This Donal Miller classic first appeared on LaoisToday on May 29, 2017.
The sign is still above the door but ‘Turning Point’ night club is no more.
For a spell throughout the 1990s it was the only place to go, the only place to be seen. And for those who went there, they’ll never forget it.
- Pedigree Corner was the joint in which every young lad got their first shift.
- The Field, The Three Counties, Dunne’s Pub, Rams and Andersons were the main suppliers of punters to Pedigree Corner.
- It was also a great spot for a Conor McGregor type row.
- At times an amalgamation was seen, never to be repeated on the football pitch, between the Stradbally lads and the Ballylinan lads. This was 100% necessary to keep manners on the go-boys from Athy!
- Speaking of amalgamations, the anticipated one between the Kilcruse and Kileen boys never occurred on the pitch but remained alive when it came to car park brawls. You took one of these boys on, you took them all on.
- It was also the era of the successful Laois minors. Every player managed to secure the shift on the back of that status. Even the subs.
- Fake IDs were all the rage and the dodgiest of samples would be accepted.
- Girls who were refused, refused to accept the refusal. There were Nadine Coyle moments every night! They then proceeded to lurk around the steps. Sometimes a better night was had there than inside.
- The best night was the Junior Cert Results night. Lads that should ‘know better’ used the line ‘I used to know your faatheerr.’! That secured them ‘the shift’. Think Serengeti at feeding time!
- The bouncers were real men, hardy men and could take four young lads at a time, usually in head locks! At the back of it all, they were also gentlemen.
- The boiler house saw more than plumbers in its time and the squash court up the back saw the best of ‘players’!
- Toilets regularly flooded but no one seemed to care.
- The Athy boys stood with their backs to the wall. They knew, as did everyone else, that they were outnumbered.
- Fitzy the barman, made a mean cocktail, aptly called, ‘The Fitzy Special’!
- Curry chips with peas was always on the menu!
- It was the era of the slow set.
- Dessie ‘The DJ’ Garvan loved The Golden Horde’s, ‘Friends in Time’ and this was many a couple’s song. It was played at least once every Friday night as was ‘Show me Heaven’ by Maria McKee. Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’ was also a firm favourite with the regulars.
- Every night was completed with ‘Amhran na bhFiann’. People sang it with pride and even the drunkest of youngsters stood tall. They’d later collapse once the air hit them! That same ‘air’ got many a young person in bother with their parents.
- Car pooling was the rage. If you didn’t have a lift home with one of the old folks you could rely on PJ Dignan, Goggy Delaney or Minno.
- All bus drivers allowed for the playing of mixed cassettes, usually recorded from the Radio, with nice little interludes!
- Every now and again, when the buses would be full, some bright spark would decide to ‘walk it’. ‘Walking it’ was a very long ‘walk’ depending on what part of the country you were from.
- Turning Point Nightclub, we thank you for the memories.