Dublin 15 is full of rats. There is one crossing the four lanes of Snugborough Road, oblivious to the cars whooshing past and my shadow on the sidewalk. It just scampers along on whatever business large rats have in broad daylight, stopping at the curb for a moment, before scurrying into the shrubbery next to the sidewalk. I walk further down the road past the National Aquatic Centre, with the ringing of the last ice cream van of the dead summer disappearing in the estates on my right. The shrubbery is rustling constantly; with every step I seem to startle another greyish-brown critter with a wormtail, scampering away from empty packs of crisps deeper into the undergrowth. The midges dance on the Tolka river in the last rays of sunshine the day has to offer. In the shadows of the outer walls of the estates there’s the smell of rotten leaves, of trampled-flat ice cream-wrappers, and long-dead things.
By Marcel Krueger