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  • Writer's pictureAnn

Dublin Pub Crawl – A Walk Down Memory Lane – The Church Mary Street.

Formally St Mary’s Church, dating back to 1702, this magnificent building was refurbished in the 2000’s. Now a deconsecrated church and a licensed premises, it could equally serve as a museum as there is so much to look at over a pint of the black stuff.

The golden pipes of a Renata Harris Church organ up in the gallery serve as a background. This very organ was played by George Frederick Handel who first performed Handel’s Messiah in Dublin on April 13th, 1742.

From the gallery you can now look down at the church interior which conducted a total of 25,000 baptisms, 5,500 marriages and 18,000 burials. Six crypts were also discovered with 32 skeletons removed at the time of renovations. The original baptismal font, a stunning baroque stained glass window, a bust of Arthur Guinness , who married his wife Olivia here and 31 wall tablets adorn the walls, dedicated to people buried in St Mary’s Crypt and graveyard.

The wooden floor boards that lead to the external tower are from the old Adelphi Cinema which hosted performances by The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. Back then The Beatles had to make a dramatic escape in a van from the fans gathering outside, my own Uncle Liam was in that very van !

Herald reporter Liam Kelly recalls the secret getaway in an interview he gave in 1994 :

"Shortly before the concert ended, myself and Jack Murphy, the photographer, climbed into the back of the van. We didn't know exactly what was going to happen. It was just an ordinary van with newspapers in the back and we were sitting on these.

"Suddenly the concert ended, there was a tap on the van and in came the Beatles, the four of them just ran into the van.

"On the short trip to the Gresham they just said 'we knew we'd get a good reception, but we didn't think we'd get this reception, unbelievable reaction'. We got out of the van and I said to the Beatles 'Come on lads, we're going up', so we went through the kitchens, much to the amazement of all the staff who couldn't believe it was The Beatles."

My apologies, I got slightly steered off the subject of The Church but I am sure I will be granted forgiveness !!

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