My first memory of the Abbey Theatre

As a 14 year old boy I worked for a company called ‘Nugent and Cooper’, a wholesale electrical company that existed on current site of the Abbey Theatre up until 1960. The site however, was presumably bought up by the Abbey Theatre group after this. Back then, it was then an old elegant Georgian building almost next door to the original Abbey Theatre. From the floors of the building you could look out on to Malborough Street and see the ‘Del Rio cafe’ (which is still there). They used to sell great chips and from the little lane-way next door to the cafe & from the front windows where the entrance is now, you could see the hardware shop, ‘Cummin’s Plumbing’ and the ‘Flowing Tide’ public house.

Even though the electrical company moved to Store Street just facing Busaras, I like many others, emigrated to England. When I returned to Dublin, I went to see what the Abbey had done to the old building and to catch the opening play.

I see the ‘Del Rio Cafe’ is still there as is the ‘Flowing Tide’ public house.
I’ve been to quite a few plays in the Abbey and still get a little pleasure from looking out the windows on to Malborough Street and seeing the Del Rio chipper and the memories of dog fish and chips, the staff and the old Georgian building that it brings back.

Frank P Dunne

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