EASTER RISING COACH TOUR
EASTER RISING COACH TOUR
ATTENTION COACH and TOUR OPERATORS
ATTENTION COACH and TOUR OPERATORSOur friendly and excellent guides are available as Step On Guides for any visiting tour or coach operators who may like a unique, entertaining and educational tour of Irish History and the events of Easter Week 1916.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Carlow as a county has often been ridiculed as the only county never to have won a senior GAA football or Hurling title despite at times having produced excellent club teams at All Ireland club level but statistics from police records in 1916 also show Carlow as a county with a number of other duck eggs. Along with The Kings County (Offaly), Carlow were the only county's where no recorded rebellious activities took place and the only county with no arrests in the aftermath of the Rising.
No doubt the confusion in orders did not help activities in the Barrowsiders county.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
On a warm summer afternoon a glance skywards as you lay on Sandymount beach a passenger jet blazes a trail across the sky but in the 1930’s plans were developed for a new International airport for
Dublin to be located in Sandymount on the
land now occupied by
and the Irish Glass Bottle site. In the early days of the Sean
Moore Park Free State, international flights left from
Kildonan Aerodrome in Finglas but when Aer Lingus was launched in 1936, its
first flights departed from Baldonnel. The decision was eventually made that a
former RAF airfield at Collinstown would be developed into what is today . Dublin Airport
In 1935 following a
and Docks Board visit to Sydenham Airport (now George
which was built on reclaimed land, the plan was proposed to build a walled
enclosure to reclaim land from the sea from Newgrove Avenue to the Pigeon House and
into Irishtown. The report stated that the 15,000 feet wall would enclose 1,400
acres and with reclamation would cost £1.5 million with another £1m needed to
build a runway and infrastructure. Its proximity to the tram line into the city
centre and the nearby railway station at Sandymount Avenue were cited as important
In 1936, Mr. J Johnson Mullan of Sandymount Castle in a letter to the Irish Press advocated the plan as an excellent idea and marvelled at the possibility of seeing the lights of an international airport on the foreshore. He recommended that the Dublin Corporation and the DPDB immediately begin work its implementation. The first flight into the completed alternative
was in January 1940 after a three year building project Dublin Airport
An aerodrome of sorts in Sandymount was operational during the visit of the aircraft carrier USS John F Kennedy in 1996. With the massive vessel anchored in
Ciaran Haughey’s Celtic Helicopters operated a sightseeing service for the
duration of the visit from what is today the park area nearest the beach on Dublin Bay Strand Road. Two
helicopters were deployed and hundreds availed of the opportunity to have a
helicopter jaunt out over spotting both the
massive ship and most probably their own home from the air. Dublin
At one stage proposals were placed before Dublin County Council for the creation of a heliport on the Poolbeg Extension but were quickly shelved.
In 1998 the then Councillor and later An Tainiste John Gormley complained at a Dublin Corporation meeting that a deal had been struck between the Corporation and Celtic Helicopters to allow
as a base for
commercial flights. The Corporation did admit there was an agreement but that
it was only for occasional flights and they did not reveal the financial
arrangements that had been made. Sean Moore
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The story of Sandymount begins with an area known as Scallet Hill in the middle ages. The area then was a swampy marsh land surrounded by the
Sea on one side and the unbridled River Dodder on the other side.
In the late 1700’s Lord Fitzwilliam built an embankment to hold back the sea
from Merrion to Sandymount. The course of the Dodder was regulated and the land
dried enough to begin building houses. The area was renamed Brickfield and from
the 1820’s onwards the development of Sandymount continued apace and is still
evolving even today.
The centre piece of Sandymount is the Green. A triangle of recreational green space that was opened to the public in 1900 after Lord Pembroke donated the waste ground hoping that a nice park would allow him to charge higher rents for the many properties he owned in the area. In 1904 an ornate water fountain was erected as a centre piece but it has long since disappeared although the drinking fonts that were also put in can still be seen today.
The statue sculpted by Arthur Power in the Green is that of the great poet William Butler Yeats. His family at one time lived in the Castle at one end of the Green. Yeats himself was born on June 13th 1865 on
Sandymount Avenue. Yeats would be
romantically involved with Maud Gonne and won a Nobel Prize for Literature in
1923. He passed away in 1939 in Paris France but it was not until September 1948
before his body was repatriated to Sligo and
upon his headstone are the lines,
Cast a Cold Eye
On Life, on Death,
Horseman pass by.
The first recorded licensed premises on the Green was in 1834 and a hotel and tavern owned by Anne Tunstall. In 1850 Martin D’Arcy operated a public house at Number 5 Sandymount Green also known as ‘Tippers’.
The advertisement for the sale of White’s notes that Number One had the lease as a pub granted to it on September 29th 1849.
In 1870 there were three public houses on the Green. Apart from D’Arcy’s there was Fox and Hanrahan’s and Peter Kenny’s. Michael Hanrahan was the first man to have a pub located at Number One Sandymount Green and named it the Sandymount Tavern. With his partner Fox they also had a pub located at
72 Upper Dorset Street on ’s North side. Dublin
In 1875 Charles McCabe arrived in the Village with his brother Richard who opened a grocer’s shop next door which was numbered as 1a.
In 1880 Daniel Burke became the publican at Number One Sandymount Green. This was one of four pubs he owned in the city. He was also operating on
Baggot Street, 2-3 South King Street near where the
Gaeity Theatre stands today and at Number 4 Ballsbridge near where Crowe’s Public
House now stands.
Much of Burke’s success was probably due to the arrival of the tram system that connected the village with the city centre. Sandymount became a popular tourist attraction with it beaches, open spaces and off course fine public houses.
In the early 1870’s tram tracks
were laid from the city centre along
Street and through Bath Avenue and onto Sandymount village for
a horse drawn tram service that connected the
on the Martello Tower Strand Road
with Nelson’s Pillar in O’Connell Street.
The service began on October 1st 1872. In 1872 the service then
began at Gilford Road
where horse stables and garages were built. The journey with a two horse tram
would travel from the Tower via the Green, Tritonville Road and down London Bridge Road
until they passed beneath the railway bridge where a stable hand would be on
duty with two extra horses to pull the tram up onto Northumberland Road and then return to Bath Avenue to
await the next tram.
On January 14th 1901,
the horse was replaced with electricity on William Murphy’s Dublin United Tram
Company route. It was one of the few routes served by a single deck tram known
as a ‘bogeycar’ due to the low bridge on
In those days the routes were not
numbered but name plates at the front of the tram indicated its destinations
and in order to assist those many who were illiterate at the time in
a green half
crescent indicated that it was the tram required for any one travelling the
route from Sandymount to the city centre. Dublin
The tram service ceased on the
route on 31st July 1932. For many years Coras Iompair Eireann, the
forerunner of Dublin Bus operated the number 52 bus, a single deck bus that
became a one man operation and ran from
to Lakelands School Hawkins Street.
The number 52 which was then used to service University College Dublin was
removed from the route in 1998
Today the Dublin Bus routes Number Two from
Parnell Square to the Green and the
Number Three from
to UCD through Sandymount serve as the quickest way to find your creamy pint in
Ryan’s. The Number Eighteen arrives at its terminus on the Green from
Palmerstown. The DART stations at Whitehall Lansdowne
Road and Sandymount are only minutes away.
In 1890 John Butler a young publican arrived to serve the pints to the growing and affluent suburb. John Butler was a native of Annefield County Cork and died January 18th 1890 just thirty three years old. He is buried in
with a headstone erected by
his sons Lawrence and Thomas. Thomas ran a pub at County Tipperary 18 Camden Street where Anseo is presently
located. Thomas died two years after his father on March 4th 1892
died March 31st 1904 aged seventy three. Following the death of
Thomas the pub was put up for sale. Lawrence
In 1893 Patrick S Fleming arrived. Fleming saw in the new century and perhaps he was standing at his door when Leopold Bloom passed through Sandymount on June 16th 1904. Bloom’s exploits were magically recounted in James Joyce’s work ‘Ulysess’
Then there was the exciting events surrounding the Easter Rising in 1916. No doubt many of the Irish Volunteers frequented his premises as they used the
grounds as a training area under their local commander John McBride. Sandymount Castle
The 1911 Census lists the occupants of Number One Sandymount Green as
Patrick Fleming, 50, Roman Catholic born in Co Limerick and married for 17 years
Kate Fleming, 48, Wife Roman Catholic born in Co Tipperary mother of 4 Children
Mary Fleming, 15 Daughter Roman Catholic born in Co Dublin
Thomas Fleming, 14 Son Roman Catholic born in Co Dublin
Francis Fleming, 13 Son Roman Catholic born in Co Dublin
Florence Fleming, 11 Daughter Roman Catholic born in Co Dublin
Patrick McEvoy, 28 Boarder Roman Catholic born in Co Dublin Barman
Edward O'Grady, 26 Boarder Roman Catholic born in Queen's
John Hughes, 24 Boarder Roman Catholic born Co Roscommon Barman
James Cullen, 23 Boarder Roman Catholic born in Co Kildare Barman
James Hennessy, 18 Boarder Roman Catholic born in Co Tipperary Barman
Alfred Coffey, 18 Boarder Roman Catholic born in Co Meath Barman
Margaret Connelly, 30 Servant Roman Catholic born in Co Wexford Domestic Servant
The Irish National Census of ten years earlier noted that Fleming’s staff were
Patrick Hedigan aged 26 born in
Daniel O’Connell aged 26 from
Gerald Barry aged 23 born in
William Lawlor aged 18 from
Phillip Ryan aged 17 from
In 1920 Fleming’s friend and publican across the road Sylvester White bought the premises. White had been the landlord in what is today O’Reilly’s on
Seafort Avenue and sold to the O’Reilly
family arrived in 1922. In the Poor Law Elections the two men are noted as the
proposer and second of George Bardon of Prospect Place. Sylvester then forty
three years old was ably assisted by his older brother Denis.
In 1925 Joseph Ryan bought the pub and traded successfully through ‘The Emergency’, the Irish term for the Second World War. During the war years 1939-1945 the local air raid siren was located on the roof of the pub. Kevin Mullan remembered the night it sounded in earnest when German bombers flew over
on May 31st 1941 and dropped their deadly bomb load on the North Strand killing twenty eight people and destroying
over three hundred houses.
In 1958 through the estate agency Morrissey’s, the pub was sold to Mary Heelan. In 1974 the same agency sold the pub for £172,000 and renamed ‘Fagan’s’.
In 1985 it became known as The Sandymount House and attached was the Le Detour Restaurant and the offices of Diamond Windows Limited. The pub was bought by well known
publican Gus Ryan. In 2008 Gus retired from the business and his son Vincent
and his wife Dublin
became the publicans. Elizabeth
Today Ryan’s on Sandymount Green is a vibrant pub at the heart of the village.
If you have never heard of the ‘wren boys’ on St Stephen’s Day in Sandymount, where have you been?
The Wran - The Wran - the king of all birds
On Saint Stephen's Day was caught in the furze
Although he is little his family is great
Come out your honour and give us a trate
On Saint Stephen's Day was caught in the furze
Although he is little his family is great
Come out your honour and give us a trate
Hurrah me boys hurrah
The origins of the Wren Day are based on pagan legend and its true beginnings lost in the fog of history. In modern times, the Wren Boys descend on Sandymount Green on St Stephen’s morning to celebrate and enjoy the festive season. The Guinness Gig Rig, a mobile stage, is on hand to let hundred of performers play and dance to Irish traditional tunes and maybe to give the few bars of a song.
The tradition is marked with those involved dressing up in masks and straw hats and as colourful pieces of clothing as you have in your wardrobe. If you are in the crowd you are known as a mummur. In rural parts of
, the children dress up and
go from pub to pub entertaining the customers with music and dance and earning
some pocket money along the way. Once the festivities on stage in Sandymount
reach there conclusion perhaps on a cold December morn its time to repair to
the warm comfort of Ryan’s for a few hot whiskeys and the sharing of the
Christmas spirit. Ireland
The Good, The Bad and The …….
Friday, April 7, 2017
THE FOURS CORNERS OF HELL, DUBLIN
In 2002, The Woods Band released a critically acclaimed album called ‘The Four Corners of Hell’. The title comes from the local name for the junction of
and Patrick Street.
It was so named as at one time there was a pub on each of the four corners of
that intersection. In fact in 1960, you could start a journey at Harold’s
and walk the mile to Christchurch Cathedral and visit nineteen pubs. If you
walked the same ‘Olden Mile’ today the people who preach responsibility in
alcohol would be delighted as only five pubs would be entered. Cross Bridge
The oldest licence is that belonging to the presently closed Man of Achill that dates back to 1760 or as it was known then as ‘Ye Olde Grinding Young’. Many great bar names have disappeared over the years since1960, The Bunch of Grapes, Larkin’s, Nash’s, Biddy Mulligan’s and the Tap.
The Four Corners of Hell were Quinn’s at Clanbrassil Street and The Coombe, Kenny’s on the corner of Patrick Street and the Coombe, Lowe’s on the corner of Patrick Street and Kevin Street and O’Bierne’s on the opposite corner. Many of the pubs were demolished to make way for progress when in the nineties
named after James Hamilton, Earl of Clanbrassil, was widened to cope with
growing volumes of traffic.
major tourist areas is around St. Patrick’s and Christchurch Cathedrals and the
terminus of the Viking Splash Tours. Dublin Patrick
Street in 1960 boasted six pubs now there is none.
In 1960 J.A. Maguire’s, The Tap was located at 12-13 Patrick Street on the corner of Dillon Place.
Number 21was Michael Ryan’s on the corner of Hanover Lane. Number 25 was A. Brennan’s
later known as Birchall’s between Hanover Lane and Dean Street while at 36 was T. McDonalds and finally down to the Corner of
Hell with Kenny’s (Once known as Pat McManus’s) facing Lowe’s the last pub to
disappear in 2005 when then called Nash’s and owned by the famous English Channel
swimmer Pat Nash it was demolished.
With Farrell’s pub currently closed,
New Street is also devoid of pubs when it
once boasted The White Horse Bar, the New Inn and O’Bierne’s on Hells Corner.
No. 1 Patrick Doyle Leonard’s Corner Café
(Once Known as Christy Carr’s)
No 29 Cyril McDermott McKenna’s
(Once known as The Fiddlers Green)
No. 30 The Poplars CLOSED
No. 35 Carroll Brothers The Harold House
No. 30 William J Barrett GONE
No. 56 Thomas Keogh The 57 Headline
No. 67 T MacDonagh’s GONE
(Also known as Biddy Mulligan’s & Pearse Bar.)
No. 91 J Fitzpatrick GONE
(Once known as The Bunch of Grapes)
No. 108Larkin Brothers GONE
No. 116 McAuleys
No. 35 James Kavanagh Farrell’s
(Once known as Donlon’s)
No. 45 Pat McAuleys GONE
(Once known as The White Horse Bar)
No. 65 The New
No. 1 O’Bierne’s GONE
No. 12 J.A. Maguire GONE
(Once known as Dunne’s)
No. 21 Michael Ryan’s GONE
No. 25 A. Brennan’s GONE
No. 36 T. McDonald GONE
(Once known as Donnelly’s)
No. 49 Pat McManus GONE
No. 50 JD Quinn’s GONE
(Also known as Lowe’s & Nash’s)
No. 7 W. Lowe’s GONE
No. 33 John Corry GONE
No. 85 Sinnott Brothers GONE
(Once known as Finnegan’s)
No. 87 Thomas Kenny GONE
No. 101 Sean O’Connor’s GONE
(Once known as The Napper Tandy)
No. 102 P. McColgan’s GONE
No. 104 Mrs A O’Bierne’s GONE
Gone but not forgotten.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Over the years I have written a number of historical articles on the area I live in and these next couple of weeks will have a small selection of those articles.
The History of Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium.
The History of Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium.
Every Saturday night between 8pm and 10pm the place to be in
Dublin is greyhound
racing at . Located on Shelbourne
Park South Lotts Road
which itself dates back to 1721, the stadium has become a mecca of sports and
gambling. But while today those guests sitting in the park’s excellent
restaurant see it associated solely as a greyhound venue, it has a very
colourful sporting past.
Just like its Northside cousin
the stadium originally began life as a soccer ground. Originally a derelict
site, it became the home of Shelbourne FC pre-season in 1913. A trial match
took place on August 16th when Shelbourne played a Leinster League
select eleven. At that time Shelbourne played in the all-Ireland Irish Football
league and their first league match was a one all draw with fellow Dubliners
Bohemians. The ground was operated by the Shelbourne Sports Company Limited and
many various fund raising activities took place in the first couple of years to
pay for and extend the facilities at the ground. In March 1914 the club played
Manchester United while on May 23rd a fifteen mile challenge race
was run featuring Irish international running sensations Charlie Harris and
Paddy Fagan. A track around the pitch was used for Wednesday trotting and
whippet racing. Trotting on a Friday would cost one schilling admission while
to enter your pony cost £1 but there was a prize of £30 if you got through the
qualifying rounds. Croke Park
Over the following decades Shelbourne’s home venue was also used by the Football Association of Ireland following the establishment of the Irish Free State and the split from the IFA in Belfast, as home of both semi finals and finals of the FAI Cup including an enthralling final in April 1929 between Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians. Shelbourne remained at the ground until the 1948/49 season when Shelbourne’s last match against
ended just like their first in a draw.
In September 1921 the then titled President of Ireland Eamon DeValera officially opened a Fete that featured seven a side Gaelic football tournament. Billed as the ‘best of outdoor and indoor attractions’ the indoor featured Irish dancing Feis, a Ceili and a cinema.
As a greyhound venue it was
Ireland’s second after the opening of Celtic Park
Greyhound racing began on May 14th 1927 in front of ten thousand
spectators packed into the venue. The National Greyhound Racing Company
Limited, the forerunner of Bord Na gCon and the Irish Greyhound Board was the
brainchild of Kerry native Jerry Collins, Paddy O’Donoghue, Patsy McAlinden and
But the early days of greyhound racing was not without its difficulties. A riot broke out in September 1927 when two dogs Galbally Lass and Skeango racing in the semi final of the Civic Cup stopped mid race and savaged each other. The crowd expected a blue flag denoting a ‘non race’ but to their dismay the 6-4 favourite Gone For Sure was declared the winner. The ‘mob in the cheap enclosure invaded the ground trampling wire and person and attacking the judges box’. Police from nearby Irishtown police station restored order.
Hockey arrived in March 1924 when
Ireland beat England
in a 3.15pm tip off to win the triple crown, a year later 1/6 would gain you
admittance to the Ireland v Scotland
In 1934 another new sport arrived when thousands arrived by ferry from
to watch the inaugural Perpetual Challenge Cup match between Warrington
and Wigan in rugby league. The match was
sponsored by the Hospital’s Trust and Wigan
overcame their opponent thirty two points to nineteen. Alas despite its
proposed annual status, this was the only rugby league match played at the
On July 9th 1937 promoter Joe McAllister organised a boxing tournament featuring flyweight contender Jim Warnock. Warnock won his bout but lost a belt eliminator to Peter Kane two weeks later in a fight held at the home of
In 1950 a new sport arrived, the thrill of the speedway. Motor bikes were speeding around the course in a sport that was now attracting both spectators and American riders eager to earn a living. The sport initially stayed four years at
promoted by Ronnie Green. It returned in 1961 for a season and a further two
years in 1970/1971. Although mostly made up of American riders The Shelbourne
Tigers captained by seventeen year old Ronnie Moore matched many of the big
teams from across the Shelbourne Park Irish Sea drawing
thousands to the south side venue.
In recent years greyhound racing has shared its space in
with show jumping.
The ‘Jumping In The City’ event organised by the Irish Greyhound Board as a way
of utilising their venues in Limerick, Shelbourne
Park Cork and Dublin on days when their
stadia were empty.