Style Voices

Sunday 18 August 2019

Colette Fitzpatrick: 'If you can't get the shift in Coppers, you may as well go join the priesthood'

Colette Fitzpatrick. Photo: Mark Condren
Colette Fitzpatrick. Photo: Mark Condren
Copper Face Jacks

Colette Fitzpatrick

New accounts for the company that operates Copper Face Jacks on Dublin's Harcourt Street show that its pre-tax profits last year totalled €5m - or €97,657 per week. That's a lot of pints - and a lot of hashtagging #coppers and #mayoforsam.

The cloakroom alone took in €217,146 in 2011. Like how many times does that mean a guard said to a nurse, 'get your coat love…..'

I don't know how much the drink is in there; but then again, no one knows how much a pint is there.

By the time you get to Coppers, you've gone large. You're out, out. Not just out.

You're not answering your phone, you've conveniently forgotten about all responsibilities in your life, and all you want right now is to dance to Cotton Eye Joe.

Of course us agrarian folk were sort of like hipsters (ahem). Those of us who 'moved up to Dublin' were going to Coppers and knew about its magic late night drinking and scoring prowess, way before the Dubs got in on the act.

Copper Face Jacks on Dublin’s Harcourt Street
Copper Face Jacks on Dublin’s Harcourt Street

Before Dublin captain Bryan Cullen's call of 'see yiz all in Coppers!' after beating Kerry in the 2011 final, guards and nurses from all over the country would meet here (insert euphemism here).

Because there is no evidence that there are any guards, teachers or nurses who are actually originally from inside the Pale.

Supposedly there was a special nurses' loyalty card. Of course.

There's also a Copper Face Jacks Facebook page, where they share what might be kindly referred to as war stories.

Author Marion Keyes probably best described Coppers with this tweet: "My nursing shift over, I will repair to Coppers, to drink 18 pints of Bulmers and dance the Hucklebuck with a quartet of guards from Leitrim."

There's even been a play about it. 'Coppers Uncovered: the Walk of Shame' examines the difficulties and troubles single Irish lads encounter when engaging the opposite sex.

Based on Dublin's Harcourt Street - Coppers has long since entered Dublin folklore.

If you can't score here, you may as well join the nuns or the priesthood.

It has such a high scoring rate, it launched a nationwide competition last year to find couples who first met at the iconic nightclub.

Dress code. Something that can take a bit of soakage - from the sweat and the dancing, and the spilling of drinks, like.

A quick scroll through social media says it all. 'Got thrown out of Coppers. Life is complete.'

Coppers. It's a call to arms. A mission statement. Delivering drink, fun, dancing and romance and the fear the following morning.

Never go sober. Never skip the queue at the bar or you'll be killed shtone dead.

Never stay 'til the very end when the beer goggles come off. Always have money for curry chips on the way home.

Most importantly of all, remember, what happens in Coppers, stays in Coppers.

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