Power's Hotel Dublin

Power's Hotel Kildare Street Dublin C12

Character Reference
Character Reference

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Construction work was being carried out at Power's Hotel in 1932 where a lift was being installed. Hugh Boyle worked on many Hotel refurbishment and construction projects during the 1920's and 30's including the Gresham Hotel which suffered severe damage during the 1916 Easter Rising.

"Molesworth Street in the 20th Century
By 1884, 25 and 26 Molesworth Street were in the possession of a Dublin vintner and hotelier, James A. McIntosh. The premises were converted into a hotel and so "Buswells" was born. "Mr. Mac" had "a great reputation for his wine cellar; his 'admirable light dinner sherry' being especially esteemed". (59) In the early 1900s, Mr. Mac passed control of the hotel to Miss AF Gallagher after which it was called "Gallagher's Hotel".

In 1923 the Duff family acquired the property and renamed it "Buswells". (60) Described as "a redoubtable businesswoman and far ahead of her time" by the Evening Herald, Mrs. Nora O'Callaghan Duff (1883 - 1979) is said to have borrowed £3000 from the bank during the Easter Rising of 1916 and used the money to purchase Powers Hotel on Kildare Street. These premises were patronised almost exclusively by the wives of the members of the nearby Kildare Street Club. In 1925 Mrs. Duff gave Powers Hotel to her nieces and began to concentrate on the 22 bedrooms at Buswells.

At the time there was no electricity and the kitchen had earth floors. Electric lighting and hot and cold water were introduced in 1928; a lift followed in 1932. In 1936 Mrs. Duff installed central heating - two years before The Shelbourne. A new wing comprising 22 more bedrooms and a dining room was also added in 1936, followed by the 1944 purchase of the adjoining premises at No. 23 (formerly Jane Williams antiques) and No. 24 (formerly Truman Printing). Two Rolls Royce's were on hand to escort visitors to and from the railway station or on tours of the countryside. (61)
In 1925, the Irish Government purchased Leinster House from the Royal Dublin Society and established the great Cassels masterpiece as the seat of the national parliament, Oireachtas na hÉireann. The Oireachtas consists of two chambers, the Dáil (lower house) and the Seanad (upper house or senate). The granite memorial outside on Leinster Lawn commemorates Arthur Griffith, Kevin O'Higgins and Michael Collins (Link), who were among the founders of the modern Irish state.
Christopher 'Kit' McGonagle founded the legal firm of Kennedy McGonagle in 1926. Originally located on O'Connell Street, the firm moved to the shadow of Dail Eireann in 1969 at 29 Molesworth Street where they remained until 1991. (62)
No. 29 Molesworth Street is today home to Gallery 29 (open 10am - 5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday), Ireland's only original vintage poster gallery, and Jorgensens' Fine Art Gallery.

  • (59) Know your Dublin, J.B. Malone.
  • (60) In the 1901 Census of Ireland, No.s 31 - 35 were held by John W. Ellison McCartney.
  • (61) In the early 1950s Mrs. Duff's son Noel took over the business. The fifty rooms were then occupied by 40 full-time residents, mostly elderly folk who had lived there for 20 years or more. These were difficult to incorporate into a modernisation programme and so Buswells fell behind. In April 1995 the Duff family sold the hotel to the Sean Quinn Group for £3 million. In 1995 the Sean Quinn Group further expanded the hotel with the purchase of No. 27 (formerly Gaynor Antiques). The Sean Quinn Group also own the Slieve Russell in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan.
  • 62. Further expansion in 1991 led to a move to their present location on Northumberland Road. That same year the firm merged with Roger Ballagh and Son. Expansion continued with the incorporation into the firm Bell Branigan O'Donnell and O'Brien in 1997.

With special thanks to John Rogers and Mary Metcalfe of Gallery 29 "

Source: Turtle Banbury. Writer Historian


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