The Independent reported at "A company of the RIC Auxiliaries gave a subscription ball on Tuesday night at St Patricks Hall, Dublin Castle. The DMP band supplying the music.
Mark Sturgis; The Last Days of Dublin Castle; gives an account of this strange event. The Castle were obviously concerned about what might happen.
Now here beginneth the Book of Ensor – and a damn queer book too! A few days ago came Wilson, Solicitor General, to see Jonathan, and about the same time came the Manager of the Hotel at Malahide to see Toppin, with a great yarn that the peaceful town of Malahide was to be convulsed by a Black & Tan ball at the Hotel organised by one Ensor – said to be a parson or ex-parson – ex padre with the Army in France and now an officer in the Auxiliary Division with a private house in Malahide. To listen to Wilson you'd think this Ensor must be a cross between a middle aged Rasputin and Captain Kidd. In Malahide he has all the best looking girls enrolled in a philharmonic society and on the strength of having taken part of the Hotel for a concert he put in the Dublin papers that an all night Ball would be held, tickets obtainable from F. Company Aux: Div: Dublin Castle.
Toppin interrogated stated that the protests of the Hotel Manager were met by Parson Ensor with the threat that if he did anything to interfere with the amusement of the Auxiliaries it would be the worse for him, his Hotel and Malahide generally.
I got hold of Darling who discreetly discovered that these gentlemen intended to trail their coats and themselves from Dublin to Malahide, armed to the teeth, in Government cars. Jonathan wished the whole circumstances put – unofficially as far as the Under Secretary was concerned – before Tudor who expressed disapproval and the ball was Off.
This afternoon we learn that this Hooligan Hop has been transferred to St. Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle!
Tudor, who has gone to Cork, according to Ensor , gave him permission. On a verbal statement of this by Ensor, Spooner 'had no objection to them having the hall'.
Johnstone 'did not like to refuse the DMP band in face of 'Tudor's sanction'. Boyd, who I'm told absolutely refused to allow the inhabitants to give a dance on New Year's Eve on account of outsiders coming in, is away on leave – and Anderson heard of the whole thing purely by accident this afternoon. I'm told that tickets for a dance within our sacred much guarded walls are on sale in the town – but this can't be true!
Spooner interrogated is slightly comforting as to safety as he says it is arranged for Auxiliaries to be on guard at the Gate to scrutinise their own guests – but the cheek of the whole thing is incredible.
Officials who work and many of whom have lived in the Castle for months must now have passes with photographs to get into the place at all, yet these beauties can almost without by your leave or with your leave import a pack of women of whom nobody with the possible exception of themselves knows anything at all. Interesting to see when I get back tomorrow whether the Shinns have got in disguised as buxom wenches or whether failing this the whole place has been fired up by the festive ex-officers themselves
The Irish Times of Jan 5th 1921 says that there were 400 people at the ball and that an excellent buffet supper was served during the musical intervals. The dancing continued until after 5am.
F Coy ADRIC