“Along with religion, politics and the right to life, nightclubbing is one of those subject that arouse heated debate and provoke mucho opinion. Everyone has an angle – from the disco diva whose idea of a good time is the jacuzzi in Club M to the techno head who hadn’t lived until that night on a beach in Goa.”

In April 1997, Mark Kavanagh caught up with a cross-section of Ireland’s clubbers to get their perspective on the current state of the nightclub scene in the Emerald Isle.

As he puts it in his introduction, at the time of the article, the “feel-good factor [was] spreading”, with venues such as System, The Kitchen and Pod in Dublin, Playground in Waterford and Sir Henry’s in Cork packing them in on a weekly basis.

In addition, clubbers of the period demanded more than a “poxy little dive with a crap sound system’, caring ‘more passionately about how they look, where they go and who they go with”, Kavanagh writes.

Published in dSide, it’s a fascinating snapshot of Ireland’s club scene of the mid- to late-90s, and features contributions from Robert Moore, 22, from Wicklow, Graham Morgan, 21 from Inchicore, Michael Bowe, 25, from Kilkenny, Bryan Walshe, 25, from Kilkenny, Alison O’Brien, 28, from Ringsend, and Norma Jean Walsh, 21, from Waterford. If anyone knows what they’re up to now, we’d love to hear what they now think of nightlife in Ireland, a quarter century later.

Of particular note is a panel on licensing laws, and specifically whether Irish cities should be made 24 hours. “It will take ten or fifteen years before you see any changes,” says Michael. “Our generation will be more aware when they get to power. The current crop of politicians don’t know anything about our needs or aspirations.” God bless his optimism.

Read the full article below, click each page to open in a new tab. Reproduced from dSide Magazine, April 1997.

For more insight on the history of Dublin clubbing, check out the Analog Rhythms exhibition, taking place at The Bernard Shaw on 9 and 10 July. More information here.

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