Visitors to ‘A Little History of the Dublin Pub’ can get an insight into the history and development of the pub from the ‘bruideans’ or early hostels of ancient Ireland to relatively modern times as well as a tour of topics as diverse as bar-room politics, pop culture in pubs, Irish writing and pubs, the impact of the temperance movement and pubs as barometers of social change.
The capital’s public houses have long been places of celebration, contemplation and commiseration, said Simon O’Connor, Curator of The Little Museum of Dublin, at the exhibition opening. As a result they’re one of the most iconic elements of Irish culture.
“From its origins in the front rooms and parlours of Dublin homes to the grandeur of the Victorian era, the pub has always been a strange mixture of tradition and innovation, of public and private life,” he said, “Whether it’s rebels in pubs, women in pubs, the temperance movement under Father Mathew or scenes from Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western ‘A fistful of Dynamite’ being filmed in a Dublin pub, there’s something for everyone in this one-of-a-kind exhibition.”
Incoming LVA Chairman John Gleeson, owner of Gleesons of Booterstown, commented, “The history and traditions of 750 city and suburban pubs are part-and-parcel of the rich tapestry of Dublin life dating back over 800 years. That history, our proud brewing tradition along with our natural hospitality and sociability, have all contributed to making the pub a focal-point for local communities and the number one attraction for visitors to our city.
“We’re sure the founding fathers of the ‘Fair Trading Vintners Society and Asylum’ in 1817 would be extremely proud of the way the Dublin pub has remained at the heart of the community while evolving to meet the changing needs of discerning Dubliners.”
The exhibition, created to mark the 200th anniversary of the Licensed Vintners Association, is being presented in association with the LVA and supported by Guinness.
It was formally opened by Minister of State Michael Ring and runs until September 24th.