Archive for March, 2011

We… well I, was thinking about  launching an April Fools prank on here tomorrow to see how far it would spread (if it spread at all,) but these things rarely work well, and if they do, its the elaborate ones that do and I’m far too hungry to think of one of those. It got me thinking though of pranks that have been played out in this city. Below is my top five:

Save the Park!

5) Save the Park, 2006. In 2006, more than 250k listeners to the RTE radio programme “Mooney goes Wild on One” were informed of impending government plans as per a report entitled “Amended Programme for Rail, Integrated with Luas; First Official On- line Report” to build a dual carriageway with ten metre high screening walls down Chesterfield Avenue in the middle of the park. It was announced protestors had arrived to demonstrate the abominable plans. Pity they didn’t cop the abbreviation of the report spelt out APRIL FOOL.

"Like icebergs it was. Icebergs floating down the canal."

4) Icebergs on the Grand Canal, 1968. Not an April Fool this one, but an October one. October 1968 to be precise. JayCarax has an interesting piece on this here, that I’d only be doing an injustice in trying to re-hash for this piece. Just think of your average “Fairy Liquid in the fountain” trick times twenty.


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Who says Student Union elections can’t be fun? This one comes from IADT.

context,if you’ve been living under a rock.

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MylesDay Timetable.

The people behind MylesDay have presented their schedule for events tomorrow in The Palace bar. I’ll be there until about 6pm, when I will depart for the Dublin Derby between Dublin 7 and Dublin 8. Drop in.

The Myles Day team is delighted to present the schedule for the inaugural MylesDay event, to be held this Friday in the Palace Bar. There is no admission fee, we would not burden the Plain People of Ireland so in these straitened times. But you are advised to arrive early, as due to the levels of interest, we are expecting something of a crush.

A “relaxed approach” should be taken with the interpretation of times – the actual time of performances may not be accurate enough to facilitate the setting of watches against the schedule

2:30 John Clarke,(brief) intro & kick-off

2:30 Val O’Donnell, Bookhandling

2:50 Carol Taaffe, The Third Policeman

3:10 David Wheatley, Keats & Chapman

3:30 Ed O’Loughlin, For Steam Men

3:50 James Stafford, At Swim-two-birds

4:10 Michael Carolan, The Brother

4:30 Peter Prior, The Mollycule Theory

4:50 Jack Lynch, Two in one

5:10 Frank McNally, Miscellaneous

5:30 Ann Russell, True biography of Myles na gCopaleen

5:50 Tim Casey, Trink and Intoxicating Ice Cream

6:10 Aidan Jordan, The Brother

6:30 MylesDay Quiz, results & prize giving

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Between 2005 and 2007 I took nearly 450 pictures of street art and graffiti around the Dublin area, primarily in the city centre and the South-Eastern suburbs. At first using a number of throwaway cameras and then an Olympia digital camera. I was hoping to capture a little bit of Dublin graffiti social history with the fanciful idea of putting a book together of all my snaps. I soon lost interest but thought it would be worthwhile to upload the best snaps here so they don’t go to complete waste. Enjoy.

The fifth feature is on the graff crews UEK (Underground Elements Krew) and RFA (Ready For Action) of which CIST, GONER, MAK and BAR were members.

(c) Jay Carax

(c) Jay Carax

(c) Jay Carax

(c) Jay Carax


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The Vandals.

This looks interesting. All City celebrates some of the most (in)famous graffiti artists from the island with a two day exhibition at Block T in Smithfield. It opens on Good Friday, and it’s Bring Your Own Booze.

I’ll hopefully be in Derry that night for Saint Patrick’s Athletic versus Derry City, but I’ll catch it on the second day.

All City are up to plenty that weekend, with the Tivoli Jam lined up too:

Ci from this here parish has a great collection of over 40 images from the Tivoli carpark uploaded over here on Flickr.

From hxci's Flickr.

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I Just Started Ulysses.

Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.

And so it begins…..

Am I mad? I don’t know. Why I’ve not challenged myself to read it yet, again I don’t know. Many great Dublin characters are reflected in the work, and I’ve always enjoyed Bloomsday. I’ve read some of Joyce’s works already, but always shied away from Ulysses. Today, I’m 40-something pages in and greatly enjoying the work.

My version is “the 1922 text”. The explanatory notes at the back are longer than some books I have read. Everyday I pass a Ulysses plaque in the city centre, be it at the Ballast Office, the Thomas Moore statue, O’Connell Bridge or elsewhere, and I feel a tiny bit embarrassed not to have read the work so many enquire about when visiting the city.

I’ve visited the Jewish Museum in the past and learned of Dublin’s most famous (and fictional) Jewish figure. I’m fascinated by the books international appeal considering its specific geographic setting. Reading should never be a chore and I intend to visit sights from the book as I try to get to grips with it.

Bloomsday is on the sixteenth of June. Let’s see how far I can get by then, and more importantly: how much I can understand. Reports on my progress will appear on the site.

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‘Old City, New Dreams’

Four weeks of debate, music, film and comedy for Dubliners in landmark Dublin bars, followed by one free drink for all attendees courtesy of Diageo Ireland and Guinness. For your FREE tickets email paul@thedubliner.ie with the name of the event and the number of tickets you request.

Thursdays = 4.

Talks = 8.

Venues = 7.

Possible free pints of Guinness = 8.

Cost = €0.00

Obligatory Facebook link.

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This ad is taken from the K.Coy 3rd Battallion IRA reunion dinner in Clery’s in March of 1947. It is for the barbershop of James Mallon.

James Mallon, who was born in the north, had a hairdressing business in Eden Quay prior to becoming involved in the republican movement upon joining the Irish Volunteers in 1913. He had fought at Bolands Mills during the insurrection in 1916, and was interned as a result of his role in the rebellion at Frongoch. He is popularly known as the ‘the Frongoch Barber’ from his time there.

The advertisement notes that J Mallon and sons was established in 1907, and refers to the business as “The Frongoch Hairdressing Saloon.” There is great wit in the ad, not to mention a picture of Mallon as an older man. There are some wonderful ads in the souvenier programme I hope to upload here in time.

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Bohs versus Rovers. Arguably the most talked about fixture in the League of Ireland calender; Dublin’s El Classico comes but four times a year. While this is a huge fixture, not least for fans of both teams, there is one game that outshines even this and one we don’t experience too often any more. (Some might say) its the original Dublin Derby, Bohs versus Shels. So, when I saw today’s draw for the EA Sports cup threw up this clash, I let out an unmanly yelp of delight. Shelbourne’s demise has been well documented, as have Bohs current woes. After our defeat to Welsh side TNS last year, St. Pats fans held up a banner calling us “The Next Shels.” And to be honest, they weren’t wrong. But thats a post for another day.

It's in the game

There isn’t anything too glorious about the League Cup. Simon O’Gorman on extratime.ie summed it up well with the below:

This is the true magic of the League Cup. It operates in such rarified air, moves in such exclusive circles, that should you choose to become a part of it you might just be handed a starring role. Perhaps you will be the fan that some player recognises at a later date, “Isn’t that the nutter that was at the Carlow game?”

While it may not be glorious, it is romantic. DFallon wrote a great piece for the Bohs / Glenville Rovers clash in the same competition last year, and we’ve already had our first “giantkilling” as Galway United crashed out on Monday to Cockhill Celtic. A lot of people talk about “the romance of the cup” across the water but rarely pay heed to the one on their doorsteps. Not suprising I suppose when the average person on the street would struggle to name the ten teams in the top division in their own country but could spout off Spurs first team at the bat of an eyelid. But we do have romance here too, Cockhill Rovers have shown that and have been rewarded with a home draw against Sligo Rovers. Me though? I just can’t wait to get back out to Tolka.

Is it though?

EA Sports Cup second round draw:

Pool 1: Limerick v Tralee Dynamos or Waterford United; Wexford Youths v Cork City.

Pool 2: Cockhill Celtic v Sligo Rovers; Derry City v Mervue United.

Pool 3: Drogheda United v UCD; St Patrick’s Athletic v Shamrock Rovers.

Pool 4: Monaghan United v Dundalk; Shelbourne v Bohemians

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….I have no comment on this video either way. I don’t know the ins and outs of the matter at all. I was glued to the monitor (that’s the 2011 way of saying ‘glued to the telly’) watching this but. It’s some street theatre connecting the CACI company who are involved in the census to some unsavory aspects of the occupation of Iraq. The reactions of some Dubliners are priceless.

It seems the standard approach to this street theatre is:

1) If you’re under 18, jump in front of the camera or wave at your mates who might see it on YouTube/the telly/wherever the footage is going.
2) If you’re bored, stop and engage in conversations that go nowhere. “Well what are ye doin?” “Are ye about terrorism or tourism?””come here are ya catholic?”

Fluoride in the water stuff or what do you think?

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Apparently, the South William Street VVIP Awards are a real thing. They’re like, totally a joke, but they actually happen in a really ironic way.

Like every aspect of Irish life (RTE, the Dáil, South William Street itself) it’s all very incestuous, and Fade Street (the longest running corporate advertisement ever on Irish telly?) forces its way into numerous categories.

Of course, these things don’t really work in a city like Dublin because Dublin is, in case you hadn’t noticed, tiny.

The nominations for the VVIP awards can be read over here. Dáil hopefulls (South William Street nearly had a man on the inside!), models and the like all feature.

To give you a sample:

Best Haircut
Dylan Haskins
Cici Cavanagh
Joey Kavanagh
Paul Walsh
Sinead Fields
Alex Murphy
Catriona Grimes
Cara Mulcahy
Joanne McNally
Fiona Cullen

VVIP of the year.
Best DJ who cant DJ.
Best venue in administration / receivership / liquidation
Best Award Ceremony That Isn’t This Award Ceremony
Lifetime Achievement Award
Ride of the Year

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In his excellent and highly entertaining history of the city of Dublin published in 1861, J.T Gilbert wrote of the arrival of George Frideric Handel to Dublin:

Handel, driven by ‘the goddess of dulness to “the Hibernian shore,” arrived in Dublin on the 18th of November, 1741, six weeks after the opening of the Music Hall, and issued the following public notice of his intended performances:-

“At the new Musick Hall in Fishamble-street, on Wednesday next, being the 23rd day of Dec., (1741). Mr. Handel’s Musical Entertainments will be opened, in which will be performed L’Allegro il Penseroso, il Moderato, with two Concertos for several instruments, and a Concerto on the Organ. To begin at 7 o’Clock. Tickets for that night will be delivered to the Subscribers (by sending their Subscription Ticket), on Tuesday and Wednesday next, at the place of Performance, from 9 o’Clock in the Morning till 3 in the afternoon; and attendance will be given this Day and on Monday next, at Mr. Handel’s House in Abby-street near Liffey-street, from 9 o’Clock in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, in order to receive the subscription money, at which time each Subscriber will have a ticket delivered to him, which entitles him to three tickets each night, either for ladies or gentlemen.

“N.B., Subscriptions are likewise taken in at the same place. Books may be had at the said place, price, a British sixpence.”

It is, in my mind, one of Dublin’s great claims to fame that the first performance of Handel’s Messiah took place in our city. When first performed, with seven hundred people present, the work raised more than £400 in aid of “The Charitable Infirmary, Mercer’s Hospital and the Releasement of Prisoners’.

Jonathan Swift famously objected to the work, and almost forbid singers from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral where he was Dean from partaking. Swift was opposed to the title of the work, and insisted it be titled ‘A Sacred Oratorio’. Ultimately the choir used contained boys from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. What a bizarre tragedy it would have been had the great Swift and Handel clashed in such a manner that would have prevented the works premiere here. It was said that when Handel went to take his leave of Dean Swift, he remarked “Oh, a German and a genius! A prodigy!”

I feel a great sorrow on Fishamble Street thinking of how a part of Dublin’s history was lost forever here to the diggers and construction of the Civic Offices. A great street, first laid down by the Vikings to connect the Liffey to High Street, it has a remarkable story to tell. Neal’s Music Hall and Handel’s time in Dublin is one chapter in its amazing story, and one we should remember.

The Temple Bar Cultural Trust have once again organised a day of events to mark Handel’s Day on Wednesday April 13th. These events include a walking tour from Pat Liddy and ‘Messiah on the Street’, a performance on Fishamble Street itself conducted by Proinnsías Ó Duinn with live accompaniment from the National Sinfonia.

More information can be found here.

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