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Urban History is a field of history that examines the historical nature of cities and towns, and the process of urbanization. The approach is often multidisciplinary, crossing into fields like social history, architectural history, urban sociology, urban geography, business history, and archaeology. Why not write an article, a poem or do some research about your local area! All articles/research/poetry © Marino Local History Society
Ref: 135 – Growing Up in Dublin The War Years – By Mike Connolly
As memories fade and people die, it’s probably important for future generations that life as lived in Ireland during the war years should be documented. Not that the mightiest world war of the twentieth century was ever considered anything other than the “Emergency” to use that lovely euphemism coined by De Valera. A policy of neutrality was decided on by the Irish Government and in many respects this probably saved us from many of the worst horrors that occurred in other countries. I was born in Dublin in 1936 and joined my parents and a family of three brothers and one sister in a three bedroom house in Fairview. Three years later, World War 2 began and plunged Europe into a turmoil of death and destruction. As the last to arrive I was considered to be something of an afterthought and as such I was young enough to observe events without being too caught up in the mechanics of living and how it impinged on the older members of the family. My sister Kathleen who was the eldest was already working for Lever Brothers at their soap manufacturing facility in East Wall. My eldest brother Sean was employed in the accounts department in Dunlop’s who had offices in Lower Abbey Street. The next two brother Joe and George were finishing school with the Christian Brothers on Griffith Avenue in Marino, while I was the small observer of events.
In the late thirties and early forties Ireland’s economy could never be described as thriving, it was at best ticking over and was still heavily dependent on agriculture. The country had only fairly recently achieved a relative degree of freedom from Britain but as yet hadn’t made any great strides economically. Shortly after the ‘Emergency’ was declared, my father who was an ex- member of the Dublin fire brigade volunteered to become a member of the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service) and was issued with a white helmet and a stirrup pump, presumably to extinguish very small fires. We were also advised to fit black out curtains on all windows. My father was very strict about using these curtains and it was quite a ritual every evening ensuring that no light would show through. My eldest brother Sean also volunteered, this time to join the poorly equipped Irish Army and because he was a volunteer rather than a conscript he was entitled to wear a belt with a special silver buckle on it. He was billeted at a large country house in Santry in North Dublin which had been requisitioned by the military. This was very convenient as it was quite close to home and he could visit when he had leave. After basic training he was attached to a unit equipped with Bren Guns, these were a type of machine gun and were transported in a wooden trailer with bicycle wheels which was in turn towed by a soldier on a bicycle. Sean’s unit regularly paraded down Griffith Avenue and I was often brought by my father to see my oldest brother parading with his big gun. Later the property in Santry caught fire and the troops were moved to a new billet.
On the 31st May 1941 the Connolly family except for Sean, were at home in Shelmartin Avenue when we were awoken by the sound of airplane engines and massive explosions. We all gathered downstairs wondering what could have caused such a thing when my father appeared, with his black overcoat thrown over his pyjamas, complete with white helmet and whistle. He disappeared out onto the street and you could hear him shouting at the neighbours to switch off their lights, many of them were standing in their doorways with the hall lights on. He reported back that there was a serious red glow in the sky and he thought it was in the region of the North Strand .As my grandmother’s house was in Sean Mac Dermott Street quite close to the Five Lamps he decided he had better set off and see if the family were alright. He dressed and set off on his trusty Hercules bicycle complete with white helmet while we waited anxiously for any news. He must have encountered many obstacles on his way as on his return he described the total devastation around the area of Newcomen Bridge and how many of the cottages and houses in the area were destroyed and that many people had been killed. He described how oddly enough the church of Saint Agathas’ and the nearby convent in North William Street seemed to be virtually undamaged in the area of devastation. Regarding his family home in Sean Mc Dermott Street the house and its residents were more or less intact except for shock from the explosions and shock waves.
A few days later he walked with me from our home to visit my grandmother and see the damage that had occurred. The site was a hive of activity, groups of cottages had been totally erased and replaced by piles of rubble. Teams of workmen with trucks and ropes were busy demolishing buildings which were in danger of collapsing. The area had a heavy dust cloud hanging over it as bricks and plaster came crashing down from partially demolished buildings. As I was five years old at the time I was learning to read the clock and on the way to my grandmothers there was a small general grocery and dairy shop which had a bracket on its front wall which housed an electric clock in a metal frame. This clock had always caused me trouble in telling the time as it only had digits for the hours and not numbers. As we approached the shop I was amazed to see that the whole clock has vanished but the metal bracket and frame which held the clock were still attached to the wall of the building. This made a big impression on my young mind. Later we learned that 28 people had died and 90 injured in the bombing and over three hundred house damaged or destroyed. All family members were supplied with gas masks and some of the younger kids would wear them out on the street as you sounded funny when trying to speak with it on. It didn’t take too long before rationing was introduced and again each family member was issued with their own book. When buying goods such as tea, sugar, butter and clothes, coupons would be cut from the relevant pages. Coal was no longer available and most people resorted to using turf. Families would club together and buy a bank of turf up in the mountains and would form work parties to go up to the banks cut the turf and stack it to dry. When a load was ready they would organise a truck to carry the turf back to the neighbourhood where willing hands would set about dividing and unloading the precious cargo. I was considered too young to be part of the work parties so the saving the turf was not an option for me.
Many of the homes in our neighbourhood were fitted with gas cookers which were controlled by coin fed meters, these required you to insert a penny and twist a handle to get the bellows inside the meter to start pumping the gas to your cooker. In time, the coal and coke which the Dublin Gas Company needed to produce the gas became scarce resulting in gas rationing. This was controlled by gas only being available to consumers during certain hours. During the time when using gas was restricted the gas pipes held a residue of gas which when lit only produces a weak flame known as the ‘glimmer’. Users were not allowed by the Gas Company to use the glimmer as it was considered dangerous, the company introduced a band of inspectors riding orange coloured bicycles to make surprise inspections on households to stamp out the illicit use of gas. This band of inspectors soon became known as the ‘glimmer men’ and their presence in the district would spread like wildfire allowing the illicit users a chance to remove the hot hob from the stove and plunge it into a nearby bucket of cold water to cool it, thereby doing away with the evidence. Other inspectors from the Gas company also rode around on bikes carrying satchels which they used to collect the pennies from the clients meters. When they emptied the cash boxes they usually gave a small rebate to the householder in the form of some pennies. Usually if there were kids in the house they’d be lucky enough to score one or two of the coppers, then off to the shops to spend this treasure on aniseed balls, you got ten for a penny and they were hideous.
Sartorial elegance in time of war! Forget it, it’s ingenuity that’s required. We had a local tailor, a gentleman called Mister Brereton a true wizard of the needle when it came to make do and mend and turning an old coat into a new one. Turning is the operative word here, Mister Brereton could take an old overcoat, totally dismantle it, turn it inside-out and reassembly it so that it looked if not new, certainly different. Shirt resuscitation was another area of his expertise, invariable if it was a shirt with an attached collar which became worn, it required the amputation of a segment of the shirt’s tail to be refashioned into a very attractive collar and attached to the shirt to make it wearable. If the shirt had to be re-collared twice and no surplus tail was available for the job, that would call for the sacrifice of a sleeve or two. If the season allowed you could end up with a short sleeved shirt for summer. Wear in the seat of a pair of trousers could be a calamity, as matching material for a patch wasn’t usually available. How would a single breasted jacket instead of your double breasted one work for you? After the re-modelling we’d have enough material to build in a new segment for the bum section of your trousers. What a change from today when you have to pay the top Euro to buy a new pair of already torn and tattered jeans from your local fashion house.
What about keeping abreast of war news, I hear you ask. In our house we were equally fair to the combatants, we would listen to Winston as he would cheer on his nation and then would turn to another station to listen to William Joyce or Lord Haw Haw as he was more popularly known, while he ditched out propaganda on Herr Hitler’s many so called successes. My father’s attitude was that they were both lying and in retrospect he was probably correct, one of his favourite comments was “the first thing to suffer in both war and elections is the truth” the relevance of that phrase was lost on me at the time. Having lived into my eighties and experienced a few wars and quite a number of elections, I can understand my father’s cynicism much better. The end of the war brought a new dimension to living in Ireland and the reality of an economy that was very weak and a mass exodus of young people made the decision to seek greener pastures abroad. My own immediate family are a typical example of this phenomenon with the two eldest members taking off for America in 1946 and assorted cousins following these pioneers in the next few years. This mass exodus of young Irish people with their talents was probably something similar to what happened as a result of the potato famine in the mid-1800s.
© Mike Connolly March 2018
Ref: 134 – The Rebel Priest – Fr. Walter McDonald
Frank Robbins, a former member of the Irish Citizen Army and resident of Marino who died in the late 1970’s, penned some wonderful recollections of Easter Week 1916. He recalled his first visit to Fairview Church, 7am Mass in the autumn of 1914. Robbins had just completed night patrol duty at Croydon Park House, ensuring that no attempts were made on James Larkin’s life. He recalled his first memories of Fr. Walter McDonald, a nationalist priest who use to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day mass in Irish, a somewhat of a rebel priest! With lucid recollections of Easter Sunday, Robbins recalled how all the mothers from Cadogan Road to Fairview Strand were busy making sandwiches, cakes, and lemonade for the Easter Bank holiday weekend. Some of the local children had saved their pocket money with the intentions of spending their money over the Easter weekend in Fairview. Little Molly Quirke and her sisters had planned to host their very own Easter picnic in the beautiful Goose Green, a little piece of paradise at the top of Philipsburgh Avenue, which was famed in song and poetry for its charm and beauty. Skipping through the streets of Fairview in the warm balmy sunshine the children ended up at the gates of Father Mathew Park, a narrow strip of land that ran behind Fairview church. Large numbers of volunteers poured into Father Park Mathew that Easter Monday morning for some strange reason. The children’s levels of curiosity were shooting through the roof, what was all this activity about on a quite Easter Morning? The only thing on the children’s mind up to this point was their picnic in Goose Green. This was now taken over by the strange happenings at Father Mathew Park.
Fr. Michael Curran received a phone call earlier that Morning from Eoin McNeill, requesting him to give the message that the ‘Rising was off’ to the Officer in charge at Father Mathew Park. Shortly afterwards another message came through from P. Pearse saying the ‘Rising was on’ and scheduled for noon. With this, the young nationalist priest Fr. Walter McDonald made his way to Fr. Mathew Park. The curious children found themselves with their faces pressed against the gate of Father Mathew Park, to their amazement; they saw the Fr. Walter McDonald hearing confession and blessing the Volunteers. He had planned to take the altar boys on a day trip to Dun Laoighaire on Easter Monday. Fr. Walter McDonald was the nephew of Dr. Walter McDonald a professor of Theology at Maynooth University who regularly wrote in the Irish Workers newspaper. Dr. Walter McDonald received great praise from James Connolly for his social commentary and support for the cause of the Irish Worker.
On seeing the children at the gate, Fr. Walter McDonald ran over to them and requested the children to ask Fr. Nolan to attend Father Mathew Park at once, where he was needed! The children ran down Philipsburgh Avenue towards Fairview Church. As Father Nolan mounted his bike, a chorus of ‘Fr. Nolan, Fr. Nolan’ came from the children. What is the matter children, Fr. Nolan said crossly? ‘Father McDonald wants you to go to Fr. Mathew Park, its urgent’. Fr. Nolan said ‘what is he doing there?’ The children replied ‘he is blessing the soldiers with swords on their guns’. Fr. Nolan got on his bike and said ‘one fool in the parish is enough’. The children were taking back by his obvious unconcern for Fr. Walter McDonald’s request. Having dispatched their message the children made their way to Goose Green for their Easter picnic. Oscar Traynor’s brother recalled the sight of Fr. Walter McDonald holding up a Crucifix in front of the kneeling Volunteers prior to mobilizing to fight in the Rising, as dramatic in nature.
Within a few short hours, Dublin City was in ruins, there were lootings, shootings, bombs, and buildings burning. The events of Rising played heavily on Fr. Walter McDonald’s mind that day. How would the Archbishop view his action and his deeds of Easter Monday? Was this the end of his priesthood? He sought advice from Fr. Hickey of St. James Parish Clontarf; he said to him ‘what else could you do? You are an Irish man; just as I am… we did not get that chance since 1798 to show what we are made off’. His words brought some hope and light into Fr. Walter McDonald’s mind. However, the people of the Parish were very pro British and were somewhat less forgiving. ‘What a mistake the young priest has made by a associating himself with those traitors and murders’. It was generally thought at the time that Archbishop Walsh, who also held Nationalist views, would defrock Fr. Walter McDonald. Cannon Petit was a keen musician with a passion for playing cards. He spurred Fr. Walter McDonald to invite Fr. Michael O’Dwyer the Archbishops secretary for a spot of cards and a social chat on Easter Monday. The arrival Fr. Michael O’Dwyer caused great stress to Fr. Walter McDonald who felt his days as a priest were at an end. Cannon Petit during the course of the evening said to Fr. Michael O’Dwyer ‘what do you think of this young man today, he made himself into a Chaplin for those fellows this morning’. Fr. Walter McDonald jumped in and said ‘what would you have done Michael’ to which he replied ‘I would have done the exact same.’ Fr. Walter McDonald felt liberated from his worst fears by Fr. Michael O’Dwyer response. Fr. Walter McDonald went on to serve in the parish right up to the 1970’s.
Ref: 133 – Recruitment Drive WWI – October 1915
One year before the 1916 Rising there a was Recruitment Rally held in Clontarf /Fairview. It was attended in large numbers. The language and imagery used at the Recruitment Rally was vibrant, drenched with historic discourse in order to raise the crowds sense of duty. Lt. Alderman McWalt presided over the Recruitment Rally. He addressed the crowd; ‘over 900 years ago foreman came from the North Sea and ravaged Clontarf, but they were vanquished’. He then pointed out that the Clontarf men of 1905 had a responsibility to defeat the ‘Marauders’, the trenches were now held by Irish men. Professor Edmund Burke spoke passionately about losing his son who died in the trenches, he asked that other Irish men would they pick up his son’s rifle and carry on his battle. He went on to say how he had consecrated ‘every night of his life’ to speaking at Recruitment Rallies, until victory is handed to the allies, ‘for honour and for civilisation’. God save The King!
Ref: 132 – Disappearing Right of Ways & Country Lanes – July 1896
A member of the public then 60 y.o. evoked his memories of the ‘Right of Ways’ and ‘country lanes’ that were disappearing from the Victorian Dublin landscape. He mentions the song ‘Along the River Tolka’ which describes the route from Goose Green through Marino to the Malahide Road, which was then fenced off or had barb wire. The River Tolka is one of three main rivers in the capital the other two being River Liffey and the River Dodder. The River Tolka is the second largest river in Dublin. Rising in Co Meath, the Tolka enters Dublin Bay between East Wall and Clontarf.
Ref: 131 – Casino – Lease Theory 1946
In 1946, it was suggested that the Casino was built to comply with the terms of the land lease, which stipulated that there had to be a certain amount of expenditure on buildings. This viewpoint is however untrue. It was also said that the Casino was connected to Marino House by a tunnel, but has since been ‘blocked with falling masonry’. Tradition also speaks of a branch of the tunnel that went to the sea.
Ref: 130 – Casino Re-erected at St. Stephen’s Green? – December 11th 1926
The Hon Frederick Lawless suggested that Casino should be taken down brick-by-brick and re-instated to a more suitable location (St. Stephen’s Green) in the context of preservation. He stated that Lord Ardulian builders had examined the edifice and found the mortar/cement so hard that moving any bricks would only result in bricks breaking. However, Alfred E Jones MRIAI thought differently after conducting his own survey on the Casino, Jones found the cement and mortar was typical of the period and moving the Casino to a new location in effort to preserve it would present no such difficulties.
Ref: 129 – Pilot Brendan Foley, Missing in Action – Vietnam – November 1967
In late November 1967, Brendan Foley (b.1932 – d.1967) former past pupil of Scoil Mhuire, got into the cockpit of his F4 Phantom Fighter plane in Thailand, on a mission to fly over North Vietnam. Due to bad weather, the nature of the mission was converted to reconnaissance. His plane went out of contact and he was listed as missing in action. Foley’s remains were never discovered. His plane crashed 24 km southwest of Tahi Nguyen City, North Vietnam. The site of the crash was investigated in October 2001 after two Vietnamese citizens handed in new evidence.
Ref: 128 – The Death of a 1916 Veteran – Mr. Frank Daly – January 1976
By the time the 1970’s arrived many veterans of the 1916 Rising still resided in our local area, but they were in their autumn years. Mr. Frank Daly from Clontarf Road passed away at the age of 87 in 1976. As a young boy aged four, he attended Charles Stewart Parnell’s funeral. A veteran of the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence, and the Irish Civil War, he was a member of the old IRA, sworn in by Sean Mac Diarmada. Mr. Daly took part in the attack on the Ashbourne RIC barracks during the 1916 Rising. Imprisoned in Wales in the aftermath and later fought on the Anti Treaty side during the Irish Civil War. He was later interned in the Curragh.
Ref: 127 – New Post Office at Fairview – November 1903
The church like red brick building facing Fairview church, Number 42 Fairview Strand (The Bridal Boutique) was once the local post office, established in November 1903. There were nine delivery officers; J. Conroy, J.P. Connors, E. Henebry, P. Baron, J. Kirwan, P.J. Fleming, E Fitzgerald. E. P. Garrett & H. Holden
Ref: 126 – No School Tomorrow? Archbishop Ó Fiaich Ordained – October 1977
In October 1977, Monsignor Ó Fiaich was ordained Archbishop of Armagh. The Department of Education announced that state Catholic schools would be closed (1 day) to mark the occasion. The Department of Education forgot to qualify the statement by saying that it was in the context of schools in the Archdioceses of Armagh only. This resulted in confusion and many schools in Ireland reported sharp falls in the school attendance. One of the largest falls in attendance was reported at Scoil Mhuire, Marino with a reported fall of 30%, which was confirmed by the school principal Brother Martin. Tomás Séamus Cardinal Ó Fiaich was an Irish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the Catholic Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh from 1977 until his death. He was created a Cardinal in 1979 and died in 1990.
Ref: 125 – Scoil Mhuire Marino Prepares for the Golden Jubilee 1978 – December 1977
In December 1977, the Scoil Mhuire Golden Jubilee Committee was formed which consisted of: Charlie Haughey, Des Foley, George Colley, Rev. Father Hanratty, Kevin Heffernan, Cathal O’Shannon, and Jimmy Keavney. They were working hard preparing/planning for the Jubilee events and they contacted many former past pupils. They establish a Jubilee Committee Office within the school as HQ for co-ordinating events. The celebrations commenced with a reunion mass for past pupils which was held on September 17th 1978, then followed a weak of festivities. The Golden Jubilee Ball was held on Monday, September 18th 1978 in Scoil Mhuire. A booklet was produced to mark the occasion and all pupils were encouraged to purchase one. The school produced many of Ireland’s great leaders and sporting legends. Both George Colley and Charles Haughey gave their own honest accounts of their schools boy days in Marino in the 1930’s. George Colley recalled looking out the window across the fields towards Drumcondra, wishing he was anywhere but in school. Daydreaming, he would watch the school’s handyman doing his regular odd jobs in the yard, whilst he struggled inside school with subjects such as maths. He recalled how he felt that the school’s handymen had made it in life! George Colley went on to be become a Fianna Fáil politician, and Minister for Education. He introduced a plan to establish comprehensive schools, set up an advisory council on post-primary school accommodation in Dublin, and introduced a school psychological service. He served in a wide number of Cabinet positions, most notably as Minister for Finance and Tánaiste. His adversary in Politics was another local boy, Charles Haughey. Like George Colley, Charles Haughey had his own unique memories of his school days in Marino. Charles Haughey recalled walking down the Malahide Road and turning left onto Griffith Avenue, wishing and hoping that he would see a buff of smoke, which would indicate that the school had gone on fire during the night, and the school was no more. Fortunately, it never happened. Charles Haughey went on to become Taoiseach of Ireland, serving three terms in office. Haughey is generally regarded as the dominant Irish politician of his generation, as well as the most controversial.
Ref: 124 – The Illicit Distillation – Fairview 1890
The Coolock Petty Session sentenced Mr Patrick Bolger of 4 Mervillle Avenue, Fairview to 6 months in jail, if he defaulted on a fine £100 for his ‘Illicit Distillation’ in Fairview. The QC Mr. Wall stated the defendant had two previous convictions; therefore, the sentence could not be reduced.
Ref: 123 – Marino Crescent – Spite Row or Spite Crescent – 1792
The Crescent (half moon) was built in the latter half of the 1700’s. The Crescent is also known as ‘Spite Row’ or ‘Spite Crescent’. The Crescent was born out of a dispute between Lord Charlemont and an eccentric Quaker called Charles Ffolliott (House Painter/Building Speculator). The Crescent, consist of twenty-six four storey buildings, built to spoil Lord Charlemont’s panoramic view of the Bay from ‘Marino House’. Possibly making it the biggest spite fence in Europe! Lord Charlemont charged Ffolliott exuberant ‘Toll Fees’ for bringing building materials such as slates and mortar through Lord Charlemont’s lands in Marino in order to frustrates Ffolliott building plans. Ffolliott circumvented the ‘Tolls Fees’ by bring the materials across the bay by boat. Lord Charlemont at this stage was near bankruptcy after building the CASINO. The Crescent fluently designed ironwork garden railings has adorning motifs of ‘Shamrocks and Thistles’ – still visible today. Two huge Urns were seated on the central pair of houses in the crescent to obstruct Lord Charlemont view even more. Lord Charlemont view of the bay could only be seeing from the CASINO. The Crescent must have been spectacular when first built with the seashore almost touching the garden gates. During excavation, bones were unearthed and claimed to be the remains from the 11th century Battle of Clontarf. The Crescent’s exquisite facade is in contrast to the reverse side, which has a haphazard collection of windows of all shapes and sizes, with no form or symmetry. This disparity was designed to be an eye sore when viewed at ground level from Marino House, gardens and drawing rooms. Around 1970 the Vernon Estate sold the ground lease for all the houses in the Crescent. The residents had to pay ground rent to their new Landlord, who had also bought No. 26, which fell into dilapidation and was demolished in the 1970’s. It was said at the time that a well-known supermarket chain applied for planning permission to build a supermarket on the site of number 26. Eventually planning permission was given for an apartment block to be built on the site of number 26. In 1975, number 13 Marino Crescent sold for £10,000 with a lease of 150 years from March 1843.
Ref: 122 – Charlemont & The Irish Croquet Championship – August 1874
In August 1874, the Irish Croquet Championship was held in the Demesne of the Charlemont Estate. The Earl and Countess Charlemont lent their lands to the Honourable Sectaries H. W. D. Dunlop and Richard W. Morgan of the Irish Champion Athletic Club – for the inaugural meeting of the Irish Croquet Championship. The players consisted of the ‘fairest ladies’, ‘most athletic men’ and a ‘ravishing display of toilettes of the lawn and garden party order.’ It was said that a lovelier spot could not have been chosen, ‘embosomed in giant forest trees, who’s age is so remote, it can only be guessed’. Marino House was described as a ‘beautiful lordly mansion that forms the background to beautiful level mead, affording beautiful views of the Obelisk, Sugar Loaf, Bray Head, and the Wicklow Mountains.’ The Casino was described as a ‘beautiful specimen of classic art built in 1754.’ The first day of the Championship was free of any bad weather; however, the second day was hampered with rain of copious amounts. The ‘Conference Rules’ were observed setting up two grounds, one for the ladies and one for the gents, which was termed as the ‘six loop’. The game was described as a ‘capital moral agent, curbing temper and producing honesty.’ John Leeches consoled the rain soaked congregation of people at the picnic party, by saying ‘it would have been a pity if they had brought their umbrellas for nothing’.
Ref: 121 – Recollection – Tram Journey to Howth – July 1901
A beautiful account of a Tram journey from O’Connell Street to Howth was given in 1901, recalling past events on the route to Howth but more importantly, the account of the tram journey is seeing through the eyes of a Victorian person. We can imagine the tramcar settled in O’Connell Street and starting up slowly, the journey begins. When reaching Marino the passenger recalls the horrific events of warfare, the Battle of Clontarf, but his thoughts change to peaceful contrast on reaching Marino. Nestle in the estate is the beautiful Casino, home of beautiful objects, art and sculptures, created by Lord Charlemont an accomplished nobleman of his day. The Casino like a glorious chess piece rises out from the gentle sloping land of Marino sweeping down towards the seashore at Clontarf. The passenger recalls what a beautiful lonely district this must have been in past times, referring to it as ‘the plain of the bird flocks’. The absence of trees induced Birds from all over Ireland to nest here. The road to Howth was known as the ‘mail road’, which only came into existence in the 19th century when Howth (Scandinavian for ‘head’ Hove) became a ‘Packet Station’. In previous times, the route to Howth was across inland fields and lanes trodden down by mariners down through the centuries, the path of the wayfarer was not always a safe one.
Ref: 120 – Dublin Corporation, Unveiling Sean Russell Statue – September 4th 1951
It was decided that Dublin Corporation by popular vote would participate in the unveiling of the Sean Russell statue in Fairview Park (9/11/51). Seán Russell (1893 – 14 August 1940) was an Irish republican who held senior positions in the IRA until the end of the Irish War of Independence. From 1922 until his death on board a Kriegsmarine U-boat in 1940, he remained a senior member and chief of staff of the IRA, while it divided and was outlawed, and removed itself to the political fringe of Irish society. Born in Fairview, Dublin in 1893, Russell joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913. He participated in the 1916 Easter Rising as an officer in Dublin Brigade’s second Battalion, under Thomas MacDonagh. The controversial statue has been vandalised several times over the years. The original statue head was decapitated and later replaced by a bronze statue.
Ref: 119 – Queen Victoria & Albert Passes through Fairview – August 22nd 1897
In 1897, Queen Victoria and her husband Albert visited Ireland. They left the Vice Regal Lodge (Áras an Uachtaráin) on Sunday 22nd August @ 10:45 am to travel to Howth. Included in their itinerary was lunch with Lord and Lady Ardgillian in St. Anne’s Park. The route took the Royals from the Vice Regal Lodge via; Cabra Gate, NCR, Drumcondra, Clonliffe Road and Fairview. It is unlikely the Royal’s visited Gaffney’s Pub for refreshments, but one can imagine schoolchildren, local men and women waving their union jacks flags as their horse and carriage trotted through Fairview. The Royals returned to the Vice Regal Lodge via the same route later that day.
Ref: 118 – Fairview Grand Bought by Irish Cinema Ltd – March 25th 1949
The Irish Cinema Ltd acquired several cinemas back in 1949 including the Fairview Grand Cinema, North Strand Cinema, Drumcondra Cinema and the then recently completed Grand Cinema in Cabra. The new acquisitions were under new management by April 16th the same year. All staff were re-employed and lost none of their pension entitlements or benefits.
Ref: 117 – Marine Lake Project at Dollymount – October 7th 1947
It was proposed at a Dublin City Council meeting (Mr. Herron) that a sizeable area of water between Bull Island and mainland was to be developed as ‘Fun Park’ coupled with a new bridge at Dollymount; this was known as the ‘Marine Lake Project’. The plans were reviewed by the Town Planning and Streets Committee. Sir Claude Ingles and Professor Bailey Butler examined the Marine Lake Project. Professor Butler said in the context of the biological environment the project could be a liability rather than an asset for the citizens of Dublin.
Ref: 116 – The Social Study Circle ‘The Family School of the Nation’ – Oct 23rd 1947
Rev P. Gannon S.J. gave an interesting lecture in the CYMC Hall; Philipsburgh Avenue entitled ‘The Family School of the Nation’. Father Gannon lectured that the first school for children was the home. He proceeded to point out that certain countries instituted a lay educational system saying ‘the child was taken from the church and family.’ He went onto say that in France the religious orders were driven out. The Third Republic only victory was over monks and nuns, he described it as an ‘almost disastrous victory for France’ leaving it without spiritual guidance. He stated that parents had first right to mould the child and the church did not claim to over ride this. Fr. Gannon stated that it was a ‘Monstrous idea that the church existed for the state, was leading to untold mischief’. He also stated that in Ireland we were lucky as the state recognised it duty to the church, and the church was entirely Christian in its Educational policies.
Ref: 115 – Recollection – Marino Man Meets John Lennon, NY Summer 1979.
A neighbour of mine whilst on holiday in NY (Summer 1979) managed to meet his idol completely by accident. He did not recall the name of the Cafe Shop but most likely, it was Cafe La Fortuna, near the Dakota’s where Lennon resided. Sitting in a packed Cafe Shop, Lennon arrived in with his son Sean. After Lennon bought his coffee and donut, they sat at his table. Lennon said ‘would you mind if we sit here?’ My neighbour lowered his NY Times newspaper only to find it was John Lennon with his son Sean. He recalled that Lennon was wearing a sports jacket, shoulder length hair, he commented that Lennon looked liked he had just shaven off his beard as his skin was pristine clean and sharp looking. He exchanged a few words about being a fan, but respected his privacy and continued on reading his NY Times. Lennon drank his coffee and Sean tucked into his cream donut. Cafe La Fortuna closed its doors in January 2008, the end of great NY institution, and a victim of spiralling rents. The cafe owners gave Lennon’s widow the table that Lennon used to sit at, which they had preserved. As one NY person said, “When this place closes, it’s time to leave New York.”, imagine that!
Ref: 114 – George Harrison visit his Relatives (Drumcondra) – November 1963
George Harrison had relatives in Drumcondra and was a regular visitor to our local area in his childhood days. Harrison visited Drumcondra in November 1963 where he made a quick visit after they performed in the Adelphi Cinema. This was only a week or two before Kennedy was shot in Dallas. In Harrison’s 1980 book ‘I Me Mine’ the opening photograph is of George with his Mother walking down O’Connell Street (Dublin) past Clery’s shop as a young boy.
Ref: 113 – Doctor in Car Crash – Fairview – December 2nd 1913
Dr. Kennedy of the North Dublin Union whilst trying to avoid a Tram in Fairview, his car collided with another motor car, skidded and somersaulted. The Doctor was not injured and was taken home.
Ref: 112 – Boy (12) Injured by a Truck – Fairview – March 16th 1907
Several boys were amusing themselves in Fairview with a lorry, which was used to carry mud. Unfortunately for George Kelly (12) of 33 Upper Gloucester Street was knocked down by the truck, which ran over his right leg. He was brought to the nearby Hayes Cunningham & Robinson Chemist. The staff attended to the boy and dressed his leg wounds. The boy was brought to Jervis Street Hospital where the house surgeon Dr. Daniel attended to his latest patient.
Ref: 111 – 24 Seats Approved Foot Path at Fairview Park – Jan 8th 1926
Mr. Murphy, Commissioner of Street Section, proposed issuing a number of ‘garden seats’ on the boundary footpath at Fairview Park. Three Tenders were received Bayliss Jones and Bayliss, Keenan & Sons and T & C Martin. The city architect agreed on increasing the width of the wood from 1 inch to 1 ¾ inch. Keenan & Son quote £9 9s 9d including delivery, won the tender bid.
Ref: 110 – New Shop & 12 New Houses for Marino – February 11th 1926
Many locals today will remember O’Leary’s shop in Fairview, which, was located beside the present day Bank of Ireland. Back in 1926, the Dublin Borough of Commissioners approved the report of Mr. Herron, Commissioner of Finance & General Purpose, recommending the letting and lease of a shop and 12 houses in Fairview/Marino. Mr. C. Thomas O’Leary of Iona Crescent – was awarded a lease starting on 25th March 1926 for 125 years at £10 per annum plus taxes and rates. Mr O’Leary agreed to erect a shop on the site with residential accommodation above the shop. 12 additional houses’ were approved on the Malahide Road frontage. O’Leary’s shop operated up until the early 1990’s.
Ref: 109 – Howth Bus Traffic Collision – Fairview – September 3rd 1928
A tramcar collided with a ‘motor omnibus’ at the junction of the Howth Road and Fairview Strand. Four people were taken to Jervis Street hospital this included the driver, bus conductor; a female passenger on the omnibus was thrown out onto the roadway when the accident occurred and another passenger was injured.
Ref: 108 – Death Announced Brother J. M. Costen – Feb 7th 1930
The funeral mass took place of Brother J. M. Costen in St. Mary’s in Marino. The mass was celebrated by PP of Fairview, Very Rev. John Flanagan. The chief mourners were P.Costen (Brother) Waterford, Mrs Costen, nieces Ms Dr. Kilbride, Miss Costen; John and Joe Costen (nephews); Ms Downey (Clonmel) and Mrs Byrne (cousins); Miss Thayne (Dublin). President Cosgrove and other public officials attended the funeral mass.
Ref: 107 – Marino Flooded – September 4th 1931
Philipsburgh Avenue and the surrounding roads in the district were flooded under 6 inches of water after a heavy down fall of rain.
Ref: 106 – Completion of Fairview to Dollymount Promenade – August 8th 1938
In 1938, the news came that the long await completion of the promenade from Fairview to Dollymount was in sight after many years in the making. The Dutch Dregger and the ‘Sand piper’, whose operations have been subject to speculation, would soon be enroute to other foreshore projects. These Dutch men would who build the Zuiderzee were heading home. After the promenade was, completed work started on widening the coast road.
Ref: 105 – ‘1916 Parish Council’ – Concerns About Food Shortages – Aug 2nd 1940
The ‘1916 Parish Council’ in Clontarf took steps back in 1940 to ensure the continuance and provision of food in the case of future emergencies, 24 years after the 1916 Rising. Within 3 weeks of the Rising local supplies of house hold goods; bread, butter, milk, and bacon reached the point of ‘exhaustion’. Many of the surrounding districts suffered. The price of household goods soared leaving poorer families in a state deprivation. Ironically, there were ample supplies of food at hand but located in areas that were cornered off by the Military. ‘Telephonic communication’ was severed and there was no information provided when food supplies would resume. Conditions in Howth, Fairview, Drumcondra, Coolock and Malahide were described as having a ‘visible outlook that indicated acute famine conditions’ and ‘apprehension amounting to the feeling of panic prevailed’.
Ref: 104 – The Sloblands & Typhoid Case in Clontarf – Oct 10th 1908
In 1908, the filling of the Sloblands (Fairview) was ongoing for a year. The filling/dumping was moving towards the roadside in Fairview creating foul smelling odours much to the annoyance of the local people. The Dublin Corporation at the start were particular about the quality of the rubbish that was dumped near the Tram Line, so not to upset the ‘tax payers’. At this point, there were no foul smelling odours, eventually the situation changed. There was a report of Typhoid in Clontarf. It was stated at the time that the Slobands were free of blame for this, as the people of Fairview were free of any such illness. However, it was pointed out that in the context of the obnoxious smell in the olden days from the ‘Liffey bed’ – residents on the Liffey Quays never suffered any ill health; however, this was due to wind direction. People down wind ended up being ill whilst the residents on the Quays did not become ill. This analogy was used to explain the Typhoid cases in Clontarf. It was pointed out the Westerly wind carries the smell from the Slobands to towards Howth Road. No smells were reported when there was an Easterly wind. It was pointed out that the wind strikes St. Laurence’s Road, Hollybrook, Warren Point, and Castle Avenue – the location of the case of Typhoid.
Ref: 103 – Sailing Boat Capsizes – Clontarf – May 27th 1911
A year before the Titanic sunk in the ice waters of the North Atlantic, Mr. Moppet from Fairview had his own personal maritime mishap. Mr. Moppet of Lomond Avenue, Chief Engineer on ss Lady Wolseley, borrowed a boat from Mr. Borland of Seaview Terrace and decided to sail the boat in Clontarf. He brought his daughter Ivy aged 10 and two of Mr. Borland’s sons aged 10 and 12 with him. The sailing conditions were fresh and pleasant initially, however later on the weather conditions became inclement, and two big waves capsized Mr. Moppet’s boat. Mr. Moppet and the children held onto the gunwale of the upturned boat. Luckily for Mr. Moppet, four chaps by the name of Michael Nugent, John Byrne, Paul Byrne and Garrett Kelly were some distance away in a row boat – but manage to get to Mr. Moppet and the children in time, who were then at exhaustion point. The event was notice from shore and boat was dispatched. Mr. Moppet and Children were brought to safety.
Ref: 102 – The Great Fire – James Walker’s Colour Printing Works – Jan 23rd 1914
A disastrous fire took place at the colour printing works of Messrs James Walker & Co at Distillery Lane, off the Clonliffe Road, resulting £20,000 worth of damages. The printing works covered about a half acre and gave employed 300 people, mainly women form the local area. At midnight, the great fire illuminated the sky. The factory was closed at 6pm on Friday. Cpt. Purcell of DFB managed the operations.
Ref: 101 – WW1 – Death of Lance Corporal Walter R Gross – November 24th 1917
The death was announced of Lance Corporal Walter R Gross (22y.o), 161 Richmond Road Fairview who was killed in action. He was employed in the Land Registry Office in the four courts before joining the British Army soon after the outbreak of WW1.
Ref: 100 – Sinking of the RMS Leinster – October 19th 1918
RMS Leinster was a vessel operated by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, served as the Kingstown to Holyhead mail boat until she was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-123 on 10 October 1918, while bound for Holyhead. She went down just outside Dublin Bay at a point four nautical miles (7.4 km) east of the Kish light. Over 500 people perished in the sinking – the greatest single loss of life in the Irish Sea. The official death toll was 501. However, latest research searches the figures suggests the figures were higher. Local People on Postal Staff list who drowned.
John Dolan, Ruth Villa, Philipsburgh Avenue, Fairview. (Dr. Dolan’s father) Altwool, 15 Norman Terrace, Jones Road.
P.P. Daly, 23 Richmond Road. Forbes, 103 Clonliffe Road. M.Brophy, 23 St.Patrick’s Road. Wakefiled, 162 Botanic Road.
Bradley Pictoria Villas,Clontarf.
Blake, 167 Clonliffe Road.
Hogan, 45 Leinster Street.
Robinson, 1 Whithworth Place.
Bolster, 18 Leinster Street.
It was reported that the surviving staff went on duty afterwards without complaint.
Ref: 99 – The Big Storm – January 31st 1920
A southeasterly gale reaching a velocity of 70 mph swept over Dublin in the early hours of Tuesday morning leaving a trail of destruction behind. The storm started at 4am, followed by a heavy down pour of rain. Many houses in the city were damaged. Clanwilliam House a stronghold for the Rebels of 1916 was destroyed by the storm; reduced to a pile of bricks. Mr .Maurice Farrell (30) of 15 Annesley Avenue, Fairview was blown off his fire tender and brought to the Mater Hospital.
Ref: 98 – Canon Pettit’s House Visited by the Military- Fairview – September 11th 1920
Thursday 9/11 in 1920 was a busy time for the Military and Police. Multiple ‘visits’ befell on many houses in the City of Dublin and Suburbs, resulting in several arrest, included on the visit list; Clontarf Town Hall, the Republican Bar ‘Findlaters’ and other Sinn Féin hot spots. The residence of Cannon Pettit’s House in Fairview was also searched.
Cannon Denis Petit, a successor to Canon Keon (PP Fairview 1879-1902) who died in 1929. His successor Canon Flanagan who was PP in Fairview from 1928 until 1936. Canon Flanagan was succeeded by Canon Joseph McArdle in Jan 1936. Canon Petit was buried in Glasnevin.
Ref: 97 – Tom Clark’s House – Visited by the Military – Fairview – October 9th 1920
The widow of Tom Clarke house in Fairview was ‘visited’ by the military who took away some papers and empty cartridge cases.
Ref: 96 – Snipers Captured – Fairview – July 8th 1922
Eight snipers were captured by the National Guard in Fairview.
Ref: 95 – Printing Machine Seized Cadogan Road – Fairview – March 23rd 1923
A printing Machine described as the ‘Arab’ type was seized from a house in Cadogan Road Fairview at 12:30pm by the CID (Criminal Investigation Department). Three men operated the printing machine in the back room of the house, it was used to print the Republican paper ‘An Poblacht naEireann’ the official body of the Irish Republican. The house was under suspicion and viewed by the CID for several days. Seven arrests were made including one young woman after the surprise visit from the CID. The printing machine was dismantled and the literature brought to Oriel House.
Ref: 94 – Talkies Come to Fairview – April 24rd 1924
Irish Film Renters Ltd gave a demonstration of Talkie Movies in the Fairview Cinema. The equipment used was developed in Ireland ‘Sound on Disc’ reproducing and non-synchronised equipment. Up this point American equipment was used, the Irish version was considered more advanced. From Cinema owner’s viewpoint, it meant not paying 33% duty charge for importation.
Ref: 93 – Regular Local Flooding – Marino – August 23rd 1930
Flooding was a regular occurrence in the area, long before global warming. Rain fell heavily for two days, Sunday and Monday. From Marino to the Railway Arches (Dart line embankment Fairview Park) was submerged in water. Transport to and from the city was cut off; people were advised to stay in their homes. Special Trams were put on so people could travel to the flooded area. The residence of Croydon Cottages ‘three little white washed one-storey buildings’ off Philipsburgh Avenue, called on the assistance of Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB) as their Cottages were flooded. The DFB on arrival could not do much, as the water level was too low for the suction pumps!
Ref: 92 – Fairview Park, Music Venue – June 1933
The Band Stand has long since gone, but back in 1933, it was a regular music venue. St. James Brass and Reed Band and The City of Dublin City Connolly Band performed in Fairview Park between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.
Ref: 91 – Griffith Avenue – It has been said that it is the longest Avenue in Europe?
Back in 1928, it was labelled as Dublin 100 ft Cement Highway. Running from the Malahide Road to the by-pass at Ballymun intersection, close to the site of the old washer woman’s hill (Ballymun Road), the avenue measures 1 ¾ miles. The main carriage way is 40ft, with two 30ft paths. The cement used in the construction of the road in 1928 was ‘Josson’ supplied by ‘Norman McNorton’s & Sons’. At the early stage of construction, Belgian cement was used and ‘La Boulanaise’ cement was supplied Messrs T&C Martin Ltd.
Ref: 90 – My Missing Brother – August 12th 1905
Hugh Allen of 23 Philipsburgh Avenue was desperately seeking information on his brother Michael Allen who went to America, his last address; 100 Maple Avenue; Merchant Ville, New Jersey. The property is a 16 room Victorian house built in 1890. It was last sold for $290,000 in 2015 and currently has an estimated value of $305,956.
Ref: 89 – The Decline of Charlemont’s Estate, Marino – 1799
On Lord Charlemont’s death in 1799, his heirs inherited a Marino on the verge of bankruptcy. The Dowager Lady Charlemont died in Marino house in April 1807 two months after a fire had destroyed the northern wing of Marino house. The second earl of Charlemont neglected Marino and lived in Charlemont House in Rutland Square. The once beautiful estate, in Charlemont’s piece of Italy in Ireland, fell into decline.
Ref: 88 – De Valera Visit to Marino – 16th Sept 1944
1944 saw the centenary death of Edmund Rice the founder of the Christian Brothers. The then Taoiseach Eammon de Valera and the Minister of Education Tomas O’Deirg paid a formal visit to Marino, St. Mary’s College, Marino.
Ref: 87 – Christian Brothers & Marino – 1882
The Christian Brothers have been associated with Marino since 1882. When they arrived, first they resided in Lord Charlemont’s Marino House. The Christian Brothers later moved to St. Mary’s Training College during 1904/1905 period. Archbishop Walsh laid the foundation stone in June 1900; the building cost £40, 679. The Christian Brothers in Australia donated shiploads of timber for the floors and ceilings. The building was completed/blessed November 1904. The great storm of 26th February 1903, decimated the celebrated ‘Marino woods’ and damaged the scaffolding to St. Mary’s.
Ref: 86 – O’Sullivan’s (Hairdressers)
Mr. Sullivan had a barbershop on Philipsburgh Avenue two doors up from The Pear Tree shop. It was in the front room of his house. My brothers used to get their hair cut there when they were kids. This would have been in the 1970’s and 80’s. Sometimes I would bring my younger brother there to get his haircut. There were seats along the walls of the room and there always seemed to be many young boys waiting to get their haircut. Without fail, every boy would ask for ‘a short back and sides’ haircut. My brother got his first haircut there when he was only about one. Mr Sullivan put a piece of wood across the arms of the chair and my brother sat on it, as he would have been too low down if he sat in the chair. Mr Sullivan had a small squeaky toy cat and he used it to distract small boys. He would squeeze the toy to make it squeak and put it on the counter in front of the child. He would then cut some hair and put it on the toys head. He was a very nice man and had always lived in the area. He had a great knowledge of the area and was interesting to talk to.
Ref: 85 – A Look Down Memory Lane – “Philipsburgh Avenue”
The house beside Keegan’s shop is where the Keegan’s lived. The door into the house was at the side right enough, you had to go into the shop, and the door to the house was halfway down the shop. So the shop was probably added onto the house. Thinking back, when I was a kid there were many large houses on the road (Philipsburgh Ave.,) and they had huge back gardens. Most of them were knocked down. There was a large one beside Bushfield square, which burned down. It had been split into flats at that time. People who lived in Fairview years ago must have been wealthy to have such large houses. A bloke I know who lived on Philipsburgh Ave., said he was in England about 30 years ago and was dating an English girl; she introduced him to her granny or great-granny. The granny was delighted to hear he was from Fairview as she had lived there as a child. She said to him ‘oh Fairview was a lovely area, until they let those Catholics move in’! So I suppose most original residents were Presbyterian or Jewish!
Ref: 84 – A Fairview Recollection –
When I was a kid, I thought the counter in Keegan’s Shop was very broad, but maybe because I was small, I just thought it was. He had a little cake area/display at the entrance door on the counter. I remember Brophy’s too. It was mainly Mr. Brophy behind the counter when we went in. I remember he sold lucky bags so whenever we had the money we would buy one. I remember buying club milk bars there too. If you collected the labels, you sent off for a little doll. You needed something like eight labels for each little doll so as I never had money as a child I only managed to collect a few of the dolls. I asked my Mam about the Fairino (Fairview/Marino) musical society, this is what she said. It was run by Mrs Lynskey who was a Polish woman who lived in Turlough Gardens in Fairview. They performed many musicals such as ‘The Count of Luxembourg’. Generally, Mrs. Lynskey ran things but she did appear in one of the musicals. Three of the cast members were Lauri McGibney and her sister Aileen McGibney and Frank Coleman who was a beautiful singer and musician. Lauri and Aileen joined the musical society in about 1948. Many of the performances were in the Father Matthew hall. That is about all she remembers, but maybe if you put something about it on your site others may remember more. My mam said there used to be a cycling club in the area too. She was about 16 at the time so it would be the late 1940’s. She said teenage boys and girls would meet on a Sunday morning and would cycle to places such as Donabate one week or Portrane or Killiney or sometimes Greystones. It was a very long cycle. They would bring sandwiches and the boys would buy bottles of lemonade.
Ref: 83 – The War Years – Looking Back
I was seven years old and living in East Wall when WWII 2 started. It frightened me and I did not want to hear anything about it. In my head I imagined many soldiers on horseback fighting with swords, I did not know anything about tanks and guns. People came to the house to fit us for gas masks. I hated it; I thought I was going to suffocate. I asked them “how will you put a gas-mask on the baby” and they explained they would fit a plastic cover over the pram. There was an over ground air-raid shelter past the cinema near Amiens Street train station. It was on the same side of the road as the cinema. It was long and narrow with benches along each side. It was built on the path and was about the length of five houses side-by-side. Our parents warned us not to go into it when we were out playing in case there were weirdo’s inside. However, of course once we heard we were not to go into it, we wanted to. We would dare each other to run through it. It was pitch black inside and had a door at either end. I do not know if there were lights in it at night. It was there for a long time after the war ended. I also remember when they dropped the bomb on the North strand. We were in bed asleep when it fell. Everyone got up and went outside. It was strange seeing all the adults in their pyjamas. Our house had pull down roller blinds on the windows and with the force of the explosion, the blinds all rolled back up open. I also remember one of the neighbours went back into their house and started to play the piano, I do not know why, maybe they were in shock.
Ref: 82 – Shops of Yesteryear
Beside Rita’s fruit and veg shop was Keegan’s shop. Mr and Mrs Keegan lived there and they had four children (2 girls and 2 boys). They were really nice and friendly and sold everything. They had the house attached to the shop and a huge back garden. In the summer, they sold many bedding plants for your garden. Mr Keegan also had an interest in photography and he would take very professional photos of local kids in their communion clothes. On the other side of Rita’s shop was Lorenzo’s chipper, where Bombay pantry now stands. It was in the front room of a house. He would open each day at teatime. Beside the chipper were two houses and then Linksys shop – The Pear tree, where the Spar shop now is. Basil Lynskey and his wife ran the shop. His mother was involved in the Fairino musical society, (this was short for Fairview Marino).”
Ref: 81 – A Man of No Importance (1994) – Filmed in Marino 20 Years Ago –
It was twenty years ago this year when director Suri Krishnamma came to Marino to shoot some scenes for the film “A Man of No Importance”. A drama, comedy written by Barry Devlin, which went on to be nominated for two BAFTA Awards. The film had a host of stars including; Albert Finney, Brenda Fricker and Michael Gambon. The film also starred a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers who was born on July 27, 1977, in Dublin.
Ref: 80 – Fairview Grand Cinema – A Final Farewell 1929-2014 – January 11th 2014 New Video
The last of the cinema chairs were removed from the former Fairview Grand Cinema on Saturday 11.01.14. The cinema chairs were most likely the original fittings that were installed some 85 years ago. The Fairview Grand Cinema was opened in 1929 and has served the community up to the early 1990’s. One of the last blockbuster films shown in the Fairview Grand Cinema was JFK the movie by Oliver Stone (1991). The Fairview Grand Cinema was founded by Leonard Ging (WWI veteran) and was opened by Senator Alfie Byrne. The cinema or flicks, to this day is still extremely popular with Dublin people as a form of entertainment. With the advent of TV in the 1960’s, the arrival of Video’s in 1980’s and DVD’s in the 1990’s, herald the end of the reign of local cinemas in Dublin suburbs. After the Fairview Grand Cinema was closed down, it was bought by Buena Vista Ireland. Buena Vista Ireland used the Fairview Grand Cinema for movie preview screenings. However, in recent years it has been left idol. Tesco presently occupy the once ground floor of the Fairview Grand Cinema. A little known fact that James Joyce was instrumental in bringing this new art form to Dublin. Joyce was the Manager Director of Volta Picture Theatre, which opened on Mary Street in December 1909.
Ref: 79 – Christmas 100 Years Ago, Marino, and the 1913 Lock-out
Christmas Day 1913, a charity dinner was held on the grounds of the Croydon Estate for the families of the 1913 Lockout strikers. Three marquees were erected and approximately two thousand children were given Christmas dinner between 1pm-3pm. On leaving, the children were supplied with a toy and a choice between an apple and an orange. Later that day around 4pm, a number of adults were entertained and given a dinner. The 1913 Lock- out dispute lasted from the 26th of August 1913 to the 18th of January 1914.
Ref: 78 – Where Were You When Kennedy Was Shot! A Marino Man in Dallas 1963
In 1963, the late Fr. Hardy (Marino) was a priest in the parish of Elm in Dallas. I do recall many conversations with him regarding the shooting of J.F.K. He recalled passing Kennedy’s motorcade and later being interviewed by FBI agents that day. In vivid terms, he talked about the utter panic and chaos on the streets of Dallas. The idea that US president could be shot dead on the streets of a US city in 1963 was unheard of back then. He went on to say the feeling at the time was that Kennedy’s murder was a precursor to a nuclear attack or a military invasion of the US, America and the world went into shock. I think Fr. Hardy may have given a radio/news paper media report to RTE in 1963 but cannot be sure.
Ref: 77 – Murder of Detective G. Mordaunt – Donnycarney, the Arrest of Maurice O’Neill & Henry White (IRA) – October 1942
Detective Officer George Mordaunt was shot dead on the night of the 24th of October 1942 in Donnycarney at Number 14, Holly Road. Number 14 Holly Road was a known safe house for the IRA during the 1940′s. The house was under Garda surveillance that night and at 10 pm, Mordaunt and his colleagues entered 14 Holly Road, at this point two IRA men (O’Neill & White) left the house via the back passage lanes with their bicycles. The two men were fired on in a hail of gunfire by the Gardai. Mordaunt was killed in the exchange of gunfire. His body was found at 5 Oak Road. Maurice O’Neill was caught and White escaped. It was stated at the time that there was no direct evidence to link O’Neill to the shooting of Mordaunt. Maurice O’Neill was sentenced to death and was executed by a firing squad in Mountjoy Jail on the 12th November 1942. White escaped but was recaptured four years later in Derry. He was handed over to the Gardai. White was sentenced to hang on the 3rd January 1947. His lawyer Sean MacBride (a former IRA Chief of Staff) appealed the decision resulting in White’s sentence being reduced to manslaughter receiving a 12-year sentence. George Joseph Mordaunt (Detective Branch, Dublin Castle) was husband of Catherine (Kitty) Mordaunt of Casino Road, Marino.
For preserving our Local History, special thanks to TG4 who produced a thrilling documentary on this story, which was aired in 2013.
Mordaunt – October 24, 1942, at Dublin, George Joseph (Detective Branch, Dublin Castle) husband of Catherine (Kitty) Mordaunt, of Casino road Fairview, and son of Mary and the late John Mourdaunt, Crancour, Ballycanew, Gorey. Deeply regretted by his wife, son, mother, daughter, sister, and a large circle of friends R.I.P. Remains were removed from Jervis Street Hospital at 6 o’clock last (Monday) evening to the Church of St.Vincent de Paul, Marino. Funeral after 10 o’clock Mass to-day (Tuesday) morning to Mount Jerome Cemetery.
TG4 produced a thrilling documentary about this chapter in our local history, which was aired on August 22nd 2013.
Ref: 76 – Fairview Man Makes New Years Honours List – February 1953
The 1953 New Year Honours were announced on the 30th December 1952. The purpose of the New Years Honours List was to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1953. This was the first New Year Honours List since the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Wing Commander Hubert Patrick Connolly, D.F.C., A.F.M. (44636) 635 Sqn. Royal Air Force of Fairview received an A.F.C (Air Force Cross) at Buckingham Palace London. Wing Commander Hubert Patrick Connolly attended the ceremony with his wife and son Michael.
Ref: 75 – The Dublin & Monaghan Bombings – Marie Phelan (Fairview) Killed – May 1974
On Friday the 17th May 1974, a series of three car bombs exploded in Dublin City at rush hour, 5:30pm. The car bombs were located in Parnell Street, Talbot Street, and South Leinster Street. Some 90 minutes after the bombs exploded another car bomb exploded in county Monaghan killing nine people. 33 civilians died and 300 more were wounded in total. There were no warnings given. The Dublin and Monaghan bombings resulted in the highest number of causalities in what was known as the Troubles. Out of the 33 civilians that were killed that day, 26 were from Dublin. In the context of our local area, eleven people were caught up in the events of that day. Marie Phelan (Fairview) was killed in Talbot Street. Her name is listed third from the top on the memorial stone in Talbot Street. She was just twenty years old, an employee of the Civil Service and a native of Ballyvooren, Woodstown, Co. Waterford. She was survived by her parents and two brothers. Ten other people from the local area (Marino, Ballybough, Clontarf, Drumcondra and Fairview) were injured and hospitalised that day.
Description Ref: 74 – The Post Office Telephone Service 1913
The list of telephone subscribers for the DUBLIN DISTRICT included a wide array of names and numbers back in 1913. All exchanges as a rule were kept open continuously, thus giving a “DAY and NIGHT” and a Sunday Service.
8:25a.m. – 8:25p.m. [Normal Week Day’s Hours]
8:55a.m. – 10:25p.m. [Normal Sunday’s Hours]
Midnight – 2:25 a.m. [Week Day’s]
Midnight – 2.25 a.m., 5.25 a.m. – 7.25 a.m. [Sunday’s]
8.55 a.m. – 10.25 a.m., 8.25 p.m. – Midnight [Sunday’s]
The following is a sample of some “Public Call Offices” from 1913.
Clontarf 195 – Hayes, Conyngham & Robinson Ltd – Fairview Strand.
Clontarf 11 – Bewely & Sons Grocers, Wine Merchants – Vernon Avenue.
Dublin 1658 – Byron, Patk., Family Grocer – 44 Ballybough Road.
Dublin 1782 – Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd. (Main Office) – East Wall.
Dublin 2340 – All Hollows College – Drumcondra.
Description Ref: 73 – Our Boys Magazine 1914 – 1990’s
The magazine “Our Boy’s” was circulated once a month to Christian Brother schools around Ireland, it was also sold in Irish communities in England, Australia, and America and even in India. The magazine would have short stories, prose, competitions, characters such as Kitty the Hare and daring tales of adventure. In its heyday the magazine had a circulation of 40,000 a month with an estimated readership of 100,000. Our Boy’s magazine was an institution in itself outselling other magazine in its day. The profits from the sales of Our Boys magazine went towards the upkeep of the Christian Brothers. The first edition hit the classrooms in September 1914. It was published by the Educational Company. Our Boy’s magazine was modelled on the British “Boy’s Own” magazine which was full of stories of adventure from the British Empire. The Boy’s Own magazine was intended to supply the newly evolving suburban middle class of Britain with suitable reading material that promoted British values which would prepare Britain’s youth for leadership in the field of military, church and business.
Description Ref: 72 – A Marino Recollection – 1885
The following is a recollection written in 1885 by former pupil recalls his time in Marino.
“I travel to Clontarf and enter a massive gate which bears on the pillar the motto, “Deo duce ferro comitante”, the motto of the Caulfields, Earl of Charlemont. The trees are aglow with Autumn tints, for the Sun shines bright; as I crush the grass under my footsteps by the path that leads to Marino House, years long dead rise up in my memory and I see once again a Countess glide from the French window into the pleasure ground, once again I visit the Grecian temple [Casino] in the Demesne where the great Earl had collected wonderful art treasures which not so long since, brought fabulous price at Christies. The great Earl! A wave of thought surges into my mind when I cross the threshold of that time honoured mansion. Once Grattan, Flood and Curran stood where I stand now; once where I kneel before the altar of the little chapel, they chattered and we were happy with the noblest ladies of the day”
Description Ref: 71 – Civil War Murders; Holohan, Rodgers & Hughes (Drumcondra) – October 1922
In October 1922, members of the Free State Army (Pro Treaty faction) arrested three youths from Drumcondra at the Junction of Clonliffe Road and Jones’s Road. The three youths had set out just after 10:30 pm to post their anti treaty leaflets. Under a blanket of fog Edwin Hughes (17), Brendan Holohan (17) and Joseph Rogers (16) made their way up Clonliffe Road towards Drumcondra. They were stopped by Free State officers who had spotted them whilst driving down Clonliffe Road towards Ballybough. The three youths were questioned and taking away. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found the next day near a quarry at the Red Cow in Clondalkin. There was evidence that the three youths were brutally tortured prior to their death. The relatives of Brendan Holohan still live in the local area to this day.
For preserving our Local History, special thanks to RTE who produced a thrilling documentary called “My Civil War” which was aired in December 2012, marking the 90th anniversary of the Irish Civil War. The relatives of Brendan Holohan still live in the local area to this day.
Description Ref: 70 – Civil War Murders – The Murder of Emmet McGarry (7) Fairview – December 1922
In December 1922 members of an Anti Treaty Unit (Republicans) approached the family home of Sean McGarry (TD) on Philipsburgh Avenue (southern end/Fairview Church) the night before the first sitting of the Provisional Government, claiming to have a special delivery letter for Sean McGarry (TD). The Anti Treaty Unit forced their way into the house, dosed the top half of the house, the stairwell, and ground floor with petrol, and set the house alight, in a deliberate act of arson. The only occupants in the house at that time were two women and two small children. The Anti Treaty Unit brutally treated the women, who had pleaded to them not proceed with the arson attack, as there were two small children asleep on the top floor of the family home. Both children (Emmet and Sadie) were rescued, however Emmet died shortly afterwards from horrendous burns.
RTE produced a thrilling documentary called “My Civil War” which was aired in December 2012, marking the 90th anniversary of the Irish Civil. The relatives of Sean McGarry still live in the local area to this day.
Description Ref: 69 – Sale of Croydon House Dispute – April 23rd 1913
In August of 1913, Thomas Picton Bradshaw [P] took P. O’Byrne and Eileen O’Byrne [D] to court in an effort to seek to rescind the sale of Croydon Park House and its lands. The lands and house were purchased in October 1912 for £1,450 – for which a deposit was paid. The property consisted of two parcels, Croydon House which was seated on 4 acres, 2 rods and 7 perches of land and the surrounding lands, which consisted of 18 acres 0 rods 36 perches. Croydon House was leased for 45 years from 1903 at rent of £30; the land was leased for 43 years from 1906 at a rent of £60. The plaintiff’s case of misrepresentation was dismissed with cost awarded against him. One of the lessors of the Estate was Mrs. O’Connell. Croydon House was demolished in 1926 to make way for the last phase of the Marino Housing Scheme. The Croydon Estate “roughly” consisted of Shelmartin Avenue, Shelmartin Terrace, Croydon Park (Top Circle), Croydon Park Avenue, Croydon Green, Philipsburgh Terrace, Fairview Avenue and Marino Park (bottom circle).
Description Ref: 68 – Annadale Housing Estate – Jan 29 1952
Some 36 years after the building of Marino Housing Scheme, the Annadale Housing Estate was built at the Griffith Avenue end of the Philipsburgh Avenue. 204 houses were built on a tenant purchase scheme. Over 700 applicants were presented to the Dublin Corporation Housing offices in Jan 1952. A married couple with no children could apply but preference was given married couples with large families provided they met certain qualifications. The applicant must be in position to put down a £50 deposit, pay all legal fees and have an outgoing of £2 per week.
Description Ref: 67 – Church Aid – Jan 22 1906
The idea of getting musicians together to raise money for a charitable cause is not a new concept. In 1905, a variety concert was held in St. Mary’s School in Fairview to raise money for improvements and upgrades to Fairview Church and St. Mary’s School – the boy’s of the OBI (O’Brien Institute) choir performed choral and solo singing in English and Irish. The conductor of the choir was Mr. Vincent O’Brien.
Description Ref: 66 – Military Raids – Fairview, North Strand, & Clontarf – September 1920
In the turbulent years after 1916 and leading up to the Civil War, military and police, raids around Dublin City were a common occurrence. In September of 1920, extensiveness raids were carried out around Dublin City in the early morning hours.
The raid list included;
- Gaelic League H.Q. in Ruthland Square
- Offices of “Young Ireland” publication the only Sein Fein publication at that time,
- Premises of Mr. M. H. Gill & Son in O’Connell Street (Publisher of a Catholic Journal),
- Clontarf Town Hall
- Finldaters Pub (AKA, Republican Bar)
- Two houses in James’s Street which were the meeting places of Sein Fein
At two o’clock in the morning, arrests were made at the Clontarf Town Hall where the two sons of the caretaker (Mrs. Maginn) were arrested. Also included in the raids were 115 and 107 Seville Place (North Strand). Cannon Petits residence in Fairview and Mr. C. Denvir of 28 St. Lawrence’s Road in Clontarf whose son fought in the World War I, was also raided.
Description Ref: 65 – The Sad Tragedy at Melrose Avenue – 1905
This is a tragic story of a woman suffering from post partum depression. Many women suffer from anxiety, depression, or various emotional upsets after a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant death or other perinatal losses. On Monday February 13th in 1905, a very sad tragic event took place in Melrose Avenue. Mrs. Hughes a wife of a Sea Captain who was stationed in Singapore took her own life. That Monday night Mrs. Hughes retired to bed with her two young children. In the early hours of Tuesday morning between 6 am and 7am, one of her children awoke to find her mother had gone from her bed. The child searched the house and found her mother in the top back room of the house lying on the floor in her nightclothes. There was a six-chamber revolver with two discharged cartridges beside her body. There was a visible burn mark near the heart region. Dr. Bewley a neighbour of Mrs. Hughes attended the scene and confirmed that she had been dead for several hours. Mrs. Hughes had been in a delicate state for several months after losing a child at birth. She had visited her sister on Sunday the 5th February and was in good spirits – on leaving, she said, “I don’t feel very fell, there is something the matter of with me, but I do not what it is”.
Description Ref: 64 – Curious Skull Uncovered in Fairview – September 1896
The talk of the town in September 1896 was about some workmen who came across curious human remains whilst laying a drainpipe on the site of the former “Big Gun Tavern” at Merville Avenue. The human remains were buried approx. six or seven feet down in the ground and located several yards from a house near the roadside. On removal, some of the bones shattered into “dust”. The skull was “abnormally” thick but was perfectly preserved. The remains were brought firstly to the police station at Ballybough then onto the county coroner. The coroner decided not hold an inquest. The remains were later interned in a cemetery. The “Big Gun Tavern” was derelict in 1896 after an accident left it in ruins. Who was this person? There are a few hints in the text if you look close enough.
Ill health, it was noted that the skull had abnormal thickness, it was said at the time that the person was of considerable strength, (a deduction most likely based on the skull thickness) which may give the impression of some form of a “giant” or perhaps an “ancient warrior”. The truth may be less mysterious and less glorious. The “abnormal skull thickness” is a feature of a disease known as pachycephaly. The symptoms of this disease would of been; osteoporosis, fragile bones, fractures and osteomyelitis. It was stated that the bones “shattered into dust” (low bone density & decay) during removal, whilst the skull lower and upper jaws were “perfectly” preserved uneven decay. The person most likely suffered from ill health all his or her life.
The Burial, the remains were buried 6 or 7 feet in the ground, which would suggest a ritual organised burial performed by a community. Time line, the first church in the area prior to the present day Fairview Church was located a short distance from the burial spot. The person may have been from the local area, the son, or daughter of a farm labourer or a monastic worker. The date most likely pre dates the building of the “Big Gun Tavern” and post dates 1600’s. This was a time when the area was “totally” rural with no trams, just mud lanes and handful of farm labourers.
One other possibility is that the person was an inmate of “St. Vincent’s Lunatic Asylum” (as it was known at the time) located on Richmond Road. However the hospital was opened in 1857 and it unlikely that they would bury a person beside a busy road with trams and carriages – not very Victorian.
Description Ref: 63 – Athletics Race from Marino Crescent to Howth Race – February 1902
During the 1900’s “The City of Dublin Walking Club” held many walks and athletics events. One such event was held on Friday 24th of February in which the participants raced from Marino Crescent to Howth. Mr. T. W. Murphy the Hon. Secretary was in charge of the race, his duties included setting handicaps and arranging a break meeting half way through the race to give competitors the option of retiring. Marino House was used as a changing room by the competitors. The race finish line was set at Claremont Hotel in Howth. The owner of the hotel provided his “spacious baths” at the disposal of the competitors. Dinner was held later that evening followed by a smoke concert.
Smoke concerts were popular in the Victorian era; essentially, they were concerts for men only, namely held in hotels. The social occasions were used to introduce new musical forms to the public; also, men could smoke and speak of politics whilst listening to live music. Although obsolete now “smoke concerts” were held in the Imperial College in London in the 1980’s.
Description Ref: 62 – Vitriol and Manure Works Fire – Ballybough Bridge – March 3rd 1890
The present day block of flats located beside the Luke Kelly Bridge (Ballybough Bridge) was once the site of Vitriol and Manure Works owned by the Dublin and Wicklow Company. In 1890, a fire started accidentally which caused considerable damage. The vitriol works covered a large part of the property, including stables (four horses and fodder) and other storage areas. It was from this area that the fire started from. An employee named Mr. Finlay was branding bags with black varnish, which contained naphtha, in the olden days this was term used for petroleum, or petroleum based products such as pitch (naft, Arabic for Petroleum). 5,000 bags had arrived on March 2nd 1890; no doubt, Mr. Finlay was under some pressure to complete the job. It was understood that the cause of the fire was a result of a fallen candle used by Mr. Finlay, which had landed on some bags.
A watchful Sergeant Curly from the Fairview Police station noticed billows of smoke coming from the factory. Six of his colleagues from the Fairview Police Station attended the fire until the fire brigade came from Summer Hill. The fire broke out around 6:45pm and the firefighters arrived about 15 minutes later to find the flames reaching about 100 ft high. At this point in time, the fire had extended to other areas of the property; many of the sheds had asphalt roofs. The fire brigade’s main objectives were to stop the fire reaching the vitriol works. Heroically the fire brigade used over 3,000 feet of water hose from various points (Annesley Place, Ballybough Road, and the North Strand). By 9pm the fire was extinguished, a section of the fire brigade stayed on the location until mid-night. They had received an emergency call around 9pm regarding a fire in Charlotte Street, they quickly mobilized only to find it was a chimney fire, they returned to Ballybough. Members of the insurance company London Liverpool Global Insurance and Norwich Union were quickly on the scene. It was estimated that the damages could range up to £5,000.
In the 1700’s and 1800’s the Irish Chemical industry was a minor affair, there was a handful of chemical industries located in Dublin. The Vitriol and Manure factory located at Ballybough Bridge was a substantial operation. Vitriol was another name for sulphuric acid, which was used in the bleaching of linen cloth during the nineteenth-century. With the coming of “slaked lime” in the manufacture of bleaching powder replaced the use of vitriol. Because of this, all three vitriol works in Dublin were closed down by the early twentieth-century. Around the 1850’s the manufacture of artificial manures first began in Dublin by W. & H.M. Golding Ltd. Goulding manufactured superphosphates using bones which were reduced to powder in crushing mills and then dissolved in sulphuric acid.
James Joyce mentions the Vitriol & Manure Works in Ulysses (Chapter 15) “by the offensively smelling vitriol works did he not pass night after night by loving courting couples to see if and what and how much he could see?”
Description Ref: 61 – Competition to Design Fairview Park – Nov 1915
In 1915, the forward thinking cleansing committee of the Dublin Corporation held an open competition to design the layout of the proposed reclamation of the slob lands at Fairview into a spacious public park. The total area of the reclaimed land was set at 55 acres with 2 acres set aside for a lake and 9 acres for an athletic track. A pedestrian pathway from Annesley Bridge end of the park to the Howth Road end was also to be incorporated into the basic design. The entire arrangements of the park were open to nine competitors to design. The Municipal Council awarded prizes £50 for the first prize, £10 for the second and £5 for the third prize.
Under competition rules, the design entries were not signed. Each entry was accompanied by a sealed envelope with a corresponding number. Selection was made by (*) Frederick Moore, the curator of the Botanic Gardens and the City Architect. 1st Prize – Messrs William Power and Co., Landscape Gardens, Kings Street, Waterford 2nd Prize – Mr. Horace T. O Rourke, Lytlcholme, Cabra, Road, Dublin. Third Prize – Miss Henrietta C. Tuke, 8th Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin. In 1915, there were no immediate plans to reclaim the slob lands. The Cleansing Department felt considerable savings could be made by future planning i.e. agreeing on the design prior to the commencement of work. These plans were interrupted by two World Wars and of course the 1916 Rising and Civil War. The Park was built many years later after 1915 with the initial design features scaled down.
(*) Frederick Moore was born in Glasnevin in 1857, he was the eldest son of David Moore, who first noted potato blight in Ireland at Glasnevin on 20th August 1845 and predicted that the impact on the potato crop would lead to famine in Ireland. Frederick Moore was responsible for turning the Botanic Gardens into one of the great gardens of the world; he was knighted for his services to horticulture.
Description Ref: 60 – Fairview Carnival – Records Number Attend 70,000 – May 1934
In May 1934, the Fairview Carnival attracted a record number of visitors close to 70,000 people from all over Dublin. The carnivals were hosted annually in Fairview Park as fundraisers for the new church and two schools built on Griffith Avenue. The Hungarian showman Mr. B. H. Singer organised the Fairview Carnival’s. Singer’s Carnival at the time was the largest circus in Ireland. Some of the attractions you might see at the carnival were the Giant Wheel, Water Chute, Aero Cars and Dodgems. For the first time in Ireland the world famous “Mickey Mouse Circus”, featuring 100-trained mice went on show at the carnival.
Description Ref: 59 – Fairview Carnival – Pigmy Horse & Giant Pig on Display – May 1924
One of the attractions at the 1924 Fairview Carnival held at Fairview Park was a “Pigmy Horse” and a “Giant Pig” which ate; four cases of apples, 16 cabbages, 7 buckets of milk and various quantities of crushed grain and a generous supply of turnips daily!
Description Ref: 58 – The Fairview Regatta – Aug 1879
In 1879, one of the entertainment features of the ‘Yatch & Boating Season’ was the Fairview Regatta, which was arranged by the locals of Clontarf. The Fairview Regatta took place between Annesley Bridge and Marino Crescent on the 11th September. Today we still have the Clontarf Yatch & Boat Club. In a historical context, the Regatta was held a few weeks after apparition at Knock. One of the largest and most popular rowing regattas is the Henley Royal Regatta held on the River Thames, England.
Description Ref: 57 – Building Strike at the Marino Housing Scheme – Aug 1924
In 1924, the building strike entered its 9th week at the Marino Housing Scheme. 300 workers (Irish Workers Union) marched through the streets of Dublin wearing their RED HAND badges and displaying cards and banners with the inscription “December 1923” and “Remember 1913.” Funds were raised to support the family of the workers on strike.
Description Ref: 56 – Home before Midnight – Curfew Night! – Feb 1920
At midnight on Monday 23rd of February 1920, there was a curfew in the DMP area of Dublin authorised by the Military Authority of the time. The evening was cold and foggy. The theatre population of Dublin continued to attend their plays. Dublin Corporation workers ceased working at 11pm. Small traffic lamps were put on the standards along the tramlines. At 11:30pm the street gas lamps were extinguished, the only streets lit up were the streets that had tramlines; otherwise, the city was in complete darkness. The regular trams and wagons, which were drawn over the tramlines after midnight to bring the city, refuse to the slob lands in Fairview and elsewhere were ceased. By midnight, Dublin was silent and eclipsed by the curfew. Weather wise by midnight it was a clear cold starlit night with a new crescent moon.
Description Ref: 55 – Clean Your Walls Please! – Dec 1922
A curious event happened on Thursday 21st December in 1922; men wearing normal civilian clothing approached several shopkeepers in Fairview. They were given a deadline to remove numerous Sein Fein logos and inscriptions off the walls in Fairview. A painter was approached, but decided to consult his union before carrying out the work. The walls were cleaned by some local people from Fairview by nightfall.
Description Ref: 54 – Slow Down Mr. Henderson! – May 1924
At midnight on Saturday May 10th, Mr. Leo Henderson from Windsor Villas was involved in a motorbike accident. Mr. Henderson motorbike collided with a car at the junction of Capel Street and Ormond Key. Mr. Henderson was brought to the Mater Hospital; he was diagnosed with a compound fracture of the left leg, broken collarbone, and injuries to the head.
Description Ref: 53 – The Tale of the Angry Bull – October 1904
An infuriated bull who was due to board a steamer to go to Liverpool at the North Wall in Dublin made a break for freedom. In a determined fashion, the angry bull broke from the cattle shed past the drover Michael Kelly, who was herding the animals onto the steamer bound for Liverpool. The bull galloped up the Wharf Road knocking anything that got in his way. On reaching Annesley Bridge, the bull attacked a Mrs. Chandler (Addison Road) causing serious injury to her head and neck. She was brought in an unconscious state to a neighbour’s house. When after a short time an ambulance took her to Jervis Street Hospital, she was treated for her injuries. The determined bull continued his break for freedom and galloped down the North Strand, chased by three constables and some locals. In haste, the bull ran into an electrical pole and fell to the ground. The bull was escorted back to the North Wall by some drovers. The bull however had missed the steamer, which had already left.
Description Ref: 52 – Fairview Man Shot Dead At Bazaar – 1903
Mr. Charles Haise of Melrose Avenue was shot accidentally at a bazaar held at Sackville House in Dublin. Mr. Haise was the general secretary of the Preysberterian Association. Mr. Haise stood a few yards to the left of a shooting target. A couple yards away two brothers (Binnie’s) were attending the shooting gallery and accidentally fired a shoot. Mr. Hayes was shot through the neck, he staggered for a sort while bleeding from the mouth, but died shortly afterwards. The jury at the inquiry returned a verdict of accidental death.
Description Ref: 51 – Lead Pipes For Sale – Nein Danke! Marino – Deutsch-Verbindungen – September 1926
During the harsh economic times of the 1920’s, the construction of the Marino Housing Scheme provided rich pickings for unwanted guests. Marino during this period was essentially a construction site with piles of timber, lead piping, and other various building materials stored in fields. Walter Pearon (no fixed abode) illegally removed 30 feet of three quarter lead piping and 40 feet half inch piping for re-sale without the consent of the owners (Mr Paul Kossel/German Building Construction Company). Pearon presented the lead piping to a shop in Gloucester Street for re-sale. He was quizzed about the source of the lead piping to which he replied that it came from the Marino Houses. He also stated that he had taking lead piping on previous occasions. At his trial Guard Harte gave evidence and stated that for some time there, was lead piping illegally removed. In 1926, the last phase of the housing construction took place on the Croydon Estate. The lead piping was used for water distribution to the houses; the houses were built of mass concrete.
Kossel was famed for his pioneering works in developing concrete. Kossel developed “Kossel Slag Concrete” by using leftovers from industrial production processes and adding it to concrete in order to improve its thermal insulation. The Kossel slag concrete became popular as a form of new construction material in the modern movement of the 1920’s. In 1920, Paul Kossel built a concrete hull vessel called the “PAUL KOSSEL”, it was designed on the basis logic that there would be a shortage of steel and iron following the war years. Kossel “concrete” vessel did not enjoy commercial success. His concrete ship was sold 1932, over the years the ship went through several modifications as tug, barge, and a fishing boat. It is housed in the outdoor area of the German Maritime Museum since 2009. In 2003, Paul Kossel works were honoured in a special exhibition in the Westphalian Industrial Museum brickworks in Lage (Lippe) in Germany.
Description Ref: 50 – The Great Hurricane – March 1903
In 1903, a fierce hurricane measuring over 90 miles swept across Ireland leaving a trail of destruction with houses being blown down, roofs, roof tiles, and walls being decapitated by the hurricane. In the Phoenix Park, several fine timber trees were uprooted. The “cross channel steamers” were exposed to high seas, but all arrived safely with no loss of life. Many people in Dublin took shelter in Police Stations in fear of their own homes collapsing under the strength of the hurricane. Lead measuring 10 cwts was blown of the roof of the Four Courts; the Matter Hospital had several windows and shutters smashed with damages estimated at £100.
The Model Farm in Glasnevin suffered damage. The Holy Faith School in Glasnevin also suffered damages, with roof slates, coping and ornamental work all swept away by hurricane. On Clonliffe Road, a partition wall of 12 ft high separating the college from a private residence collapsed at midnight. About 20 to 25 Elm Tree’s that had falling blocked the road to Santry from Drumcondra.
Back in Fairview a partition wall of a house collapsed exposing the inside elements of the house to the public. The grounds of the Christian Brothers were strewn with uprooted trees. At Haddon Road, Clontarf the boat slip was swept away. Perhaps the most uplifting story happened on Sea field Road. A tree fell and crashed through the roof of a lodge house cottage in the grounds of Mr. Ellingham’s residence. Inside the lodge, there was an elderly brother and sister (Doran’s) aged in their 80’s. The roof debris, slates, roof tiles, joist fell on top of them, as they lay in their beds. They stayed there until daybreak. Visitors were astonished to find the old woman on a stool outside the cottage gleefully describing how she could see starlight all night, through the rubble that lay on top of her.
Description Ref: 49 – The Great Storm – Edges Windows Blown in – Jan 1920
Adverse weather conditions were a common sight at the turn of the 20th Century; flooding and high storms were the order of the day. One fierce storm started in the early morning hours of the 27th of January 1920. A strong southeasterly gale measuring over 70 miles an hour rocked the east coast, causing a trail of destruction and death. People travelling to work in Fairview and Clontarf were hampered by the adverse weather conditions. A tenement house No.85 Railway Street collapsed. Fifteen people including four children escaped unharmed. Clanwilliam house, which figured in the 1916 Rebellion, fell to her knees and surrendered to the Great Storm. The house was reduced to a pile of bricks and rubble.
Two boys from Seville Place (North Strand) Thomas Moran (14) and Francis Kehoe (14) were hit by a falling tree in Artane whilst on their way to the Industrial School. As a result of their injuries Thomas Moran died, Francis Kehoe suffered spinal injuries but survived. Michael Farrell who lived at Annesley Avenue was blown off an engine tender and suffered some minor injuries. All these storm victims were treated in the Mater Hospital Dublin. The plate glass windows of Mr. E. Edge Hardware at Fairview corner were blown in. Exposed areas such Clontarf and Fairview saw many houses suffering from severe storm damage. We are pleased to say that Edges Hardware despite the Great Storm of 1920 and several recessions is still operating to this day at the same location. The shop’s interior has maintained all the charm of a shop from that era.
Description Ref: 48 – Fairview Church Golden Jubilee – Jan 1905
Sunday 15th January saw the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of Fairview Church also known as the Church of the Visitation. The occasion was celebrated with a Solemn High Mass, presided by the Most Rev. Dr. Walsh. The High Mass was attended by a large congregation, which was sung by the Very Rev Cannon Murray, P.P. The proper of the Mass (Gregorian chant) was sung by students of Holy Cross College Clonliffe. The boys of the OBI sang Kyrie, Gloria, and Angus Dei. Rev J. Conmce, S.J. preached the Jubilee sermon. After the Jubilee Mass, a meeting was held Rev. Father Petit read out a report outlining the object of the meeting and what was necessary to complete the church, which included the enlargement of the sacristy, the painting of the interior of the church and the installation of a heating system. The estimated cost was projected at £1,150. The parishioners would meet this cost. With the swelling of the population in the district, there was an urgent requirement for a new school. However, a suitable site and a sufficiently long lease could not be found at the time to build a new school. Rev. Father Petit proposed building a temporary school to meet the needs of the infant school.
The Bishop of Canea proposed that a practical way to mark the Jubilee would be to complete the enlargement of the sacristy, the painting of the interior of the church and the installation of a new door. The district and church had grown during the first 50 years and stone was to be placed by the people of the district to mark the progress of the last 50 years. The Archbishop paid tribute the OBI Boy’s choir who sang during at the High Mass. On the motion of Sir Joseph Downes, seconded by Abraham Lyon, a subscription list was opened and a large volume of money was subscribed. The Archbishop of Dublin promised to meet half the cost of the completion of the sacristy and the painting of the church. On the motion of Mr. Harrington, seconded by Dr.cox, the Lord Mayor moved to the second chair and a cordial vote of thanks was passed to the Archbishop for presiding the meeting.
In a historical context, the Jubilee was celebrated in the same month and year that a group of workers marched to the Czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to make their demands. The Imperial forces opened fire on the demonstrators, killing and wounding hundreds. Strikes and riots broke out throughout the Russia in an outraged response to the massacre.
Description Ref: 47 – I.C.M Wooden Hall “Lantern Meetings” – Jan 1905
The I.C.M Wooden Hall on Philpsburgh Avenue hosted regular what was called “lantern meetings” starting around 8pm in the cold dark winter evenings. They discussed literature of the day such as Alice Somerton’s Torn Bible or Hubert Best Friends published in 1882.
Description Ref: 46 – JFK Concert Hall at Marino? – Aug 1968
In 1968, Mr. Mervin Wall the chair of the Arts Council suggested at an RTE Press conference, that a site for the proposed JFK Concert Hall had been selected at Marino. He asked the then RTE Director General T.P. Hardiman was there any provision made for RTE to use the Hall, to which he replied that he had no knowledge that a site had been selected.
Description Ref: 45 – 10 Marino Crescent – Sold for 10,000 punts – 1975.
The Crescent is a group of late Georgian style houses located at the end of the Malahide Road. A painter named Folliot who took a dislike to Lord Charlemont built the Crescent in 1792. Folliot built Marino Crescent to block Lord Charlemont’s view of the sea from both the Casino and Marino House. At the time, it was considered the biggest spite fence/row in Europe. A couple of doors up from 10 Marino Crescent is the house where Bram Stoker was born. The Crescent was built in the shape of a crescent moon. 10 Marino Crescent was held under lease for 150 years from March 1843 and went for sale in 1975 for a whopping £10,000.
Description Ref: 44 – Tram & Car Accident Clontarf – May 1907
Road accidents were as much of a feature in the early part of 20th Century as they are today. Thomas McCann suffered concussion of the spine when a TRAM hit his CART at Clontarf. Mr. McCann was thrown onto the road and was admitted to Jervis Street Hospital.
Description: Ref: 43 – North Dublin & Fingal Farming Society – September 1863
In 1863, the annual show of cattle, horses, swine, sheep, and agricultural produce was held in a field adjoining Swords Castle. Special guests included; Lord Talbot de Malahide, Lord St. Lawrence, the Hon R J Talbot, HH Woods, Esq, Charles Cobbe, Esq, Thomas Butler, Esq, J P; and Richard O’ Grady, Esq,. The North Dublin & Fingal Farming Society was a popular and prosperous society one of the many local agricultural societies. In previous years, the tenant farmers of the area were reluctant to recognise its merits. In 1863, the number of tenant farmer entries “dramatically” increased. The Royal Agricultural Society offered prizes to the amount of £40, which were distributed in Medals to the amateur class, and “money” to the tenant farmers. New wooden piers were erected that year for the sheep; a large enclosed space was designated for the horses and in the marquees root vegetables and butter were put on display;
Section 3: Best bull of any other breed
First Class Silver Medal 1st- 1st Prize
Earl of Charlemont, Marino, Fairview, Clontarf, Devon Bull – Young Richard
Section 4: Best short horned cow or heifer of any age, in calf or with calf at her foot
2nd Class Silver Medal –2nd Prize
Earl of Claremont , Marino, Fairview, Clontarf – Eva
Section 5: Best cow or heifer of any other breed, in calf or with a calf at her foot
1st Class Silver Medal – 1st Prize
Earl of Charlemont, Marino, Fairview, Clontarf, North Devon Heifer – Ruby
Section 6: Best short horned heifer in calf or in milk, calved on or after 1 January, 1861
1st Class Silver Medal – 1st Prize
Earl of Charlemont, Marino, Fairview, Clontarf – Lady Monck
Section 7: Best heifer of any other breed, calved on or after 1st January 1861
1st Class Silver Medal – 1st Prize
Earl of Charlemont, Marino, Fairview, Clontarf, South Devon heifer – Young Beauty
Description: Ref: 42 – Explosion at HCR Chemist, Fairview Corner – July 1901
A young assistant named Colin McFarlane was working in the “drug hall” i.e. Hayes Cunningham and Robinson (HCR Chemist – formerly TSB at Fairview Corner). Whilst he was ﬁlling, a methylated spirit lamp the ﬂuid dropped onto the wick, which was assumed to be extinguished. The fluid exploded causing serious wounds to the head and face; he was taken to Jervis Street hospital. The HCR logo to this day can be seen on the roof of the former TSB Bank beside Edges Hardware in Fairview.
Description: Ref: 41 – Féte’s CY Philipsburgh Avenue – June 1924
Fétes and Carnivals were commonplace in Marino and Fairview from the 1920’s. Annual Carnivals were held in Fairview Park to raise funds for the new Schools and Church on Griffith Avenue. In 1924, Cannon Petit (Fairview Church) opened up a Féte in the Annadale grounds, present day CY on Philipsburgh Avenue. There was a wide variety of attractions at this particular Féte including; Ballroom, Ceilie, Cafe Chantant, Wireless Concert, American Lounge, Hobby Horses, Joy Wheel, Golf and Tennis Competitions, Ireland’s Own Band, Laurence O’Toole Band, Dublin Metropolitan Band, St. James Band and the Irish Transport Union Band.
Description: Ref: 40 – Pub Shooting in Fairview – March 1920
In March of 1920, there was armed burglary at 12 Fairview Strand (formerly Coles/Barony Pub). The owner of the Pub (Mr. Curtain) was shot in the neck after defending his property; he was rushed to the Mater Hospital. Two men gained access into the Pub in the early hours of Sunday morning by climbing up a neighbour’s drainpipe up onto the flat roof of the Pub. The intruders broke a window and entered the parlour room. However, a new lock was installed on the door the previous week. They dislodged the new lock and entered Mr. Curtain bedroom.
Mr. Curtain was awoken with all the noise and was confronted with two mask men carrying revolvers. They demanded the keys to the safe. Mr. Curtain refused; his wife was sleeping down stairs and was awoken. She sent the servant to see what all the commotion was about. When the servant entered Mr. Curtain bedroom, she caught hold of one of the revolvers but the intruder grabbed her by the throat and threw her to one side. With this, she ran back to Mrs. Curtain room where the key of the safe was kept. She was followed by the intruders. Mrs. Curtain in a state of shock handed over the keys of the safe.
The intruders returned to Mr. Curtain room where he fought them, Mr. Curtain was shot in the neck. They took his gold watch and chain and escaped out the rear of the pub, across the fields, they never went near the safe. The residents on hearing the gunfire and learning that Mr. Curtain was shot, went to Fairview Corner and pulled the fire alarm. The Fire Brigade from Tara and Buckingham Street arrived in a short time. As one of the Fire escape from Buckingham Street pulled up, one of its horses fell dead on the street. A motor ambulance was called and arrived a short time later and took Mr. Curtain to hospital.
Description: Ref: 39 – WWI Roll of Honour Lt. John J Doyle – 1915
Lieutenant John J Doyle (died 10th August 1915) son of Mr. Christopher Doyle of Fairview, Clontarf was killed in action in the Dardenelles. He was in the sixth Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers; he was gazetted to the Battalion in January 1915. His memorial nameplate can be seen on a church seat in Fairview Church to this day, along with several other local people who fought in WWI.
Description: Ref: 38 – Local Lad’s Receive Bravery Awards -1945
John Cuthberston (Dublin Third Engineer) then aged 27 from Turlough Gardens was awarded Vellum for bravery by the Royal Humane Society for a saving the life of a ship’s fitter after a petrol tank exploded on their vessel in 1944. Parchments were also awarded to several other people who saved or attempted to save people from drowning including, Brendan Boland from Croydon Park Avenue, Marino who received a parchment.
Description: Ref: 37 – Human Bones Found! Slob lands – 1932
In 1932, a worker who was levelling the ground discovered a number of human bones including thighbones and a human skull in the Slob lands (Fairview Park). The “Civic Guards” examined the bones that evening. They assumed “Anatomists” used the bones for research, as the bones were quite old. The State Pathologist was also called in to solve this mystery. The bones were estimated to be 200 years old (circa 1732). The bones were removed to the City Morgue where the Coroner formally announced that there was no requirement for an inquest, there was an order for interment issued. The Slob lands are now present day Fairview Park, it inherited the name Slob lands as it was used as a city dump.
Description: Ref: 36 – Summer Hill & Ballybough
Summer Hill (Ballybough) was called “Farmers Hill” in the olden’ days. It was the old road to the sea. With the construction of Annesley Bridge in 1797, the focus moved away from Summer Hill/Ballybough Road, which was the primary transport route from the city to the coast. It is amazing to think if Annesley Bridge was not built; the development of Ballybough may have been altered from what it is today.
Description: Ref: 35 – “From Marino to South Africa”
I have really enjoyed the great descriptions of the activities around the Marino area in this section. I lived in the early to mid sixties in Shelmartin Avenue with my Grandmother. My brother and I played in “The Backers”, climbed lampposts and played football on the streets for hours. I also remember the Rag and Bone man who swapped balloons and shiny toys for clothes and other household “junk”. I also remember Mick the Coal man who had a horse drawn cart and the Premier dairies milkman also had a horse drawn cart. I do remember being sent for the “messages” to the Pear Tree and the butcher shop on Philipsburgh Ave for chops for the tea. I also remember the sticky out shop down on Fairview Green and getting a bus to Beaumont, which I thought, was very far away. We left Marino and moved out to Sutton in the late sixties and we adopted very well into the new estate lifestyle out there. I remember The Firm boot-boy gang and we had two gangs out in Sutton, the Yankees and the confederates.
Description: Ref: 34 – “WWII Dog Fight Over Marino”
I do recall my father telling me of a British RAF plane chasing a German plane (WWII) flying in the direction of Philipsburgh Avenue in a dogfight.
Description: Ref: 33 – “Lion – Escapes From Zoo 1950’s”
I have a recollection of a story I heard in school, about a Lion that escaped in Fairview. I understand there was a circus in Fairview Park, the main circus trucks and vans were on a plot of wasteland behind present day little sport; legend and folklore has it that the Lion escaped but was later captured.
Description: Ref: 32 – “Memory Lane Recollections” written 2003
The cost of the schools and church ran to £80,000 – the Department of Education gave £22, 000, the CBS £12,000 and a bank loan of £46,000 made up the rest; within three years, the persuasiveness of Canon Flanagan had reduced the debt to £10,000; In 1928 and even though Scoil Mhuire was not completely finished, it still opened on enrolment day; queues went all the way as far as the Malahide road. Some of the early priests of the parish included Canon Flanagan, Canon McArdle, Fathers Gilmartin, Piggott, Fitzpatrick, Casey, Crosby, Barrett, Menton, Byrne, Duffy, John Murphy, Thomas Grogan, and P. Scannell.
John McNamara was the first clerk of the Church. Earlier nuns included Sisters Cecilia, Therese, and Rita (Daughters of Charity). Brothers included Brother Fitzgerald in charge and Brothers Hegarty, Kelleher (‘Cheeser’), Whelan (‘Nin’), Slattery (‘Joxer’), McGrath and one nicknamed ‘Tarzan’. Confessions were held every Saturday and there were at least two seats full of children on each side of the confessional. The old boxes had curtains instead of doors.
In the early days of the Parish, there were two nurses midwives Nurse Early of Shelmartin Avenue and Nurse Lowry of Declan Road who looked after home births locally; they attended the Christenings and bathed babies for a few days while mothers were confined to bed. The nurses always knew the names of every child in Marino. In 1932 the Mortuary, Baptistery, and Our Lady’s Altar were added due to the generosity of Mrs. O’Donnell, Upper Drumcondra Road;
When the 1932 Eucharistic Congress was held in the Phoenix Park, Scoil Mhuire was used for its dormitories; surplus stock was sold off with beds making 5/- and dressing tables 2/6 ! There was monthly Solidality for boys and girls on Fridays at 8.00pm – those present were marked with a ‘P’ after payment of a fee of 1 old penny! Maryfleld College opened in 1945 while Ard Scoil Ris opened in 1972.
Description: Ref: 31 -The Backers 1940’s
In my early teens during the Emergency, myself and many other kids would amuse ourselves in the ‘backers’ between Croydon Park Avenue, Brian Avenue, Casino Road and Shelmartin Avenue. We used to build our own little trench down to about 6 feet with clay steps leading down into it and it was about 8ft long and 3 ft wide. These ‘backers’ had much rubbish in them and many old brass bed ends which were put over the trench; old rusted sheets of corrugated iron were then placed on top. Finally, clay was put over the top giving the impression of an air-raid shelter. Down in the shelter, and particularly at nighttime with a candle, we had great fun and many ghost stories were told, as some of the lads smoked the odd cigarette or butt.
Description: Ref: 30 – Tennis Croydon Park 1930’s (Top Circle)
Before the war, the tennis courts in the upper half of Croydon Park Gardens were always interesting, but unfortunately, I did not have the money required to use them. I often watched from the outside, as you could not get in because the courts were surrounded by 10-foot high wire. You really had to be working to-play there; the fee was an old sixpence or tanner. White shorts as well as white runners were a must. The old wooden pavilion (where new Scout building now stands) was where one changed. Mr Mc Guinness who lived in Croydon Gardens was responsible for the running and maintenance of the courts. During the emergency, the two circles were divided into plots; residents could apply for plots to grow potatoes and cabbage. After the war, football returned to the circles but, for whatever reason, the tennis courts never returned. Around both circles, before the present railings were fitted, four-foot wooden fences were tied with wire.
Description: Ref: 29 -Football Marino Park 1940’s (Bottom Circle)
Gaelic Soccer was always played in Marino Park and there were many great games. I remember Griffith Rangers and Haverty Rangers training there in the early 1940’s. I also recall watching football on the pitch used by the ESB Football club; this pitch was located near Annadale housing scheme, over towards Rosmini. Fairview Park was known as the ‘sloblands’ and the upper part, where the football pitches are now, was a dumping ground, this was very common.
Description: Ref: 28 – Street Games 1930’s & 1940’s
“Kick the can” and “relievio” were regulars and chasing down the back passages was great fun, we also tied thread to the lampposts to knock hats off people walking by! Many toboggans were made with tram wheels.
Description: Ref: 27 – Street Characters 1930’s & 1940’s
There was a woman who went around with balloons and sweets and, if you had two jam jars, you could get either sweets or balloons from her. There were many who had box carts and went around collecting horse manure for use on rose gardens.
Description: Ref: 26 – Dance Hall Tales – 1940’s
When I was sixteen or seventeen years, in the early 1940’s, I used go to the dances in the Carlton Hall every Sunday night. It was a Ceili and old time dance and it was great entertainment. The music was by Sean Gleeson who had a four-piece band; there might be up to 150 people at the dances and queues to get in first were common; admission was a half a crown. No alcohol was allowed and there was never a row, Sean Gleeson would be watchful, often he would shout down to stop if there was any hint of trouble!
Description: Ref: 25 – The Air Raid Dance 1940’s
At the beginning of the dance, the lads would be on one side, the girls on the other and as soon as the music started, there would be a rush from the male side. Later in the night, there would be a few ‘ladies choices’. The ‘air raid’ dance was great fun and offered spot prizes, areas were called out such as Marino, Fairview, Donnycarney or Clonliffe; the band played music like a plane was coming and the drummer played as if a bomb had landed. The name of an area was picked out of a hat and that area was considered ‘bombed’ and all those living there were eliminated from the dance; this continued until one group was left. The ‘snowball’ dance began with a lad going to the girls side, picking a girl and dancing; the next song saw two girls going to the lads side and getting two lads to dance, then four lads went to the girls side to select four females so the number of couples doubled with each song and thus the title of the dance. I hired out the hall a few times and held charity dances there; the hall cost two pounds and the band was four pounds but there was no need to worry about insurance charges in those days! As we got older, we graduated to the dances in the Fairview CYMS.
Description: Ref: 24 – Fairview Cinema 1940’s
The Fairview was a favourite meeting place, you paid 4p for the wooden and 7p for the cushioned seats with the entrance up the laneway on Fairview Avenue; you had to go early to queue and this was known as the four-penny rush. One person moving between two windows collected the entry fees. ’Movie time News’ and ‘Passing Parade’ were like documentaries. When the lights went out, there was absolutely mad screaming and shouting and we were often threatened with eviction by the usher; there was always a ‘follower up’ such as Buck Jones and Flash Gordon’s trip to Mars.
Description: Ref: 23 – Merville Dairies 1940’s
Merville Dairies used to deliver milk by horse and cart and I can remember as some kind of promotion, you received a block of ice-cream when you returned the newly made milk bottles — before that, milk was delivered in large cans and you paid for a jug full of milk.
Description: Ref: 22 – Marino Brass Band 1930’s
When aged seven, I can recall the band starting in 1934 and conducted by Thomas Devlin who had a large shed in his garden where they rehearsed. The band member went around on their bikes ringing their bells and then called to the houses to collect money to buy instruments. I can remember them playing at Canon Flanagan’s funeral and shortly afterwards at their founder’s funeral. The band members had a uniform similar to the scouts but had blue/navy beret instead of a cap. The Local Defence Force took over the band during the Emergency.
Description: Ref: 21 – Water 1930’s
The only drinking water pump I can recall in Marino was at the corner of Philipsburgh and Grace Park Terrace in front of a whitewashed cottage that became a shop called Mills. Behind the shop was a dairy and there was a stream running from the cottages there down along the inside of the path on Philipsburgh Avenue until you came to Ruthville the stream often flooded the wasteland where the Annadale housing scheme is now built. Behind Ruthville was a farm where you could buy vegetables and eggs; milk was always sold but you had to bring your own can.
Description: Ref: 20 – “Recollections – Opening of Marino Church” written 2003
This account is from a person who was born in 1918, as a child he was in the Westland Row/O ‘Connell’s Schools Boys Choir which sang at the opening of the Church. The one thing I remember most is that the entire inside of the church was unfinished and there were lumps of plaster hanging down between the yellow bricks that had not been scraped off by the plasterers, and here we were, up in the choir gallery watching the princes of the Church performing the official opening. I thought we were in the slums!
That is Bob’s abiding memory of the day. A remarkable man, he is now eighty ﬁve years young (2003) and was ten years when Marino Church was officially opened; these men are quite remarkable. Bob told me he was brought up in Ringsend but his love of sailing and the sea started when his father used bring him across the Bay each Sunday morning by boat to visit his Granny in Clontarf. Bob went to school in Westland Row CBS and his desk-mate was the one and only Jackie Carey of football fame. They had their own choir in the Row but, for the official opening of Marino Church, they had a joint choir with twenty boys from Westland Row CBS and another score from O ‘Connell’s; their tutor was Louis O’Brien whose older brother had been Count John McCormack’s early mentor and tutor.
On the Mass itself, he is not quite certain which one it was but either thought it was the sung mass of St. John the Baptist or St. Cecilia. Another abiding memory of the day Bob has was that, after the ceremony, which he felt was at least two hours long, the entire choir were marched from the gallery out to the sheds at the back of the Brothers school where they were provided with buns and Taylor Keith Lemonade. He was amazed to find that the sheds were still there when he visited the school lately. Bob thinks they may have been transported to the Church from the schools by the Garryowen bus company if it was not them, it was the ‘Silver King and Queen’ Bus Company vehicle which they loved as they had curtains on the windows many times inferior buses were allowed pass just so they could travel in style with the curtains drawn like royalty.
Bob also recalls playing Gaelic for Sandymount against St. Vincent’s – the pitch in use at that time was actually on Dolan’s farmland off Philipsburgh Avenue; he also said that a cousin of his, Fr. Dufficy, was a curate in Marino early on, but then moved to Hollywood in Wicklow as Parish Priest.
Description: Ref: 19 – “Garryowen Private Bus Company 1920’s” written 2003
Michael Madden (b. 1910 – d.?) his was father, Denis Madden, ran the Garryowen private bus company that served Marino in the 1920’s. Michael was eighteen when Marino Church was opened, he moved to Marino in 1956. The Garryowen bus company went from Marino into town and other locations like Cloghran and Santry in the North County. During the actual construction of our Church, Michael was a conductor on the Garryowen bus that brought the 10 to 12 plasterers from the Orion works on the North Strand to complete the plastering of the Church. Michael says they should be remembered as artisans from the way they approached and carried out their work. Michael would have loved to be a driver but one of the conditions for driving was that you had to be 20 years of age.
There was “brushes/broom” overhanging the wheels near ground level. These were attached to ensure that water did not splash up on to intending passengers or third parties. Very thoughtful indeed and, in addition, Michael says he was always first off the bus when it stopped to hold people’s hands and assist them alight; he would also always be last on the bus to make sure everyone was on safely and that no one was missed.
Michael was, and is, a great fan of Gaelic games and recalled that after he had achieved driver status, he was on a trip to Galway; they always had to bring their food with them as hotels would not cater for the proletariat if they travelled by bus, their only hope of getting fed would have been via at farmhouse with a shed. The shed was vitally important; a lack of one indicating that prosperity had not yet reached this particular dwelling.
Once, after being in Croke Park for an All Ireland match on the Sunday for the fine fee of two old shillings, Michael and his assistant were again travelling west the following day. They took their packed lunch and were eating at their stop near a farmhouse. Michael loved to read the Press reports of the matches and he was enjoying his lunch and the match report when the farmer came out for a chat and to enquire as to what date the paper was; aptly advised, back he went into the house and came out with a dozen fresh eggs to eventually clinch a winning barter with Michael for the paper, which at that time was worth only two old pence!
Michael’s father was also a very talented individual and invented the first six wheel articulated truck in Ireland; Garryowen Transport were also responsible for transporting the steel trusses from Dublin to Wexford for the new bridge over the Slaney in addition, Michael and his father had regular outings for the Orphanage in William Street; works outings for the likes of Kennedy’s Bakery in Drumcondra and the provision of transport and platforms for fundraising for the new development at Cappagh Hospital. A man who rises at 6.00a.m every morning, Michael then has a bowl of porridge and a cup of tea, does his housework and without fail, heads off for 7.45 Mass and Communion each morning in the Hampton Hermitage; he would put you to shame he is so fit.
As l was leaving, he explained that the tool he was using was a rechargeable, edging strimmer he had bought in Lidl in Germany years ago and it is still in excellent shape — just like its owner, God Bless him! He also gave me the following Chinese proverb, which is as relevant now as ever:
If there be righteousness in the heart.
There will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
There will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
There will be order in the nation.
When there is order in each nation,
There will be peace in the world.
Description: Ref: 18 – “Recollections – Shelmartin Avenue, Marino 1940’s” written 2003
Coming to live in Marino in the mid 40’s was a complete and utter change for our family. Dad had died, leaving Mam with six young children and a house, which we had to leave as it went with his job. Owing to the times that were in it, there were some anxious moments before we eventually secured our new home on Shelmartin Avenue. Eventually, the big day came and the Carr family were delighted to be home. Our first impressions were of the kindness and friendliness of our new neighbours.
As a widow with six children, including a baby of nine months, Mam was showered with offers of help and little gifts of home produce such as jam and currant bread; also offers to mind the younger ones if the need arose. Hardly had we moved in before the doorbell rang and we children were asked out to play; Shelmartin Avenue was full of large families and the road was our playground. It was quite safe, as only a rare car appeared, and the horses and carts were slow enough for us to dodge around.
All the usual street games of the time relievio, hopscotch, marbles, swinging on lampposts and of course football, seemed to be in permanent session unless the weather was bad enough to force us indoors. Whenever that happened, we fell back on our comics. The Dandy, the Beano and Roy of the Rovers were the boys’ favourites, while the girls went for the Girls’ Crystal, though I often caught my brothers reading it too when their own comics were exhausted! Between the upper section of Shelmartin Avenue, where we lived, and the lower section of Casino Road, was a large triangular piece of land, which was divided into allotments or plots as we called them.
These plots were allocated to any of the residents of both roads who wished to grow vegetables. When we moved in, most of the plots were still being cultivated, though some had fallen into disuse. These were a heaven-sent gift to the boys who used them to dig dens in, where they lit fires and cooked whatever food they could pinch from their mothers’ kitchens. Top favourite was potatoes, carefully removed from the cultivated plots without disturbing the foliage on top, and dropped into the heart of the fire to roast.
Many a diligent plotholder scratched his head in bewilderment as his hitherto healthy plants mysteriously drooped and died and yielded not a single potato when dug up. The plots were absolutely off limits to us girls and any of us caught there were sure of swift and awful punishment. A man’s world even then! In those pre-supermarket days, many of our daily supplies arrived on the horse drawn vehicles that plied Marino regularly. Bread, milk, vegetables, coal, and turf were all sold at the door, and of course, the boys delighted in seeing how long they could ‘scut’ behind before the irate driver discovered them and dislodged them with a backwards flick of his whip. Incidentally, the keenest and speediest gardeners seized upon any manure deposited by these same horses. No wonder their roses were the envy of the neighbourhood!
The Shelmartin Avenue of my youth was a safe and happy place in which to grow up. Everybody was struggling to make ends meet, but neighbourliness was never stinted because of a lack of money. I count myself lucky that I continue to live in the parish, and have no wish ever to move. Sure, where would you find the like of the people of Marino? May they always be as good and kind neighbours as they were to us when we arrived to live among them all those years ago.
Description: Ref: 17 – Newsletter -“Recollections – June/July 1968”
It is with a deep sense of shock that parishioners learned of the death of Father Donal Flavin whose death took place at the Bon Secours Hospital in the early hours of Thursday 30th May.
The Ladies Club reports a ‘make and model’ competition; judges were Mrs Smith and Mrs O’Byrne who were selected because of their fashion knowledge and because they had no connection with any of the entrants. The winner was Mrs McCahey who looked very chic in a black dress with a lace collar and cuffs; runner-up was Mrs Chambers who wore a very smart green dress/jacket in courtelle and third was Mrs Fox who modelled a lovely blue lace cocktail dress with a lace top.
Congratulations and many fruitful years in the ministry to both Tony Deans and Liam Moore of Marino, recently ordained.
Crescent Motors off the Malahide Road and specialists in preparing cars for sale or trading asks ‘why be without your car? Special night service by appointment!
Good Manners in Church — ‘do not cling stubbornly to the end of the bench; to do so may cause annoyance and inconvenience to others.
Newsletter -“Recollections – August/Sept 1968”
Weddings during Lent were arousing their own interest, as the old rule was that during Lent and Advent, weddings could not be solemnised. The new rule is that weddings are to be celebrated always during Mass and ‘that when this is done, the Nuptial Mass, with the special blessing is to be celebrated even during the closed season’.
Girl requires paid accommodation with family, which will take an interest in her socially.
Fr. Patrick Crowley was welcomed as the new Curate Editorial committee of this newsletter saw Brian Devenney as Editor; Fr. Sean Carey on Church Liaison; Richard Keogh, Sean Hayes and Brian McConnell all Editorial; Franks Creed, Distribution & Tom Kennedy, Printing/Advertising.
Description: Ref: 16 – Joe Blaney – Joey’s School Caretaker – 1961-1984 – written 1994
“Joe Blaney first became a care taker of St. Joseph’s School in 1961, and left his job in Jameson to work for a pound a week. During his time in Joey’s he has seen a great number of changes. When he first arrived, for example, there was only one lay teacher here, the rest being brothers. Today the situation is reserved, with only one brother now teaching in the school. When he began working here, he had to take care of all the three building and toilets, because before that toilets served all of Fairview were impossible. Joe was always a great supporter of the school football and hurling teams. He attended just about every match, cheering on Joey’s lads and his greatest treasure is a collection of newspaper clippings about the success of St. Joseph’s teams, which he has been collecting since he arrived. His support was deeply appreciated by both the teams and the teachers and it is a fitting tribute that the new changing rooms now bear his name. Joe was known far and wide as “shiny Joe” because of his instance that anyone who walked in the door be he Taoiseach or beggar, must wipe their feet on the mat.” It always help to keep the school cleans” explain Joe. The Brothers have always been very good to Joe(and they always wiped their feet) and they along with other teachers in the school visit him regularly, especially at Christmas because he has got lonely since his wife died .It’s nice to know that an almost legendary figure like Joe Blaney has not been forgotten.”
Description: Ref: 15 – George Colley Recollections – written 1994
When I heard of the sudden death of George Colley, memories of our long friendship from early childhood flooded back to me. We both “hailed” from the North Dublin Republican families and grew up together – his birthday was October 1925 and mine was September 1925. We sat together in Scoil Mhuire and Scoil Iosaif at that time. We studied, played football, and hurling, went to Ceilithe and on holidays together during all our school days and for some years afterwards. While he studied Law and became a solicitor and I studied commerce and became an accountant. When I set up an Accountancy Practice with Cathal Haughey in the 1950′s George’s firm, Colley & Moyland, attended to legal matters regarding our lease etc., and was our first client.
We were both enthusiastic “Gaelgeoiri” and supporters of Gaelic games. Scoil Iosaif we made the journey, by bicycle to Athy in 1945, to support the school in the Senior Final against St. Kieran’s, in Killkenny. With payers such as Pat Lawlor(6” 4′) as full forward , Paddy and Liam Donnelly , “Ra” Healy, George’s brother, Ger, and my brother, Ciaran. The school won the trophy for the first time. Our delight in the victory was somewhat damped when we had to travel the long straight roads back to Dublin in a continuous downpour.
Coming from families prominent in politics, it was natural that we would become involved and we helped the “effort” as young boys writing on envelopes and packing election literature. I think we had the greatest thrill when in 1943, George’s father “my hero of the rising”, was elected with his ex-commanding officer, Oscar Traynor, in the then three seat North East. The other successful candidate was Elfie Byrne. The significance of this victory can be imagined when the list of also ran included Richard Mulcahy and James Larkin, Senior.
I subsequently recall how, as young enthusiastic members of Fianna Fail, we produced a paper for our constituency name “Fianna Fail”. We were assisted by Charley Haughey who had us in Cumann and Noirin Ni Threasaigh who later became my wife. George left party for a small time afterwards, but then rejoined with renew vigour to become a TD, Government Minister, and the Tánaiste (I resigned and concentrated on my growing practice)
Although subsequently we did not have many occasions to meet together privately, when we did meet we were always able to bring back so many happy memories, particular of our school years. We met of course, every year at P.P.U Annual Dinners, which we were jointly instrumental in starting in 1956. Do ghoilbas Sheoirse go mor orm fein agus ar an hiarsclairi agus guim sonas siorrai da anam dilis. Special thanks to Joey’s, extract their annual school book 1994.
Description: Ref: 15 – Des Foley Recollections – written 1994
I have an abiding memory of one incident during my time in Scoil Mhuire. One evening I stayed on to do corrections after school. I was interrupted by persistent shouting in the schoolyard. On investigation, I discovered that it was an Br. P. O’ Meachair from Tipp. teaching a boy named Flanagan how to pull on a sliotar on the ground while using a rag-ball to impart his skill. The results of his efforts were visible on the day of the match, Flanagan pulled on everything that did not look like a Marino sock – the Rattler Burns had nothing on him. Our paths did not cross again until 1958. I started teaching in Joey’s secondary on the 4th of September that year. The ‘Blonde Boy’ had now become a giant. He reminded me of Dean Swift’s – “Gulliver among the Little Folk-.
After a short few weeks, I noticed a great buzz of excitement in the school – the training of school teams had begun – with particular emphasis being put on the senior team. Bro. Geraghty, the Principal, and Bro. D. B. O Mhurcu were in trainers. When I think of those two men now, they bring to mind the “Bicycle lit wade”. As far as I recall, one man had the circular clips while the other used push-up clips. I do not think the clips were ever removed from their trousers until they cycled up to St. Pat’s. Griffith Ave., whatever time their day ended. That was as it appeared to inc. I also had the impression that, as they made their way across to Fairview Park, they never spoke. They reminded me of silent ploughmen. Training was regular and was done under the public eye – St. Joseph’s had not got a playing pitch but Dublin Corporation has always come to the rescue. An Br. D.B. O’ Murchu always had a portmanteau in which he carried a first-aid kit. The team was always under the watchful eye of the old hands of Fairview and those coming home from work through the Park would stop and view the proceedings.
Success in the Dublin Championships in those days was taken as the norm but meeting our country cousins was always a leap into the unknown. An Br, S.R. O’ Laoirc deemed it the “One and One” versus the “Bacon and Cabbage”. Coming from a Kerryman. That opinion did not find favour with me and years afterwards it was a source of great joy to me when Hanahoe, Keaveney, Deegan, 0’Driscoll et al blew that theory.
Desser’s Joey’s won the Leinster final against Mel’s. The score was 9-6 to 1-4. What a day! I remember travelling by train to Navan in the company of two of the most erudite gentleman; I had the pleasure of knowing. Bro. Keyes and Seamus Walsh. Bro. Keyes won a Gold Medal in his Master’s Degree in English while Seamus Walsh had masters in Maths. To an bheirt imithe or shli no Firinne. Mth fa Dia ann Id siad heirt or neamh.
Desser gave a wonderful display but in one tackle he received an injury to his shoulder. I remember it well – he was soloing up the sideline close to where I was when it happened. We celebrated in Crinion’s. To our dismay there were no toilet facilities in our carriage on the way home. But we teachers were Culchies. We had to manage before we ever heard of Mr. Shanks! Unbelievably the Semi-Final was against St. Flannan’s College, Ennis. Playing for Flannan’s were Jude Doherty and Kevin Shanahan from my own parish – Doonbeg. Co. Clare. By coincidence Kevin’s first cousin. Evan, trained a Joey’s primary junior team to win a championship a few years ago. But, while I would not have begrudged Flannan’s winning on any other occasion, this time I wanted it to be Joey’s. The students were my life’s blood and they were wonderful. Desser, unknown to most, had his shoulder strapped for this occasion. Flannan’s was a good bouncy side and Joey’s were just about deserving of their victory. The match was played in Nenagh. May I add here, you could never convince a “Dub” that a Red-Neck would want them to win, and so it was into the All-Ireland Colleges “A” Final a day-school had never won it. The boarding colleges always had the advantage in age. The fresh-faced Joey’s lads were convinced that every College 15 they met had at least a years’ shaving experience behind them!
The other team in the Final was St. Nathy’s, Bealach a’ Doirin – by coincidence, my father-in-law’s hometown. Bro. Gcro and Murph did a little ear wigging and discovered that Nathy’s were so confident that they wanted to play in Croke Park. It must be said that this was a bonus for Joey’s. The abiding memory of that match for me was Desser’s display. Joey’s goalkeeper of course deserves credit for the penalty save which made all the difference between winning and losing. When the final whistle blew. Joey’s had made history – the first day school ever to win the senior ‘A’ Title – The Hogan Cup. In addition, while there were fourteen other players on the field, it must be said that the big blonde boy was the lynch pin. Gero and O’ Murchn had played their part. They also are part of the history that was made. In addition, what a contribution it was to Dublin football! On many occasions afterwards, Des and his colleagues visited the school having brought home the bacon, so to speak, and put an end to the Culchic monopoly at inter-county level.
It is not for me to pour accolades on Des Foley – all the sporting scribes have had their say. For me. It was personal; it was my heart, my life. The achievements of Joeys on the field were what gave me pleasure after a hard day’s work. Des had a heart as big as himself. What a pity it could not go on ticking over.
Br. Kiel and I are the only remaining members of the staff of those days still labouring in Joey’s. Both of us and indeed everyone in Joey’s send our best wishes to the wife and family of a ‘Champion’. We also send our best wishes to Dcsser’s brother, Lar, who also figured prominently in St. Joseph’s. Gero is dead. (RIP.) So also is Dermot Woodcock, who played with that team. Thankfully, the others are still alive as is an Br. D. B. O’Murchu, now in Westport C.B.S.
Description: Ref: 14 – Two Past Pupils Ordained – written 1994
Two past pupils ordained from the parish of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Fairview, Dublin had great cause for joy as two young men from the parish were ordained to the priesthood. Kevin Hanley and Gregory McGrane had both been to school at St. Joseph’s, C.B.S. Marino and were now being ordained together. Bishop Fiachra O’Ccallaigh, OFM Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin performed the ceremony. It was the first ordination by Bishop 0 Ceallaigh. The two new priests arc members of the order of Friars Minor Conventual who administer the Fairview parish. Fr. Kevin’s parents, Gerard and Carmel, his brother and three sisters were present as were Fr. Gregory’s parents, John and Carmel, his sisters and three brothers. (Photo: Robert Allen) Two former pupils of St. Joseph’s were ordained to the priesthood earlier this year. Fr. Kevin (Gary) Hanley (1977-1986, Joeys) and Fr. Gregory (Aongus) McGranc (1983-87, Joeys) were ordained by Bishop Fiachra O’Ceallaigh at the Church of the Visitation, Fairview. Both young men were ordained in the Conventual Franciscan Order who has served the Fairview parish for the last ten years. We wish them every success in the future and a fruitful ministry.
Description: Ref: 13 – Joey’s School Secretary Brid Newham – written 1994
She was the embodiment of all the characteristics of Brid Fochairt, Brid na nAmhran, and Bride Liath. She laboured under three Vice Principals – Paddy O’Neill, George Lyons, and myself. I say Vice Principals because she was domiciled in the Vice Principal’s office. In addition, for most of her stay in the school the Brothers handled the financial affairs of the school. Because of that, there was no necessity for her to have very many dealings with the Principals. In more austere times when Paddy O’Neill and George Lyons were Vice Principals, she was a Brid Fochairt – a good religious woman who did her work and more or less nodded at the shrine. During her time in the office- with me, she blossomed that little bit more and became a Brid na Amhran and a Bride Liath with the passing of time.
We indulged ourselves in Irish songs from time to time. In addition, like Brid na n-nAmhran I discovered that our Brid had competed at Feiseanna as an individual competitor and as a member of a choral society. Here I must state that Brid was one of the old brigades who imbibed at the well of nationalism as a consequence of which she was steeped in the Irish culture and language. Her fluency in Irish was impeccable but never used by her to seek notice. She always spoke Irish to those who had knowledge of the language. I could always tell when Harry Boland was on the phone. Otherwise, she used the vernacular. She was masterly on the telephone. Irate parents would be calmed by her soft dulcet tones and those parents who knew her got expert medical advice as the necessity arose.
Intimate details of married life were often discussed with Brid over the phone and whether the problem was alcoholism or unemployment or whatever, remedies were forthcoming, she had a balsam for every ailment. Cures for diarrhoea, stomach pains, earaches etc. posed no problems whatsoever and she knew more about hot-water bottles than the person who invented them. She was almost as good as Tom Hogan M.P.S.I. – of Hogan’s Chemist, Fairview – who sleeps peacefully in Tourmakeady. By the way, if I ever happened to answer the phone when one of Brid’s friends rang to have a confab with her I invariably got the silent treatment. She excelled in dealing with teachers.
She wore a different face so to speak! for each member of staff. A study of her expression would immediately reveal the relationship between herself and any member of staff. However, to understand that, you would have to spend quite some time in the office. Wearing glasses as she did was a help to mask her feelings relative to the different members. She was never outwardly rude to any member but in a subtle way was able to put a teacher in his or her place as the occasion demanded. Yet there was never any animosity between her and any member of staff. In addition, may I add, in any emergency that may have arisen for a staff member, she was always the first to offer assistance. Like every good secretary Brid had her ‘earwigs’ – members of staff always kept her abreast of every tittle-tattle.
As I sometimes watched Brid walk up through Fairview to school in her own measured methodical way, what always attracted my attention was the bag she carried. It always appeared to me that it contained local, national and international gossip. In addition, all would be revealed as time afforded at different intervals during the day. To say that Brid was a people person is putting it mildly. However, if ever I arrived back in the office when local gossip was stealthily exchanged, Bird could end abruptly on a harmless note – “Ah sure that’s the way it is”. In addition, I was left to ponder what that way was. She was to me a memory bank in a computer always reminding me of events that lay ahead and jobs to be done. In addition, whether it was a parent – teacher meeting or supervision of a class she could be depended upon to remind you. Brid was ever vigilant, ever present, and dependable. She never seemed to take holidays.
Only on one occasion did I see her losing her cool and that was when Joe Blaney – our general factotum – took a turn. Joe became suddenly weak for some unknown reason and as always made for the office. On seeing him, Brid moved faster than she had ever done before, and in an instant had produced the ‘drop’ that did the trick. She knew the properties of Brandy although she never imbibed. Joe and she were like tweedle dum and tweedle dee or Spencer Treacy and Katherine Hepburn. Bird’s service to St. Joseph’s was inestimable. She was more than a secretary; she was a walking encyclopaedia of school knowledge. In addition, beneath the kindly face was a deep sense of pride in the pupils. This gave her the motivation to be the workaholic that she was. Those of us on the staff who worked with her, have abiding memories of her kindness, generosity, goodwill, and understanding.
I spent thirteen years in the office with her and during all that time, she never had a bad word to say about anybody. Some few years before her retirement our Brid entered the Bride Liath phase and took unto her a walking stick to assist her in her comings and goings. I had visions of her as a scanachai in the Peig Sayers mould. And then unexpectedly she decided to take for herself a well earned rest, like Colmcille’s White Horse. We send her our best wishes.
Description: Ref: 13 – Christopher Plummer – Met Eireann/50 Years Service – written 1986
Christy Plummer’s service to the State commenced in 1934 when he was 28 years of age. He started as a coal carrier in the Model Schools in Marlborough Street. In November 1936, he was promoted to Male Cleaner in Dublin Castle at a salary of seventeen shillings and six (old) pence a week. Early in 1940, he was promoted to the grade of Messenger, salary two pounds and ten shillings a week. Following these rapid promotions, he was assigned to the new Meteorological Service as Messenger in mid 1940. Sad to relate, Christy received no further promotion, although he gave the Meteorological Service dedicated and diligent service for the ensuing forty-two and a half years. In 1940, the Headquarters of the Meteorological Service consisted of only five rooms in 14/15 St Andrew Street. There was no central heating and Christy was called on to keep five fires going lighting, stoking (often with damp turf), removing ashes, clearing the rooms and anything else that needed doing all these in addition to his Messenger duties.
A CLOSE SHAVE
The St Andrew Street premises also housed an organization known as the ‘Shannon Office’. What it did nobody seem to know but Christy did errands for staff in that office also. Its staff included two characters a Mr McM (HEO), a careful man and a Mr O’B (CO), a spendthrift. Mr McM, the careful one, had a weakness for the horses and, before making his daily investment, he usually consulted Christy who had an undeserved reputation for picking winners. On one of the occasions when, a day or two before pay-day, Mr O’B was on the rocks, he propositioned Christy to give Mr McM two ‘stiffs’ for that day’s bet which they would hold between them. Mr McM obliged with a five-shilling double on the two ‘stiffs’ Christy gave him.
Every time Christy went out that afternoon, he had a look-in at the bookies in Trinity Street. Imagine his consternation when he found the first leg of the double had come up. Imagine his horror when he found the second leg had also come up! However, there was a steward’s inquiry and, providentially, the second ‘winner’ was disqualified. To this day, the sweat glistens on Christy’s forehead as he relates that story. At that time the five shillings which he and his accomplice ‘earned’ the hard way would buy (and, no doubt, did buy) seven pints.
Christy was born in Cork. His father, a soldier, was stationed at Victoria (now Collins) Barracks. He started school there, but the family moved to Dublin when he was six or seven years old and lived in a flat in Church Street. He remembers the 1916 Rising, the Black-and-Tan war and the Civil War. His mother suffered from rheumatism and Christy once overheard a friend advising the mother that celery was good for rheumatism. One day or two later, Christy and a younger brother were scutting around the Smithfield Market and spotted celery in a stall there. They had no money but that did not stop them nicking two heads, which they triumphantly brought back to the mother. When they told her how they got it, she ordered them to bring it back to the stallholder. The brother baulked but Christy brought the celery back on his own. When the stallholder heard his story, he sent back the celery as a gift to the mother!
One day in the O’Connell Street days Christy came to this writer to say that had found three hundred pounds in banknotes in one of the toilets. I advised him to keep silent until someone squealed. Christy did not take my advice. He went around seeking the owner and, of course, found him very quickly. Later, I asked Christy how much he had received as reward. He replied ‘nothing, but why should I expect any reward?’ In addition to his official duties, Christy was continually doing private errands for the staff. On one occasion a certain Miss M gave Christy, a package to bring to a Miss X in Brown Thomas has to exchange it for the next larger size. Christy did not know that the package contained an intimate item of women’s underwear. When he was ushered in to Miss X, he found himself in a salon peopled by women in various stages of undress. As the package was opened and the message read out, there was hilarious glee at Christy’s expense. He came back frothing at the mouth ‘Do you know’ he said, ‘what that b— did to me?’ In all the changes of accommodation of headquarters staff. Christy was always there to take reams of papers off shelves. Pack them in cases, unpack the cases in new locations, clean up rooms, and, in short, act as general dogsbody. In addition, I had acted as relief telephonist, drains cleaner or anything else that was required. In his 42-plus years with the Meteorological Service, he did not have 42 days sick leave. It is nice to record that he got a good send off when he retired in December, 1982 and that he is still hale and hearty approaching his 80th birthday on 19th December next (1986). Christy did not know how to say ‘No’ and he never heard of demarcation. When Cardinal Newman drew up his specification for a gentleman, he must have had someone like Christy in mind.
Description: Ref: 12- Harry Boland recollection’s – written 1986
I have the happiest of memories of the years I spent in Joey’s. I know that we were always anxious to pass examinations but I do not recall the dreadful pressure to secure sufficient “points”. Ours was the first year (1943) to do the Leaving Certificate and having passed, if we wished to go to the University, we could choose whichever course we liked. I chose Commerce and received by B.Comm Degree in 1946. I then entered into Articles to become a Chartered Accountant and in 1950, together with another Joey’s Boy, Cathal Haughey. I started in practice in 1950. Now just 36 years later the firm Haughey Boland & Co. is listed among the top five or six firms in the country and I have ten partners and a staff of 140 plus. When I think of my time at Joey’s I always think of Hurling and Football.
I was always “There or thereabouts” when the teams were selected and in our first year in senior competition, we were beaten by Mel’s in the Leinster Football Final and by St. Kieran’s in Hurling, but we everything in Dublin Senior and Junior that year. When in UCD I won my “colours” in hurling and a Dublin Senior Hurling Championship Medal with UCD. I also founded the UCD Basketball Club with Fr. Horan and had the honour of representing Ireland in Basketball at the 1948 Olympic Games. When we left school, Br. O’Cathain was instrumental in getting us to form a Past Pupils Union but in the early years, it was an Irish Debating Society to try to help us to retain the Irish we had learned in school.
Joey’s was an “A” Scoil while we were there and it is my only sad reflection that, for reasons that I did not consider valid at the time, Joey’s stopped being an “A” Scoil in the 1950’s. Joey’s in my day still consisted of the old original building with the science room separated from the main building. The School had a fully equipped “Manual Room” where the fundamentals of carpentry were taught, but the year that we arrived down from Scoil Mhuire the teaching of both science and carpentry was dropped. It is still a bit of a mystery to me how the architects fitted so many more rooms onto the site, and now I hear that a further building is to go up!
The Debating Society eventually became the Past Pupils Union and I have been closely involved with the Union ever since. Our Annual Dinner held in February each year is a great occasion when past pupils of all years meet in a marvellous reunion. Our Annual Mass on the first Sunday of May always reminds us of our school friends who have gone to their reward. I remember Dominic Wiggins, Des Robbins, Anthony and Christy McHale, Billy Creaner, Jimmy McKeown, and my own particular school friend George Colley and his brother Ger.
Description: Ref: 11 – SCHOOL COMPUTERS 1986 – written 1986
A few years ago computers were not to be found in St. Joseph’s C.B.S. but now we have eight computers, three Apples, one BBC micro and four Commodore 64 models. Computers are used in most jobs nowadays and it is necessary to get a basic grinding in how they work and in programming them. This is provided by Computer classes in the school given by Mr. Greene on his own time. Unfortunately, the classes are held outside school time. I am sure at this time many people would like to see computer studies added to the curriculum.
The major years that avail of computer, studies are fifth years and sixth years. The sixth years use the Commodore 64’s which are programmed with the language logo, which helps the eye create graphics. It is a simple and easy language to learn and creates good effects. The fifth years use a more advanced language, like Basic called COMAL. This language is used on the 3 Apples and the BBC micro. It does not concentrate on graphics but its main uses are practical, such as problem solving programmes and creating files. Though not used at the moment, these files could store exam results, names, and addresses and could constrict other computers and relay information via the telephone. This would do away with filing all index systems, which takes up space. There are countless numbers of educational software, which could be incorporated in the desire subject. The school has the facilities; all it has to do is to move with the times. With the help of students and teachers alike, St. Joseph’s CBS can enter the computer age.
Description: Ref: 10 – Irish Rock Music – What the 80’s will hold for it – written 1979
A while back if you had said that the name of Ireland would become linked with rock music, it would have been treated like the ‘Irish Joke’ — something silly you could get a laugh out of. Now, at the end of 1979, that link is closer to being a reality than ever before. Irish rock stalwarts of the ’70’s, Rory Gallagher and Thin Lizzy, were joined in the international arena by the Boomtown Rats in ’77. Many people abroad see these three different acts have something very Irish about them and their success, especially that of the Rats, has stimulated a new confidence among musicians inside Ireland itself. Rory Gallagher does not follow trends. He still wears his lumberjack shirt and jeans as he rocks through his thrilling, energetic live show. His constant world touring has gained him a huge following all over Europe, the Far East, and the USA and of course here at home. His latest L.P. Top Priority is his 14th (if you include four with Taste, the ’60’s band that launched him to recognition) and it is rated as his strongest in years. Rory’s consistency contrasts with the state of affairs in Thin Lizzy. Plagued with line-up hassles, the latest split has led to ex-guitarist Gary Moore engaging in a public slanging match with leader Phil Lynott, something that has brought the band much bad publicity. All the same, they released Black Rose and a string of hit singles from the L.P. Their previous L.P. Live and Dangerous went Double Gold in Britain alone, so their popularity has never been greater.
They are all teenagers and this gives an idea of what is happening. Teenagers are taking to Rock like they never did before. This year alone the Radiators released their second LP and debut albums came from the Bogey Boys, the Outcasts and the Starjets (with a hit single into the bargain). Many other bands have put out singles; The Atrix, Stepaside, Sacre Bleu, Zebra, U-2, and Brush Shiels (all from Dublin), Loudest Whisper (Cork), Static Routines (Dundalk) and the Tearjerkers and Protex (from the North). You could go on for pages. But above all its young people all over the country taking matters into their own hands, making and buying rock music, which has a definite Irish flavour.
With the ’80’s looming our big 3; Lizzy, Gallagher and the Rats should go from strength to strength: If Lizzy sort out their problems they will be a force for years to come. The Rats have yet to seriously tackle the US, the world’s biggest rock audience, and they are already huge. In addition, Rory Gallagher seems like he’ll rock on forever! For such a small country we have already had a huge impact on the pop world and judging by the wealth of talent still here, there is no sign of this stopping. Most of the new bands are made up of teenagers — perhaps many older people could learn something by looking at what their own youngsters are doing.
As for the Rats, they seem certain to become the biggest-selling Irish act of all time. No other Irish band has ever achieved two No. 1 hits in both Britain and Ireland never mind all their European No. 1’s with “Rat Trap” and “I Don’t Like Mondays”. The sales of the latter have only been topped in Britain by singles from Boney M and Wings. Bob Geldof seems to be a natural superstar, but it’s as well to remember that the Rats success is as much due to the strength of the whole group as to Bob’s obvious talents as the front man and leader of the group. A new generation of rock bands is now growing up, North and South. From the North come The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers. Both have put records in the British LP and singles charts.
Description: Ref: 09 – Recollection’s Marino 1930’s – written 1990’s
We left Ardee in 1932 and while I have already put it on the record of my story that childhood days there were happy ones I don’t recall any feelings of regret that we were leaving. Indeed the only one of the family whose attitude to the change was unequivocally positive was my mother because even now I can hear her comment to Nanny as we drove in a taxi up the Drogheda Road: “Don’t look back; I can’t believe we’re going home at last.” She at least had utterly no regrets going “home” to Dublin and who could blame her: those years in Ardee when she had stood loyally by her husband through health and financial difficulties must have seemed endless and at times hopeless. We had had several visits to the city during 1932 to inspect sundry houses that, for various reasons, but mostly financial, were considered unsuitable by our parents, but eventually towards the end of the year they settled for a small newly-built semi-detached house one of a group of six on Goose Green Avenue (later to be re-named Grace Park Terrace) a road linking Philipsburgh Avenue and Grace Park Road.
Jimmy Wren in his book The Villages of Dublin says that a village named Goose Green once stood between Drumcondra and the present day Marino and quotes as his authority an English writer, Richard Lewis, who in 1787 described it as “a small village a mile beyond Drumcondra and two and a half miles from Dublin Castle.” Wren himself, writing in 1987, goes on to say that the only remnants of the village then surviving were “two houses standing in Grace Park Terrace called Upton Lodge and Ivy Lodge”. I remember the lodges well two gaunt ivy covered buildings each approached by a flight of steps and over-grown gardens but they were certainly not the only remnants of the old village when we arrived in 1932 because almost directly opposite to us were two thatched cottages occupied by families named Morrissey while at the Philipsburgh Avenue corner there was a row of cottages and a “village” pump that served the needs of all the cottagers.
All of the cottages and both of the lodges have been demolished long since and regrettably the old “inelegant” name of the road was changed on the demand of the residents leaving the only faint link with the past in the name of a local public house, the Green Goose. When we took up residence in Goose Green the construction of the impressive Griffith Avenue (immediately to our rear) and the parallel Collins Avenue further north had just been completed opening up this whole area to housing development. Nearby the ambitious Marino housing scheme had been undertaken by the city Corporation to provide dwellings on a tenant purchase basis in the first steps towards providing good housing in a city that badly needed it. Shops had sprouted on Philipsburgh Avenue to cater for the growing population and the first of the modern style churches, flanked by two new schools, had been built on Griffith Avenue. Surprisingly, however, in this veritable explosion of building development our frontage was to survive for many years as an extensive stretch of open ground owned by a family named Dolan who lived in a large house named Ruthvilla abutting on Philipsburgh Avenue. The area nearer to us was let as football and hockey pitches but beyond them, and stretching down to Foyle Road, the fields were used for market garden produce. In later years, however, the entire area was to be built upon and the Dolan house shared the fate of the cottages
First Impressions our arrival back in Dublin was late in the year not long before Christmas if my memory is correct and in my jumble of memories the abiding one is of crowded brightly-lit streets where everybody seemed to be in a hurry, and where clanging trams and honking buses competed for progress with motor cars and horse-drawn vehicles and with what seemed like thousands of cyclists. At the main street junction’s tall policemen, who looked even taller in their great high helmets, dictated the flow of traffic by imperious signals of their white-gauntleted arms, and glared intimidating at any road user who might have the temerity to infringe. Traffic lights, traffic lanes and one-way streets were unknown and the multiple bus companies that preceded the present day monopoly picked up and dropped their passengers randomly along their routes. I have no idea how many of these companies operated throughout the city but in the Marino/Fairview area alone there were four competing for business to and from the city the Marino Omnibus Company, the Pirate Omnibus Company, a yellow-painted service that operated from Donnycarney under a name that I can’t recall, and finally a group of bigger buses owned by the Dublin United Tramway Company which company was forced into business on routes where their trams could not compete. This was a new, wonderful, chaotic world following the unhurried pace of our lives in Ardee. Everywhere there was hustle and bustle and, from a situation where time came dropping slow to the sound of the Angelus or Mass bell, the dictate of the clock began to rule our lives. Everything seemed to move swiftly and we children were scarcely settled in our new home when we were installed mid-term in new schools where everybody seemed to know everybody and where the old familiarities of our small rural schools were replaced by the very different regimes of the far bigger city establishments. Lobo, Molly and Eamon began in the two new schools on Griffith Avenue while I started my secondary education with the Irish Christian Brothers in O’Connell School in North Richmond Street. This was the first school of secondary education set up following Catholic Emancipation in 1828.
Description: Ref: 08 – Recollection’s Brother Francis William Frampton (1913 – 1990) – written circa 1990’s
Brother Francis William Frampton (1913 – 1990) is one of the best-remembered Christian Brothers in St Laurence O’Toole’s – among staff and pupils alike. His sense of humour and no-nonsense attitude earned him a reputation that was feared and revered. From 1951 to 1965, Bill was principal in St Laurence O’Toole’s. One might say that his term as principal in St Laurence O’Toole’s was the “golden age” of his life. In the following passages, Brother Donal O’Ciabhain, a close friend of Brother Frampton’s, recollects some of the anecdotes and appreciations given to him by some of Brother Frampton’s friends and acquaintances. On a school tour, he brought the kids down to a hotel in Monaghan. I was round to open the school for the bus coming back. “Terrible calamity, terrible calamity, terrible calamity. Oh, my God, we’re disgraced. Terrible calamity,” he was saying. I thought somebody had been killed. “What happened, Brother Frampton?” “There were two big granite balls there,” he said, one on either side of the steps into the hotel, and they’ve been there for 200 years and they rolled them down into the stream.”
I burst out laughing. “Nothing to bloody-well laugh at,” he said. And then: “You made me say bloody. I wouldn’t mind only I went in to tell the teachers and they all laughed too. But they got the stones out anyway. The Larriers got ropes and hauled them out somehow.”
He used always give great parties when they’d win the cup. I used to get the job of making the tea and setting the tables, and I Brother Frampton, Principal of St Laurence O’Toole’s CBS, 1951-65 used to get the green and white iced cake and put two goalposts on it. He used to have a great sing song. He’d sing ‘She Walked through the Fair’, I think it was, and the kids used to be under the benches in convulsions, and I’d be trying to keep my face straight. He wouldn’t even be asked. He’d start off himself. (Mrs Annie Somers)
Bill instructed to Mikey, the caretaker, “Mikey, move the ladder a bit to the left.” He shifted it to the right. “To the left, I said.” “Sorry, Brother.” “Now, move it to the right.” He did the opposite every time. Finally, Bill shouted, “Smith, go home!” Which Mikey did, taking the ladder with him and leaving Bill on the roof! (Stephen Mitchell). In the late ’50s the slide projector came into fashion, so Bill bought one. He decided he’d give a demonstration so that the teachers would be able to use it. He had bought a lovely set of slides. The one I remember particularly was John XXIII as Pope. Some smart little boy below at the end said: “Sir, sir, he’s blessing with his left hand.” “Shut up,” ‘replied Brother Frampton, “The Pope can do what he likes; he can bless with either hand.” (Brother Jim Morgan)
He achieved great expertise in being direct with people. Once, an angry mother complained about his pedagogical methods. He bluntly said: “I am a trained teacher – you’re not. I know, you don’t. Now go home and wash the dishes.” He was heard saying on another occasion when called to the door by an anxious parent during a lesson: You have two minutes to state your business, ma’am. I have a class to attend.” (Brother Jan Egan)
Among Bill’s past pupils in O’Toole’s was Luke Kelly, who was a member of the famous ballad group, called The Dubliners. Bill was a personal friend of Luke’s, and they met on O’Connell Bridge on one occasion. “Oh, hello, Brother Frampton, how are you all? Let’s have a meal for old time’s sake.” “Okay, Luke, but on one condition – that we go to Mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel here first. That way like.” What Luke thought I don’t know, but that was Bill’s idea of Catholic action, first things first. (Brother P. Murphy, Zambia). He wanted to change the school football jerseys from the traditional O’Toole’s of white shoulders and green body to all-green with white colour and cuffs. But he went around to every member of staff to get their opinion as he would not like to make any changes without prior consultation. Everyone favoured the old style. We had a good laugh when the new all-green jerseys arrived. (Brother Jan Egan)
Bill was changed to O’Connell’s and the teachers in Dundalk invited him back for a presentation. Prior to the event, the vice-principal took him out for a spin and explained the procedure of the meal and presentation. Bill, being curious, wanted to know what the gift would be. On being told it was a watch (a rarity for Brothers in those days) with his name inscribed, Bill, somewhat disappointed, said: “What I really wanted was a fiddle.” Embarrassed, the vice-principal returned to his colleagues and told his story briefly: “Frampton wants a f’ing fiddle.” They had another whip-round and produced the fiddle for the presentation. (Felim Martin). St Laurence O’Toole’s Senior Football Team, 1953, had won the Geraldine League that year by beating St Mary’s of East Wall. Larkhill, Donnycamey, St Joseph’s of Marino, and Sandy-mount in the final.
Description: Ref: 08- Recollection’s Soil Mhuire – Cathal O’Shannon -written 1978
Cathal O’Shannon (1928 – 22 October 2011) was an Irish journalist and television presenter. He was a former journalist with The Irish Times newspaper and a former TV reporter and presenter for RTÉ. He was probably best known for presenting documentaries on Irish history, produced mainly for Irish television viewers. He attended Scoil Mhuire 1936-41 and later Colaiste Mhuire. Became an Irish Times news reporter 1948-62, B.B.C. Television 1962-64, Radio Telefis Eireann 1964-1978. Presently with Aughinish Alumina Limited, and Alumina Contractors Limited, Limerick and is Public Affairs Manager responsible for public and community relations (1978).
It’s a peculiarity of the ageing and the elderly to look back on their schooldays with a certain amount of nostalgia. There are even those who look back on them with some love and affection, who will tell you that schooldays are the best days of your life. A lot of us will fall into that first category — the nostalgic ones. But there are very few, I think, who even in middle age the autumn of life could in all honesty look back to the nineteen forties and say that school then was better than work now.
Not that I’m knocking school as such what they really mean is that it’s better to be young and free than old and a captive wage-earner. There were advantages then, of course but most of us, surely, can recall that frisson of near-terror on the day we were torn away from the tender care of Sister Patrick and the Girls’ School and shuttled up Griffith Avenue into the real and earnest world of the Big Boys and Brother Fitzgerald. The Brothers received us with a reserved kindness, I suppose a rather scruffy bunch of frightened kids, terrorised by the myths perpetuated by older boys . . . tales of The Leather, homework, iron discipline; tales told with cruel relish to scare the wits out of us.
To tell the truth, I couldn’t even visualise what the Leather looked like. I was convinced that it was something to do with the sash the Christian Brothers wore dangling from their waist bands. But it wasn’t long before I found out. On the very first day, when we were marshalled into classes, we heard the sharp crack of the leather on the hand of some unfortunate echo through the corridors. And over the years we all grew familiar with it and with familiarity grew certain contempt.
It became a matter of pride to be able to take a fair whacking, and, in truth, few of the masters used it indiscriminately. Who, for instance, can re-member being biffed by Brother Slattery, “Joxer” to a whole generation of Marino kids? Where, as a matter of interest, did that nickname come from — and why? And why was Brother Kelleher called “Cheeser”? Or Brother Whelan, “Nin”? There’s a short thesis there, surely.
Over the years, the mysteries of the school were all revealed to us and we behaved just as previous generations in the school had done. One certain way to get a “bazz off” was to become an altar boy. Not only did you get time off lessons to serve ten Mass, but you got to ring the noon Angelus bell, too. If you had a note in your head at all, Brother Kelleher would grab you for what passed as the choir. If you could remember lines then you went into one of the plays for Feis Atha Cliath and a great day at the Mansion House. But some things about the school in the 1940s puzzle me to the present day.
What was the purpose of “H” that upstairs seomra which wasn’t really a classroom, and which one entered only on rare or special occasions? One of its presses contained a tube of mercury enough, we were told, to blow the place to kingdom come if you didn’t handle it carefully. And what became of the Students, those easy-going, unsure youths who were brought into the classrooms once a year to try their hands at teaching. They had a terrible time with us, God help them . . . how many of them became fully-fledged masters? Are there still the May altars in the classrooms?
It was a matter of pride to have them covered with flowers, often the results of raids on the better-kept gardens of Casino Road or Brian Avenue. In those far-off days Marino and the school was the centre of our world, certainly we despised youngsters who went to any other. And always it seemed to be summer. I can’t remember winters at school with any clarity, except vaguely as the smell of rain-soaked overcoats in the cloakroom. Those years went all too quickly, and it wasn’t long before the little fellas of 2nd were the big, long-trousered lads of Sixth, with a Primary Cert, passport to Joey’s or Belvedere or wherever.
How many hundreds or thousands of youngsters have clattered up the iron stairways since my day? Hard to think that it’s fifty tears since the school opened, that it’s forty years and more since I was first there, more than half a lifetime. At this distance it can still be seen with clarity; and it’s only fair to say that distance lends it all some enchantment. Scoil Mhuire was no Spike, certainly. . . and most of us can put our hands on our hearts and say we remember it with nostalgia and some gratitude and affection.
Description: Ref: 07 – Recollection’s Fairview/ – written 2005
Fairview, dedicated to the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was one of the major churches on the north side of Dublin city. In the early years following the departure of the British establishment the new Irish government began a programme of housing the many families that had been living in rented or sub-standard accommodation. The district of Marino was chosen to become one of the models for this programme. This elevated the Church from being a rather quiet, modest rural parish to that of major community level. The new community embraced the area that is now covered by the Parishes of Fairview and St. Vincent de Paul, Griffith Avenue. At the age of three I was brought to live in this parish along with my two brothers and two sisters. We soon settled in and my older two brothers and sister were enrolled in the parish schools. Since the age for starting school was accepted as six I had to wait almost three years before I was introduced to the bedlam of the Infants’ School.
With three classes in one room it was extremely difficult to remain attentive to the teacher trying to initiate us into the discipline of learning. I am sure many miracles were worked in the school since almost all of the pupils were successful in later life. I was about five years of age when the Parish Priest, Canon Pettit, died. He was succeeded by Canon John Flanagan who was related to the family of William Cosgrave and, who as a curate in the Pro Cathedral. Having achieved a good standard of infant education and received my first Holy Communion, I was accepted into third class in the St. Joseph’s Primary School and commenced my academic career. I was placed beside Willie McCarthy, my companion from the infant school, who was to remain so for the remainder of our time in St. Joseph’s. Willie was later accepted into the Carmelite Order and has ministered both in Dublin and London.
In 1933, while I was in fourth class, Fr. John Flynn, a curate of the parish, visited the school seeking a new generation of altar boys. Since both of my brothers were already serving I was accepted along with my friend Willie. After school each day we were initiated into the discipline required for our future as altar boys. We were introduced into the ritual of the Latin Mass and had to become proficient at the procedures involved. When we were considered to be good enough we were allowed to kneel as observers during Mass. I was assigned to the 8.00 a.m. Mass which was always offered by the senior curate, Fr. P. Scannell. He was strict about all things and insisted that we were word perfect and kept strictly to the ritual.
On my second morning I was assigned as a solo server to a side altar Mass offered by the Canon. I was scared witless in case I might make mistakes. My luck was in that morning because a member of the congregation knelt behind me at the altar rail and whispered to me what to do. After Mass the Canon thanked me for doing so well on my first Mass alone. Fairview Parish had a reputation of providing aspirants to the priesthood and during my period as altar boy there were a number of vocations. Fr. Sean Shouldice and Fr. Desmond Howett were ordained for the Dublin Diocese and my friend Willie was ordained for the Carmelite Community.
The Fairview Parish Church in the 1930s was in a rather neglected condition mainly because of the shortage of funds. Wealthy parishioners were scarce and the funding was needed to provide for the building of the St. Vincent de Paul Church as a Chapel of Ease to the now crowded Parish Church. It is hard to believe that the Church was so crowded at the 11.30 a. m. and 12 noon Masses the congregation overflowed into the grounds to about 10 feet, although Masses were held at 8, 9, 10, 10.30, 11, 11.30 a.m. and 12.noon every Sunday and Holiday of Obligation.
The 8 a.m. Mass on two Sundays each month was allotted to the men’s and women’s sodalities. The juvenile’s sodality Mass was at 9 a.m. on one Sunday per month. Each of these sodalities had a large attendance. The 10. 30 a.m. Mass was reserved each Sunday for the school children and the Christian Brothers from St. Joseph’s were present at this ceremony. When Canon Flanagan died in December 1935 the parish went into deep mourning. The preparations for the obsequies began immediately. The seats in the transepts were turned to face a centre clearing within which the lying-in-state was to take place. The confessionals, balcony and pillars were draped with black cloth, all the electric lamps were washed and faulty bulbs replaced. A throne was set up within the altar area for the bishop who was to preside over the requiem Mass.
The transept seating was reserved for clergy and the choir of many diocesan priests. Accommodation was also prepared for relatives and state dignitaries including Eamon de Valera. During all of the preparations the altar boys were being prepared for their role in the ceremonies and were kept available to help the workmen when requested. On the evening of the removal clergy and priests assembled in the church and walked in procession to the Parish Priests house. The altar boys were lined on either side of the hall door and walked behind the coffin in procession to the church where the prayers were offered and the choir chanted the De Profundus.
On the day of the burial the Church was full to capacity with Church and State dignitaries. The Bishop presided at High as Mass assisted by a choir of many priests before the funeral. Several weeks later Rev. Fr. Joseph McArdle was installed Parish Priest at a short ceremony in which he was presented with the keys of the Church. It had been noticed over the years that the walls of the Church were continually wet from condensation and needed attention. The solution to the problem was to have the walls re-plastered. This was a major operation during which the old plaster was completely removed from the walls and advantage was taken of the opportunity to have entire electrical system renewed. The old lighting consisted of a number of chandeliers with about ten bulbs and shades suspended from the rafters. Their location made replacement of bulbs very difficult. This resulted in dim lighting in the Church. The entire operation took many weeks to complete but since there was no alternative accommodation the Masses were continued with the scaffolding in place. Originally there were five Confessionals, two were located on either side of the transepts and the others in the location of the shrines in the body of the Church.
A sixth Confessional was later added, installed in the alcove directly beneath the organ This Confessional was provided to accommodate Fr. Sean Pigott, who had returned to parochial duties after wending some time as Head Chaplain to the Army. On Saturday evenings with the five confessionals there was a continual stream of penitents waiting to unburden themselves of their problems, religious or otherwise. It was not unusual to have to wait half an hour for a penitent to leave the Confessional. The annual retreat was held during Lent. For this two hundred extra chairs were rented and the altar boys set them out each evening after school and tidied them away in the Sacristy corridor in the evening. We used this as our excuse for not having our school exercises done. The missioners were usually friendly with us and when not preaching they spent time in the boys’ vestry chatting with us about their missionary work in foreign countries.
During the plastering of the interior of the Church the Pulpit was moved from the left to the right hand side of the altar to a more suitable location within the altar area. At the same time the Sanctuary lights, mounted high on the walls, were suspended from the roof beams and made accessible by means of pulleys. The altar rails extended the full width of the transept. Its original main structure was wrought iron with a timber capping. When the altar was turned to face the congregation a marble altar rail was installed. A communion cloth was hung on hooks along the inside of the rail. The communicants brought this cloth forward to prevent the Host from falling on the floor. Holy Communion was only available at the three early Masses but not at the later ones.
Communicants had to be fasting from midnight. The relaxation of this rule and the introduction of Eucharistic Ministers helped to ease the pressure on the clergy. The Mortuary was inside the main doorway beneath the stairway to the gallery. The family and friends of the deceased stood around the coffin while the ceremony was conducted. For this ceremony the celebrant wore a surplice and a black cope and stole. Three altar boys took part in this ceremony in which the De Profundus was recited and the coffin was incensed. One of the boys carried the thurible, another carried the incense boat and the third carried the crucifix, which was made of brass. The crucifix was mounted on a brass staff about six feet long.
This boy took his place at the end of the coffin during the ceremony. On the morning of the burial a similar ceremony took place. The crowding around the coffin diminished the dignity of the ceremony and has been replaced. The ceremony now takes place at the altar and is much more dignified and respectful to the deceased and relatives. A representation of the Crucifixion occupied a portion of the body of the church. The figures were life size and were raised on a platform about four feet high. Two shrine candle mountings were available for those who wished to light candles in honour of the Crucifixion and they were constantly full of grease from the candles. It was one of the jobs allotted to the boys to see that the candle boxes were supplied and candle grease removed to reduce the risk of fire. The clerk of the church in the 1930’s was Miss Ledwidge.
She was an elderly lady, strict about discipline, but was kind to the altar boys. She opened the Church at 7.30 a.m. and closed at 9 p.m. Her nephew, who was also an altar boy, lived with her and brought her home every evening. Some of the boys accompanied them and helped to carry the Church keys (very heavy). Mr. Michael McCaffrey, who retired after a few years, succeeded Miss Ledwidge. A younger man, Mr. Tom Howett, brother of Fr. Desmond Howett, replaced him and was followed by Vincent Stewart, who had been an altar boy. The Parish Priests who served in the Parish from the time of Canon Pettit were Canon John Flanagan, Msgr. Joseph McArdle, Canon Walter McDonald, Fr. Patrick Kinsella and Fr. William Rogan. Since then the Parish has been administered by the Conventual Greyfriar Franciscans.
I remember a lady called Monica had a small shop now a jewelers, she opened late at night she was close to the supermarket. I will never forget the Fairview Cinema, So many movies I brought the children to, also a big furniture store on a corner. The toilets in the Fairview Park attended to by a lady and a man in the man’s toilet. The terrible smell of the Tolka at times, seems to be gone now. Flannery’s drapers, are they still there?
Description: Ref: 06 – Recollection’s Fairview Grill 1970’s/ – written 2011
I used to work in the Fairview Grill when it was just an ordinary chipper and had tables inside. At half ten when the cinema was closed all hell would break loose, everyone wanted to be served at once. The pubs came out soon after and there was many a brawl. I worked there from 1969 on and off until 1980. The owners bought a shop in Killarney and rented it out. We had great fun there. We had a man called Biffo who peeled the potatoes. He was from East Wall and I believe he has since passed. There was an egg store around the back. I well remember a tramp called Alfie, he slept down one of the side streets for years. He would come in and we would give him tea and chips. Always in good humour. He once told us he was related to Maureen Potter. I started work 1969 and I was their until 1979 before it was done up and after it was done up.
Description: Ref: 05 – Recollection’s Fairview/ – written 2011
I’m from Fairview originally, and all the places mentioned were a blast from the past. Ben Mahon’s off licence shop opposite the CY, for those of us who went to the disco in the Carlton Hall. Mr Sullivan cut hair beside the Pear Tree (now a spar). 40 coats, used to stroll through Marino at the circles and the D walls, Bills snooker hall, home for mitchin on a Friday afternoon, when we had religion class in Joey’s. Gogan’s became Gallaghers. The Fairview Park Jaxs was attended, and for those of you who remember, Gaffney’s had no ladies toilet, so the women went to the park or the Barony for to spend a penny. The Fairview Grill, many a day we had their eating burgers etc. 10p in old money when I was young got a smoked cod & chips.. jaysus I’m old.. finally, the egg store was opposite Mrs. Henry’s Shop, now part of the egg store. She has a two wheeled trolley we borrowed to collect the turf at the fuel depot at Newcomen Bridge or if we robbed the connier, that’s the orchard in St. Vincent’s Psychiatric hospital, we used the old potato bags to store the apples to peg at fellow class mates. The bandstand in Fairview Park was the hideout before Joey’s or the Oasis which was in Ard Scoil Ris. Bing an ex Joeys man I was often to be found at the bandstand before the disco. Also remember the Merrythought shop & Brophys’ opticians beside the Fairview Grill, and back towards Edges Hardware there was Leavys’ Shop. At the bottom of Philipsburgh Avenue there used to be a Delicatessen (name escapes me for now) and I was in school with the Byrne’s who used to own the “underground” veg shop on Philipsburgh ave. Just before the Pear Tree on the left was Brophys’ shop (now a hairdresser I believe) and next on the left at Waverly Ave was Doyle’s shop. Whatever became of Kathleen who worked in Ben Mahon’s, I wonder. Ben (RIP) was agent. I recall that more times than not, they added up the prices on the brown paper bags even though they had a till! Matt Gahan was the butcher facing Foyle Road and Dolan’s at the top shops was the place to go to buy a Dinky or two if you had the spare change! Of course Bills was a great hiding place and for a smoke you had Ryan’s shop (beside the Wine Lodge) where the two old women that ran it sold “Loosies” (a single cigarette and a match). I’m sure there’s more memories locked away somewhere. Happy days indeed. Leavy’s was the shop before the old TSB bank.. O’Kane’s was the shop now Centra. The deli at the bottom of Phillipsburgh Ave I can’t remember the name but it was great.
Description: Ref: 04 – Recollection’s Fairview/ – written 2011
The 2 old ladies in Ma Ryan’s were increasable a loosie and the false teeth sweets. Doyle’s shop is gone but Doyler is an ex joeys & CY man like myself who played their snooker in bills. Do you remember Larry’s barbers in Fairview Strand. He was a Scotchman, finally the grill in Fairview beside the cinema used to have a hatch at the front for serving onto the street (I stand corrected) but I have a memory of doing that from school. Macs shoe shop is still there and they sold studs that we put on our heels to make sparks. Doyle’s shop later became Davern’s if I recall correctly. I also remember Larry the barber and his shop at the bottom of Pigs lane! He was always very well turned out, and the chipper that had the hatch, can’t remember the name though. All I know is that it was part of Coles (now Smyth’s). It had the open fire and was a cosy little spot. The counter was very low and there was staff access into the main part of the pub (also for locals). Anyone else had to go out the door & around the corner. Frank Cole was the owner, I believe he sold it and bought another pub, so perhaps he’s still on the go. Not much else I can tell you I’m afraid!
Description: Ref: 03 – Recollection’s Fairview/ – written 2011
My great grandfather used to be a gas lamp lighter in the Fairview North Strand area and I was wondering if it is possible that a photo may exist of lap lighters from the area? if anyone could point me in the right direction I would be grateful. Any body got any photos of Marino Corinthians football club that appeared in the Evening Herald/Press around 1976 or where I might obtain these photos.
Description: Ref: 02 – Recollection’s Hands Shop Fairview Avenue/ – written 2011
The shop was opened in the 40s by the Mulligan Brothers who lived at #17 Fairview Avenue. They were wholesale sweet importers and their sister ran the shop. It was always known as Hands Shop, although there’s no record of anyone of that name running it. The shop was later owned by a family called Flood but it was always known locally as Hands. The old lady died a few years ago and the property was sold. The purchasers tried to get planning for Apartments but were blocked by locals residents. Ms/Mrs Flood died in the last 10 yrs – of old age. The house was burnt down about 7 years ago. The waste land behind the shop was cleared (Feb 2013). The local residents have proposed turning this land into walled garden (Feb 2013)
Description: Ref: 01 – Recollection’s Of The Boot Boy Gangs
Does anybody remember a group or gang of boot boys called the Clockwork Boot boys, from the East Wall area, between 1973 and 1976?
Bridge boot boys…..Inner City
Associated with the Battle of Baldoyle 2 by the independent 1973.
The Marino Local History Society is not for profit organisation, all work is carried out in a voluntary context, our aim is to preserve our local and social history, why not add your recollections to this page.
The Marino Local History Society is not for profit organisation, all work is carried out in a voluntary context, our aim is to preserve our local and social history, why not add your recollections to this page.
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