Dublin's Krispy Kreme fiasco proves that Ireland is permanently on the verge of eruption 4 years ago

Dublin's Krispy Kreme fiasco proves that Ireland is permanently on the verge of eruption

Scenes of jubilation met the grand opening of the Krispy Kreme megastore in Blanchardstown last week.

Joy descended upon Dublin and droves of people drove to the new 24-hour drive-thru doughnut megastore situated on the very outskirts of the capital. The people were ready to gorge.


And then... came the reports. Reports of noise. Reports of hours-long queues. Residents cried in the news because they hadn't slept in days. Days. Irish citizens had been lining up in their cars for three hours or more in the middle of the night in order to get doughnuts. Honking our horns. Honking out of frustration? Impatience? Celebration?

Or was it just a primal scream in the capitalistic void that has opened up between our humanity and the sick approximation of humanity mutated by decades of social conditioning geared towards generating profit for the already-rich? Who knows? I'm not qualified to make that kind of call. I'm just saying, whatever it is, it's very funny to me. And it's given me a lot to think about.

After just one week, Krispy Kreme was forced to close the 24-hour drive-thru — changing its hours to 6.30am-11pm.


I do feel honest sympathy for the residents of Blanchardstown, but it must be acknowledged that the implications of this story are bigger than just Blanch.

For some reason, introducing any stimulant like this one into Irish society is like introducing a packet of Mentos into a recently shaken up bottle of Diet Coke. We shake violently. We rupture. We convulse, as a people. It's a mess.

And it's not how the rest of the world operates.


There are 316 Krispy Kremes in the US. It’s been around for 81 years. It has over 1000 locations globally. Ireland had ONE store, for ONE week, and we all freaked out so bad that they had to change its entire business model. Immediately.

And in case this is a source of confusion for international audiences, allow me to clarify: We have always had doughnuts in Ireland. This is not like the first time that we have seen doughnuts. The doughnut industry has actually been running rampant throughout Dublin for the last 18 months. Rolling Donut. Offbeat Donut. Aungier Danger. Boston Donuts. Boomerang Donuts. We have doughnuts, we're used to doughnuts.

And yet, the opening of Krispy Kreme has come to us much in the same way that the monolith came to the apes in the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And we've reacted exactly the same way that the apes did. By freaking the hell out.

The reaction is part of a broader pattern that has blighted Ireland since its inception. Earlier this year, after two or three days of relatively heavy snow, a group of people hijacked a JCB and crashed it into a Lidl, tearing it to the ground. Why? The shops were closed for like two days, max. We all knew the snow was coming. And yet once it did... we destroyed a goddamn Lidl.

Or do I need to remind you all what happened when Garth Brooks told us he was coming for two nights? The man may as well have lathered himself in blood and dived headfirst in a jacuzzi full of sharks. We tore strips from him. We demanded a third night. A fourth night. A fifth night. Over 410,000 people bought tickets to see Garth Brooks. Almost 10% of the entire population.

For Garth Brooks. It wasn't Michael Jackson or The Beatles, it was GARTH BROOKS. And we were prepared to buy as many tickets as they put on sale. It wasn't even legal for them to do that, that's how insatiable our demand was. The people in charge of the concerts forgot they had laws to follow. For Garth Brooks. What if it had been Michael Jackson? It honestly doesn't bear thinking about.

So what can possibly explain our incredibly combustible nature?

Perhaps its the centuries of privation that have made us this way. Perhaps it is moments like this when our history as a colonised, pillaged, raped nation actually rears its malnourished head. After all, the damage done to the nation's psyche by events like the famine — years of torture that killed a million Irish people — is unquantifiable.

All that wisdom learned by those people who had nothing, passed down through the generations, manifesting itself decades later — in an era that we believe to be more civilised. But we're not. How could we be? Honking our horns in the dead of night as we wait hours in our cars, licking our lips, hungry for sweet, sweet doughnuts. It makes sense to me.

Somewhere deep down, we've probably all got a little fight or flight lightswitch ready to flip — telling us that at any moment the crop could fail once more, or Cromwell could come back and raze the place to the ground. So get while the gettin's good. Whether its doughnuts or burritos or Garth Brooks.

Irish people don't jump on the bandwagon. We stop the bandwagon, we steal whatever is on it, gorge ourselves and then strip the bandwagon for parts.

Even today, as I stood outside Krispy Kreme, cars drove past with people hanging out the window to yell "Bring back the 24 hours doughnuts!" Bring them back? We only had them for a week. They've only been gone for a day. Krispy Kreme was open for business as these people drove past. They could have gotten doughnuts right there and then, but that wasn't the point.

What do we want? Doughnuts. When do we want them? Always.

Maybe after so long spent under those jagged, crushing yokes of imperial Britain and then the Catholic Church, we have so much pent up rage and frustration and hunger that it behooves us to converge upon our first 24 hour doughnut drive through and slam the shit out of our horns until they feed us tasty soft sugary doughy doughnuts into our grateful mouths.

From 1798 to 1916 to honking our horns for no discernible reason in a 24-hour doughnut drive-thru until a multinational corporation is forced admit it bit off more than it could chew, Ireland’s love of “going on a mad one” remains unparalleled.

Was it for this the wild geese spread?

Yes. Yes, it was.