In June 2006, Ronan Kelly visited a Dublin card club. He was expecting David Niven in a white dinner jacket and a touch of Monte Carlo.
Instead he found students in hoodies and Dev's old church. The Fitzwilliam Club is in Clifton Hall, where Eamon DeValera attending Mass regularly.
As one of the managers of the club said about the poker tables: "there's more praying going on here now than when it was a church."
The owners and players are keen to show that card clubs are innocuous and fun.
However, the then Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, said that he wanted such clubs more closely monitored and, if necessary, closed down.
(Originally broadcast in June 2006 as part of the series, 'Flux')
The Curious Ear' is produced by Ronan Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org
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