Dublin Civic Trust Bookfair Saturday 10th December

Saturday 10th December 2016 from 11am until 5pm, Dublin Civic Trust  who now reside at 18 Ormond Quay Upper Dublin will hold a book sale of their  many publications covering interests from the streets of Dublin to best practice in maintaining your heritage building.

Perfect Christmas gifts, walking tours of Dublin, Conservation and restoration manuals, Trees of Trinity, and many, many more…….

Drop in and get to know the Civic Trust.  They Rock!

bookstore-front

 

 

 

 

Talk by Fiachra MacGabhann- Dundalk

For those of you within driving distance of Dundalk town there will be a very interesting talk given by Fiachra Mac Gabhann this Friday June 10th on Irish Place Names.  It will be well worth attending. No booking needed.

 

kilflynn

Kilflynn, Co Kerry……

 

An Archive of Our Past: Placenames and Sense of Place

Speaker: Fiachra Mac Gabhann

Time: 8.00pm

Venue: Wellington Hall, St. Mary’s Road, Dundalk

Date: Friday, June 10th 2016

Organisers: Dundalk Culture Club

 

Toponymy – the study of Place Names – gives us a fascinating and unique access to our past. It connects us to the landscape and nature and is a well­spring of geographical, historical and mythical information.

Fiachra Mac Gabhann presents a talk that will draw on his extraordinary ten­ volume study of the Place Names of County Mayo, Logainmneacha Mhaigh Eo, to examine some of the intricacies of these themes and piece together some of what has been lost, and offer perspectives on the historical and cultural significance of Irish placenames to our sense of identity.

Admission is Free but donations are welcome. 

This event has been organised by the Dundalk Culture Club.

Conflict + the City – Free talks

Some of you might be interested in this two day conference at Liberty Hall. The event is free but you must register through the email at the bottom of this press release.  It is a public event and open to all.

31st May-June 1st 

List of speakers can be found here: http://conflictandthecity.ie/speakers/

 

CONFLICT + THE CITY – Public Conference in Liberty Hall Theatre  (FREE)

City Wall CHAPTER 5-700x572Dublin City Council’s Heritage Office, in conjunction with UCD Decade of Centenaries, is organising a two-day Public Conference entitled‘Conflict + The City’ in Liberty Hall Theatre. The Conference is aimed at the general public and admission is free.

Over the two days speakers will engage with the audience in discussing the effect of war on the streets and buildings of cities, the rebuilding that then happens and how this affects the way we experience our cities today. Day one will mostly concentrate on Dublin post-rebellion (and post-1922) and then broaden out to look at major cities across Europe with international speakers focusing on Beirut and Berlin. Day two will look at Jerusalem, Belfast, Sarajevo, and the contemporary situation in Calais, for examples.

Speaking about the conference, Charles Duggan, Heritage Officer with Dublin City Council said “This conference is designed for the general public, for anyone who has an interest in Dublin and how the city was rebuilt after the conflicts that took place from 1916 to 1922. But as well as that, we will be placing Dublin in a greater European context and looking at the effect of conflicts on other great European cities. A host of International speakers, together with local experts will deliver talks on an aspect of the city that has yet to be explored.”

Dr. Ellen Rowley of UCD said “Staying in the twentieth century, this two-day public conference will present research into various architectures of war and cities in repair, from Beirut to Blitz-time London; from Cold War bunkers to Belfast’s peace-lines. Today, in Dublin, much of how we move through, spend time in and experience the city comes out of the 1920s reconstruction projects. The scars of conflict and the efforts towards rebuilding resonate through Dublin’s architecture, almost 100 years later.”

ENDS

The conference is free but booking is essential.

For more information see W: www.conflictandthecity.ie

E: heritage@dublincity.ie T: (01) 222 3090

 

Unique Dublin Artefact – John ffrench/Mirolo Mosaic

 

Mosaic_Mirolo

Mosaic in Boyers Restaurant, Dublin by John ffrench Irish Artist installed by Joe and David Mirolo – (The work is signed 1967)

Boyers of Earl Street is closing its doors for good.  Generations passed through these doors and the place is a wash with memory.  It is important to keep that connection to that memory, to that heritage, to that witness.
In the restaurant of Boyers is a mosaic artwork that many Dubliners over the generations enjoyed.  Too much of this unique work has been previously lost to skips and landfill.  Too many of our unique buildings, streets, have been simply bulldozed and replaced by ugly shopping centres or even uglier office blocks.  A thing of beauty is a joy forever.  This work was installed by Joe and David Mirolo an Italian-Irish family who made a cultural contribution through their trade to this city and indeed to this country.  This is multi-culturalism.  This artwork is the evidence and we must save this artefact, conserve and protect it for the joy and education of future generations. We cannot lose it or let it be taken away.
The Little Museum of Dublin would be an ideal place for this work to be represented and presented back to the Dublin people or any other similar place like it.  Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the North side of Dublin needs its own Little Museum of Dublin. We didn’t save Wood Quay in the past or the Quays.  Much of Dublin has been destroyed despite our cries – surely we can save this fine piece of Italian-Irish heritage? #loveculture
About the Mirolo family:
Guiseppe Mirolo came to Dublin in the 1930s, before the First World War he was studying medicine but that was all to change. He served his apprenticeship with artisans from his home region of Friuli in Northern Italy, he was also a ‘profigi’ or in modern terms a refugee. He worked hard to create a good life for his family and loved Dublin.
Some of his work survives in Dublin and in Christ the King Cathedral and the mosaic’s in Mullingar. The Harp on the steps of Walton’s Music Shop on North Frederick Street is his. The floor of the iconic Waldorf Barbershop is his floor.  The Mirolo family have been involved in Terrazzo & Mosaic for four generations now.
About the artist John ffrench:

John ffrench was born in Dublin to Irish and Italian parents. Travel and foreign inspiration has always been a factor in his work. His early art education was in design, drawing and calligraphy in the National College of Art in Dublin. In 1951, ffrench went to the Institute Statale d´Arte in Florence to study under professor Bruno Pauli. He stayed on in Italy until 1955 to work with like-minded ceramicists on one-off pieces and to soak up the innovations of Italian Modernism. The Mediterranean influence, so apparent in his work from then on, set him apart on his return to Ireland. At this time, Ireland had virtually no craft pottery tradition and mass produced and imported work was standard. Even in the 1950´s, the new craft schools based on the Bernard Leach school favoured the Anglo-Oriental style of dun-coloured pots, the “little brown pots” as they were known.

When ffrench returned to Ireland in 1956 he set up the ‘Ring Studio´ in Kilkenny with Peter Brennan. He began to create pots unlike any seen previously in the country; ffrench preferred to hand build rather than throw his pots and they were very sculptural and experimental in form. The cubist paintings of Picasso and Braque inspired both the ceramics and paintings he made at this time and much of his work was large and irregularly shaped (to the point that his work was described as “too obstinately asymmetrical” by a Dublin newspaper).

In 1962, ffrench returned to Ireland and founded the Arklow Studio Pottery. The Scandinavian Report into the status and quality of craft in Ireland had been scathing, a government initiative to improve standards by involving experts in the various fields was set up. Ffrench was closely involved in this capacity with Kilkenny Studios, which was producing designers for various industries. Influences from his time spent in India were seen in the imagery, colour, form and pattern work of his time. The studio produced tableware, pots, jewellery, wall panels in colourfully glazed, stamped and gilded finishes. In 1969, he moved to America and opened the Dolphin Studio in Massachusetts. With his wife he added batik works and silk-screen prints to his range. He made cheerfully coloured decorative temples and mythical buildings made from individual tiles and arranged like children´s building blocks. In 2007, John ffrench was honoured with a lifetime achievement show from the Arts Council of Ireland.

The Cutlers, Thomas Reads, in miniature by Tom Hudson

The Cutlers, Thomas Reads, Parliament Street Dublin

The Cutlers, Thomas Reads, Parliament Street Dublin – Miniature model by Tom Hudson

Reads LH window

The genius of the visual literature of miniature. After years of vigilance regarding the protection and preservation of Thomas Reads, The Cutlers in Parliament Street, a building loved by Dubliners and the world over, of all the things to fall into my lap and hands, these photos of Tom Hudson’s miniature models of Thomas Reads in around the early 1970tys are certainly the most wondrous and precious.

Fantastic to have confirmed that actual models in these photos are still in existence in the hands of a collector (Charles Dudley) of Tom Hudson’s works.

 

Here is vanished history in great detail rendered back for today’s society.  How important are these works is anyone’s guess.  But the fact that they are here I’m sure is going to be to everybody’s delight.  Take a closer look and enter the window of Thomas Reads for a true bit of window shopping into the past. Notice the matchbox and its size and then you get a sense of scale of the detail. James Joyce would be proud.  As they say, you can rebuild Dublin from Ulysses but here is certainly one of its oldest shops, actualized in miniature in extraordinary detail.  As alive now as ever it was.

Reads RH window

Reads Right Hand Window in miniature

Reads door

Doors of Thomas Reads, in miniature

Truth by James Gandon


In October 2012 I put in a question to the City Manager in relation to a statue by James Gandon that had been knocked over by a Film Unit truck in Kings Inn, Dublin.  The statue, known as Truth (or ‘Henrietta’ locally) was left in the car park for over a year without protection except a bit of sacking.  In April 2013, again after many concerned locals asked about the protection of the statue, I again raised the issue with the City Council.  This statue formed part of the Four Courts prior to the Civil war.  After the shelling of the Four Courts there was not a scratch on this sculpture.  It was removed to the Kings Inns for safe keeping and good custody where it was more or less destroyed by wrecklessness and lack of due care.  Not only from the driver of the truck (who reversed into her) but from all of those who are charged with its safe keeping.  If those who are charged with the protection of our heritage fail at this level, God only knows what the future holds.

Henrietta Street is almost now an extension of a Film studios.  The impact of these trucks on this delicate area and the residents who live there needs to be addressed and we need far more transparency and accountability as to what is exactly happening to this sculpture (Truth) which was recently removed for supposed repairs.  Also, a date when it will be returned to its rightful place.

We certainly don’t want the kind of vandalism thats been shown by their most recent installation and its new unsightly plinth.

kings inn

Reinstalled Sculptures at Kings Inn with ‘out of place’ plinth.

 

 

October 2012  Questions to the City Manager:

Can the City Manager issue a report with regard to damage caused to a protected structure, an 18th century statue, at the Kings Inn in Henrietta Street Dublin on 4/5th April, 2012.  This damage would appear to have been caused while filming was taking place in this locality which is a heritage site and a protected structure.  It would appear a film truck backed into the plinth, toppling the statue to the ground. This protected heritage item has been removed and its whereabouts is unknown. The use of dwellings and listed buildings on Henrietta St has led to a careless disregard for these masterpieces of 18th century architecture.  Not withstanding the enormous disruption and inconvenience caused to residents by the constant use of this area as a film location, both day and night.  It would appear that no permission for change of use from dwelling to studio was sought by the owners of these properties.  It is the responsibility of the City Council to protect these structures and insist on compliance with the principles of care for listed buildings.

April 2013 Questions to the City Manager:

Question to City ManagerCity Council Meeting 04/02/2013

Q72.COUNCILLOR MANNIX FLYNN

Can the City Manager supply an updated report on what action has been taken in relation to the damaged ‘Gandon’ Statue at Henrietta St/Kings Inn which was damaged recently by being knocked over by a truck that was associated with the film unit engaged in filming in this location. This report to include assessment of damage to the statue, proposed repair works, who is liable and responsible for the damage and the cost of repair and who will pay. Also what steps have been taken to manage traffic and vehicle transport in this location with regards to filming and what safety measures have been initiated in order to protect similar objects and the protected structures.

 

CITY MANAGERS REPLY

“Truth” commonly known as Henrietta, was accidentally knocked off her pedestal in April 2012 by a film truck.  Immediately advice was sought from the Society’s Architect, stone and monumental sculpture conservators and from two well respected Architectural Historians (one gave advice on the author of the sculpture (believed not to be any person of significance)), the second gave advice on reinstatement, location, and possible alternative solutions.  All the fragments of Henrietta, including her head have been removed to a safe storage place in King’s Inns.  The three main pieces have been moved to temporary safety and will be stored in a properly protected storage area within the King’s Inns building as soon as the budget will allow for the hire of a crane.  To date, King’s Inns (a private unincorporated association of members) has incurred all the costs involved in the professional advices received.  King’s Inns has a working party in place to oversee the replacement / reinstatement of the statue as soon as is feasible.

 

Following the accident (involving a film truck), the King’s Inns Health and Safety Adviser was asked to work on a plan for the occasional use of the grounds by delivery trucks, by film trucks (mainly static once they park in an assigned place) and other vehicular traffic.  Advices are awaited.  The cost of this advice will be borne in its entirety by King’s Inns.

 

 

The Oldest Shop in Dublin, 4 Parliament Street

sword wall

This building was sold over a year ago.  Prior to that it had been closed to the public for almost 10 years.  When I lived over Thomas Reads I kept my eye on the building and the flooding that was taking place at the back of the premises.  A lot of work was done to divert the water into Crane lane and I have been into this premises ‘The Cutlers’ on many occasions over the past few years, making sure the cabinets and interiors were still on the premises and not getting damaged. Those artifacts should be immediately handed over to the care of the relevant conservationists for safe keeping.

They include the historical ledgers, silverware and some beautiful cabinets.  There were many attempts by local individuals to acquire this premises from the agents and receivers but to no avail. I personally tried to get Dublin City Council to acquire the premises with the help of the conservation section of DCC.  I felt that this building gave an enormous cultural credibility to the Temple Bar area not to forget that it was on this roof and adjoining roof of 3 Parliament St,  that one of the first teenagers was shot and killed in the 1916 rebellion.  Joe Duffy has written extensively and expertly on this matter.

Indeed the new owner of Thomas Reads public house itself and the Oak Bar, I believe, would be very interested in restoring this premises and also that would keep it open to the public.  The premises extends right into Crane Lane and it is a must see even in its present dilapidated state.  The Cutlers themselves supplied many a sword to the Dublin gentry as well as the English gentry who visited.  They could even be regarded as an armourer.  Indeed the whole street Parliament Street is an ideal street along with Capel Street for  a total upgrade and a bit of nurture.  To get the picture one needs to view these streets from the windows of the City Hall Chambers where you can get the view of the upper architectural features and streetscape with a spectacular view as far down as Bolton Street.

Its grand and easy to wax lyrically about Merrion Square, Mountjoy Square but the likes of Parliament Street and Capel Street could crumble to dust if we don’t start caring as citizens about our built environment. What is an enormous disgrace here is that this dilapidation happened right beside City Hall and I have raised the issue time and time again.  I got so concerned that I brought the conservation officers from DCC into the building early last year and got them to document every single item and fabric of the building.  They assured me that the building itself was a protected structure. (ref. 6322). I raised concerns before Christmas and I raised concerns over two months ago when I noticed that the front door could be pushed open and was not secured.

I really believe that this building should have been brought into the family of buildings under the charge of DCC but I have to ask what about the other buildings that DCC own that are as equally important that the city council have had for over 20 years that are in an appalling state? Henrietta Street is just one example.

The only solution is to be proactive and it is probably time for a new association or a new organisation along the lines of An Taisce, The Georgian Society and the Civic Trust thats 21st century to deal not just with the conservation and built heritage issues in Dublin but the issues throughout the country.

We need to get much more energized, politicized if we are to be effective.  We have to bring these buildings back into living use.  Everyday use.  For everyone. Buildings for the public to enjoy.

Here is DCC Conservation Officer reply to the present concerns regarding this building.

This building is included on the City Council’s Register of Protected Structures (ref. 6322). Under the provisions of Part IV of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 – 2013, responsibility for its maintenance and freedom from endangerment lies with the owner.

Two exemption certificates were granted for stated repair and maintenance works to the property, 4 Parliament Street   in October 2012, Reg reference 0140/12  was for  specified  works for  repair and maintenance works to the roof including repair to  rain water goods .This  work has  taken place. Prior to this , the owner had been actively working with the City Council and the Dept of AHG on a programme of works to progress the   opening of  the building as a shop with a residence overhead.

The weathering of the horizontal beam over the fascia signage needs to be attended to as a matter of urgency, and this has been  conveyed to the owner’s architect.

It should be noted that there are ongoing negotiations  taking place between the owner and the adjoining public house “Thomas Reads” .This relates to the  issue of  rainwater spilling from that premises into a void area of  number 4 Parliament Street.   This is a civil matter between the two owners .

Number 4 Parliament Street is currently unoccupied and a full internal and external inspection is being arranged with the owner. Any works required for the safety of the Building will be brought to the owner’s attention and  enforcement proceedings will be initiated if necessary.

 http://www.olddublintown.com/thomas-reads-1670.html

https://www.storehouse.co/stories/c8dv-selling-off-the-silverware