This clip shows launching of the Tír Na nÓg fete in May 1922, in support of Temple Street children’s hospital. That year the hospital was celebrating its golden jubilee, having been first established in 1872. The week long festivities were launched by the Lord Mayor, Laurence O’Neill, and the Artane Boys band can be seen playing at the launch. The fete to raise funds was held in the grounds of the hospital itself, with several stalls, swinging boats and hobby horses, Irish dancing competitions and various other forms of entertainment. At the end of the scene are shots of a boy and girl dressed up as a doctor and nurse, tending to a sick doll, footage that would melt your heart, or at least a softie like me 😉
As the Dublin Opinion called it at the time, “A terrible fate of a stairs”. Erected in 1808 and blown up in 1966, Nelson’s Column stood 130ft high on Sackville Street/O’Connell Street. The explosion blew Nelson himself and twenty foot of the column off and famously the head of the admiral was stolen. Guards were put on the sites of the war memorial in Islandbridge and on the Wellington testimonial as it was thought there might be more bombs in the aftermath. Calls were made for a replacement statue, suggestions of Pearse, Connolly, Casement etc., but of course never materialised. The 60 steps to reach the platform were nicknamed by some in Dublin as corkscrew alley, and in 1966 it cost six pence to enter. The head of Nelson is still on view in the Gilbert Library on Pearse Street. I’ve seen on short book/pamphlet on the pillar by Bernard Share and William Bolger but a book I can’t wait to see and will be a great read is “The Pillar: The Life and Afterlife of Nelson’s Pillar” by the excellent historian Donal Fallon. Here’s the short clip link:
A typical scene of the May processions in the church of the Oblate fathers in Inchicore. The church was built over many years beginning in 1876 to serve the community of Inchicore and the workers of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, who assisted in the building of an earlier structure. The foundation stone was laid in July at that year and bands from Inchicore and the reformatories of Glencree and Phillipstown played at the ceremony. The altar of the gothic style church was famously made by James Pearse, father of Padraig. It wouldn’t be until the year after this 1929 clip of the May processions that the towers and trancepts were finally completed. Also included is footage from 1921 and 1924 below.
Brilliant scenes of civic week in September 1929. There were many aspects to civic week and here on display is the industrial pageant on O’Connell Street. I love every detail, from the corporation fire engines, businesses advertised(Pattersons matches etc.) with floats and also the clothing of the people attending. Launched at the Mansion House in September, civic week included military displays, music, dancing, window dressing competition, and even a play written by Michael Mac Liammoir and produced by Hilton Edwards, called “The Ford of the Hurdles”. Anyway, watch out for the horse pulling the giant brush! 😉
I’ve always associated Baldoyle racecourse just with the horses and famously being the scene of the “Battle of Baldoyle” in 1940 where Lugs Branigan made his name. These scenes though show the competitors in the International Cross Country Championships from March 1931, where Tim Smythe became the first Irishman to ever win. Smythe was from Feakle, Co. Clare and ran for “O’Callaghan’s Mills”, a club he set up himself. The winner was congratulated by president William T. Cosgrave who attended the race. Baldoyle racecourse was a hugely popular racecourse from the 1820’s up until its closure in the 1970’s. Tim Smythe went on into politics after athletics and fair green in Ennis was renamed in his honour.
The Liffey swim has been around since 1920, and follows approximately the same route from where the Guinness Wharf was(near Rory O’More bridge) to Butt Bridge. In the early years of the race it was a huge spectacle watched by up to 20,000 people. By the time of this footage, competitors were required to wear numbered caps to identify participants. As one may expect the race was moved in some years due to concerns about pollution levels in the river. For the years of the footage shown the rescue boats were on hand from the Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and the Dublin sea scouts. The race was sponsored by the Irish Independent and the prize in the 1920’s was a silver cup worth 20 guineas! The races were handicapped with the best swimmers going off last and entries numbered between 50-80 for these years in 1925 and 1926. The winners were presented their prizes in Tara Street Baths. Gerard Higginbotham from Sandycove Swimming Club won in 1925 and Thomas O’Reilly from Clontarf Swimming Club won in 1926.
Short footage of Bob Hope on a quick visit to Dublin to play a charity golf match with the American Ambassador to Ireland at the time, Grant Stockdale. He was literally in Dublin for 7hrs in between recording a radio show in London but managed to fit in the game of golf at the Royal Dublin Golf Club on Bull Island, visited a family friend who was a patient in the Mater Hospital. The Irish Times quoted him as saying “There was so many nurses around you’d think I was auditioning for a bed”. Christy O’Connor and Joe Carr played the round of golf with him and of course Bob Hope entertained them with constant jokes, followed by hundreds of spectators.