In 1994 or 5, David Wheatley and I were invited to the offices of the Inland Revenue on South Great George’s Street in Dublin. Fortunately, the occasion was purely social. We had arranged with the Irish poet and critic, Dennis O’Driscoll, to meet for lunch and he suggested we pick him up at his office.
The office building stretched about two hundred metres flush alongside the busy street. For each of the five or six floors there was a band of grooved concrete and a row of aluminium windows – 1970s regulation non-descript. We announced ourselves and waited in the small foyer for Dennis to descend from the off-limits offices above us. Secretaries, government officers, and other employees were streaming out of the lift on their way to lunch. My friend and myself had published a poem each in the Irish Times, and first collections were in the offing. Dennis had contacted us, puzzled that we hadn’t appeared on his radar earlier.