'Newsbeat' visits Club Arthur a new addition to the Sixties beat club scene in Dublin city centre.
Club Arthur has been open for six months and is one of 100 beat clubs that have sprung up around Dublin since the early Sixties. The clubs often operating from cellars in buildings around the city centre, offer a relatively cheap membership and entry policy. Beat clubs can make up to £1000 a week, although running costs are growing higher.
The success of the beat clubs has also attracted the interest of the police who visit frequently seeking evidence of drug taking and sexual misconduct. The clubs have even been denounced from the pulpit with one priest condemning them as
Dens of iniquity
Michael Ryan a band member and a director of Club Arthur believes it is the location of beat clubs in cellars, rather than in the suburbs like the nicer rugby clubs, that has caused older people to be suspicious.
Older people are squares.
Ryan has invited parents and the press to come to his club to experience first-hand what goes on there but his offer has not been taken up in great numbers. He is adamant the clubs are not evil, dangerous places.
Those who attend beat clubs do so primarily because of the music, but also because they can wear the clothes they like in surroundings complimentary to their clothes. Boasting an exciting and carefree atmosphere, these clubs are different to the usual dance-halls.
It’s amazing the difference it makes when you have a good group, the way you feel.
A ‘Newsbeat’ report by Cathal O’Shannon broadcast on 30 September 1966.