THE PAVILION BAR
The Sports Pavilion on College Park was first mooted in 1881, although final permission for its construction was not obtained from the Board of Trinity College until 1884. Following the transformation of Dublin University Athletic Club into Dublin University Athletic Union in 1882, the Trustees of the Athletic Club, after much argument, agreed to surrender the Club’s funds (over £400) to the Union, provided that they were put towards the erection of a permanent pavilion, to which the Athletic Union would contribute money which had come in from the College Races since 1882.
On 1st March 1884 the Board received a deputation from the University Athletic Union and gave approval for the erection of a pavilion at the East end of College Park, provided that the Union had sufficient funds. The pavilion cost £1,050, of which £120 was contributed by the Board. The official opening of the ‘Pav’ was held on 13th June 1885. It contained, on the ground floor, dressing rooms for members and visitors, a room between these known as ‘the kitchen’, and two bathrooms with showers and baths; only cold water was available. On the first floor was a large room for meetings and refreshments.
In 1913 a committee was formed to raise money to build a new pavilion on a site at the West end of College Park opposite the original and still current Pavilion. The Board promised to give £1,000 towards this if the rest of the £5,000 required could be raised by private subscription. Only £700 had been raised when World War I broke out, putting an end to the project. After the war, the projected cost had risen to £20,000 and in 1925, with the consent of the living subscribers, the collected money was used to add two new dressing rooms to the Pavilion at a cost of £720. In 1930, the ablutions and lavatory facilities were considerably improved and hot water installed.
In 1960 the possibility of having a bar in the upper room of the Pavilion was first mooted. At that time the room was then principally used for serving teas after matches. The Board of the College approved D.U.C.A.C.’s request to apply for a licence for the Pavilion on condition that no spirits be sold and that the opening hours be restricted to 3.30 p.m. – 6.45 p.m. in term time and 3.15 p.m. – 6.15 p.m. outside term. An additional half hour was to be allowed after cricket matches and athletics meetings. The constitution of D.U.C.A.C. was rewritten to encompass the licensing laws and a club established to operate the licence which all students, staff and Pavilion members could join. The new constitution was approved on 26 April 1961 and in October of that year the Pavilion Bar opened for business.
In more recent times the Pavilion has been extended twice. In 1989 – 1990, as D.U.C.A.C.’s contribution to Trinity’s Quatercentenary year in 1992, the Lincoln Gate side of the Pavilion away from College Park was extended to provide extra space upstairs, with refurbishment of the dressing rooms downstairs, addition of ladies dressing rooms and provision of storage space. In addition the Pavilion steps had to be replaced due to their dangerous condition. A patio area was constructed in front of the pavilion steps, bordered by a beech hedge. On 21st November 1990 following completion of its redevelopment, the Pavilion was officially re-opened by the Provost William A. Watts [28 May 1930–26 April 2010].
During the summer of 2009, the balconies on both sides of the Pavilion were covered in to provide a club room, extension of the Pavilion bar and catering area, new toilet facilities and a lift for disabled access. These modernised premises were formally opened in December 2009 by Dr Trevor T. West, Chairman of D.U.C.A.C. [1976– 2009].