Juicebox Comedy's Aidan Shields
Aidan Shields is a stand-up comic who runs and is the MC of The Juicebox Comedy Night in The Spirit Store, which brings some of Ireland's best comics to the town.
What’s your favourite thing about Dundalk?
Its size. It’s the Goldilocks of town sizes. And the craic.
What would your perfect day in the local area be — and why?
A summer’s morning. Strandfield or Panama or Jackies for breakfast. Go for a walk down the Navvy bank with my kids. Have a coffee in Russell’s. Call in to Marvel Ink (tattoo shop) and chicken out of getting another tattoo.
Cycle down to Blackrock and find a secluded spot to just chill and think. A pint in the Bartender or Spirit Store and a walk home.
What would you like to change about Dundalk?
People talking about the cycle lanes. The cycle lanes. People not cycling. Buses running after 6pm. Cycling on buses.
What annoys you about the town?
It could do with a splash of colour in parts. Can be grim sometimes. Would love to see Clanbrassil St and beyond get a nice lick of paint. More street art on abandoned/unused buildings. Also hard to get a breakfast anywhere before 9am. I love breakfast.
Aidan pictured down at the Navvy Bank in Dundalk
What plans do you have for the rest of year?
Heal my wounds. Get healthy. Get involved with more comedy. Attract new crowds to the local comedy scene. Appeal to a wider audience. Inherit a house from a stranger who thinks I’m hilarious. And maybe a car. Or a nice bike.
How would you describe Dundalk people?
Pleasantly pessimistic. A ‘think the worst, be pleasantly surprised’ attitude to them. But hilarious and fond of an aul schneer.
Where's the best place to go for a walk in the local area?
Red Barns Road/Point Road/Navvy Bank. Anywhere with a good view of the Cooley Mountains. Or down the rifle range looking for bullet shells and wondering would the soldiers in the barracks actually be able to protect us if we were ever invaded by a hostile country. Like the Faroe Islands.
What local amenities could Dundalk do with?
A microwave at the square.
What’s your first memory of Dundalk?
Hmmmm... That’s a toughie. Playing kick-the-can in Bay Estate? Being super excited to get chips from Joe O’Hanlons? Drinking a bag of cans with my dad down at St Helena’s Park? So many fond memories.
What’s your favourite story you've heard about Dundalk?
Before they renovated Seatown Castle there used to be a big rock with a hoof print on the top of it. Legend has it that the devil appeared to a nun on the top floor and tried to tempt the nun to do something ungodly.
Like smoke a joint or something. Anyway, the nun refused so he melted the wall and put her face through it which you can still see if you look up.
Then he jumped out the window and left a hoof print on the rock below. I really wish they hadn’t moved the rock. At least the nun's face is still there.
What's your favourite Dundalk slang/phrase?
It has to be calling someone a big ham. I love it.
Where is your favourite pub in Dundalk and why?
I like my coffee. Russell’s and Spirit Store do great coffee. Spirit Store on a warm summer’s evening is the biz. The Bartender for cosy winter pints. Can’t bate it.
What do you think of the local comedy scene - how does it measure up against other towns?
Dundalk is flying. The challenge is to get punters to come out to the comedy club nights and take a chance on seeing fabulous acts that aren’t household names yet.
I think excluding the bigger cities we’re doing quite well. A lot of towns don't have any comedy at all. We have JuiceBox Comedy Club, DropOut Comedy Club and a new club opening in The Hotel Imperial.
Also, the Spirit Store attracts the very best touring acts you’ll find in Ireland and generally has three to four huge acts per month.
If you could pass a message on to the people of Dundalk, what would it be?
Come out and see live comedy. Take a chance.
Also, go for more walks. Dundalk is beautiful. Have pride in it. Take a stroll up and down the Navvy bank. And if you have any contacts in RTE or BBC tell them I’m hilarious.
BONUS QUESTION: Who would win in a fight between Drogheda and the town?
Well...Drogheda technically has more people, but their lack of motor skills and unformed extra fingers would ensure an easy victory for Dundalk folk...
Check out www.facebook.com/JuiceBoxComedy/ for much more from Aidan and his comedy night.