Posts Tagged ‘Dublin pubs’

This snapshot is crammed full of amazing details like the sign for ‘private wine rooms upstairs’;  the young fella peaking over the odd little car;  the banner advertising Player’s cigarettes and the shadowy sign in the window. Despite my loathing of Arthur’s Day I am still fond of the ‘Guinness is good for you’ sign.

This photograph has me totally puzzled though as I cannot locate a Dublin pub whose street number is 32 and which is also next door to a stationer’s/tobacconist’s. The name of the shop looks like Hegarty and in the original print I can faintly make out a surname ending in ‘lly’ on the etched pub sign. I have checked one or two Thom’s Street directories for the 1920s, 30s and 40s but to no avail.

Perhaps the photograph wasn’t taken in Dublin which would disappoint me though it really shouldn’t matter as the image is a great snippet of street life wherever it originates. Any suggestions welcome?

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It is quite hard to come across snapshots taken in pub interiors prior to the 1980s – possibly because of how dark they were. This image was rescued from a skip on Lennox Street, Dublin by my friend Garry O’Neill and given to me a few weeks ago. It has certainly seen lots of wear and tear and I love it all the more because of this! The creases crisscross the group and this makes the image even more appealing to me. Most collectors would pass such a battered image but I find that the changes that happen over time add to rather than detract from the object. 

The older men are wearing hats and nearly all are wearing shirts and ties. Were they workmates, neighbours or related to one another? I wonder who kept this photo for over 40 years? The figure on the right of the image is looking at rather than being part of the group. Kevin Kearn’s oral history of Dublin pubs gives a great sense of what they meant to their regular customers. The Portobello area around Lennox Street is really interesting and includes the Bretzel bakery; the Irish Jewish Museum; numerous pubs; bedsits and, of course, was home to the fictional Leopold Bloom.

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From a collection found in a skip on Oxmantown Road, this photo reminds me of the memoir Remembering How We Stood by John Ryan. I love the pint of plain and the half pints not to mention the cigarette behind the central figure’s ear. Real Dublin characters.

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