Cecil Nolan or just “Cecil”, which he was more affectionately known as, started DJing in
But it wasn’t until 1967 that he and his fellow members of the Belgrove Football Club
decided to start their own social club, The Grove Social Club - taking it’s name from
the venue in which it was founded. Deciding who was to DJ for this club didn’t pose
much of a problem, as Cecil had already built up the reputation as “The Music Man” of
Left to his own devices and taste in music, Cecil had a free hand when it came to deciding
what music he was going to play each night. “I played whatever I wanted because I knew
there was a market out there for it and if it failed,well I didn’t care, at least I was
enjoying myself.” Recalls the Music Man. But failure was nowhere in sight as “The Grove”
went from strength to strength, initially running twice a week Saturdays and Sundays
most of the year around, adding a Wednesday night to the week’s proceedings during the
school holidays. Eventually leading to three nights a week all year round. But then
tragedy befell the venue in 1975, when an accidental fire burnt The Belgrove Football Club
to the ground. With nowhere for the teenagers to go, the committee quickly decided to
relocate just around the corner, to the gymnasium of St. Paul’s College, Raheny,
It was here that The Grove laid it’s hat until that fateful day in 1997 when Cecil
and his colleagues decided to call it a day. As the last chord of Nirvana’s
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” fed-back and faded out, so it was to be, Cecil Nolan,
for one last time, closed the lids on his boxes of vinyl and on 30 years of music and
teenage memories.
There will never again be a disco quite like The Grove…