Where there’s muck, there’s money — the digging continues

Paddy has a digger. And his father had a digger before him. His grandfather had a digger too. The great-grandfather didn't have a digger cos it hadn't been invented but he told everyone who knew him that he'd have had a digger if the man who made the diggers had been born before him and not 50 years after.

But back to Paddy. Paddy's digger is spotless. Gleaming. It looks like he drove it into Roche's Stores (Sorry, Debenhams’. Showing my age there ) car park and got the lads in Crystal Valet to give it a spit and polish, making it gleam yellow again like the day the man in the digger garage sold it to Paddy. Back in the days, Paddy's digger was the envy of all the other digger owners, cos ‘twas covered in muck all the week, cos muck was money and where there was muck there was the digger, and up in the cab and driving it like Captain friggin' Kirk at the helm of the Starship Enterprise was Paddy himself.

And every evening when the work was done, Paddy would saunter home at 30mph in his digger, not giving a fiddler’s about the hundreds of cars stuck behind him cos he told himself, sure wouldn’t they be grand when they got the fine motorway himself and the digger were building them.

But for a few years now Paddy's digger has lain idle. Hence it’s spotless again. It gets rolled out the odd time a neighbour wants to bury a cow. He even has a name for it. JayCeeBee. And Paddy would go out every night and just pat it, like you'd pat an auld beloved dog, telling it “don’t panic Jayceebee, the day will come again when there’ll be major digging to be done in this town.”

And other nights, Paddy will go out and sit in the cab of JayCeeBee and take out a scrapbook and show it pictures of the good old days when the other diggers and Paddy's father's digger and Paddy's grandfather's diggers were tearing into work around the city. He shows them the digging pictures that have shaped the news in Galway over the past 50 years.

He shows it pictures of the family diggers building Rahoon Flats, and then knocking them down again. He shows them, digging a hole at Leisureland, another working on the site of the new Cathedral. Another digger moving soil out to Mutton Island. JayCeeBee comes from a proud family of diggers, diggers that have been at the centre of everything 'buildy' in the city since the 1950s.

This week Paddy is fierce excited and so is the digger. Cos there’s fierce digging talk going on. They’re digging next month on the Gort to Tuam motorway and they might get a gig there. There’s talk of great digging down at the harbour when the port gets the nod and to top it all, this week, the engineers unveiled the maps showing a rake of new routes for the Road Formerly Known As Galway City Bypass Til The Bloody Lesser Spotted Hedgrow Tit Messed It Up.

That’s digger porn, that one. Tunnels, flyovers, laybys. And loads of muck to move. After a decade of doing nothing, this town will soon be digging again. Another decade of digging lies ahead for Paddy and JayCeeBee and already young Paddy and young Patricia can start laying out their downpayment for their own diggers. The muck keeps being moved. Life goes on. The city grows, we get roads, ports, flyovers, tunnels, university buildings, theatres, picture houses...and a rake of Paddy’s repeating ‘where there’s muck, there’s money.’

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