I’m All Ears!

Original artwork by AaronMcGrathCreative

Dublin is full of stories and I can’t think of anywhere in the world that has better stories to tell than this small corner of the city. The craic to be had on Jacob’s Factory floor, going with your nan to the old Iveagh Market to get the messages, long afternoons in the Bayno Play Centre, a first date in the De Luxe Cinema and where you might go after, or the lost shopfronts and pubs of the Liberties before the road widening and – the memories of these places should be collected and shared.

With so much change happening in this part of the city, as new developments appear, as we welcome new people and communities to the area and as new generations are born it is by preserving and sharing these stories that we can keep and share a sense of place, keep these memories alive and be good ancestors.

After months of preparing and shelving books, in 2018 when we finally reopened the doors of the library among the first people to come through the door was a couple; i hope they would’t mind me saying that they were older. Pure joy shone out of them and as they spoke they alternated between holding hands, hanging off the other’s shoulder, nudging each other and sharing private little jokes between themselves. They told me that once a week they would travel by bus across the city to where they had a lock-up. He would carry on building his train set and she would get back to making doll’s houses. I think I’ve thought of them every week since.

If you have a a memory to share about life in this part of the city or know someone who does, please get in touch. At some point down the line, when it’s safe to do so again we could record it over a cuppa or else I can send you information to record own story or that of someone close to you by email or over the phone. Once a few tales are gathered I’ll edit them into an episiode and upload it here for people to listen to and send a copy to the Dublin City Archive.

No story is too small . . . in fact the small stuff is sometimes the best!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Cummins says:

    Just a nice happenstance that I noticed your link on a reply to a Dublin photo on FB. This will be just a synopsis of moments in time : We moved down from Charlemont St when i was about 8 and I grew up around the corner in Wexford Street over Mr Hogans the butcher. Totally (literally) surrounded by females – many aunties, cousins, sisters, neighbors and all their extended families, so not surprising I sought escape/solace in reading of any description. In those days it was the norm for kids to be missing until food time and if I wasn’t readily found It was a sure bet that I was in Mr Salters Book shop (up the road from the library) or the Library – they had already checked by shouting out of our back window to see if I was ‘messin’ in the graveyard out the back with other gurriers.

    Mr Salter (yes different times) was a lovely country man and always wore a tweed jacket and a “Dickie Bow”. I always assumed he lived in the back. He allowed me to “stack” the comics and books in reading sequence – I haven’t changed. I used to put them on the counter and just sit on them – though all bets were off if a paying customer wanted something I had :-). I was already a Library member and as time moved on he would pick out books for me to read and tell me the names to get from the library. As I got older the librarian would sometimes get me these books from the “adult” section ‘cos I was still too young. I think I worked in every shop in the Wexford Street, delivered papers to all the hospitals, veg and ‘shopping’ to all the nice houses, collected and delivered the turf to the OAP’s, watched the blacksmith in Liberty Lane shoe the horses and charge 6 pence when someone wanted to dip their warts (hands) in the Forge cooling water – seemly it helped to remove them – and anecdotally it seems to work – who knew! Then on the other side of the lane was Mr Davies with a couple of horses and a hansom cab – a shilling to fill a bag with manure – flies included.

    I count myself as very fortunate. All of those that i was loved and surrounded by, though “poor”, provided a very rich and intelligent life experience and it helped that I am cursed with was an insatiable curiosity. What 10yo doesn’t want to debate pricing at the pawn office on a Monday morning before school – and that snippet of a young boys growth is just one of the threads that went into the formation of – well..me!
    BTW – this was early 60’s. Hoped you enjoyed this moment in time.

    Regards – Tom C.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chris Nugent says:

      Tom, that’s absolutely fascinating!

      Do you still live in the area? If you are near Kevin Street Library in the future i’d love to have a chat with you and record it.

      Thank you again for sharing that. Chris


      1. Tom Cummins says:

        Hi Chris,

        No I’m not close enough to visit I’m afraid – I live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland and my work is based in Brisbane . Glad you enjoyed the note and its great that you’re collecting some of the history of the immediate area, as for most, this seems to have little interest in this world of instant gratification and short attention span,though I imagine every generation thinks the same. I work in a technical field myself and even for me the current speed of change leaves little time to save some of the special things for future generations. But! the adage “every day is a learning day” still holds true…

        Regards – Tom C.


      2. Chris Nugent says:

        Well, thank you for a great tale beautifully told. I found this, the closing of Hogan’s after 80 years. Perhaps you recognise Christopher Hogan? https://www.irishtimes.com/business/retail-and-services/dublin-butchers-off-the-block-after-80-years-1.4137249


      3. TomCummins@tpg.com.au says:

        Hi Chris,

        Yes, I had seen that as one of my sisters – along with several others – sent it to me. I often get a note from friends who are regular Facebook users re something from the area. You might be interested in the couple of links below regarding Chris Hogan and also what I always knew as “Brian’s” but was actually the “Egg Depot” – Brian worked there. I had commented on them at the time and there were some nice comments from people in/from the area. Might add some grist for your story mill….take care and if I manage to get to Dublin next year I will look you up. My last trip home before they’ve all fallen off the perch!

        https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10157719896734226 &set=gm.10157322387098204

        https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10215432107748813 &set=gm.10155580317978204 – Egg Depot

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/dublindown/posts/10157462057098204 – Egg Depot

        Regards – Tom C.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. David Davis says:

        P. S. I don’t know how long the family lived there after 1925 or which Son the Mr Davies that you mentioned was but if you knew his first name that would be amazing.


    2. David Davis says:

      Hi Tom, wow your comment is an interesting little gem to find as my GrGrandfather was John Davis/ies who lived on Liberty Lane in both no. 13/14 and then no. 21 up to at least 1925 when his wife Jane died, but I know very little else about him. He was a Carpenter and also a Carrier/Cab Driver at some point, could be the same horses and Cab you mentioned…but Is it possible you know more about the Davies family that you could share with me? There was also A John Davis in no. 21 in the 1840’s who is Buried in St. Kevin’s next to the lane. I tried reply already so I hope this isn’t in duplicate. Regards David


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