Band Nights at Iris Charles Centre

The Iris Charles Centre on Newbridge Avenue in Sandymount has been expanding its activities and entertainment programmes this year, as part of a plan to include more members of different ages from within the local community.

The Iris Charles Centre has a long and storied history as a local institution. Named for its founder, the Centre has provided a hub for contact and community for older residents of the local area since its establishment at the hall on Newbridge Avenue in 1960.

We spoke with Claire McElvaney, the Treasurer of the Centre, who explained that the building was refurbished four years ago and this encouraged them to utilise the space more. She and other staff established a sub-committee two years ago with the specific intent of organising some in-house events which led to the institution of Bridge classes. This brought in locals outside the Centre’s usual age group.

Encouraged by this modest success, a weekly film night and a monthly music night were introduced, and of the two, the music showcase proved the greater success. “So far, and this has all been in 2013 for the most part, we have based the night around a two-man band from the area called the Past Times Band. They’re very lively, and played a lot of old tunes which our regulars appreciated. They managed to get a few people up dancing, too. Spirits were high,” says Claire.

The Riverside Choir have attended, often to open for the Past Times Band and, after the main event, “one or two more local acts, which vary from month to month.”

The Centre is exclusively volunteer-run so word of mouth is very important. The Iris Charles Centre closes its doors for the summer from July 16th until September 10th but the plan remains to restart the monthly music nights.

Phone 01 2601848 for more information.

By Ruairi Conneely