Category Archives: History

Nuggets of gold chivvied out of Mulligan’s rich past

Monumental area

A memorial to Constable Patrick Sheahan which stands at the junction of Burgh Quay and Hawkins Street was built in 1905 from subscriptions raised. James Mulligan, who owned Mulligan’s, contributed to the fund.

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Constable Sheahan died while trying to rescue workmen from a sewer.

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His grandson, John Sheahan, is a member of the folk group, The Dubliners.

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Spot anything familiar?

The map below is a revision conducted in 1908 of a survey done in 1837.  (The map is in two sections – the large white dividing space running vertically through the centre is the point of the division.) The section here clearly shows Mulligan’s at number 8, 9 and 10 Poolbeg Street. Number 8, Mulligan’s bar, is seen as a rectangle with the court-yard denoted as a thin white line in the top left-hand portion. The 1837 map would have shown only the front bar because the back portion (now the snug or Joyce Room) was not constructed until 1875.

1908 map

Number 9 is also represented as a rectangle. Again, the 1837 survey would only have shown the front lounge, as the back lounge was only built in 1875.

The Tivoli Theatre, later occupied by the Irish Press offices, is nearby. Both this theatre and Mulligan’s are mentioned in James Joyce’s short story, Counterparts, which is included in his book, Dubliners (1914).

The Public Baths on Tara Street are also designated. These were constructed in 1885 and mentioned in James Joyce’s book, Ulysses.

The image below is the section of the map showing the location of Mulligan’s at 8, 9 and 10 Poolbeg Street.

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The Theatre Royal is also clearly seen in the larger image. This particular building was known as the Theatre Royal Hippodrome. It was knocked down and replaced by another Theatre Royal in 1935. This, in turn, was demolished in 1962 and, on the site, was built Hawkins House, the offices of the Department of Health & Children.

It is interesting to note that on Tara Street at number 45 on the map there is a fountain. If you click on the images they will enlarge and your can click again to get an even more detailed view of them.

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Up to the 1960s, pubs got deliveries of Guinness bottles that were empty and without labels. The bottles had to be filled and crown-tapped; the labels had to be pasted on by bar staff.

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These two images show such labels which have the name and address of John Mulligan’s on them. This was usual for all other pubs which also put their own distinct name and address on the labels.

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The time-consuming and exacting work of bottling and labelling gave way to more factory-driven operations in the 1960s.