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Dublin in The Rare Old Times

But was the rare old times really that long ago?, I mean I’m not old, I’m in my forty’s (early forty’s actually) but the Dublin City I grew up in has changed almost beyond recognition, so what if I was in my sixty’s or even in my eighty’s, how would the city look to me then? You see I grew up with such people’s stories of the City and how they remembered it from their childhood, story’s of dimly lit streets filled with tales of ghost stories and things that went bump in the night, but that’s not the City I live in the City, I live in is an ever expanding concrete jungle lit with neon lights.


As a kid I would have felt envious of other kids that grew up in places like London or New York when I would watch television shows and see these city’s that seemed to be bustling with life twenty four hours a day and offer nothing but possibilities, but now I’m not so sure the grass is not always greener.

How many of us remember when we could get some bits and bobs on tick in the local shop and knew the local shopkeeper as well as some of our friends, now chain shops are the way, with established rules and no discretion, plus our local shopkeeper might only be there for the summer!


I remember a Dublin that was still a mix of the rural sheep were kept on the Camac Valley between Inchicore Road and Emmet Road, were now gigantic apartment blocks tower, cows happily chewed grass in the Royal Hospital.   There was even the Dublin Tan and Hide Company on Watling Street.

Dublin was half a farm!   


I guess what I’m saying is I do miss Dublin the way it was and if I had a choice I would prefer go away on holidays to the city I live in now.

But I guess none said it better than this guy……


Raised on Songs and Story’s

Heroes of Renowned

The Passing Tales and Glory’s

That Once was Dublin Town


The Hallowed Halls and Houses

The Haunting Chrilderns Rhymes

That Once was Dublin City

In the Rare old Times


Luke Kelly; 1940-1984.

3 Responses

  1. Tony Gorman says:

    Hi Gary
    As an old Dubliner I love our town but it is sad to see what has happened over the years.
    I will let my poem speak for me.

    Bring back the Dublin of old 13th July 2014 by/Tony Gorman

    Take the Dublin of today in an open sort of way
    And compare it with Dublin of past
    There were places you’d go without any fear
    And we thought those old days they would last

    We enjoyed a night out for a drink or a dance
    And the craic it was ninety back then
    We sang ballads in pubs with those on the stage
    Never worrying of the whys or the when

    But today in our town the drugs have arrived
    And terror has been brought to the fore
    There is gangs dealing dope leaving kids with no hope
    Causing terror with intimidation and more

    There is fighting each week in some areas we know
    By gangs claiming territorial right
    And the innocent people there all live in despair
    Never venturing out in the night

    But Dublin by day is a different place
    With its hustle and bustle and sound
    As an old one I’d say you’ll enjoy it by day
    But at night I won’t be hanging around

    It’s not just old Dublin that suffers from this
    But it’s my town that’s close to my heart
    And it’s about time our authorities had a major clean up
    Given life in our town a new start

  2. Patricia Day says:

    I grew up in Inchicore in the 50’and 60′ and it was a great place during my childhood years, everyone knew each other and neighbours were always willing to help each other. I can remember when they pulled up the old tram lines to lay concrete and also when they built the vocational school on Emmet Road, while the houses were old and lacking in modern ameneties the feeling of belonging and knowing that the people had your back more than made up for the lack of an inside toilet, and while the old tin bath was troublesome, it was also a fun thing for us children. I know that everything moves on and gets modernised but progress is not always for the best.
    It is very true that the song ‘Dublin in the rare old times’ sums it up to perfection and is one of my favourite Dublin songs now that I’m exiled in Cheshire.

  3. daria says:

    Where was the photo taken? 🙂

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