‘Sunlight Chambers’, it says over the door of the office building on the corner of Parliament Street and Essex Quay.

What a lovely name! But why is the building called that? Facing north across the Liffey, it certainly wasn’t catching many rays when Dublin.ie visited on a day in December.

With its arched windows and overhanging eaves, it looks like an Italian palace, built perhaps for a cadet branch of the Medici family c1500. But hang on a second, what’s with the strange 3D decorations stuck on the walls of the first and second storeys? There’s nude babies, a donkey, a man building a boat, two men constructing an arch, a bunch of Renaissance-style ladies doing the laundry. Plus some tilling of the land, some gathering of olive branches and a stove smoking away in the corner.

Pat Liddy, knows his Dublin oddities and is a good man to tell us more. “Sunlight Chambers? It’s is one of my favourite buildings in Dublin”, he says. “It’s also one of the most passed-by buildings in Dublin, which is a shame because what people should be doing is looking up… They should give themselves a few minutes to absorb the beauty of the sculptures and the story they tell.”

what people should be doing is looking up…

It turns out the story they tell is the history of hygiene. Well, that was the brief to the sculptor, at any rate. Archiseek, every architecturally-curious Dubliner’s favourite website, states: “Conrad Dressler, a sculptor and potter, was engaged to design and craft the series of four roundels and twelve panels around the three faces of the building. The glazed ceramic friezes were made in 1902 in Dressler’s pottery works in Buckinghamshire”.

Back to the name: Sunlight Chambers. It’s called after the fantastically successful soap of the same name. Sunlight soap was one of the first to be made on an industrial scale from vegetable oil instead of animal-derived tallow. It was an invention of Lever Brothers, which, since it merged with a Dutch margarine company in 1929, has called itself Unilever. That’s the people who currently bring us Surf, Persil, Sunsilk, Lux etc. They still make bars of Sunlight soap too; you can buy it in Belgium.

It’s called ‘Sunlight’, after the soap of the same name

Lever Brothers (actually there was only one brother, William, calling the shots) gave the name ‘Port Sunlight’ to the firm’s Liverpool manufacturing base-cum-company town. And when he needed a name for his Dublin HQ, a variation on the Sunlight theme was inevitable. So we can look at the whole building as a sort of giant three-dimensional billboard: a permanent, high-quality, highly coloured tribute to the glory of cleanliness. The ship, the stove, the arch: most likely these are symbolic representations of Lever Brothers’ own efforts to make and export their products.

“Yes, it’s all for show, of course,” says Peter Pearson, painter and author of Decorative Dublin. “Everything’s on the outside where you can see it; the interiors are very plain”. Peter’s an expert on those bits of buildings that don’t strictly need to be there but massively enhance our enjoyment of them when they are. Like Pat Liddy, he’s a big fan of Sunlight Chambers. He enjoys the “comic-strip” nature of the decorations – and the reference they make to Renaissance art, in particular, that of Luca della Robbia.

Peter Pearson. Courtesy of the Irish Independent.

It’s a shame, he tells Dublin.ie, that this sort of thing doesn’t happen anymore. Today’s architects are very unlikely to treat us to a decorative tour de force. “There’s a fear of using ornament,” says Peter. He points out that ornament doesn’t have to feature a historical subject. But, he says “you wouldn’t get so much as a disc or a cube by way of decoration these days – the craftspeople don’t get the commissions. Architects feel they have to be as minimal and industrial in their approach as possible”. One exception to this rule does occur to him, however: the newly renovated Bewley’s Café on Grafton Street, which is not devoid of freshly commissioned ornament.

Sunlight Chambers is a beautiful reminder all the same of an era when Dubliners were treated to craft, artistry and beauty – all paid for out of an ambitious industrialist’s marketing budget.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Lynn is a proud Corkonian who arrived in Dublin in 2013 and unfortunately loves it too much to leave. She works in advertising, and spends most of her time pondering the ageless question: “Daddy or chips?”

Lynn is a proud Corkonian who arrived in Dublin in 2013 and unfortunately loves it too much to leave. She works in advertising, and spends most of her time pondering the ageless question: “Daddy or chips?”

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Susie Santry transplanted from Cork to Dublin over a year ago and works as a social media and content specialist. Having once run a fashion and beauty blog she now prefers to write about people, places and food.

Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin). A keen explorer of Dublin, his research has brought him to some unusual places – including the city’s main sewage plant and the underground tunnels through which the River Poddle flows. He has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Peter McGuire is a freelance features and news journalist. He also works a researcher and editor. He is a regular contributor to The Irish Times and the Huffington Post, and has also written for the Irish Examiner, Sunday Business Post and Irish Independent.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin). A keen explorer of Dublin, his research has brought him to some unusual places – including the city’s main sewage plant and the underground tunnels through which the River Poddle flows. He has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Peter is an experienced freelance portrait and event photographer and the creator, author & storyteller of the Humans of Dublin project, a collection of portraits and short quotes from strangers on the streets of Dublin.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin). A keen explorer of Dublin, his research has brought him to some unusual places – including the city’s main sewage plant and the underground tunnels through which the River Poddle flows. He has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

Connor is an advertising creative and writer who has now lived in Dublin longer than he hasn’t. His mother saw fit to give him two n’s, cursing him to a life of spelling his name aloud for anything even mildly official.

Arran Henderson writes on history and visual culture as well as art, architecture and history. He leads walking tours around Dublin, including tours of central areas, Rathmines, Blackpitts/Newmarket, and Grangegorman.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Peter is an experienced freelance portrait and event photographer and the creator, author & storyteller of the Humans of Dublin project, a collection of portraits and short quotes from strangers on the streets of Dublin.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Derek is a writer and filmmaker, with a passion for popular culture, tech and Dublin. Find him on Linkedin and (occasionally) Twitter: @oldderekoconnor.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Derek is a writer and filmmaker, with a passion for popular culture, tech and Dublin. Find him on Linkedin and (occasionally) Twitter: @oldderekoconnor.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Derek is a writer and filmmaker, with a passion for popular culture, tech and Dublin. Find him on Linkedin and (occasionally) Twitter: @oldderekoconnor.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

The people, places and things that make Dublin special.

James Caulfeild, the 1st Earl of Charlemont, was a man who did things with style, and then some.

His townhouse on Parnell St, which now houses the Hugh Lane Art Gallery, reflected his elegant, artistic nature, and was initially designed as an adornment to the city, where paintings by Rembrandt and Titian hung. When he embarked upon his Grand Tour – the 18th century equivalent of a gap year – he spent a rather impressive 9 years taking in the delights of Italy, Turkey, Greece and Egypt and became close friends with the future King of Sardinia. As you do.

One lasting souvenir from Caulfeild’s travels was a deep love of everything Italian, resulting in one of Dublin’s most beautiful buildings. After his Grand Tour, Caulfeild commissioned the Scottish-Swedish architect Sir William Chambers to design a summerhouse on the grounds of his main residence, Marino House. The latter, which he named after the Italian town, was torn down in the 1920s to make way for affordable housing, but the Casino at Marino (casino meaning ‘small house’ in Italian – it’s nothing to do with gambling), completed in 1775, still stands and is often regarded as the finest example of Neoclassical architecture in Dublin. Better still, these days it’s open to the public.

It’s the element of surprise that hits you every time you visit the Casino, which took around 20 years to complete. Sure, it might look relatively modest from the outside, but the building actually contains a whopping 16 rooms across 3 floors – size-wise, it’s about the same as a modern family home, albeit the one of your dreams. So much of the Casino is smoke and mirrors: the huge front door is an illusion, with only two panels opening to allow entry, while some of the Tuscan columns surrounding the Casino are actually hollow, to allow rainwater to drain down. The interiors include a state bedroom, reception rooms, kitchen and servants’ quarters, as well as a wine cellar. Rich parquet floors made from rare African and South American woods, ornate plasterwork ceilings and beautiful fireplaces are but some of the exquisite design features; then there’s The Zodiac Room, a study decorated in symbols reflecting Caulfield’s interest in astrology. It’s all terribly beautiful and harmonious and wonderfully judged, and it’s no surprise that it’s become a popular wedding destination.

Rather intriguingly, 8 tunnels lead from the Casino, but their exact purpose remains unclear. One tunnel, which originally connected the Casino to the main house and was subsequently boarded up, was probably used by servants running between the two establishments. There are also rumours that the tunnels were used for target practice during the War of Independence, with the stonework dulling the sound of gunfire.

Although Caulfeild’s son succeeded him, the Earldom died out in 1837 and the Casino fell into disrepair. A major restoration took place in the 1980s and a subsequent revamp happened in 2014, with some controversy surrounding the latter. Once upon a time, the erudite and well-travelled James Caulfeild would have enjoyed a series of formidable sea views from his pocket palace, when the surrounding area was still countryside. Suburban sprawl means that those views are no longer available, but a trip to the Casino still provides a fascinating and visually arresting insight into the life and tastes of a rather fashionable 18th century Earl.

Cherrymount Crescent, Off Malahide Road, Marino. See casinomarino.ie for more details.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Lynn is a proud Corkonian who arrived in Dublin in 2013 and unfortunately loves it too much to leave. She works in advertising, and spends most of her time pondering the ageless question: “Daddy or chips?”

Lynn is a proud Corkonian who arrived in Dublin in 2013 and unfortunately loves it too much to leave. She works in advertising, and spends most of her time pondering the ageless question: “Daddy or chips?”

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Susie Santry transplanted from Cork to Dublin over a year ago and works as a social media and content specialist. Having once run a fashion and beauty blog she now prefers to write about people, places and food.

Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin). A keen explorer of Dublin, his research has brought him to some unusual places – including the city’s main sewage plant and the underground tunnels through which the River Poddle flows. He has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Peter McGuire is a freelance features and news journalist. He also works a researcher and editor. He is a regular contributor to The Irish Times and the Huffington Post, and has also written for the Irish Examiner, Sunday Business Post and Irish Independent.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin). A keen explorer of Dublin, his research has brought him to some unusual places – including the city’s main sewage plant and the underground tunnels through which the River Poddle flows. He has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Peter is an experienced freelance portrait and event photographer and the creator, author & storyteller of the Humans of Dublin project, a collection of portraits and short quotes from strangers on the streets of Dublin.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Karl Whitney is the author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin). A keen explorer of Dublin, his research has brought him to some unusual places – including the city’s main sewage plant and the underground tunnels through which the River Poddle flows. He has written for the Guardian, the Irish Times and the London Review of Books.

Connor is an advertising creative and writer who has now lived in Dublin longer than he hasn’t. His mother saw fit to give him two n’s, cursing him to a life of spelling his name aloud for anything even mildly official.

Arran Henderson writes on history and visual culture as well as art, architecture and history. He leads walking tours around Dublin, including tours of central areas, Rathmines, Blackpitts/Newmarket, and Grangegorman.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Peter is an experienced freelance portrait and event photographer and the creator, author & storyteller of the Humans of Dublin project, a collection of portraits and short quotes from strangers on the streets of Dublin.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Patrick studied English, Media and Cultural Studies and now works as a freelance journalist. He writes about social and cultural issues, football and a bit of technology, as well as some fiction. He’s confused by the world but finds solace in the smooth rhythms of Marvin Gaye.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

One rarely to set foot, or wheel, outside The Pale, Graham knows the streets of this fair city well, having been a bicycle courier in a past life. In his present life, he’s an avid procrastinator, fiction writer and fight fan.

Catherine Conroy is a Dublin writer, regularly contributing to The Irish Times, and dabbling in fiction in The Dublin Review. Her novel continues to wait patiently in a drawer.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Kevin Barrington is a poet, multimedia artist and a regular on the open mic scene around town. Kevin is also an award winning advertising copywriter and blogger. He gets his adrenalin from cycling around town or out to the 40ft for a swim.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Dave likes words. Big ones, small ones, bad ones and beautiful ones. But most of all he loves using them to talk about his favourite things – many of which happen to be right here in his hometown.

Amy Sergison works in the advertising industry, creating social and digital content for brands in Ireland and the UK. The child of inner-city parents, Dublin is in her blood. When not writing you can find Amy screaming at a rugby match, Instagramming her dinner, or searching for solace in the quiet spots of the city.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Genevieve is a sunset child from the west of Ireland, now living and working in Dublin as an advertising creative. She doodles, she dreams, she travels, she schemes.

Laurence is a writer, cyclist and gardener. He’s always finding new things to like about Dublin, the city where’s he’s spent most of his life.

Derek is a writer and filmmaker, with a passion for popular culture, tech and Dublin. Find him on Linkedin and (occasionally) Twitter: @oldderekoconnor.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Derek is a writer and filmmaker, with a passion for popular culture, tech and Dublin. Find him on Linkedin and (occasionally) Twitter: @oldderekoconnor.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Derek is a writer and filmmaker, with a passion for popular culture, tech and Dublin. Find him on Linkedin and (occasionally) Twitter: @oldderekoconnor.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Claire is a Dublin-based journalist who contributes to a wide range of publications including The Irish Independent and Image magazine. She occasionally reviews restaurants, and loves a good crime novel.

Dublin Treasures – The Spicebag

For the love of spice bags... In Dublin pubs, the conversation has now evolved from queries of ‘What is a spice bag?’ and ‘Have you had a spice bag yet?’ to more pressing issues of etiquette and availability. Because everyone’s mother probably now knows what a spice bag is, that celebrated, moreish takeaway meal combo of chicken, chips and spices in a bag (foil or paper) and the occasional bit of onion and red pepper thrown in. She may have even eaten one. Once seen as something only millennials should let past their lips, it’s now gone properly mainstream, and was voted Ireland’s favourite dish at the Just Eat National Takeaway Awards last year. A mere culinary craze? We don’t think so.

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Dublin Treasures – The Poolbeg Chimneys

All interesting Dublin landmarks tend to polarise. For every champion of The Spire, you’ll find someone who still thinks that it should never have been erected. And so too with the Poolbeg Generating Station. Even the more ardent of its champions would be hard pressed to describe it as it beautiful; its two distinctive red and white chimneys, built in 1969 and 1977 and standing at over 207 metres, poking the city’s skyline, cannot even be described as useful - they were decommissioned in 2010.

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Dublin Treasures – The Long Hall

One of the reassuring signs of an economy in recovery is the proliferance of new bars and eateries in town. The microcosm of South Great George’s Street, moving into Aungier, Wexford and Camden Street is a good example. Recent months have seen several new venues pop up, and already they seem like they’ve always been part of the (shabby-chic) furniture - places such as the achingly hip Chelsea Drug Store, JT Pims and a brasserie-style extension to L’Gueuleton restaurant, which doesn’t seem to have a name of it's’ own and is simply signposted as ‘Bar’.

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