Thursday, January 28, 2016


Following report by O'Brien


The Howth Peninsula Heritage Society, a respectable and long-established group in Howth, had invited a certain P. Ó Duibhir, an itinerant rabble rouser orator of indeterminate qualifications, to give a talk on the cartoons of one Gordon Brewster, a professional artist and cartoonist who, many years ago, had apparently died in a commercial premises managed by the parents of the aforementioned orator.

Had they been consulted in advance, the Gárdaí would have cautioned against inviting such an individual into a private club.

The Event

The Orator

Ó Duibhir arrived promptly enough and was of reasonably respectable appearance (see Photo "The Orator").

Intro Shot 2

Having tried to ingratiate himself with some of the women in the audience, he then set up his stall (see Photo "Intro Shot 2")

Into His Stride

and embarked upon a comprehensive and, it must be said, interesting exposition on the life and works of Gordon Brewster (see Photo "Into His Stride").

Up to this point, the audience was generally quiet and attentive, although there was a certain amount of ominous shuffling of feet and muttering from the cheap seats in the back row.

It was when Ó Duibhir started to comment in detail on various Brewster cartoons that the trouble began. Many of these cartoons were, in the opinion of this Member, scurrilous and of low quality, in that they insulted many eminent personages and commented in a vulgar manner on the political and social events of the time.

The First Heckler

At this point the audience, especially those in the cheap back row seats, was getting restive. Feet were stamped, there were catcalls, and heckling began (see Photo "The First Heckler").

The Second Heckler

The organisers, commendably, tried to shut off the Orator's microphone but were fought off by Ó Duibhir, who continued to shout down the growing volume of heckling (see Photo "The Second Heckler").

Matters came to a crisis point when Ó Duibhir exhibited a cartoon depicting Ernest Blythe in the act of removing a shilling from the Old Age Pension.

This enraged the audience and mayhem ensued. Chairs and bottles were thrown and a scuffle involving fisticuffs broke out in the back-row cheap seats. Several ladies fainted.

The Gárdaí, Fire Brigade and ambulances were called and arrived promptly.

A Last Effort To Restore Order

To his credit and in mitigation of any charges that may be brought when he is apprehended, Ó Duibhir made a final, desperate, effort to quell the disturbance (see Photo " A Last Effort To Restore Order"), before fleeing the scene through an open window.

Sequel and Lines of Enquiry

Seven people were taken to hospital and eleven others were treated at the scene. Most of their injuries are not life-threatening. The premises was burnt to the ground.

Ó Duibhir is still at large. The public are warned not to approach him. He may be being assisted and hidden by one Finbarr Crowley, a local ne'er-do-well who is also being sought.

An individual in a blue patterned hoodie who was seen running from the premises is also being sought, although it is believed that this person may already have left the jurisdiction.

(signed) O'Brien.

1 comment:

Póló said...

For the benefit of readers who are curious about sources, I would simply mention that the above manuscript was discovered by Vivion Mulcahy in O'Brien's archive among papers which related to a fatality on 16 June 1946 near the very spot.