I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Dublin stories

Death of a Volunteer

Volunteer Gerald Keogh was shot dead outside Trinity College on Easter Tuesday 1916. He was one of three brothers involved in the Rising. Another brother, Augustus, was a noted theatre manager, who promoted the works of Shaw in Dublin.

Pass The Palaver

James Joyce, whose birthday we celebrate today, may not have been familiar with the term 'sexual harassment' but he knew the phenomenon. The most common victims in Edwardian Dublin were young women in service, preyed on my middle class men.

Love in the Afternoon

A painful case of 1926, which came to the attention of the Dublin courts, seemed to illustrate the wide gap between Irish middle class morality and the easier and more indulgent ways of the French bourgeoisie.

More About Mary

Mary Pendarves was a well-connected socialite who was flattered to win the friendship of Dean Swift. Many years after her release from an unhappy marriage she married again, this time happily, to Dr Patrick Delany and the two set up home in a beautiful house on the banks of the Tolka.

The Politics of Love

Mary Granville, later Mary Pendarves and Mary Delany, was bullied into marriage with an older man aged seventeen for financial reasons: 'I was married with great pomp. Never was woe drest out in gayer colours ...

The Bell Rings, Over A Black Pool

A poem from Moya Cannon's latest collection makes connections between medieval Dublin, a querulous student and south Dublin's most pleasant amenity.

Hallelujah for the Bums

George Frederick Handel's sublime `Messiah', first performed in Dublin in 1742, was not entirely about giving the bourgeoise a nice outing. Its purpose was to raise funds to relieve distress, which then, even more than now, was prevalent in Dublin.

Wider Please

In 1757, the Wide Streets Commission was set up to lay down wide modern streets which leading citizens felt were essential to a modern and prestigious city. Unfortunately Dublin was not to remain such a city for very long.

Kissing Cousins

James Cousins, an early literary revival figure, fell for Gretta Gillespie. Gretta overcame an early antipathy and they married, embracing vegetarianism and theosophy, which provided a focus for enthusiasm in the absence of “some more artistic way of continuance of the race”.

A city frozen in time

The prevailing culture in Dublin is one of conservation: we don't like the new or the modern, preferring the old and crumbling. So why then has there been such sentiment about the Poolbeg chimneys, symbols of an industrial era we seem to be happy to turn our backs on?

If the Brits had won …

If Tom Barry and Winston Churchill had succeeded in reigniting the Anglo-Irish War, who would have emerged victorious? And would Ireland now enjoy a system of universal health care?

Jeering the men of 1916

It is fairly well known that volunteers captured in 1916 were sometimes jeered at by crowds of working class Dubliners on their way to imprisonment. What exactly can we read into this and what does it tell us about the legitimacy of the rising?