Big day out in Donnybrook

By Eoin Meegan

Locals enjoying the Donnybrook Street Party in July.  Photo: Eoin Meegan.

At one time, the small hamlet of Donnybrook was known for the infamous Donnybrook Fair, where all kinds of shenanigans took place, with riotous behaviour and partying late into the night.

Eventually, the good denizens of Donnybrook (who apparently hated the Fair) decided to get rid of it. That took a few years, mind, but by 1866 the Fair of Donnybrook was no more. Unfortunately, the name “having a Donnybrook” has gone into the English lexicon, with some thinking that’s where the village got its name. It’s not. It’s from the Irish Domhnach Broc.

However, back there in the baking Saharan summer we’ve all enjoyed so much attempts were made to revive this ancient nefarious tradition. This took the form of a certain group of party-goers congregating on the tiny green just off the village’s main street hell bent on having a lot of fun.

However, worry not, because instead of rioting, sword fighting and bear baiting this event had music, balloons, and children’s laughter. I am of course talking about the Donnybrook Street Festival (this year known as the “Sizzler” due to the unseasonably good weather we’ve been enjoying) and which has now become something of an annual event.

Organised by the indefatigable David Doyle and the Donnybrook Residents’ Association it was a fun day for kids and grown-ups too. As well as overseeing proceedings, David (also no mean DJ) provided the music which kept everyone dancing on the green all afternoon, while Fr. Christy was the most popular man on the day, taking on the role of Gordon Ramsay (but without the swearing), as he dispensed sizzling sausages and delicious burgers to all hungry mouths with aplomb.

Paul Doyle was the excellent MC, keeping things moving along smoothly with the intrepid Owen Walker on hand, selling raffle tickets, handing out prizes, blowing up balloons and ensuring everyone was looked after. Multitasking, as all who know him can attest, is second nature to Owen.

As mentioned, there was a monster raffle with loads of fabulous prizes, all generously donated by local businesses, with the proceeds going to help local amenities.

But the big attraction of the day was undoubtedly Waffles the Magician. Waffles kept everyone entertained with her stunning feats of magic, and even taught some of the children to do one or two magic tricks. There are a few budding Harry Potters among the younger residents of Donnybrook – I’m certain I saw someone do a Patronus spell. And by the amount of laughter and merriment emanating from them, it can truly be said that these kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The Donnybrook Residents’ Association (DRA) would like to thank everyone concerned; all who came along and especially those who helped out, the businesses of Donnybrook (too numerous to mention) for generously donating so many excellent prizes for the raffle, and also to the Gardaí for closing the roads and ensuring everyone was safe during the event. The street festival went on most of Sunday afternoon in the brilliant sunshine and everyone had a fabulous time.

Having a Donnybrook – perhaps not, but a really great fun day out. Definitely.

If you want to book Waffles for children’s parties, or any magic event, you can contact her at or on (01) 496 7798 or 086 83 54321.