He was half right. The post went semi viral. According to my blogger statistics it accumulated about 2,500 hits a day over the course of last week. A number of websites also linked to the post, including Kells online which featured a piece about it here.
To be honest, I shat my pants (figuratively!) before reading the Kells online piece, as Storkboy's rabid warnings had me braced for the worst. However, the piece is measured and it acknowledges that the town looks a bit shit at the moment. Indeed, it appears that my little photo essay might even provide incentive for a town clean-up.
I felt a bit bad, however, when I read the line "while it could be argued that there is a certain mean spirited tone to the article and that you could find similar sights in any town in Ireland is went set out to look for them". I would hate people to come away from my blog with the impression that I am mean-spirited about my home town and I'd hope that regular readers recognise that I have a fairly complex relationship with the place.
if your Viking longship runs into trouble approaching Kells, look out for our lighthouse
There are times when Kells feels like a dispiriting kip to me, a heritage town of enormous historical significance that perpetually fails to respect itself. But there are times too, when I come over all gooey for the town; for the motley crew of unpretentious yet arty kids I befriended in secondary school and who continue to be my closest friends in adulthood; for the dreaming monastery feel of the town on a fine Summer afternoon walk; for the weird pagan lore that seems to co-exist with the monastic past; for Ireland's only inland lighthouse; for the flat, aesthetically challenged accent that is perversely sported as a badge of honour by many; and for a stubborn character that continues to resist the severe damage Ireland's failed economy has wrought on the place.
Ah Kells, I love ta hate ya.