Gullet’s Travels: How “Mark of Ireland” Got His Name

Submitted By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger


Col. T.E. Lawrence

Greetings from Dublin Ireland, the home of the most famous dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and author of Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift. Suzanne and I have embraced the Irish and the hug seems mutual. Dublin is caught up in the frenzy of the five-day Saint Patrick’s Day Festival and, even more so, with the spectacle of European Rugby’s version of the Super Bowl played yesterday at Aviva Stadium. The city is teaming with rugby fans from five other nations. We’ve met so many wonderful people here from our ever helpful doorman at the Brooks Hotel, Connor, to our favorite barkeeper, Pawel, to scores of others, all anxious to help two hopelessly lost American travelers. We’ve even met a Turley or two.


The regulars here know that the lessons in mediation and quick-thinking learned on the Turley blog  come in handy — even abroad.  As I mentioned, yesterday was the playing of the Six Nation Rugby event here in Dublin. It was a historic match as the heavily favored and unbeaten British team were seeking to achieve the Grand Slam with a victory over a rather pedestrian Irish national team. Emotions ran high as the Irish pulled off a huge upset vanquishing the Brits on their national holiday, 24-8.

While enjoying a wonderful 16-year-old Bushmills with our newfound comrades at a local pub, a group of clearly British fans strolled into the bar tired, wet (it rained the entire match), and  despondent over the loss. A few good-natured barbs were thrown their way by the locals seated around me, and some tempers flared. Not wanting to relive a scene from the Old West in this burgeoning dispute, I introduced myself as an American cousin to both factions and asked what I could do to help.

Both groups seemed happy with my intervention and I suggested a “challenge” to both lighten the mood and allow me back to my scotch. Thinking as fast as the spirits would allow, I suggested the insulted Brits come up with the most disgusting drink they could imagine and that both groups down the noxious potion as fast as possible. My unspoken logic was that the alcohol might help grease the social skids or maybe even result in some mild anesthesia, and, that ultimately  it would be hard to aim a punch when tipsy. The trick worked as the Brits concocted a witches brew of Compari and vodka which the Irish concluded was the most disgusting drink on the planet. Dutifully, they all drank it down but not until one condition was met. As the maker of the challenge, I was likewise required to drink first .  Regulars here will be glad to know that I did the deed in record time, earning the respect of Brits and Celts alike. Recalling T.E. Lawrence, one of the Brits almost immediately dubbed me “Mark of Ireland” for my peacemaking efforts.

Another international incident averted on this weekend of international incidents and all thanks to my tenure on the Turley blog (and some skills developed long ago in my college fraternity).  As our regular Buddha likes to say “One lives to be of service”  — even in Ireland

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger


11 thoughts on “Gullet’s Travels: How “Mark of Ireland” Got His Name”

  1. Bud,
    I did catch the way she said Dublin. It was beautiful.
    I would not consider drinking Compari even if it did mean international peace.

  2. Did you hear the way she says Dublin?
    That is so cute.

    So sorry to hear you tried that drink Blouise.
    Think Mespo might owe you one.

    I can’t stand the sounds of Compari period.

  3. With a sense of great pride and a desire to share in the accomplishment of mini-war averted, I decided to attempt a Compari and vodka … yeck! …

  4. Mespo,
    Great story! The time that my wife and I visited Ireland was this time of year and we also witnessed the crazy Rugby fans, but I never had an encounter such as yours! Great job keeping the two countries from starting another row! Have a great time, but be careful with the Bushmills!

  5. “Mark of Ireland” as opposed to “The Mark of Ireland” I hope…

  6. Who said that they American Cousins could not drink the ones over the pond under the table….


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