Yesterday, driving on the Back Douglas Road, I spotted the name of an as yet unfinished development. A U-turn was executed and I returned to what will be Josephine McCoy Mews. This had me intrigued.
Buildings, roads or structures named after females are not that common. If the sub-grouping of female saints is excluded, the number would be very very small.
I remember mentally screaming at the car radio about ten years ago when there was a, what proved to be successful, campaign to name the suspension bridge over the Dublin to Belfast M1 after former President Mary McAleese. Someone on the radio was saying that it would be the first structure named after a women, ignorant of the Cork footbridge erected in 1985 and named after Nano Nagle.
Mary Elmes Bridge, Rosie Hackett Bridge and others have followed since then – but the numbers are still so small that I did return and photograph what will be Josephine McCoy Mews. Heading onwards towards the Nursing Home, I did think as to who Josephine McCoy was and whether I had read of her previously.
As it transpired, I had actually stopped at the grave she shares with her (second) husband. John Borgonovo’s piece on RTE Brainstorm gave the answers – well worth a read.
This morning, I started filing away some of my photographs, a long overdue task. I got as far back as late July and this roadside Calvary cross on the Buttevant to Kildorrery road (R532). The filing of the photographs stopped as the vague recollections stirred.
I was correct in thinking that I had another in the Grotto folder named Wallstown. Only when comparing the two did other coincidences come forth:
The majority of roadside grottos or religious statues are to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Calvary crosses are not nearly as common. When I eventually get around to populating the full database, I will be able to give the percentage but suspect it will be in low single digits.
1954 was a Marian Year as is regularly noted on the roadside shrines. 1932 is not as common – another for the database recording.
When plotting the crosses on the map, they are not very far apart.
They both mention Julia M. Crowley and 1932. She erected, or caused erected, the Calvary Cross on the N73. She died on 27th September and the Calvary Cross on the R532 was erected in her memory – interestingly, this one has statues of three others praying and remembering, whereas the earlier one does not.
Julia M. Crowley of Wallstown Castle has gone onto the To Find Out More list……
Trawling through Twitter this morning, I spotted a tweet from Survivors Unite at Last in which she included a copy of her mothers’s birth certificate. This cert records the profession of her maternal grandfather as a Tinsmith.
Very many trades are dwindling in numbers or disappearing completely. Tinsmith is definitely in that category. Automation and machinery has had its impact, so too has plastic.
The tweet reminded me of my journey west in early July. Just over Two-Mile Bridge on the Macroom side at Coolcower, the civil engineering works were well advanced for the construction of the Macroom- bypass.
But just as one cannot make an omelette without cracking eggs, serious muck-shifting cannot be done without some disturbance.
I stopped early that morning to record that another reference to Tinsmith had been cast aside to the memory banks.
Many, but not all, memorials (and grottos) have been relocated and repositioned after roadworks. Only time will tell if the memorial to Tinsmith Danny Hourigan is to be reinstated.
Last Saturday, March 4th, saw me on the road to Baile Mhuirne. It was my first time travelling on the Macroom by-pass, the bit that is open at least.
Was good to see that the memorial to Danny Hourigan has been reinstated
Memorials to Innocent Victims of the War of Independence and Civil War are proportionally significantly lower than I.R.A. dead.
A few weeks back, parking my car off The Market in Ennis, I spotted this plaque to a young boy playing in the wrong place at the wrong time. The screws definitely suggest that the plaque is recent.
I wonder if there is more resonance and sympathy with an innocent victim going about their normal activities rather than a soldier combatant – and even more sore with a child. Quite likely if the success of Joe Duffy’s book on 1916 children is anything to go by.
There is an exhibition running at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork in which the artist, Dara McGrath, has returned to the locations where people died in the Republican War, or Revolutionary Period, one hundred years ago. The exhibition concerns itself with the period 1919 to 1921 – the War of Independence.
The artist returns to the scene of death a century later and records the current aspect – regularly with people in the photograph who are quite likely oblivious to the past events, such events not being commemorated by a plaque or other memorial.
To promote the exhibition, billboards around Cork city were used with details of the person deceased, how they died, as well as photograph of the location.
I have been recording roadside memorials for many years – hopefully I will get the map up-to-date at some point.
Some memorials do impact greater than others.
Maybe two days before Christmas Day had an effect on this agnostic.
Maybe it was the clear photograph and simple message.
Maybe it brought to mind the memorial to Jonathan Corrie.
Maybe it was because I recognised Mary from the streets of the city centre for more than a few years and never knew her name.
Dowcha Boy, White Vision,
“Few people can claim that they owe their very existence to a pigeon”
This is the opening line of story that I heard last November on Sunday Miscellany. Gail Seekamp tells the story of White Vision after her heroic experiences during World War II, 60 miles in 9 hours. She was renamed White Saviour.
The Dickin Medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. White Vision was one of the first three recipients in December 1943. Nine months later, Paddy was similarly honoured. I read of Paddy in Ireland’s Own. A plaque was erected in his honour at Carnlough, near Larne, and is on my To Visit list. It looks like there may be two plaques and a song - and another song, of sorts. In 2010, there was a flypast in commemoration.
This week I read of Cónal Creedon’s excellent book, Begotten Not Made, being selected for an Eric Hoffer Book Award in the U.S., and was reminded of Dowcha Boy whose exploits in World War I pre-dated the Dickin Medal. Feted on returning to Cork, the Legend of the Northside, a small but critical figure of the book, has not been forgotten by this reader.
Paddy lived until he was 11. White Saviour lived for 10 years after her rescue night. Based in Rialto in Dublin, IHU 15 67080 was ringed in 2015, which I think may also be year of birth. I hope that she is now competing in races for pigeons with disabilities. On Thursday, a ringed leg was spotted in the grounds of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral.
Dowcha Boy survived being shot. White Vision survived the stormy night flight that her fellow pigeon did not. Maybe IHU 15 67080 is flying, and hopping, about quite contentedly having evaded the peregrine around the golden trumpets mentioned in a tweet this morning.
Orla Peach’s tweet and listening to The Unthanks earlier, was enough of a co-incidence about pigeons in one week to warrant this rambling blog.
For further distraction from Cónal Creedon, take a few minutes HERE
My recording of Roadside Memorials came in handy a few months back when I had to submit an essay for the Local & Regional Studies Course I am attending. The essay was about the uses of Roadsides and Waysides for burial and commemoration.
During a tea break during a lecture one evening, LH commented that she had spotted an unusual memorial on the road from Farranfore to Killarney. This was as good an excuse as any to travel a road different to normal on my trip to the Dingle Peninsula earlier this month.
LH was not wrong. I have not seen a memorial like it before. Beautiful. And appropriate.
Nearly four years after the death of Edward Duggan while cycling, the memorial is clean and very well maintained. It has fresh flowers and solar powered lights.
For many years now, I have been photographing and recording the many Roadside Memorials that I have seen around the country. They are substantially for victims of Road Traffic Collisions, but there are memorials for drownings, train crashes, and others.
The uploading of each of the memorials to the blog is a work in progress, as is the plotting of the memorials on Google Maps.
There have been quite a number of tweets today remembering Kevin O’Higgins who was killed on his way to Mass in Booterstown Avenue, Co. Dublin on this day in 1927 – Barry Sheppard including a cartoon of Gordon Brewster from the Evening Herald; This Day in Irish History; RTE Archives; Minister Charlie Flanagan; and, The Irish At War.
Come Here to Me, and Stair na hEireann give information on the man and the assassination.
All of this reminded me of the memorial which I spotted in Stradbally, Co. Laois last year. I was particularly taken with the inscription, ‘A Brave Father and Two Worthy Sons’. This was more significant when I read an Irish Times article today that Kevin O’Higgins father was murdered in 1923 by the I.R.A. in revenge for I.R.A. men executed by the Free State on direction of Kevin O’Higgins.
On 9th May, the head on Widerlings Lane was the Street Art that I tweeted in my on-going efforts to tweet one PostBox, Roadside Memorial, StreetArt work, and, Ghostsign every day for 2019 – a means to an end of sorting out and cataloguing all of the photographs that I have.
I had assumed that the art was completed, but I was wrong.
Yesterday, cycling on Popes Quay on my way to final evening of classes at U.C.C. for the term, I spotted that the art had been developed.
There was Michael O’Riordan keeping an eye on passers-by.
The head appears to be from the photograph that accompanied the temporary memorial around the corner on Popes Quay a short while back, placed by Michael’s nephew Pat Cadogan.
Eighty-three years ago, Michael O’Riordan left the North Mall and headed to Spain.
Well done to MYO Café.
Today’s StreetArt offering has been the updated version on Widerlings Lane.
“My dearest Mother, I take this opportunity of writing to you to let you know the dreadful news, that I am to be shot on Tuesday morning, the 1st of November. What harm, it is all for Ireland. I am not afraid to die, but it thinking of you I am. That is all: if you will be happy on earth I will be happy in Heaven. I am ready to meet my doom. The priest is with me when needed so you need not worry over me… I am the only one of 62 of us to be put out of this World, but I am ready to die”
The day after Kevin Barry was executed, James Daly met a similar fate.
Growing up I would have learned of Kevin Barry, the former Belvedere student who was due to sit an exam as part of his U.C.D. Medical Studies but participated in an I.R.A. attack, was captured, court-martialled and hanged. Years ago, I would have heard the song sung by Paul Robeson, Leonard Cohen and others.
It was much more recently that I learned of James Daly.
He was a member of the Connaught Rangers who refused to soldier when they heard of the treatment of Irish men and women at the hands of the Black & Tans. Patrick McGrath, a colleague of his from India, lies in Castlehyde Cemetery. His headstone prompted my reading of the Indian Mutiny.
James Daly led a group of the Connaught Rangers in an attempt to regain their guns which they had handed over. Two soldiers died. As leader, James Daly was court-martialled and executed.
Last month, I had to travel from Dublin to Roscommon so I availed of the opportunity to travel the old main road west and make a visit to Tyrellspass and leave one of my stones on the grave of James Daly.
Quite a few blog posts hereabouts have been accompanied by the expression that ‘it is a bad day when one does not learn something new’.
Last week, I learned something completely new. Upto then, I would have thought that it could not have been true. It was so ‘not a bad day’.
Those of you who regularly pass by these pages are probably aware of my interest in Commonwealth War Graves – the inscriptions; the dates; the distances travelled; the alias; the location; and, the neighbours in the graveyard.
I had understood that such headstones were erected to those who had died in the World Wars or slightly after as a consequence of action in a World War.
While the women of the house sit in front of a television, waiting for the appearance of a wedding dress, I am contemplating the removal, deliberate or otherwise, of part of the history that remains from when Ireland was part of the United Kingdom.
I have often blogged on matters relating to postboxes – colour & font; split-personalities; repurposing; quirks of manufacture; and, even, the riddle of Shanagarry. Another blog on a post-box should not surprise too many who pass by here often.
This is another reminder to self to continue the populating of the map that I started – hundreds and hundreds still to do.
This blog has been prompted by a tweet from Eoin Lettice about the upcoming Sheppard’s Auction where Lot 2 is a Victorian cast iron pillar postbox, guiding €2,000 - €3,000, previously resident at Patrick’s Street in Cork.
My recording of postboxes only goes back as far as this website and the VR box from Patrick’s St. was before that. If I were to guess, it may have been replaced by the modern rust-bucket style unit, now at the junction with Academy Street, but I may need to flick through books with old photographs to hunt for more clues.
Maybe An Post needed the money and decided to sell off some postboxes from stores. Maybe some ‘enterprising’ person thought that they were being wasted in An Post stores.
The old boxes definitely are better wearing and hardier than that the modern versions. I would have thought that it would be an idea for An Post to keep the old style to replace the postbox causalities – and there have been a few.
There was an old pillar box in Ballyphehane in Cork that is no longer – or substantially no longer. The base is still there and used as a concrete foundation for the new style box. I suspect this was a victim of a road traffic accident.
The Carron Scotland pillar box at the Holy Ground in Dingle lost its battle with a truck that came down Green Street and ended up in the Woolen Store shop. It was replaced by an old-style Handyside pillar box
The Carron, Scotland pillar-box that stood outside Bandon Road Post Office in Cork city is yet another that is no longer.
But whether this was another victim of road traffic or revenge for the ambush at Ballynamona, Mourneabbey is still open to debate and supposition
Above is a painting by Sir John Lavery held in Crawford Art Gallery.
Below are photographs of the interiors of three Cathedrals.
Take your pick.
This blog post has been rambling around my brain for over two years – hopefully it will not be as long when you get to the end.
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