Not just a black room at the top of the stairs

We received a wonderful email from Triona Dunlea in response to our request for material and stories from and to do with Sir Henrys. Below is the email in almost its entirety. We believe it beautifully encapsulates what Henrys was and still is for many people. Thanks Triona…

I know that the exhibition is imminent and theres a bit of a buzz around about it! This is great and just shows the power that this club had and the affection that still exists in the City for it.

For me personally it was a huge part of growing up. I probably first went up the stairs in 97-98….. I actually first kissed my husband on a Thursday night BeachBall session and we are always saying that our kids will know that their mammy and daddy were once so cool that they actually first met in Henrys! Come to think of it, my brother also met his wife there….

Anyway, for me I think the reason it was such an important part of my life is that it was a place where you were free to belong. Through music and dance there was a brotherhood and the sense of community that I have never felt anywhere else. Ray Scannell expressed the feelings that I could never put in words in his play “Deep”…..

One of my favourite memories was at the end of every Saturday night, without fail, when the lights had come up and the music had been faded out people would stamp their feet, dance, whistle and keep going!!!!

I saw a beautiful quote from someone when Henrys was finally closed – “Someone once said that Henrys was just a black room at the top of a black stairs…. I realised when it closed down that physically thats all it was…. for those who belonged it was a whole lot more…..”

I hope Ive stirred a bit of nostalgia (I certainly have for me….)

Regards and best of luck, I will certainly be at the exhibition.

Triona Dunlea


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