Back in the mid-90s I hitched a lift to Galway with a young businessman who drove a shiny black Mercedes. His job, he told me, involved rummaging around the attics and outhouses of rural Ireland and retrieving whatever rubbish he could find: old bicycles, obsolete household utensils, even discarded road signs.
Why, I asked him? He told me about a craze for Irish-themed bars that was sweeping Britain and continental Europe. Bar owners abroad were paying ridiculous prices for the kind of crap generally found gathering dust in our grandparents’ garages. Foot-pedal sewing machines were being used as tables in Bradford; High Nellies were hanging from tavern walls in Bratislava. Read the rest of this article here.