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Friday, April 7, 2017

The Four Corners of Hell


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 Kevin Street, Clanbrassil Street 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 Cross Bridge 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.

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 Clanbrassil Street, named after James Hamilton, Earl of Clanbrassil, was widened to cope with growing volumes of traffic.

One of Dublin’s major tourist areas is around St. Patrick’s and Christchurch Cathedrals and the terminus of the Viking Splash Tours. 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.

Patrick Street is not the only street in the area to see all its pubs disappear. Bride Street in 1960 had John Corry’s at Number 33, The Sinnott Brothers and 85, the Napper Tandy. P. McColgan’s, Mrs O’Bierne’s and Thomas Kenny’s pub at the corner of Golden Lane all now demolished and banished from the landscape. No smoking ban will affect them.

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.

1960                                                    2005   
Upper Clanbrassil Street
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
Lower Clanbrassil Street      
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
New Street    
                                                            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 Inn                            GONE
                                                            No. 1   O’Bierne’s                               GONE
Patrick Street                                    
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)
Dean Street                                       
No. 7 W. Lowe’s                                 GONE
Bride Street               
                                                            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.


  1. 67 Lower Clanbrassil Street was a private residence owned by the Luby family in late 50's never a public house to my knowledge when growing up tyere.

  2. Both Dunne's pubs were situated at 7 Dean Street and 72 New Street.

    Kavanagh's New Street is Kavanagh's again and fully open and trading.