On September 4, 1976, two Dublin men took to the city center streets in a Mini Moke car with a Canon camera strapped to the side and filmed their way through Dublin town.
Have a look at this vintage video as they drive down Grafton Street and up Dame Street - where you can see the Central Bank of Ireland still being built - past Trinity College Dublin and up to the top of O’Connell Street.
The city hasn’t changed a huge deal it seems, aside from the lads in bellbottom flare pants and old-school cars. O’Connell Street looks just as busy, the double-decker buses still aplenty, and Trinity College Dublin just as glorious.
As the Mini Moke cruises through the city center streets, the film takes us on a remarkable visual tour of Dublin, showcasing its iconic landmarks, vibrant neighborhoods, and the everyday activities that characterized the era. The camera captures snippets of life, including pedestrians strolling along bustling sidewalks, cyclists maneuvering through traffic, and the diverse range of vehicles that once graced Dublin's roads.
Throughout the video, viewers are treated to glimpses of Dublin's most cherished landmarks, which have since become synonymous with the city's identity. The O'Connell Bridge, Ha'penny Bridge, and Phoenix Park all make appearances, providing a stark contrast between the past and present. These famous sites, though familiar, are seen in a different light, revealing a Dublin that has evolved and transformed over the decades.
The video also captures the essence of Dublin's street life in 1976. Scenes of shoppers browsing the storefronts on Grafton Street, children playing in St. Stephen's Green, and the vibrant market atmosphere of Moore Street provide a vivid depiction of the city's day-to-day activities. Dublin's distinctive architecture, featuring Georgian buildings and narrow streets, further immerses viewers in the city's unique character.
The video "Driving in Dublin in 1976" is more than just a mesmerizing visual experience—it represents a valuable historical artifact. It offers a unique opportunity to compare and contrast Dublin's past with its present, showcasing the transformations the city has undergone over the years. The footage serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving cultural heritage and provides a poignant reflection on the passage of time.
Do you notice any big differences between Dublin 1976 and Dublin today?
* Originally published in August 2014, updated in July 2023.