Welcome to Old Ireland.
My initial idea for this site was to cover only classic vehicles, but since was already taken and the best alternative I could find was this one, my thoughts for the site began to broaden.A lot of the inspiration for this comes from the few magazines for which I have written articles.Let’s get these mentioned early, because you should not be surprised to see a little of their influence here.Real Classic is subscription only in print, but also has an excellent site at, where Frank, Rowena and a host of writers entertain and inspire.Then there is Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly, formerly in print monthly, but now only on line at’s archives could keep you reading happily for months, and the like it or not truths told by Thomas Day (Geezer with a grudge: see his own site at, should make everyone on two wheels pause for thought.If you have time on the …

Local History of the worst possible kind! The story of Carnage Hill.

This post is shamelessly copied from a local history book, now out of print, that is also available in pdf format on line:'s%20Bay%20&%20Crawfordsburn%20History.pdf. It is one section only of a much larger and more broadly based book.  All credit is then due to the book's author, and to the team at

Those who have travelled the main road between Bangor and Belfast will know the corner known as ‘the Devil’s Elbow’, which is located just before the junction leading to Seahill/ Rockport.On the left side of the road when travelling from Bangor there is a small road leading up into the Holywood hills.It is now called Carney Hill, but according to this article that name derives from Carnage Hill.To see where it got this name read on.

Many thanks are due to Sam, my friend and avid local history buff.It was he who originally showed me a paper copy of this book.Unfortunately it is not a proud episode in our history.

The Ballydavey Massa…

Socialist Politics and the Island.....How they fuel the great divide.

The modern labourer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth. And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an over-riding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its slave within his slavery, because it cannot help letting him sink into such a state, that it has to feed him, instead of being fed by him.

This statue, called 'The Speaker' stands on the steps of the Customs House in Belfast.  This was Belfast's equivalent of speakers corner, and was the site of many speaches by Larkin during the 1907 Dockers strike.  It is my understanding that this statue was originally supposed to celebrate the centenary of the dock strike, and was to have …

For the love of a dog and vampires!

This memoir of a much loved pet was sent by a friend, Mark McClean.  The hugely strong links formed with family pets never ceases to amaze me, as does the trust that these beautiful animals place in the strange two legged companions that they choose to live with.Dogs can melt the hearts of even the strongest of us.Rest in peace Gracie.


It all started in 1987. The setting was a small fictional town in northern California called ‘Santa Carla’. The protagonist was a young teenage boy called Sam and his husky-type dog: Nanook. The inciting incident of the film plot unfolds to reveal Sam, along with Nanook and his family have just moved into a small sleepy seaside town stalked by vampires! Have you guessed the film? The Lost Boys. It was a cult-classic of the late ‘80s starring the late Corey Haim, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland.

In the middle of all the punchy one-liners, guts and gore special effects a typical 80s horror film had and a catchy soundtrack to boot, I happ…

Irish Jokes - Now these are old!!

Below are as many Irish jokes as I could rustle up.  Feel free to add more in the comments to this.  Enjoy.

My mate Paddy just told me that he robbed a shop last night.

"What did you get?" I asked.

"26 pictures," he smiled, showing me. "The cheapest one is worth over £180,000."

I said, "Paddy, these are from an estate agents."
A spokesman at Ringsend sewage plant in Ireland has announced plans to extend its capacity. "By how much?”, asked the reporter. He replied, "Two turds."
Paddy texts his wife...

“Mary, I’m just having one more pint with the lads.

If I’m not back in 20 minutes, read this message again.” One afternoon Paddy and Mick were having a pint at a pub across from a brothel. For the craic, they sat in the front so they could watch the comings and goings across the street. The two lads were shocked when a Presbyterian minister walked into the brothel.

"Begod," says Paddy, "that's a shame to see a man of th…

Paddock Days - Part 3 - Race day

This series of articles was originally published at:
Part 1 can be found here:
Part 2 can be found here:

In my early days knocking around the Paddock there were still a few of the more occasional residents that I knew only vaguely.Their bikes however were well known and a constant source of interest.And it wasn’t just me, with meticulous nightly inspections being carried out by wandering groups or interested individuals either with or without the owners’ presence.Walking the line of parked bikes was always something of a ritual.

Amongst a row of fairly standard and well known bikes the exceptions stood out.A yet to be repaired scuff from meeting the tarmac, often told of recent events long before the owner had a chance to put a spin on his folly, while something unknown pointed to new f…

An Office Clock from City Hall, Belfast.

I worked for many years in City Hall.It is a building with real character (it first opened in 1906), and although working offices have now largely moved out of City Hall to make way for public display spaces, there used to be many, many individual rooms within the building.
When I worked there, each office was allocated a storage area in one of the basement rooms.These too were fascinating being full of old ledgers full of beautiful copperplate writing and ancient books of local bylaws.In one basement that I used to visit occasionally, there was a huge leather bound volume of these bylaws (dating from the 1840’s if I remember correctly).My reward for each dusty basement visit was to open it at a random page to see what I could find.I remember discovering such anachronisms as a bylaw that banned keeping pigs inside a boarding house.Another specified the amount of straw that was to be packed around gunpowder barrels when transporting them in carts through the streets.That was a great tim…

A pessimistic speculation on the future course of everything.

First a disclaimer (or three):

As I said in my profile, I never promised that readers were going to like or agree with everything that I write.If you don’t, feel free to post a comment to point out the error of my ways. The economic theories described below are gross simplifications. This is a worst case scenario, but unfortunately, I don’t think it is impossible.

The picture is of Kearney, in Co. Down (You might as well have something picturesque to look at)
How many Politicians can you think of that you actually believe are honest, hardworking and intelligent enough to be let out on their own?We seem to have particular issues with this here in the North, yet we keep re-electing these sectarian plonkers.Look at the state of this province.The RHI enquiry continues showing up cronyism, incompetence and downright greed, Stormont still does not exist despite a backlog of huge and urgent issues that need dealt with (not least of which is Brexit).The electorate in North Antrim can’t even …