Mikey Ryan Learns True Reason For Emergence Of “Checkpoint Charlie” In Thurles.

“With TDs, Lowry and Cahill, constantly leaking how government departments are going to spend our money; isn’t it a shame we don’t manufacture anything here in Thurles any more”, said Mikey Ryan.

He had followed me into John Lacey’s Butchers Shop, on Friar Street, Thurles; both of us having been sent out with the instruction not to return, if we had not acquired a nice piece of round roast for the Sunday dinner.

“You know” says he, “I just bought a TV in that new Lidl place on Slievenamon Road yesterday and it said on the label, “Built-in Antenna”. “Now”, he continued, “since you studied geography up in the Christian Brothers later than me, tell me, in the name of God, where I can find ‘Antenna’ on the world map?

Anxious to change the subject, I winked at John replying, “Probably China, where they make all those other smart TV’s and doggy computers”.

“Did you know”, said Mikey, “a priest told me once that the oldest known computer was owned by Adam and the wife Eve? It was the Apple brand, with very limited memory; just one byte, but when his wife switched it on within minutes the world feckin became involved in the couture business, sewing fig leaves together, to make topless bikini’s.

“I see a computer-like contraption in a wire cage, at the entrance to that new car-park on Slievenamon road”, said I, again trying to change Mikey’s idiotic conversation.

“You mean “Checkpoint Charlie”, said Mikey, “with those auto arm barriers aimed at the sky and not a height restrictor in sight”.

“I reckon it could be a Thurles symbol of a future ‘Cold War’ all right, if Tipperary County Council and those local Municipal District Councillors, fail to halt the destruction of our town centre”, said I.

“Why was the original German Checkpoint Charlie built anyway”, quizzed Mikey.

“Ah sure everone knows, for almost 30 years until 1989, didn’t it stop the East German brain drain, all anxious to emigrate or defect westward, from East Berlin into West Berlin”, said I.

“Oh Right”, said Mikey, “I think I see what you’re saying; so this Thurles Checkpoint Charlie could be an attempt by Thurles Councillors and Thurles Chamber of Commerce to prevent smart shopkeepers and local consumers from defecting from Liberty Square, to benefit from the free parking available in the new town centre now at Lidl and Thurles Shopping Centre on Slievenamon Road”.

“I wouldn’t be at all feckin surprised”, said I , “to see our local Councillors out in that new ‘Checkpoint Charliecar-park, letting the air out of car tyres, and blocking exhaust pipes with spuds, in what they would see as a positive effort to keep footfall on Liberty Square”.

“Listen, I’ve got to run”, said I, “Sure Pat Hayes, will have ‘The Arch Bar’ open again on Monday week July 26th next, please God, so with all our vaccine jabs got, no doubt we will run into each other very shortly again, for an auld chin-wag.


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