Clare actress Simone Kirby recalls growing up in Ennis and the local phrases that you’re not likely to hear her say in London.
What do you miss most about Clare while living in the UK?
I miss by family first and foremost, my friends too; I have a couple of friends still living in or near Ennis. I also miss being close to the sea and Guinness.
What defines a Clare person?
That is hard to say, but there is definitely a “no bull” rule that people live by. I miss how direct everybody is because you always know where you stand. In London. I have to be a bit more gentle in my approach and I also have to swear less.
What did you love most growing up in Ennis?
In hindsight I miss the smaller community and walking everywhere. Growing up in Ennis we could leave home in the morning and come back at nine in the evening, no bother.
I loved having extended family so close by and spending my weekends and summers on my grandparents’ farm.
What are your favourite bars and restaurants in Ennis?
I like the quieter corners of pubs now so I’ll head for Fawls or Cruises on a quiet night, or I used to go to O’Dea’s for a good pint. A lot of the places I frequented when I was younger closed down or changed – I was a Lifford girl – so now I try new places all the time. For food, you can’t beat my mam’s Sunday roast of course, and I might have a sneaky Hawaiian burger in Enzos.
I don’t eat in restaurants all that much at home, but The Rowan Tree is very good.
Are there any hidden treasures in the town?
Royal Thai Massage on Lysaght’s Lane, off Parnell Street. It only has two booths so it’s never crowded – they’re so good!
Are there any typical phrases heard in Clare?
It’s probably changed since I lived there but I think “well?” and “alright, yeah?” are still a good alternative for “hello”. Back in the 90s “good fool” or “lurk” was said about 200 times a day. It wasn’t a compliment
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