So off on another League of Ireland ground-hop, into Dublin this time to see Bohemians in Phibsboro, and make it 7 out of the 20 completed, to tick off on the LOI list!
Phibsborough, or Phibsboro, is a mixed commercial and residential neighbourhood in North Dublin hugging the The Royal Canal. A typical red-brick terrace area, with the odd Victorian style looking pub and the always busy Doyle’s Corner thoroughfare.
A good key land mark is St Peter’s Church, a nice church that dates back to 1862, the National Botanic Gardens are situated in nearby Glasnevin, and the vast Phoenix park with Dublin zoo not far off too. And if you fancy some Gaelic sports, then Croke Park is also within walking distance.
The area is a nice mix of locals, people working in the city, and students who attend the DIT or are training in the Mater Hospital. As a result the area is well built up, has all the amenities you would expect from a smallish town, and is served by a good supply of decent pubs.
Notable residents include actor Michael Gambon, of Harry Potter fame or Shakespearean thespian, depends on your age I guess, Éamon de Valera, former Taoiseach and President of Ireland and also James Joyce spent a while here in his early formative years.
Easily reachable by a whole swathe of Dublin Buses, the area will also soon be linked to the city centre via the Luas Cross City Line network, of course one could walk from O Connell Street which could take you about 30 minutes or less.
Pub watch (and Cafe’s!)
Seventy Four Talbot bar
Address: 74 Talbot St, Dublin 1
First bar of the day, just off the train and thirsty, hopped in to Seventy Four Talbot Bar, on ……surprise surprise….Talbot Street. Up until very recently this used to be Mother Kellys bar, a decent bar that was always quite popular and always busy, so I was interested to see what the new guys had done. They have done a good refurbishment, and it looks the part alright, but I wonder does it have any character as now it looks like an identikit Dublin bar with all the wooden floors and polished furniture. As it was still early there weren’t many customers, ordered a Smithwicks, which went down well, then quickly left as I went off to get my hair cut, as I so often do when I’m home (its really expensive to do in Switzerland!)
Pint was decent, staff friendly, place looks smart, clean and good. Will return when busier to get a better feel for the new place, but looks promising.
The Confession Box
Address: 88 Marlborough Street, Dublin,
Next up was the Confession Box, a pub that the brother recommended, and is considered one of the best pubs in the Northside. A lovely looking frontage, while inside it had a pretty decent early afternoon crowd in, a bit packed in a smallish intimate bar, I guess that’s why they call it the confession box, that and also cause its not too far from St. Mary’s Pro- Cathedral! Horse racing on, boisterous enough crowd, pints a flowing, doing some good trade.
Apparently it was Irish revolutionary, Micheal Collins, favourite watering hole. And this also ties in with the name, as many of Collins men during the War of Independence would receive confession here from the priests of “The Pro”, after some of their heroic deeds in the fight for independence, but I do wonder was Collins much of a drinker. I am a drinker and so ordered a Smithwicks, but I probably should have ordered a Guinness as I read later they do one of the best pints in Dublin, but truth be told I wasn’t in the mood for the black stuff on the day.
Established in 1795, as it says on one of its doors, it is an old pub with a variety of different names and owners since then. The bar is quite tiny, and we were lucky we got seats, but there is an upstairs as well.
There is a great deal of memorabilia and old photos adorning the walls of the pub featuring a lot from the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence, and Dublin in the rare old times, amongst other stuff. They do sell T Shirts and key rings, which to be honest is a little naff and don’t look worth getting, I mean its an ordinary pub at the end of the day, not Disneyland!
I liked this bar, was small and comfy. The pub had a nice mix of locals and tourists, and I am sure if we had stayed longer we would have got into conversation with some of its clientele. The service was fine, and the pint good. Will be back for sure and hopefully next time will try to catch some of the live music that they are renowned for putting on, all for my sins!
Address: 27 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1
Was pretty hungry at this stage as we had skipped breakfast so we decided to have some fish n chips in Fusciardi’s Cafe just up the road from the Confession Box.
An Italian chipper where you can sit down, they serve food fast and the place is well known for serving great food, especially the fish n chips, for over 80 years now to Dubs and people hoping to get a quick bite as they head up to catch their bus/train home to the country! It has a very relaxed setting and people eat away minding to their own business.
Was busy enough, service friendly, the fish n chips were fine as expected, got well fed, stomach lined and ready for more beer. Like most Irish people, we LOVE our little Italian chippers. Result.
The Metro Bar
Address: 155 Parnell St, Dublin D1
Popped in to the Metro for a pint, and it was a very fast pint, as I had to start making a move on to Dalymount. Nice interior, ordered a Tennent’s Lager which was fine.
Is a sports bar so had a lot of sporting memorabilia dotted around the place.
Small midday crowd, good service, decent pint and that was that.
Bang Bang Cafe
Address: 59A Leinster St North,
I was due to meet Daniel who is a Strategic Planner for Bohemians, and meet him at his place of work which was his Bang Bang Cafe and Delicatessen not too far off from Dalymount itself.
After a few twists and turns we eventually found it tucked away at the end of a side street. We were surprised to see such a cafe hidden away from the main street in a quiet residential area.
Daniel set up the place with his sister in 2015, looking to open something new in an off street location where people could come and go, enjoy their coffee and food with chill out tunes and friendly vibes all in a relaxing environment. Also important was that any products on sale should be, if possible, local.
Bang Bang Cafe takes its name from a well known Dublin character. During the 1950’s and 60’s, Thomas Dudley, acted out the life of a cowboy on the streets of Dublin. “Bang Bang” he went at bus and tram passengers, playing with his gun, ie a big church key that he used to carry round with him. It was all fun and games as many used to actively participate in the high jinks and return fire and play dead on the city streets. What great craic it must have been to see a whole street turned into the Wild West all due to the imagination and humour of one eccentric, Bang Bang.
He was immortalised in The Dubliner’s song The Mero which included the line “Bang Bang shoots the buses with his golden key”.
Despite given so much joy to ordinary Dubs, Bang Bang himself had not the best start in life. Both parents died when he was young so he spent a lot of his early life in an orphanage.
He passed away in 1981, aged 74, in a Home for the Blind run by the Rosminian Fathers in Drumcondra and was buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of St Joseph’s Cemetery.
The fact he was buried in an unmarked grave troubled Daniel, so much so that he decided to set up a GoFundMe account to get a decent burial place for one of Dublin’s characters. With the help of the cafe, over a hundred ordinary Dubliners donated to the cause and raised enough money to erect a plaque at the grave of Bang Bang. On the 28th of August 2017, the plaque was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, on the site of Bang Bang’s unmarked grave. A fitting tribute to Thomas Dudley and hats off to the Bang Bang Cafe for the lovely gesture and for keeping the story alive.
(on a side note: wonder do people remember the Diceman who entertained my generation on the streets of Dublin, wonder has he got a memorial?)
Was great to chat to Daniel about Bohs, and his cafe. Only had a coffee but can definitely say that the place was buzzing and I must say it had a better atmosphere going on than a lot of the bars I had visited that day, excellent.There are also many books on art, politics and football available to have a gander, and they also sell retro clothes and all sorts of nick nacks.
Will definitely like to check it out again, even if I am not a big coffee drinker, but I must try their Brunch Burgers as I have read that they are legendary, and I do like me burgers!
Long Island Bar (Joxer Daly’s)
Address: 103 Dorset Street Upper, Dublin 1
Ventured up to Dorset street to check out two pubs, Glynns and the Long Island Bar.
Not a bad crowd in, nice enough bar, settled down to try a new beer, ordered a Dublin Blue Lager from the Beer Factory, who ever they are. Bar man did a great job on the pint and it looked fantastic. Good news is it also tasted great, definitely a beer to check out again in the future. They should do a Mayo version just for the laugh!
Good pub, good service, and nice pints. Simples.
Glynns pub (The Wellington House)
Address: 100 Dorset Street, Dublin 1
At the corner we went into Glynns and this time I went back to the old reliable, a pint of Smithwicks. This bar had a good friendly and relaxed atmosphere going on, also interesting to watch some Polish fellas play pool very badly, and the pints were great and served well.
Lovely decor inside with a lot of famous pictures and photos of Irish musicians of the present and the past. Another good pub to add to the long list of decent Dublin boozers.
The Hut (Mohan’s)
Address: 159 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7
We decided to have one last pint in a new pub for us, just before we headed into the ground. Having already been in Doyles before, on the corner, which is a great pre match boozer, we decided to try somewhere new, so to The Hut with its inviting exterior. The Hut is a family owned traditional Victorian bar on Dublin’s North side.
Also decided to try for the first time the Hop House 13 Lager which wasn’t anything extraordinary from Guinness.
Apparently The Hut got its name from the hut-style dwellings the locals lived in when the bar opened its doors way back about 150 years ago. Not sure about that but what I do know is that it is a nice pub, with a lovely traditional interior, has good service and decent pints, all well and good…
The Members Bar/the Phoenix Bar
Address: Bohemians F.C, Dalymount Park, Phibsborough,
The beauty of Dalymount is that it has not one, not two, but three bars for supporters to wet their whistle, the Members’ Bar, the Phoenix Bar and the Jackie Jameson Bar. Not a lot of LOI clubs can even manage the one so thats a great venture for the club to offer fans on matchdays, top notch stuff there!
The main bar – the Members’ Bar – is open every Friday and Saturday evening, as well as every Sunday from 12pm. It also open early on Bohs match-nights and for other televised sporting events.
The Phoenix Bar and Jackie Jameson Bar are open on match-nights and available to hire as function rooms.
Even though its called a Members bar it seems anyone can walk between it and the Phoenix bar with ease. Not much difference between the two, as they were both packed to the rafters with supporters having the beer and the craic. Good atmosphere brewing in both bars for the game.
Didn’t get into the Jackie Jameson bar but then I am not that important as it is mainly for VIP’s and Guests of Honour.
Ordered the Bohemian craft beer, which was rank, disgusting. But then went for the Five Lamps Dublin Lager which was excellent, a nice find. The Five lamps was so good I will definitely be checking it on next time I am home.
Tickets into the ground cost €15.00, and that includes the game, least you dont manage to actually leave the goddamn bar!!!
Arena/Stadium: Dalymount Park
Manager: Keith Long
Leagues: League of Ireland Premier Division
• League of Ireland/Premier Division: 11 (Last 2009)
• FAI Cup: 7 (Last 2008)
Nicknames: Bohs, The Gypsies, The People’s Club
Bohemian Football Club, the Bohs, is a professional football club from the Northside of Dublin. They were founded by a bunch of students, way back in 1890 at the Phoenix Park Gate Lodge beside the North Circular Road entrance.
One of the founding members of the League of Ireland in 1921, Bohemians are the oldest League of Ireland club in continuous existence, and are also only one of two clubs (St Pats) that have never been relegated from the top flight.
It didn’t take long for the club to win its first title, winning its first league title in 1924. And more early success followed as the club won four more titles and two FAI cups by the 1930’s. But that was in the good old days of amateur football, and so with the advent of professionalism and the club unable to sign players as an amateur club, they went 34 seasons without anything at all. They finally went professional in 1969, and broke their barren spell in 1975 winning their sixth title, and another one in 1978 with two FAI Cup wins thrown in for good measure. Another trophy-less spell came until the noughties when they won four league titles and two more FAI Cups, making Bohs the third most successful club in League of Ireland football history, having won the League of Ireland title 11 times and the FAI Cup 7 times.
European wise they have had not much success, but they did eliminate Aberdeen from the UEFA Cup in August 2000. In the next round they came up against Kaiserslautern of Germany and although they lost the tie, they did beat their more illustrious opponent away. Its not often that a LOI team can beat both a German and British team in one season. They also beat Rangers 3-2 at home in 1984 in the Uefa Cup, in a very bad tempered game both on and off the pitch. Of course they also got a 4-0 away hammering from the mighty Total Network Solutions to lose the tie 4-1, which was pretty embarrassing at the time. A game I was at, and am still in shock about.
Bohemians played their first games in the Phoenix Park’s Polo Grounds, after that they played in numerous different locations, in Jones Road, Old Belvedere, Glasnevin, but it wasnt until 1901 that they decided on Dalymount Park, in the neighbourhood of Phibsborough, where they have stayed ever since. It has been said that this is how they got their name….Bohemians and the nickname of the “Gypsies”….with all the wandering around looking for a ground to call home.
A lot of Irish international games were played there before the national team moved to Landsdowne Road in the early 1990’s. Many memorable Irish games were played out to a packed Dalymount, 45,000 people cheering on. A 3-0 thrashing of the Soviet Union in 1974 one famous night where “The Dalymount Roar” was in full effect. Pelé, Beckenbauer, Zidane, Van Basten, Charlton and Best, all the greats have lined out here in what many people call the “spiritual home of Irish football”
Dodgy land deals done during the era of the Celtic Tiger put the club in debt and on the brink of collapse, with its members selling the ground not once but twice to developers but with nothing to show for it. But in March 2015 Dublin City Council announced that it would purchase Dalymount park for €3.8 million, thus wiping out the clubs debt.The Council plans to demolish and rebuild the old ground on a phased basis at a cost of €20 million, into a new modern ground with a total capacity of about 8000, and to groundshare it with local rivals Shelbourne. This all comes at a good time as the stadium, loved by the Irish footballing community and all, is in terrible disrepair at the moment, as on big match days only two of the stands are used, making a lot of the ground look bare. The Jodi Stand is the main stand in Dalymount, and this is where the Bohs singing section are located at the far left of the stand.
Their club colours are red and black, which they adopted at the 4th AGM in October 1893.
As Bohs’ fan base is mainly drawn from the northside of Dublin their supporters share a bitter rivalry with Southside club, Shamrock Rovers.
To the game
Bohemians 3-2 St Pats
2 ‘Ismahil Akinade (Bohs)
3’ Christy Fagan (Pats)
16’Daniel Corcoran (Bohs)
52 ‘Daniel Corcoran (Bohs)
65’ Conan Byrne (Pats)
Barely had time to settle in my seat when Bohs went one nil up, In just the second minute, Paddy Kavanagh down the left, passed across to Ismahil Akinade who headed home at the back post. A well worked goal and a great start to the game.
But if you thought that was quick, then the equaliser was even quicker, Pats were right back in the contest, just one minute later when a long ball from Barker on the right was latched onto by Christy Fagan who with great effort slid the ball under the Bohs keeper to equalise.
Fagan was getting a lot of luck down the right, in the first half especially, while at the other end Akinade was causing the Pats defence all sorts of problems what with his lanky frame and decent ball control for a tall fella!
The game turned on its head when in the 15 minute Gavin Peers got tangled up with Akinade’s big legs and gave away a penalty. Was it a penalty? I am not so sure but Dinny Corcoran converted to give the home side a deserving 2-1 lead. And to makes matters worse for Pats, Peers was also sent off with a straight red card. A huge amount of excitement in a jam packed first twenty minutes, scintillating stuff.
Keith Ward was a lively wire too who went close on a number of occasions, a nice free just over from 25 yards out, and long rage effort that was oh so close but for a finger tip save from the Pats keeper.
Not long into the second half, Dinny Corcoran scored again. This time he slotted home from a loose ball to give the Bohs a two goal lead. It was a pity I missed it as I was still making my way from the bar, damn it.
On the 65 minute Conan Byrne got himself some space on the right (where it was happening all the time for Pats), cut inside and scored a decent goal, to give pats some hope.
Pats had one more chance when Conan Byrne, that man again, had a great chance to get an equaliser when his stretching shot came off the crossbar, unlucky, but I don’t think Bohs deserved to lose this game.
Was impressed, very impressed, with Keith Ward who was pretty awesome in the central of midfield, creating opportunities any chance he had and also linking up well with the front two. he was also very unlucky not to score with some fantastic shots that were close. Along side him in midfield, Fuad Sule also caught the eye. A really small compact player who can pass well, and gets himself about the park, excellent. I really hope Bohs keep onto these two for next season, as with the front two of Dinny Corcoran and Ismahil Akinade they have the making of a serious team. I guess that’s what Keith Long is doing. He is a manager I have rated in the past and I guess it is taking him time to get things to gel with Bohs. But he would really want to push on for next season, now that he is in his third and a bit season…..but I expect good things for next season……roll on 2018!
As for Pats, well they are a two person team, Conan Byrne and Christy Fagan, and that’s about it for them.
Short chat with Daniel Lambert, a Strategic Planner with Bohemian Football Club Limited (and also co-owner of the Bang Bang Cafe)
Daniel Lambert is my name and I look after a lot of the strategic planning for bohemian football club.
They call Bohemians, I see on the advertisement, the peoples club, can you explain that please?
Yeah, basically I suppose soccer has been, in recent years, football or soccer has been associated with owners, individuals, corporations and Bohs is the complete opposite of that. For 127 nearly 128 years we have been owned by a couple of hundred ordinary men and women, in Dublin, so it’s the peoples club in the true sense. Someone like Everton used the phrase when it actually doesn’t hold true, the club is literally owned by ordinary people, and its ran for their enjoyment and to be passed onto another group of people.
And what ways have the club reached out to the ordinary people?
Oh we do a whole litany of things, you may have seen earlier this week we were selected, 12 LOI clubs applied for youth funding in a project called More than a Club and that’s a reflection on how good clubs are integrating into the local community. Ourselves and cork were selected, yesterday is was announced
We do walk in football with mentally challenged people, walk in football with older people, we do a programme in Mountjoy prison to try and help people refrain from reoffending when they emerge from prison, there is actually a group, our club president, is over a prison in the Netherlands right now, tonight, a group of ex-prisoners in Mountjoy are playing with a group of bohs players over there
We do a whole range of things, we have a project for school completion and….
So what about yourself, how long have you been supporting Bohs….?
I was brought since I was a baby….so 30 years.
so you had no choice then
No, no choice at all!
Best season all those years?
For me actually the best season was probably last season! As a fan I suppose I was unusual in that I was on the board for a lot of the years, we had severe trouble and I actually realised in retrospect that the Fenlon years and the other years where we won a lot of trophies behind the scenes were the worst years the club had ever had. And id hand them all back if I could and not have almost destroyed the club.
I think that last year there really was a sense of togetherness, Dalymount was saved, we had a group of honest players on the pitch and we didn’t win anything but for me the feeling around the club is better than its ever been.
So was that serious then, really?
Absolutely. The club blew a serious amount of money in a very short space of time for trophies that really don’t mean anything if you talk about preserving your club that was passed down, that was put in severe jeopardy for trophies over a very short space of time.
then I guess the general consensus is that Keith Long is doing a good job?
Amazing job, yeah, in fairness, Keith’s done a great job and I suppose for Keith he has come to Bohs at a time everyone is fully aware of the situation and what we are trying to do and he has been giving an awful lot of leeway that perhaps other managers weren’t in the past and that’s a good thing. People are realistic about where we are, what our budget is and they know we are not going to win the league, and when you put a group of players on the pitch like Keith has who just have effort and honesty about them, it’s hard not to applaud them
(so this season so far, your more or less mid table, your safe aren’t you?)
Yes, I think we are more or less safe. It would be nice to win tonight, you know Pats were one of the clubs that wanted to go for the ten team league, so id love to see pats go down, and we weren’t in favour of it obviously, yeah so I hope we win tonight and I think we will finish mid table.
your cult hero of the club, all those years?
for what reason then?
Well he built the Jodi stand, he is the honorary life president, played for the club, and he stuck around. Tony will be here tonight, and Tony, in those years we were stuck for money, the first person up to write a check or to try to get people together was Tony. And that’s a man in his late seventies. So fair play to him.
so tonight’s game then, st pats, shud be a good game, their real pressing teams
Id say both teams to score
a draw maybe
I think so, one all, or two all either way, pats usually come to Dalymount looking to not concede first so they can’t do that tonight, and our home form has been atrocious, so I think both teams will score and then 2-1, two all or one all.
any players to look out for tonight that maybe general fans wouldn’t know about, under the radar
For us, Fuad, I mean Fuad will be going to England by the looks of things, he is a phenomenon player, he came from Pats under 19’s
definitely then going to score tonight so!
I think he is our best player
its worth a fiver
And of course, wardy after the hat trick up in Drogheda.
and the atmosphere tonight, what should we expect?
The atmosphere will be good. Dalymount is difficult in that , you know we are fully aware that the ground has two sides realistically, so you are creating noise on two sides which isn’t ideal, but Bohs n Pats its one of the better atmospheres, I think you will be pleasantly surprised, obviously us and rovers isn’t comparable to any other game we play, so this ranks up there with one of the better atmospheres
is it difficult to get punters in all the time?
Not anymore no, we turned a huge corner, that the perception of bohs, and its something we have worked on very hard, the perception of bohs has changed massively, when you go in there tonight, you will see there will be quite a lot of tourists, quite a lot of girls, and the kind of demographic at bohs games has shifted quite a lot in the last few years. we haven’t lost anyone, we have just added on a new group of people.
I see you are linking up with other teams as well, you have FC United…
Fc United, we have good links with st pauli in hamburg
yeah its something we have really tried to press home
will there be a sparkling of German and……
yeah you will see it here, there will be german, French, Spanish, they will be drinking the bohs craft ale, there will be hipsters everywhere
you have three bars
So The one in the middle is the members bar, generally older demographic in there, mainly bohs members, the bar on the far left is the phoenix walking in that’s generally our singing section, there is a jukebox in there, lots of pictures of past gigs in Dalymount, the one on the far right isn’t open to the public that’s our sponsors bar, it opens up after the game.
will I see Johnny Logan tonight?
You will see brush shiels,
You will see, who else will be here….
James Kavanagh is coming tonight, im picking james up in the jeep, you know james kavanagh, the snap chat celebrity
John Kavanaghs brother, McGregor’s coach. So james is coming to tonight and he is snapchatting the whole night
im just after realising the name of the bar (café)…..bang bang , you were in the news recently…
Yeah we got a gravestone made for bang bang, on rte news
Used to shoot a key around Dublin
it was only recently, what 2 or 3 weeks
2 weeks ago
I know you cant see this now obviously as we are speaking, but the idea behind this and its something we have tried to say to other clubs, happening more and more is with this picture obviously its red and black but beside that its everything you wouldn’t expect to see on a football poster, no crest, no footballer, and there is a woman in it and that’s done on purpose as very often the FAI try to market the league and they miss the point, they put up a player in a jersey and a kit, that only appeals to existing fans….
But you see this, first of all you are thinking what’s it about……..but it kind of draws you in….
Yeah and that’s something we have tried to bring across all our engagements with the public…
so what about shamrock rovers then? Ha ha
In what way
you get excited when they come this side of the city
yeah both of us do, like…..there are some good things going on about shamrock rovers, I think they miss the point in that we try to celebrate the fact that what they did in terms of a club is getting themselves a ground and coming out from that period of absolute madness that they were in, should be commended as a club. Id have nothing against them as a football club
When we play them I want to beat them, do I like them…..no I don’t.
But I do think for us, been able to stay in Dalymount is massive.
Tallaght is a nice stadium, but there is no soul to it, it’s a sterile place, its on the periphery of the city
(its very windy, jesus right up the middle
I don’t like it. I met a guy here recently and he was a Spanish fella and he had come over, and he came to see us and rover in Dalymount, and he arrived on the Thursday and he got a Dublin bike and cycled out to Tallaght stadium to see it, and he said “I had left the city”
so what’s this place you have going on here the, it seems like a pretty cool place
It… what do we do,,,, we do food, records and clothes and coffee and
are you long open here?
Nearly two years
yeah, seems pretty busy, buzzing in there
A lot of it is football stuff. Me and my sister did it, her rule at the start was no politics, no football, so ….its full of bohs stuff…. And I climbed on top of that building last week and put a Palestinian flag on top last week
So that’s pretty much it, thanks very much …..and a prediction for tonight
Id go 2-1 bohs
And who is going to score the last goal
Dinny, to score
Dinny Corcoran, thanks very much
Overall, enjoyed my visit to Dalymount, as I always do. Its a smashing old style ground that can create a special kind of atmosphere in the Dublin air.
Was great to meet Daniel and get the low down on the club. He was right about Fuad, he is some player alright.
Enjoyed the bars in and around Phibsboro, was good to find some new decent boozers and some new beers to try out next time i am back in Dublin…..Five Lamps n Dublin Blue….
Dublin still the place for the craic….good pubs, great beers, football and the Liffey!!
Anyway, here is my day out in video form