All posts by John Mulligan

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.


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.

James Joyce & the Mulligan’s area



jjj7In Finnegans Wake by James Joyce the River Liffey is embodied in the voice of Anna Livia Plurabelle


The river is also mentioned in Ulysses:

 A skiff, a crumpled throwaway, Elijah is coming, rode lightly down the Liffey, under Loopline Bridge, shooting the rapids where water chafed around the bridgepiers, sailing eastward past hulls and anchorchains, between the Custom House old dock and George’s quay.


jjj4The Tivoli Theatre (1898-1928)  was originally Conciliation Hall (1843), then the Grand Lyric Hall (1897), then the Lyric theatre of Varieties (1898) and finally the Tivoli Variety Theatre (1901).


It is mentioned in a short story Counterparts that forms one of the collection in Dubliners by James Joyce:

Weathers saluted them and told the company that they were out of the Tivoli.


jjj3Mulligan’s is used as a setting in the narrative of Counterparts (Dubliners) by James Joyce. The author had to fight with the publishers to keep the name Mulligan’s in the story because they feared the publican, James Mulligan, would sue them.



When the Scotch House closed they went round to Mulligan’s.


jjj6James Joyce had a life-long love of opera. He was a competent tenor and did well in competitions in his younger years. He frequently attended performances at the Theatre Royal, Hawkins Street.

The Theatre Royal (1897-1934)


jjj5The Crampton Memorial, at the junction of College Street/ Pearse Street and D’Olier Street was erected from the design of John Kirk the sculptor in 1862.  It was removed in 1959.


The memorial is mentioned in Ulysses:

Sir Philip Crampton’s memorial fountain bust. But who was he?


jjj2The Tara Street Baths and Wash-house were designed by Daniel J. Freeman, Dublin city architect 1879-1893, with construction starting in 1884. Later altered by a successor C.J. McCarthy.  


In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom uses the Tara Street public baths in the Lotus Eaters section of the novel.



Prospective president visits pub

The memorial monochrome photograph of John F. Kennedy, who visited Mulligan's in 1947. Picture courtesy of Jonas R.
The memorial monochrome photograph of John F. Kennedy, who visited Mulligan’s in 1947. Picture courtesy of Jonas R.

Mulligan’s is unique in that three of the most influential people in Literature, the performing arts and politics have visited it.

James Joyce is regarded as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, if not of all time.

Judy Garland is known throughout the world, not only because of her role in the Wizard of Oz but also because of her remarkable performances in other films and her skill as a singer.

President Kennedy pictured in the White House
President Kennedy pictured in the White House

In politics, John F. Kennedy is regarded as the consummate politician, the Camelot President who made people believe in themselves and in their country.

He visited Mulligan’s in the company of an Irish Press journalist, Jack Grealish, in 1947.

Bar two

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.


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.


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