Archive for May, 2012

It looks like the folks at Dalymount Park are miles ahead of the competition with this offer for the upcoming Euro 2012 competition. Dalymount of course was once the home of the national side, and saw some hugely important moments in Irish football history. It’s current condition is a national disgrace. There’s more information on the deal at bohemians.ie


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I reckon it has to be the No. 16 which goes from Kingston (Ballinteer) to Dublin Airport. A total of 31 stops. At least 25km.

Anyone know of a longer route?

16 bus journey

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International coverage of the Easter Rising in Dublin has long fascinated me, and I have a decent collection of newspaper reports from abroad in the immediate aftermath of the rising. One of my favourites is the Portland Daily Press for May 1 1916. It reported that German officers bodies had been found in Dublin, and also reported on local expressions of support with the rebels among the Irish community in the U.S. The papers report about the “Countess of Markievicz” is interesting, noting a supposed eyewitness account of her shooting and killing a guard in front of Dublin Castle. It’s fascinating to see how news travels and is distorted or in some cases completely fabricated.

Below are some reports from the paper:


London, April 30- Three passengers who arrived on this mornings Irish mail steamer, had an opportunity to observe the situation in Dublin at 6 o’clock Saturday evening. Just before sailing from Kingstown, two hours later, they heard a report of the unconditional surrender of the rebel leaders. Earlier in the day the lull in the fighting was attributed to a shortage in the rebels’ munitions. At the same time this reported seemed to be be belied by the sound of heavy artillery and machine gun fire, which was distinctly heard as the ship cast off.

A young officer living near Dublin, told of circumstantial reports of the findings of the bodies of two German officers with the rebel dead in Sackville Street. The representative of a large manufacturer of engines and machinery, who took an exhibit to Dublin for the spring show scheduled at the Ballsbridge grounds, which was subsequently commandeered by the military, brought interesting and fresh news.


Newark, N.J, April 30- A resolution was adopted at a meeting of Irishmen here tonight approving the rebellion in Dublin and asserting that in the present crisis it would be a crime to “sit complacently by with sealed lips and palsied tongue” while the “enemy of centuries” bound their native land “to the chariot of empire”.

“To claim that even Home Rule has been secured for Ireland is to impeach our intelligence and make short of our credulity” said the resolution. “We have just reason to be skeptical of England’s good faith, and, if we were satisfied with Home Rule, which we are not, we should have to see some tangible results other than the suppression of newspapers that express the true Irish feeling, the denial of the right to emigrate, and the imprisonment, banishment and enforced conscription of Irishmen, before we would be convinced that English hypocrisy was a thing of the past.”


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Some nice agitprop from Italian left-wing group Militant.

The James Connolly image is based on the cover of Fearghal McGarry 2011 book ‘Rebels Voices from the Easter Rising’.

The quote is as follows:

If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle, unless you set about the organization of the Socialist Republic your efforts would be in vain. England would still rule you. She would rule you through her capitalists, through her landlords, through her financiers, through the whole array of commercial and individualist institutions she has planted in this country and watered with the tears of our mothers and the blood of our martyrs. – (Shan Van Vocht January, 1897. Reprinted in P. Beresford Ellis (ed.), “James Connolly – Selected Writings”, p. 124.)

James Connolly – Militant

Durruti – Militant

Chess board – Militant

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I’m a big fan of the Facebook page ‘Humans of New York’, and in excess of 118,000 other people are too. It ‘s a fantastic idea, photographing New Yorkers as they go about their business, and in many cases giving a brief bio or background information. In the last few years there was an explosion in ‘street style’ blogs, but they tended to say nothing about anything beyond where someone bought their jeans.

I stumbled across ‘Humans of Dublin’ today. A relatively new Facebook page, with a modest following of just under 800 users, but deserving of much more. Pop over for a look. The below are just a selection of images from the site. We wish them every success.

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Competition for the most expensive pint of Guinness in Dublin here, I somehow found myself in The Quays in Temple Bar recently and was obliged to pay a staggering €5.60 for a pint. Its one of those pubs with the bad kind of trad blaring out at three in the afternoon so you’d expect it to be that bit more expensive than normal but… €5.60?!

Whilst there, we got chatting to a couple from Paris who asked us if these were “typical Dublin prices?” When someone from Paris complains about the price of a pint, you know you’re doing something wrong…  Anyone else know of a more expensive one?

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The unmarked final resting place of Captain Ingram of the Dublin Fire Brigade.

This is a monumental year for the Dublin Fire Brigade, with it marking 150 years in the service of the people of the capital. Yet many will be surprised to hear that the first Chief Officer of the Dublin Fire Brigade, Captain James Robert Ingram, is today buried in an unmarked grave in Mount Jerome Cemetery. Recent research has brought to light the fact that Ingram, who modelled the first Dublin Fire Brigade on that of New York City, died not fighting the flames of Dublin but rather due to tuberculosis.

Dublin has had provisions for fighting fires since the late sixteenth century, indeed Parish churches were required to keep buckets and ladders in an ordinance of 1592, but the city itself purchased its first fire engines in 1711. In 2011, the 300th anniversary of this event passed the city by without being marked in any way. Saint Werburgh’s Church on Werburgh Street boasts the oldest surviving fire appliances in the city. Such appliances are said to be origins of the term ‘parish pump’, a term more often heard in Irish political life than fire fighting today.

In 1862, Dublin got a municipal fire service, established following a series of serious fires in the city, including one at the Kildare Street Club in November of 1860, which cost three lives and destroyed the home from home of the Anglo Irish ascendency. The contemporary fire service of the city dates back to 1862, established by an Act of Parliameant. In its search for a man to lead this new service, the Dublin Corporation turned to James Robert Ingram, a Dubliner who had learned the trade on the streets of New York, despite having been born in the Irish capital in 1830. Ingram had emigrated to New York in 1851, first earning a living as a bank note engraver, before joining the Niagra Hose Company in Lower Manhattan, one of the many colourful volunteer fire companies which made up the New York Fire Department. Ingram was an active member of the Freemasons during his time in the United States. His firefighting experience in the United States made him the perfect candidate in the eyes of the Dublin Corporation to head up their new planned ‘Department’ at home.

With Ingram’s appointment, the ‘Dublin Fire Department’ as it was initially known was born. Ingram recruited 40 men, many of them previously sailors, and perhaps in tribute to his former colleagues in the New York Fire Department, Dublin’s earliest firefighters wore a uniform of red flannel shirts. The officers of this new service wore a uniform which was a copy of the frock coat and kepi of a United States Army officer.

Ingram’s headquarters was established at South William Street, in the premises which in later years would become the Civic Museum. This incredibly important historic site, Dublin’s first firestation, is unmarked today with no plaque upon it informing Dublin of what once stood opposite the location of the Pygmalion bar and club today. There was also a substation at Winetavern Street, on the site of what is today the Civic Offices.

Ingram’s small band of firefighters found themselves up against many different threats in Victorian Dublin. The tenements, mills and factories of Dubin all presented their own dangers. The Corporation decorated many of these early firefighters for their efforts. At times, Ingram would find himself having to resort to most unusual methods. On one occasion Ingram stemmed the flow of burning spirits from a distillery in the Liberties by loading horse manure onto the streets, and on another occasion he dealt with a ship drifting into Dublin Port ablaze by ordering the Royal Navy to open fire on it and sink it into the bay.

This heroic public servant, a remarkabe character, died in May of 1882, twenty years after his return to his home city to found what we now know as Dublin Fire Brigade. He died at the young age of 52. For a man who had fought the flames of New York and then Dublin, it was tragic that tuberculosis would claim his life. This shocking fact has now become clear through a recently discovered report from Captain Thomas Purcell, a later head of the Dublin Fire Brigade who, in 1892, would compile a list detailing the cause of death for members of the brigade in the decade prior. The nature of Ingram’s job brought him into the tenements of Dublin, where tubercuosis was rife among the working class and impoverished of the city.

With such focus on the 150th anniversary of the Dublin Fire Brigade, will the final resting place of the founder of Dublin’s public fire service be marked? It is believed the Dublin City Council wish to mark the anniversary through the erection of a city centre statue and a number of social events, but perhaps a marker, a simple stone, could be spared for the man who started it all?


The history of the Dublin Fire Brigade is documented in Tom Geraghty and Trevor Whitehead’s study ‘The Dublin Fire Brigade’, issued by Dublin City Council. Las Fallon’s upcoming study on trade unionism and republicanism within the Brigade will be published later this year by South Dublin County Council.

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