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Archive for February, 2010

There was a great reaction to Mise An Fear Ceoil, a recent post I did on Seamus Ennis, the great piper of the Naul, North Dublin.

Recently, we stumbled across The World Jukebox website, which collects international folk and traditional music.

Here, from the World Library of Folk and Primitive Music vol.1:Ireland, we hear his voice. Proof Ennis could hold his own on the strength of his vocals, and not just his legendary musicial ability with regards the pipes.

Seamus Ennis, being recorded by Jean Ritchie

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This Friday sees the fifth installment of the Punky Reggae Party. Starting its life in Belfield, the night moved to Seomra Spraoi in December for more room, later opening hours and an enticing BYOB policy. This month sees Traycee up on the decks spinning a classic mix of Jamaican ska and rocksteady and Antrophe selecting his own dancehall reggae favourites. Carax and Jim will be on hand to see that punk, Oi! and mod revival is well represented. Hope to see you there.

Punky Reggae Party Vol. 5.

Saturday sees many of Dublin’s best punk, ska and rockabilly bands come together for a Haiti benefit gig in The Button Factory. I’m particularly looking forward to rockabilly legends Aces Wild and The Clash/Jam cover band Clash Jam Wallop.

Aid For Haiti, Saturday 27th February.

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Spotted in the window of Rorys Fishing Shop, Temple Bar.

How long is that there? I must walk past the place twice a week at least on the way to the Westmoreland Street bus-stop.

Still, not as bemusing as the restaurant a tiny bit further up with a sign in the window boasting of ( I swear) a €4.50 pint of Guinness. Bargain lads, bargain.

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“Come on; stall down here, we’ll get cans in, head to a pub, and then hit Dancehall Styles,” I say. “Grand, but meet me up in The Flowing Tide for one first” he says. Do we make it to Dancehall Styles? Not a chance. The Flowing Tide on Abbey Street has the ability to put the goo on you for a night on a bar stool. It’s a great spot, just off O’Connell Street but it somehow manages to avoid the majority of the ‘five-around-one-pint-of-stout” tourists that places like The Oval and Murrays seem to attract in abundance. Pints at a nice price too, at €4.15, unusual considering. The barman is a gent too, though I remind myself not to get on his bad side.

The Flowing Tide, by Sarahjoh, from Flickr

I was here one afternoon with my brother, ingesting a couple of quiet ones before we legged it down to Connolly to catch the train home. There was just the two of us and the barman, swapping small talk and watching the wrestling on telly, laughing and cracking jokes about it, when all of a sudden, two thirty-something blokes, straight from the office, and pretty hoi-polloi, strode hurriedly in. Without looking at the barman, one nasally whined “Hoi, stick on two Heino and the last race at Cheltenham, good man.” Christ. The barman, without taking his eyes off the telly said “Nah, lad, we’re watching the wrestling.” The two “Heinos” didn’t know where to look, eventually said “you can cancel the Heinos,” turned heal and left. I didn’t know where to look either, I nearly spilled my drink with laughter. So, moral of the story, don’t cross the barman with the moustache…

Anyways, great little spot; with the theatre across the road, you often get well known faces dropping in- Mick Lally (Miley from Glenroe) is a regular, though he’s a little worse for wear these days to be honest. But he wasn’t there tonight, just myself, jaycarax and a few locals. A couple of pints later and it was obvious that neither of us would have the energy to make it to see our friends in Worries Outernational. What we could do is get the grub in and head for another couple of quiet ones elsewhere.

Sin É, from properpint.com

So, after a quick stop off in the Peoples Kitchen on Capel Street (worth an article in itself- good asian food at half the price,) we headed as far as Sin É on Ormond Quay, pleasantly surprised to find that on Sundays, they do €3 pints of Guinness. I was hoping there wasn’t a reason for the pints being €3, but other than them being served in non-branded glasses (a bit of a pet hate,) you couldn’t complain.

Sin É: I really don’t know what to make of it. It tries to attract an “in” crowd, but bars like that are generally, well, a bit crap to be honest, but this place does well in that the staff are proper spot-on, the music is always good, and the punters are sound too. It’s frequented by Irish and non-Irish alike, a lot of backpacker types, alongside a couple of locals propping up the bar. Nice place it has to be said I guess. We stayed for a couple of their nice €3 pints before I realized the night was getting on and I had work bright and breezy in the morning. A right pain in the arse as we had just settled ourselves into some nice seats just inside the door. Ah well; not a bad evening, nice and cheap, not to be scoffed at in these times, the pints and the food came to less than €30. Well worth a try again sometime!

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The Front Of The Guinness Guidebook, 1939.

VISITORS
Presenting a suitable letter of introduction are conducted through the Breweries on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between the hours of 11 a.m and 3 p.m in parties of 20, starting at intervals of not less than a quarter of an hour. On Saturdays between 11.am and 12 mid-day. Children under 12 cannot be permitted under any circumstances to go through the works.

The Brewery is closed on all Public Holidays.

(1939)

Arthur Guinness himself, and the Contents page.

The trip down Guinness memory-lane continues with this nice piece. Long before the Guinness Storehouse, visits to the Guinness Brewery were literally just that- visits to the Guinness Brewery. This interesting little book boasts some fantastic illustrations of the process of Guinness brewing, along with information on life for employees of the company.

Workmen are supplied with meals free of charge when engaged on work of a special nature. Motor drivers on early duty (6-7 a.m) are provided with a substantial breakfast. All messenger boys and boy labourers are supplied free of charge with a substantial meat meal in the middle of the day. Free dinners are also supplied to the sons of widows and pensioners who are attending school in the neighbourhood.

Page 42

Illustrations from the Brewery

Illustrations from the Brewery

An example of the contents of the book, detailing social services at Guinness

GA369B

Book of British Authorship
Printed in Great Britain by John Waddington Ltd., Leeds
2/5/39

A fantastic insight into life at the Brewery at the time. A company that took great care of its workers and expected the utmost back in return (for example, during the Dublin Lockout the company dropped a Guinness shipworker with decades of service for refusing to engage with scab-labour on the Dublin docks) The welfare and working conditions at the Brewery were unrivalled in Dublin at the time, and t he fact a guidebook like this was produced long before the Brewery became a tourist attraction in any real form shows the level of professionalism at the Brewery.

My own mother, the daughter of a Guinness worker, still remembers the perks my Grandfather recieved until his death only a number of years ago. A true cornerstone of Dublin life for so long, I hope that with posts like this and earlier posts like that on the Guinness Fire Service, we here at Come Here To Me can shine a light on more than just the black stuff itself.

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It’s just three days shy of the 75th anniversary of the birth of one of the best musicians and characters this country has ever seen; Ciarán Bourke of The Dubliners, and I’m reminded of this video, filmed not a year before he died, having suffered a number of strokes. If this clip of Bourke reciting “The Lament for Brendan Behan” doesn’t send a shiver up your spine, you’re made of stronger stuff than me…

Anyways, here’s to a man sorely missed by many.

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Citizen Army men and women gathered at Liberty Hall on Easter Sunday for the final mobilisation before the Rising. Here Connolly gave each a last opportunity of drawing back. No one availed themselves of this chance. ‘I never doubted ye!’ Connolly told them, his face shining

R.M Fox- From ‘Dublins Fighting Story’

This may well be of interest to many of our readers.

I inherited the 1916 bug from my father, without a doubt. Even today, only hours before writing this, I was standing on Northumberland Road like a Japanese tourist only moments in Times Square. I’m still amazed that for such a short historical event, there seems to be an endless amount of research and new finds related to Easter Week 1916.

The week is one of personalities. Like Winifred Carney, the suffragette and secretary to James Connolly, who would find her place in Irish history as the ‘Typist with a Webley’. Returning to Northumberland Road, perhaps no man on the republican side was to leave such a deadly mark on the week as Michael Malone, hiding out with a small group of men (and a moveable store dummy too!) in 25 Northumberland Road. Ultimately he and one other man, James Grace, would hold the spot. Who could forget to mention Sean Connolly of the Irish Citizen Army? An Abbey actor of great reknown, who had taken the lead role only a week previously in ‘Under Which Flag?’,a play penned by none other than James Connolly. Siblings of Sean, both male and female, would join him in the insurrection.

Michael Malone, killed in action at 25 Northumberland Road

The week is also one of great tragedy. There is the heartbreaking story of one of the Sherwood Foresters being taken aback to see his own family in Dublin, having fled Britain for fear of Zeppelin raids. He would never make it past 25 Northumberland Road.

Members of the Irish Citizen Army drill.

One must really see the sites to appreciate them. Even today, I learned this to be most true. When you look from Clanwilliam House down the street towards number 25, you get a clear sense of the Volunteers line of fire. Likewise, I can remember as a young lad being taken to see the Royal College of Surgeons and being amazed by the bulletholes still littering the front of the building.

This tour is one I’ve been told often enough to get myself along to. Carried out by the authors of one of my favourite studies of the week, for €12 you’re promised about two hours worth of a wander around some of the keysites of the 1916 Rising.

Of coure, one can not take everything in in two hours, for instance some of the Sackville Street lancers who fell under fire are buried at Grangegorman cemetry. The Rising has left us with historical sites all over Dublin worthy of visiting.

As a city centre tour however, the reputation of this one is one that, to me, renders Saturday morning worthy of an alarm clock.

….if you know me at all, that’s a huge achievement.

Saturday 20th February 2010
Meeting at 10 am at the International Bar, 23 Wicklow Street.
€12

Facebook page for the 1916 Walking Tours

Eamon Ceannt, Commandant of the 4th Battalion of the Irish Volunteers at the South Dublin Union, 1916

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