Heard the one about the Irish civil servant who opened a bar in Moscow? He did very well, actually, you nasty little cultural imperialists. The civil servant is Frank Murphy and he runs the Shamrock Bar at the behest of the Irish DTI. The bar is the most popular in Moscow, indeed - if Mr Murphy's blarney is to be believed - in all of Russia. One of its patrons is the British Ambassador, Sir Rodric Braithwaite: so there. The Shamrock Bar is only part of the youthful Mr Murphy's demesne. Downstairs is a rouble butchers, selling 13 tons of EEC beef a day. Murphy's hard currency store is outselling both its Finnish and (hurrah) its German equivalents, turning over something in the region of $100,000 a day. The turnover at Moscow airport's duty-free (also Irish), meanwhile, now tops $3 million a month, and Ireland has just garnered the duty-free at the city's Finland Station, to the gratifying rage of the Finns. No wonder Murphy organised Moscow's first St Patrick's Day parade.
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