Tag Archives: Irish Times

Myles ahead

Flann O’Brien used the Scotch House, Burgh Quay, Dublin, as his ‘office’. However, he had dozens of other haunts in Dublin, including Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street, which is the near site where the Scotch House once stood.

Flann O'Brien
Flann O’Brien

As the years have gone by, his reputation internationally has grown enormously. However, one of the great story-tellers in the English language, Graham Greene, spotted the talent early on…

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Cover of first edition of At swim two birds, 1939.

Writing under the pseudonym, Myles na gCopaleen, Flann mentioned Mulligan’s every now and then in his column in the Irish Times. In this particular extract, he refers to the theatrical association which the pub had because of its proximity to the Theatre Royal which once stood opposite the pub.

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Extract from the Cruiskeen Lawn column by Myles na gCopaleen, Irish Times, 13 July, 1953.

The puzzle of ACCISS decrypted

Brian Ó Nualláin/Flann O’Brien/Myles na gCopaleen (1911-1966) was an Irish novelist, playwright and satirist, considered a major figure in twentieth-century Irish literature.

Flann O'Brien
Flann O’Brien

He frequented Mulligan’s (and indeed many other pubs in Dublin) and mentioned the Poolbeg Street saloon in his column for the Irish Times written under the pseudonym Myles na gCopaleen.

In the early 1950s, he began writing about a Lord Mayor of Dublin and these articles — with the mysterious word ACCISS prominently displayed — eventually led to Flann being removed from the civil service.

Section of article by Flynn O'Brien writing under the pseudynom, Myles na gCopaleen, from the Irish Times 24 December, 1951
Section of article by Flynn O’Brien writing under the pseudynom, Myles na gCopaleen, from the Irish Times 24 December, 1951

In one of the columns, Flann mentions a party he held (though the story appears to be fantasy) at which, Jack Grealish was among the invitees. Grealish knew the writer well and referred to him as Flann in conversation.

Section of article by Myles na gCopaleen in which Jack Grealish is mentioned
Section of article by Myles na gCopaleen in which Jack Grealish is mentioned

Grealish worked for the Irish Press and brought the future US president, John F. Kennedy to Mulligan’s for a drink in 1947.

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Jack Grealish with his pet terrier, 1941.

The mystery of the acronym ACCISS is explained with great flair by Val O’Donnell in this video. Click on the picture below to unravel the ACCISS mystery…

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