Archive for the ‘Dublin History’ Category

Image Credit: William Murphy, Flickr. (Creative Commons) (P.S Thanks as ever to William!)

Image Credit: William Murphy, Flickr. (Creative Commons) (P.S Thanks as ever to William for sharing such a collection!)

Standing over The Bailey pub on Duke Street, and now between the windows of an upper-floor of Marks and Spencers,  this lonely sailor with a sextant in hand has been baffling me for years.

Writing in the Dublin Historical Record in 1939, A.M Fraser stated:

Let us pause a few moments in Duke Street and gaze at the trim little figure of Captain Cuttle in his three-cornered hat, gold-frogged blue tail-coat and cream breeches, as he stands shooting the sun with his old-fashioned brass quadrant…..When Dickens was driving to the rotunda to deliver one of his readings he climbed down from his car and came into the shop to inquire about the figure.

In recent years, there have been a number of blogs and publications dedicated to the celebration and chronicling of Dublin’s ghost signs, the reminders of the city in generations past.  In a review of Antonia Hart’s study of ghost signs, Dermot Bolger wrote in the Evening Herald that “This mariner first appeared above a shop in Capel Street in 1810, before he and his owner – the optician, Richard Spears, whose services the quadrant hinted at – moved to College Green”.

The Bailey, Duke Street, 1970. Before its modern expansion. Image from Dublin City Council Photographic Collection.

The Bailey, Duke Street, 1970. Before its modern expansion. Image from Dublin City Council Photographic Collection.

The name of Richard Spears pops up in Wilson’s Dublin Directory for 1801 on Capel Street, where he was listed as  a “mathematical instrument  maker”  at number 23. Spears,it seems, later took up premises at 27 and 35 College Green, before going into partnership with Edward Clarke from 1815-1817. Some of his handiwork, signed , “R.Spears, instrument  Maker to His Majesty’s Crown of Customs in Ireland”, can be seen here. These items are in the collection of the National Museum today.

Pat Liddy, expert on all things Dublin from the time of the Norse to the present day,  has written that “the venerable old sailor” kept watch over Murray McGrath’s for many years, writing that “John Murray…found the statue on a quay dump, retrieved it and brought the partly rotting plaster cast to a statue maker or restoration.”  Murray McGrath’s optician operated on Duke Street for a long time, and in the 1960s our friend Pól Ó Duibhir snapped the sailor there.

He writes of seeing the sailor years  later, and that “instead of my remembered sailor there was a mere gaudy shadow. My real sailor had been replaced by a modern piece of tack.”

His coat was pink and peeling. He was looking at the sextant in his hands as if he didn’t know whether to play it, eat it, or poke somebody’s eye out with it. He was reduced in stature and had clearly put on a bit of weight – puppy fat maybe. He had lost his bearing as well as his bearings. He knew not whence he came or where the hell he was going. And it didn’t really seem to matter. Nothing was expected of him.

1960s and the modern-day.

1960s and the modern day. (Pól Ó Duibhir)

So, I’m curious – what’s the deal here? How long has the statue on Duke Street been there? It’d be great if someone can clear it up. Next time  you’re passing by, have a look up at him.

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Dear, Dirty Dublin.

This is something of an on-going series on the blog, with our full thanks to photographer Luke Fallon. Luke is very much the fourth musketeer of CHTM and we always appreciate his willingness to share his images here. A highlight of the most recent CHTM night in The Sugar Club was the slideshow of Luke’s images, which worked a treat with John Flynn’s musical set.







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“Looted!” (From an unknown British publication, May 1916)

Where would you have been in 1916?

It’s a question many people will no doubt be asking each other in the year ahead, most likely in a pub. Would you be risking life and limb in a European trench to feed your family, or defending the newly proclaimed Irish Republic on the streets of Dublin? Maybe hiding under the bed? Perhaps though, you might have been somewhere entirely different. Clery’s, Elvery’s or even McDowell’s jewellers? Indeed, that is the choice many people made. In his classic study Dear, Dirty Dublin: A City in Distress, 1899-1916, Joseph O’Brien wrote that “according to police statistics for 1916, 425 persons were proceeded against for looting during the rebellion and 398 of these were either fined or imprisoned.”

The widespread looting that occurred during the Easter Rising is one aspect of the week that participants frequently spoke of in later years when interviewed by the Bureau of Military History. It is also an aspect of the week that filled plenty of column inches in the days and weeks that followed the end of the event, as looters found themselves on trial for their actions. Justifying what they had done, a mother and daughter on trial simply told a policeman that “we were looting, like the rest.”

In his entertaining memoir On Another Man’s Wound, Ernie O’Malley recalled arriving onto O’Connell Street, or Sackville Street as it was then known, as the insurrection was in its infancy:

Diamond rings and pocketsful of gold watches were selling for sixpence and a shilling, and one was cursed if one did not buy…. Ragged boys wearing old boots, brown and black, tramped up and down with air rifles on their shoulders or played cowboys and Indians, armed with black pistols supplied with long rows of paper caps. Little girls hugged teddy bears and dolls as if they could hardly believe their good fortune.

Where were the police in all of this? The decision of Colonel R. Johnstone to withdraw the 1,100 Dublin Metropolitan Police officers from the streets of the city no doubt facilitated the widespread looting, and as Brian Barton has noted “it soon reached endemic proportions, far beyond the capacity of either the troops or the insurgents to prevent or contain.”

An advertisement for Noblett's, described as one of the first shops to be looted.

An advertisement for Noblett’s, described as one of the first shops to be looted.

The looting on Sackville Street began in broad daylight, and not long after the declaration of the Republic. Among those who arrived on the street trying to stop the looting were Catholic clergy from the Pro Cathedral. Monsignor Curran, who was serving as Secretary to Archbishop Walsh in Dublin at the time of the Rising, told the Bureau of Military History that:

Before 2 pm the crowds had greatly increased in numbers. Already the first looting had begun; the first victim was Noblett’s sweetshop. It soon spread to the neighbouring shops. I was much disgusted and I did my best to try to stop the looting. Except for two or three minutes, it had no effect. I went over and informed the Volunteers about the G.P.O.

Five or six Volunteers did their best and cleared the looters for some five or ten minutes, but it began again. At first all the ringleaders were women; then the boys came along. Later, about 3.30 p.m. when the military were withdrawn from the Rotunda, young men arrived and the looting became systematic and general, so that Fr. John Flanagan of the Pro-Cathedral, who had joined me, gave up the attempt to repress it and I left too.

One Volunteer described the scene at Noblett’s sweet shop after the windows came crashing in. He remembered the sight of “a gay shower of sweetstuffs,chocolate boxes and huge slabs of toffee” being tossed about by the young crowd.Desmond Ryan of the GPO Garrison also recalled that Seán MacDiarmada made his way across the street and protested “vehemently, his hands raised passionately above his head.”

Jeremiah Joseph O’Leary, later to serve as Sinn Féin Director of Elections in the Pembroke constituency in 1918, recalled attempts to stop the looting. He also remembered entering the General Post Office and being confronted by the sight of two of the rebel leaders enjoying a quick bite:

In the late afternoon (Monday) I observed big crowds in Earl Street and Abbey Street, breaking shop windows and beginning to loot the contents. I went into the General Post Office which, at that time, was apparently a quite easy thing to do, and saw Padraig Pearse and James Connolly sitting on high stools in a little enclosure in the middle of the main hall drinking tea and eating sandwiches.

I went out to the front of the G.P.O., stood up on one of the stones that front the pillars and made a short speech, denouncing the looting and calling for volunteers to help to suppress it. A number of men came forward whom I lined up in front of the G.P.O. And, taking one or two of them in, we collected the batons and distributed them to the men. I then instructed them to parade the main shops and thoroughfares opposite the G.P.O. to try to keep the crowds on the move, and prevent them doing damage. We moved over towards Earl Street, but there was such a dense, milling crowd there that we became broken up and submerged by the crowd immediately. I spent the rest of the night vainly trying to keep people on the move and prevent looting, but with very little success.

Clery's was an unsurprising target for looters. (1915 advertisement)

Clery’s was an unsurprising target for looters. (1915 advertisement)


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[Note: Special thanks to Manus and Luke O’Riordan for their photographs, knowledge and continuing friendship]

Max Levitas celebrated his 100th birthday this year surrounded by family and friends in Whitechapel, East London. At the end of the festivities, he called for the crowd to offer up a collection for the Morning Star newspaper. This minor incident symbolises Max’s absolute generosity and unbroken commitment to progressive, left-wing politics going back over 80 years.

Max, 2011. Photo -Spitalfieldslife.com.

Max, 2011. Photo -Spitalfieldslife.com.

Born in Portobello, Dublin 8 over a century ago, Max visited his native city last weekend. This article looks at his family background, his long political life and brings together pictures and stories from his recent trip to Dublin.

Family background:

Max’s parents, Harry Levitas from the Lithuanian shtetl of Akmeyan and Leah Rick from the Latvian capital of Riga, fled the anti-Semitism of Tsarist Russia in 1913 to join relatives already residing in Dublin.

The couple met in Dublin and married in the Synagogue at 52 Lower Camden Street. Three of their Dublin-born children would later participate in the 1936 East End Battle of Cable Street: Max(1915-), Maurice (1917-2001) and Sol (1919-2015). Also born in Dublin were the late Celia and Isaac, the infant boy dying as a result of a tragic domestic accident in their Warren Street home. A sixth child, Toby, was born following the emigration of the family to Glasgow.

Max and his brothers attended St Peter’s Church of Ireland National School on New Bride Street beside the Meath Hospital. His father struggled to earn a living, sometimes dealing in scrap metal, but more often as a tailor’s presser.  He became an active member of the International Tailors’, Pressers’ and Machinists’ Trade Union, known to Dubliners as ‘the Jewish Union’.

The Levitas family lived in a series of houses in Portobello (known then as Little Jerusalem) from 1915 to 1927. They were as follows : 15 Longwood Avenue (1915), 8 Warren Street (1916-25) and 13 St. Kevins Parade (1925-27).

In an 2011 interview with Spitalfieldslife.com, Max told the author:

My father was a tailor and a trade unionist. He formed an Irish/Jewish trade union and then employers blacklisted him, making sure he could never get a job. The only option was to leave Dublin and we lived in Glasgow from 1927 until 1930, but my father had two sisters in London, so we came here to Durward Street in Whitechapel in 1931 and stayed ever since.

Arriving in London in the early 1930s, the teenage Max and brother Maurice soon became active in left-wing politics. In 1934, at the age of 19, Max was appointed secretary of the Mile End Young Communist League. That same year he “became an East End hero” when he was arrested for writing anti-Fascist slogans on Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

Talking to Spitalfieldslife.com, he recalled :

There were two of us, we did it at midnight and we wrote ‘All out on September 9th to fight Fascism,’ ‘Down with Fascism’ and ‘Fight Fascism,’ on Nelson’s Column in whitewash. And afterwards we went to Lyons Corner House to have something to eat and wash our hands, but when we had finished our tea we decided to go back to see how good it looked, and we got arrested – the police saw the paint on our shoes.

1934 report after his arrest. Newspaper unknown. Credit - Spitalfieldslife.com

1934 report after his arrest. Newspaper unknown. Credit – Spitalfieldslife.com

He was name checked by Oswald Mosley around this time who sarcastically told a fascist audience:

Ragotski, Schaffer, Max Levitas, Fenebloom, Hyam Aarons, Sapasnick. Old English names : Thirty-two of them out of sixty-four convicted since last June for attacks on Fascists. Thirty- two names of that character. Spontaneous rising of the British people against fascism! [Ref.]

Two years later, he took part in the famous Battle of Cable Street when hundreds of thousands of anti-Fascists (including many Jews and Irish) prevented Mosely and his Blackshirts from marching through the East End.

Max remembers:

I was working as a tailor’s presser in a small workshop in Commercial St at the time. Mosley wanted to march through Whitechapel … and I knew the only way to stop him was to have unity of the people. I approached a number of unions, Jewish organisations and the Communist League to band together against the Fascists but although they agreed what I was doing was right, they wouldn’t support me.

But I give credit to the huge number of members of the Jewish and Irish communities and others who turned out that day … There were thousands that came together in Aldgate, and when we heard that Mosley’s intention was to march along Cable St from Tower Hill into Whitechapel, large numbers of people went to Cable St and barricades were set up. The police attempted to clear Cable St with horses, so that the march could go ahead, but the people of Cable St fought back and the police had to give in.

Barricades on Cable Street, 1936.

Barricades on Cable Street, 1936. “They Shall Not Pass! Remember Olympia!. Credit – libcom.org.

[In 1937, Max’s brother Maurice ‘Morry’ Levitas  joined the British battalion of the XV (International) Brigade to fight against Franco in Spain. He saw action at Teruel, Belchite and Aragon, was captured and spent 11 months in jail where he was subject to violent interrogations, arbitrary beatings, and mock executions. He was among sixty-seven republicans released in a prisoner exchange sought by Mussolini in 1939. He later served in India and Burma with the Royal Army Medical Corps and then worked as a plumber, teacher and lecturer. He died in 2001.]

In 1939, Max was the convenor of a successful twenty-one week rent strike while living in Brady Mansions in Whitechapel. He explained in a 1999 interview how such strikes “could also demonstrate another aspect of class unity”:

We were fighting the Jewish landlords the same way as we’d fight any landlord that increases rents, doesn’t care if he repairs flats, so forth and so on: these are the enemies of the people and must be fought – if they are a Jew, black or white. And this helped to develop a much more broader understanding and [to unite] the struggle against Mosley and the fascists.

Preventing the growth of fascism in Britain was a political as well as personal undertaking for Max and so many others.

Members of the extended Levitas family, who remained behind in eastern Europe, suffered the fate of many Jews during the Second World War. Max’s paternal aunt, Sara, and all her family were burned to death, along with fellow-villagers, in the synagogue of Akmeyan. Their maternal aunt, Rachel, and most of her family were massacred by the Nazis in Riga. A paternal uncle who thought he had emigrated far enough westwards to Paris was murdered on his own doorstep by a Gestapo officer.

First elected as a Communist Party Councillor for the Borough of Stepney in the East End in 1945, he retained his seat for a further 17 years.

Max on the campaign trail in 1940s/1950s. Credit - http://spitalfieldslife.com

Max on the campaign trail in 1940s/1950s. Credit – http://spitalfieldslife.com

Max continued to be politically active throughout the succeeding decades. He has outlived both his wife Sadie and his son Stephen (who passed away in 2014)

In 2011, he helped deliver leaflets promoting a march to oppose the English Defence League in his local Tower Hamlets area and spoke eloquently to the anti-Fascist crowd on the day.

Earlier this year, the council demanded he pay £25,000 for repairs to the ex-council flat in which he has lived for over five decades. Max, being Max, decided to fight back and Channel 4 news featured the campaign.

Weekend in Dublin:

On Friday 25th October 2015, Max was the guest of the Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh (Sinn Féin) & Deputy Mayor Cieran Perry (Independent republican socialist councillor) in the Mansion House.

Max with Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh & Deputy Mayor Cieran Perry. Picture - Luke O'Riordan.

Max with Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh & Deputy Mayor Cieran Perry. Picture – Luke O’Riordan.

On Saturday, he attended the wonderful main concert of the Frank Harte Festival in the Teacher’s Club on Parnell Square where CHTM! friends and favourites Lynched headlined the show.

On Sunday 27 September, Max visited Portobello in Dublin 8 where he was born and spent his early years. The following pictures are a wonderful reminder from that trip.

Max pictured outside 15 Longwood Avenue, Portobello, the house he was born in on June 1, 1915.

Max, Longwood Avenue.

Max, 15 Longwood Avenue. Photo – Luke O’Riordan


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[Note : We have previously looked at the history of bona fide pubs, kips and early houses in the city]

There a number of private bars and social clubs in Dublin that cater for different people depending on their profession, nationality or politics.  Here is an incomplete list. Please leave a comment if you have any other suggestions or memories.

The Members Bar in Leinster House is open only to TDs and Senators. It keeps on serving as long as the Dail is sitting, which occasionally could be as late as 4 or 5 in the morning.  The two Dáil bars (members and visitors) save more than €1,000 annually in duty payments because they are exempt from holding a pub licence under ‘parliamentary privilege’.

The RTÉ Sports & Social Club in Donnybrook has a bar and restaurant plus a function room, gym, squash courts and a sauna. As of 2013, the club had around 800 and 900 members, made up of current staff and former employees.

[For journalists of another generation, the Irish Times Club above a bookmakers on Fleet Street opened around midnight and stayed serving until 6.30am. Entry was granted by ringing a bell and hoping for the best.]

The Garda Siochana Boat Club (established 1954) in Islandbridge has a function room with bar. From 1964 to 2014, the Garda Club on Harrington Street in Portobello boasted two ballrooms and a members bar.

Garda Club, Harrington Street. Credit - Irish Times (2014).

Garda Club, Harrington Street. Credit – Irish Times (2014).

According to an Irish Times article from 2014, the club was:

regularly packed on Mondays and Thursdays during the peak years of the 1970s and 1980s.

At that time most of the unmarried members of the force lived in garda stations such as Harcourt Terrace and Pearse Street. The balance of the support for the club came from what was known as “flatland” – inner city flats rented by teachers, civil servants and firemen “up from the country”.

The club has been in decline since the 1990s, partly because a great many of the young gardaí could not afford to buy houses in the city, opting instead to live and socialise in outlying towns such as Mullingar, Drogheda, Dundalk and Naas.

Housed in two beautifully restored Georgian buildings (36 & 37) on Parnell Square, Club na Múinteoirí (The Teachers’ Club) has a lovely old-fashioned bar upstairs and a large function room in the basement.  It was opened by the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation in 1923. The renowned Góilín Traditional Singer’s Club meets there every Friday evening.

Teachers Club bar, 2012. Credit - M Stephen M. (Yelp)

Teachers Club bar, 2012. Credit – M Stephen M. (Yelp)

The Millmount House in Drumcondra was once home to the Prison Officers Association of Dublin. Prison Officers from Mountjoy are known to drink in the snug in The Hut in Phibsboro.

On the first floor, block A of the Newman building (Arts Block) in UCD, there is a small private bar called the UCD Common Room Club which is open to UCD staff and their guests.

For those working in Dublin Airport and their families, the Airport Leisure Social Athletic Association (ALSAA) in Toberbunny has a bar, gym and a large sports complex.

There is a bar and lounge on the first floor of the Dublin Postal Sports & Social Club in Tallaght. A balcony offers panoramic views of the Dublin Mountains. Full Membership of the social club is open to An Post and subsidiary company employees.

MacTurcaills on Townsend Street (now closed) , a stone’s throw away from Tara Street Fire Station, was once very popular with firefighters and their families. The Dublin Fire Brigade Sports & Social Club took over the famed Ierne Ballroom on Parnell Street in 1994 and ran a members bar, a snooker room, the main ballroom and a smaller lounge. It closed down some years ago.

The City of Dublin Working Men’s Club on Little Strand Street off Capel Street has been based there since 2003. The club’s previous home for 115 years was on Wellington Quay. In 1891, it boasted of having “300 members generally on its books (and) a large lecture and concert hall, library, and reading-room, as well as a comfortable bar and billiard-room.”.

City of Dublin Working Men's Club, Wellington Quay (1989). Credit - Pat Liddy (Irish Times).

City of Dublin Working Men’s Club, Wellington Quay (1989). Credit – Pat Liddy (Irish Times).

A brief history of the club:

Article by Pat Liddy, Irish Times, 05 Apr 1989.

Article by Pat Liddy, Irish Times, 05 Apr 1989.

This building was sold to Brushfield Ltd (a trading name for the Clarence Hotel, which lists Bono, the Edge and businessman Harry Crosbie as directors) who opened a popular live music venue called The Workman’s Club in 2010.

City of Dublin Working Men's Club, Little Strand Street from Google Maps.

City of Dublin Working Men’s Club, Little Strand Street from Google Maps.


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Though Magill is no more today, the magazine was hugely important in its day and remains a very useful tool for those researching the Ireland of the past.

Founded by Vincent Browne in 1977, the magazine included frequent contributions from some of Ireland’s most relevant journalists, including Eamonn McCann and Gene Kerrigan. It also included the photography of Derek Spiers, who captured great images of social movements in the Dublin of the 1970s and 80s. The magazine frequently found itself making headlines in other publications. A 1982 edition, exposing criminal activity on the part of the Official IRA, caused serious headaches for Sinn Féin The Workers’ Party (SFWP), while the magazine also interviewed many controversial individuals, including Provisional IRA spokesmen and criminal elements.

Today, the archive of the magazine is online and free to browse, thanks to the people at politico.ie, and it’s something I want to highlight here. From 1977 to 2008, the collection covers very important moments in Irish political and social history, and it should be noted the publication was incredibly diverse; from the League of Ireland to youth subcultures in Dublin, there is much of merit here.

I have decided to pick out a few particular issues I think will interest CHTM readers here:

Magill, April 1983.

Magill, April 1983.

Click here for this edition of the magazine.

In April 1983, Magill interviewed the killers of Declan Flynn, an innocent gay man beaten to death in Fairview Park, a well-known cruising spot for the gay community in 1980s Dublin. Flynn was just one of a number of gay men attacked in the park by bigots in the early 1980s. When five men were put on trial for his death in March 1983, Justice Sean Gannon disgracefully told the court that the actions of the men “could never be regarded as murder.” Maggie O’Kane’s interview with some of Flynn’s killers makes for harrowing reading:

They began to beat and kick him. When they had finished Declan Flynn lay on the path choking on his own blood.Tony Maher knew he was dying, he opened his shirt button,his hands were trembling, he felt all panicky. Robert Armstrong went to get the ambulance, the others just stood there and looked. They turned him on his side and then they legged it.

Earlier this year, with the passing of the marriage equality referendum, flowers and ‘Yes Equality’ badges were left at the bench where Declan Flynn sat before he was brutally murdered.

Magill, November 1983.

Magill, November 1983.

Click here for this edition of the magazine.

The Dunne family were a scourge on working class Dublin, directly responsible for the importation of large quantities of drugs that would tear communities apart. Mary Raftery’s piece on the family highlighted the manner in which they were personally profiting from the lucrative heroin trade that was reeking havoc on inner-city Dublin in the early 1980s. Raftery’s piece shocked the public, by shining a spotlight on the rise of a criminal empire that the state was slow to confront:

Down through the years every housing estate had its share of criminal families. They were known to be involved in various kinds of crimes, break-ins and shoplifting and the like. The Dunnes were in that tradition, distinguished only by their success and by their progress to bigger crimes. By the 1980s they had become an anachronism – very visible, their connections obvious.Crime had become a more professional pursuit, with specialist individuals coming together for criminal projects.

As public consciousness of professional crime increased and the issue became one of embarrassment for politicians and police alike the Dunnes became an obvious target.This was why, in the early summer of 1982, Charles Haughey and Sean Doherty had a meeting with Patrick McLaughlin and Joseph Ainsworth, the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Gardaí. Haughey told them bluntly that he wanted something done about the Dunnes,that they were walking the streets freely. He told them he wanted the Dunnes in prison within twelve months.

Magill, March 1984.

Magill, March 1984.

Click here for this edition of the magazine.

Like the Dunne family, Ma Baker was responsible for pushing misery onto working class communities. Magill noted that “day by day the heroin bushfire moves Southwest across Dublin, with one community suffering as another chases the pushers out.” Colm Toibin, Mary Raftery and Maggie O’Kane penned a fascinating report on the drugs crisis gripping Crumlin at the time:

Ma Baker and her sons are among the largest pushers in the Crumlin area of Dublin. They have between 150 and 200 regular clients and operate all over Crumlin, but usually not outside it. Five of her distributors are members of her own family. A further six are small boys.The boys are all local and she does not use kids who take heroin. She also changes them regularly. Her nephew, who is currently charged with possession of heroin with intent to supply, also distributes for her.

One of her sons is serving an eighteen months sentence in Mountjoy. Two of her other sons are facing drug-related charges.Baker is not her real name, but she is widely known by other pushers and by addicts as Ma Baker, a corruption of Ma Barker, the name of the machine gun-wielding head of an infamous criminal family in the US in the Thirties.

Magill, 1986.

Magill, 1986.

Click here to read this edition.

In 1986, Magill turned its focus to some of the reactionary Catholic forces who were preparing to do battle in the divorce referendum. Emily O’Reilly and Gene Kerrigan combined to produce an eye-opening report on the shadowy bodies preparing to fight any attempt to introduce divorce into Irish society:

The campaign against divorce will be run by a group of Catholic professionals, shadowy but well-organised, linked in varying degrees to Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbanus. Seasoned by their victory in the Pro-Life Amendment Campaign, they have no difficulty in raising finance and no shortage of powerful connections. Even the bulk of Family Solidarity members are unaware of their existence.

Magill, April 1982.

Magill, April 1982.

Click here for this edition of the magazine.

In April 1982, a Magill article entitled ‘In the Shadow of a Gunman’ raised awkward questions around the Official IRA, noting that “SFWP aspirations towards socialist respectability are undermined by the continued military operations of the Official IRA.” The magazine listed a number of murders and criminal activities which it claimed the OIRA were directly responsible for, and the magazine would also examine “the trade union and media infiltration by SFWP.”

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Credit: Luke Fallon.

Credit: Luke Fallon.

Thanks to Luke Fallon for this image, showing that Fleet Street has somehow made the leap from Dublin 2 to Dublin 8. Street names and their origins is something that has long interested us on the blog, see for example this piece on names that survived the chop after 1922, including Nassau Street and Waterloo Road.

We wonder how long the sign has been up!

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