On Sunday, I was returning from my conversational Irish weekend, happy and relaxed. I decided to go along some roads not before travelled by me. I took a stroll through the cemetery at Kiltallagh, outside Castlemaine.
I met with the name of Patrick Costelloe.
I was particularly struck by the fern. To my recollection, this is the first time that I have seen a CWGC headstone with the New Zealand insignia, for someone that served in the New Zealand forces, and I have seen a few in my cemetery visits. This caused to be pause a while longer.
A tweet today from the Imperial War Museum educated that the Haka was first heard and seen by many in Europe in the fields of World War 1 when performed by New Zealand soldiers. This reminded me of Dave Gallaher.
I knew that Irishmen fought in the armies of very many different countries in World War 1. Dave Gallaher from Donegal was captain of the first All Blacks team to tour in 1905, called the Original All Blacks. He died after the Battle of Broodseinde on October 4th, 1917, shortly before his forty-fourth birthday.
Patrick Costelloe died in September 1915, less than 3 months after departing from Wellington His father was from Boolteens on the Dingle peninsula. He was born in Castlemaine and was single when he died at the age of 25 years. He is remembered on the cenotaph in Auckland.
This morning, the web advised that today is Anzac Day. It is 102 years since the Australian and New Zealand forces landing at Gallipoli. It is also the day upon which New Zealand and Australia commemorates their soldiers who were killed in war, and honours returned servicemen and women.
It has been only two days since I first learned of Patrick Costelloe. I have wondered why he travelled so far from Boolteens.
For Anzac Day, I thought I’d share his name.
We often visit Ennis – you might have gathered that from the number of blog posts.
Our butcher of choice in Ennis is Kelly’s in The Market – absolutely lovely beef. I have been in the shop a few times a year for many years. I have walked past very much more frequently – regularly on the way to Scéal Eile.
It was only today that I noticed the fascia on the shopfront.
Maybe it is new. Maybe it has only recently been redecorated. Ot maybe those heads passed me by for so long.
Regardless of the reason why I didn’t see them before, I do like.
I think they are great.
I took this photograph at lunchtime today, 11th April.
I was somewhat puzzled at the message on what was obviously a vacated premises.
It appears that the ‘move’ has already started – but may not be finished with new premises.
Is ‘will re-open at new premises on 25th April’ more correct.
Does ‘We are moving’ not have a connotation that they will be remaining until that date, 25th April?
Maybe I need to learn all of the possible uses of the verb, ‘move’.
Maybe, just like ‘Hearing’, it is an advanced notice.
Or maybe I need to learn to ignore some signs…..
In the early 1980’s, the Grosvenor Bar was a regular haunt for those in my final years of school – a time before strict i.d. for underage drinking.
I took to alcohol later in life so was only in the Grosvenor on a small few occasions but its name, and particularly the silent ‘s’, are part of my history.
The Archive magazine has a piece where the owner of the Grosvenor said that the gardens of the Trinity Presbyterian Church were used for overnight grazing by drovers (p23).
For many years now, Brú Bar & Hostel has operated from the premises with a white frontage.
But driving home this evening, MacCurtain St brought me back thirty-plus years as the ghost of The Grosvenor Bar has reappeared.
It is probably beyond hope that the will retain this ghost……
It is probably a question better suited to a high stool than a Table Quiz.
‘How many letters in the Irish alphabet?’ can provoke debate as to whether ‘á’ is a different letter to ‘a’; whether ‘ċ’ is a different letter to ‘ch’; and, they are before one gets to the incorporation of new words such as ‘X-gatháim’ and‘vacsaín’.
The Irish Grammar Book advises that the Irish language comprises 18 letters. The remaining 8 – j k q v w x y z – ‘are sometimes used in foreign loan words or in mathematical or scientific terminology’.
I have recently been cataloguing the thousands of streetname signs that I have photographed. I smiled at this one in the St. Luke’s Cross area of Cork.
The ‘x’ jumped out at me immediately – an ‘x’ in the Gaelic script.
The dimensions of the letter ‘x’ do look different to the rest. Maybe the signmaker was a Gaelgóir and wanted to point out the abuse of the Irish alphabet – to my eyes he succeeded.
When I first heard of the expression ‘Tabula Rasa’, I assumed that it was an Irish expression incorporated into English – I was wrong, but did not learn that for a while. The phrase took up residence as a curiosity in my brain, something on which more information was to be sought. It remained untouched for over two years until this week.
My latest bug, or obsessive compulsive tendency, germinated last week at the Stone Symposium in Ahakista. The mind cleansing and calming effect of carving letters into stone was a complete joy – no thoughts of emails, work or finances – just concentration on the depth and shape of the task at hand, admittedly with the occasional contemplation of aches.
When singing the praises of the stone carving with NK, he educated me as to a saying of Cuan Mhuire – you must work the hands to free the mind. It so worked with me that Friday on Sheep’s Head.
The next day, still buzzing from the stonework, GF and I enthused about the satisfaction and mind clearing of grass cutting – time alone to forget everything else.
On a tea break at the Stone Symposium, I was asking one of the instructors, as to where one might purchase a chisel and hammer if one wanted to practice at home. Ruairí Dennison gave me the name a website – one with a strange name, tab v larasa.
That is the actual address - tabvlarasa.com – but on the site, maybe an Italian thing, but the ‘v’ becomes a ‘u’ and it reads ‘Tabularasa’.
Cue - Eureka moment.
My tools have been ordered and the dictionaries have been checked – why did I ever doubt Gabriel Rosenstock and the power of the haiku.
Poetry has, on occasions more frequently of late than before, given me moments to absorb and forget everything else – not for long, but definitely a moment to stop the waltzer and forget all.
I am hoping that those forget-everything periods will be longer when I hit metal into stone and try to do one good letter – perfect would be great, but may be beyond the time available.
Until the chisel arrives from Italy, The Flea Market In Valparaíso has come off the shelf and will go into work bag for those chill-out minutes.
It was from my sister that I learned of the expressions, ‘pink jobs’ and ‘blue jobs’.
I am not sure of what colour was attributed to the tasks that were shared between her and my brother-in-law, but ‘blue jobs’ were his alone and they included (or more correctly ‘include’) grass cutting; putting out the bins, and potato sowing.
We were in Castletownbere this evening for the removal of Mr. McCarthy.
The shopfront reminded me of Clones.
I smiled, thinking that the Beara division of responsibilities coloured household blue and children pink.
A short while back, a blog post arrived in my inbox containing a lead photograph of the boat above and I immediately recognised it as being from a headstone at Kilmalkader in Corca Dhuibhne – the two blogs earlier this week, prompted a third.
The carving is on a beautiful and unusual headstone at the bottom of the cemetery, looking out to sea. The wording engraved is a simple message that Dr. Paddy Moriarty, who ministered to the peninsula for 30 years, died on 31 May, 1944.
My interpretation of the boat was escapism, Jonny Baker’s was returning to a safe harbour – there are probably many other interpretations. The engraving was memorable to more than us.
And that was where the blog would have finished until I went searching for more information on Dr Moriarty and, unless there were two Dr. Paddy Moriarty’s on the Dingle peninsula in the 1940’s, the headstone story weaves through Patrick Kavanagh, Raglan Road, a Fianna Fáil minister, and on to Dido.
‘On Raglan Road of an autumn day I saw her first and knew
Dido wrote Grafton Street in memory of her father, who was a nephew of Hilda Moriarty – O’Malley, the dark haired beauty that snared Patrick Kavanagh. The Irish Times said that as ‘a young girl, Dido was obsessed with great-aunt Hilda, the tales of her beauty and her role in Raglan Road’, and that she sung Raglan Road to her father as he was dying.
Hilda Moriarty was a student at U.C.D when Patrick Kavanagh spotted her on Raglan Road – the poem, and song followed. In 1947, she married Donogh O’Malley who went on to be Minister for Education and introduced free post-primary education for all.
In U.C.D., future President, Paddy Hillery, was a classmate. Richard Harris was a friend.
It was Autumn 1944 when Patrick Kavanagh spotted Hilda Moriarty and was smitten. He followed her home to Dingle peninsula, uninvited, that Christmas.
If there was indeed only one Dr Paddy Moriarty, that was the Christmas period that he died, aged 51.
A lovely headstone now has a story attached to it in my head.
This was the image that awaited us as we came up Patrick’s St towards the Winthrop St junction at lunchtime on Monday.
The probable, and most boring, explanation is that just having purchased new footwear, a decision was made to ditch the old, rather than bring home.
But such an explanation would not provide distraction time, time to allow the mind to wander, to escape for some chill-out time.
Maybe enough was enough, and walking barefoot was the first step in rebelling against the norms and expectation of society – that quote eventually wore down the mental block providing resistance, the time had arrived when the life would be lived, not chosen.
Maybe, a dare or a bet to act out the Mikel Murfi role had become less fun as sobriety returned in the early hours.
Maybe some escapade the night before resulted in lost or damaged shoes. These boots borrowed, (or retrieved from a recycle bin), until the shoe shop was reached.
This morning’s tweet from the Irish Aesthete demanded that the rambles through my mind become fully formed in the shape of this blog post.
On Sunday, I received a text about events in Ballymacoda at 7.30p.m. on Friday next, 31st March, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the death of Peter O’Neill-Crowley in Kilclooney Wood.
There is to be a commemoration at the grave followed by a display of information in the parish hall.
Then this morning’s Irish Examiner had further details of the Peter O’Neill-Crowley Commemoration Weekend including a talk at 5.30 at County Hall on Thursday and commemoration at Kilclooney on Sunday.
I first heard of Peter O’Neill-Crowley only a few years back when I read the name of the bridge near Victoria Cross.
Where Bridges Stand by Antóin O’Callaghan advises that the construction of the bridge commenced in 1820; it was named the George IV Bridge; in 1907 Cork Corporation agreed to change name; but, this change did not happen for a few years. The plaque on the bridge says 1911.
Since first spotting the name on the bridge, his name has appeared on a few plaques and memorials that I have seen.
With the 150th anniversary of his death coming up, I thought it appropriate to the plaques together.
Discussion a short while ago prompted by Cork Bus Station where the bus areas are full of parked cars and a camper van to dispense drinks to strikers……
Can striking employees enter the employer’s premises and park their cars when on strike?
Can they enter to use the toilet facilities?
Does the insurance cover of the employer extend to private vehicles?
Should the picket be outside the premises? Or can it walk through the premises?
Is the bus lane public thoroughfare or private/semi-private premises?
We didn’t know the answers but expected that they could only do so with permission and then debated as to whether granting such permission would be good or bad for industrial relations.
We did not agree on that either.
So I thought that I’d throw it out to the internet world…..
Section 8 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990 defines a strike as ‘a cessation of work by any number or body of workers acting in combination or a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding of any number of workers to continue to work for their employer done as a means of compelling their employer, or to aid other workers in compelling their employer, to accept or not to accept terms or conditions of or affecting employment.’
When looking back through my photographs from Kilmalkader Cemetery for the dramatic masks, I saw that on this day 99 years ago Thomas Russell died. It demanded some web searching.
There is some confusion as to the date of death - Wikipedia says his death was 18th March, 1918; BMH record says 24th March. Both differ from the headstone saying 27th March. He is mentioned in The Clare War Dead by Tom Burnell.
He was teaching Irish at the Sinn Féin Club at Carrigaholt, Co. Clare. He was stabbed and died later that night.
A new name committed to the memory bank.
This morning, I spotted a retweet mentioning that it was #WorldTheatreDay. It included the image of two masks which reminded me of a headstone in Kilmalkader.
A bright lovely Sunday morning last April, this headstone did cause me to pause and wonder, and smile.
I have not seen the masks on a headstone before or since.
It has proved memorable.
Since starting this blog, and probably even before, I have admired the craft of stone carving and lettering, a craft and skill that was much more prominent.
I am more convinced than ever that the machine engraved lettering on headstones and plaques is so lacking in emotion and consideration to those named when weighted against the hand carved– just think of the reaction you might have to a handwritten letter, compared to a typed or automatically signed letter.
I have come across the lettering of renowned experts – SM and KT; an engraver new to me – TG; and, some old engraving, even with some mistakes.
There are those, including Gerry Adams, who get a buzz from hugging a tree, For me, touching some lovely stonework is a pick-me-up. I always have stones in my pockets.
My admiration of those blessed with the craft of lettering heightened significantly on Friday, when 9.00a.m. saw me heading west into Ahakista on a lovely morning.
A day of handcarving followed, as part of the Stone Symposium, under the direction of expert stone carvers. I now so regret not having organised for attending on the three days.
I sweated and ached. My left hand was very stiff – luckily I lift a pint with my right. Two days later, my back is still letting me know that my body is not sculpted for manual work. But my head and my soul were so much improved.
I will be doing more and have already been on the hunt for tools and checked out Tír Chonaill festival at Glencolmkille in June.
I have completed Day 1 – only 6 years and 364 days more to get it right.
Finola on Roaringwater Journal has some great photos from the weekend at the Stone Symposium - HERE
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