Mentions of Dublin’s Canals, both the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, pour aplenty through Irish poetry and song. To each canal, a poet’s statue: The Royal has Brendan Behan, turned to look at you if you sit beside him; Patrick Kavanagh is on the Grand Canal, arms crossed and pensive. To each canal, a lyric: the passionate ‘Auld Triangle’ for the Royal; the contemplative ‘Canal Bank Walk’ for the Grand. They are the arteries running through the heart of Dublin unfurling into the countryside. The Grand bracing the city on the southside, stretching west 144km to the Shannon river and The Royal, on the northside, winding 146km to the same river. Yet despite their romantic depiction in poem and song – and perhaps as a result of their everyday lunch-breakiness – they’ve tended to get overlooked. All that is about to change. A small steady ‘friends of the canal’ movement is gaining momentum and these waterways encircling our city may soon be the focus of artful appreciation once more.
No street in Dublin illuminates the history of the city quite like Henrietta Street. The vast houses on this cobblestone street have run the gamut from Georgian grandeur to tenement squalor within the three hundred years of their existence. Now, Number 14 Henrietta Street has been restored as a museum, telling the story of the house’s journey from being the grand residence of a family of four in the 1720s, to a home to over one hundred people by 1911. All the big events of Irish history buffeted the residents here. The Act of Union of 1801 moved aristocracy away, and the Famine moved the poor here in droves, “Dublin’s broken union men” died
The Book of Kells in Trinity is arguably Dublin’s most famous work of art but what of all the internationally renowned masterpieces housed in the Dublin galleries? Here are ten of the major artworks waiting to be discovered behind doors you walk past every day. In the National Gallery: 1. Caravaggio – The Taking of Christ Caravaggio painted this dramatic scene of the arresting of Jesus in 1602 for the Roman Marquis Ciriaco Mattei. We see Judas identifying Christ with a kiss and the guards moving in for the arrest. The darkness of the painting is lit from within by a lantern held by St Peter, although this is considered to be a self-p
Sometimes the queue for the Ruby Sessions is so long that it snakes down the stairs of Doyle’s pub and out the door around past the old plaque on the wall that says “Good times are coming/Be they ever so far away” and down into the dark and puddles of Fleet Street. If you find yourself that far back, your chances of getting in are very far away indeed. These are the nights when word has leaked out into the world that a ‘Very Special Guest’ will be taking to the mic of the renowned live music night, and for the price of a six euro charity donation, you too could be part of the intimate gathering that surrounds the candlelit stage. Ed Sheeran, Damien Rice, Paulo Nutini, T
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.
Meet Oliver Cunningham of Wall & Keogh, Dairine Keogh of Clement & Pekoe and Anya Letsko of Joy of Cha. These three are in the vanguard of Dublin’s tea-house renaissance, a movement that’s three parts infusion of leaves to one part charmingly quirky interior decor. Are they operating on a higher spiritual plane than their coffee-fuelled counterparts? Where are they on the vexed question of sugar? Dublin.ie finds out. Dublin.ie: You people are making a bit of a song and dance about tea aren’t you? Why so? Oliver: We do take it seriously at
It’s a fine brisk November morning when Dublin.ie meets up with Ed Boden at his office in Blessington Basin, the north side’s secret park. But we are not here to talk about Ed’s job as chief of parks today. No, we are talking about another curious string to Ed’s professional bow. Curious, quirky and colourful. Because Ed is the Dublin City Council vexillologist. “He’s the what?” I hear you say. Well join the club, I said it myself. But if you are stuck for the answer, we’ll give you a clue. A clue that comes from a recent Nobel Laureate who told us “The answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.” Flags. It’s unlikely Dy
When the Marriage Equality referendum passed in May of 2015, Ireland’s dearest drag queen Panti Bliss took her place on the podium at Dublin Castle. Standing alongside Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams and Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald, she addressed the emotional crowd. Rory O’Neill’s alter ego, Panti, who had always been in the peripheral vision of the Irish people, was now front and centre having played a hugely important role in the Yes campaign. Today, Panti performs all over the world but is based in Dublin, even making her own mark on the cityscape. At dusk, the gloriously cartoonish PANTIBAR sig
Meet a Dubliner: Shauna Caffrey, Musicologist and Werewolf. My name is Shauna Caffrey and, in performance circles, I’m also known as Alice Apparently. I’m a PhD researcher on witchcraft, music and magic in the 17th century. I’ve been known to take to the stage in various forms, either as a werewolf or in very glittery burlesque performances as Alice Apparently. I am a Dub at heart. I always wanted to be the Indiana Jones of musicology. I feel like I’m leaning a little bit more now towards being the Vincent Price of musicology, which I’m probably even better with. It’s fun to dress up as a werewolf and g
Francis Street is going through some big changes these days, subtle and quiet as they might be. The area is providing a home to new bars, restaurants, and shops. But mostly it’s filled with antique shops, and antiques have been the main business round here for quite a while now. “I opened about 16 years ago,” said Patrick Howard, of Patrick Howard Antiques, “though Francis Street itself has been filled with antique shops for almost 30 years.” Patrick was a fashion designer before he got into the antiques game. “I did that for most of my life, and when I got tired of it I
Dublin’s vintage scene is thriving. With more vintage stores opening in the city centre, the competition is hotting-up, but so is the demand. So, why the sudden increase in vintage fashion? The inclusion of vintage inspirations by current fashion designers and the media has driven a change in people’s attitudes towards wearing second-hand clothes. You could say the recession has had an impact too. People are more resourceful because of it. They’re more likely to buy second hand now and generally the clothes are longer lasting than high street fashion. There’s also the fact that, thanks to a recent surge in bohemian and hipster trends, Dubliners are striving for mor
1966 was the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. De Valera was president. Nelson’s Pillar was blown up. In the same year the Bishop of Clonfert protested about a guest on The Late Late Show who told host Gay Byrne that she hadn't worn a nightie on her wedding night. ‘66 also saw the opening of Ireland’s first shopping centre, in Stillorgan, south county Dublin. For generations of Southsiders – and especially their children - Stillorgan Shopping Centre was a place of magic, glamour and excitement. It gave us a glimpse of the USA: a wonderland of airy spaces and covered walkways arranged around a capacious car park.
The people, mammals, places and things that make Dublin special. A gang of lads. Shy, reserved, quiet. Just chewing the cud. Sure, every now and again there is a bit of jostling. Just like you would expect from a group of healthy young males. But there’s one thing you would not expect. And that’s the complete lack of interest in the women across the way. It’s almost like an old country ballroom. Men on one side. Women on the other. But come September, that will all change. Scents will be donned. Fights will be had. Women will be chased. Another generation will be born. So
A closer look at Dublin’s neighbourhoods Nestled in the wild and bushy hillsides, overlooking the sea in north county Dublin, you’ll find Howth. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s one of those precious resorts that make Dublin so unique: a seaside sanctuary for many Dubliners and tourists on the weekends. There are many treasures to be enjoyed here, history, hiking and seafood amongst them. The name Howth is thought to be of Norse origin. ‘Hoved’, meaning head, became Howth over the years. Originally an island, it’s now joined to the mainland in the form of a tombolo, as evidenced by the long sandy beaches.
Cricket is enjoying a surge in popularity across the county, so Dublin.ie visited a few of the burgeoning clubs to find out more. Kamil Mahajan moved from the Punjab region of India to Dublin in 2001. He had been a keen cricket player in his home country, but for his first few years in Ireland he was busy with work and didn’t have much time to spend on the sport that he loved. Then, in 2009, he moved to Adamstown, near Lucan in the west of the city. Adamstown is “a new development”, Mahajan says. “A lot of Asian people” – from south Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – “had moved there around 2007/2008”. A cricket club would
The National Museum of Ireland… No, wait a second: ‘the National Museums of Ireland’. That’s right, there’s actually four of them – at four different sites. Three of them are purpose-built; the buildings have always been museums: that’s the Natural History Museum on Merrion Street, the Archaeology Museum on Kildare Street and the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co Mayo. The fourth site, Collins Barracks – which accommodates the Museum of Decorative Arts and History ̵
Pitching itself as “the greatest story ever strolled”, the Icon Walk cracks the heart of the Irish people wide open and tie-dyes the backstreets of Temple Bar with its vibrant colours. Like spokes from a hub, the walk’s rainbow-painted laneways radiate outwards from The Icon Factory, a gallery and shop at the corner of Aston Place and Bedford Lane. Founded in 2009 by Barney Phair, this not-for-profit artists’ co-operative is run for the benefit of the many creatives that ply their wares here. These streets are an unexpected treasure trove of culture and colour, splashed across spray-p