Scoring inter-county points – Not always so easy.

I am a Dubliner, born and bred inside the Pale. I am proud of my roots, my history and most things Dublin. Some of our country cousins can begrudge us the privileges we enjoy from living in the ‘Big Smoke’. We have, amongst other attractions, the Luas electric tram system, an airport with two terminals, the Guinness Brewery and the boat to England.

It is traditional and reasonable for us Jackeens, as the Culchies like to call us, to suffer some inter-county hostility. Some of the rural dwellers believe that Cork is the real capital of the country. Others think that Galway is the cultural axis on which the world revolves. I refute these and many other illegitimate claims against our capital city. I am well brought up and I will not mention Dublin being the All Ireland Football Champions at present. That would be churlish.

Friendly service everywhere.

I do have one big problem though. Despite years (many, many years) of planning, arguing, debating and procrastinating, Dublin does not have a really great food market. There is talk of one coming soon. But as of today, we are on the back foot.

I know some of ye will argue for the Sunday market in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire or the Temple Bar Food Market on a Saturday morning. There used to be a half decent effort in Leopardstown Racecourse before the depression began. These are all pale imitations of the two greats, the English Market in Cork and Limerick’s Milk Market.

The English Market got enough praise after Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit last year that I need not add to the clamour.

Some retail theatre outside one of the butchers. Note the ear pinned to the door.

The Wife and myself enjoyed a fantastic morning in the Milk Market last weekend. Top quality produce, friendly people and brilliant displays were all around.

Real men don’t eat quiche….. Or do they?

Fresh Irish vegetables basking in the winter sunshine.

We had a good breakfast that morning. It made it easier to resist stalls like this.

We were made very welcome. We had a great time tasting, smelling and ogling the fine foods. We left with some great memories and some really excellent fresh food.

Daffodils not yet in bloom. €1 a bunch.

The joint was jumping in Country Choice.

OK, Not everything was grown locally. These grapes were the size of plums.

I have to admit that Limerick has, for some, the spiritual home of Irish Rugby in Thomond Park. I will argue this one as Dublin has Lansdowne Road and the RDS, the respective homes of the Irish team and current European Champions, Leinster Rugby.

Dug fresh this morning.

There is one thing that I can’t argue. We have nothing in Dublin like Limerick’s Milk Market or Cork’s English Market.

Inter-county score:   Culchies  2  –  Jackeens  0   (Damn it!)

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Latest comments
  • Great looking market!

  • I love Dublin but without a good food market you can keep your tram and your pointy needle yoke. Cork has everything good about Ireland, there I’ve said it.
    Great blog Conor.

  • good stuff. you have to also look at intra-county rivalries. myself and Niall (other side of the river) can never agree on what constitutes a genuine coddle.

    • Coddle. Now there’s an interesting thought. I remember Dad making it with big chunks of bacon, sausages onions, and carrots. It was mighty.

  • Must check out Limerick’s Milk Market. Recently moved from Cork city to West Cork and I have to admit that I still miss the fabulous English Market. It is the heart and soul of Cork city and does you good just to walk through it, even if you don’t buy anything … which is actually impossible to do. Some of my faves: crusty bread from the Alternative Bread Company, croissants from Heaven’s Cakes, the world’s most divine chocolate tart plus very tasty pesto from Iago, sushi from Kay O’Connells, paté and French Limonade from On the Pigs Back, juicy tomatoes and fresh salad leaves with some Green & Blacks chocolate thrown in from Organic and Paradise Garden, olives, semi sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese from the Real Olive Company. Then take your picnic and head to the banks of the Lee in Fitzgerald’s Park for a lazy Cork afternoon. Sheer bliss. If you have the whole day off, throw in a bottle of wine from Bubble Brothers.
    For those of us in Bantry though, there is the brilliant Organico with organic produce and home-baked goods, together with the Friday Farmer’s Market, so no need to feel deprived. It would be perfect if we could just transplant Field’s Supervalu from Skibbereen…

  • Plus, the Stuffed Olive in Bantry for your deli delights and Manning’s Emporium in Ballylickey for good measure…

    • You appear to be well enough served…..

  • Ohm, these photos look so GOOD! Pighead is my favorite! Delicious! 😉 And I would love to get a closer sniff to that bread stand… Ohm.. I got to make my trip.. “One, two, three four, five,
    Hunt the Hare and turn her down the rocky road all the way to Dublin, Whack follol de rah!”

  • Wow, wonderful post. I’m sure our US friends would like a wonder around this market.
    Great photos too, I may need to nagotiate some for my book. Valuable Items!

    Well done Conor.

  • Metropolitan Surrey (That would be South London) hires in markets from France and Germany – they sell the kind of thing you would have taken the ferry over the channel to go and buy a few year ago before the EU spoiled the fun. They turn up in the middle of the street and then off they go. Its a bit weird. Croydon has an ancient market (so it reckons) but all i see is a bunch of stuff I wouldnt take if they paid me!

  • Great place, I think I have a similar pic of the same pig head!

    • You do. I saw it on your post. It is one of the better markets around. We need something like it in Dublin.

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