e tried. We really tried. Hands across the water, and all that.
But, for some strange reason, the Greystones Sailing Club don’t seem to want us coming down their end of the pool.
We emailed on December 13th last year, pointing out that we’d love to do something on the brand, spanking new sailing club, but we didn’t get a reply. Next up, Santa was swinging by the sailing club – there’s a nice story! Nothing.
Sent another email on January 2nd, and current commodore David Nixon this time replied, letting the Guide know that ‘we will, of course, send you any relevant news, events, etc’. Yippee! A week later, an offer of photographs from the new club. Nice. They didn’t arrive. We decided to push ahead nonetheless, requesting a quick chat for the Guide on January 16th. All free, all in the name of spreading the good word. On February 1st, Dave replied – he was incredibly busy, but, an interview sounded good; so, ‘bear with me’.
April 21st, the Greystones Sailing Club say goodbye to North Shore, the original clubhouse, built in 1973, four years after the club was founded by the likes of John Roy, Dermod Cafferkey, Toby Davies, Ian Mitchell, Liam Byrne and Derek Paine. GG heard sweet FA about GSC saying bye-bye to the NS bar.
On April 23rd, the pico rack was carried shoulder-high up the road from the old club to the new. Opportunity for a great, fun, feelgood shot right there. Again, nada. Mixed with a pinch of nothing. Last Tuesday, Dave said he’d write something up and send it over ‘in the next hour’. That was 123 hours ago.
Maybe there’s nothing to these rumblings but, if true, that would be a shame, given that this club has long been a major part of the town, and it’s now positioned as the jewel in the crown down at the harbour. It’s got the only balcony seat, looking out over the sea, Bray Head, out to Howth, and beyond. And for anyone approaching the harbour from the South Beach side, that great big clubhouse is the first thing they’ll see of the harbour.
From the outside, looking in, it would appear as those the GSC has every reason to be cheerful – that new club is something to be behold. And I’m sure everyone’s working flat-out to get it up and fully running – something the Guide would be happy to share, and promote, and celebrate. For free. To over 89,000 people a month.
So, why all the secrecy? It hardly needs to be said that, right now, the people of Greystones and those lucky enough to call the new harbour their home need to come together. One and one, and one, is three, after all.
We’re not interested in rummaging around in the personal politics here. We’re sure the club is well capable of making itself ship-shape all by its lonesome, and it can’t be easy with the move from one building to another. And, as we said, this is just from the outside, looking in. Maybe everything is hunky agus dory, and the whispers we’ve gotten aren’t actually fair.
Bottom line, we just want some plain sailing for one and all – for big business and the little folk, for Mr Burns and Homer Simpson, for the have-nots and the have-yachts, for the GSC and the GG. Everyone, together. Splashing about in the same big pond.
It’s been a long, hard road to get even to this point, where the harbour is once again becoming a place for everyday people to enjoy. Up until the new public square opened up just over a month ago, unless you had a million-dollar yacht under your arse, there wasn’t much room at the inn for those who might like to sit down and take it all in.
Today, even if what you’re taking in is still dominated by a few tons of concrete and seemingly endless, Escher-esque miles of fencing, it’s still better than the closed shop the harbour has been for eight long years.
Mercifully, as the transition from old Victorian harbour to shiny new marina kicks into its final stages, there are signs of new life. There’s greenery. Benches. A play area. Finally, the harbour is once again becoming fit for human consumption.
There’s still work to be done, of course, and plenty more arguments to be had about the design, the money, the materials used, the fishing, the erosion, the toadying, the tallying, and who the harbour truly belongs to, but, the simple fact is, what we’re dealing with here is pretty much the heart of Greystones.
So, all of us are just going to have to come together to help get the harbour back on its feet after such a major transplant operation.
If there’s nothing to all these murmurs and rumours, and the Greystones Sailing Club is in tip-top shape, hurrah! If it isn’t, and this article helps give it a kick in the right direction, hurrah! We don’t have a dinghy in this race, and, as magnificent as we are, the Guide isn’t actually the Bible – we’re just interested in the actual truth. And in everyone pulling together. With the wind’s blowing in the right direction, of course.
The great thing is, they’re a fine, cultured lot down at the Greystones Sailing Club, and are therefore unlikely to turn a healthy debate into a bitching contest. That’s just not their style. They’re confident, successful, well-bred people. As the comments below prove.
But, hey, it’s all about making Greystones one big, happy, chilled-out family. Even if it feckin’ kills us.
We caught up with Dave & Darragh two weeks later – right here.
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