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It was about 11.30pm I suppose. I had just seen Ireland crush Iran 2-0 at home in the World Cup qualifer first leg. I had a few beers in me, feeling good, decided to check out the internet cafe I work in part time, see who's around, maybe get a game of CounterStrike going on the LAN and kick a little ass.

I say Hi to the guys, take a computer, load up PunkBuster and begin to cruise the net for some worthy opponents. I hit a nice fast server somewhere in the south of England, join the counter terrosist squad, say hi to the other "d00dz" online and settle down for a nice game of death and destruction.

My computer faces out on to Dame St. which is a very busy part of Dublin on a Saturday night. Lots of drunken lunatics and screeching hen parties. You know what I mean. So I'm sitting there racking up the frags, when out of the corner of my eye I see two guys roll into the middle of street punching the heads off each other. The traffic has come to a complete standstill as I watch these two drunken warriors have it out. They both seem far too drunk to do any real damage to each other, so I go outside for a closer look. What was beyond my field of vision in the cafe now greets me as I exit. A full on boy/girl brawl outside the pub next door. Lots of punches being thrown at both sexes, lots of two on ones, lots of kicking. I'm standing there in the middle of this fracas when suddenly, through the haze of my mild drunkeness, I realise that I could get decked at any moment. I see this rough looking blond girl lying on the pavement getting kicked in the back of the head by some other tramp, and I think "Okay man, this is it. You can either stand there and watch this girl get kicked to death in front of you or you can do something about it". I make my way over to her to see if she is okay and maybe calm the other girl down a bit, but before I make it over, some huge guy grabs the blond girl's assailant by the neck, chokes her for a few seconds, the punches her full force straight into her nose. She dropped like a sack of spuds. The big guy helps the blond girl who seems to be okay, off the ground and puts her into a taxi. The other girl is lying on the roadside, out cold, with her nose spread across her face.

As I looked around I could see guys eyeing me up, wondering whether I am friend or foe. I decide to leave them wondering and make for the relatively safe confines of the cafe, where I lock the door just as the fight reaches fever pitch. Where were the cops when all this was happening? I don't know. I chilled in the cafe for 20 minutes or so until I knew it was safe to go outside again. When I did, I had a look around. Lots of broken glass, some blood, a tooth, a torn shirt.

I come to the conclusion that I've had enough excitement for one night, so I make my way towards Temple Bar and home. I say goodnight to the guys and make my way down Dame St.

As I get to the Olympia theatre, right next to my apartment I see another brawl erupt outside a pub and notice it's the same guys from before, except without their girls. Things have gotten really crazy at this stage, pure pitched battles in the middle of the busiest street, maybe thirty/forty people having it out. Guys throwing each on car bonnets, I hear the window in the pub smash, stools start to fly out the window. Pure fucking insanity is the only way I can describe the scene. Still no sign of the cops, on the busiest street in the city on a saturday night.

I decide not to stick around this time and have my eyes soiled any further by the brainless thugs beating the heads off each other and make for home.

I get into the apartment, skin up a nice joint and watch the end of Dirty Dancing with my sisters flatmate. I don't even discuss what happened out on the street, I'd rather not spoil her night in with tales of violent encounters and intersexual fisticuffs, so I go to bed early. I lie there for a while thinking what happened to those girls.

Is the girl with the broken nose in hospital? Will the girl who was getting booted in the head wake up with a blood clot in her brain in the morning? Was it a gang thing? Do these people have kids? What would they think? How did the fight start? Where were the cops?

Nothing but unpleasant thoughts until sleep wraps it's gentle arms around me.

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