Tag Archives: Dublin


Number 1. Frank Burke.

Taking one for the team.

Sinead Finnegan writes:

AIG Insurance today released the first video of its three-part mini documentary series, ‘Playing for Dublin and Fighting for Ireland’.

The short series focuses on three individuals; Frank Burke, Tilly Simpson and Charlie McMahon, who each represented Dublin at intercounty level, but who also fought for independence in Ireland in 1916.

The first video released as part of the mini-series tells the story of Frank Burke )above). Frank, who studied under Padraig Pearse at St. Enda’s school, travelled into the GPO with Pearse by tram on Easter Monday, 1916..

After the Rising, Frank would arguably become Dublin’s greatest ever player, winning two All-Ireland hurling titles and three in football. On Bloody Sunday, while playing for Dublin, Burke who was being marked by Michael Hogan was shot by British forces.

The ‘Playing for Dublin and Fighting for Ireland’ mini-documentary series is produced by Paul Cahill and narrated by Paul’s father, Des Cahill….

AIG Ireland


LE BOOMDub-American synth-pop

What you may need to know…

01. Chris and Aimie (no surnames) are the transatlantic synth-pop duo LE BOOM, based between Dublin and Brooklyn.

02. Hotly tipped by the Irish Times and State.ie for bigger things domestically, their work in the U.S. is paying off, with recent glowing reviews from Paste Magazine.

03. Streaming above is the video for single What We Do, a taster of their first formal release due next year. Filmed in Brooklyn, with featured dancer Breckyn Drescher.

04. Catch them next at Floating Joints XI at Connolly’s of Leap on the 17th, supporting Meltybrains?

Verdict: Super-tight synth-pop with indie touches, the duo easily has it in them to elude the big-name comparisons and put their own stamp on Irish electronica.



The video for Dublin alt-songstress Naoise Roo‘s new single Whore premiered yesterday on Nialler9.

Directed by Girl Band visual collaborator Bob Gallagher, and starring actor Aron Hegarty, it accompanies a tune that provides a backing track for internal conflict and examination of roles/power structures.

Says Naoise:

“The song Whore was born out of a sense of longing and frustration. The idea of playing with power and submission. I think Bob’s video reflects those feelings, but takes a different slant. Religion and sexuality have had centuries of conflict and in Ireland we know this all too well. But at the root of it sexuality and sexual energy are the essence of being human. I’ve often wondered where that energy goes, what that inner conflict looks like”

Naoise Roo


Henrik’s Norse flag of Dublin

On a recent visit to Dublin, Henrik Jacobsen a Danish graphic designer and architect was quite taken with the city and particularly the Nordic origins of Dublin which date back to 841 AD.

In true Danish, style he gathered up as many books as he could and read up on Viking Dyflin.

Henrik writes:

“The Viking story of Dublin is illuminating both from a Norwegian and Danish perspective.The fact that this city was almost a proto-Venice of the Irish and North sea is something that has largely been forgotten.

One of the things that struck me, is that there is an undercurrent of Nationalism in many of the accounts of Viking Dublin. I think many Irish people narrate the story of the Vikings as ‘us’ and ‘them’, when the truth is far more complex and interesting. I was amazed to learn that a Norse dialect was still spoken in parts of Dublin up until the early 14th century.

A lifelong vexillologist (flag lover) he set about a simple task (from a design perspective) of crafting a Nordic flag for Dublin using the city’s navy and sky blue colours.

Said Henrik:

“Every town and village in Denmark has its flag and crest. Ireland is no different in that respect, but you don’t see them, unless you attend a Gaelic football game. Indeed many of those flags are of recent origin. I personally think, Dubliners should be proud of the Norse origins of their city.

It took me a while to get my head around the fact that the colours used at those football matches were not the official colours of the city but only introduced when colour television was introduced for GAA matches…

The Danish flag was formulated in 1748, the design but not the colours were copied by the Norwegians, the Swedes (typical) and the Finns etc. I can see no reason why Dubliners cannot have their own Nordic flag.

I think it looks good. Also, one has to accept that the Irish national flag is itself a knock-off of the French tricolore, so there is no need to stand on ceremony about such things”


Thanks Antoine D’Alton


Crowhammersci-fi inflected heaviness from Dublin

What you may need to know…

01. Crowhammer. A power-trio from the capital. Self-described as “Dublin’s premier narrative driven sci-fi/fantasy stoner rock/krautrock music group”.

02. The band has gigged semi-regularly around the country since their foundation, most recently including Little Gem Recordspre-Halloween throwdown at the bandstand in Phoenix Park.

03. Streaming above: 2013 single Wizard & Flame, available for FREE download NOW.

04. Catch them next, playing the Retro Revival Indie Club at Dublin’s Grand Social on December 9th, supporting No Spill Blood.

Verdict: Atmospheric, sludgy heft from a galaxy, far, far away.



No Spill Bloodhefty Dublin/Cork space-noises

What you may need to know…

01. At last, an excuse to talk about Dublin synth-heft power-trio No Spill Blood.

02. Coming together initially as a side-project to Adebisi Shank, and featuring members of Elk and Magic Pockets, they’ve become more than a going concern in their own right, with second album Heavy Electricity releasing in March of last year, via US label Sargent House.

03. Streaming above is the aforementioned long-player, available to stream, download and purchase on CD and vinyl.

04. Playing Dublin next on December 9th at the Retro Revival Indie Club at the Grand Social. Support from Crowhammer. Tickets €8, more info available here.

Verdict: Equally heavy and spacey, the band have lurched into the forefront of Irish independent music.

No Spill Blood


The trolley bay of the Longwalk Shopping Centre Dundalk where the body of Paul Gorman, who was homeless, was found last Friday


In the Dáil.

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Ruth Coppinger and Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin raised the matter of homelessness with Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

During their exchanges, Ms Coppinger said Fr Peter McVerry believes the true homeless figure in Dublin may be double the official figure as several locations across the city, where homeless people sleep, are not taken into consideration when official figures are created.

In addition, Mr Ó Caoláin recalled the recent death of 49-year-old father-of-three Paul Gorman in Dundalk.

Mr Gorman’s body was found in the trolley bay of the Longwalk Shopping Centre Dundalk by a member of staff at Tescos at around noon last Friday.

He had been sleeping rough on Thursday night, when temperatures were below zero.

During his response, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said three more hostels – with 210 beds – will open in Dublin on December 9.

From yesterday’s exchanges in the Dáil.

Ruth Coppinger: Last week in the Dáil the Taoiseach referred to the tsunami of homeless as having had a “slight increase”. I challenge the Taoiseach on that because the increase is not slight. The latest figures on homelessness in Dublin were published last week. I will confine my comments to Dublin for the moment. I am aware that there is a homelessness problem in other parts of the country but the bulk of homelessness in the country is in Dublin, which is why I am focusing on it.”

“There were 2,110 children in 1,026 families in emergency accommodation in the last week of October. A total of 67 families with 133 children became newly homeless last month. I will repeat that for the Taoiseach – 67 families became homeless last month. The Taoiseach told the Dáil earlier today that his Government has the most comprehensive housing programme in the history of the State. Indeed, the former Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Deputy Alan Kelly, used to say the same thing. The Government’s housing programme is clearly not working and I would like the Taoiseach to admit that. I would like him to admit that we have an emergency and to say that there will be a change of course.”

“There has been an increase of 45 in the number of homeless children in Dublin since September 2016. There has been an increase of 639 in the number of homeless children since October 2015. These statistics were provided in response to parliamentary questions I submitted a week ago. There has been an increase of 349 in the number of homeless families since October 2015. In total, there are now 5,146 homeless families in emergency accommodation in Dublin. That does not include the 140 people who were counted sleeping rough on the streets last week – the Taoiseach referred earlier to a figure of 115. Nor does it include the 70 people sleeping on the floor in the Merchant’s Quay cafe or those sleeping in tents in the Phoenix Park. I do not know if the Taoiseach has seen them.

The total does not include people sleeping in derelict buildings or on park benches. Indeed, according to Fr. Peter McVerry, the true figure for rough sleeping would be twice as high if all of those people were included. Furthermore, the figure does not include the 16 women per day who are turned away from refuges and who face the choice of homelessness or returning to a violent abuser. The total does not include homeless non-nationals who are dealt with by the Department of Social Protection’s new communities unit. The true homelessness figure is much higher than the official one.

“What is causing this? The Taoiseach chairs the Cabinet committee at which several Ministers attend. I do not have time to go into the record of each Department but in terms of Social Protection, cutting the dole for young people will not help. The lack of refuge spaces, for which the Minister for Justice and Equality is responsible, will not help. The response of the Minister for Finance was to focus time and attention on the first-time buyer’s tax rebate of €20,000 which will go straight into the pockets of developers and push up the price of housing.”

“…I am sorry but it is rare to get a chance to ask the Taoiseach questions on such an important issue. Mr David McWilliams who is not a card carrying member of any left wing or socialist party has said that the deposit rules were relaxed by the Central Bank in order for prices to rise which will coax builders who are sitting around waiting for such price rises into beginning to dig foundations. This is State-sanctioned house price inflation.”

“One of the main reasons for people becoming homeless is the failure of the Fine Gael Party, in particular, to do anything to tackle landlords and their control over tenants. Mr David Erlich of the Ires Real Estate Investment Trust, REIT, told The Irish Times last week: “It’s a great market, we’ve never seen rental increases like this in any jurisdiction that we’re aware of”. I hope the Government’s private rental policy, to be announced next week, will introduce rent controls.


Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin:  “I would like the Taoiseach to note that the cold, lifeless body of 49-year-old Paul Gorman was found last Friday morning in the trolley bay at the Longwalk Shopping Centre in Dundalk. He was homeless and died on a particularly cold night when temperatures fell below zero. I want to take the opportunity today to extend my condolences to his family. His death clearly highlights the dangers for rough sleepers.”

The number of rough sleepers is up over 50% on last year, despite what the Taoiseach and the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government have pledged would be done in regard to emergency bed provision. According to the latest figures from the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive, DRHE, about 140 individuals were found to be sleeping on the streets and in doorways. That figure has been challenged, as Deputy Coppinger pointed out, by the Peter McVerry Trust which argues that the actual figure is more likely to be twice that number. On the “Today with Sean O’Rourke” programme on RTE radio this morning a researcher spoke of discovering a cadre of homeless people in Cork who have set up a little camp. They are living in fear and in totally outrageous circumstances. We need to wake up to the real problems here because the true facts of the situation are not being established.”

“With no time left I can only ask the Taoiseach what the Cabinet committee on housing is doing to address this worsening problem and whether it will address the discrepancies in the recording of homeless figures that I have just highlighted.”

Homeless man died after sleeping rough on sub zero night (Dundalk Democrat)

Related: ‘Stackable’ modular apartments to be built for homeless families (Olivia Kelly, Irish Times)

Pic: Dundalk Democrat

Transcript: Oireachtas.ie


i am niamh – classical-influenced alternative

What you may need to know…

01. Classically-trained and informed by the avant-garde, Niamh Parkinson, aka i am niamh, specialises in noirish alternative pop.

02. Having finished debut LP Wonderland at the end of last year, she’s managed to get the attention of Nialler9, The Irish Times and The Thin Air.

03. Streaming above is new single Bellend, taken from the album and released today digitally.

04. Appearing on Friday December 9, at Bello Bar, in Dublin, to launch the single in her last headliner show for the year. A tenner online or €12 at the door. Support from Rosa Nutty and Mythill Grim.

Verdict: Wonderland was one of the most promising Irish debuts of 2015, and Bellend shows us an artist at play.

i am niamh

Photography: Isabel Thomas