Posts Tagged ‘RTE’

Jonathan Swift: unlikely to appear in Fade Street.

Finished the exams (YES!) for a few hours now, and I decided to mark it by picking up a book from the library that I wasn’t actually obliged to read. Post exams, reading is actually a pleasure again. I went with a work from the Civic Trust, as they’re among my favourite Dubliners. I’ve always loved the irony in their offices being located so close to the Wood Quay monstrosity.

They’ve published some excellent studies of individual Dublin streets, looking at the development of the street and the factors that make them unique, with a particular focus on architecture. I ran with the Thomas Street edition,my great-grandmother was from Cornmarket and I’ve long been fascinated by the Liberties.

The information provided on Number 34 Thomas Street was particularly interesting:

The site of Frawleys is also significant, as it was formerly owned by the Quaker, Joseph Fade. Fade established himself in business on the site around 1715, and rapidly became one of the city’s most important bankers, having two streets named after him: Joseph Lane, which has subsequently been demolished and Fade Street, both off South Great George’s Street.

The book noted that Fade had been mentioned in some of the poetry of Jonathan Swift, and a look around revealed one example quite quickly. Within Will Wood’s Petition To The People Of Ireland (1725) there is mention to Fade and another famous Dublin banker of the day.

You will be my thankers,
I’ll make you my bankers,
As good as Ben Burton or Fade
For nothing shall pass
But my pretty brass,
And then you’ll be all of a trade.


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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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“Luke (Kelly) also opened our eyes to the working class songs from the north of England. Songs that we never knew existed before. The geordie songs. The songs of the miners….”

One of my biggest regrets of the summer just gone is missing the excellent Frank Harte Festival, a tribute to one of the cities greatest singers, the late Frank Harte. He was raised only a stones throw from me in Chapelizod. There, his father ran the public house ‘The Tap’. Frank, an architect by trade, was not alone an unrivalled singer but also a collector of songs.

“The thoughts of a song dying with a singer or lying in a book or a tape on a shelf gathering dust fills me with horror.” So wrote Frank in his introduction notes to his timeless ‘Songs of Dublin’ collection.

Singing Voices was a collection of five broadcasts Frank did for RTE. We’ve only stumbled across them here and they all make for excellent listening. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Songs of work and social protest – The Labouring Voice

Famine Songs – The Hungry Voice

Songs of the capital city – The Dublin Voice

Songs of Emigration – The Irish American Voice

Traditional singing styles in Ireland – The Singers’ Voices

They can be played over here, on the RTE site.

Also, here are two tunes from Frank I had uploaded months ago with the aim of sharing with you to promote the festival. The Shan Van Vocht is a song dealing with the 1798 rebellion, while Building Up And Tearing England Down is a well known song about Irish emigrants in England.

Shan Van Vocht by Frank Harte.

Building Up And Tearing England Down- Frank Harte

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Orange Dublin

(Note: As an atheist and socialist, I have no time for the Orange Order but as a Dubliner and student of history, it is important to cover all parts of our city’s culture and past.)

Click to listen.

In case you missed it, RTE Radio 1 had a very interesting radio documentary on the Orange Order in Dublin. You can listen to it here. (It’s rare to hear self-described “working class” Dublin men talking about their allegiance to the British crown!)

In 1795, the Orange Order was founded in Dublin, where the Grand Lodge was first opened on Dawson Street in 1798. Today, the Dublin and Wicklow District LOL 1313 meets at their hall on the Northumberland Road. The lodge’s website has a number of fascinating bits of information, including this on the Civil War and 1930s period:

“Dublin was therefore, as the administrative Capital of the Island, the natural headquarters for the Orange Institution and remained such until the Headquarters Buildings, the Fowler Memorial Hall in Rutland Square, was severely damaged in the Civil War. The Headquarters, situated in what is now Parnell Square, at the top of O’Connell Street, had been seized by the IRA, and in conjunction with the Rotunda, used as their headquarters.

Following its evacuation by the IRA all the books and documents which had survived the siege were removed to Belfast where they were safely stored. The last public parade in Dublin was in 1936, when the Brethren were attacked as they walked from the Fowler Hall to Amiens St Station to travel by train to Belfast, for the annual 12th of July celebrations.”

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An interesting find. A radio documentary on the Dublin punk scene from 1981 presented by the late Gerry Ryan and produced by Ed Mulhall, the current Managing Director of News in RTE.

Opening with the classic new wave single ‘Over 21’ by Berlin, the show has interviews with members of Irish Punk bands The Threat, The Peridots, the Nun Atax, Microdisney, the Virgin Prunes, the Vipers, Revolver and Berlin. Unfortunately there’s no introductions for the interviewees, so there’s no way of knowing who’s who. The only people I can recognise are Dave Fanning and Bob Geldof.

There’s particularly interesting points made during the program about the idea of bands ‘selling out’, the role of ‘class’ in the punk movement and the relationship between punks and violence.

You can listen to the radio documentary by clicking on the link in the first line of this post. Below, I’ve uploaded the song which the documentary takes its name from, ‘Over 21’ by Berlin.

Berlin – Over 21 by matchgrams

The Sounds of Ireland Festival in London, 1981. As you can see 'Berlin' were ahead of U2 on the bill.

The Sounds of Ireland Festival in London, 1981. As you can see Berlin were ahead of U2 on the bill.

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