brogues and a vin­tage Ca­sio watch, smok­ing her new fella’s vape. The Fringe isn’t even sure about this lad. In fact, she’s not sure about the fringe any more.

The Sleeve

Tat­tooed arms, beard and vape, camo shirt with sleeves rolled up to show off his be­spoke tat­tooed sleeve, avi­a­tor sun­glasses, he does a mean im­pres­sion of a shot-down Luft­waffe pi­lot. His girl­friend, The Fringe, claims they could save money if they lived to­gether, but he’s not sure. What’s next? Kids? He’s not up for that – they cost a for­tune.


While it is egre­giously Trumpian to lav­ish money on any­thing me­chan­i­cal, elec­tri­cal or oil-based, a sign of true so­phis­ti­ca­tion is fork­ing out thou­sands on an en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly, fam­ily-friendly, Dan­ish-friendly wood-burn­ing stove. Stove­landers re­gard them­selves as a bit classier than the rest. Hygge is their cat­e­chism. The taber­na­cle in this cosy co­coon is the wood-fired stove.

The Wex­i­cans

Wex­i­cans are Dubs driven out of Dublin by prop­erty prices and now stranded in Wex­ford. You will spot them in their Dubs shirts stag­ger­ing through the un­fa­mil­iar sur­round­ings of Gorey. Given the enor­mous in­va­sion of Wex­i­cans who stream over the Wex­i­can fron­tier to­wards Dublin ev­ery day for work, don’t be sur­prised if some po­lit­i­cal for­mer Dragon sug­gests build­ing a wall to keep the Wex­i­cans out.

The Ba­nana Re­pub­lic

The Ba­nana (Built Ab­so­lutely Noth­ing Any­where Near Any­thing) Re­pub­lic is one of the more salu­bri­ous places to live with wor­ry­ingly high rates of ad­dic­tion to San Pel­le­grino and Ne­spresso pods. Ba­nana Repub­li­cans are lib­eral, tol­er­ant and ac­cept­ing of all new­com­ers, un­less you are a de­vel­oper who in­tends de­vel­op­ing any land within 10 miles of them. In which case, they turn all feral and McGre­gor on you.


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