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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Ah… the hidden layers of a city. The Gigs Place, the late night eatery on Richmond Street South closed down to some dismay recently. A contender for one of Dublin’s longest running restaurants it was 42 years young when it closed, having opened in 1970. But before the Gigs Place sat Molly Tansey’s “Mayfair Café” which occupied the spot from 1956 -1969. The building work being done on the building has led to the facade to be recently stripped back, revealing a shopfront from a different era.

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I’ve searched and searched online but can find very little about the place, only that it was run by a lady called Molly Tansey from 1956- 1969. Newspaper archives are throwing up nothing and I’ve Googled it to death. Any of our readers remember the place?

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As small as Dublin is, and as much of it as I’ve covered traipsing around on my bike, the city never ceases to throw up surprises. Heading off on the bus to Dundalk from Dalymount on Friday evening (a beautiful evening on a hijacked double decker bus, ending in a rubbish defeat and getting home at silly o’clock on Saturday morning,) I spotted some graffiti at the entrance to the lane-way linking St. Peter’s Road with Cabra Park. Heading up for a look this evening, I wasn’t let down, with another trove of street art from some of Dublin’s finest. Sorry for the angles on some of the shots, the alley is so narrow as to make a head on shot impossible! 

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Image Credit: George Kelly

Image Credit: George Kelly

My thanks to George Kelly for permission to reproduce these brilliant images. We’ve previously posted some of George’s work in articles on Shamrock Rovers, who he follows and frequently photographs. These images come from the 1990 ceremony which presented the Freedom of the City to Nelson Mandela. The decision to grant this honour to Mandela had actually been reached in 1988, at a time when he was still imprisoned. At 94, the health of the inspirational anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician appears to be failing him, with Mandela’s condition described as critical.To date, only 76 people have been given the Freedom of the City of Dublin.

Image Credit: George Kelly

Image Credit: George Kelly

Image Credit: George Kelly

Image Credit: George Kelly

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It was never going to last forever; summers in Ireland rarely do, but when we had it, we had it good. The forecast suggests that we’re back to the four seasons in one day we know and love but who knows what lies around the corner; a couple of weeks down the line we might actually have blue skies that aren’t the catalyst for rucks out in Portmarnock… Here’s a few snaps I took this weekend on a couple of cycles that spanned Dublin Bay from Killiney to Howth.

bikes Starting on Sunday, a skip down the coast-road as far as Killiney. It looked like half of Dublin had the same idea as the road to Bray (our intended destination) quickly resembled something like the M50 at rush hour. Getting up and down the hill at Kiliney is hard enough at the best of times, trying to skip between Range Rovers and convertibles made it all the harder. We called it a day at the spot above and headed slowly back.

towerThe Martello Towers along the coast are something I’ve always meant to look at in depth but haven’t gotten around to in yet. Here’s a view through the trees of the one on Dalkey Island.

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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.” And so said I a long time ago, and several times since. With the ever- epic Tivoli Jam taking place this weekend, I had it in mind  to go check out a few graf spots I’ve covered before, so dropped down to the lane behind the Bernard Shaw and wasn’t disappointed. (Nothing got to do with this post, but if you’re in Dublin this Saturday (18th May), check out the Tivoli Theatre car park off Francis Street for a day of world-class graffiti artists, skateboarders, BMX bikers, DJs and MCs in the Liberties.) Anyways, as usual, snaps below.

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I always re-iterate the fact that there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be when the sun is shining than Dublin City. So heading down to Ormond Place to check out the grafitti wall there, and seeing the skyline as it is in the image below, I couldn’t help but take the camera out for a shot. skyline Ormond Place (behind Fibber’s Rock Bar) is apparently a designated grafitti spot set up by the Dublin City Council, and there are some fantastic pieces on it. I’ve covered three other such spots, I’ll link to them at the bottom of this set. Dublin is lucky to be home to some absolutely amazing artists, and say what you like about tagging, beautiful street art brightens up a city. 026

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I opened with a moody sunshine snap, so I’ll close with a moody night-time one. O’Connell Street came to a stand-still, with the backdrop of a near full-moon peeking out from the clouds behind the Spire. 010

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Other “Writings on the wall” sets:

https://comeheretome.com/2012/11/01/the-writings-on-the-wall/

https://comeheretome.com/2012/11/07/the-writings-on-the-wall-part-ii/

https://comeheretome.com/2012/11/22/the-writings-on-the-wall-part-iii/

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Hundreds gathered on Moore Street today to demand that the hugely important street be preserved. In recent times campaigners have been split over the issue of just what should be saved, with some relatives of 1916 leaders seeming happy for a small terrace of houses to be preserved within a new development, while the majority of the relatives and others argue that the entire terrace of houses, and the laneways around it, should be designated a national monument. Personally, I think another shopping centre is the last thing the city needs, and I feel we’re not using Moore Street and the area around it to its full potential.

To me, the streets contemporary life as a market area with a strong multicultural atmosphere is also worth preserving. Below are a series of images from the protest today, and my thanks to Bas Ó Curraoin for permission to post them here.

With the year that is in it, Jer O’Leary performed his Jim Larkin routine before the crowd. Those who haven’t can see him do the same at the launch of a comic in honour of Jim this Thursday.

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While much has been written and said about the infamous 1995 clash between Ireland and England that ended in a riot, the November 1990 fixture between the sides also saw some physical confrontations, although these happened away from the stadium. A one-all draw, I’ve always loved this footage which shows the moment Ireland equalised.

The confrontation between rival supporters happened primarily on O’Connell Street, in the hours after the football match. A demonstration in solidarity with republican prisoner Dessie Ellis was underway there, and more than 100 people were arrested following clashes.

Photographer Wally Cassidy was on O’Connell Street, and snapped some of the scenes. We’ve posted some of Wally’s work here before, and his Facebook page is well worth ‘liking’, with plenty of great black and white shots of Dublin in the early 1990s.

Image: Wally Cassidy

Image: Wally Cassidy

Wally Cassidy

Image: Wally Cassidy


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1989 doesn’t seem so long ago. But reading the Dublin Insight Guide first published that year gives an Insight into a whole different city, pre-boom, pre-bust. With segments on “Local Heroes,” “Street Characters” and “Games People Play,” it sculpts a city very different to the one we live in today. The guide places a lot of  emphasis on the twee side of Dublin, with pictures of old men in pubs, (anyone guess the one featured on the cover? Mulligans maybe?) horse drawn carts and street life. I’ve scanned and uploaded some of the better images, unfortunately the book spread a lot over two pages that wouldn’t scan correctly.

(c) George WrightA great snap below, taking in the city from the South East. Long  before the Marlborough Street Bridge was even thought of, notice the Odeon Cinema on Eden Quay and the lack of the Sean O’Casey pedestrian bridge.

(c) Thomas Kelly

The below snap comes from a section in the book called “Street Credibility” and looks like a game of handball although it just locates it as “a central Dublin Street.” It looks like the corner of Temple Bar at the back of Central Bank… again, Any ideas? Alongside the picture is a piece dealing matter-of-factually with Dublin beggars, saying “a slightly dilapidated third world capital, almost Asian in its colour, clutter and confusion, and unfortunately poverty. Many tourists are shocked to find Dublin is a city of beggars, many of them are members of Ireland’s traveling community- tinkers, itinerants or travelers as they are known, who number about 16, 000 in all.”

(c) Guglielmo Gavin

The top of Grafton Street below, with Robert Rice’s on the left and the Gaiety on the right. A stalwart of the Gaiety gets a mention in actor Micháel Mac Liammóir, quoting a time when, in full costume, he was sitting having a pint in Neary’s on Chatham Street. In full wig and make- up, and chatting to the barman, a disgruntled Dubliner bawled across at them “ah why don’t the two of ye get a divorce?” To which Mac Liammór replied “we can’t dear, we’re Catholics.”

(c) Thomas KellyHorses also get plenty of mention, both racing and workhorses, claiming “an interest, sometimes an obsession with horses has long been shared by members of all classes of Dublin society.”

(c) Thomas Kelly

In a two page article on Dublin’s bookshops, the below is captioned “Queuing for school texts in Greene’s.” Other stores of note that they mention to have disappeared are The Alchemists Head, (East Essex Street, “dealing with the supernatural, the occult and science fiction,”) and Zee Books (Duke Street, “a quiet basement place strong on second hand, arty and left-wing works.”)

(c) Guglielmo Gavin

“The state of the Irish economy is desperate, but doesn’t always seem serious… the summer festivals in every town, dedicated to various unlikely subjects, produce prodigious feats of drinking and dissipation.”

(c) Guglielmo GavinThe book goes into great detail about Dublin’s street characters. Bang Bang, the Yupper and Brien O’Brien, as does the famous author and character, Pat Ingoldsby below. Apparently the red bandana was a part of an outfit “”sixties-in-aspic, denim flowered and beaded.” A little bit different to now then.

(RTÉ)“Shopkeeper from Dublin’s closely knit Italian Community,” the below looks like it could be somewhere down around Smithfield. The book gives over quite a bit to market traders, hawking everything from fish to wrapping paper, and describes “the Dublin saunter” where people would “go to town on a Saturday afternoon with nothing more definite in mind that to stroll around, window shop and to share a drink or coffee with one of those friends you meet by chance on the street.”

(c) Guglielmo Gavin

The “travel tips” section at the back has some gems too, covering aspects of daily life in the city, giving food recommendations “under £8 -over £18,” and hotel recommendations “under £10 – over £100.” Some of the names have survived, many have not.

Thanks to Rose Murray for the book!

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There was once a stage where I’d go out at least once a week with my camera, but the long dark winter nights never did anything for my productivity or enthusiasm and as such, I’ve failed miserably over the last couple of months. Now that the evenings are getting brighter, its time to get back on the horse (read ‘bike’) and get the camera out again…The snaps below were taken over two nights, one recent, the other not so recent.

The Docklands is a great place for a wander with a camera. Its less than five minutes cycle from O’Connell Bridge, but its a world away. I’ll hopefully have another piece up next week from the area around the port itself. Below, I never noticed that you could see Lansdowne Road from the Liffey before. I took this at the time, and then on a bus the other day with Donal from this here parish and he saw it and said “that’s a great snap…” Well, here you are. A bit grey but…

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Apologies for the quality of the below snap, it was taken from the other side of the Liffey and daylight was starting to fade. For the sheer size of the piece its worth a look, must be at least thirty foot long. Sam has previously published a series of articles on Dublin graffiti artists, and the entry for UEK can be found here.

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Below is a close-up of the sign you can see in the distance in the first image. A strange little area this, with locks and little bridges over docks off the Liffey. Looks like a great place for undisturbed midsummers drinking all the same…

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No.42 O’Connell Street has long fascinated me, sitting next to a sports bar and easy to miss, yet so different from everything else on the street. The building is the oldest surviving residential building on the street according to TJ O’Connor and Associates, a consulting engineer firm.

Their website provides some interesting information on the building, noting that:

The building comprises of 4 storeys over basement and is constructed in cellular form typical of the Georgian period. While the original construction was of high quality, the building has been subjected to numerous alterations during its lifetime, particularly those associated with the adjoining hotel on the 40-41 O’Connell Street site.

Under ‘Client’, the website lists Chartered Land Development, who are embroiled in the controversy around the future of Moore Street and the equally important historic laneways which surround it, connected to the story of the 1916 rebellion.

Detail above the door no.42

Detail above the door no.42

The house was the subject of some controversy in 1984, when plans to demolish it led to opposition. Writing in The Irish Times, Frank McDonald noted that:

The house dates from 1752. It was designed by Richard Castle, the architect of the Rotunda, and although the front facade is very plain, the interior contains many fine features, including ornate plaster work ceilings and an exceptionally good carved wooden staircase.

Pat Liddy has detailed the manner in which the building was purchased in 1882 by the Catholic Commercial Club, essentially a club for Catholic businessmen who “had been excluded from the existing social clubs in the city.” A library, a reading room, a restaurant, lecture rooms and other facilities were to be found inside of this club.

It is incredible to read now that once upon the time the very idea of knocking down one of the few buildings on the street to survive the revolutionary period intact was even considered. This is a great building which deserves your attention next time you’re passing.

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Dublin at night.

Photographer Paul Reynolds contributed many photographs to the recent Come Here To Me book, and is a regular contributor to Rabble magazine like ourselves. I was very taken by these images he just posted online, which show the effect of photographing with a night strobe on the streets of the capital. Some of these sites are historic, and have featured here in the past.

Conway's, opposite Guinness.

Conway’s, opposite Guinness.

The below shot of the Iveagh Market is a personal favourite, I’m fascinated by the building and its former life.

Iveagh Market

Iveagh Market

Cromwell’s Quarters has featured on CHTM before.

Cromwell's Quarters

Cromwell’s Quarters

Heuston Station has always struck me as a natural stomping ground for a photographer, with people coming and going and the tracks themselves for inspiration. This is a lovely shot.

Heuston Station

Heuston Station

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