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Archive for May, 2010

Occasionally, you pick up something nice along the way.

About a year and a half ago I bought a large collection of newspaper clippings at an antiques fair in town, for buttons basically. A varied bunch, they included snaps from the 1966 Easter anniversary events, snaps of Dev doing his thing in the 1970s, photos from after the bombing of Dublin during WWII and various odds and ends. The gems however, were these snaps from the day after Nelson’s Pillar was blown up.

They include a true Dublin entrepreneur going through the rubble hours after the explosion, and a great shot of the damage done at street level. Enjoy!

Front of The Evening Herald

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Garda Museum and Archives
Opening Hours:9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Dublin Castle Record Tower.

Michael Staines (right) and Eoin O' Duffy. Two first Garda Commissioners.

The Garda History Museum is one of individuals, as much as of the force.

Michael Staines was an interesting Volunteer. The son of an RIC man, he was the Quartermaster General within the General Post Office in 1916. When sent to Frongoch, he became ‘Camp Leader’ among the men, and upon his release became active once more at home in the Volunteer movement. On August 17, 1922, as Garda Commissioner he would lead his new police force through the castle gates.

He would be followed by Eoin O’ Duffy, another character of the republican movement, and a most controversial one to boot. Ironically, O’ Duffy had been one of the Republicans involved in the first ever capture of a Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks, in the company of Ernie O’ Malley.

Front of Museum, Dublin Castle.

This Museum, while covering the history of that force which marched into Dublin Castle in 1922, does not shy away from the forces that called it home before them. Rather, it is a comprehensive look at the history of policing in Ireland. The Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police feature prominently in the Museum, featuring both on occasion as a political force (For example the 1913 riots, which resulted in the deaths of several workers) and a day to day police force. The history of the Royal Irish Constabulary in particular is a loaded one, when one considers that, to give one example, the Black and Tans were directly employed by the RIC. Preserving history is not a matter of politics however, and to see so many quality RIC and DMP historical pieces displayed as well as they are here is a treat, and of great assistance to anyone who believes a complete picture is needed when studying some of the most remarkable years in Irish history.

Garda traffic box, a great Dublin shot.

The Museum, spanning an amazing four floors, is one of the last old-fashioned Museums in the city centre in my humble opinion. In fact, along with the Natural History Museum, it is a sort of throwback to Museums of old, and what I feel Museums should be. All the more incredible considering Dublin Castle is only home to the Museum since 1997. The correct approach to displaying items like those in the Garda Museum is simple: Allow the pieces to speak for themselves, and provide the information clearly alongside the items. There is no shortage of information available, in the form of information panels and wall displays, but unlike some museums there is no overpowering audio-visual element.

Proclamation issued April 25th, 1916.

One should not attempt to focus on individual pieces in a Museum like this, as in every corner something new grabs your attention. The Museum holds a variety of War of Independence medals for example, belonging to men who would later join the ranks of An Garda Síochanna. The above Proclamation however stands out for me, issued on April 25th in response to the Rising which began a day previous.

“WHEREAS, in the City of Dublin and County of Dublin certain evilly disposed persons and associations, with the intent to subvert the supremacy of the Crown in Ireland, have committed divers acts of violence, and have with deadly weapons attacked the Forces of the Crown, and have resisted by armed force the lawful Authority of His Majesty’s Police and Military Forces. AND whereas by reason thereof several of His Majesty’s liege Subjects have been killed and many others severely injured, and much damage to property has been caused”

The role of the Gardaí in the new state, in its first few years, is covered, where the force was to follow Staines belief that “The Garda Síochána will succeed not by force of arms or numbers, but on their moral authority as servants of the people” Early Garda documents (for example dealing with the unarmed nature of the force), uniforms and insignia are all on display.

RIC Officer.

Of course, the 1900-22 period is of particular interest to me. Perhaps for other visitors, this isn’t the case. Yet, the story of policing in Ireland told here is so long and broad that certain aspects of it will no doubt appeal to others the way parts of it did to me. Even the stairs here play home to wonderful photographs and pieces, there is not an inch of this Museum left without an item. From my own perspective, approaching the centenary of the 1913 lockout, the Easter Rising and the conflicts that followed on from it, it is no doubt time many of us with a keen interest in the period attempted to increase our understanding of the state forces in Ireland at the time.

I will conclude with a verse from ‘Good Bye RIC’, which I have taken from Jim Herlihy’s wonderful history ‘The Royal Irish Constabulary’

‘We once could walk the city too,
Dressed neatly in our suits of blue,
With polished feet and all complete,
Our heads erect going down the street,
But now we are scattered everywhere,
Far from the dear old Depot Square,
Some of them lie in graves from Foyle to Lee,
Fell fighting in the RIC’

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Walking around the city, enjoying these rare days of sun.

F.C Sankt Pauli are a German soccer team, recently promoted to the Bundesliga, with an international following. The clubs supporters are widely respected for their dedication and passion. This sticker is at the Ha’penny Bridge traffic lights, along with other left-leaning football stickers. The team have a Dublin Supporters Club too. Dublin ist braun-weiss!

Right opposite the very fancy and all quite new IFSC, on the southside of the Liffey and opposite Matt Talbot himself, this Jesus Lives banner hangs. Good to know. Two or three doors down from the Project Arts Centre.

The Mendicity Insitution is one of the most interesting sites of the 1916 Easter Rising. Captain Seán Heuston was deployed to occupy the Mendicity Institution for a few hours on Easter Monday, owing to its locaton on the Liffey. They held out until Wednesday. Little remains of the site today.

Just off Pearse Street. We all remember ‘GRIFT’, the first ‘vandalism’ (bah!) I can remember noticing around the city.

I don’t own a single U2 album, or know the words to any of their songs beyond a chorus or two. I’ve never ventured down to Windmill Lane before, and now I wonder why it has taken me so long. If you can look beyond the ‘WE LOVE YOU BONO FROM JOE BLOGGS AND FAMILY, MILAN’ stuff, there is plenty of quality graffiti around here to be spotted and snapped. An ever changing art canvas in the city centre. Amazingly, the area also boasts some Celtic Tiger victims, in the form of empty retail premises where the owners hit the road and left everything behind. A spooky empty apartment block stands in the area too. baNAMA republic.

If it’s anything like the last few days, you should be sitting in Stephen’s Green at the minute. Don’t feed the rats with wings.

Seashell chipper today. Tragic, as apparently it was once the home of deep fried Curly Wurlys.

The title of this post was taken from The Rags- A National Light. A wonderful Dublin ‘indie’ band (whatever that term means anymore) who I’m really liking at the minute. Perfect ‘walking around Dublin’ music. Berryfield Drive even gets a mention! The album, the first I can remember since Sir Killalot to feature The Spike on the front of it, drops tomorrow. Go buy it.

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Geography dictated that I would be a Saint Patrick’s Athletic supporter.

As a youngster, I remember my Dad couldn’t walk too far in the stadium without spotting a neighbour from Palmerstown, or the older days in Ballyfermot. This Is(n’t) England, you’d be a laughing stock if a Galway youngster decided he or she was a Derry City fan, or a Derry youngster became ‘Bohs Til I Die’. We don’t do it that way, you take what you get. The Liffey, the county border markings and local history dictate these things. Suburbs all go in together.

Glenville Football Club however are right on my doorstep. I don’t play football (I’m dire), but I follow it. I don’t know too much about the local Football Clubs, but Glenville have come to my attention recently owing to the fact they’ve drawn League of Ireland champions Bohemian F.C in the Cup. A big day out, to say the least.

We are located off the Kennelsfort road in Palmerstown, Dublin 20 in the Community School

You can nearly spot them from the door.

Hopefully, local residents will come out in force to support them in the clash. It’s not going to be easy, and it would probably be one of the largest upsets in the history of the Cup, but imagine. The local pubs can, and it’s probably a pretty picture. The club were founded in 1997, and spend their weekends in Senior 1A.

If we want to see football grow as a local, community game – a Glenville F.C victory wouldn’t be a bad thing!

Sunday June 6 @ 3.00 in Richmond Pk. FORZA PALMERSTOWN!

The Silver Granite pub, image taken from http://www.glenvillefc.com

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Continuing my research into the social history of Dublin youth subcultures in the 1970s and 1980s, I’ve been trying to compile a comprehensive list of venues that were used for punk and new wave gigs from c. 1976 – 1984.

Name / Address / Status

  • Baggot Inn (Baggot Street. Still there but unrecognisable)
  • Dandelion Market (Developed into St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre)
  • Ivy Rooms (Parnell Street. Now Fibber Magees.)
  • Magnet (Pearse Street. Renamed ‘Widow Scallons’ and then developed into a Spar)
  • McGonagles (South Anne Street. Demolished. Rebuilt and now Hackett London store.)
  • Moran’s Hotel (Talbot Street. Now O’Shea’s Hotel.)
  • Olympic Ballroom (Pleasant Street, Dublin 8. Closed but building still standing.)
  • Project Arts Centre (East Essex Street. Temple Bar. Still in use.)
  • SFX (Upper Sherrard Street. Demolished and developed into flats.)
  • TCD Student Bar (Exam Hall)
  • Toners (Baggott Street. Still there.)
  • Top Hat (Dun Laoghaire. Developed into Roller Disco, Fun Factory and now apartments)
  • TV Club (Harcourt Street. Demolished (?) and developed into Garda HQ)
  • UCD Student Bar. (Demolished.)
  • Underground Bar (Dame Street. Now Club Lapello)

Can you think of anymore?

Other places that I’ve heard about include The Youth Expression Centre (Temple Bar), The New Inn (New Street), The Loft, Slattery’s (Capel Street) and Bruxelles (Harry Street). Do they fit the bill? Or did they come a bit later?

Notice for upcoming U2 and The Blades gig at The Baggot Inn, 1979.

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Spotted in the window of Foleys Pub on Merrion Row. The pub is literally a stones-throw (Careful now, we might get there yet) from the Department of Finance and the Department of the Taoiseach.

Foleys is a cosy little pub worth a look, so often forgotten as Toners, Doheny and Nesbitts and O’ Donoghues all call this part of Dublin home too. I don’t know which type of T.D it attracts, but based on this one, I’d presume they’re in the opposition. A great piece of wit in the window, but as far as NAMA pie goes- I reckon we’ve enough to feed a few generations.

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Bohemian F.C supporters with F.A.Ilure and GAVIN OUT banners.

My thanks to one of the lads (CHEERS LUKE!) from thebohs.com for linking to this on our Facebook,after I mentioned it in the
match piece below but was unable to locate a snap online.

The banners were clear from the far end of the stadium, and on the night they were taken out the stadium had a few F.A.I blazers knocking about owing to the presence of a certain Italian watching the match.

This reminded me to root this out, my Ireland kit from circa 2007.

NBB 'Delaney Out' banner.

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Greed is the knife and the scars run deep...

 Any regular readers will know that we’ve been following the Maser/ Damien Dempsey project very closely; And on Sunday I came across my favourite piece from the project so far. Located between the Point and the Port Tunnel,  and spanning close to fifty feet are the words “Greed is the knife and the scars run deep,” lyrics taken from one of my favourite Damo songs, Colony. Youtube it, the song sends shudders up my spine every time. The raw anger in his voice when he sings the line “But if you’ve any kind of mind, you’ll see that all of humankind are the children of this earth, and your hate for them will chew you up and spit you out” will forever be one of my favourite lyrics. Amazing. Just… Amazing.

We’ll continue to keep you posted with pictures of the pieces as we find them; Rumour has it a new one has gone up at the Bernard Shaw. Anyone who spots new ones, please give us a shout on here.

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A friend of ours Andrew has created this fascinating google map of sites of significance to current and historical radical struggles.

While the map covers the whole island, it focuses particularly on Dublin. It’s particularly apt to post in the run up to Sunday’s radical walking tour of the city.

The markers are as follows:

Green – Old History (Pre 20th century)

Red- History (1900-1980)

Yellow – Recent (1980-yesterday)

Blue – Current (Locations that are still active in some sense)

Purple – Stops on the Feminist Walking Tour 2010

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As much as I love this pub, I must love reading reviews of this pub even more.

It’s amazing how much people, especially younger people, can seem taken aback by the place.

The Porterhouse she ain’t. The taps when you walk in are a no nonsense affair. Not quite Henry Ford and the famous “..any colour you want as long as it’s black” comment, but not a million miles off. Let’s be honest, for ninety percent of the punters here at any given time, it’s black.

Yet , there is quite a bit more to a pub like this than the pints. Colm Tóibín was on the money when he stated that, when it came to Dublin pubs, “There are four or five that have survived the ravages of new money”

When a pub remains in the hands of one family for so long, as this one has, tradition becomes so firmly implanted in the place you’d need to knock it down and build some dire three floor disco-pub to undo it at this stage.

Glasnevin Cemetery is the rowdy next door neighbour to the quiet, content Kavanagh’s.

In any other community, the cemetery and pub might be the other way around. Still, only a stones-throw (literally) from the front door of this pub, you have the burial place of over one million individuals. Frank Ryan and Eoin O’ Duffy, Jim Larkin and William Martin Murphy, Cathal Brugha and Kevin O’ Higgins- all together. Not to mention a Big Fella and a Long Fellow.

1891, Parnell is laid to rest in Glasnevin.

Only recently on the fantastic Glasnevin Cemetery Tour did I fully stop and appreciate the surreal nature of the manner in which old and bitter Irish conflicts are at rest there. A pub can not grow up on the edge of such an amazing place and not be shaped by it.

Stories, legends or otherwise, have spread. The best is surely that of the Cemetery staff in years long past arriving to find a number of coffins sitting outside the pub, as opposed to inside the gates. I don’t doubt such tales for a second. A pub on the edge of a graveyard is, to me, akin to a fireworks factory beside an incinerator.

So, the place naturally has character in excess. If this was in the city centre, you wouldn’t be able to see for all the flashing photographty you’d no doubt have to put up with from tourists. Swinging doors, a true staple of a sort of Irish pub long gone, make you long for something you never knew in reality and could only read about. The pub is authentically old. There are publicans all over the island battering tables with objects to make them look old (Well, not literally…I hope) to create some sort of old ‘Oirish’ pub experience. You can’t create it but, especially not when you’ve put 5 widescreen televisions into your pub and half your customers are only there to watch Manchester United.

There isn’t a telly in sight here. Nor can you hear a Lady Gaga song, or any song for that matter. It’s a reflection on the punters and regulars that the sound of chat and laughter is enough to carry the day in a pub like this. Some pubs probably need the television sets to be honest. I’ve been in pubs where silence would be the only thing worse than the music selection on offer.

While O’Donoghues and a few other gems have sadly succumbed to the suits and faster pace of a new Dublin, a new faster paced Dublin has to slow down when it enters Kavanagh’s. Let us hope a few more generations will rise to the challenge of running the place. It’s in good hands.

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Sunday week, the 30th of May, I will be one of the guides on a walking tour taking in some of the radical history of Dublin city centre.

The Walking Tour is taking place as part of the Fifth Dublin Anarchist Bookfair, hosted by the Workers Solidarity Movement. Many of our readers here have a keen interest in radical history, and talks like “A History of Irish Revolutions” (Conor Kostick) and “The Lost Revolution – the Success & Failures of the Workers Party” (Brian Hanley and Scott Millar) at the bookfair are of particular note in that field.

The tour is completely free (I felt the need to ‘bold’ that, students eh?) and I would hope will end with some good discussion. Many of my own chosen sites have a particular focus on Dublin through the revolutionary years, with some unusual War of Independence and Civil War sites. Union history, feminist history, student history and much more besides will feature.

So, come meet dfallon in real life ( “Him? Really?”), learn something new, and enjoy a walk around our lovely and historic city.

The tour has a Facebook event page, here.

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An interesting find. A radio documentary on the Dublin punk scene from 1981 presented by the late Gerry Ryan and produced by Ed Mulhall, the current Managing Director of News in RTE.

Opening with the classic new wave single ‘Over 21′ by Berlin, the show has interviews with members of Irish Punk bands The Threat, The Peridots, the Nun Atax, Microdisney, the Virgin Prunes, the Vipers, Revolver and Berlin. Unfortunately there’s no introductions for the interviewees, so there’s no way of knowing who’s who. The only people I can recognise are Dave Fanning and Bob Geldof.

There’s particularly interesting points made during the program about the idea of bands ‘selling out’, the role of ‘class’ in the punk movement and the relationship between punks and violence.

You can listen to the radio documentary by clicking on the link in the first line of this post. Below, I’ve uploaded the song which the documentary takes its name from, ‘Over 21′ by Berlin.

Berlin – Over 21 by matchgrams

The Sounds of Ireland Festival in London, 1981. As you can see 'Berlin' were ahead of U2 on the bill.

The Sounds of Ireland Festival in London, 1981. As you can see Berlin were ahead of U2 on the bill.

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