The Universal Folk Club in Dublin city centre offers amateur musicians a space to perform.
Ray Dolan is a musician, long time member and organiser at the Universal Folk Club on Parnell Square, Dublin.
An urban expression of the old rural tradition has emerged. Young people, who for the love of it, write and play their own music. The Universal Folk Club has got something going.
When Ray Dolan made the move to Dublin, a friend told him about the club as a place you could come to sing. It is a starting point for musicians, some of whom go on to find commercial and critical success. The purpose of the club is,
To give a platform to totally amateur singers and musicians.
Musicians from all genres are given place to perform. The audience pay an admission of twenty pence, which works out at about a penny for every singer.
The Universal Folk Club offers an alternative type of entertainment for young people who are not interested or do not have the money to spend the evening in the pub. The club is open to everyone without age restriction.
Among the other acts performing on the night at the club are three sisters 'The Connollys'.
Since it opened many successful musicians started out at the Universal Folk Club including The Emmet Spiceland, Jonathan Kelly, Tír na nÓg, Al O'Donnell, Spud, Johnny McEvoy, members of Planxty, Sweeney's Men, Brendan Grace, and Shay Healy.
That the media has successfully ignored the place perhaps explains in part why it has remained largely unspoilt.
This episode of 'Cope' was broadcast on 22 November 1974. The reporter is Áine O'Connor.