UCC Library

Sean O Neill opens Sir Henrys @UCC Library

Sean O Neill opened the Sir Henrys @UCC Library exhibition. He was the lead singer with 80s Cork rock and pop outfit Burning Embers, who released a number of singles and had a very good live reputation. He started managing Sir Henrys in 1988 and not only booked bands but also introduced Greg Dowling and the soon to be legendary Sweat dance night to the venue. He was in charge when Sonic Youth and Nirvana touched down in Cork plus his era also coincided with the expansion of Sir Henrys into more rooms such as the Back Bar. The renowned DJ weekenders also started at this time and it was Sean who gave the go ahead to a supposed one-off indie night called Freakscene too. Below is his speech from the night. Thanks Sean for a great speech and, as a former punter, thanks for vision you brought to the club…

Firstly I have to thank UCC for putting on this celebration of Sir Henry’s and to its curators Martin O’Connor, Eileen Hogan & Stevie G, Cronan and Colette and all the staff.
Sir Henry’s didn’t just open one day it was born out of history. The Lucey brothers, Murt, Michael and Jerry were at the vanguard of the music scene from the 1960’s. They were innovators, risk takers and forward thinkers. There would never been Sir Henry’s without Murt, Michael and Jerry Lucey. Sir Henry’s was Jerry’s baby.
For those of you who never experienced Sir Henry’s let me paint you a picture.
I am most associated with being the manager in the heady days of the dance scene, aptly named ‘Sweat’. However, I started my relationship (yes, it was and even still is a love affair) with Sir Henry’s like everybody else when I was 18 (maybe even 17), just trying to get into this mysterious, weird and wonderful place. That my mother would have classed it as a den of iniquity made it even more important to get in through those doors. Yes, it had it’s detractors down through the years, but, it’s always hard when it’s different.
Sir Henry’s was exciting, Sir Henry’s was cutting edge, music being the thread.
This little club crossed musical and social boundaries from folk to rock to punk to the dance scene, it mirrored the music culture of the world.
This was only possible because of Jerry Lucey’s willingness to take a chance, to try something new. Jerry gave things time. Jerry saw something in me that I didn’t see, he took a chance and gave me a chance.
This exhibition gives vent to the wealth of talent that passed through its doors, played on its stage, enjoyed it’s spirit. From the 70’s right up to and through the 90’s if you went to Sir Henry’s you remembered it.
History will always judge, for better or for worse and Sir Henry’s is now getting its rightful recognition. I think that is fantastic.

Regards,
Sean O’Neill

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Call for material for Sir Henrys Nightclub – Exhibition & Archive

Sir Henrys Nightclub: A Cork Institution – Reflections on popular music & culture in Cork

Sir Henrys bar and nightclub, located on South Main Street, Cork (1978 – 2003) was renowned locally, nationally and internationally for its vibrant music scene.

This summer UCC Library is mounting an exhibition to document the distinctive history of this legendary and iconic Cork city music venue.  It is the intention of this exhibition to begin the process of establishing an archive relating to Sir Henrys and the related popular music scene in Cork.

The Exhibition opens on July 9 and runs until September 27.

For more information please contact Martin O Connor at martin.oconnor@ucc.ie or 021 490 2111.

Details of Exhibition & Archive on Sir Henrys Bar & Nightclub, Cork

Sir Henrys bar and nightclub, located on South Main Street, Cork (1978 – 2003) was renowned locally, nationally and internationally for its vibrant music scene. What are your memories of the time and the club?

This summer UCC Library is mounting an exhibition to document the distinctive history of this legendary and iconic Cork city music venue. It is the intention of this exhibition to establish an archive relating to Sir Henrys and the related popular music scene in Cork.

This exhibition is opening at UCC Library Wednesday July 9 and will run until Saturday September 27. It will be held in the exhibition space in the foyer of UCC Library and will be open to the general public.

The objective of the exhibition, curated by Martin O Connor, (UCC Library) Stevie Grainger (Radio Presenter & DJ at Sir Henrys) and Eileen Hogan (School of Applied Social Studies, UCC), is to begin the process of creating a permanent archive of popular music in UCC Library starting with Sir Henrys and branching out into Cork’s wider popular music scene.

The aim is to systematically collect artefacts relating to Sir Henrys. This is very much a hidden history and our aim is to collect it and preserve it for future interested parties.

Oral histories will also be collected as part of archive – these stories will provide a rare insight into the lived experience of Sir Henrys from the perspective of key actors in the scene. The inclusion of oral histories will document these memories for posterity. The exhibition will illuminate in a fun and accessible way a sense of what Sir Henrys was like and why it was significant to the people of Cork and beyond – in short, its emotional, aesthetic, musical, cultural and historical value and legacy.

The Sir Henrys Archive and exhibition will contain donations from the family of the founder of the club, employees from the very beginning of the club, when it was a restaurant and bar and various other staff from over the years as well as bands and DJs who played there. And of course from people who attended the club over the years.

A series of exciting public seminars and talks and other events will be held throughout the duration of the exhibition, details of which will be announced in due course.

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sirhenrys.exhibition

Twitter: @sirhenrys2014

 

Contact Details:

To donate material or for more information on donating please contact Martin O Connor at martin.oconnor@ucc.ie

021 490 2111

For further information on UCC Library Special Collections & Archives or PR queries related to the exhibition or Archive contact Crónán Ó Doibhlin at

c.odoibhlin@ucc.ie or

086 319 9417