Our first visit to Lower Leeson Street was in October 1977, when as newlyweds, we looked for #74, so we could visit with Uncle S and Aunt B, whom we had never met and only recently heard about from Cousin C in Carrickmacross. I recall us almost getting into a fight as we spun our tiny Austin Mini round and round in a giant circle, searching for our turn. The street signs were clear, but the Gaelic name came first and it seemed to take us forever to realize this and look lower on the street signs.
At long last, we made it and were warmly welcomed by Uncle S and Aunt B. They lived in a flat on the 4th floor and had a shared bathroom on the 2nd floor. We ate onion sandwiches and chatted about the family we had never known. As it got darker, Uncle S suggested we go to his local for a few pints. After 3 pints of Guinness in rapid succession, we said our goodbyes and I struggled my way back to the B & B, with cousin J leading the way in his Fiat. He seemed to be driving like a Bat out of H— or maybe it was only the Guinness.
S and B have now departed this earthly plane and while we had already been back once before in 2008, we opted to return once more, for old times sake. The flats are now upscale, all with private baths, with offices and shops on the main floor. What was once a building of working class flats is now a desirable place to live. How the times change in 42 years. Each entrance door is painted a bright colour and the whole place looks rather cheery.
Lower Leeson Street
colours shining for all to see.