Local History


St James’s Parish: Two Churches, One Graveyard

St James’s Parish: Two Churches, One Graveyard – Another excellent snippet from Sean J Murphy’s excellent A History of St James’s Church and Graveyard, Dublin, From the 12th to 21st Centuries It will be a well-known fact to inhabitants of the area that while St James’s Parish has had... 

The Mushatt Brothers: A Liberties Institution

“Mushatt’s Cream Of Emulsion,” “Black draft”, “Hippo Wine and Squills”; these were just some of the wonder cures people were once lining up for in the Liberties.  This would have been at a chemist shop at 3 Francis Street, run by Louis and Harry Mushatt. They created all kinds of medicines... 

The Gunpowder Explosion of 1597

The Gunpowder Explosion of 1597 – Craig O Reilly recounts this explosive little known story of Dublin  On 11th March 1597, disaster struck the quays of Dublin when 140 barrels of gunpowder exploded bringing terror and destruction. The blast led to the death of about 1/10th of the population... 

St James Church and Graveyard Book Launch!

St James Church and Graveyard Book Launch! – A must for those with an interest in the history of Dublin    Historian Sean J Murphy has launched his new book on the history of St James Church (presently Lyons Distillery) and graveyard from its foundations in the 12th Century straight to its currently... 

Magazine Fort To Be Developed As A Tourist Attraction

Magazine Fort To Be Developed As A Tourist Attraction – Stephen Davis as the news about the new development   “Now’s here’s a proof of Irish sense Here Irish wit is seen When nothing’s left that’s worth defence We built a Magazine” Jonathan Swift It has been announced... 

How James Joyce Was (Nearly) A Famous Singer

How James Joyce Was (Nearly) A Famous Singer – An odd but true tale James Joyce is mainly known for his outstanding achievement as an Irish novelist, less well known is that he dreamed of becoming a tenor. His father was considered a well regarded tenor singer, though he did not take it up as... 

Paul Morphy And The greatest Chess Game.

  Paul Morphy And The greatest Chess Game –  Considering the popularity of “The Queen’s Gambit” Craig has helpfully provided us with a chess themed article with an Irish connection Paul Morphy is widely considered to be one of the greatest chess players of all time. Born... 

Spooky Dublin

Spooky Dublin 1. Marsh’s Library This 18th-century building is home to the ghost of its founder Archbishop Narcissus Marsh. His ghostly apparition is said to search the library for a letter hidden there by his niece. His niece Grace eloped at the age of nineteen with a sea captain, leaving the... 

Back to the Future: A look at Dublin Cinemas Part Two

Back to the Future: A look at Dublin Cinemas Part Two Back to the Future: A look at Dublin Cinemas Part Two – Shane Adlum presents part 2 of his fascinating look into the world of Dublin cinema! Savoy 16-19 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 The oldest operational cinema in Dublin. Perfectly... 

Distillers and St James’s Church and Graveyard

Distillers and St James’s Church and Graveyard – In this article, Historian Sean J Murphy provides us with an insight into the Liberties’ Distilling history Sean J Murphy In Dublin on 25 July 2017, St James’s Day, the formerly disused Protestant St James’s Church in James’s Street... 

Dueling In Ireland – A History

Dueling In Ireland – A History – Craig O’ Reilly takes an interesting look into the history and weirdly gentleman etiquette of dueling in Ireland  While the phrase “pistols at dawn” may bring to mind a Hollywood movie, or “dueling with a rapier” makes you think of the film... 

Niccolò Paganini-The Devils Violinist

Niccolò Paganini-The Devils Violinist – Sometimes you can be so good….they think you’re bad! Niccolò Paganini was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time. A man so talented that people say he must have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his incredible abilities. Some... 

Remembering Easter Monday 1916

Irish Volunteers barricade Townsend Street, Dublin, to slow down the advance of troops, during the Easter Rising. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)   Remembering Easter Monday 1916 The 1916 Rising is a historic event which still resonates with Irish people today, and perhaps now with... 

Sir Toby Butler

Sir Toby Butler – In this article, Historian Sean J Murphy explains the life of Solicitor General of Ireland, SIr Toby Butler who is interred in St James Graveyard, a fascinating slice of history! Sean J Murphy The old Protestant St James’s Church and Graveyard in James’s Street have undergone... 

The Story of Sweny’s Pharmacy

James Joyce, Lemon Soap and the Philosopher’s Stone: The Story of Sweny’s Pharmacy – In this article, our new journalist Craig O’ Reilly talks about a little historical gem, Sweny’s Pharmacy Had you passed Sweny’s pharmacy on Lombard street back in 2009, you might have been forgiven... 

“Don’t drink the water”. 100 years of the Liffey Swim

(The first group of swimmers to start) “Don’t drink the water”. 100 years of the Liffey Swim – In this article, Ross Murray relates the history of the Liffey Swim, one of Dublin’s great traditions!  Saturday 3rd of August marked 100 years of the Liffey Swim, an annual... 

The Freemasons of Molesworth Street

Freemasons of Molesworth Street – In this article, Shane Adlum discusses the Freemasons building on Molesworth Street complete with Pictures from Stephen Davis Whilst nobody knows the true origin of the Freemasons, it is believed to have evolved from a guild of stonemasons dating back to the... 

The Story of St James’s Fair

The Story of St James’s Fair  – This highly researched article is on the subject of St James Fair, a fascinating read in the habits and rituals of our people in times past. Please take a look!   Sean J Murphy Throughout Europe the annual fair was a very important event in the calendar. The... 

Back to the Future: A look at Dublin Cinemas Part One

Back to the Future: A look at Dublin Cinemas Part One – In this two part article Shane Adlum takes a look at Dublin’s old Cinema’s, some are still there, some are lost, and gone forever The Ambassador 165 Parnell Street,  Dublin 1 Located on Parnell Street, The Ambassador dates all... 

Reed all about it: the story of Ireland’s oldest band

Reed all about it: the story of Ireland’s oldest band – In this article, Shane Adlum delves into the history of Ireland’s oldest brass and reed band. A history that mirrored the country and city that gave birth to it. Ireland has an incredible and unique musical history. From traditional... 
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