The Bookies


So I noticed this sign today, I’m sure I’ve noticed it before, but not really. There are plenty of ‘ghost’ signs all over Dublin. There’s even a website dedicated to them:
But apparently from a quick google, the actual bookmakers only closed down a few years ago, even if Joe himself had long passed away.

I don’t think I’ve actually ever been in a Bookmakers. The name used to confuse me as a child. Maker of books. These days they are everywhere, usually a blight on the main street of any town. Balbriggan suffers a lot more than most in this respect. I think I could tolerate them if they were not so garish. I suppose it doesn’t make any difference to what happens inside, but you can associate them with the classiness of The Sting, rather than the different type of classiness we see on Black Books:

(Do yourself a favour and watch this if you haven’t yet!)

Of course nowadays nobody needs to go into a bookmakers, you can do everything online. I mean, I’ve enjoyed going to the dogs on work nights out, throwing in a few quid for an office pool on the Grand National or playing the Lotto and some people who gamble online can just enjoy it the odd time but for a lot of people it’s an addiction. I was so happy that I didn’t have to get a job at one of the betting companies in Gibraltar. So many of the available jobs were there and I suppose I would have taken one if I needed it, but I really did not like the idea of it. Like working with a cigarette company.

So our next Book Club book is Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. It’s on 4th December. If you’re in Dublin and want to join us, let me know!

Edited to add:
I just saw this article about ghost signs in the Irish Times (and a book on the topic) and had to add the link:


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