The man with no shame.

I was incredibly angry to hear B€rti€ Ah€rn proclaim to RTE that his biggest regret from his time in the Dail was not securing a proper football stadium for the capital. Is the man for real? While he may fly to Old Trafford to watch kickabouts, a lot more people are flying out of this country everyday seeking paychecks and a future. It was a disgraceful lack of respect to the Irish public.

When I heard the remarks, I’d just given a walking tour through the historic liberties and the centre of Dublin to the men from Kilkenny who have bravely walked to Dublin in opposition to the likes of Ahern and the economic mess created by the unaccountable behind those Kildare Street gates. At Dublin Castle, it had to be said that while historically we associate it with British rule in Ireland, people of my generation will always remember it as the place Bertie Ahern went to speak before a tribunal.

I hope, when he stands for the presidency, that comment yesterday comes back to haunt him. He really is a shameless individual.

Right on target.

These were discovered hiding in the attic recently, coming from the Watts Gunsmiths which used to be based at 18 Ormond Quay. I’m fascinated by the history of gunsmiths in Dublin, does anyone have a photograph of Watts they can share? Previously, I uploaded this company logo from the ‘compliments’ card of the shop.

Today, Watts is the adifferentkettleoffishaltogether art space at 18 Ormond Quay. We love to document the live of Dublin buildings, so a snap of Watts as it once appeared would be most welcome.

Toners is an unique pub. It has was a haunt of Kavanagh and his ilk in the 1940s and 1950s, it was an important venue for punk and rockabilly in the 1970s and 1980s and now in 2010-2011 it holds irregular electronic/bass gigs.

While helping to help set up sound equipment at the Munchi gig last November, I was able to have a brief poke around in the back underground rooms/passages.

If only the walls could talk…

credit - jaycarax


credit - jaycarax

Just found out that that London ska/punk  band The King Blues are playing in Dublin (The Academy) on Saturday, March 26. Nice one. Have been into this band for a while now. Their first two albums Under The Fog (2006) and Save The World, Get The Girl (2008) represent some of the best pop-tastic reggae/punk with a sprinkling of politics to come out of the English capital for some years.

Tickets are priced €16.00 inclusive of booking fee and are available at Ticketmaster.

The King Blues – My Boulder from Ascension Productions on Vimeo.

“For many years past, Liberty Hall has been a thorn in the side of the Dublin Police and the Irish Government. It was the centre of social anarchy, the brain of every riot and disturbance.” The Irish Times. (pg 191, Easter 1916, Townshend)

Neither Kenny nor Gilmore.

Reading through Charles Townshend’s excellent book “Easter 1916,” I picked out the above quote about Liberty Hall and thought to myself, how times really have changed. While DFallon’s recent post on Hawkin’s House challenged the myth, some still call it Dublin’s ugliest building, while others hold it in reverence. Although in this climate, the plans to see it torn down are unlikely, SIPTU have been talking about redeveloping as recently as last August. Personally I’d hate to see it removed, not because of it’s architectural significance or visually appealing exterior (or lack thereof,) but because of the historical relevance of the site and the significant difference it would make to Dublin’s skyline if it was replaced.

"And the banner read..." Originally posted here by DFallon

With the next government looking likely to be made up of a collaboration between Labour and Fine Gael, the current occupants of Liberty Hall, (SIPTU, who to be honest have been about as Anarchic as Tory Boy,) look fully set to have one foot in Leinster House. Not discounting the fact that due to Social Partnership, they have been bedfellows with the Government for over a decade, for the next four years or so, the party they have official ties with are to share power with a party whose roots are seeped in the fascist tradition. Dark days indeed.

"Vote Labour," Reclaim the Streets, 2002

I dread to think that in the next couple of weeks, a new banner will appear on the side of Liberty Hall, calling on the people of Ireland to vote Labour. Lets just hope it isn’t accompanied with an image of Joan “Joe Higgins eats babies” Burton. “The brain of every riot and disturbance” indeed.

One More Time….

The DIY Enda Kenny poster generator is probably the best thing on the internet right now. You just make one, print it off, stick it on the door and scare the local canvassers off. It’s been a huge viral success in recent days.

Or, you can go all out, like I did.


Via the Hairy Baby clothing company.

The long walk to Dublin…

The famous Jarrow Crusade of 1936.

I’ve just been on Liveline, which was a new experience.

I was approached to give a bit of historical context to the march on the capital by a group of South Kilkenny men who are completely fed up with how things have turned out for them and indeed all ordinary people in this state in recent times. Some of them are now unemployed, others have had to wave children off at the airport. In short, they decided to march onto the capital because in years to come none of them could stomach the idea of saying ‘we sat back and watched’.

In my brief time on air, I spoke about a 1953 march on the Dail, dealt with here before by Sam. In that piece, Sam wrote that

Jubilant scenes follow when the news is spread that the march will make its way down to the Dail, “the first time such a protest has been held at its gates”.

Now, taking your anger to the gates of the Dail is routine. Walking so far to do it however is not. It is an incredible act on the part of these men.

We are supposed to have come a long way from the doom and gloom of the 50’s and later the 80’s, but have we really? Tomorrow, those men will begin their march on the Dail, passing so many areas of historical importance. They will begin at Kilmainham Jail, where the leaders of the 1916 insurection were executed, and will pass the spot where Robert Emmet was hanged. Along the way too, Dublin Castle, for so long the fortified home of the British administration in Ireland. Yet a ‘free’ Ireland, appears to be one of great economic and social divisions and barriers, and a nation that could be described as on a life support machine.

Post independence, we know Dublin Castle as the place where Bertie Ahern went to justify(or talk away) his actions before a Tribunal. What a sad, sad reflection on our state.

I ended my brief time on air today by quoting a few lines from the great folk singer Liam Weldon, about how those who died for liberty “have died but for a dream.” We are living through extraordinary times to say the least, and I was delighted to be asked to show these men some historical spots in the capital on their way to the Dail. Like them, I just hope in decades to come I can say I didn’t sit at home through this incredible chapter of Irish history.

You’re more than welcome to join them, they will set out from Kilmainham Jail at 12 tomorrow.

Though we’re still riding out a cold January, it wouldn’t be fair to exclude this chart-topping radio-friendly rock ballad just because of its title.

I’m not sure what the story is with the video though. While the single came out in 1980 the video has live footage from 1985 and it would seem near impossible to date the opening scenes of the city. My guess would be mid 80s.

The first minute and a half features Grafton Street, Suffolk Street, Ha’Penny Bridge, College Green and the quays. How dated do the green buses look!

Damien Corless, in a piece last year entitled ‘I remember that summer in Dublin. . . and it was bloody awful’, deflated the idea that Dublin in 1980 was a care free, wonderful place and took issue with Bagatelle’s single.

On Monday night I popped along to the launch of ‘Why Pamper Life’s Complexities?’, a book of essays on The Smiths edited by Seam Campbell and Colin Coulter. The launch took place in the lovely Workman’s Club on a cold Monday in January. A warm fire and that view over the Liffey really makes the upstairs of the Workman’s a great little venue.

I’d just finished the book recently and thought it a very interesting look at a band we so often forget had second generation Irish blood in their veins. I’ve seen Morrissey here in Dublin before, but of course am more likely to see Jim Corr in the Dáil than ever catch The Smiths here.

The book examines issues like class, regional identity (Who did put the ‘M’ in Manchester?) , sexuality, the lyrics of the band, the emigrant experience and more besides.

We’ve a fascination with left-wing publications here at Come Here To Me, from obscure student produced pamphlets of the late 60s and 70s to the more common names, political weeklies like The United Irishman, An Phoblacht and the like. Imagine my surprise then when reading ‘Why Pamper Life’s Complexities’ to find this piece in Sean Campbell’s excellent chapter ‘Ambivalence, Unease and The Smiths’, relating to Morrissey’s infamous comments in light of the Brighton bombing which almost killed Margaret Thatcher. His comments were made on the eve of a visit to the north by the band.

The bands anxiousness about the trip increased when they were handed a copy of the Irish Republican newspaper An Phoblacht by an IRA-affiliated individual in Manchester. The paper, whose pages were usually taken up with ‘war news’, praised Morrissey for his Brighton bomb comments (which it reprinted in full) and laid stress on The Smith’s Irish provenance: ‘with names like that who could doubt their antecedents?’ The news-sheet-not known for its interest in rock- also praised The Smith’s anti-establishment ethos and concern for the ‘dispossessed’, before offering a ringing endorsement: The Smiths, proclaimed An Phoblacht, were ‘very good indeed’.


Well done to Sean and Colin on producing such an excellent work, Smiths fanatics (there are no ‘fans’) can pick a copy up over on Amazon.

What recession?

The University Times promised a good report on this today and they delivered, to say the least. Reports of a Dublin University Snowsports Club trip to Grenoble getting up to all sorts were all over Twitter and had begun to make their way into the mainstream media, but the college paper has an excellent look at events on its website. It mainly involves students from Trinity College Dublin (how do you go from Swift and Wilde to this?) but a few UCD students decided to drag that institution into the dirt too. It’s an incredible piece of journalism from a student paper and it should be commended.

Reports of their antics make Fade Street sound like Moore Street in all truth.

Some gems from the piece:

A University Times investigation has revealed that members of a group of between 25 and 30 students, alumni of the private South Dublin schools Blackrock College, CBC Monkstown and Mount Anville wrought havoc on Trinity’s Snowsports Club’s annual ski trip in the week prior to the start of term.

Students on the DUSSC ski trip, in interviews with The University Times, described the behaviour of the group as “sociopathic”, reporting a “spend-off” between two former Blackrock students, one from Trinity and one from UCD, in which they competed to see who could spend or waste the most money

Both the DUSSC trip and the external trip were ejected from the hotel by gendarmes after a swastika was daubed on the wall of the third floor of the hotel with a two-inch thick paint marker. Displaying a swastika is punishable by a custodial sentence in France.

….and to think they tell you ‘class’ is a dead term.

Great telly in fairness….

Joan Burton, take a bow. While Vincent Browne’s programme has seen some epic car crashes in its time, perhaps none matched that witnessed earlier on tonight. It was a bizarre and awkward performance.

Has anyone ever refered to Joe Higgins as “your MEPship” before?

Thankfully, Conor from Dublinopinion.com got a few seconds of it recorded, but with Joan Burton trending worldwide on Twitter at the moment, it’s likely the TV3 site will see a huge spike in traffic tomorrow. Someone in Ballymount, get it online now!

Bit more here, thanks to Youtuber squidlimerick

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