When I first read of ‘The Red City’ being the nickname for Gurranabraher, it stuck in the grey matter as a little nugget – relatives who had grown up in Mount Nebo had never shared that gem with me.
When I find a nugget, sooner or sometimes much later, other little bits of knowledge cling on as they float by, increasing the extent of information – those dots of knowledge forever connected, in my strange head anyways.
Red City makes an appearance in Cónal Creedon’s Passion Play – ‘This Could be Heaven’ is great to read, brilliant to hear, an experience to see arising from the dark, and well worth few moments yielding to your imagination.
This morning, heading down to Brian at the fish stall on the Coalquay Market for our surprise stash, we spotted that the Red City had yielded to the clouds.
Reason enough to prompt this ramble.
Reason enough to put out there.
Mick D was a census enumerator a few months back in the Red City. The official forms were ‘Gurranebraher’ whereas locals had ‘Gurranabraher’ – another riddle awaiting explanation.
…The main contractors for the project were Messrs Murray and Lane, Builders..Sand and gravel was supplied by John a. Wood Ltd. of Carrigrohane Road. Cooking and lighting facilities were provided by Cork Gas Company. Also involved were Swann’s of Knapp’s Square…..Hickey’s of Maylor Street not only supplied 2,500 tons of Portland Cement, but also 300,000 red roof-tiles. The colour of the tiles soon resulted in some local wag nicknaming the area ‘Red City’!!
My city is a Royal town, dressed up in crimsons and gold. In the distance, through the mists of time and coal smoke I hear the cry of an Echo boy, the sound of men walking and whistling their way home from work to the Red City of Gurranabraher, the chimes of an ice-cream van across on Spangle Hill, the bells of some cathedral or other, the yelps of children from Roches Buildings playing ball along the road.
“Can you imagine
Shortly after this the friars erected a small chapel high in the hills overlooking the city from the northwest in a place which became known as Cilleen na Gurranaigh – The Little Church of The Groves. The chapel itself was known as ‘Teampaill na mBrathair’, many years later, the whole area had become known as ‘Gurradh na mBrathair’ – The Grove of the Brothers, or Friars Grove. The time spent by the Franciscans in Gurranabraher is marked by the naming of a row of houses just below Barrett’s Buildings known as Friars Avenue.”
I spotted this plaque recently on the gable wall of the former Infant School at Higher O’Connell Street in Kinsale.
The screw fixings do give the indication that it is probably not original to the building. Google streetview confirms that it was in place in 2011.
I am lost as to its meaning.
I have not seen anything like it before, or since.
Upto last week I had never heard of a ‘cannon bath’.
I was very envious when JV showed me this in his garden. I have been on the lookout for disused cast iron water tanks that may be coming out of old buildings exactly for the use here – probably different plants but definite same use (beauty, eye, beholder and all that).
This cast iron tank is stamped BO (Board of Ordnance) 1836 and was found at Murphy Barracks in Ballincollig after it was sold and undergoing development.
There is a bridge at Faha.
As there are at least 9 places called Faha in the country, there is likely to be more than one bridge in Faha. I can confidently say ‘at least’ as the three listed on Logainm in Co. Kerry exclude Faha on the R563 from Killarney to Milltown (or on to Dingle) -the one that has been in and out of my thoughts for over a year.
I stopped to photograph the postbox and noted this plaque on the bridge with three letters and a date – E.M.B. April 1816.
I admit failure. Since April, 2015 I have been unable to even find one suggestion for E.M.B..
I am hoping that the expression ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ may extend to riddles and puzzles…..
In Ballydehob, I thought there was religious veneration.
This, we spotted on the Naas Road and, while not definite, think that it is very probably a public display of religious admiration.
The recent tweet from Irish Garrison Towns as to the smiling Jesus at the Calvary at Ringaskiddy brought me back to Inchicore.
It may bring a smile to you – or maybe not…..
It is not often that the name of a brick manufacturer is visible in a structure – any such name generally is faced up or down and so covered by mortar and the next layer.
A while back, I spotted this in a wall near Seminary Buildings off Great William O’Brien Street. It is the only dark brick in an otherwise red wall.
I can make out ‘Buckley’ but no more from the wording – possibly ‘Hancock’. I have not yet come across a brick manufacturer called ‘Buckley’ – it remains on the ‘To Find Out More’ list.
Here’s hoping someone does know some more about this rogue brick.
I am supposing that it was not a ‘Boot Factory’ – primarily for reasons of layout in that an additional letter would have brought the word a bit too close to Walsh.
If a Motor Factor sells car parts and equipment, did a ‘Boot Factor’ sell parts for boots, or the full pair of boots?
I spotted this ghostsign a few weeks back in Roscommon town. I cannot recall ever seeing reference to a ‘Boot Factor’ prior to this. Chambers does confirm that to factor is to act on someone’s behalf, but that does not really help.
Was ‘factor’ used in times past instead of ‘shop’?
Today, once again, is a day for question, not answer.
I have never seen a plaque like this before.
This plaque is on the R360 in Co. Galway, a bit south of Williamstown.
As with many plaques, it gives an outline but does intrigue a bit as to the full story.
Why did the Shally family leave? Was it their choice or were they compelled by the Land Commission; or a landlord; or even for reasons of work? Did they own the house? If so, was it sold or does it remain in the family?
Why move to Tulsk in a neighbouring county?
Because of the unusual message on the plaque, to me it definitely asks more questions than it answers.
On Thursday, I was in Dublin and spotted this streetsign off Fleet Street.
I mentally filed this away as something needing further investigation as my recollection of Parliament Street in Cork was a similar word to Parliament. Tearma.ie confirmed Feis is a festival or feast - as in Feis Cheoil or Ard-Fheis.
Yesterday, Logainm.ie’s update was on Parliament Street in Waterford – the Irish translation for this and the three other Parliament Streets throughout the country is Sráid na Parlaiminte.
ComeHereToMe advises that Parliament Row was called Turnstile Alley upto 1775.
Maybe the turnstiles were an entrance to a feast or a festival. Or maybe, those in Temple Bar equate those in parliament to feasting for themselves. I suspect that there is a better explanation – but that remains on the ‘To Find Out More’ list.
Logainm.ie has Ballard in Co. Clare translated as An Baile Ard, the High Town.
Logainm does not have any suggestion for ‘Soghmas’ or ‘Soghmais’. Neither does Foclóir.ie.
Dúchas.ie is a website/database of translation of surnames and it does not have any name beginning with ‘Sog’ or ‘tSog’.
Yet the sign on Ballard Road in Milltown Malbay reads Bóthar an tSoghmais.
This is another puzzle which may require a return visit to Milltown Malbay and enquiring of the local publicans – all in the spirit of research…..
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