Ray Scannell

…again, happy days

This post is from a comment that Olivia (Dineen) Trought posted on one of other blog posts. We felt it needed to be rescued from the margins to enable as many people as to see it. Again, happy memories from happy days.

Over to Olivia…

Nights/Weekends in Sir Henry’s: These really were the most happiest of times. It was the most amazing place to be. The full room(s) were surrounded by everyone you knew (where would that be these days.. no where!) The friends I had in Sir Henry’s are still some of my closest friends today. I started frequenting Henry’s when I was 16 (shock horror). My sister brought me there for my first time and I remember the night like it was yesterday. Still to this day I’m referred to as “Val’s little sister” by many of her friends that I met in those days as a 4 foot something 16 year old.. happy days.

My husband who I met when I was 16 (didn’t meet in Sir Henry’s may I add, as he was only 14) (yes, 22 years ago and still going strong with 2 beautiful daughters) started going with me and my sister at the age of 15 (shock horror)

The music had everyone jumping for hours on end and when the final song came at about 1.55am you could feel the sombre mood in the whole floor(s) and there was always one more played by the legendary Greg and Shane. You could feel your chest pumping from the music when you got to the deep crowds waiting outside afterwards, many that didn’t get in from the sheer volume of people wanting a taste of that special place.

Many a night we had in the DJ box looking down at the hundreds of people underneath. That was THE place to be.

The dirt on the floor combined with the perspiration turned any white pants / jeans to an extremely different colour to what it was at the start of the night …. again, happy days.

There were many nights of fabulous DJ’s, namely, Judge Jules, Carl Cox, Johnny Pleased Women (think that was his name, am i right, its one of the nights that sticks out in my mind) the legendary Greg and Shane, Stevie G, Shay D Shay, Marq Walsh, Colm K.. too many to mention. Shay D Shay is a friend of ours to this day and we had the pleasure of him DJ’ing at our wedding in 2002 and also at my 30th birthday party. Henry’s songs were played on the night of our wedding and still to this day our friends talk about the music that Shay D played that night.

I remember the woman sitting on the chair in the ladies bathroom… The old man on his own dancing on the raised floor near the stage at the back. We all wondered what age he was and why was he there every weekend on his own?

It was great to go and see the amazing play “Deep” last year. I remember sitting in the audience, next to my husband and looking around at everyone and thinking that most of the people in the room looked familiar and I thought, these people definitely frequented Henry’s back in the day.

So to everyone involved in this project, thank you, thank you, thank you and its great to read and see the many old pieces of memorabilia from the flyers, photos etc from what I can really say was a happy happy time and I am so thrilled to have shared this with my husband, siblings and many friends.

I don’t think anyone back then would have anticipated how Sir Henry’s has become such a memorable place in all of our minds and I can say that I had the pleasure in sharing this experience with my husband, not a lot of people can say that (apart from a few of my closest friends, Mandy Prendergast Cooke, Triona Prendergast Dunlea, and Ashleigh Martin O’ Riordan.

To anyone that was not fortunate enough to experience the nights in Sir Henry’s due to them being too young etc. boy, did you all miss out on what is now becoming a huge feature of Cork’s nostalgia and I would recommend you all to go and visit the exhibition once it opens as i know I will be there … Happy Days, for some they were Happy Weekends too 🙂

Olivia (Dineen) Trought

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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…

Hi
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