Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


This weekend sees the inaugural Street Stories Festival happening in Stoneybatter and Smithfield. There’s a wide variety of talks, walks, gigs and more taking place over the weekend, beginning tonight and carrying right through to Sunday. The majority of the events are free to attend and below we’ve listed a few we think are particularly interesting, along with the information on venues and times.

Tonight sees it all begin with David Jazay, a photographer and film maker, talking about photographs he took in a Dublin before the Celtic Tiger. Jazay took many photographs of Dublin life in the late 1980s and early 1990s, showing a city that would witness huge change in the decade ahead. From shop owners to long-since redeveloped streets, the images mostly compromise Dublin’s inner-city areas.

Tonight in the Cobblestone, 7.30pm.

William Gallagher of Martin+Joyce's Butcher shop, Benburb Street (David Jazay)

William Gallagher of Martin+Joyce’s Butcher shop, Benburb Street (David Jazay)

Tomorrow there are a wide variety of historical talks, covering both local history and the larger picture. At 12.30PM Liz Gillis, author of ‘The Fall of Dublin’, will be discussing the North King Street Massacre in 1916 in The Cobblestone. Brian Hanley is talking at 2.30PM on Dublin in the First World War, with that talk taking place in The Generator, Smithfield. 2.30PM also sees archaeologist Franc Myles discuss ‘Smithfield Through The Ages’ in The Cobblestone. One of the very first meetings hosted by the local history society, Myles packed the pub out before on the theme of Smithfield’s early development and history. At 4.30PM Las Fallon will be talking about ‘Dublin Fire Brigade and the Irish Revolution’, revealing that some firefighters were in the business of starting fires and not stopping them during the revolutionary period! That talk takes place in the Elbow Room, at 32 North Brunswick Street.

The Four Courts ablaze in 1922.

The Four Courts ablaze in 1922.

On Sunday two walks have been organised to coincide with the festival. Firstly, there is a walk looking at the role of women in the Irish revolution leaving from the O’Connell Street Spire at 2pm. At 4pm, the ever-entertaining Alan MacSimoin will be taking people on a walking tour of historic Smithfield, covering everything from Vikings to film stars and back again.

More information on the festival and the wide variety of talks taking place can be found here.

To give an idea where the venues are, this map should come in handy. They are all a handy stroll from one another.


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News coverage of Church Street collapse. (Posted with permission from Irish Capuchin Archive)

News coverage of Church Street collapse. (Posted with permission from Irish Capuchin Archive)

As part of Heritage Week, a nice calendar of events has been put together by a few of us in the Historical Insights team, in conjunction with the National Museum of Ireland and others. This programme largely involves events with a focus on the Dublin 7 area around the Collins Barracks branch of the National Museum, ranging from the revolutionary history of the area to its rich social history. There are also walking tours of the area, with John Gibney exploring the area around the Museum, while I’ll be looking at the housing in Dublin historically. If you’d like to attend any events on the below programme, email bookings@museum.ie

I’m participating in two events for this programme. The times and meeting information can be found in the poster below.

Heritage Week Tour: A look at the Tenement City
Join this outdoor walking tour with Donal Fallon of Historical Insights/’Come here to me!’ and explore Dublin’s tenements history, including the Church Street disaster of 1913. Booking requried. Adult tour.

History Ireland Hedge School: ’To Hell or Kimmage’: responses to the Church Street disaster of 1913
A round table discussion on housing in Dublin 7 and its surrounds during the early part of the 20th century. Speakers include Donal Fallon of ’Come here to me!’, Gary Granville, National College of Art and Design and Ellen Rowley, Trinity College, Dublin. Lecture Theatre.Booking required.

Programme of events

Programme of events

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With potential names for the new bridge across the River Liffey at Marlborough Street whittled from seventeen candidates down to ten recently, only two women’s names remain in the running- Rosie Hackett and Kay Mills.

Now it’s not as if Dublin is awash with bridges or in fact any landmarks named after women of historical importance. When you look at our abundance of waterways; the Liffey, the Grand Canal, the Royal Canal, the Dodder, the Tolka and the Camac, (and they’re only the ones that haven’t been forced underground,) you’d expect more than one name to pop up. I’m not going to include Victoria Bridge or the Anna Livia Bridge for obvious reasons, and Sally’s Bridge (an alternative name for Parnell Bridge) doesn’t exactly count either. So even at an approximate guess of the fifty or so bridges in Dublin City named after historical figures, and I’m open to correction, there is currently only one named after a woman, and that’s not even a decade old. The Anne Devlin Bridge was opened in 2004 to facilitate the crossing of the canal by the LUAS at it’s Suir Road stop. And even at that, they spelled her name wrong on the plaque.


“Ann” Devlin Bridge. Photo by hXci.

Anne Devlin was born into a family of nationalist stock near Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow in 1780; amongst others, she was cousin to famed Irish rebels Michael Dwyer and Hugh Byrne on her mother’s side. At the age of 17, and just a year before the rising of 1798, Anne moved to Inchicore where she became a servant of the Hempenstall family. Brought back to her homestead by her father in early ’98 she, along with the rest of the Devlin’s and Dwyer’s suffered at the hands of the British authories and watched as her father Bryan was thrown into jail without being charged of a crime where he was to stay for two years before a suprising aqcuittal on retrial. Two uncles and two cousins of Anne suffered the same fate and Hugh Byrne was executed having escaped and consequently recaptured.

Persecution drove the family to move to Rathfarnham, where they became neighbours of  “Mr. Ellis,” an assumed name of none other than Robert Emmet, who had taken residence there with the intention of preparing for his rising of 1803. Anne, along with Rosie Hope (wife of Jemmy Hope) took on the roles of housekeeper’s at Emmet’s house at Butterfield Lane, although in reality, they were much more than that. Anne was to become an advisor, messenger and confidante between Emmet and his partner, Sarah Curran. The failure of the rising, where numbers failed to materialise, and having lost control of his men in the Thomas Street area, who having spotted the Chief Justice, Lord Kilwarden in his carriage, pulled him from it and stabbed him to death with their pikes, caused Emmet to go into hiding.

The house at Butterfield Lane was searched, and finding Anne there, soldiers submitted her to questioning. Her repeated replies of “I have nothing to tell; I’ll tell nothing,” led to Anne being surrounded and advanced upon with fixed bayonnets. The piercing of her skin head to toe still didn’t break her, and she was taken outside where they half- hanged her from a tilted cart.  She still would not speak and was later arrested and taken to Kilmainham Jail where she was again questioned by Henry Charles Sirr. Sirr offered her £500 for the where-abouts of Emmet’s hiding places and co-conspirators to no avail and she was thrown in jail. Her entire family was imprisoned in an effort to wear her down, leading to the death of her  8 year old brother, and Emmet himself before his execution begged her to speak, knowing himself to be a dead man either way. She refused, saying she did not want to go down in history as an informer. She was eventually released in 1806 under an amnesty upon the change of British administration in Ireland.  

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Anne Devlin portrait, by Maser. Photo by hXci.

After her release, Anne found employment under Elizabeth Hammond at 84 Sir John Rogersons Quay, where she spent four years. She married a man named Campbell and had two children, a boy and a girl and made a living washing and cleaning. Campbell died in 1845 and Anne, whose children lived away from her, was left alone in a squalid residence at 2 Little Elbow Lane in Dublin’s Liberties. An appeal was made for assistance for Anne in the Liberty Newspaper in 1947, and while there was some response, it was far from adequate. She died in obsecurity on September 16 1851 and was buried in a paupers plot in Glasnevin before her body was exhumed by Dr. R. R. Madden, the chief historian of the United Irishmen, and re-buried in the plot she lies in today.

One from fifty is not enough. Sign the petition to have the new Liffey bridge named in honour of Rosie Hackett here:

And check out the Facebook here:

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Once a staple of this here blog, our “monthly” pub crawls have become somewhat sporadic of late. We only managed to fit in five last year, the last taking place all the way back in June, making it 114 pubs that we’ve visited on the crawls alone. Add in another 30 pubs or so that we’ve done on “Random Drop Inns,” I make it that (including the five pubs here) we’ve visited and reviewed 149 pubs in the city.

The back story… for anyone that doesn’t know the story by this stage, once a month or so the three writers behind this blog, joined by a small group of friends, visit five Dublin pubs and then write about our experiences. A different person each month picks the five pubs and makes sure not to give away any details beforehand. This month was my turn, and for the first pub crawl of 2013, I decided to drag people out to Ringsend, from where we could make our way back into town, stopping in a couple of spots along the way.  I’ve always loved Ringsend; standing on Bridge Street, you’re a fifteen minute walk to Grafton Street and less than that to Sandymount Strand. Perfect.

The Oarsman, from their official Facebook.

The Oarsman, from their official Facebook

Meeting the other two and KBranno in town at five, a Leo Burdocks and a taxi in the lashing rain later, we headed over the canal and into The Oarsman. A very busy spot this and my first impression was that… Christ, this place is a relic; but in a good way! The pub doesn’t appear to have changed too much inside or out for donkey’s years. There has been a business on this spot since 1882, and a pub here since the sixties. The original grocers shop became the snug area inside the door (where we were lucky to nab seats, kudos to Paul R for that,) and the pub was extended out the back. A long narrow layout means ordering a pint from the beautiful old wooden bar is awkward enough. The stairs down to the jacks is halfway along it on the right, meaning if the seats at the bar are taken and you’re ordering, chances are you’re blocking someone’s way. Nonetheless, we weren’t left waiting and ended up staying for a couple of pints apiece, at €4.45 a pop. The most expensive pint of the crawl but still, relatively cheap compared to pints closer towards town.  A lovely pub this and a place I’ll be back to, if just to try out the food they’ve recently started to serve.


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Well, what can we say apart from what an absolutely amazing night! We couldn’t have foreseen the crowds that showed up, with rumors of a queue building outside the door as Diarmaid Ferriter got up to speak; a real testament to three years of hard work and the community that has been built around this project.

Thanks to the Bia Bar for looking after us, Paul Reynolds for taking pictures (some below, and follow the link for the rest,) John Fisher for filming the event, Ciaran Mangan for doing sound, New Island for the stall and Luke Fallon for designing a fantastic poster AND helping to sell it. All proceeds from the sale of the poster are going to a Dublin homeless charity.

A special shout out to Diarmaid Ferriter for officially launching the book and for his very sincere and supportive speech. Many thanks to our Historian DJs who played a blinder. Finally, to all of you who came along and to all those who sent their best wishes! ♥ Sam, Donal & Ci.






The rest of the set can be found here. Again, our sincerest thanks to everyone who came out and made last night such a special occasion.


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Print by Luke Fallon.

Print by Luke Fallon.

We’re delighted with this beautiful print, which we will be selling on the night of our launch, on Wednesday the twelfth of December. The print is a tribute to Thomas Dudley, better known as Bang Bang, who roamed the streets of Dublin playing mock shoot-outs with a large key he’d use as a gun.

All the profits from the sale of this print will go to a homeless charity in Dublin. It’s a miserably cold time of the year and hopefully we can raise a few quid from these, they’d look beautiful in a frame which is my plan. Our thanks to Luke for this brilliant idea. You can purchase his print of Garda Lugs Branigan from our friends at Rabble over here.

Thomas Dudley.

Thomas Dudley.

Our friends at Storymap have recorded a short little video about Thomas Dudley, which you can view here. “A big child, who lived his life as one long game of cowboys and indians, shooting people with a steel key”

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We are very excited to announce, just a few days before our third birthday, that our long-awaited book is now available to pre-order from the publishers, New Island. Click here to reach the page.

A perfect Christmas present for any of your family, friends or pets! 🙂

Available now from New Island

The beautifully illustrated hardback of over 300+ pages contains seventy of the best stories from the last three years, including a number of new articles never published online.

The launch is happening on Wednesday, 12th December. We hope you can join us. RSVP here.

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Hard as it may be to imagine, there were more worrying times for League of Ireland fans than the present. As tough as the declining crowds and folding of clubs appear to a staunch and loyal fan base these days, events at the turn of the millennium really didn’t bode well for our League.

First came Wimbledon’s proposed move to Dublin, one which could well have destroyed the domestic league here. Thankfully, this fell through. Next, came the formation of Dublin City FC, a new team that threatened to usurp those fans that sit on the fence with regard which team they follow in Dublin, but make up the bumper gates on big match days; that didn’t go too well for them either. And thirdly, something which may seem insignificant, but Manchester United’s Superstore and Café on D’Olier Street really could have had a knock on effect as the fate of Ireland as a nation of barstool football fans may well have been sealed.

Clipping from the Irish Independent, August 19th, 2000.

The premises, on the junction of Westmoreland Street didn’t come cheap, but the prime location and massive footfall that came along with that encouraged the club to splash out on a 25 year lease on the building, before investing a reported £1m in fitting out the store which was split over three floors – the ground and first being the store itself and the Red Cafe, a Manchester United themed cafe in which games would be streamed live, in the basement. (Games could be watched whilst munching on a Beckham Burger, with Man. Utd. Ketchup.) The building, then owned by Treasury Holdings would set them back €400, 000 a year. Their previous ventures on these shores, spurred by a pop-up shop opened by the legendary Bobby Charlton in Roche’s Stores on Henry Street were booming, so perhaps it seemed like a license to print money for the club. They were wrong.

The store opened quietly in August 2001, with its official opening not happening until mid October to a huge fanfare, with the bottom of O’Connell Street, D’Olier Street and Westmoreland Street shut off in expectation of crowds of up to 5, 000. The opening reportedly ran three times over budget, a bill footed by Roche’s Stores, who ran the Club’s five stores in the Republic. Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Mark Bosnich were in attendance, along with Sir Alex Ferguson  himself.

Peter Kenyon, then the club’s Chief Executive said of the store:

Manchester United’s historic links with Ireland and the huge support that exists today presents a unique opportunity to bring the heart of the club closer to those supporters.

Sir Alex at the official opening of the store, October 2000. From the Irish Times.

To bring the club closer to the heart of their supporters indeed, and to empty their wallets of their hard earned cash. But despite all the fanfare, the shop never really took off. Extortionate prices, a soul-less store and less than friendly staff saw the place become a ghost town. Row upon row of replica kits, shelf upon shelf of pencil cases, books, quilt covers, key rings, bath towels, teddy bears, quilts and even cricket bats, gradually gathered dust.

A selection of their “competitive” prices. From the Irish Independent, August 29th, 2000.

The store shut, quietly, in February 2002, being in existence less than two years. But the debacle didn’t end there, as their lease still had another twenty two years to go; it still has another twelve or so years to go in fact, as Manchester United Commercial Enterprises (Ireland) Ltd. are still down as the lease holders on the building. The firm tried their hand at damage control, opening Redz Bar, home to the Dublin MUFC Supporters Club. This venture didn’t last long and was supplanted by the notorious Redz Nightclub, now closed. Their debts last year were a mere €200, 000 or so, down €2, 000, 000 from 2010, due in part to the building being sublet by a new group, Lafayette, who seem to be trading steadily. So there you have it. Man Utd, it seems, were signing flops long before Eric Djemba Djemba, and for the League of Ireland, perhaps thankfully so.

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Culture Night is upon us once more, and having missed Culture Night 2011 I’m looking forward to making the most of it this year. While there is certainly plenty going on across the city, I thought I’d draw up a list of five things I’ll be doing on the night for anyone who is finding it hard to narrow down their own ‘To Do’ lists. Got any tips on something we should check out? Comment below.

1) The Little Museum of Dublin, free from 6-10pm. (St.Stephen’s Green)

We reviewed the Little Museum back in April of this year, and I must say it surpassed my expectations on visiting. From the Magdalene Laundries to the shameful destruction of our viking heritage, this museum isn’t just the ‘good bits’ of 20th century Dublin. It’s a diverse collection worthy of your time, and the late opening hours should be availed of.

The plaque from the Hirschfeld Centre, Dublin’s gay community centre in 1970’s Temple Bar. Today, you can see it in this fantastic museum.

2) Focus Photography exhibition at Exchange (Temple Bar)

Exchange in Temple Bar is hosting an exhibition of photos on one of the least likely subjects imaginable for such a project, Busáras.”Busáras is a vital hub yet remains almost undocumented in this digital age compared with our picture-postcard landmarks.” The exhibition includes photographs from Paul Reynolds, who could jokingly be called the fourth musketeer which such regular appearances on the site here. The exhibition will be launched at 8pm, if timing in Exchange is anything like Busáras it’ll probably kick off at ten past.

3) ‘A Proposed Exhibition for the Irish House’, Dublin Civic Trust (Castle Street)

The beautiful Irish House pub was lost to ‘progress’, sitting for many years at Wood Quay. The pub boasted magnificent exterior stucco work, showing figures from Irish history like Henry Grattan and Daniel O’Connell. Some of these figures are today at home in the Dublin Civic Trust building. The Dublin Civic Trust are turning the spotlight onto this fantastic pub, and will be open until 9.30pm on Culture Night.

Eight artists propose an exhibition for the The Irish House, previously located on the corner of Wood Quay and Winetavern Street. The work will be on display in Dublin Civic Trust, 4 Castle Street, opening on the 20th of September at 6.00 pm and will continue until the 30th 10.00 – 18.00, Mon. – Sun.

The figure of Erin, salvaged from the lost Irish House pub (Donal Fallon)


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And so another Dublin institution comes to pass. No visit to Dublin by any man or woman over the age of 60 was complete without one of two things. A trip into Bewley’s on Grafton Street, this itself in danger only a couple of years ago, or nipping in to Guiney’s on the way back down Talbot Street to Connolly Station. Socks and jocks, towels, blankets and bed sheets; if you had them, chances are, the majority of them came from Guiney’s.

The phrase “you’d find anything in there from a needle to an anchor” was once used by my mother to describe the place and she wasn’t far off and I’m pretty sure the signs outside constantly proclaiming a permanent  “sale” broke some broke some law of commerce or another, but the shop was constantly packed with old women, who viewed the trip to Guiney’s as some sort of social occasion, rather than an opportunity to pick up a few bits and bobs.

Photo from the Dublin City Library digital archive

At approximately 17:30 on the 17th May, 1974, fourteen people lost their lives on Talbot Street, victims of the second of three explosions in Dublin that would later become known as the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Thirteen of the victims were women, a number of them found on the pavement outside Guiney’s itself.

Not this Guiney’s, the other one!

Clery’s around the corner has been saved, and with that, 350 jobs and the phrase “I’ll meet you under Clery’s Clock.” Owned by the Guiney family for over seventy years, it has now passed into American ownership. Sister store Guiney’s Home ware’s and their thirty staff aren’t so lucky though and another Dublin institution is set to disappear.

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Some personal favourites!

With the Tall Ships Festival and the Electric Picnic behind us now, we’ve moved into September and the days get shorter and colder, if that’s possible. Still ahead of us though is an event we’re really excited about, with the All Ireland Craft Beerfest taking place this weekend.

We’ve always given good time to Irish microbreweries on the site, and even devoted one of our pub crawls to them in its entirety. We’ve also dug up some gems from the brewing history of the city, for example this advertisement for O’Connell’s Dublin Ale, no longer found on tap anywhere in the capital.

It’s a fairly shocking indictment of the Irish pub, that CAMRA (‘Campaign for Real Ale’), the leading craft beer lovers organisation in the UK, was actually established in a pub in County Kerry. Then, it was known as the Campaign for the Revitalisation of Ale. They’ve certainly enjoyed some success. A great history of the breweries of this city has been written by the Dublin Brewing Co., who note for example that:

A city that was once host to over 30 breweries was now reduced to one. Guinness was so dominant in Ireland, that when it started its first advertising campaign in England in 1929 it felt it was a complete waste of money to spend anything in Ireland. Consumers either drank its beer or gave up drinking.

In recent years there’s been a brilliant trend in Dublin which has seen the microbrewery and the craft beer pub both flourish. Not alone craft beer specific pubs like The Black Sheep and Against The Grain, but even pubs like the Bowes and the Cobblestone (two Come Here To Me favourites) have hugely diversified their taps.

We’re certainly popping into the RDS this weekend for the festival. Most of our favourite Irish brewers are on hand, including Trouble Brewing, Metalman and Dungarvin. The festival is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with more information on their site here.

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From the ‘Animal Gangs’ of the 1930s to football hooliganism in the 1970s and 80s, we’ve long had an obsession around these parts with the violent past of the capital. Even yesterday jaycarax wrote a piece on triad gang violence in the capital in the late 1970s. Gang violence and mentality is a fascinating and often revealing subject.

This year, as part of the Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, History Ireland are presenting two Hedge Schools in the Mindfield area, both taking place on the Leviathan Stage. Essentially Mindfield is a large, spoken word corner which adds to the fun of EP in a big way for me. This is the third year of History Ireland Hedge Schools at the event.

I’m on the panel for a discussion on Sunday:

From the Liberty Boys to the Westies: gang culture in Ireland with David Donnelly (ex-Black Catholics punk gang), Donal Fallon (Come Here To Me Blog), John Gibney (History Ireland) and Niamh Hourigan (UCC).

It is due to begin at about 2.45pm on Sunday . With festivals, things naturally start and finish a little off schedule so keep that in mind but it should make for an interesting discussion. I’m going to be focusing primarily on the capital and the first half of the twentieth century. We’ll be looking not only at actual gangs, but also media hysteria and coverage of different subcultures and the like.

I’ll likely be focusing on the ‘Animals’ of the 1930’s and 40’s, as well as the various subcultures of the 1950s onwards and the violence or perceived violence around them.

A classic newspaper image of Dublin skinheads, first posted online by our own JayCarax here on site.

A 2011 Hedge School on the Animal Gangs can be heard below:

There is another Hedge School on the Saturday,on the subject of the Irish and racism. It is due to begin at 2.45, though again these times can change and shift.

Racism and the Irish: perpetrators or victims? with Mary Corcoran (NUI Maynooth), Lar Joye (National Museum), Angus Mitchell (Casement—Life and Times) and Hiram Morgan (UCC)

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