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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
eftifino Lyr Add: Waxies Dargle (33) RE: Lyr Add: Waxies Dargle 16 Jul 15

I see that a few Mudcats have mentioned Bray as the site of the Waxies' Dargle. Not so, I'm afraid. In the 19th century, during the Summer, the gentry of Dublin would travel out to Bray and Enniskerry with their entourages and have picnics on the banks of the River Dargle. The Dargle was a popular holiday resort, and the name in Dublin slang became synonymous with "holiday resort".

The shoe-makers and repairers in Dublin were known as waxies, because they used wax to waterproof and preserve the thread they used in stitching the shoes. Easter and Whitsun were their principal holidays, Monday being the excursion for men and Tuesday for women. The original Waxies' Dargle was said to be part of Donnybrook Fair, but due to riotous behaviour ( thus , in the USA, a 'donnybrook"' meant a right old punchup), this fair closed in 1855. In any case, the waxies' excursions did not go all the way to Bray, but only went as far as Irishtown which is located between Ringsend and Sandymount, and a lot less salubrious than Bray. In imitation of the gentry, they called their outing the Waxies' Dargle. They drove out from the city to Ringsend on flat drays, ten or a dozen to each vehicle.
I remember, as I grew up in Sandymount, that Irishtown/Ringsend was known as the Waxies Dargle, but couldn't fully remember till I saw this thread, so I've blatantly plagiarized Wiki, who put it so much better than I could!

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