An Occasional Guide to Irish Life: Terenure Woman.

Welcome to Terenure, her staging post of the Dublin class system, and gateway to where the “nice” people live. To her west is Walkinstown, Greenhills and Crumlin, actual working aspiring working class looking to Terenure as the place to go. To her east are the hallowed lands of Rathgar (Or Rott Gore to the born and breds). Oh, how she’d love to live in Rathgar, with it bijous and bakeries and Protestants (Yes, they have Protestants, people who have Sales of Work as opposed to Bring and Buy sales. She’d love to have Protestant neighbours, the ultimate Catholic Dublin middle class accessory!) and nice schools and the odd judge living two doors up.

But here she is in Terenure, the aspiring Rathgar, the home of the lower but ambitious middle class who look up the social ladder at their betters, and then down at their social inferiors with a sniff of the nose and the slightest hint of fear. It still has “the college”, which counts for something, although let’s be honest: it’s no Blackrock. There’s still a village feel, and the pubs and restaurants aren’t bad, and she loves Downey’s butchers, which is a proper butchers that also sells mad stuff (Was that crocodile?) and there’s that fancy organic place beside Eddie Rockets too (Nolan’s?). But go down the main street and see the grotty shops too, some selling God knows what? Is that a cross dresser’s boutique? You wouldn’t get that in Rathgar! She’s pretty sure that even the adultery in Rathgar is much more elegant, as opposed to getting drunk and felt up in Brady’s pub. In Rathgar, you might get seduced by a barrister. In Terenure it’ll be a used car salesman in a 1998 Porsche.    

It also has the synagogue, which in Terenure counts as exotic, and is ironic, because if Hitler, appealing to the lower middle calsses with a mix of aspiration and fear, had been born in Ireland, he almost certainly would have come from Terenure. 

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