A Musical History, The Liberties, 2017

St James Parochial Hall, James St. 5th May 2017, 8PM Tickets €10,  available at www.eventbrite.ie (€1.23 booking fee) and directly from the Parochial Hall.



The event venue was built by the local community in the early 20th Century and is situated at Echlin St, a 5 minute walk from the right foreground of the picture above. It’s also located adjacent to the Grand Canal Harbour dock; it was here grains arrived by barge for the numerous Breweries and Distilleries of the locality including Guinness and distillers, William Jameson, John Powers and George Roe, barrells from Guinness travelled by horse drawn barge from Grand Canal Harbour throughout the canal network.

The Programme for the night features,

Local History Talk given by Dave Greene, Mr Greene specialises in the The Liberties victorian built underground waterways and sewage channels which featured on the American History Channels Cities of the Underworld.

Music commemorating the life and times of the neighbourhood.

Sarah Sew, Solo violinist performing Ernst’s arrangement of Moore’s Melody, The Last Rose of Summer.  Moore’s family lived on Aungier St, the current location of JJ Smyths, a short walk from  the Iveagh Trust buildings and the Liberties. He was a personal friend of Robert Emmets who died by public execution in The Liberties’ Thomas St., 1803.

Cantando Chamber Choir, conducted by Orla Barry performing a repertoire of Irish Songs and Moore’s Melodies, the beginning of the decline of the Irish language occurred in the vicinity of The Liberties where following the Monastic era from the 10th to 12th Century, Irish was spoken alongside English and Norse in whats now the Quays specifically Wood Quay, Henry II established Thomas Abbey a short distance away in the 1170s. The Statute of Kilkenny of 1372 was the first attempt to prohibit the speaking of Irish, this was limited in its application to the colony of Dublin, The Pale. 

Liberties from the 12th Century

Liberties Distilleries Golden Triangle

Lord Edward Fitzgerald Thomas St

The Liberties Brewing History

1845-1850 The Famine in The Liberties

Dublin’s Oldest House

The Image shows 1876 and the George Roe Distillery on Thomas St. Before prohibition in the US and the Easter Rising/ War of Independence/ Civil War period Dublin was the centre of the world for whiskey production, The Liberties was home to 3 of the big 4, Jameson, Powers, George Roe with Dublin Distillers being the fourth, located in Clontarf. Forbes-Cottages The picture shows housing behind Guinness in 1913 Jacobs

The Liberties was also the heartland of the Jacobs workforce since the factories installation at Bishop St in 1851, at the site of the now National Archives. Photo of nurses and patients on the lower landing of Cork Street Fever Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, 1903

While 19th Century Liberties was a centre of the world’s alcohol industry, with Guinness and the three leading whickey producers, it was also a desperate slum,

it was the latter part of the 19th Century before Guinness would pursue a course of philanthropy.

The image shows the Fever Hospital in Cork St which cared for Liberties locals suffering from Typhus, the hospital overflowed with famine victims in 1845-47. A list of subscriptions and donations from the Annual Report of 1845-1846 show Daniel O’Connell MPs contribution of £2, and the Guinness contributions of £5 and £2. The Bretzel Bakery was established in the area in 1870. Burdocks Chippers was established by Liberties residents in 1913.

Going a little further back to 1798, Thomas St secreted Lord Edward Fitzgerald before his fateful capture and was the location of Robert Emmet’s Execution in 1803. Robert_Emmet_-_Execution And further back again,

Thomas St is the location of one of Dublin’s oldest houses, Oak Beams have been dated to ancient oak forests of 1639, while the Abbey of St Thomas was established in the area 12th Century, it was here the term Liberties first applied.

And back to more recent times, comedian Brendan Grace is a neighbourhood native while author Brendan Behan was known for his comings and goings in the Harbour Bar, Echlin St.

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