Sep 30 2018

‘Christmas Fall in 1945…’

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‘This is a photograph looking up our stairs at home in Cabra West. On Christmas Eve in 1945 my mother was eight months pregnant. As she walked out of the bedroom she thought one of my brothers, who was two years old at that time,  was about to fall down the stairs. She reached out and pulled him back onto the landing and overbalancing, she fell down the stairs. My father came running out of our kitchen and lifted her up off the floor. So, with coats, hats and scarfs on my mother sat on the crossbar of my father’s bicycle and he took her into the Rotunda Maternity Hospital. Early Christmas morning my brother Noel was born. My mother told me that when she arrived at the hospital the Matron said “You’re only coming in here for your Christmas dinner“. The next morning, being Christmas Day, my father took the rest of the children to Mass. He then left the children with one of our neighbours and went in to see my mother. When he arrived home the neighbour had his dinner ready for him on the table and a bottle of Stout to wash it down with…’ 

Sep 30 2018

‘The Kitchen Dresser…’

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The original Kitchen Dresser we had was painted a light blue. It certainly wasn’t as fancy looking as this one in the picture. I suppose the Dresser was a forerunner of the China Cabinet where all the best china and things were kept and displayed. I’ve recently managed to get a few old blue Willow Pattern plates. I’m away most times haunting the oul Second-Hand and Charity shops for bits and pieces to put on my Dresser. I came across an old style Cross that was used when someone was “Laid Out” at funerals and put it up on the top of the Dresser as well as a photograph of my First Holy Communion Day. I remember when my Da’ used to put his Collar Studs into an old milk jug that my Ma’ had hanging up on our Dresser, the jug was only for show, it was never used, unless we had a visitor or that. My Ma’ used to work in a Rosary Bead Factory and she had two or three sets of these beads, that she had made kept, for safekeeping in one of the drawers….’

Sep 14 2018

‘Take them up to Monto…’

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‘The Red Light district of Dublin known as “The Monto” is where my father and mother were born. Both of their grandmother’s were very much involved in the business of supply and demand of prostitutes. Yesterday, 13th September 2018, saw the official opening of the “Monto Museum”, placed in Railway Street, Dublin…’

Aug 23 2018

‘The Monto Girls…’

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‘The black cross hanging on the wall above this old bed was kept in our parlour in Cabra West for donkey’s years. It was up on the wall over the old sideboard. When my great grandmother was dying in 1917 this cross was placed over her bed because the Priest refused to give her the Last Rites. My great granny had once been a prostitute and had spent several years in jail for her part in a murder. Two of her sisters were also prostitutes and one of them was a Madam who ran several brothels in the area known as The Monto. When she died her daughter, my Granny Burke, who later lived in Cabra West, took the cross down and would loan it out for other unfortunate girls who lay dying. It became known as “The Girl’s Cross”. When my Granny died in 1964 the cross went to my mother and she looked after it. On her death it eventually passed to me. In recent times I donated it to Terry Fagan for inclusion in his Monto Museum in Railway Street…’

Aug 13 2018

‘Goodbye Matt…’

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‘It now looks like Matt Whelan’s has finally bitten the dust. Word has it that a new Student Accommodation Complex is planned for the site.

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