Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

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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On August 7th 1912 four women- Gladys Evans, Mary Leigh, Jennie Baines (under the nom de guerre Lizzie Baker) and Mabel Capper were sentenced at the Green Street Special Criminal Court in Dublin accused of “having committed serious outrages at the time of the visit of the British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith.” The trial lasted several days during which police came under fire for initially refusing to allow admittance to women. Given the nature of the case, this act was met with steady and mounting pressure until the ban was repealed.

The “acts of serious outrage” have been mentioned in passing here before in an article on the Theatre Royal. The visit of Asquith to Dublin in July 1912 was met with defiance from militant suffragettes, some of whom (including the four above) had followed him over from England. On July 19th, a hatchet (around which a text reading “This symbol of the extinction of the Liberal Party for evermore” was wrapped) was thrown at his moving carriage as it passed over O’Connell Bridge. The hatchet missed Asquith but struck John Redmond, who was travelling in the same carriage, on the arm. There was also a failed attempt at setting fire to the Theatre Royal as he was due to talk on Home Rule in the same venue the following day. A burning chair was thrown from a balcony into the orchestra pit and flammable liquid was spread around the cinematograph (projector) box, and an attempt made to set it alight. It caught fire, and exploded once, but was quickly extinguished. The Irish Times, as below, reported the attempt which, in any case was foiled by Sergeant Durban Cooper of the Connaught Rangers who was in attendance:

At this moment Sergeant Cooper saw a young woman standing near. She was lighting matches. Opening the door of the cinematograph box, she threw in a lighted match, and then tried to escape. But she was caught by Sergeant Cooper and held by him. She is stated to have then said: “There will be a few more explosions in the second house. This is only the start of it.” (Irish Times, July 19th 1912)

Taken from "Votes for Women," August 9th, 1912

Taken from “Votes for Women,” August 9th, 1912

The four women mentioned above were accused and charged over both actions. The then Attorney General for Ireland, C.A O’Connor conducted the prosecution, and the case was presided over by Judge Madden. It seems that the authorities were at great pains to quell the burgeoning suffragette movement, and so set out to brand the women as highly dangerous provocateurs. O’Connor spoke of the horrors the fire in the Theatre could have caused, and Judge Madden, upon passing sentence on the women, rendered it his “imperative duty to pronounce a sentence that is calculated to have a deterrent effect.” Large crowds had gathered inside and outside the court for their sentencing upon which, as seen in the Evening Post clipping below, applause rang out around a largely hostile room.


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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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Back in April, we gave you a sneak preview of As An Talamh, an upcoming documentary that will focus on both Dublin’s rich rave history and the underground dance culture of today, talking to the promoters, bedroom producers, DJs, DIY record labels and radio shows who keep the flame alive. Well now, they need your help. With weeks left to finish their doc, they are scrambling for any old fliers or photo’s from the scene any ravers are willing to part with.

There must be hard drives, dusty old boxes and folders full of tracks, photos and video sitting out there that we can use to tell the story of dance in Dublin. We’re not just looking for shots of DJs and producers, what about behind the scenes material? What about photos and videos from the perpective of the clubbers and ravers? Get in touch and tell us what you and how we can use it! It’d be much appreciated.

So, what are ye waiting for?! Get yourselves to www.asantalamh.com and start submitting!

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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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The plugs for Look Left magazine on this blog are important and I sincerely hope that readers aren’t getting tired of them.

Look Left is going from strength to strength and increasingly becoming an important magazine within Irish politics (and the culture sphere). There’s no doubt in my mind that CHTM! would be plugging it even if we had no involvement in it.

Yours truly has a short interview with Joe Mooney of the East Wall History Group and an article looking at the politics of The Specials (I’ve previously looked at The Blades and The Pogues).

Donal Fallon, Esq has a fascinating piece on Dominic Behan, the slightly overlooked brother who was, arguably, as equally as talented as Brendan.

There are also interesting pieces on issues as diverse as the recent successful Quebec student strike, the left wing FMLN government in El Salvador, workers co-ops in Belfast and a debate on the legalisation on drugs. As always,  there’s strong interviews. This issue includes one with progressive Dublin footballer David Hickey and up and comingclass-conscious Dublin hip-hop MC Lethal Dialect.

48 pages for €2? It’s a bloody bargain. Pick your issue up in any Easons store, now.


Look Left, Issue 12. (Design – Claire Davey)


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Its easy to forget that Dublin is a town on the sea. Our relationship to the wide expanse that is Dublin Bay extends slightly farther than Dublin Port on the Northside and the Pigeon House on the Southside; but for the last few years, I’ve lived between the canals and because of that, my world has consisted of Dublin’s streetscapes,  neglecting what lies outside of those.

With the summer that was in it, you couldn’t exactly go exploring, but thankfully, this last week has looked something like a normal September might… This week so far though, I’ve been to Dun Laoghaire on Monday and out to Howth with the bauld JScully on Tuesday. Later this week, its the Hellfire Club for us, and hopefully a few pictures of that will come too. Above is Ireland’s Eye from the end of Howth Pier. For some reason, I always thought it was bigger…

Some… odd grafitti adorning the lighthouse at the end of the pier. Tags from all over the world, from Brazil to Korea and beyond, go right around the small structure, an interesting one to see. This village lies not ten miles away from O’Connell Bridge yet I haven’t been here since I was a toddler.

Up to the summit, off the bikes (thankfully,) and a walk down to the cliffs. Have to admit, we felt more than a bit jealous looking at the people sitting outside The Summit pub drinking pint bottles of cider, but that’s for another time. Stunning views from the cliffs. (more…)

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“The delights a stroll around Dublin can bring you. I’ve always carried my camera around with me, but have only recently started to take it out and not give a shite that I look like a tourist.”

Someone said of the last bunch of photo’s I stuck up that Dublin is starting to look like a proper shithole… Its not- its really not, its just that for whatever reason, I like taking pictures of graffiti, rundown buildings and, well, real Dublin. For any piece of eight or ten images, its possible to have taken fifty or sixty shots on my not very fancy camera. Subsequently, I have hundreds of shots of birds, trees, sunshine and flowers. But I still prefer the grittier side of things!

The Seahorses of Grattan Bridge. JayCarax has done some great work on the history of the Grattan statue on College Green. The  statue is, of course, surrounded by lamps bearing ornate seahorses. Grattan Bridge bears the same idols on its lamps.

I’ve recently moved gaff, so my cycle to work takes me down along the canal, from Rathmines to Inchicore. For three months, I’ve been cycling past this spot and never noticed this piece on the side of the bridge at Herberton Road until this week. The work of Solus, I think its a belter!


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Long before Colin Farrell, Colm Meaney and Jonathan Reese Myers, Dublin had irrevocable links to Hollywood, right back to its formative years. Its pretty much common knowledge now that the roaring lion in the clip at the start of MGM films, Cairbre, was born and reared in Dublin zoo. Less well known is the fact that the man responsible for his presence, Cedric Gibbons, was a Dubliner.

Cedric Gibbons

Disputed the fact may be, as little is known of his early life, but most reports say Gibbons was born in Dublin on March 23, 1893 into a wealthy family, with an architect father and a housewife mother. Conflicting reports say that he was born in Boston, but nonetheless, both sides of the story state that his parents were Dubliners. Gibbons was an architect and artist before joining the Edison Studios in 1915 as an art director. By 1918, he had moved on to working for producer, Sam Goldwyn, the “G” in “MGM” motion-picture studio, which formed in 1924.

His talent saw him work on approximately 150 films throughout his career, but arguably the most interesting thing about him is that he is credited with designing the first “Oscar” statuette in 1928. one of the original 36 founding members of The Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, the model for the the original statuette was his future wife, actress Dolores Del Rio. He went on to win eleven Oscars himself, notably for his work on “Pride and Prejudice” (1940), “Little Women” (1949), and “An American in Paris” (1951.) In total throughout his career, he was nominated for thirty nine of the awards.

I’ve searched the 1901 and 1911 census’ for an architect Gibbon’s in Dublin but couldn’t find any reference. An elusive character he may be, the presence of Cairbre in the MGM logo gives at least some credence to the story that one of Tinseltown’s most decorated art directors was a jackeen.


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“The delights a stroll around Dublin can bring you. I’ve always carried my camera around with me, but have only recently started to take it out and not give a shite that I look like a tourist.”

The last couple of months have been busy, and I haven’t gotten out with the camera as much as I would like. Hence, I’m a little rusty. I hope to remedy this though, and over the next while, hope to get one post of pictures up a fortnight… I’ll start off with the below, looking down toward School Street from Earl Street South- “Fuck the System.”

“Dublin is in palliative care, drowning in oceans of Lynx and fake tan and fake people. Hipsters, bints, where have all the real people…” something, something, angry rant, something.

I hoped to have two scooters in this piece, one far more impressive than the one below, but an unfortunate incident of a disappearing memory card means there’s just this one. Just off Grafton Street, a beauty. The blokier version will appear in the next “A few quick snaps” post.


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I’m a huge fan of Dublin Opinion, the classic magazine which prided itself on being the “National Humorous journal of Ireland”. I try to pick up issues of magazines like it whenever they pop up, as they’re a goldmine of content. Not only the articles and comics, but even the advertisements, are priceless. The cartoon below from the April 1933 edition of the magazine. The cartoon pokes fun at the strict ban on GAA players attending or taking part in soccer matches.

An Irish Times report of January 23 1929, reported one speaker at a GAA convention stating that

The atmosphere connected with Rugby and ‘soccer’ was inimical to Irish nationalism, and it would be very unwise to remove the ban at this stage

One speaker went one further, arguing that removing the GAA ban on the playing of ‘foreign sports’ would amount to treachery.

Mr. Murphy, Clarecastle, said that they would be deserting the Gaels in the six counties if they remove the ban.

Dublin Opinion, April 1933.

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Rabble Nua

The latest issue of Rabble magazine should be on the streets by the end of this week, and Rabble are seeking distributors for issue 4.It’s hard to believe this IS issue 4, so well done to all responsible for moving this from an idea to a reality. As ever, it’s the same mix of social commentary, cultural content, a little bit of history and some humour. The mag continues to provide a home to some of my favourite Dublin illustrators too, and the cover, depicting Youth Defence, is truly fantastic.

We’ve some little bits and pieces inside, with hxci reflecting on a visit to Poznan while myself and de brudder have produced a brief look at the cheeky gurriers of old, the Dublin newsboys. In particular, I’m looking forward to reading Tonie Walsh’s interview on Flikkers club on Fownes St in ’79.

It’s editoral gives real food for thought:

There are zero specific supports out there for voluntary publications like this. Locking ourselves away spewing out grant applications that shoehorn us into whatever limited arts funding exists is a rat race for pennies. Numerous things could be done to open up space for publications of our ilk. Among the underground press, we could have mutual aid agreements around distribution to encourage audience growth.

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