Letter by Letter – A

Dublin Can Be ‘Ell

Lake water lapping at UCD,

hideaway amongst leafy trees.

– Siobhán Mc Laughlin
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– Robin McNamara
– Mary B Shannon

A full moon hangs over Leeson Street,

Georgian redbricks reciprocate.

– Siobhán Mc Laughlin

– Marie Studer

Liberty Hall should be my gravity zone

a solid box

a river float

let me have a look at this green top roof

one minute before the plane takes off.

– Arjuna Cecchetti (including photo below)
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Libraries are where it’s at, sweetie!

RIA, Trinners, Marsh’s, Chester Beatty …

– Karen J McDonnell
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– Billy Craven

The Liffey is a spaceship

Which shines in the nights

As thousands of moths under the electric lights

– Arjuna Cecchetti
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Luas bell trills and seagulls cry,

city’s soft ping, nature’s shrill reply.

– Siobhán Mc Laughlin

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– Lisa Perkins

On Harry Street, thanks to Roisín Dubh Trust, you will find Phil Lynott’s statue standing tall,

Thin Lizzy frontman, composer, bass-guitarist, the embodiment of rock ‘n’ roll.


– Mary B Shannon

A Kaleidoscope of Ks

K is for Kavanagh’s kingdom, a Grand Canal bank seat,

A kindly spot to sit and dream, where kindred spirits meet.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

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St. Kevin’s graveyard – forgotten, forlorn –

holding dreams often buried before they were born.

– Karen J McDonnell

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– Robin McNamara
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– Billy Craven
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– pic by Theresa Donnelly
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– Lisa Perkins

K is for Kilmainham Gaol. In its chilly granite quad,

Many an Irish patriot was killed by firing squad.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

– Damien Donnelly – poem and three photos

Thomas Kinsella praised his childhood school teachers for all their patience and kindness and care,

A former pupil of The Model, Inchicore, he held his last public engagement there.

– Mary B Shannon

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Jackeen Jewels

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– Billy Craven
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– Lisa Perkins
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– Theresa Donnelly
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– Damien Donnelly, poem above and three pictures below
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– Robin McNamara
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June 16’s the ‘jour’ of the jotter, James Joyce,

His journey through Dublin gave Jackeens their voice,

Though he jarred with the Jesuits, he’s judged to be great

From Little Jerusalem to old Jameses Gate.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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– Marie Studer

J’s for James Joyce’s Dubliners and for a tour of his Joycean bars.

Climb the mountain to Johnny Fox’s for a John Jameson in the jar.

– Mary B Shannon

Ireland’s ‘I’s

– Billy Craven

I is for ILAC

Smiling I recall, the big day out, the feet worn out, the spree coming to an end,

Last stop, the ilac centre, the last punts and pennies spent.

– Therese Kieran
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– Theresa Donnelly
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– Robin McNamara

I for Inis Mac Neasáin, the isle of Ireland’s Eye,

Inky, without inhabitants, an idyll of sea and sky.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

I’s for Inis Mac Neasín – Ireland’s Eye of County Dublin’s coast,

sail there in the blink of an eye from the historic harbour at Howth.

– Mary B Shannon

I is for Inner City.

Abandoned buildings. Architectural splendour. In decay.

Inner city. Deeply despondent. In dismay.

– Stephen J Bolger

I is for all the inns, currently shut,

the long halls, the lounges, the bars and the snugs.

The glasses unpolished, the brass getting yellow.

We must drown our sorrows with nowt to swallow.

– Nessa O’Mahony

– Damien Donnelly, poem and two photos above

I is for the Irish Independent since January nineteen and five, Home once more to New Irish Writing which helps new writers and poets survive.



– Mary B Shannon

I is for the Irish Times broadsheet first published in eighteen fifty nine

Its iconic illuminated clock and irreverent Cruiskeen Lawn

– Mary B Shannon
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– photo by Arjuna Cecchetti

“I” is for Island and Islands are Books

A Book is a Bookshop

A Bookshop is a Town

Which Town I guess? Dublin Town.

Dublin is a spaceship for maniacs of rain, the rain is for reading, reading is for books and books are Islands.

I wish for an Irish Island.

– Arjuna Cecchetti

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– Maura McDonnell

Islandbridge

When you were Sarah’s bridge, you were named to honour Aristocracy

You took the name of the island surrounds when Ireland claimed its own Democracy

– Maura McDonnell

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– Lisa Perkins

I for the Iveagh Gardens where ivies intertwine,

Inviting isolation, ideal, rain or shine.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

I is for Iveagh House

Home to the Department of Foreign Affairs

Locus of risers and fallers on the palatial staircase.

– Marie Studer

A Host of Happening Hs

– Robin McNamara

H is for John Nolan’s Ha’penny Bridge captured in crepuscular light,

His painting pays homage to Vincent Van Gogh of a starry Dublin night.

– Mary B Shannon

Ha’Penny Bridge is a fridge

Frozen hands in the pockets

And our lifes in the sockets…

– Arjuna Cecchetti

H for the Happy Ring House, before you hear the bells,

Have hens and stags and getting hitched and honeymoon hotels

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Lisa Perkins
– Billy Craven
Peadar Maolros on Heuston Station

Hill 16, awash with sky blue, a majestic sight

Voices in full cry, tribe in unison, collective might.

Bullet proof banter, camaraderie, On The Hill

A mighty surge, Up The Dubs, what a thrill.

– Stephen J Bolger

Holles Street Hospital, where humans are hatched,

Held tightly and hugged till they’re hugely attached.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

H Is for Holles Street National Maternity Hospital

Historic first stop for baby girls and boys

And Ireland’s first woman Master.

– Marie Studer
– Damien Donnelly, poem above and three photos below

H for Howth Harbour and a hike up the Hill,

It’s hearty and healthy and heavenly still.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

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A Glorious Gaggle of Gs

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– Billy Craven
– Siobhán Mc Laughlin
– Damien Donnelly
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– Colm @ColmMynames

George’s Street Arcade like a dock in the rain

Where earrings wait sailor’s daughter

or the shiny rainbow couple under the gaslight

– Arjuna Cecchetti

My mind turns to George’s Street Arcade

where old dreams and friendships were made.

– Karen J McDonnell

-poem above and three photos below by Damien Donnelly

G is for Glasnevin, its graves of granite glory,

A gargle in the Gravediggers will give you grub and story.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
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G is for Graduates Memorial Building

Home of the Hist the Phil and the Theo

And ideas that seeped through Front Gate.

– Marie Studer
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– Robin McNamara

On Grafton Street where Glen Hansard busked and where Kavanagh’s old ghosts still meet,

also, for the glorious Gaiety Theatre, grand dame of South King Street.

– Mary B Shannon
– Anne Tully Sheridan

G is for Grangegorman, a campus for the city,

Where once stood an asylum that was gloomy, grey and gritty.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

G is good for Guinness, at old St James’s Gate,

A glass was once medicinal; the Storehouse view is great.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

Guinness Storehouse

We walk through the story of Guinness –

layers of froth and richest darkness.

– Karen S Davies

G’s for Guinness Storehouse and for its rooftop Gravity Bar, for Brendan Gleeson’s ‘Pint of Plain’ – O’Brien’s favourite jar.

– Mary B Shannon

F for Fair City

– Marie Studer
– Lisa Perkins

– Robin McNamara

Amble along Fishamble Street when an oratorio is in the air, for in April 1742 Handel’s Messiah premiered there.

– Mary B Shannon
– Geoffrey Paddy Johnson
– Billy Craven

F is for the flower sellers

On Grafton Street they bloom

They stood up to the Fat Cats

Who tried to be their ruin

– Maeve Heneghan
– Damien Donnelly poem above and three photos below

Not for us ‘the scrotumtightening sea’

– the forty foot freeze

that squeezed the men,

until we got our way, and then…

and then the women came.

– Therese Kieran
– Maura McDonnell

Exuberant Exhibition of ‘E’ Entries

E’s for the elegant edifice of the Eye & Ear,

where you encounter experts in how we see and hear

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– Lisa Perkins

E’s for EPIC the Emigration Museum down on Liffey’s Quays, Close to Tall Ship Jeanie Johnson that shipped thousands across the sea.

= Mary B Shannon

E is for Ely House

Home to the Order of the Knights of St. Columbanus

Built by Stapleton the Stuccadore

Who secured bricks from Bridgewater to block the exterior.

– Marie Studer
= Billy Craven

= Robin McNamara

E is for 7 Eccles Street, home to Molly and Leopold Bloom, Where the stink of his grilled mutton kidneys permeated every room.

– Mary B Shannon

Come to the Edge Dave Evans,

Come to the Edge, strum your guitar,

Come to the Edge with your muted palm,

With your thrum dum digg-a dig dum

– Therese Kieran

D is for Dublin

Don’t miss dozens of delicious Ds described by the denizens of Dublin and beyond!

D is for Dodder, the Liffey’s country cousin,

who rises in mountains and ends in the buzzing

Docklands of Dublin where ferries once plied

and rain was a glisten in Ireland’s Eye

– Nessa O’Mahony
Dublin Coddle by Theresa Donnelly with poem below
poem and photo by Damien Donnelly

The Dart and that coast-line hug,

dropping in on Greystones, Howth, Malahide,

chugs away at its circling & intermingling,

at its bit on the side.

= Therese Kieran

D is for Dublin city and it’s also for Dollymount strand Where Anna Liffey once dumped Gulliver upon its golden sand

– Mary B Shannon
– Lisa Perkins
– Illustration above and poem below by Siobhán Mc Laughlin

Dùn Laoghaire is always cheery,

a bandstand when days are dreary.

Blue on blue, sky and sea surprise,

sailboats tinkling from sunrise.

Teddy’s ice-cream for lunch,

horizon close enough to touch.

Illustration above and poem below by Maura McDonnell

D is for Dubliners. Bourke, McKenna Kelly and Ronnie Drew too,

they’d go to O’Donoghue’s to sink a few.

A crowd would gather, music was played,

a pub on Merrion Row where Dublin royalty was made.

– Paul @thebigmacpaddy
– two poem above by Billy Craven
Another Dalymount poem by Billy Craven

C in the Capital, Capital C…

Catch up on the clutch of Cs our clever correspondents have created!

Threads of clear water

Hold the city together

Canal-bound, drift-safe.

– ‘C is for a City with Canals’, Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan
– Robin McNamara

CENTRAL HOTEL

Back in the day, our getaway night

The Central Hotel, its cheeky peeping ceiling

could not have been more revealing

Hah! What a sight – no getting away

from me, from you

the set of us on that full moon bed

no hospital corners to fold

circles that couldn’t be squared

– Therese Kieran

– C for the Cheeseblock, aka Seán O’Casey Community Centre by Peadar Maolros (pic below)

Christ Church bells ring over

an Ché Adhmaid and Isolde’s tower

Grandsire triples method ring

announcing service hour

– Mary B Shannon

Christ Church Cat

Cat

Entrapped in the organ

in quest of a rat

Encrypted forever

the Christ Church cat

Anne T Sheridan

“Christ Church Cathedral bells will chime

at New Year’s Eve & Christmas time.

– Catherine Ann Cullen

#C is for The Clarence Hotel

(famously part owned by Bono & The Edge)

I look for Bono

raise a glass

with or without him

K. S. Moore

Under Clery’s clock

never a meeting was forgot.

Under starlight and moonlight

many a romance sought.

Under hurry and bustle,

an easy-to-find bus-stop.

– Siobhán Mc Laughlin

Crying for Clery’s, ’twas once chock-a-block,

and countless folk courted beneath Clery’s clock.

– Catherine Ann Cullen
– two poems by Billy Craven

Croke Park

Division bell silenced

God Save the Queen

Amhrán na bhFiann

shoulder to shoulder

at the altar of Croke Park.

– Marie Studer

by Lisa Perkins