Do kids from the Liberties have enough to do after school?

By Janus Fabricius

You might not remember it, but The Bayno was a play centre for kids in the Liberties. It was where Liberties College is now, and kids used to go there after school to dance, play, skip and drink cocoa.

It was founded in 1909 by the Iveagh Trust fund, who now build and manage affordable housing in the Dublin area.  It closed down in 1975, to make room for a bigger college. The name comes from the old word “beanfest”, that was a word said about any kind of party.

That was probably how the kids in The Bayno felt, and the reason the short version “Bayno” was adapted into the name.

Shay McGuire is one of the shop owners in the Liberty market on Meath Street. He sells dolls and other toys, with a constant smile on his face.

He went to the Bayno as a kid. He remembers lining up with all the other kids after school, and walking down there. Or as the old song says: “Tip-toe to the Bayno, Where the kids go, to get their buns and Coco. Come tip-toe to the Bayno with me”

Shay McGuire has fond memories of his time in the play centre, where he would go from only 5 years old to when he was about 13.

“It was a thing we looked forward to every day. Sitting in school, it was nice to know, that we would go there afterwards,” he says

The kids would be taken inside to sit around in a big circle on the floor. “We would eat our stone-buns and drink our coco. We enjoyed the coco. “It was

something new back then, but I don’t think we would have enjoyed it as much today,” Shay McGuire continues.

Shay thinks that the Liberties needs a place like that to come back. The kids are affected by the lack of after school activities.

“Kids today are bored,” he says.  “So they go home and sit at the computer, or do other things that they are not supposed to. That is sad.”



But is there a chance for the kids to get a place like that back?

Counsellor for the Dublin South Central Area, Pat Dunne does not completely reject the idea. But there are some problems, he says.

“I used to go to the Bayno myself, but only if I managed to sneak in with a member of the Iveagh Trust.”

Officially, you had to be living in one of the Iveagh Trusts’ buildings to automatically become a member of the Bayno, and if you didn’t, you would have to, like Pat Dunne, sneak in with a member.

When asked if the Liberties are lacking a play centre for the kids, he says:

“Well, it’s not the only thing the Liberties are lacking, but it would definitely be great if we could get a place like that back. Compared to other places in Dublin, we are lacking activities,” Mr Dunne says.

Pat Dunne thinks it would be great if a private company could set up something that was for everyone, and at the same time could financially make it run.

“It was a great place, but I can’t think of a facility where it could be. We will talk about it, and I will help the best way I can,” Pat Dunne says.

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