Courtesy of Malahide Historical Society
The Grand Hotel has been at the heart of Malahide for well over a century and a half and we wish the Ryan family and staff well during these difficult times for hospitality. But here is one occasion when the Grand Hotel appears to have been relieved to see a booking cancelled.101 years ago on 4 January 1921 someone booked a subscription ball in the Grand Hotel on behalf of a company of the RIC Auxiliaries but, on security grounds and on push-back from the manager of the hotel, it was decided to change it at the last minute to St. Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle. In his book “The Last Days of Dublin Castle” senior civil servant at the Castle Mark Sturgis gave an account of this strange event in these diary entries:””I got hold of Darling who discreetly discovered that these gentlemen intended to trail their coats and themselves from Dublin to Malahide, armed to the teeth, in Government cars. Jonathan wished the whole circumstances put – unofficially as far as the Under Secretary was concerned – before (General Sir Henry) Tudor who expressed disapproval and the ball was off”.”Spooner interrogated is slightly comforting as to safety as he says it is arranged for Auxiliaries to be on guard at the Gate to scrutinise their own guests – but the cheek of the whole thing is incredible”.”Officials who work, and many of whom have lived in the Castle for months, must now have passes with photographs to get into the place at all, yet these beauties can almost without by your leave or with your leave import a pack of women of whom nobody, with the possible exception of themselves, knows anything at all. Interesting to see when I get back tomorrow whether the Shinns have got in disguised as buxom wenches or whether, failing this, the whole place has been fired up by the festive ex-officers themselves”.The Irish Times of Jan 5th 1921 reported that there were 400 people at the ball and that an excellent buffet supper was served during the musical intervals by the DMP band. The dancing continued until 5am on January 5th.