I see there is a band in Cork called Císte Mílis. It brought back the cake shop of that name which used to be on Barrack Street. The street had a dog’s leg at the corner opposite Evergreen Street. The Císte Mílis was located there, a simple cake shop with a sit down area of formica tables. Its stock in trade was cakes and glasses of milk.
When the Evening Press was running in Dublin the journalist Con Houlihan had a sports column on the back page. One of the delights of the column was it strayed over literature on flights of fancy I think some of the collected articles have been published in book form.
On one occasion Con digressed from the sport he was writing about to recall a date when he was a student in Cork at UCC in the 1950s. He was on a date with a fellow student of French and the venue was sometime after 6 in the evening at the Císte Mílis, the piece wonderfully captured the era their discussions about Maupassant but alas for Con nothing came of the encounter.
Sometime in the 1970s the Corporation widened Barrack Street and the green fronted shop of the cakes went together with I think a jeweler’s shop and Kelleher’s potato store at the corner with the quay. They used to deliver potatoes in an open backed cart pulled by a fast moving pony, later superseded by a van but operated by the same man.
Potatoes are so cheap now in the supermarkets its hard to see how anyone could make a business of supplying them and delivering.
Around this time there was a great interest in stamp collecting, a man called Moss I think he was English had a shop just down French’s Quay, I think he used also buy used stamps. For a period it was a mecca for school boys after school.
In Mulligans Bar, Dublin
Some of Con Houlihan’s best words… On GAA supporters: “The hard core of those who follow Dublin Gaelic Football are like a little army. “They stand in the same spot on The Hill and they drink in the same pubs. The pattern has a little changed in recent years: Their favourite pubs used to be in Fairview; now most of that little army converge on Mulligans’, on Poolbeg Street, after Croke Park. After the bigger games, they overflow the old pub and take up much of the street. “This, of course, is illegal but there is nothing wrong with it. Kerry people drink there, too. And Mulligans’ has been known as the pub where many romances begin and where some romances end. Kerry’s followers for years used to drink in The Shakespeare on Parnell Street. “There, after a game you would see a row of pints on the long counter all ready for topping up. The followers now tend to drink in Moran’s on Gardiner Street, or in The Merchant on Merchant’s Quay, or in Chaplin’s on Hawkins Street. “Whether in victory or defeat you can always expect great craic between the two lots of partisans. Dublin’s hard core have become accustomed to losing but they live in hope. What’s another year..? On his profession: “There was far more integrity in newspapers and among writers twenty or thirty years ago. Most reporters in the ’70′s and ’80′s had served their time in a local newspaper, which conditioned them to be honest and fair. “You couldn’t turn someone over in a small town because you would be ostracised. Nowadays in Dublin, as soon as a young pup sees his name in print, he reckons he’s made it. “There’s a few dirt-birds out there, maybe more so in the Sunday newspapers. Some have little talent but an awful lot of neck. 30 years ago, they wouldn’t last a week. I think daily newspaper journalism is a more honest pursuit. The best writers work on the daily beat. “That’s why I’m with the Sunday World.” On writing: “The worst thing for any writer (is) to be ignored.” On language: “Speaking in the company of other Gaelic speakers in West Kerry I’d feel very uninhibited. My pronunciation in English is a bit suspect, but not so in Gaelic. English is a funny language, but I love it of course. I grew up speaking Hiberno English: English woven on a Gaelic loom.” On the Evening Press: “Of course many of my happiest hours were in the context of The Evening Press. I loved that paper. Usually I worked the column out in my head during the night – occasionally in some congenial pub – and got up about four in the morning and wrote it. “By eight o’clock it was in the safe hands of the Sports Editor, Tom O’Shea, and I was in my favourite corner in The White Horse – the corner nearest the quay. “There I loved to read The Sporting Life and I sustained myself with a glass of milk mildly tinctured with brandy. So I had something in common with The Queen Mother: at eight every morning that same paper was brought to her bed accompanied by a large measure of gin and a bottle of tonic water.