Local History


The Glimmer Man’s Tales Part 1 – A Pig Faced Woman

“He just sits there, if he’d even just stare into his pint…you could deal with that, but no, he looks at you as if ya stole his Confirmation money!”, two young men at the bar began to once again taunt the old man sitting aloof in the corner of the pub. The new pub landlord thought him courteous... 

A Snippet of Dublin History (Part 2)

Dublin has always been renowned for its restaurants and cafes and the early part of the Eighteenth century was no exception. On the eastern side of Essex Bridge, in the vicinity of the Custom House a coffee- house called the Cocoa Tree was located. In the recess between the bridge and the Custom House... 

The Life of Bram Stoker

Abraham Stoker was born on the 8th of November, 1847 at 15, Marino Crescent,Clontarf, one of a family of seven children. His father was a civil servant and his mother, Charlotte, was a writer. He was a sickly child and spent most of the first seven years of his life, bedridden. During this time, his... 

The Phoenix Park

Everyone as a child has fond memories of having a good time in the Phoenix Park with their family. When I was a child my da used to bring myself and my brother to this place and we would spend hours running up the steps at the Monument. How could such a wonderful park be in the middle of Dublin? How... 

A Snippet of Dublin History (Part 1)

RAM LANE: A narrow passage, leading from High Street to Cook Street, was known in the beginning of the fifteenth century, as Le Ram Lane. The free school of the city of Dublin was erected in this area, which then became known as the “School-house lane”. In 1613, John Laffan, a young gentleman from... 

The Oghamzone – The Cathach

The Cathach of St. Columba is one of the oldest known Irish manuscripts (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy). The Cathach which means the “Battler” gets its name from literally being carried into battle. Its historic content however seems older than the manuscript itself – it having been dated... 

The Oghamzone – The Book Of Lismore

Book of Lismore was originally known as the Book of McCarthy Reagh, of Cairbre in County Cork (Leabhar Mac Cárthaigh Riabhaigh). At present the manuscript resides at Chatsworth House, England, the Derbyshire seat of the Duke of Devonshire and Cavendish. Its contemporary name derives from its discovery... 

The Military Museum

One day last week I had some time on my hands, I had me camera in me bag, I walked around to St James hospital and took the Luas over to the military museum. It’s free in and the Luas passes it and has a stop just outside it. I was surprised not to see it wasn’t full of freebie customers, but there... 

Newspapers From The Past

Only 115 years ago society was radically different, it was a cold and crueller world, as these newspaper wanted ads prove. FREEMAN’S JOURNAL (Irish Newpaper) WEDNESDAY 6th MAY 1896 SITUATIONS WANTED: BUTCHERING; The parents of a respectable country lad are anxious to apprentice him to above. CHILDREN’S... 

Liberties Babies Series: John Laurence

I = Interviewer – Alan Finn R = Respondent – John Laurence I: First of all I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the Fountain Resource Group for doing this interview. Just to get you into the swing of the interview, in 1984 I made my confirmation can you guess where my suit came from? R:... 

Knockmaree Linkardstown Burial

For the past few hundred years, Dubliners and non-Dubliners alike have enjoyed strolling through the Phoenix Park, kicking a football around with friends or even deer watching. The Phoenix Park has for many generations been used for the most part as a recreational space. However, evidence for the use... 

Local History Series – A History Of Kilmainham Jail

(Image accredited to Sean Munson – see more of his images here) In the late 1700’s, the old Kilmainham Gaol was situated at the juncture of Brookfield Road and Old Kilmainham. Insanitary conditions, lack of proper nourishment, overcrowding and dampness meant that prisoners acquired gaol fever,... 

The Oghamzone – Ancient Tomb In the Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park Ancient Burial Site. In Ireland Megalithic tombs are given many different names such as Dolmen, Cromlech, the Giant’s Grave and Dermot & Grainne’s Bed. The etymology of the word Dolmen: From French, perhaps changed from the Cornish word ’ tol’ meaning hole and ’ men’ a... 

Where Does It Come From? (Part 3)

TO BE GIVEN THE SACK: Dating back to a time when tradesmen travelled from place to place in search of employment. They carried their tools in a sack, which would be given to the employer, for safe-keeping, until the job was finished. If the employer was dissatisfied with the work, the sack was returned... 

Where Does It Come From? (Part 2)

Going to pot – A reference dating back to the 16th century shows that in pre – fridge times when meat was hardening and no longer edible, it would be chopped into small pieces and cooked in a stew – pot. Thus, someone or something past its best would be described as having “gone to pot”. To... 

The Oghamzone – The Celtic Story

To reach back into the Celtic past and quantify its presence in history is like trying to explain what a painting looks like with only the use of your finger. The broad outline can be ascertained but without the feel and detail of its colours and brush strokes. The Celtic period lasted as an academic... 

Local History Series – The Brazen Head

The Brazen Head is Dublin’s oldest pub, founded in 1198. The present building dates from the 1750’s. The pub was at its height in the mid 17th century, mainly due to the fact that the Father Matthew Bridge, on which the pub is situated, was the main crossing point from north to south Dublin at that... 

Where Does It Come From? (Part 1)

Under The Weather – In olden times when a sailor felt unwell he was sent below decks to recover. The rest and protection from bad weather helped him. Return to health under the decks and “under the weather” Scot Free – Means to have avoided punishment. In 13th century Scandinavia all households... 

The Oghamzone – Aspects of Ireland

Aspects of Ireland From the Ogham Oracle Manuscript: Latin; manu scriptus meaning “written by hand”. The abbreviations for manuscript are MS for manuscript and MSS for manuscripts. In Ireland the history of manuscripts begins in the early medieval period. From 400CE onwards, Celtic Christian monks... 
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