The Republic of Nidgeland

Last night I was once more lured back into the evil grubby world created by the genius of Stuart Carolan.

I wasn’t alone.

Almost one million viewers tuned into the first episode of Series 5 of ‘Love Hate’.

I believe that every significant historical moment needs to be captured within a memorable fictional character before that period can be made truly intelligible.

For anyone who lived in Ireland through the Celtic Tiger years and wants to know what it was all about then they should look no further than ‘Nidge’.

Nigel ‘Nidge’ Delaney is the central character in Carolan’s ‘Love /Hate’ televisual saga.

On one level it is an everyday tale of drug dealing folk in Dublin.

However it is so much more than that that, just as the life and times of Anthony Soprano told a wider tale than the workaday troubles of the New Jersey mob.

The lexicon of Love Hate has entered common usage here, especially among the under 40 age group.

The term ‘fizzy orange’ is now thrown around in pub conversations as a generally understood cultural reference.

Carolan has created a cautionary tale that allows us to look back at the Tiger years and also examine the current societal mess that we are in and that is a huge achievement for any writer.

I do hope that Tom Vaughan-Lawlor is not type cast as ‘Nidge’ because he is sublime thespian.

Every time his hypnotic stare transmits evil intent and Machiavellian planning I can only think that Tom is a wonderful Iago waiting in the wings.

He was recently cast as Charlie Haughey’s éminence grise PJ Mara with Aidan Gillen playing ‘CJ’.

The sociopathic Haughey presided over a kleptocracy that ushered in the Tiger years in this Republic.

CJ and his Golden Circle largely created the moral swamp that Nidge and his ilk emerged from.

If this is the first time you have heard of Carolan’s evil creation then I will err on the side of caution.

No need for spoiler alerts as I will leave it there because it really is too good to spoil.

In the age of the box set you are in for a treat one rainy week end when you are laid up with the snuffles.

Last year the NUJ in Ireland hosted the world congress of the International Federation of Journalists.

All of the IFJ delegates left this island with a series of gifts and mementoes from their Irish hosts.

Among them was a DVD of Love Hate.

If they had arrived in Ireland with a romantic view of where we are as a people in the 21st century then oul Nidgey would put them right.

He could do the same for you dear reader.


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