WWN Reviews: The Dublin Nitelink


WITH THE LAUNCH of two 24-hour bus services in Dublin, WWN thought it was high time it reviewed what people have been calling the ‘best entertainment value money can buy’ crossed with ‘a prison on steroids’; the Nitelink.

The duty of any good Arts editor is to seek out new experiences, sampling culture that may be alien to them or their readers and this is just what WWN did on Friday night last.

The Dublin Bus Nitelink service’s differences when compared to the normal service are imperceptible. Only small things look different if you take the time to study the scene; where vomit on your seat is optional during the day, it appears mandatory on the Nitelink.

Reinforced steel bars over the windows are also electrified and we’re informed by the driver, in full riot gear, that the windows are not designed to protect the bus patrons from those outside but to protect the outside world from the frothing creatures now abroad the bus.

The chat on the bus is lively as the 39n disembarks Westmoreland Street, we befriend a man who tells us through slurred speech his name is My Cold. It is presumed when sober, his name is Michael.

Michael appears an old pro at the Nitelink and has already soiled himself in a bid to keep warm.

We express our alarm at a fight which breaks out between two men on the top deck. We urge them to stop pulling at each other’s tops. The rest of the passengers agree with us and insist the men fight topless and oiled up.

Fists fly in a fashion less accurate than someone trying paint a self-portrait with only vibrators for fingers. We’re not sure this is really the best entertainment money can buy. The bus hasn’t set off from Westmoreland St yet and we’re beginning to think the rest of the journey might be as quiet the rest of the way out to Blanchardstown.

But we spoke too soon as slowly but surely as we took on more passengers the Nitelink moved into second gear. Amateur pharmacists offered pills to people who might be feeling a little tired and a barter system also started up. Sexual favours for a bite of a kebab was the most regular and consistent transaction. A tattoo parlour had opened on the bottom deck operated by a man called Needles Kelly.

The Nitelink is described by the Lonely Planet as the world’s 4th most dangerous place on Earth, could it live up to this reputation? Yes. Soon, restless passengers turned on the driver over his insistence at sticking with the correct speed limits and honouring red lights.

Pulled from his seat, we the passengers, were now masters of our destiny. But who would lead us? After intense discussions, we decided to hold a vote. But it was proving difficult owing to how drunk some of us were. Before we knew what had happened we had failed collectively to nominate a driver, but had declared the 39n its own republic, with its own education and tax systems and we had declared war on Meath.

The two topless fighting men from earlier were now head of the Republic of 39n’s Justice and Defence departments. We would strike Meath at dawn. Their people would suspect nothing. We would show no mercy.