Tag Archives: Donnybrook

This morning.

Donnybrook Road and Eglinton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

An abandoned house in Donnybrook, among a row of properties where a development company has been granted permission to build a seven-story apartment block containing 94 homes despite dozens of objections from local residents…

FIGHT!

Previously: Donnybrook Unfair

Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Aeriel view of Donnybrook, Dublin 4 looking toward the city centre

A traditional village, like Donnybrook, is not just a collection of shops and business that happen to be grouped together in the same location, writes NewsFour‘s Eoin Meegan, it is a community, an organic unit, and when you damage one part you affect all of it.

Eoin writes:

A spate of shop closures over the last few years in Donnybrook {Dublin 4] has given rise to some concern that the once-thriving village is in danger of turning into a ghost town, or worse, a signpost on the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway on the way to Wexford.

Numbered among the recent casualties is Donna the Florist, Dunnes butchers, Molloy’s fish shop, and Kiely’s pub.

While the flower shop is still trading, sadly it is due to close its doors for good shortly. Donna has been in Donnybrook for many years now, and always has a welcoming smile for everyone.

When NewsFour talked to her recently she said she was very sad to be closing and would really miss the people coming in for a chat. She told me she doesn’t have any immediate plans to open again.

Roy Fox had been something of an institution in Donnybrook, serving the people for eighty years. As well as the Mecca of fresh vegetables, it was known for its exotic herbs and spices, and superior pastas, imported from Europe and Asia.

Joanne Donnelly was the third and last generation of the family to work in the shop. Shortly after her grandparents Sheila and Frank began working there, romance blossomed and they fell in love.

The couple eventually bought the shop after Roy’s untimely death, with many happy years ensuing. Sadly, however, due to market pressures and being underpriced by the big supermarkets, the shop closed for good in December 2016.

Two purveyors of meat are also noticeable losses. Molloy’s fish shop, next door to Roy Fox’s, closed following the sudden death of owner, second-generation fishmonger Peter. The shop was known for its fresh fish, organic smoked salmon and Dublin Bay prawns. Peter’s wife Miriam carried on for a while, but it too eventually succumbed.

A similar fate befell Dunnes the butcher. As well as choice cuts of meat, they dry-aged their beef by a process of hanging it for four weeks in a special room. This allows natural enzymes in the meat to break down the muscle tissue, allowing for better texture and taste.

While the big stores may be convenient and able to offer lower prices, the local shops provide the soul of a town. When they begin to drop off, one by one, the town simply dies.

The closure of Kiely’s pub last year left a yawning chasm in the social life of the village. It was granted its first licence in 1739. Popular restaurant O’Connell’s also closed before Christmas. People miss chatting to Tom as he watered the plants outside. The lease on the premises is up for sale again and it’s hoped it will reopen soon.

Financial institutions have suffered too, with two banks and the post office closing in the past few years. For Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank, it was probably due to the ever-growing trend in online banking, and the increasing move towards machine-operated banks. There is only one bank now remaining in Donnybrook.

Post office closures all around the country are causing a lot of controversy, with people saying it’s destroying local communities, and Donnybrook has been no exception to this. The post office was located at the rear of Donnybrook Fair and acted as a kind of impromptu meeting place for half the village, especially on Fridays.

A spokesperson for An Post said that they tried very hard to find a new location for the post office in Donnybrook, but with rising rental costs it proved impossible. In the end, they moved their existing customers to branches nearby, either Ranelagh, or the one in Ballsbridge or Baggot Street. He said they have no plans to move back to Donnybrook.

A proposed six-storey, 71-bedroom hotel adjacent to the fire station has been given the green light by an Bord Pleanála. Many locals object to this on the grounds that they maintain it is out of character with the area, and that the proposed building is too tall.

Certainly, it could be a boost to the hospitality industry, which counts as a positive, but on the other hand it would cater predominantly to passing trade, and its impact on local business and the life of the village would be negligible.

Donnybrook is a picturesque village only about a half-hour walk from the city. It is also well-served by an excellent bus route, and not far from the Luas (Ranelagh and Milltown) and DART (Sandymount and Lansdowne) services either.

It looks clean and well-kept, for which praise must go to the Donnybrook Tidy Towns Committee for the hard work and effort they put in, winning an award in the Tidy Towns last year.It has a unique character, and is steeped in history, going back to St Broc in the eighth century.

The people are warm and friendly, and traditionally there has always been a wide selection of businesses, from travel agents to furniture shops, to friendly local newsagents (remember Furlongs?) I even remember a shop selling headstones at one time!

While a new hotel may have its merits, it can hardly replace the small local trader. Here, whether it be the local butcher, grocer or newsagent, you went in almost for the social aspect as much as anything else.

You knew the shop owner by name, and more than likely he knew yours. You chatted about the local gossip, maybe to ask after someone who was in Vincent’s, or reminisce on old times.

There was a tangible intimacy here that cannot be replaced by the sterile supermarkets, no matter how convenient, or how clever they are at luring us in with ever-decreasing prices.

It’s particularly worrying when it comes to products like meat. The big supermarkets aren’t employing butchers, and even when they say their meat is produced in Ireland it doesn’t mean it is Irish beef or pork.

In time, these trades will be lost, like the dry-ageing technique mentioned above, and when they’re gone we won’t be able to get them back. It’s not just a question of a few shops closing, but a whole community that goes into decline.

Let’s hope this trend of closures can be reversed and before long we see Donnybrook as the vibrant village and thriving little community and it once was.

Is Donnybrook becoming a ghost town? (Eoin Meegan, NewsFour)

Pic: Kelly Walsh

Seán McCárthaigh, in The Times Ireland, reports:

A €1.4 million safe cycling plan across several south Dublin suburbs has effectively been scrapped. Councillors voted for the second time in a year against holding a public consultation on the South Dublin “Quiet Way” between Donnybrook and Kimmage.

The plan was “dead in the water”, according to one politician, after councillors rejected spending more on the project after opposition from residents along several parts of the route over road closures and the loss of parking.

Dublin cycle route ‘dead in the water’ after second defeat (The Times Ireland)

Pic: Quietway Feasibility Study

This morning.

Meanwhile…

Last night.

Kiely’s, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

The incident, following the Leinster Schools Senior Cup clash between Terenure College and St Michael’s College, occurred shortly after 5pm, with bar manager of Kiely’s, John O’Brien labelling the incident “a disgrace”.

Watch: Gardai called to street brawl in south Dublin after schools rugby match (Independent.ie)

gonzaga gonzaga2

Oh.

Darragh Noob writes:

How many Gonzaga students does it take to hang a banner? Evidently more than in this photo taken yesterday at the Leinster Schools Semi-Final in Donnybrook [Dublin 4]…

Hic.

Update

gonzaga3

Ah here.

‘We weren’t that drunk’ – Sobering result for Gonzaga fans, but they still sing when they’re losing (Independent.ie)

Pic Damien Eagers

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The former Donnybrook laundry compound in Dublin 4 (top) is currently up for sale (centre) and is expected to sell for around €3million.

The Sisters of Charity ran the laundry from 1883 until 1992 when the order sold it to a private owner who, in turn, ran it as a commercial laundry until 2006.

A former resident, who didn’t wish to disclose her name, spoke to RTÉ journalist Brian O’Connell about the year she spent in the former Donnybrook magdalene laundry in the 1970s. Independent Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn was also interview.

The woman returned to the laundry with Mr O’Connell – her first time back at the laundry in around 40 years.

As they walked, she explained how she was in the Navan Road mother and baby home until she was two and a half, before living in several different Catholic-run institutions before eventually being sent to Donnybrook in her late teens.

After she left Donnybrook she didn’t really speak about the magdalene laundry until the Residential Institutions Redress Board got in contact with her.

“I wasn’t allowed in to talk to them [the redress board]. The solicitor talked to the redress board for me, which I was annoyed [about] because I wanted to go in and tell my story. And the way I was treated in the magdalene laundries, and in industrial schools, do you know what I mean? In the orphanage it was very bad, very bad. We were starving and we never got proper food to eat, not proper clothes. I never had proper jumpers, I used to darn all the jumpers.

“And my hair used to be shaved to the scalp. We used to rob the orchards, do you see, you know? And if you were caught robbing in the nun’s orchard, your hair would be shaved. I was locked into a press for three or four days without a bit to eat. That’s the truth, I wouldn’t tell you a lie.”

The woman was locked in the press because she robbed apples out of hunger.

She then described what life was like in the Donnybrook laundry.

[It was] torture, torture. The work in there, we were so tired at night going to bed, do you know what I mean? And then up at six or half six in the morning to scrub the floors… and then marched in to church for prayers. And then down to work again. You might get bread and dripping or bread and Stork margarine or a cup of cocoa for breakfast in the morning….They ruined our lives. On my deathbed I’ll be thinking about it. I’ll never forgive them [the orders].”

“We were never allowed to talk to each other, even in the dorms at night, we were never allowed to talk. We had no education, they took away my childhood, I was just traumatised. I got electric shock [treatment], I went to commit suicide when I came out, over the convents. I took an overdose of tablets and everything. Thinking back on all this, what had happened me: why my mother left me?”

The woman is still looking for her mother.

“I asked nuns where’s my mother. ‘Who’d have the likes of you’ – that’s what I was told.”

Listen back in full here

Meanwhile…

[Buyers] might well have included businessman Denis O’Brien, who has already assembled a valuable development portfolio in Donnybrook…

Magdalene site in Donnybrook on market for €3 million (Irish Times)

Pic: NewsFour.ie

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 10.56.29

Lucy writes:

This boy was found in Donnybrook village yesterday being pushed into the traffic by an angry man. He was trying to play with said man’s dog.

I can’t describe to you how sweet, gentle and obedient he is. There’s no doubt about it – he must be someone’s pet.

The vet says he’s around 2, and he isn’t microchipped. He looks like a sheep dog with short legs, so he may be a spaniel cross.

He has a distinctive rust-coloured patch on his back, and a makeshift, battered black collar, which belonged to a bigger dog before him.

He’s quite thin, so may have been on the run for a few days from somewhere further away.

We did a knock around to nearby houses and businesses yesterday, but no one knows anything about him.

Sadly we can’t keep him after today because of allergies, but wanted to give it one last shot to find his owner. Someone somewhere is probably crying over him.

The local Gardaí and vets, the DSPCA and the pound have been told. They have contact details, or you can find me on Twitter @lucymoylan.

Anyone?