Clubs Are Trumps

Entertainment, Irish Culture, Children on Film
Directed by:
Stuart Hetherington, Brendan Redmond
Produced by:
Stuart Hetherington, Brendan Redmond


22 mins

This short film was made to promote the activities of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Boys Club in Thomas Street, Dublin.

In the 1950s Father McGrath, a Dublin-based Augustinian Priest, ran this social club in a working class area of Dublin’s inner-city. He decided that the production of a short film outlining the activities of the club would be a useful promotional and fundraising tool.

Funds to produce the film were secured from the Guinness Brewery whose premises were also on Thomas Street. McGrath approached professional cameramen Stuart Hetherington and Brendan Redmond to make the film and together they produced Clubs Are Trumps. The film had its premiere in the Olympia Theatre one Sunday evening in 1959. Apparently Guinness was so impressed with the club and its role in occupying the youth of Thomas Street, that they agreed to fund all future activities.

The film shows the boys engaged in wholesome sporting and leisure activities in the club and a discussion, hosted by Father McGrath, on topics of relevance to the boys. From Marshalsea Barracks, where the club was originally located, to Thomas Street and The Liberties (by day and by night) the film is rich in its record of not-often-seen Dublin city locations.

This film is part of Children on Film. To see more from the collection, click here.

With kind permission from Stuart Hetherington.

IFI recommendation: 8+