Posts Tagged ‘Dublin Photography’

I was down on Charlemont Street yesterday to take some pictures of the going’s on down there, namely the tearing down of the flats, as well as Ffrench- Mullen House, named after Madeline Ffrench Mullen, the republican activist and feminist, and driving force behind the construction of nearby St. Ultan’s Hospital for Women and Infants in 1919. Ffrench- Mullen House has yet to be touched by the jaws of the machine below, but has been stripped back to a shell and it’s only a matter of time.

2charl1The demolition of the buildings is a controversial one, for while there was a planning application submitted for a regeneration and redevelopment project incorporating housing, offices and commercial units, permission has yet to be gained for all aspects of the plans.

2charl2Proximity to a main road, nearby homes and offices means the demolition is slow work, with the machine slowly munching it’s way through the roof and brickwork as seen in the images below.  Unlike yesterday, there weren’t many around watching the work, apart from a few women watching from balconies nearby. 2charl3



2charl6Work, weather and interest permitting, I’ll try get down each evening until they’re gone.

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As reported by our good friends across at Rabble, the Charlemont Street flats started to come down this week. Tuesday saw demolition begin on Ffrench- Mullen House, designed by Michael Scott, one of the most renowned Irish architects responsible for amongst others, Busaras and the Abbey Theatre. I dropped by on my way home from work, as the day was drawing to a close and workers were beginning to down tools. Will try get along tomorrow to see how far along they’ve gotten.





I was hanging around the site for half an hour or so. In that time, dozens of people walked around, took a look at the flats, a couple of pictures and headed off. Most of them knew each other so I’m guessing they were from the area. These lads stayed here throughout, as did the women below, who looked like they were being interviewed. One of them called a workman over and asked for a bit of the rubble, just managed to get a shot off in time.




The last picture is of the front wall of Ffrench- Mullen House, mentioned in the intro. The poster is of course, by the good man Maser, whose work adorns the walls of the Bernard Shaw not far away.

Anyways, as I said, I’ll try get over tomorrow for another look.



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Pere-Lachaise in Paris may hold the remains of Oscar Wilde, and may be known for its beauty and grandeur, but in Dublin, we have several cemeteries to match it in splendor, and one that holds amongst many others, the remains of Wilde’s direct descendents. Mount Jerome Cemetery, like many of Dublin’s burial grounds, sits innocuously behind high stone walls in the middle of Harold’s Cross. But behind the walls lies a resting place of almost 50 acres that has seen over 300, 000 burials.

You don’t generally think of a cemetery as a place to go sightseeing, but Mount Jerome, bought by the then newly formed General Cemetery Company of Dublin in 1836 and receiving its first burial in September of that year is an example of Victorian affluence worth a look for the enormity of some of the tombs alone. Hidden Dublin by Frank Hopkins notes that while it was envisaged that the cemetery would host both protestant and catholic burials, the first catholic burial did not take place there until the 1920’s, when Glasnevin Cemetery was closed due to a strike. James Joyce mentions the exclusion in Ulysees, saying

Then Mount Jerome for the protestants. Funerals all over the world everywhere every minute. Shovelling them under by the cartload doublequick. Thousands every hour. Too many in the world.


Imposing structures, like the Cusack family vault below can be found across the graveyard. One of the most imposing structures in the cemetery, it was built to house the remains of James William Cusack, doctor and prominent member of the Royal Dublin Society in 1861, and continues to receive the remains of his descendents, E.P.C. Cusack Jobson was the last to be buried there, as recently as 2004.


Judging by the family crest on the door, the below vault belongs to someone by the family name of O’Shaughnessy; it stood out because instead of a family name in the centre, “per angusta, ad augusta” appears. From Latin, translated it means “through difficulty, to greatness.”


There are various parts to the cemetery, and you can see from plot to plot how burial customs changed over time. From statement making vaults like the Cusack one, to the less grandiose, door into the side of a hill one’s like the O’Shaughnessy one. There are several paths leading down below ground level to lines of doors like the ones above and below. The graveyard is still in use, so the variation between crumbling tombstones and collapsing ground and modern twelve by four graves makes it a walk through time.

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The first post from me in a while this, and a bit of a mixed bag. The first four are from the Tivoli carpark, post-this years grafitti/ skate jam. The second two are dropped in to break up the post, the first a sign  spotted at the council offices in Rathmines, and the second, a group of workers abseiling down the side of Liberty Hall. The second lot of graf pictures is from the back of the Bernard Shaw, easily the best spot in Dublin for ever changing talent. Inside and out, the walls are covered with pieces from Dublin’s best artists, including our good friend Maser; the “Swim” piece is his, and was a work in progress at the time the below was snapped.

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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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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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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







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


Other “Writings on the wall” sets:




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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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My apologies to Poxbottle, who asked that any posts referring to Irish graffiti not be called “The writings on the wall…” Its only for this short series, I swear! Anyways, last week I put up some images of the street art behind the Bernard Shaw and said I was going to follow it up, so here it is… The lane behind Whelan’s/ The Village. I’m hoping to get another couple of these posts up in the next week or so, there’s a some more hidden spots around Dublin city where our street artists show off their talents that are worth documenting…


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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.”

If you like graffiti, and well, taking pictures of graffiti like us, there are some hidden gems around Dublin. The Tivoli Carpark is one that we generally return to, as the annual Jam there always provides… Below is another, the lane behind the Bernard Shaw, Richmond Street. I’ve only put up nine snaps, I could have taken a hell of a lot more but this post would have been very long if I did… I’ll have another photo piece in a couple of days from another spot just around the corner that’s worth checking out. Click “continue reading” to see the full post…


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And so another Dublin institution comes to pass. No visit to Dublin by any man or woman over the age of 60 was complete without one of two things. A trip into Bewley’s on Grafton Street, this itself in danger only a couple of years ago, or nipping in to Guiney’s on the way back down Talbot Street to Connolly Station. Socks and jocks, towels, blankets and bed sheets; if you had them, chances are, the majority of them came from Guiney’s.

The phrase “you’d find anything in there from a needle to an anchor” was once used by my mother to describe the place and she wasn’t far off and I’m pretty sure the signs outside constantly proclaiming a permanent  “sale” broke some broke some law of commerce or another, but the shop was constantly packed with old women, who viewed the trip to Guiney’s as some sort of social occasion, rather than an opportunity to pick up a few bits and bobs.

Photo from the Dublin City Library digital archive

At approximately 17:30 on the 17th May, 1974, fourteen people lost their lives on Talbot Street, victims of the second of three explosions in Dublin that would later become known as the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. Thirteen of the victims were women, a number of them found on the pavement outside Guiney’s itself.

Not this Guiney’s, the other one!

Clery’s around the corner has been saved, and with that, 350 jobs and the phrase “I’ll meet you under Clery’s Clock.” Owned by the Guiney family for over seventy years, it has now passed into American ownership. Sister store Guiney’s Home ware’s and their thirty staff aren’t so lucky though and another Dublin institution is set to disappear.

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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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