Boys will be boys.

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Where: Dublin, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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An unusual human interest image today from the Mason Collection. Boys being boys, down the docks, playing with the water and never a care for the danger. The nearby ship says Belfast, but this could be in any port in Ireland or the UK.

It is however Dublin :) Custom House Quay more precisely. Looking upstream on the Liffey towards Loopline Bridge....

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1890-1910. Definitely after c.1914. Perhaps later

NLI Ref: M57/6

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 13755
thomasholmesmason thomasmayne thomashmasonsonslimited lanternslides nationallibraryofireland boys steps playing water ships belfast urchins looplinebridge customshousequay customhousequay docks quays customhouse clarecastle railwaystation crabbing fishing

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    Niall McAuley

    • 28/May/2019 08:10:21

    I see the loopline bridge, they are on the quays at the Custom House in Dublin. Streetview of the steps. The date range is off - the Clarecastle was built in 1914 and bought by Gunness in 1915 : Clyde ships page. Date is before 1953 when the Clarecastle was sold again.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 28/May/2019 08:21:40

    All the boys are wearing shoes, which also suggests a later date range. I think some of them are fishing with bits of string. They have a big empty tin can to put their catch into.

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    • 28/May/2019 09:32:03

    Flickr is sometimes amazing and the NLI is always amazing - we have visited those steps before -

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    • 28/May/2019 11:46:06

    A wonderful looking image.

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    abandoned railways

    • 28/May/2019 12:20:30

    It looks like the boys are Crabbing. A ball of string or a sock is the bait on a line.

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    abandoned railways

    • 28/May/2019 12:21:06

    so much hassle to sign-in since the change??

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    telling mandible

    • 28/May/2019 12:41:41 It is funny that you mention shoes here as I not so long ago got a Syringe stuck in mine when I attempted to set up for a photograph in this exact location looking towards Ulster Bank.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 28/May/2019 15:10:51 hope you were ok?

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    telling mandible

    • 28/May/2019 15:15:54 Thankfully it didn't penetrate the Shoe, I just had to remove it then quickly wash my hands.

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    • 28/May/2019 21:56:09

    Buenas fotos antiguas .