Lord Mayor's ball to make a comeback

Kevin Doyle

HISTORY has halted it on at least five occasions but Dublin's Lord Mayor's ball is to be resurrected yet again.

After fouling foul of Lockouts, the War of Independence, political spats and money problems, Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri, right, has announced that the ball will take place at the Mansion House on April 6.

"I am reviving the institution of the Lord Mayor's Ball and bringing it home to the Round Room at the Mansion House," he said.

"I invite you to don your finery, kick up your heels and join me for a night of magic, music and dance – all in a great cause."

The event has had a tumultuous history since it was first held on St Stephen's night in 1716. The guests were made up of the city's 24 Aldermen and their wives who donated money in support of poor boys at the Blue-Coat School in Blackhall Place. However, members of the lower house on the Dublin City Assembly, who never made the guest list, successfully managed to have the ball abolished in 1728, on the grounds that it was causing 'great inconveniences'.


It was revived in 1861 for the visit to Dublin of the Prince of Wales. Over 100 people attended but not everyone enjoyed it as evidenced by ads that appeared in newspapers afterwards.

One lady lost a malachite and silver bracelet and was offering a reward "if found by a poor person" while another lost a coin from her Maltese bracelet.

The Lord Mayor's Ball was held most years in September until 1912. The events between 1913-1924, and the suspension of Dublin City Council from 1924 to 1930, meant that the Lord Mayor's Ball ended again.

It was revived in 1946 by Lord Mayor John McCann and took place in the Metropole Ball-room. Over the years it has taken place in the RDS and Burlington Hotel and most recently was held in 1997.

Funds raised from the €100 tickets will go to Alzheimer Society of Ireland, CRY – Cardiac Risk in the Young and Marie Keating Foundation.

kdoyle@ herald.ie