Local History


A Poem about Dublin’s Characters by Tony Gorman

The characters of old Dublin we’re proud of them all As their ghosts on the websites give us all a rallying call Reaching out on still photos and in old movie strips as well Revived from the archives for the stories that they tell Of the Diceman and his movements deliberately slow With his face all... 

A Poem about Bang Bang, by Tony Gorman

This charming poem was left on our comments section and I felt it deserved its own post. Wonderful! Alias Bang Bang (Thomas Dudley) a true Dublin character 17th March 2014 In 1906 a new babe was born Into troublesome days his life was forlorn He was born into poverty, suppressed by his life Overladen... 

A Snippet of Dublin History (Part 5) – Audeon’s Church

  Audoen was a pious man who was elected bishop of Rouen in 640 and died on the 24th of August 683. After his death many miracles were attributed to him. The Abbey Church of Rouen which was dedicated to him, housed the remains of most of the rulers of Normandy and also the heart of Richard the... 

A Snippet of Dublin History (Part 4) – The Cornmarket Area

  In 1308, Jean le Decer, Mayor of Dublin, erected a marble water cistern at his own expense, for the benefit of the citizens. This cistern was viewed with awe, as it’s like was never seen before in the city.  Newgate Street was situated to the west of the cistern, this street was named... 

Times Past – A look at old fashioned manners – The Isabella Beeton Story

Isabella Beeton Isabella Mary Beeton was born on the 12th of March 1836, in London. Her father died when she was young and her mother remarried a man who had four daughters of his own. Isabella became the eldest of a family of twenty one children, this included these four girls. She spent two years at... 

A Snippet of Dublin History (Part 3) – High Street Area

This High Cross Stood at High Street in Dublin 8 (Image taken from the UCD Library Collection) High Street is stated to have been the boundary, agreed in the 2nd Century, when Ireland was divided between Eoghan, King of Munster, and Conn of the Hundred Battles. It was built on very marshy ground and... 

The Origins Of Dublin City – Birth Of A Capital

I’m sure we all know that Dublin City was founded by Vikings 988AD (which refers to the year of its status upgrade but not of its beginning as a town). That bit of knowledge is celebrated by a number of milk bottles that survive in the dusty wing of attics up and down the country. The city’s beginnings... 

Could A Liberties Museum Suit The Cork Street Park?

Preface: Just To be Clear, My Own Position On A Cork Street Park Due to the articles I’ve written about the potential Cork Street Park, I’ve received some interesting ideas, via email and Facebook, for the use of the space that’s available, and I plan on presenting some of them here... 

Local History Series – The Royal Hospital Kilmainham

In 1545, the archbishop obtained a license to unite the Church of St. John the Baptist of Kilmainham and that of St. James, both without the suburbs, to the Church of St. Catherine, within the suburbs of Dublin. In 1556, the Lord Lieutenant Fitzwalter kept his court at Kilmainham and it was here that... 

St. Patrick: The Story Of The Green Saint

Somewhere between 410 – 420 AD St Patrick first came to Ireland as a slave. Irish raiders had been attacking the British western coastline for centuries particularly in places such as Wales and Cornwall, they captured a young Patrick and brought him back to Ireland where he spent the next 6 years... 

Local History Series – Dublin Zoo

On Thursday the 1st of September 1831 at 9 o’clock in the morning, Dublin Zoological Gardens opened its doors to the public for the first time. By the mid 1830’s, the city’s population was about 200,000 and approximately 40,000 people were visiting the Zoo each year. The entrance was quite expensive,... 

Is There A Santa Claus? (New York Sun, 1897)

This famous editorial first appeared in the New York Sun on September 21st, 1897. We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun. Dear Editor, I... 

Christmas Traditions & Lore

Christmas, more than any other festival, has more worldwide customs and traditions. Red Christmas Candles Long ago in Ireland, each household had a long, red Christmas candle burning in the window. This was to light the way for Mary and Joseph, on their journey to Bethlehem. Before the advent of supermarkets,... 

Local History Series – A Brief Ancient History Of Kilmainham

In 606 a.d, Saint Magnend was abbot of a monastery here, giving rise to the name Kill Magnend or ‘church of Magnend. This was later corrupted into its current name of Kilmainham. Saint Magnend’s feast day was celebrated on the 18th of December each year and Kilmainham became an important place of... 

Remembering The Women Of 1913

Social historian IDA MILNE discusses the changing view of the role of women in the history of the 1913 Lockout What women’s voices do we hear from the Lockout narrative? Perhaps the best known, in 2013 terms, would be that of Rosie Hackett, the meek-looking and tiny Jacob’s biscuit factory worker,... 

Rosie Hackett’s Tales Of Struggle

‘I always felt it was worth it, to see the trouble the police had getting [the banner] down. No one was arrested. If it took 400 policemen to take four women, what would the newspapers say?’ Last month Dublin City Councillors voted to name the newest bridge over the River Liffey in honour of trade... 

Dublin 100 Years Ago: Death, Disease And Overcrowding

A housing inquiry in 1914 found that 16 members of Dublin Corporation owned tenements and it was clear that Corporation members intervened to foil the enforcement of regulations against their properties While Dublin may have been regarded as the “second city” of the British Empire in the... 

From The Vaults: Fountain News – August 1998 (Issue 5.5)

Looking back… Many moons ago Fountain Resource Group news was distributed by a medium known as “paper”, much like the ancient Egyptians used papyrus, this substance was soft, and could be manipulated easily by the natives as a recording substance. The notorious Derek Freeney was a famed record... 

Lockout-Inspired Play, By RADE, Free To All This December

The organisation RADE, whose speciality is promoting recovery from drug abuse through performance in drama and entertainment, has this year decided to produce a play based on the Lock Out in honour of its centenary. People recovering from addiction have donned bonnets and caps to recapture the spirit... 

The Glimmer Man’s Tales Part 6 – The Acre’s Resurrection

It was just past 10, the group were lucky to catch the off license before the shutters came down. Though the rain had kept up since early evening and the streets were now well wetted, they would keep faithful to the plan and set out down Bow Lane for the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham. That usually quite... 
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