Category Archives: Ireland

Ireland

Discover Dublin’s deadbeats, dossers and decent skins

Find out about the scandalous and fantastic lives of infamous criminals and other leading Dublin personalities from times past, in Hidden Dublin – Deadbeats, Dossers and Decent Skins by Frank Hopkins.

The author of Rare Old Dublin has produced a great collection of true stories from the murkier regions of Ireland’s capital.

Criminal incidents, accidents, whippings, beatings, jail escapes and hangings were all a regular feature of life in Dublin in the 18th and 19th centuries. In this gripping new collection of true stories, Hopkins creates a vivid picture of violent crime in Dublin’s past. He describes the poverty, soup kitchens, food riots, street beggars and workhouses that were part of life in the capital.

He also introduces us to the weird, wonderful, and often downright strange customs and pastimes of Dubliners stretching back to the Middle Ages. These included the ‘bearing of balls’ annual parade by the city’s bachelors and the ritual humiliation of would-be bridegrooms at the bullring – not so different from today’s stag nights!

Frank Hopkins grew up in Ringsend and now lives with his family in Rathfarnham. He contributes a twice-weekly piece on Dublin history and characters to the Evening Herald and is also the author of Rare Old Dublin, published in 2002.

Hidden Dublin is published in hardback for €20.

Don’t think outside the boxty

Who would travel to Italy and not eat spaghetti?

Well, when you travel to Ireland you have to try the local speciality – boxty. And where better than Gallagher’s Boxty House, who specialise in this rustic dish.

Boxty is a traditional potato pancake. While the name comes from the Gaelic “Aran Bocht Ti” (meaning “Poorhouse Bread”) the chefs at Gallagher’s Boxty House have turned this simple dish into a wonderfully special and mouth-watering meal.

Gallagher’s Boxty House is situated along the old cobblestone streets of Dublin’s cosmopolitan Temple Bar district, and has made serving unique Irish food presented in a contemporary, European context a speciality.

The ambience is just right for a restaurant located in vibrant Temple Bar with live traditional and modern Irish music played every day.

Prices start from €9.95 to €12.95, making Gallagher’s Boxty House an ideal choice for a lunchtime meal, available from 12.00pm – 4.00pm). The Early Bird Menu offers great value at €15.95 for 2 courses or €18.95 for a three course meal, available from 4.30pm – 6.30pm.

You can also pick up a Gallagher’s Boxty House polo shirt, cigarette lighter or keyring as a souvenir of your visit to a restaurant that celebrates the finest traditions in Irish cuisine.

You can book a table at Gallagher’s Boxty House quickly and easily with DublinEvents.

Sean Hughes Live at Vicar Street

Versatile comic all-rounder Sean Hughes returns to his first love of stand-up with his latest show at Vicar Street on Saturday the 27th of October.

Although he’s been away from the stand up scene for some eight years, he hasn’t exactly been resting on his laurels. With TV appearances in The Last Detective and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, his own show on Channel Four and even a stint on the West End stage in a serious role – not to mention two critically-acclaimed novels under his belt – it’s not surprising that he’s had little time for stand up. But now he’s back and in fine form on his home turf.

Behind Sean’s crumpled, hangdog looks and laconic delivery lies a surprisingly acerbic wit that veers effortlessly from the sublime through the surreal to the ridiculous, with plenty of audience interaction thrown in to spice up the mix. A real veteran of the comedy scene (having been the youngest ever winner of the coveted Perrier Award), stand up is obviously Sean’s natural medium, and his innate confidence on stage gives his material a laid-back spontaneity that can’t fail to impress.

Age hasn’t mellowed Sean one bit: in fact, if anything it’s lent a slightly darker tinge to his act as he bemoans his lot as a still-unmarried fortysomething with a self-deprecating honesty that’s at times almost touching while remaining consistently hilarious. That’s not to say his show is entirely self-absorbed, however – he retains his sharp eye for topical gags as well, sending up the absurdities of modern life with some perfectly-crafted one-liners.

In his own words: “I used to work in a subliminal message tape factory. We were only paid £2 an hour but no one seemed to mind…”

If you want to see a comedy great at the height of his powers, check out Sean Hughes this Saturday at Vicar Street.

Traditional food and Irish history at Six

Restaurant Six is a popular pre-theatre dining venue, just outside the Gate Theatre in Parnell Square.

Formerly part of Groom’s Hotel, the building is rich in tales of after-hours socialising by politicians. It recalls an unlamented by-gone era of gombeenism (loan sharking) which may be good for a laugh as you await your starter of spicy crab or enjoy a traditional dish of boiled bacon and cabbage served with rich parsley sauce.

Highly recommended is the scallion mash which is the complement for braised shank of lamb – a quality alternative to fish or steak. The mash tastes delicious, especially when mixed with the juice of the meat. That menu is available from 5.30 p.m. to 7.15 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.

The main evening menu is a different kettle of fish! The excellent choice of starters includes Dublin Bay prawns, battered mussels tossed in smoked bacon and parsley dressing or seafood chowder.

Surf and Turf provides an interesting combination for main course indulgence. Prawns are served with fillet of prime beef and make an excellent combination.

Fowl choice includes shredded roast duck (greatly enhanced by the hoi-sin sauce) and pan fried breast of chicken (stuffed with spicy chorizo sausage). Lamb and steak are also available, but the roast tail of monkfish with mussel and prawn provencal is truly special.

A thought has been spared for the vegetarian diner who can opt for a baked spinach and cherry tomato omelette which is served with tasty pan fried onion and herb fried potatoes. Access to Restaurant Six is through Hotel entrance.

The Stereophonics are back and playing in Ireland

I’m just looking I’m not buying, I’m just looking keeps me smiling – yes the Stereophonics are back after two years away and will be touring Ireland.

They will be playing in Belfast on 27 November, Killarney on 28 November and Dublin on 29 November. Tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster.

The boys’ fantastic sixth album, Pull the Pin, written by Kelly Jones includes the lead single ‘It means nothing’ and will be released on 15 October. The album can be pre-ordered from HMV.

This tour really will be amazing – with so much energy stored up for two years, I’m sure they will blow us all away.

UK and Ireland Tour Dates – 2007

Mon 29 Oct Lincoln, University of Lincoln SU
Tue 30 Oct Dundee, Caird Hall
Sun 4 Nov Bournemouth, International Centre
Mon 5 Nov Brighton, Brighton Centre
Wed 7 Nov Manchester, MEN Arena
Thu 8 Nov Hull, Arena
Fri 9 Nov Sheffield, Hallam FM Arena
Sun 11 Nov Birmingham, NEC
Mon 12 Nov Birmingham, NEC
Tue 13 Nov Nottingham, Nottingham Arena
Thu 15 Nov London, Wembley Arena
Fri 16 Nov London, Wembley Arena
Sun 18 Nov Cardiff, CIA
Mon 19 Nov Cardiff, CIA
Tue 20 Nov Cardiff, CIA
Thu 22 Nov Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
Sat 24 Nov Aberdeen, AECC
Sun 25 Nov Glasgow, SECC
Tue 27 Nov Belfast, Odyssey
Wed 28 Nov Killarney, INEC
Thu 29 Nov Dublin, RDS