Archive for October, 2010

A Random Drop Inn: Doyles

Credit to flickr user FungeP

This place has always been a sort of unofficial Trinity student bar. It is a favourite post college boozer of the Trinity faithful, or in some cases a favourite between lectures haven. Downstairs is cozy, often quiet and the Guinness good. Upstairs? I’ve not been in a while. The night before Halloween seems as good a night as any to visit.

Am I boring? Far from it I would hope. I’m in the minority here tonight though. All around me I spot costumes, ranging from Dr. House (It’s Not Lupus!) to Super Mario. I’m in my civies, feeling a little left out as even the barmen have made the effort. A signboard behind the bar shows the drink ‘specials’. €4 a Miller? Is that a ‘special’? We’re in a pub remember, not a nightclub. It’s all a bit steep.

The DJ is knocking out 80s and 70s classics for the most part, to a room in which nobody seems to have been born before 1989. One of those all time classics, Safety Dance, has the place shaking.

What a song in fairness. I’ve been patiently waiting for any chance to somehow work that into a Come Here To Me post. I can retire happy now.

Anyway, the DJ. It’s not doing much for me. I’d stop short of ‘doing a Morrissey’ and leading a chorus of Hang The DJ, but it feels like a wedding anniversary in a GAA club and we’re all too young to remember these tunes really. The crowd is very nice and mingle among each other (rare to see these days sadly) and there are no airs and graces about the place, but it doesn’t do much for me. After another Miller, we’re off in a taxi for The Button Factory.

Downstairs remains one of my favourite spots for a cheeky pint, and I can’t conclude this piece without giving a shout out to what have to be among the soundest doormen in Dublin (no airs and graces comes to mind again….), but upstairs feels like a pub attempting to be a nightclub. Stick to the plain downstairs and you’ll be fine.


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While reading Francis Costello’s excellent The Irish Revolution and its Aftermath, 1916-1923, I came across these three fantastic pictures. What struck me first was that the fact that I didn’t recognise any of them. The second thing that was surprising was that I couldn’t find any of the pictures online after a rake of google searches. So, I scanned them onto my laptop and re-touched them a bit using I-Photo. Enjoy.

Francis Costello, The Irish revolution and its aftermath, 1916-1923: years of revolt (Dublin, 2003), p. 220

Francis Costello, The Irish revolution and its aftermath, 1916-1923: years of revolt (Dublin, 2003), p. 225

Francis Costello, The Irish revolution and its aftermath, 1916-1923: years of revolt (Dublin, 2003), p. 227

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What’s another year? Hard to believe another season of football in the capital is over. This is the time of year when many will go into hibernation, unimpressed by antics across the sea. For me, it’s a time to turn to Scotland, but it’s not the same really is it? Below, to mark the end of the season, we bring you some of the best displays from the capital, or involving the capital. Great credit is due to the people at the Irish Ultras Movement blog, who have been fantastic in getting displays up online quickly.

Sligo Rovers lads Forza Rovers had a hell of a year, producing top class displays time and time again. This small banner was a beautiful tribute to a young Shelbourne F.C player murdered in the capital.

Most clubs seemed to up their own efforts when facing the Sligo lads, though one Shamrock Rovers banner on an away encounter west simply read ‘ULTRAS NOT ARTISTS’. At a home encounter against the Sligo men, the SRFC Ultras produced this gem.

In Inchicore the Shed End Invincibles produced some crackers, and like the Sligo lads were capable of producing displays week after week. The appearance of SEI stickers around the city and county meant they likely joined the SRFC Ultras on the City Council litter lists.


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DCTV are still knocking these out, excellent weekly ‘Dole TV’ pieces. This episode makes for particularly interesting viewing, with someone on hand from the Liberty Citizens Information Centre to explain just how you actually do go about applying for the big D. The usual mix of news, politics, humour and music features.

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An interesting character I came across while reading Liam Cahill’s ‘Forgotten Revolution: Limerick Soviet 1919’. Farren was one four trade union leaders who traveled to Dublin to offer their support. He is described as having ‘had taken part in the 1916 Rising and was one of a group of trade union leaders with nationalist sympathies who were arrested afterwards’ [1] In the June 1915 College Green by-election, he came bitterly close to beating John Nannetti of the Irish Parliamentary Party. [2]

I haven’t been able to find much more information on him. This Irish Times obituary is probably the best I’ll come across.

Does anyone know if he actually took part in the Rising and if so, where he fought?

Monday, March 28, 1955 (1/2)

Monday, March 28, 1955 (2/2)

[1] Liam Cahill, Forgotten revolution: Limerick Soviet 1919 : a threat to British power in Ireland (Dublin, 1990), p. 109

[2] Pádraig Yeates, Lockout: Dublin 1913 (Dublin, 2000), p, 575

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Ballyfermot Late Night League is being run in conjunction with the BASE youth Centre at Kylemore Park on Thursday nights at the following times.

Times: 6pm to 7pm (12 to 13years old)
8pm to 10pm 14 to 17years old

If interested pleae contact The BASE Damien Finneran or FAIDCC Michael Moore on 087 9805772.

Late night soccer is once again taking off around the capital. Normally with the support of local youth groups and authorities, the games give young people something positive to do with their time, taking young people off street corners and uniting them around a love of the beautiful game. The social positives of late night football are obvious. Crime falls in areas where the games have taken off, and a recent report in the Sunday Tribune made for interesting reading.

“On an average Friday night before the soccer league was running, gardaí at Ballymun received an average of 89 call-outs to deal with anti-social behaviour. But since the league has been running, the average number of call-outs relating to youngsters has been just 44 – half the previous amount. “

League of Ireland clubs have given their support to the ventures, in fact it was through Saint Patrick’s Athletic I heard of the Ballyfermot league. Let’s hope it works out in the area, which is soccer mad to say the least.

The Late Night League (LNL) idea comes from the Football Assocation of Ireland, and so far has been a roaring success. They used to joke that getting good at football was one of the only ways to get out of working class Dublin, hopefully being good at football however will give kids a sense of pride in their own communities, not to mention create a bit of craic.

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“Luke (Kelly) also opened our eyes to the working class songs from the north of England. Songs that we never knew existed before. The geordie songs. The songs of the miners….”

One of my biggest regrets of the summer just gone is missing the excellent Frank Harte Festival, a tribute to one of the cities greatest singers, the late Frank Harte. He was raised only a stones throw from me in Chapelizod. There, his father ran the public house ‘The Tap’. Frank, an architect by trade, was not alone an unrivalled singer but also a collector of songs.

“The thoughts of a song dying with a singer or lying in a book or a tape on a shelf gathering dust fills me with horror.” So wrote Frank in his introduction notes to his timeless ‘Songs of Dublin’ collection.

Singing Voices was a collection of five broadcasts Frank did for RTE. We’ve only stumbled across them here and they all make for excellent listening. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Songs of work and social protest – The Labouring Voice

Famine Songs – The Hungry Voice

Songs of the capital city – The Dublin Voice

Songs of Emigration – The Irish American Voice

Traditional singing styles in Ireland – The Singers’ Voices

They can be played over here, on the RTE site.

Also, here are two tunes from Frank I had uploaded months ago with the aim of sharing with you to promote the festival. The Shan Van Vocht is a song dealing with the 1798 rebellion, while Building Up And Tearing England Down is a well known song about Irish emigrants in England.

Shan Van Vocht by Frank Harte.

Building Up And Tearing England Down- Frank Harte

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