Perhaps their cousin played football against your hero fourteen years ago, come February. And they lost by a goal in extra time. And they are still blaming the referee for defeat.
So, if you are adding colour to a true story you must be careful to disguise the characters very well. For stories are never told the same way twice.
Mostly, storytelling is about telling a tale well so both listener and teller create and agree the story together.
You must make up your own mind with these stories, for as always, the devil is in the detail of a story well told.
Bang Bang roamed the streets of Dublin with a large key shooting anyone who caught his eye, and most people obligingly fired back.
Lugs Brannigan, the city’s most famous detective, offered wrongdoers a choice of a boxing bout with him, or, an appearance in court.
Molly Malone may have been two women born centuries apart, or none at all, and anyway, Dubliners sing her praises at the drop of a glass, whoever she was.
A black pig prowled the streets of Dublin attacking unaccompanied women until a visiting blacksmith was mistaken for a woman walking on her own one wild and windswept night.
The devil himself came to the Hellfire Club in the mountains above Dublin as everyone knows, but why?
Was the female founder of Dr Steeven’s Hospital, the butchers’ hospital, really born with a pig’s head?
Did the pope really not recognize two Dublin mammies when they called on him on his holidays in his castle in Italy?
On Ireland’s Eye, a bathing wife turns up dead in the water, and her husband is charged with murder.
These and many more accounts of Dubliners and Dublin City fill this book, as told by Brendan Nolan, a professional storyteller who has been listening to and re-telling these tales for decades.
These are the stories of real Dublin, the stories that are passed from generation to generation and which give this city its unique character.
To know Dublin is to know its characters, their stories, and the legends that have grown up around them.