Not so long ago, we looked at the chains of the Lord Mayor of Dublin on the website. Readers of the blog might have been surprised to learn that King William of Orange is depicted upon the ceremonial chains,and it was hoped that “in everlasting memory of the great services of William III to the Protestant inhabitants and as a mark of his royal grace and favour” he would bestow the chains upon the city.

But if King Billy is out of place in Dublin, so too is the city motto: Obedientia Civium Urbis Felicitas. Translated, it essentially proclaims that the happiness of the city depends upon the obedience of its people. It has been argued that the flames depicted within the city coat of arms represent “the zeal of the citizens to defend Dublin”, though looking at the course of Irish history the zealof the citizens to destroy Dublin may seem more fitting!


Recently, Dublin street artist ADW had a bit of fun with the city coat of arms as part of the  All City Tivoli Jam, which sees the walls at the Tivoli Theatre carpark redecorated on an annual basis. ADW’s art may be familiar to some readers of this blog, for example his redecoration of a dull city centre powerbox. ADW has taken the coat of arms and placed the people of the city within a turning cog of a machine. Justice and Law still feature!

Image Credit: ADW Art.

Image Credit: ADW Art.

As a work in progress.

As a work in progress.

Variations of the city coat of arms are to be found all over Dublin today, on street lamps and above buildings. You’ll find a beautiful mosaic tile in City Hall which is well worth taking the time to visit. While you’re there, check out the murals around it.


Niall ‘Hano’ Hannigan was a well-known figure not only at Saint Patrick’s Athletic but right across the League of Ireland community. A committed volunteer at the club he loved so much, he gave much of his time to the youth sides at the club and to issues which involved supporters, such as organising away buses. His sudden death last week was a heartbreaking moment for so many at Saint Pat’s, and his trademark white cap will be missed in Richmond Park. Luke Fallon captured these photographs on Friday as Saint Pat’s fans remembered one of their own. As ever with Luke’s images on this site, they were captured on film.

RIP Hano.







We’re very pleased to announce that Barry Gleeson has joined the bill for our Pieta House fundraiser next Thursday in The Sugar Club.

The blog celebrates Dublin’s very rich musical heritage, which has involved everything from compiling (and often uploading!) a timeline of Dublin punk and new wave 7″s to providing a spotlight to new and emerging acts, across a range of fields. It has also involved looking at Dublin talents like Frank Harte and the wonderful Liam Weldon, traditional singers who knew how to carry stories through the medium of songs. Liam Weldon was once described as being “as Dublin as the Easter Rising, and as Irish as the Love Songs of Connacht or the Limerick Soviet that got clobbered.”

The line-up we have assembled for Thursday is varied, spanning all from street artist Maser to young hip hop artist Costello, and reflecting the broadest possible range of Dubliners. Tradition is hugely important to us however, and nowhere is it more evidently found in Dublin than in institutions like the Góilín Singers’ Club. Barry Gleeson is a fine Dublin singer, and a voice that may be familiar to readers of Come Here To Me having shared the stage with our favourite “folk miscreants” Lynched in the past. From Artane in Dublin, his song subjects range from the brilliantly humorous (hear his ode to nightclub Tomango’s!) to songs which examine Irish political and social history.

Remembering the early days of the Góilín Club in The Thomas House, Gleeson recalled “There’d often be only about seven of us on Thursday nights in Thomas House. I really enjoyed it. Our names would be called out at the end of the night – fame at last!” Clubs like the Góilín, and institutions like the Irish Traditional Music Archive, have proven invaluable in preserving a most important oral tradition. Gleeson is a joy to listen to, and we hope you’ll join us on Thursday to enjoy it.


We’re delighted with the poster for next weeks event in The Sugar Club, which draws inspiration from the work of both MASER and Jim Fitzpatrick:


The central inspiration for the piece is Thin Lizzy’s iconic Black Rose LP cover, which was designed by Fitzpatrick. We’re great admirers of Fitzpatrick’s work, from his political posters of figures such as Che Guevara and Joe McCann to his Celtic influenced designs. Jim comes from fine stock too, being the grandson of Thomas Fitzpatrick of The Lepracaun, who also contributed cartoons to the Weekly Freeman.

'Black Rose' via www.jimfitzpatrick.com

‘Black Rose’ via http://www.jimfitzpatrick.com

Further information on the event and tickets can be found here.

Nelson model at The Little Museum of Dublin.

Nelson model at The Little Museum of Dublin.

168 steps were all that kept Dubliners from the viewing platform of the Nelson Pillar, or Nelson’s Pillar as it became known locally.

Francis Johnston’s Doric column, topped with Thomas Kirk’s statue of the famous Admiral, was ever-controversial. Everyone from Saint Patrick to John F. Kennedy was proposed as a suitable replacement for the top of the monument over the years by campaigners shocked by the presence of a British naval hero, and not an Irishman, in the centre of O’Connell Street.

Regardless of who was on top of it, the pillar itself became a part of the Dublin streetscape, and buses and trams made their way for ‘Nelson’s Pillar’ for many years. On the eight of March 1966 a bomb destroyed the core of the monument, and the English Admiral was gone, with pieces of the pillar destined to become a mantelpiece staple in Dublin. Some celebrated his demise, others mourned Horatio. The Senator Owen Sheehy-Skeffington went as far as to say that “the man who destroyed the pillar made Dublin look more like Birmingham and less like an ancient city on the River Liffey”.

The Little Museum of Dublin have recently added this great model of the monument to their collection. Meticulous in detail, right down to the gates and the inscriptions detailing Nelson’s victories, it is worth a visit for anyone who climbed the 168 steps – or indeed those who never made it. For an idea of scale, see this tweet.

The entrance to the Nelson Pillar.

The entrance to the Nelson Pillar.

Nelson himself (via @dublinmuseum)

Nelson himself (via @dublinmuseum)

NCAD students with the 'liberated' head of Nelson, 1966.

NCAD students with the ‘liberated’ head of Nelson, 1966.

Recently, we were approached by man about town Johnny Moy regarding the possibility of a Come Here To Me themed night in The Sugar Club. While we’ve tried our hand at events before, we felt it necessary to get the venue right, to find a place where we wouldn’t be competing noise wise or otherwise with anything else, and a place where music, spoken word and visuals could all come together in right way.

Pieta House is a charity very close to our hearts, and undoubtedly the same for many of you. We have decided then to throw our weight behind a forthcoming night in The Sugar Club. The line-up we’ve put together between us is eclectic, with a variety of talks and sets followed by boys and girls we know spinning tunes. This night takes place June 4th, ‘Dublin Songs & Stories’, with doors opening from 7.30pm in The Sugar Club. Tickets cost €10, and every cent we take in will go to Pieta House. Please support it and please spread the word.

You can get tickets in advance from here. Owing to the limited capacity on the night, you may want to!

Line Up:

MASER. Live and Love.

MASER. Live and Love.


Dublin and Ireland’s favourite street artist is back in on home turf after a two year working trip around the globe doing exhibitions and large scale installments. His work has taken him all over the planet. Maser started out as a graff artist in the 90’s and quickly rose up the ranks, he now has an international reputation for his ultra large outdoor works, he has also progressed to full scale exhibitions over the last few years. Readers of the blog may remember his ‘They Are Us’ collaboration with Damien Dempsey, which raised huge sums of money for the homeless in Dublin. His recent work can be seen in Hawaii, Sydney, New York, Las Vegas, Berlin, Milan to name a few. Back in Ireland now for a 6 week residency in the prolific Graphic Studios, Dublin. Maser has spoken in the past about his work at Offset and Sweet talk and he will join us on the night to get us up to speed on his international rise and his Dublin roots.

'Che' by Jim Fitzpatrick.

‘Che’ by Jim Fitzpatrick.


Jim should be no stranger to anyone with a remote interest in the arts, as his most famous piece of work is the iconic VIVA CHE – the internationally famous portrait of Che Guevara. This image went on to become a global symbol of resistance to oppression. Jim never made (nor wanted) to make money from this work as long as people used it respectively and in context. In Sep 2011 after several miss usage (without rights) in crass global marketing campaigns Jim decided enough was enough and took the image rights out of the public domain. That same year he met with El Che’s daughter (Aledia Guevara) and arranged a legal transfer of the image rights himself to her family to benefit the people of Cuba. Jim has also worked extensively with Irish bands and musicians, most notably Thin Lizzy and he was very close to the former singer Phil Lynott, Jim will give a good insight into what Dublin was like back then.

Una Mullally's study 'In The Name of Love'

Una Mullally’s study ‘In The Name of Love’


Journalist, broadcaster and author, we’re delighted to have the involvement of Una Mullally in this event. In 2014, she published her first book In The Name of Love, an oral history of the movement for marriage equality in Ireland through the ages. One of the busiest people in Dublin it seems, she presents Ceol ar an Imeall (Music on the Edge), an alternative music TV show on TG4, and has also organised the popular Come Rhyme With Me spoken word nights in the city. Given the talk around marriage equality in recent times, we wanted to invite Una to talk about the movement for marriage equality and gay rights in Irish society.

An image from the 'Where Were You' Facebook page.

An image from the ‘Where Were You’ Facebook page. “Skins…Specials…Madness” – Kilbarrack – Early 80s. ( Photo Joe Behan.)


We’re great fans of Garry O’Neill’s book Where Were You, and the ever-expanding Facebook page that came along with it. The book is a visual social document of young Dublin. A photographic journey through five decades of the city’s youth cultures, street styles and teenage life. All the material was sourced over four years or more of constant advertising to the general public through posters and flyers, and also from photographers, newspapers and books. The book covered the youth subcultures of Dublin’s past, including Punks, Teddy Boys, Skinheads, Hippies, Mods, Rockers, Goths, Bikers etc. Now, Garry is looking at the record shops of Dublin, which are slowly vanishing from the streets of the capital, and we invite him to tell us a little bit more about all of that.

'No Ordinary Love' - Aidan Kellly.

‘No Ordinary Love’ – Aidan Kellly.


Dublin born Aidan Kelly has been taking photographs for over 15 years building a solid archive of mainly documentary, fine art and portrait work. He’s worked for clients such as U2, and renowned playwright Martin MacDonagh, while he was also involved with the ‘They Are Us’ Project with Maser and Damien Dempsey. He has collaborated with Dublin street artist DMC in recent times, and his work often draws on the streets of Dublin as a central influence. He is a true Dub with with good knack for a story.


A Radiator From Space, a Trouble Pilgrim, we had to invite Pete Holidai to join us once again. The Radiators From Space produced two classic albums in the 1970s, in the form of TV Tube Heart and Ghosttown. In 2012, 35 years after the release of their classic single ‘Television Screen’, Come Here To Me chatted to Phil Chevron. Today, Pete and Steve Rapid of the original Radiators are back on stage as the Trouble Pilgrims, joined by long term member Johnny Bonnie along with bassist Paddy Goodwin and rhythm guitarist Tony St Ledger. In 2014, they released ‘Animal Gang Blues’, a 7″ record full of the stories and lore of the notorious ‘Animal Gangs’ of 1940s Dublin.




Working Class Records have released some brilliant slices of Irish hip hop in recent years. The label first came to our attention through the Street Literature album ‘Products of the Environment’, and in recent years performers like Lethal Dialect, GI and Costello have gone from strength to strength in the Irish hip hop scene. In 2013, the documentary Broken Song told the story of just what the lads at Working Class Records have been trying to do, with The Irish Times describing it as “Dublin’s first hip-hop street opera.” Costello’s Illisophical has been one of the most played albums around here in recent times and we’re delighted to invite him to take part.

Lewis Kenny

Lewis Kenny


Bohs man in the stanza, Cabra native Lewis Kenny has been attracting a lot of attention in recent times, and deservedly so. At the start of the year, Bohemians appointed Kenny as the first ever Poet In Residence at a League of Ireland club, a brave departure! But, there’s much more to Kenny than just The Beautiful Game, and as our friends at Rabble have noted “The work of poet Lewis kenny takes in everything from skagged out MDMA session victims and urban gentrification, right up to the importance of cherishing your ma.”

And then, to play it all out, we’ll be inviting people to take to the decks as we all relax and enjoy some music. We’ve roped in soul music extraordinaire and Anseo regular Shane Walsh, we’ll force Johnny Moy into it too, and we’ve invited other boys and girls from the CHTM circle to give it a go.

More tba.

Sign-painting, sadly, is an industry in decline in Dublin. They said that Brendan Behan was the son of one of the finest sign-painters in Dublin, though Stephen Behan was by no means alone in the industry. Brendan himself dabbled in the field, before discovering other talents. Kevin Freeney, born in 1919, painted “at least 700 pubs and shopfronts” in the capital, and was a frequent sight on the streets of Dublin once upon a time, carrying his paint and brushes everywhere. The Freeney story was brilliantly told in the short firm ‘Gentlemen of Letters’, which brought the story right up to the present day through artists like MASER.

The Freeney family have continued a family tradition for generations now, always maintaining a great pride in their history. An archive of Kevin Freeney’s work, available to view on Flickr, is testament to that. A new book, entitled The Art of Painting Buses, demonstrates that the family continue to make their mark on the city.

The first bus painted by the Freeney's. (From The Art of Painting Buses)

The first bus painted by the Freeney’s. From ‘The Art of Painting Buses.’

1988 was the year of Dublin’s Millennium. Well, it wasn’t actually the Millennium (the Vikings were here long before 988, we’re sorry to tell you), but 1988 is remembered in Dublin today for the festival and celebrations of all things Dublin and old. There are lasting monuments in the city today to 1988, for example the mosaic tiles on the side of St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, the Molly Malone statue and the milk bottles in your attic. There are also plenty of memories, and readers may remember seeing the above bus driving around the city. Painted by the Freeney’s, it marked their first foray into, the art of painting buses. It was not to prove the last.

From  'The Art of Painting Buses'.

From ‘The Art of Painting Buses’.

The sheer labour involved in the art was immense, and sometimes the work tedious. In an interview with the Irish Independent, Tom Freeney remembered that “Some buses were tougher than others. In 1993 we had to hand paint 38,652 garden peas onto a Hak Produce bus. It was very hard to motivate yourself knowing you were facing into another day of peas.” For me, some of the most interesting images in this collection are those advertising Dublin businesses no longer with us, while others remain familiar names.

Bad Bobs. From 'The Art of Painting Buses'.

Bad Bobs. From ‘The Art of Painting Buses’.

From 'The Art of Painting Buses'.

From ‘The Art of Painting Buses’.

Today, Freeney’s Graphics continue family traditions. With the day that is in it, it’s only right to draw attention to this recent wrap on a Hailo taxi! Few families in Dublin have remained as firmly rooted in a family tradition as the Freeney’s, and The Art of Painting Buses is a fine record of a job well done.

Image via 'Freeney's Graphics' Facebook.

Image via ‘Freeney’s Graphics’ Facebook.

For more information, see The Art of Painting Buses website.


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