There was a time when communication was not so simple. Recent generations have become accustomed to instant real time information, while unaware of a more simplistic era. For many years the Irish public relied upon the local “Telefon” Box as their only means of communication with the outside world.
The first “Telefon” box was installed as far back as 1925 and to this day it can be found on Dawson Street, Dublin. In 1932 the boxes were fitted throughout Dublin in response to the Catholic Eucharistic Congress which helped celebrate the 1,500th year of St. Patrick’s arrival to Ireland. The increased popularity from this event led to their installation throughout the length and breadth of the island. The boxes were modernised in later years but it is the old iconic boxes with the unmistakable “Telefon” branding that has a place in the hearts and minds of generations of Irish people.
The “Telefon” boxes not only had a practical purpose but they also came to have a major social significance with the Irish population. Once as important a structure to many as the bank and even the church, each “Telefon” box had a story to tell. Throughout the villages of Ireland they brought news of births and deaths and played a central role in the lives of those both lovesick and homesick. Speaking to a child who had emigrated in search of a better life would have been a rare treat for the parents that they had left behind. The Irish telephone box has become etched into the memories of older generations amusing their grandchildren with tales of dates at the local telephone or romance conducted through whispered confidences in that semi-private box in the middle of the village.
There have also been many humorous stories. In those days each call was put through the operator. There was the Cavan man who phoned his friend looking for a loan of money. Only to be told that “It’s a bad auld line, I can’t hear you”. When this was repeated a number of times the operator cut in with “I can hear him perfectly!” The answer was “You give him the loan so!” Or the two Donegal women who were stuck in a box and couldn’t get out!
In recent years with deep modernisation taking place all over Ireland it was decided that the old “Telefon” boxes would be removed from the landscape. With it went an important piece of our Irish history and culture. Today there are only a handful of original boxes remaining dotted throughout the countryside.
Burke Joinery, a family business, located in Dublin, have found a way to cherish and protect the heritage of this piece of Irish history. Burke Joinery hand make the old style “Telefon” box and have found a way to incorporate the past with the present. Each handmade box is acoustically tested with a noise reduction of up to 22dB. The boxes are now being sold to hotels, restaurants, and bars. The Irish telephone box is being used as it was intended, but now to make or receive a call on a mobile phone in the beer garden. If installed at the front of the building they look simply fantastic and works as a brilliant promotional tool in front of a pub enticing the passers-by to get their picture taken in front of the box. Some of the Irish Telephone Box clients include: The Brazen Head(Dublin), The Foggy Dew(Dublin), The Salmon Leap(Dublin), O’Connells(Galway), Durty Nellys(Clare), The Irish Pub(Germany), O’Connells (Italy) ,GWR Distilling(USA) and Blue Nova(USA).
There is a 5% discount promotion on offer for all Irish Pubs Global readers along with free branding to each purchased box.
Now you have the opportunity to WIN AN IRISH TELEPHONE BOX OF YOUR OWN. The generous people at Irish Telephone Box are offering you the chance to win an Irish Telephone Box – the Shaw Model which stands at 1500mm High x 610 mm Wide x 610mm deep.
This beautiful box retails at €1,175 and sits beautifully within a courtyard or garden setting which is perfect for any public house or restaurant.
Just answer the question: How many original Irish Telephone Boxes are there currently left in use in Ireland? (Hint, the answer is on www.irishtelephonebox.com)
Send us your name, email and answer with email subject heading “Irish Telephone Box” to firstname.lastname@example.org