Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

I’m somewhat new to the Tweet Machine. With about 300 tweets, most of them re-tweets of people funnier/cleverer/cooler than me, I’m hardly setting the thing alight either. One of the first things I did upon joining the ‘Bourgeois Facebook’ however was get right on to Crackbird to avail of their ‘tweetseats’, essentially FREE FOOD on offer to Twitter followers.

Any day I’m working, providing tours of Dublin to tourists, I tend to come up Crane Lane. It’s a good shortcut from Temple Bar to Dublin Castle, with some interesting history to it too. The smell from Crackbird has been tempting me for the last few weeks, and any glance inside the place has always revealed it to be packed.

I was lucky enough to grab two ‘tweetseats’ for Tuesday evening, no small feat when you see the crowds inside this place. The brother was unable to attend due to having a busier life than me, but Ci from this here parish was available to fill in thankfully. You’d be surprised how easy it is to find people to eat for free with you.

Crackbird is a ‘pop-up restaurant’, which means she ain’t gonna last forever, as the title of this piece suggests. Come the end of May in fact, Crackbird will be no more. This is most unfortunate when you remember the last few ventures in this premises seemed almost allergic to customers.

The menu here is simple. Chicken, chicken and more chicken. Man can do so much with chicken of course, and between the two of us we opt for the “Skillet fried buttermilk chicken” and the “Super crisp soy garlic chicken”. The chicken arrives quickly after, literally in buckets, and we tuck in.

We both opted for a bottle of David Llewellyn cider, which is about as cidery as cider comes. Being a very strict stout drinker, and not knowing anything about cider beyond the fact Bulmers is pretty nice in the summer, I’m taken aback by this very different taste. I’m unsurprised to notice online that the cider is a national award winner. Pilsner is the only beer on offer, but it’s a nice one at that and we opt for two bottles after the cider.

The “tweetseats” consist of one table of six, and being a party of two we find ourselves sitting next to four random punters. We’re tucking into this like barbarians in the wild, but we don’t care. Looking around the restaurant, I notice this sort of communal eating is very much a part of the venture. All you can hear is conservation and the Pilsner flows freely. The music is great, indeed the best playlist I’ve stumbled across in a Dublin restaurant to date, and the staff are incredibly friendly. Despite the fact we’re eating for free, beyond our drinks, there is no effort at all to hurry us a long. We’re given a nice sending off too at the end.

With our bellies full, we went for a walk around the city, feeling eight months pregnant. The journey would take us to the ‘snail bar’ (I’d never been and fancied walking as far away and possible) and on to the more familiar Brogans. If you like chicken at all, get into Crackbird before she vanishes, and this Crane Lane premises goes quiet once more.

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From Hunt Emerson- Firkin (1989). Scanned from 'the brothers' collection.

I popped into the inaugural MylesDay on Friday. Flann O’Brien is among my favourite writers to emerge from this country, and The Palace Bar is undoubtedly the most fitting of places to honour him, owing to his frequent custom in times long past.

I arrived at 2:15, a quarter of an hour before kick-off. Alas, there was not a seat to be found in the pub. Journalists, writers, plain people of Ireland like myself and more besides had gathered for a day of readings and performances.

Val O’Donnell got things off to a flying start with bookhandling. It’s all in the delivery of course, and Val was just the man to launch the day:

A visit that I paid to the house of a newly-married friend the other day set me thinking. My friend is a man of great wealth and vulgarity. When he had set about buying bedsteads, tables, chairs and what-not, it occurred to him to buy also a library. Whether he can read or not, I do not know, but some savage faculty for observation told him that most respectable and estimable people usually had a lot of books in their houses. So he bought several book-cases and paid some rascally middleman to stuff them with all manner of new books, some of them very costly volumes on the subject of French landscape painting. I noticed on my visit that not one of them had ever been opened or touched, and remarked the fact.

‘When I get settled down properly,’ said the fool, ‘I’ll have to catch up on my reading.’

This is what set me thinking. Why should a wealthy person like this be put to the trouble of pretending to read at all? Why not a professional book-handler to go in and suitably maul his library for so-much per shelf? Such a person, if properly qualified, could make a fortune.

One by one excellent performers rose to pay tribute to O’Brien and as the clocks ticked away the laughter went on unabated.

I hope MylesDay becomes an annual event. Well done to the organisers, speakers and performers. The brother says he’s raging he missed it.

My thanks to FXR for the photos:

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The Alamo on Fleet Street has been a subject of humour on CHTM before, with their ludicrous advertising of bargain €4.50 pints (rumoured to be poured from a can by the way,) but its not a place I’d set foot in until last night. We always talk about reviewing more eateries on here but the bloody price of eating out in Dublin prohibits it most of the time. But, with a cool sixty quid in my pocket, having backed O’Driscoll to score the first try in the rugby, and the lure of post pint Mexican food great, a troupe of us made our way from the stools in Brogan’s the oldest Mexican restaurant in Dublin.

The Alamo

Its a lovely little place inside, the bang on waiter offering us a table in the window – nice to be able to look at the world go by. To be honest, none of us was sober at this point, having imbibed several pints of the black stuff throughout the afternoon, but whilst my memory generally goes after said pints, its hard to forget the food here- truly amazing. I got the chicken wings to start, having been told on the way down that they were the best in Dublin. And they didn’t disappoint. Not too spicy, more a smoky, sweet taste but undoubtedly the best wings I’ve tasted in Dublin, and thats saying something. €8.50 for a starter, a little pricy but this is Temple Bar. To be honest, they could have done as a main course, the bowl overflowing with a good twenty wings. Thats a lot of chickens… I knicked a couple of Chris’s Lambada Sizzlers- deep fried jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, the business.

The Quesedilla for main course, and I couldn’t finish it- Huge chunks of chicken with quacamole, cheese and spring onion wrapped in soft fresh tortilla. A really tasty dish, but not without a downside- the price. €17.95 for a main course is something you couldn’t afford to do every week… or every month for that matter. I certainly wouldn’t have been doing it only for the ever so kind Paddy Power was paying for it and not me. Helping the food go down was a jug of frozen margarita. How very cosmopolitan of us. Definitely a place I’d go back to, I reckon I might give Tommy Bowe a shot next week…

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Redrawing Dublin

A large five-bedroom outer-suburban house is not necessarily the first preference housing choice of all; for the real urbanist it rarely is”
-Page 255.

God, any book that interviews Liam Carroll (“Dublin Bus: Needs Competition”) and sports journalist Bertie Ahern T.D (“Liberty Hall: Should Be Gone”) is surely not worth reading you’re asking? Well no, you’re wrong. Redrawing Dublin is such a strong book that not even two pages of Bertie could ruin it.

The book is the end product of a collaborative project between an architect and an urban planner. It offers interesting, and on occasion provocative, analysis of the city and where she is (or should) be going. Broken down into nice sections, it looks at life beyond the pale, ‘invisible walls’, the question of just who is a ‘true Dubliner’, ‘apartment apartheid’ and more besides.

As a Maynooth student, the very first pages were interesting to me. Route 66. “Edge City”. The writers look at what is termed ‘Contiguious Metropolitan’, the rapid expansion of Dublin into parts of neighbouring counties, like North Kildare. “Might it have been done differently?” they ask. Why is there not more quality apartment living in the capital itself? Just who does live in the city, and more importantly: who doesn’t want to?

“If potential new urban dwellers are to be attracted to the city and not ‘lost’ to distant towns and suburbs in Kildare, Meath or North Dublin, a radical overhaul of the ambition and vision of what is possible in city-centre living needs to be communicated”
-Page 180.

One of my favourite sections of the book deals with the idea of what would make a neighbourhood great. What do you want within 10 minutes of the front door. Among the 25 things you do, we find an ATM, a local supermarket and a local public park. Among the 25 things you don’t, cycle lanes inside bus lanes, narrow pavements and locked local parks feature.

In ‘Postcards from Dublin’, some very interesting statistics regarding Dubliners are thrown up. Almost 1 in 12 Dubliners listed themselves as non-religious on the 2006 census. In Ballyfermot, we learn that 92% of residents identify as Catholic, and fewer than 1 in 40 as non-religious. One of the most interesting statistics on life in Dublin for me is the fact that women and girls outnumber men and boys in Dublin as a whole, yet in the city centre men are on top with a ratio of 52:48.

On occasion the historian may disagree with the writers. Many historians objected to the Digital Hub South project for example, on the grounds that, as the Bord themselves noted, it was not “…sufficiently sympathetic to the historic character” of the Liberties area. Yet on other occasions, like School Street and Bridgefoot Street, one would find it difficult to disagree on the need to build up. It’s a great irony that at the start of the Celtic Tiger the highest building in the city was Liberty Hall, and today it remains so.

This is a fascinating read. Statistics, graphs and research that really gets you thinking about your city. I can see it on the coffee table for a long time to come.

The challenge, Redrawing Dublin notes, is to make Dublin a “..world-class city for all its citizens”. The great debate is just how we do that.

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So long 2010.

ADW- 'The Blues Brothers'.

What a year it has been.

When we marked our one year anniversary, back in November, I commented that “It’s been an infuriating few months. Dublin, in some ways, has taken a serious fall from grace.”

An infuriating few months indeed. Since November, things have gone from bad to dismal one could say. 2010 won’t make a particularly good episode of Reeling In The Years, but it did still present a few memorable moments (for the right reasons).

Firstly, this. That fall took place on January 8 2010, with Ireland (and more importantly Dublin) grabbing one of the first internet virals of the year.

There were a few bizarre stories, not least during the summer when a penguin was removed from Dublin Zoo. The July robbery produced my favourite line of the year from The Irish Times:

In what was a rare case of reality mimicking advertising, gardaí picked up a penguin yesterday after a feather-brained trio stole the bird from Dublin Zoo.

If every year is remembered by a defining image, what will mark the front of the 2010 folder? Fairly obvious I’d think. I’d propose Louise Minihan for Dubliner of the year on the back of that one.

Despite not having a clue about the X Factor or any of that lark, it was genuinely excellent to see Ballyfermot mother Mary Byrne do so well on the UK talent show. My childhood memories of Ballyfermot involve kerbs painted green, white and orange for Jackies Army, and Mary’s homecoming was nothing if not spectacular.


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The Winding Stair

This blog has existed for more than a year, yet we’ve never reviewed a single restaurant. How shocking is that!? I’ve taken it upon myself to reverse this trend, and can think of no better Dublin restaurant to begin with than The Winding Stair.

Firstly, I’ve always loved The Winding Stair as a bookshop. Living in west Dublin, I tend to get off the bus on Bachelors Walk so the bookshop is nearby and in the pissings of rain is very inviting. Right at the northern base of the Ha’penny Bridge, I’ve picked up a few classics in this bookshop in my time. More often than not, I drop in to hide from the rain and try look eager to purchase, despite empty pockets. I don’t think they mind.

I remember the panic in 2005 when The Winding Stair looked royally fucked. Thankfully for everyone, the Thomas Read group stepped in and the building was saved. The hype surrounding The Winding Stair as a restaurant since 2006 has been incredible, and it took me four years to try it for myself.

To mark a family birthday of note, we decided upon this spot. The printed reviews had been friendly, and Google much the same. Needless to say, you’ve got to book. The small room overlooking the River Liffey is packed to capacity, yet nobody is rushed out the doors again. This has ruined so many meals in Dublin for me before. The sound of laughter and chat fills the room.

The menu is Irish and Irish only. The Kerry prawns on toast to begin with are something else, and unlike any I’ve tasted before. As we’re eating I comment the only downpoint is that we’ve not got a window view, as the restaurant looks right over the Ha’penny Bridge and the flowing Liffey. It’s a small complaint to have.

We don’t eat out a lot in my family which is a shame. I can’t blame this entirely on Brian Lenihan and/or the IMF, as this tradition of marking birthdays by eating somewhere nice is a long one. We normally settle on one of a few places, for example you could chuck a rock at The Angler’s Rest from the rest side of Palmerstown, so it normally does well around this time of year. Before the main courses even arrive, it’s clear people have fallen for The Winding Stair.

The lamb follows on from the prawns and it delivers. The restaurant is noisy, but this is no complaint. Conversations are flowing, and you overhear some great stuff. Montrose this and Merrion Square that types. You’d be tempted to lick the actual plate if it wasn’t for the fact it would make you look like a weirdo around this lot (or eh…any lot), and a glance at the table reveals nobody has left anything to show there was ever actually food on the plates.

We wrapped up with the chocolate pudding, which again vanishes without trace. On one of the coldest nights I can recall in Dublin, popping up here was a great call. We might only pop out for birthdays, but three of us were born within a month of each other. They’ll be glad to see us again in here.

Three courses was just under €30, not exactly a weekly venture but a very nice treat.

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A Visual Feast is an ambitious work. A look at “stencils, paste ups, murals and portraits” from Irish street artists, it covers such diverse canvases as the walls of Free Derry and the backlanes of Dublin 8. It provides a fascinating insight into not alone the works we find on the walls of the capital and beyond, but those who place them there too.

“Take some paint. Any paint. Even markers or pencils. Make a poster on paper if you have to. Go outside and change the world to how you want it to be”

So Canvaz tells us. He’s done just that, and he is by no means alone. Within the pages of A Visual Feast we find not alone Canvaz and his clever ‘Celtic Tiger Prawn Soup’ effort by Temple Bar, but other artists taking a message to the street. They range from the excellent and very polished works of the likes of ESPO and Maser to homemade stickers, paste ups and stencils. ‘BERTIE’S SOUND BLOKE ROUTINE IS A CON’ one effort tells us. Perhaps it was the first time that person left the house in the early hours to leave a message for the rest of us the following morning.

The book is divided into six sections. Society, installation, religion, manifesto, portraits and city streets. ‘Society’ sees much social commentary on the economic collapse, for example ADW’s excellent broke leprechaun and the wonderful ‘GREED IS THE KNIFE AND THE SCARS RUN DEEP’ East Wall assessment of Damien Dempsey and Maser. Fascinating as the works of the high-profile names are, it is the “Artist unknown” pieces of social commentary that sometimes pack the heaviest punch.


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Fade Street: First Impressions.

This is the Irish economy between the time they came up with the idea for this show and now.

Jesus, those lads in RTE are going to be hard pressed for spots now. Shebeen Chic, Pygmalion and The Market Bar all featured in the first episode of Fade Street. This was more or less marketed as ‘The Irish Hills‘, but my reason for watching it was more an interest in how the city herself was presented, and not the four protagonists.

I’d told a couple of mates I was going to watch this with the aim of a little write-up, and the texts come in thick and heavy. One of the lads is such a student his gaff is tellyless, and he comes down hard on the whole thing. “It’s about as real as The Rock and The Undertaker having a scrap on top of a steel cage” he reckons. Another seems to like it. Facebook is divided.

They’ve done more than borrow a basic idea from The Hills, they’ve basically gone for the exact same plots. God forbid anyone worked in a shop, here we have a couple of interns that are living in a city centre Dublin apartment. Interning, as many students know all too well, is working for free.That ain’t gonna pay the rent. Montrose will.

This isn’t documentary, or mockumentary, but acting-passed-off-as-real-lifeumentary. “Do you want to come in and see the apartment? Sure, follow me” We follow them up the stairs into the new apartment. The cameraman is there before us, and films them coming up the stairs. Likewise, when the boss rings (from the style magazine), RTE have a camera set up in her office. Handy! There is very little ‘real’ about what you’re watching you think.

One thing I do like is the camera work. Dublin looks great here. I can see a good few ‘Come Here To Me types’ (we don’t refer to readers as ‘Come Here To Me types’, swear) watching it for this stuff alone.


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Dropping into a pub like this (by which I mean any pub in Temple Bar) is always a risk. It’s no lie to say that you’d be very hard pushed to find a non- tourist frequenting them, Foggy Dew aside, and maybe that’s for a good reason. So, after a long day of work for me, and a hard days sticking it to the man for DFallon and mate Ois, we decided to head somewhere we’d never been before, and drink a pint to friends injured during Wednesday’s madness.

The Auld Dub

DFallon suggested The Auld Dub, and I agreed, having a mate that works there and being curious as to how the place fares up. The fare was up alright, a pint of Guinness costing €4.85, a good 60c dearer than Brogan’s only five minute walk away. No doubt they sell a good many pints at that price, though we wondered how many half pints of it the floor staff have to pick up at the end of the night. (Its always funny to see someone who has never drank Guinness before order a pint of it, take one taste and then ask for a Heineken instead, not being elitist in the slightest, its more a nod to the advertising power of Diageo; GUINNESS IN IRELAND IS THE BEST THING EVER.)

But anyways, the pub. Suprisingly un-kitsch for a touristy spot, the place looks great inside, a horseshoe bar dominating the interior with a staircase on either side, one up and one down to the (almost spotless, apart fron the “Love United, Hate Glazer” stickers) jacks. Pictures of visitors line the walls, and beside our table, a frame with a dozen or so of the Arthur’s Day beermats from last year takes pride of palce. The pint soured very quickly, I’m not sure why- it wasn’t that we were drinking slowly or anything, but by the time I got to the end of mine, I could have taken it or left it to be honest. So we didn’t stay long and decided to wander down and check out the banners on the Ha’penny and Millenium Bridges instead.

Just as we were getting ready to go, some live music started, a one-man-band idea, one bloke banging away on his guitar, everything from The Virgin Prunes to Green Day to Sting (Roxanne, and a group of what sounded like Swedish blokes seemed delighted, taking the oppurtunity to play the drinking game of the same name.)

Leaving the pub and heading out into the night, we stopped to have a gander at the mystery plaque on the ground outside. Ois had asked the barman if he knew the story behind it but alas, the mystery goes on…

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I had a dream last night. It went like this. Its a cold, dark Friday evening;  I am in Dalymount Park, on the steps of Block G in the Jodi Stand. With ten minutes to go in the League of Ireland’s last round of games, Shamrock Rovers are trailing 2 – 1 to Bray in the Carlisle Grounds and Twigg has just been sent off for dissent. Bohemians are drawing 1 – 1 with a scrappy Dundalk team here in the home of Irish Football when Paddy Madden is brought down twenty yards out from goal, right in front of us.  After some pushing and shoving, the wall is brought back the required ten yards. Killian Brennan takes four steps back, makes the run up, before gloriously dipping the ball over the wall and… well, I woke up.

The cruel things life does to you. Waking up mid- dream is one thing, but having a real life dream turn into a nightmare is another. Last week,  Bohs were on the pig’s back, (some might say literally,) needing two wins over an injury struck Galway side (who, despite their lowly position have caused us problems all year) and a Dundalk team we’ve beaten twice already this season (and, well, lost to once.) We all know what happened. Galway won 3 – 2 and dare I say it, the ramifications sent tremors down the spines of League of Ireland fans everywhere. It left Shamrock Rovers in pole position to win their first league title in 6, 066 days precisely. While on Friday’s performance, Bohs don’t deserve to win the League, that isn’t going to stop me wanting them to win it.

Pat Fenlon has chastised his players, saying he doesn’t want to see them until before this Friday’s showdown with Dundalk. Captain, Owen Heary has admitted that the team wasn’t up for the fight. Where were the battling qualities present for the unbeaten run stretching back ten games prior to Friday? Thats the question every Bohs fan is left asking. The possibility of an historic three-in-a-row has likely gone amiss. And yet they were still applauded off the field by the travelling support. Certainly not as a gesture of thanks for their performance over the previous ninety minutes. More a salute to the last three years; a goodbye and a thanks for the memories. They had better remember that this Friday if they’re going to finish this season with their heads held high.

We pray to the Spirit of Hunt to lead us to a miraculous three- in- a- row

I spoke in the build up to the Dublin Derby of 2010’s run- in being a battle of the bottlers, and while it makes for heartbreaking rather than heart racing football, that’s what it has become. Bohemians look set to part with, whether they can miraculously clinch the title or not,  a great period in their history. Three fantastic years, some heartbreaking moments aside, that will stick with me in the bleak times ahead. The squad of players that we have now will leave come season’s end, there’s no doubt about that. And with some of those players reported to be making a move to Tallaght Stadium, it will sicken me to see former players (and one in particular who has grafted for Bohs when others played like they couldn’t be bothered,) turn out in green and white next season.

Two League titles, Setanta Cup Champions (and by default, Champions of Ireland,) a League Cup and an FAI Cup in three years. People say we shouldn’t be looking to the past when the future is scarily unclear. What does it hold? In the short term, Pat Fenlon has said he will honour his contract, which ties him to the club until 2013. And while I would love to see the most successful League of Ireland manager of recent years to stay with the club, at his current rate, we just can’t afford him. He says he’ll field a team of kids next year if he has to, and maybe he’ll get the required out of them, hopefully so.

Pat Fenlon's Bohemians in a pre-season friendly against Drumcondra, 2011.

The days of players chasing big contracts around the League have thankfully come to an end; and while the circumstances that have led to this are unfortunate, at least it might bring some realism back to the LOI. Three years ago, there were players making more at Bohs than some players in the upper echelons of the English Championship. So who knows, a part- time Bohs next year may still be able to field a team, if only because players won’t be able to find a wage elsewhere. Bleak times, preceeded by an amazing past.

A bleak future, preceeded by an amazing past. Bohemian FC of 1907/08, from Storie di Calcio

All this talk of dreams and nightmares and the chance of victory, however remote, is still there. This Friday, come 21:35 or thereabouts will tell whether I’m a visionary, a lunatic for having hope or just an unwavering dreamer. To be honest, I couldn’t care less which if things go our way. Maybe I’m mad for holding onto the vague hope that we can do it. But isn’t it madness that drives most of us to follow this league of ours anyways?

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Game On! Review

The Barbican Art Gallery in London had a real brain wave with this one. Like footage of Italia 90 or the times when you spent more time in the air than in the airport, people are nostalgic for classic video games to say the least. I actually still have a Sega Mega Drive upstairs, and next to it there is a Nintendo Gamecube. Her run didn’t last long, granted.

Game On! gives the visitor the chance to play dozens of classics at the top of O’ Connell Street, these ranging from Street Fighter to Donkey Kong and whichever ones made you an anti-social git as a child. Personally, it was a combination of Sonic and various sub par football games. I was skeptical of visiting this exhibition owing to the door-tax at first, but now it’s €5 an hour Monday to Thursday. An hour became two. Two nearly became three.

The first video game, the rubbishly titled Spacewar,features here. The game that led to the downfall of the western youth. Arcade games feature prominently here, but space is given also to consoles. Atari, Sega, Nintendo…… it’s difficult not to feel much older than you are. Video games change rapidly of course, and this is evident as you walk through the exhibition. Young kids literally laugh at games you thought were advanced in their day. When you get up to Halo you kinda see what they were laughing at. We’ve come a long way.

The complaints I heard were excellent. Saturn Bomberman is only 6 player , being among the better ones. Playing Pong on a big screen is priceless but, as is watching the new generation who started with FIFA 08 or something higher getting frustrated with the oldies. “Fuck this! I haven’t got the patience!” is heard on more than one occasion from people more familiar with Grand Theft Auto than the Sega Mega Drive.

The exhibition examines the contributions of various regions to video game culture, from the Japanese to the Americans. Looking at some of the leading developers from each region, you get hands on with some of the leading games from afar. All games are set to free mode (they’d want to be!) though sometimes you will end up waiting. Many of us are here to play the same games it seems.

Is it worth a visit? It is now. The price has dropped. It is worth a five Euro note. In fact, as I proved, it’s worth two. Near the end we’re shown examples of what may be ahead of us in terms of video gaming, and it makes you wonder if one day kids will laugh at Halo and the sort. No doubt they will.

Game On! runs at the Ambassador until January 30

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Go, fetch to me a pint o’ wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie,
That I may drink before I go.
A service to my bonie lassie

From that song came the footballer, Harry Heegan, who won the cup and went to war, and the entire narrative of The Silver Tassie….Sean had spoken with great excitement and urgency of his treatment of the second act in the war zone on The Western Front.
Eileen O’ Casey from ‘Sean’

The 1920s in Britain produced plenty of literature, plays and drama inspired by the ‘Great War’. The majority of this of course was almost nostalgic, reflecting the soldiers of the empire as a unified organisation of heroes. It was also for the most part the product of men who had been nowhere near the war, and C. Desmond Greaves remarked in his excellent study of the politics of Sean O’ Casey that in such works “..officers and gentlemen emitted the cosy sentiments of the cricket field”.

The cosy repackaging of the war was a long way removed from the view held by many in the labour movement of course. James Connolly had written in the midst of the war that “the carnival of murder on the continent will be remembered as a nightmare in the future”, a view no doubt shared by O’ Casey. In The Silver Tassie, O’ Casey’s excellent anti-war play, we see a rejection of the more comfortable version of events. Like Connolly before him, O’ Casey saw the war as nothing but the slaughter of working class men.

The Abbey rejection of The Silver Tassie is well documented. It was perhaps unsurprising, owing to the response to The Plough and the Stars in 1926, and the new direction of O’ Casey’s work. Yeats famously wrote to O’ Casey that “…you are not interested in the Great War; you never stood on its battlefields, never walked in its hospitals, and so write out of your opinions.” Yet O’ Casey had seen the horror of the war firsthand. While at St. Vincent’s Hospital he had been in the presence of men completely destroyed by the war. His own brothers had been in the British army, and like any working class Dubliner O’ Casey had seen men walking around the city as shadows of their former selves. The hurt caused to O’ Casey by the rejection of the play was perhaps clearest when he refused to meet Lady Gregory in London, despite her writing of her desires to see the play there.

Men of the 10th (Irish) Division.


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