J O Connell in Portobello, I wonder, half knowing that it couldn’t be. We check and find that the building doesn’t conform to the window shape. We then set about looking for old Dublin pub and publican names conforming to some assortment of the initials but tire of this easily enough. We park that and move on.
The Gig, The Venue & The Magazine
We know that the image coincides with a gig that Depeche Mode were playing so the location of the gig seems the next logical thing to look at. There are a few different suggestions as to where that was in the various comment sections of the various instances of the photo on social media – the most common of which are that is was in The SFX – the St. Francis Xavier hall on Dorset St. We set about confirming that and in doing so, find a scan of the original article that featured the picture in NME Magazine.
By now we’re weary. We decide we’ve probably exhausted every avenue and nearly agree that we’ll have to put the matter to bed. But not before one last check on the Instagram post to see if there are any more suggestions. And there we lay our eyes on a post that says:
We’ve been in Brannigan’s a good few times but it doesn’t ring a bell. Google Images to the rescue. Lo and Behold, there it is in all its glory, the very same insignia in the middle.
We pull up a few historical pictures of the Hill 16.They are not close up enough that any details in the windows can be made out. But we count the panels in the windows facing onto the street and they seem to check out.
But then we notice that there’s a difference in the two. In the Brannigan’s one, the sections with the cross (the +) are on the outside. But they’re not so in the image of Andy.
It’s late. And we’ve been at this a while. Begrudgingly, we have no option but to accept that this is just a different window in the pub. We actually have exhausted every avenue now. We’re about 65% sure it’s the Hill 16. That will do. We need to sleep.
Big Jack Enters
I pull the image down from the RTE Player to compare it to that from 1983 and find that Jack’s one unarguably has only the 2 initials – J and C. No sign of a T to be seen. And it appears to be in a house, as opposed to a pub. So, I google Jack Charlton Stained Glass and the glorious floodgates open.
As per an Irish Independent Article, wasn’t the stained glass window only presented to Jack by the people who ran a pub, you’ll never guess which one! Wasn’t it only The Hill 16! The boozer happens to be the first and the last pub that Jack drank in at the start of and the end of his tenure as the manager of the Republic of Ireland football team. And as such, is mentioned along with a humorous anecdote from the pub in an RTE news report on Jack’s sacking. (Link Below)
And so there it was. Proven, as far as we were concerned, beyond a reasonable doubt. And Big Jackie Charlton, the man that launched a million sessions – his parting gift to us, as if he ever needed give us another. May he rest in peace.
We were overwhelmed by the response to this article after we published it. People really just can’t get enough (sorry). Anyhow, the internet really is a fantastic thing when you think about it, we had a reply to the tweet with the article from one Geoff Boyle. Geoff mentioned that The Hill 16 happened to be one that his father and his uncle “supported” back when he was growing up and asked if we’d like him to have a go at establishing the identity of the woman in the photo. We took him up on the offer, of course.
Geoff replied to us last night and told us that the woman was Lizzie Ryan. Lizzie was a street trader up on Parnell Street and she would pop in for a sup on her way home to Mountjoy Square after a day out hawking her wares.
So when you next get out to the pub and have a fresh pint on front of you, stick a bit of Depeche Mode on the Jukebox and raise your glass for Lizzie and for Big Jack.