Posts from the �s’ category

Dubliners Poster, 1979

Dubliners poster

The Dubliners were a world-famous Irish folk music group

The Dubliners were formed in 1962. By 1979, when the the folk band were booked to play a week of gigs in the Olympia, such was their popularity that the concerts sold out instantly, despite the fact that the printer forgot to put the name of the band on the posters.

On loan from Phelim Drew

Bertie Ahern’s First Election Flyer, 1977

Bertie Ahern election leaflet

Bertie Ahern served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 1997 to 2008

Bertie Ahern was either an anorak-wearing man of the people or a political operator so smooth that nothing would stick to him – the Teflon Taoiseach. He resigned in 2008, giving his successor the ultimate hospital pass.

With thanks to Bertie Ahern

U2 & Hot Press, 1980

Hot Press

U2 are the biggest music act to emerge from Dublin

“By 1980,” recalls John Stephenson, “a young advertising executive called Paul McGuinness had spent the last of his money on a new Dublin band he’d been managing since 1978. McGuinness had persuaded Chris Blackwell of Island Records that U2 were worth considering, but the album deal was far from done.”

A showcase in London might do the trick. That’s where Stephenson came in – his Sense of Ireland Festival provided a platform for U2, the Virgin Prunes, Berlin, the Radiators from Space and Paul Cleary. Paul McGuinness persuaded Blackwell to bring the entire Island staff to the Acklam Hall, where U2 were playing as part of the festival. The band signed their first record deal a few days later. Hot Press is Ireland’s music magazine, founded in 1977 and edited to this day by Niall Stokes. The publication championed U2 and is still an important platform for emerging Irish music.

With thanks to John Stephenson

Watch a video about U2 and Hot Press:

The Contraceptive Train by Eddie Kelly, 1971


Liberal Ireland found its voice eventually

In 1971 the Women’s Liberation Movement went on a historic mission to Belfast to buy contraceptives. Here we see them arriving back with condoms and spermicidal jelly. (A prescription was required in order to obtain the pill in Northern Ireland.)

St. Stephen’s Green by Bill Doyle, 1971

Nun at cinema

Dublin once had a vast number of cinemas including the Adelphi, the Savoy and the Green cinema

A queue for Love Story at the St Stephen’s Green Picture House (known as the Green) in 1971. Many nuns were not allowed to go to the theatre, but because films were censored, they were allowed to go to the cinema.

The Green opened in 1935, one of the first to deviate from the lavish style of early cinemas, offering a more relaxed experience with less overbearing décor. The cinema survived until 1987.

With thanks to Leslie Doyle for Bill Doyle and Lilliput Press

Wanderly Wagon, 1967

Wanderly Wagon

‘Wanderly Wagon’ was a beloved part of many an Irish childhood through the years

This model of the Wanderly Wagon was used for the flying scenes in the RTE children’s programme. Wanderly Wagon ran from 1967 until 1982.

The central role of O’Brien was played by the legendary puppeteer Eugene Lambert, who travelled the country in his flying wagon. O’Brien was joined by characters such as the grumpy Fortycoats, the lovable Godmother (played by Nora O’Mahoney) a flying dog called Judge, and old Mr Crow, a rather sardonic and unlikable bird. Strange but true: Neil Jordan once wrote an episode of Wanderly Wagon.

With thanks to RTE

Watch a video about the Wanderly Wagon model:

A letter signed ‘Yours Antiquatedly, Sam Beckett’

Playwright Samuel Beckett wrote this letter to schoolboy John Hughes, who was living in the house where Beckett grew up – Cooldrinagh in Foxrock. “Say hello to my ghost,” urges Beckett.

With thanks to John Hughes

Samuel Beckett Card (REVERSE) (b)