Archive for October, 2012

I was sent this one earlier on, and I had to smile. ‘Bucko’s Red Army’ by the brilliantly named Joxer and the Skidmarks has been released to coincide with the FAI Cup Final on Sunday, a replay of the 2006 final which Saint Patrick’s Athletic lost 4-3 to Derry City.

Come on you Saints, no time to waste, Revenge for Zero-Six
Go out against the Candystripes and we can get our kicks
Fahey said he’ll be there, I hope it’s not a lie
He’s said he’ll come and bang the drum with the S.E.I.

Some in the crowd on Sunday will remember the boys of ’59 and ’61, who last brought the cup home to Inchicore. They’ll remember Willie Peyton, who last won it for us. They’ll remember the late and great Paddy Ginger O’Rourke. Those of us too young to remember those finals will be hoping for new heroes.

Tickets priced €10 for adults and €5 for children are available now from the Saint Patrick’s Athletic offices in Inchicore, Ticketmaster and on the day at Lansdowne Road.


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Thanks to Sarah Rose Parsons for bringing our attention to these beautiful colourised slides of Dublin City from the Special Collections at University of California, Santa Cruz. The photographer is unknown but we are told they were taken between 1932 and 1935.

Our old friend Henry Grattan is looking well here. The two benches and the telephone boxes are long gone today but the two gas lamp standards, decorated with carved Hippocampus (Sea Horses) still remain. There used to be four but the other two disappeared sometime in the 20th century. For more historic pictures of the statue, check out an old post of ours from January 2010.

Henry Grattan (1932 – 1935). Credit – University of California, Santa Cruz

O’Meara’s public house, known as The Irish House, which sat on the corner of Winetavern Street and Wood Quay from 1870 to 1968 is seen here with a group of relatively well dressed children outside. For more on this pub, have a look at one of our posts from May.

The Irish House pub (1932 – 1935). Credit – University of California, Santa Cruz

This looks like a drayman taking a break from work. My g-grand uncle was a drayman with Murphys Brewery in Cork in the early 1900s. I read in the book A Bottle of Guinness Please that the arrival of motor transport in the 1930s quickly killed off this occupation. The author David Hughes said that Guinness closed their stables in 1932 apparently. So it’s interesting to see that this chap was still working in the middle years of that decade, possibly with another brewery? Or is he employed in another occupation altogether?

A worn drayman with top hat and grey mustache in Dublin (1932-1935). Credit – University of California, Santa Cruz

View the other 23 slides here at the Retronaut website.

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This brilliant image was posted to the James Connolly Bridge Campaign page by Moira Murphy, and shows the great Edinburgh trade unionist as you’ve never seen him before. If you don’t get the reference, it comes from the character Bane in Batman who urges the citizens of Gotham to “take control” of their city. We like it.

We’re still torn between the James Connolly Bridge and Job Bridge, but we’ll see how it goes.

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A recently vandalised Derry cow. (Belfast Telegraph)

A part of me couldn’t help but laugh recently hearing news from Derry, where the CowParade recently rolled into town and was attacked. A Belfast Telegraph reported from October 10th notes that:

Two of the fibreglass animals which form part of the CowParade NI were targeted at the weekend.

The two life-sized sculptures were located in the heart of the city centre at a landscaped park opposite the Guildhall.
The cows were painted by local artists and community groups at the Playhouse Theatre and at Maydown.

They are now being removed so the damage can be assessed, and as a result of the destruction they will be relocated indoors once repaired.

Next year marks a decade since fiberglass cows were placed across the city of Dublin as part of the same project, with many of them vandalised and ultimately moved indoors. Even then, they were targeted in many cases.

‘When Cows Fly’ – one of the vandalised Dublin cows.

CowParade events have been staged in over 75 cities worldwide, including New York, Istanbul and Milan. The project began in 1999, and it describes itself as the “largest and most successful public art event in the world.” The project has raised in excess of thirty million Dollars for charities worldwide, yet it’s 2003 run in Dublin was marred by the destruction of many of the cows, with Dublin becoming the only city at the time where the exhibition had to become an entirely indoors affair.

The CowParade in Dublin attracted a lot of media attention in the run up the public art project launching, with Kevin Sharkey discussing the project on the Late Late Show months before the cows were placed on Dublin’s streets. In an interview prior to the launch of CowParade, the CEO of Bord Fáilte told the Irish Independent that “the challenge is to be different from other cities, to somehow better everything that’s gone before us and really capture that quirky Dublin humour.”

Robert Ballagh, John Rocha, Gavin Friday, Graham Knuttel, Andrea Corr, Ronnie Woods and Felim Egan were just some of the names involved in the project here, and Rocha’s cow would sell for an incredible €125,000, bought by the Wagamamma restaurant in Dublin city centre.

The cows proved an irresistible temptation to Dublin vandals. In an interview with The Irish Times, Gerard Beshoff (director of the CowParade in Dulin) noted that at first only 10 cows were exhibited on the streets, and all 10 were vandalised within days. One cow was decapitated, while another had its wings cut from it. The cow on Liffey Street, which stood outside Pravda, was damaged in such a manner that a saw would have been required. The head of the cow was later discovered outside Cleary’s on O’Connell Street.

‘Moo Chulainn’ displayed on Dawson Street.

Organisers had planned to place 69 of the cows on the streets of Dublin, but the plan was quickly abandoned. Of the 69 which were placed around the capital indoors and outdoors, half were vandalised. They were eventually auctioned in November at the Four Seasons Hotel, before the CowParade moved on to pastures new.

The vandalism of the cows in Dublin sparked discussion both at home and abroad. Dr. Sarah Wagner-McCoy, an assistant professor at Reed College,noted that:

In other cities, the public loved the cows so much that they would defend them if anyone tried to vandalize them, but in Dublin, the cows were smashed, stolen, beheaded and covered in graffiti, even after the exhibit was officially over and the cows were moved to less public places.

Wagner-McCoy’s suggested that this phenomenon went back to the destruction of monuments in Dublin historically, which had been found politically disagreeable by Irish nationalists. Perhaps a better historic precedent was the ‘Bowl of Light’, which had sat on O’Connell Bridge prior to part of it being flung into the river by vandals in 1953.

“It’s so depressing, but not surprising” said Amy Wallace, a CowParade Ireland account executive, to The Irish Times at the time of the pointless vandalism.”The awful thing is, we were kind of expecting it in Dublin.”

‘Tiogar: Celtic Tiger’ – Displayed in the IFSC.

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Whereas today, the words Donnybrook Fair elicit visions of Ross O’Carroll Kelly characters buying tiger prawns, Perrier and “gourmet goods” in a store whose business surely boomed during the Celtic Tiger years, look up the word Donnybrook in the dictionary and you’ll see something like this:

don·ny·brook [don-ee-brook] noun (often initial capital letter) an inordinately wild fight or contentious dispute; brawl; free-for-all.

For the original Donnybrook Fair was not the food store that services D4 residents, but a Fair established by the Royal Charter of 1204 “to compensate Dubliners for the expense of building walls and defences around the city.” It  lasted fifteen days from the latter end of August until mid-September, was held annually for over six hundred years, and by the mid 19th Century would become the most important fair on the island.

Erkine Nichol, “Donnybrook Fair,” 1859

Originally billed as a horse fair, the run up to the event would see traders of everything from exotic fruits to horse manure set up their stalls on Donnybrook Green. Calling it a horse fair was slightly misleading, as horses were rarely on show, and those that were, were said to be fit for little but the glue factory. As sparse as the display of horses was, the actual buying and selling of wares was a cover for what was, in essence, a fortnight long drinking session.

By the time it was dissolved by Dublin Corporation in 1855, it had become a cacophonous event famed for music, heavy drinking, cock-fighting and shillelagh swinging. Walter Bagehot in his book The English Constitution of 1867, references the Fair by saying “The only principle recognised … was akin to that recommended to the traditionary Irishman on his visit to Donnybrook Fair, ‘Wherever you see a head, hit it’.” Another quote that gives some idea of the pandemonium appeared in the Freeman’s Journal on 31st August, 1778:

“How irksome it was to friends of the industry and well-being of Society to hear that upwards of 50,000 persons visited the fair on the previous Sunday, and returned to the city like intoxicated savages.”

Traffic to and from the Fair was said to have caused a continuous dust cloud the whole way from town for the two weeks of its duration. Alongside references to open displays of drunkenness, promiscuity (Charles William Grant wrote that “Dancing and flirting took place all round, and love making took place publicly”) and a general lack of respect for authority, historically, Donnybrook Fair is largely remembered for its’ fights and its contribution to the English language dictates this. The daily madness often subsided to nightly slumber, and when stallholders shut up shop at around midnight, participants, too drunk to make their way home would simply sleep on site and the party would just continue where it left off the next morning. A favourite past-time of younger Fair go-ers was to buy cheap treacle tarts known as “treacle tillies” and walk around sticking them to the backs of unsuspecting revelers.

A ‘Fair Fight.’ Samuel Lover, from “The Neighbourhood of Dublin,” by John Joyce.

By the second half of the 19th Century, the establishment had enough of the annual bout of debauchery in Dublin’s suburbs, and a committee, imaginatively called “The Committee for the Abolition of Donnybrook Fair” was established with the aim of raising the £3, 000 required to purchase the license for the fair from it’s holder. One of the members of the committee was the then Lord Mayor of Dublin, Joseph Boyce. The rest, as they say, is history.


Further Reading:


Blacker, Henry Beaver: Brief Sketches Of The Parishes Of Booterstown And Donnybrook. Dublin, 1860

Sweeney, Clair L.: The Rivers  of Dublin. Dublin, 1991.

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From Ultras-Tifo.net

Ultras-Tifo, one of the leading sites for photos of fan actions across Europe, have collected together images of Shamrock Rovers supporters away to Sligo on Friday night. Traditionally the last night of the season is always a colorful one. In the past, we’ve done a ‘In Review’ post at the end of each season showing the actions from Dublin League of Ireland fans over the course of the year, and I’ll be getting that together following the Cup Final next weekend.

I’m not sure who to credit these excellent images to, as I’m taking them direct from Ultras-Tifo, but naturally the photographer must be Irish based so if you know who took these images let us know as it’s always nice to tip a cap in the right direction.

While Sligo had just won their third title, and their first in 35 years, Shamrock Rovers fans chose the 17th minute of the match to begin this spectacle, as they have taken 17 titles.

From Ultras-Tifo.net

From Ultras-Tifo.net

While Sligo Rovers fans also lit their fair share of flares on the night, you have to smile looking at their response banner to the pyrotechnics show above.

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6 Lower Baggot Street

Next to Doheny and Nebitts on Baggot Street, I recently spotted a ‘ghost sign’ above Dowling’s Pharmacy. It clearly reads ‘To His Excellency, The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland’. Flickr user Mic V. has taken an excellent image of this ghost sign which shows it in better detail.

A search in the newspaper archives has not revealed much, but I’m sure someone out there knows the story of this premises or even has a photograph of it in a former life?

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