May 11, 2006
Shopping Centre: A Whitewater Diatribe
Has it really come down to a time where the biggest thing to happen to Newbridge is a shopping centre? Aren’t there any Giant Balls of String we could be known for? Will Newbridge simply become a name synonymous with a big shopping centre in the way that Tallaght, Blancherstown and Dundrum have? In fact already Newbridge has featured in the The Irish Times "What’s Hot / What’s Not" list. We’re listed as "not hot" with the reason cited as that first we were bypassed and now we’re "dwarfed by huge shopping warehouses." And we must have set some sort of record with all the traffic lights we have in the town.
But bad publicity or no bad publicity, a new shopping centre is still a new shopping centre and by God, if half the town wasn’t attracted to it like moths to a flame. Its all that people are talking about. Its become a new choice for small talk. "Awful weather out there isn’t it?" "The traffic is bedlam! I spent half an hour trying to get into Dunnes Stores," and now "Have you been to the Whitewater yet? Its very big." Very big it is, missus. Feckin’ huge. Like a mountain or something. The other most common Whitewater comment at the moment is how its like "stepping into Dublin when you go in it and stepping back into Newbridge when you exit it." Well that’s a comment and half, my friends. Not only is the Whitewater "very big" but it’s a flippin’ transportation device to boot.
The name of the place is causing all sorts of speculation on its origins as well. Enough in fact to have Ray Darcy ponder aloud on air that "maybe its because Kildare’s county colour is white and the Liffey flows through Kildare so - White water." Well fair play to Ray. It’s the best explanation since the one where they called it Whitewater because it’s their feckin’ shopping centre and they can call it what they like. The young local males seem to be disgruntled by the dominating presence of women’s clothing boutiques in the place, for they are not women and what want have they for women’s clothes. There is, however, an outlet of that bastion of tracksuits - Champion Sports just in case there was any chance of the town being corrupted by high fashion. Newbridge will continue to wear Nike runners.
The food hall in the Whitewater is also being described as "very big" by locals and people are reported to be enjoying queuing several days for a bagel. The presence of music store Virgin and Irish book giants Eason’s has been welcomed by those who can hear and those who can read. A huge gaping chasm is said to occupy the space where the Whitewater’s promised cinema was to be housed. Several small children have been reported to have fallen in.
Not easily distracted by big new shiny things like most Newbridge folk were, protestors made there presence known through various techniques such as shouting and wearing t-shirts bearing there cause which attracted a TV crew who, it seems, are not only attracted by the opening of big new shiny things but also by the opening of mouths shouting about the opening of said things. Despite their rescue efforts down the chasm, no cinema was to be found and no brick of it was even in sight. Protestors are alleged to be keeping vigil outside the Oscar Cinema where its play bill rather sinisterly states "CLOSED FOREVER." Some believe it is now haunted. For the most part, reaction to the Whitewater, apart from being "very big", has been good. Like the Spire in Dublin, its too late to complain about it anyway - the things built. Sources say that all the public can do now is to urge the County Council to pull together funds to construct a Giant Ball of String. The County Council has stated this plan as "ropey."
Downhill from here by Liam Geraghty appears every week in the Kildare Nationalist
Posted by LiamG at May 11, 2006 05:54 PM