On Thursday morning I looked out my bedroom window and down below me was a purple truck with Rock N’ Roll Trucking scrawled across it, in purple of course. I have always thought purple was cool. My kids still laugh at old photographs of me dressed in purple. I liked Jimi Hendrix and “Purple Haze”. Like many of us I am a kid at heart. Today METALLICA play Slane and the kid in me will be on fire. Rock N’ Roll has played an important part of my life. Today as the lyrics of their song says“ Nothing else matters”. The same lyrics that students at St. Patricks School in Slane sang and which the video of has gone viral. Quite rightly so. Fair play to them.
Slane is also a gathering of the tribes – the people who come here for the event and the people who work for weeks to make it all happen. Then there are the Gardai, Meath Co. Council and the emergency services. They are all there to make sure the public stay safe and enjoy the event. If you are coming, respect them and, indeed, the residents of Slane. We have a lot of overseas visitors to this show and we are literally showcasing Ireland.
But back to the craic. I missed Axl and his friends and had to experience the show on my mobile phone from my hospital bed and then for days afterwards through those members of St. James’s Staff who had attended the gig. This time I’m going to be here. Right in the thick of it. Probably crying my eyes out if they play “Whiskey in the Jar”.
Today I will join members of my family. My kids are all grown up now but they are still all rockers. They are into this thing called “Slane” – its been part of their life. My grandchildren are being happily indoctrinated. My niece is here from Scotland, she is definitely a rocker. My brother-in-law is here and although opera is more his scene he is in for one hell of an experience. Some of my best friends are here and God have they been a blessing in recent months and years, even if sometimes their sense of humour drifts to the dark side.
Most important of all are the people who work in and around the Castle. They are the people one way or another who make things happen here day and night. Some of them will be working today but even if they are, they’ll be having the craic. If you get lost, meet by the tree. If you’ve been here you’ll understand.