Who once lived on this Dublin street ?

I took this photo a few weeks ago when I was out for a lunchtime stroll.  I really like these quaint little red brick terraced houses on Doris street in Ringsend in Dublin‬ 4.  Doris street is located in an area called South Lotts, which was reclaimed marshes along the South of the river Liffey in Dublin.  I believe these houses were built-in circa 1905, as I can’t find any reference to Doris street in the 1901 census and they appear in the 1911 census.

Street in Ringsend terraced houses
Builders working on an old red brick house on Doris street in Dublin 4


Maritime professions

When I got home, I searched the 1911 Irish census to see who once lived on this street.  I find the old census entries fascinating, I love finding out about families from the census, it is one of the reasons I love old houses and I would love to buy an old period property one day, that you can see who went before you and the house has a history. The census gives a snapshot of the lives of the folks who lived there once.  On Doris street, some of the inhabitants were employed in the nearby Dublin Port in maritime related jobs. For example, in no.1 Doris street, a John Dunne lived here with his wife and an Uncle and they took in lodgers, John worked as a Steamship Stoker and in no. 11, Matthew Ward Senior lived here with his wife and daughters and his son Matthew Junior, both father and son were employed as Sailors.

Irish Glass Bottle Company

In a number of other residences on Doris street, the inhabitants occupations are related to the nearby Irish Glass Bottle company which was located in Ringsend‬, the majority of which, were English natives, perhaps brought over by the company due to their expertise. James Cooper was originally from England and in 1911 he lived in no. 34 Doris street and was a Bottle Blower, James had a boarder staying in his house, a Robert Irvine from Scotland and he also worked as a Bottle Blower.  In no. 46, William Hall from England worked as a Bottle Maker and in no. 22, Robert Goslin originally from England worked as a Bottle Maker and in no. 36, a George Gannon from Dublin, worked as a Bottle Maker.

Ringsend was an ideal location for a glass bottle company at the time, as to make glass you need sand and also coal to melt the sand, been nearby to Dublin bay and the Port ensured easy access to both, with sandbanks and the imported coal delivered into the docks.  This short video made by the Dublin City Public libraries, gives a brief history about the Irish Glass Bottle company which was established in Ringsend in 1871.



Other inhabitants professions on Doris street in 1911

Looking at that one street, it looks to have been a prosperous street in 1911, far removed from the tenement slums that were prevalent in many parts of Dublin inner city at that time.  In nearly every house, the residents are listed as being in employment, the street is made up of, a mix of working class Catholic and middle class Protestant families living there at the time. Catholic men were mostly employed as Labourers, in Stables, Warehouses, factories, at the Port, Tram Conductors and as Firemen and the young single women were employed as Envelope Makers, Type Distributor, Seamstress and Dress Makers.  While many of the men employed in the Glass bottle company who lived on Doris street were English Protestants.

Today, Doris street has a mix of young and old inhabitants, old Ringsend natives and skilled Irish and foreign workers, in a hundred years, I am sure the census will show many of the inhabitants worked in the nearby Google and Facebook companies.

Citizens in Conflict

During the week, Richard visited the Dublin City Library to check out the Citizens in Conflict  exhibition.  It’s a 1916 Easter Rising exhibition currently on display at Pearse street Library in Dublin 2, running until the 25th June 2016.  It’s an historic multi-media exhibition which includes eye witness accounts and sources such as Dublin Fire Brigade logbook.

It gives a snapshot of the Rising through the eyes of ordinary citizens in Dublin and how the Rising affected them, with posters about Martial Law, curfews and notices about shops, banks and bakeries closed due to the conflict.

Citizens in Conflict Exhibition - Irish flags
Citizens in Conflict Exhibition – Irish flags

It has a particular focus on the Pearse Street area of the city (formerly Great Brunswick street) where Patrick and Willie Pearse grew up and where Boland’s Mill garrison was commanded by Eamon de Valera. It also remembers the 257 civilians who were killed during the rising including 40 children.

Citizens in Conflict Exhibition - Martial Law
Citizens in Conflict Exhibition – Martial Law posters

Free Guided Tour

You can pop in and view the exhibition during Library opening hours and there are also free guided tours available on Monday’s and Wednesday’s with historian Donal Fallon, the tour lasts 30 minutes. Donal is also one of the writers on the Come here to me blog and we first heard about the exhibition through the blog’s instagram page.

Citizens in Conflict Exhibition - Pearse Street library
Citizens in Conflict Exhibition – Pearse Street library

The library is worth a visit to view the beautiful building it is housed in, the Dublin City Library and Gilbert Archives on Pearse street was originally the Great Brunswick Street Carnegie Library and Dublin City Council’s library headquarters. The building dates back to 1909 and was designed by the city architect C.J. McCarthy and the façade of the original building is composed of Mount Charles sandstone with dressings of Ballinasloe limestone.

Location and Opening hours

The Dublin City Library & Archives or Pearse Street Library is located on Pearse street in Dublin 2 and is opened from Monday to Saturday from 10 am, with late openings until 8 pm from Monday to Thursday.

It is a 10 minute walk from Pearse street dart station


Images: melcoo.com & featured image - Google maps
Sources: melcoo.com, Dublin City Library & Library buildings

10 things to do for Halloween in Dublin

If you’re visiting or living in Dublin and are looking for things to do around Halloween, this post might inspire you, there are lots of different events happening in Dublin to suit  a range of tastes and ages.

  1. Revenge is a dish best served cold.

RTÉ Concert Orchestra usually screen a thriller or horror movie with music played live.  Watch Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 crime masterpiece – winner of three Oscars and starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino – on the big screen, while the orchestra performs Nino Rota’s score live on stage.

Here’s a trailer from the Czech Orchestra.


2.  I see dead people!

Visit St Michan’s Church and get a tour of the spooky crypts and see mummified bodies and skeletons.  This is a great activity for all the family, its the right mix of historical and macabre, it would be an ideal outing over Halloween and the midterm break.  Check out our blog post about our visit to the crypts earlier this year.  Tickets cost €6 euro for an Adult or €15 for a family of 5, for all opening days and times, click here.

mummified skeletons Dublin
Mummified bodies of a Nun and Crusader


3.  I want to suck your blood!

The Bram Stoker Festival runs over the month of October.   Dublin City will celebrate the life, Dracula Bram Stoker festival Dublinwork and legacy of Dublin horror novelist Bram Stoker and his gothic novel ‘Dracula’.

Also, fun fact, the quote above, was never mentioned in the book or uttered in the original 1931 Dracula movie, here’s a short quote, that does appear in the book “The blood is the life!”.

There are various different events on from music, movies, lectures, horror makeup tutorials, debates and walking literary tours.

Check out the website to get a flavour for the events.



4.  Film Fatale ball

Film Fatale host different Halloween themed balls at the IMMA, (Irish Museum of Modern Art) at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham in Dublin 8.

IMMA Halloween event
Film Fatale Prohibition Speakeasy dance

This beautiful old building provides an atmospheric background to this 1920’s themed Prohibition dance with a touch of macabre. They will have Djs playing electronic swing and bathtub punch cocktails and you can also learn how to do the Charleston dance.  Tickets sold out last year, so grab your tickets quick and scram.  See Facebook and to book your tickets.

5.  It was a monster mash…

The National Concert Hall, usually host a children’s halloween themed music kids show, for example Little Demons, its described as a “spook-tacular interactive Hallowe’en family concert featuring education ensemble, the ECO Band with chilling sounds and creepy tunes.”  Everyone is encouraged to dress up and children can bring their musical instruments if they like. Check their website for latest halloween themed show, click here.


6. It was a graveyard smash…

If you want to dress up over Halloween and head out to a bar and nightclub where you won’t be the only one in a costume, then head to Fitzsimons Bar and Nightclub in Temple Bar in Dubin city centre.

Every year they host Halloween Party theme nights, with big cash prizes up for grabs for the best fancy dress costumes.  It gets a mix of locals, tourists, stags and hen parties, with people in all sorts of costumes and ghoulish makeup and that’s just a regular night there! bada bing… but seriously it gets a mix of people in fancy dress costumes from witches, pirates, where’s Waldo, Sci-Fi costumes to zombies that look like they walked off the set of the Walking Dead TV show, it really does get the crowds, the majority of whom, have got into the festive Halloween spirit and dressed up.

Fitzsimons Halloween Party night - Winner
One of last years winner, Source: Image Fitzimons Bar & Nightclub

It can be a little disappointing, when you make the effort to dress up for Halloween and head out to a venue that’s suppose to be fancy dress and you realise no one else is dressed up and you are stood in your local pub, dressed up in a Werewolf costume.

7.  Journey back to the dark ages

This is a Ghost tour and Horrible History tour in one, run by Dublin bus, it departs near the Dublin Bus Headquarters on Upper O’Connell Street.  The Dublin Ghost bus tour visits Christchurch and professional actors recount Dublin’s dark tales including Dracula’s Dublin roots and a visit to St Kevin’s graveyard.  Tickets cost €28, Book here for tickets.

Check out this review from Irish vlogger Clisare


8.  Things that go bump in the night…

If you want to hit up a few bars in your Dracula or Superhero costume, then Dublin City Pub Crawl will guide you around, they host a Halloween themed fancy dress pub crawl.

Check out their website here.


9.  Let’s do the time warp again

Get dressed up as your favourite Rocky Horror picture show character and head to the Sugar Club on Lesson Street, Dublin city centre.  The Sugar Club throw different halloween nights, check out their website for this year’s event, here for more details.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Ireland
Rocky Horror Picture Show Ireland


10.  Digging your own Grave

Take a Ghost bus tour the week of Halloween on The Gravedigger bus, tours cost €25 and start from Trinity College and go to Kilmainham jail and the gates of Glasnevin cemetery, professional actors will transport you back 600 years to the time of Plague in Dublin, includes a drink in the Gravedigger pub in Glasnevin, Dublin. See here for tickets.

O'Connell Tower - Glasnevin Cemetery



*This blog post  originally published in Oct 2015, it is not sponsored in anyway, just my opinion of some fun things to do around Halloween in Dublin.

Photos from O’Donovan Rossa Funeral commemoration

Photos from the O’Donovan Rossa commemorations, the State service at Glasnevin Cemetery and the Sinn Féin funeral re-enactment.  Read all about it here.

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Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa commemoration

We attended two Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa funeral commemoration services this weekend.

Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa was an Irish Fenian, originally from Cork, he established the Phoenix National and Literary Society, which later merged with the Irish Republican Brotherhood.  He was imprisoned by the British and was eventually exiled to America, where he continued to campaign for Irish freedom.  He is most remembered today for his funeral, where Pearse gave a famous speech.  Which was said to be the start of the 1916 Rising.

Colourised version of the famous O'Donovan Rossa funeral from 1915
Colourised version of the famous O’Donovan Rossa funeral grave side photo


We heard about the first service on the Ireland 2016 Facebook page two weeks ago and applied for free tickets on the Glasnevin Cemetery website.   This first commemoration is part of the State’s official events.  We arrived at 9.30 am and queued up, along with 1500 people, we had got tickets to be inside the cemetery by the O’Connell Tower, near the Republican plot, although this been 2015 not 1915, we were about 100 metres back behind barriers from the grave site and watched on big screens.   On arrival, we received a souvenir copy of the funeral service, it was a copy of the original funeral booklet and had some old photos and an old photo of the grave site which had been colourised.

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The first service started at 10.30 am  in Glasnevin Cemetery, the American descendants of O’Donovan Rossa were in attendance and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humpreys, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D. Higgins arrived and inspected the Irish Army, Defence Force’s 6th Infantry Battalion as the Army band played.

The director of the Glasnevin Cemetery trust, John Green, spoke and gave an account of O’Donovan Rossa, he also stated controversially that O’Donovan Rossa near the end of his life, had become repentant about his campaign on Britain, but this is widely disputed as untrue.

President Higgins laid a wreath on Rossa’s grave and the actor Jim Roche played the part of Padraig Pearse and gave the famous oration speech.

The fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead and while Ireland holds these graves, Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.

This was followed by  a gun salute by a Defence Forces firing party.

The weather was lovely and it was blue skies and the sun came out. After the service we headed off and got the bus into town and got some lunch.

We then walked over to Dublin City Hall, for the second commemoration.  This service was organised by Sinn Féin and was a re-enactment of the O’Donovan Rossa funeral, which took place on the 1st August 1915.  Hundreds of people had dressed up in old costumes, ladies with big hats and long skirts and men in waistcoats and flat caps.  We only heard about this re-enactments a few days ago, so didn’t have time to gather a costume, but I would have loved to have taken part.

In the main hall, there was a coffin draped with a Irish tricolour, surrounded by men in Irish soldier costume.  An actor played the part of the priest Father Flanagan who gave a sermon before the coffin was removed.  Father Flanagan hailed from Cliffoney in Sligo.

Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa Funeral re-enactment City Hall Dublin (17)
Soldiers guard O’Donovan Rossa coffin in Dublin City Hall

We saw Gerry Adams there and he was in an old tweed suit costume and he was posing for photos with people in costume. Outside there was an ornate horse drawn carriage, with two black horse’s dressed in feather head wear and the bands practising and getting ready to depart.  We walked up ahead, as we wanted to take some photos as the cortege made its way passed the iconic GPO.

Rossa funeral cortege
Rossa funeral cortege

We stopped by College Green and the GPO and took photos, the pipe bands went by, four Army officers on horseback, the horse drawn carriage with the coffin, some relatives of Rossa followed along with Gerry Adams in costume and Mary Lou McDonald and Martin McGuinness, followed by soldiers and then hundreds of people in costume, pipe bands and many more people marching along, it was quite a spectacle and lots of tourists and people shopping, stopped to line O’Connell street and watch the parade re-enactment.  We didn’t follow it along as they were going back up to Glasnevin Cemetery for the rest of re-enactment and we didn’t have tickets.

Here are some more photos from the O’Donovan Rossa funeral re-enactment.

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Before heading home, we popped into the GPO and bought a commemorative O’Donovan Rossa stamp.

If we had known, we probably would have gone to this one as it was more interactive but it was nice to see President Higgins at the first commemoration service and hear Padraig Pearse’s famous speech and the booklet was very interesting.

I know the media are talking about a competition between the government and Sinn Féin, but I think its all good, especially for history buff’s like us, regardless of what political party if any you might be affiliated with.  I do think we should be commemorating and celebrating the 1916 Rising, in the same the way the American’s celebrate the 4th of July.   We were looking at the events for the official 2016 Ireland and the Sinn Féin events and I think it’s brilliant, there is a choice of different types of events for people to attend.

Hidden gems around the Round Tower

The west Dublin village of Clondalkin, has a great walking tour with various different historical and heritage points of interest, dating as far back as the 5th century.  We recently did a self guided walking tour.

The Clondalkin walking tour takes about an hour and a half to do and is about 4 Kilometres, if you are short on time, you can also do a shorter version, which is only takes about 30 minutes and 1.5 Kilometres.  It generally takes us longer as we stop to take photos.


Round Tower

In the heart of Clondalkin village, is the impressive 8th century Round Tower, built around 790 A.D., it may have been built to house the relics of St. Mochua or Crónán, who founded the monastery of Clondalkin in the late 5th Century.  It is now accepted that one of the the main functions of a round tower was the safety and veneration of the relics of the monastery’s founder. The height of the tower is calculated at 27.5 metres.

The Clondalkin Round Tower visitor centre has opened in 2017 beside the Round Tower and includes public gardens.  The first three houses on Millview Terrace, which are protected structures were renovated into the visitor centre, along with a new building which which houses a Happy Pear cafe and exhibition space.



St John’s Church  and Church Terrace houses

On the same street as the Round Tower, are these quaint row of houses, that were built originally for the Church in 1879, to be used as Alms houses.  The schoolhouse was built in 1870. The houses were built in 1879 in memory of a former incumbent, Rev. David John Reade. The houses were also known as the Alms Houses. The Alms Houses were opened and in partial use by 1880 and contained four houses with eleven rooms together with one large room to be used as a classroom.



Tully’s Castle
This is a small 16th Century tower house, possibly one of the outposts of the Pale.

Tully’s Castle – This is a small 16th Century tower house, possibly one of the outposts of the Pale.


Its origins are mostly undocumented, however the “Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 1899” gives the following information:  The name “Castle of Clondalkin”’ is applied to Tully’s Castle in a number of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century leases, which deal with a place called “The Sheepus”.   The Castle was occupied for many years by a family named Tully.

Source: South Dublin Libraries


Photos of Clondalkin Walking Tour

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We found the self guided walking tour, on the South Dublin County Council Libraries website, they have several different audio tours covering all the main South Dublin  villages, you can click here to find a list of villages covered.  We used the walking tour PDF printout and also this Clondalkin village walking tour map.

They don’t have a mobile app yet for the all the tours, but I believe its in development.  You can also visit http://heritagewalks.sdcc.ie on your mobile device or scan the QR code below to open the audio tour on your smart phone.

West dublin audio walking tour
QR scan – Clondalkin audio walking tour

Have you done the Clondalkin Walking tour? or other Walking tours in Dublin? Let us know of any other Walking tours to do.


Blog post first published in 2015 and updated in 2017

St Brigids Well

Clondalkin, in west county, Dublin is home to St Brigid’s Well, which is said to have been established as a well for baptising pagans by Saint Brigid in the 5th century. It was believed that the well possessed powers of healing.

There are several different St Brigid Wells located throughout Ireland, they are holy wells or sacred wells, connected with Saint Bridgit of Kildare, who was a 5th-century Irish saint from Kildare, who is one of the patron saints of Ireland, and also a figure in Irish folklore.

Legend has it that St. Brigid came to the site of the monastery at Clondalkin and baptised pagans at the well on Boot Road. The structure around it dates from 1761. The well is
believed to have curative powers. A piece of rag dipped in the water and used to wipe the face, particularly of young girls, was said to cure eye complaints.

We heard about the well, when we did a self guided tour of Clondalkin, which was created by South Dublin County Council, you can click here for more information.

It is located about a kilometre from Clondalkin Village, on the Boot Road and Fonthill Road (R113) junction, very close to a Statoil petrol station and Bewleys hotel at Newlands Cross.

It took us a bit of time to find St Brigid’s Well, as from the junction at Boot Road and the Fonthill Road it can’t be seen, as its tucked away in behind some trees and hedgerow.  When you are at the junction and are looking up towards the petrol station and Bewleys hotel, the well is located on that side of the road, just before the petrol station, behind railings, coming from Clondalkin Village direction, go straight through the junction and take a sharp left, there is a footpath and a small road that leads up to a row of houses,  St Brigid’s Well is located to the left.

Photos of St Brigid’s Well, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 

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Photos: melcoo

Sources: Wiki ClondalkinWiki St Brigid’s WellSouth Dublin Libraries 

Iconic Treasures

On Saturday afternoon, after some delicious food in The Porterhouse, we headed for the National Museum of Ireland. We visited here briefly a few weeks ago but decided we would return another day to get a tour. We find taking tours are far more informative than browsing around ourselves.

The museum is located here, beside Leinster House.

The tour on Saturday was called the Iconic Treasures tour and featured some of Ireland’s most precious metalwork like the Ardagh Chalice, the Shrine of St. Lachtíns Arm and the Tara brooch.

ancient artefact
Ardagh Chalice

With it being St. Patricks weekend in Dublin some relevant pieces like St. Patricks Bell and The Shrine of St. Patrick Tooth, were discussed.

historic artefact
St. Patricks Bell

The tour lasted 60 minutes, was free and had about 20 in attendance. The tour guide was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable,  which she displayed when asked some very detailed questions by a tourist.

After the tour we had a look around the museum ourselves. One of the most striking things about the museum is the building itself – it is stunning.

History Museum of Ireland Archaeology #Dublin #Ireland #StPatricksweekend

A photo posted by melcoo (@melcoo) on

Other exhibitions on display, which we briefly visited, include Clontarf 1014 (Battle of Clontarf) and a Viking Ireland exhibition.

One other exhibition we were interested in seeing was the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibition, namely to see the bog bodies from the Iron Age.

iron age body
Bog Man


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