I’ve always liked this old school advertisement for Elvery Sports, in the laneway opposite The Oval pub. Elvery’s is Ireland’s oldest sports shop, founded in 1847. It’s long been a staple of Dublin and indeed Irish life, with strong links to domestic sports. The Elvery’s at the bottom of O’ Connell Street was one I always had a soft spot for, owing to the reappearing Saint Patrick’s Athletic F.C jersey in the window. Behind enemy lines, looking pretty on the northside.
There is a great story told in the wonderful Forth The Banners Go book, taking in the reminiscences of William O’ Brien, where he retells a tale about James Connolly being arrested outside this Elvery’s for a series of public speeches he had given in Dublin, breaking a proclamation forbidding any meetings being held.
That Elvery’s is gone now, making the above a ‘ghost sign’.
It’s been replaced with this:
A newsagents named after ‘The Liberator’, and former Lord Mayor of Dublin Daniel O’Connell. Directly opposite his statue, it’s sure to do a roaring trade in postcards, miniature busts of the man himself and student bus tickets.
It’s not the first newsagents on the street to tip its hat in the direction of history however. Further down the street, and on the same side, you come to this:
Sackville Street was, of course, the name of O’ Connell Street before the establishment of the Irish Free State.The name ‘Sackville Street’ was in honour of one time Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Lionel Cranfield Sackville, Duke of Dorset.
Interesting nods to the past, from the most unlikely of sources.