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Of all the legends and stories the Easter Rising produced, I’ve always taken an interest in that of The O’Rahilly. Born to a prosperous merchant family in Co. Kerry in 1875, he had a privileged upbringing and received his secondary education in Clongowes Wood College. He began studying medicine in 1893, but was forced to take a hiatus after a year after contracting tuberculosis and quit altogether after his fathers death in 1896, when he moved home to look after the family business. Not long afterwards, he sold the business and moved to the US, where he married in Philadelphia.

His next ten years were spent back and forward between the States and Ireland, and O’Rahilly and his bride, Nancy Brown, traveled Europe and Ireland extensively. They settled in Dublin in 1909 where he took up a job managing the journal An Claidheamh Soluis, later publishing the article by Eoin MacNeill that lead to the foundation of the Irish Volunteers. Despite being a founder member of the Irish Volunteers, he was not privy to the plans for the Rising, but took part in it regardless, arriving at the mobilisation at Liberty Hall and uttering the infamous line, “Well, I’ve helped to wind up the clock — I might as well hear it strike!”

The O'Rahilly around the time of his marriage to Nancy Browne

While most of the above is an ode to The O’Rahilly, and I hope to do another piece on him shortly, the subject of this piece is the plaque in the bar of Wynn’s Hotel on Abbey Street commemorating the founding of the Irish Volunteers there by The O’Rahilly and Bulmer Hobson in 1913. Hobson’s legend is that he never partook in The Rising, and was in fact kidnapped by the IRB before it in case he tried to pull the plug on it. Apologies for the quality of the picture below, Wynn’s obviously take great pride in it, and the sheen off it made it close to impossible to photograph. Inscription below.

The plaque reads:

Cinneadh Óglaigh na hÉireann a bhunú ag cruinnií a tionóladh sa teach ósta seo ar 11 Samhain 1913, Eoin MacNéill i gceannas.

The decision to establish the Irish Volunteers was taken at a meeting arranged by The O’Rahilly and Bulmer Hobson and held here in Wynn’s Hotel on the 11th November, 1913. Amongst those present on this historic occasion were: Eoin MacNéill, Padraig Pearse, The O’Rahilly, Seán MacDiarmada, Éamonn Ceannt (and) Piaras Béaslaí.

Wynn’s Hotel, Established 1845, Destroyed 1916, rebuilt 1926.

Given the weekend that’s in it, I’ll finish the piece by quoting another O’Rahilly line… When he realised the rising could not be stopped, he reportedly turned to Markievicz and said “It is madness, but it is glorious madness.” Hopeless romantics the lot of them.

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Its a scary thought,  but its almost two years since I went down to the Tivoli Theatre carpark to check out the art on display. I ventured down during the week to have another look and wasn’t disappointed. The results of the annual All City Easter Jam, and its coming up to that time of year again. Details of the event can be found here and the Facebook event is here.

(more…)

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Only Fools and Horses

I couldn’t help but notice this photo from the Smithfield Horse Market at the weekend has picked well over 2,000 likes in 21 minutes on Facebook, posted by the popular football ultras page ‘Ultra Style’. Watch it travel around the internet from here folks.

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Some great footage of Dublin here, and the sounds come from LLCR ‘Rock Box’ back in the 1980s, playing a mix of hip hop and electro. Well done to YouTuber deejaymek getting it up. Some of the shout outs are quality. “All the breakers meeting at the Central Bank tomorrow at 3!”

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Dire, dire, dire stuff in Dalymount Park yesterday, with Saint Patrick’s Athletic and Bohemians playing out a snoozefest. If you fancy torturing yourself the game is on the RTE Player. The game was moved to a 4pm Sunday kickoff to facilitate television coverage. Putting us and Bohs on the telly has always been a recipe for boredom, with rare exception.

Anyway, the above was a simple protest from Saint Patrick’s Athletic fans against the moving of the game. Irony of ironies, it even ended up on RTE briefly.

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Unceremoniously swiped from the excellent balls.ie this. Someone obviously took inspiration from RTÉ’s recent screening of “Knuckle,” an insight into bare knuckle boxing the Irish travelling community and decided to throw up a dedication to Big Joe Joyce on Leeson Street Bridge.

Update: Apparently it’s been there for months. Ah well, just goes to show you the gems this city is hiding!

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An interesting image and quote this. The Table Campaign was founded in 1996, around the time of the IRA’s shattering of the 17 month ceasefire, with the Canary Wharf bombing on 9th February that year.

The concept was to set up a load of tables on O’Connell bridge and invite people passing by to sit down and discuss what peace should look like at those tables. There was some Sinn Fein involvement and they argued for a giant table as a striking press image. On the day of the event however all that appeared was a giant table, maybe 3m high, far too high in the air for anyone to sit at, dominating the bridge. The lesser tables for the ordinary people to sit and discuss what a popular peace process might look like did not appear. Symbolic, if perhaps accidentally, of the process as a whole where the rest of the population were limited to the role of watching the drama around the big table at Stormont.”

Thanks to Andrew Flood for the image and accompanying quote.

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Lookleft Nua.

The latest LookLeft has made it to the streets, and should be shelved at Easons branches nationwide by Saturday. The cover is the work of Luke Fallon, and though I’m a bit biased I think it’s a nice break with regards normal left-wing aesthetic and design. Below is the blurb for the magazine, but it’s worth mentioning from ourselves you’ll find a piece focusing on long-time Come Here To Me favourites ‘The Blades’ (see here for some of the posts jaycarax has given us on the band) and a piece on the upcoming ‘Decade of Centenaries’ and what it means to different people.

The new edition of LookLeft is out now. It is now expanded to 40 pages, proving that growth is possible even in an age of austerity. Highlights include:

* Ireland’s poll tax – building a mass non-payment campaign against the household charge

* Class Dismissed – Conor McCabe on the need for class to become a central part of political and social debate in Ireland

* Whose Decade is it Anyway? – Donal Fallon on the forthcoming centenary commemorations

* Street Wars – Fergus Whelan on family history and ideological battles on the streets of 1930s Dublin

* Making the Future Work – Alan Myler on workplace democracy and economic recovery

* Football and Revolution – David Lynch on Egyptian Ultras and political struggle

* Feminism’s New Dawn? – Leah Culhane on Irish feminist debates on the Slutwalk phenomenon

* Rebel with a Cause? – Interview with Patrick Nulty TD

* Not Even Our Rivers Run Free – Padraig Mannion on the water privatisation agenda north and south

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Tomorrow sees Bohs first home League game of the season, and to coin a phrase, all has changed, changed utterly. We’re lucky to have a team on the pitch, never mind a team who, despite their youth, fight like lions for possession and give it their all as seen over the last couple of weeks in the Setanta Cup and our first League game against Derry. I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the effort put in so far.

But, to the point. Tomorrow evening, at six o’clock or so, I’ll make the journey up North Circular Road. Coming to Mountjoy Prison or there-abouts, I’ll see the beacons in the distance that are the floodlights of Dalymount Park. And then I’ll start to get the jitters. They signify the start of something, generally a night of beer, shouting my head off, beer, football, camaraderie, beer, shouting my head off again and a sense of ‘home.’ They signify everything I love about this League, a feeling those who follow a foreign team might get if they were to make their yearly trip to Old Trafford or Anfield every week instead. But they don’t, and won’t ever feel it the same way. Its a feeling of pride/ despair/ love/ heartbreak/ joy/ pain. (Insert where appropriate.)

Anyways, the reason for this post. Yesterday, the seventh of March was the fiftieth anniversary of the installation of floodlights at Dalymount Park. One of the most striking features of the Phibsboro and indeed the North Dublin skyline has been around for a full half century. How old they are is anyone’s guess when you think the pylons themselves came from Arsenal second hand, and they were guest opposition on the event of their unveiling. Below is a scan of the programme cover from that night, shame I can’t find the match report.

So, for half a century, the phrase “just follow the floodlights” has been used when directing visitors to Dalymount. For half a century, people have been feeling that same feeling I do when I’m walking up the NCR on a Friday night. I can’t wait for it tomorrow, that feeling never grows old. This isn’t the end, and we told you so. Come on Bohs.

Cheers to Giofóg from thebohs.com messageboard’s Da  for uploading the scan, and Dotsy for the picture above.

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Here’s two new stories recorded by the lads behind Storymap, uploaded since my 3 minutes and 25 seconds of fame recently talking about Vonolel the war horse. A labour of love, Storymap has been documenting great Dublin tales from all corners of Dublin and both sides of the river.

Firstly, Liz Gillis, author of the recent excellent study of the Civil War in Dublin entitled ‘The Fall of Dublin’ with Mercier Press. Liz talks about Conn Colbert and Watkin’s Brewery during the Easter insurrection in 1916.

This weeks story features actor Val O’Donnell, as tells a great tale about ‘Myles na gCopaleen’ and his campaign over Andy Clarkin’s clock in the 1950’s.

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The returning squad at Dublin Airport (The Irish Press)

UCD AFC’s summer tour to Africa in 1980 was one which saw the college soccer club make the national headlines for all the wrong reasons at home. The tour would be remembered primarily for events in Khartoum, where a riot broke out in a stadium packed with 30,000 Sudanese fans. They had come to watch Merikh take on the Dubliners, and a goal from UCD was enough to send them into riot mode.

The UCD summer tour of 1980 was originally planned to just take on Kenyan opposition. The Sudan Football Association approached the side in the days leading up to their planned trip however, and as such the trip was extended to include fixtures there. Kenyan side Abaluhya were first up against the students on July 30th. UCD would play six games in Kenya. They came out on top once, drew twice and lost three times.

The match on August 14 1980 in Khartoum had been tense from very early on, as the captain of the local side had been sent off for a bad foul. From that point on the Irish squad were pelted with stones and bottles. Dr. Tony O’Neill, manager of the students, told The Irish Press however that it was not until the students scored soon afterwards that all hell broke loose. David Cassidy was the goal scorer.

The crowd seemed to go mad. They take their soccer very seriously here, and but for the timely intervention of the security forces to protect us the scene would have become very nasty indeed. When the police moved in, brandishing machine guns and throwing tear gas into the crowd to disperse them, our players were escorted to their dressing room and afterwards back to the Hilton Hotel.

The referee was hospitalised as a result of the crowd trouble. Following the clash referees in Sudan would strike demanding greater protection during games, where such clashes had occurred before. Unsurprisingly, UCD cancelled their final planned game in Sudan! UCD’s next clash was away to Drogheda United in the League Cup. They crashed out three nil, and there was no violent disorder.

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FORTRESS BELFIELD

This photograph is priceless from last Friday night, showing a flare lit up by the normally very tame home support at UCD AFC. It was a good night across the league with plenty of colour and passion, and I’m sure everyone agrees it’s nice to be back where we all belong on Friday’s.

The looks on the faces around this lad make the photo, the novelty factor evident and a great moment captured. The image has been doing the rounds over the weekend and if anyone knows who to credit, let me know. It’s now one of my favourite League of Ireland shots without a doubt.

This thing of ours.

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