In 2014, we spotted the vinyl record of the visit of Pope John Paul II on the walls of Ard Bia restaurant in Galway. It led to a discussion among friends and colleagues as to 1979 being a very different time.
As a teenager then, I was brought to Limerick. I remember walking back to my uncle’s house afterwards and it was as if everyone in Limerick had been at the racecourse – the roads were so quiet on way back.
My cousin went to Dublin and Galway. A neighbour of similar vintage was on a coach to Galway with a sing-song the whole way up.
I am contemplating travelling to the vigil at Tuam this Sunday. The Dublin vigil looks like it will be very well supported.
I do not know of any one person attending Knock or Phoenix Park this weekend – definitely different times.
I was very surprised to recently see reference to the visit of Pope John Paul II on a headstone at Kilbannivane Cemetery, Castleisland. I will be so much more surprised if a see in the future a reference on a headstone to the visit of Pope Francis – these are very different times.
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
Not for the first time on our Conversational Irish walk, I was delighted with the literal translation of a new Irish word learned.
Last Summer, I had learned of an expression from West Cork – as tough as ath fhéithlean, a bi-lingual acknowledgement of the strength and stubbornness of Woodbine. I had always known the plant as Woodbine, quite probably the name was ingrained following many visits with my grandfather to those institutions that no longer exist, the tobacconist. He had a preferred mix of a number of brands for his pipe.
It was well into the second half of my years to date before I knew it was also called Honeysuckle.
A few weeks later, as we walked around Blackrock and Bessboro, I learned of “Fás Aon Oíche”, or “Grows One Night”.
I thought it was such a lovely name, perfectly describing what was in front of us – a mushroom.
Only the previous week, sitting on a high stool while on holidays, Tim imparted the benefit of his local knowledge. We now know where to find mushrooms while on holidays.
A few days after that Conversational Irish walk, I headed west for the Dingle peninsula to pack up everything and everyone – the return home after the Kerry Summer Experience. Before leaving that Saturday, I headed out early and collected a cap-full of mushrooms that had sprouted up that night. It remains my most recent meal on the Dingle peninsula.
I can still recall the buzz of foraging and the flavours enjoyed.
A tweet last weekend from Robert Macfarlane on ‘puhpowee’, a native North American word for the force that pushes mushrooms up overnight, assisted in getting this blog from my brain into the virtual world.
It has also prompted a separate section of other words in Irish that brought a smile with their literal translations – Head of a Cat; Seal’s Snot; and, others. Hopefully, even more will be added over time.
This book was recently taken down from an attic in Ennis where it resided for probably close to 50 years. It is assumed that it belonged to the man who built the house but he was educated in Partry, Co. Mayo where he was born in 1918.
The web educates that fifth edition of the book was published in 1910. There is nothing to say whether this copy is a first or later edition.
Among those thanked in the Preface is an tAthair Pearar Ó Laoghaire, who died in 1920 and is buried in Castlelyons where Thomas Kent was reinterred in 2016. Seán Ó Catháin and Diarmaid Ó Foghludha are also thanked and, if I found the correct men, they died in 1937 and 1924 respectively, and were involved in Irish education.
sJames Griffin of Main Street in Dingle has his name written in the book. The 1911 Census reveals that there was only one James Griffin in Main Street, Dingle, the then youngest of ten children living with shopkeeper Michael and his wife, Kate. Their house was at 33 Main Street.
Having gone up and down the street on Google, very few premises have numbers on their doors. Even fewer appear to have the building number on their website or on weblistings. My best guess is that the south side (Foxy John’s; Benners) have odd numbers and the north side (Currans; St James’ Church) have the even numbers.
Number 33 would appear to be in or around McKenna’s . My mind supposes that young James Griffin, as one who had no problem with writing his name in many locations, was more interested in playing around the corner on Dykegate Street rather than perfecting the art of Irish Composition. The fact that at 4 his parents did not consider him able to speak either Irish or English, adds to that image.
I can understand how the book travelled from Partry to Ennis and why it resided in an attic for 50 years but am intrigued as to who Pat Carroll was; was he the second of three owners of the book; where was he living.
How the book got from Dingle to Partry is another riddle remaining unsolved.
I don’t think I have ever before enjoyed a book so much without reading it.
I was sorting through some photographs taken during the Summer and spotted that today was the anniversary of the Earl of Desmond.
As good a reason as any to try to get back to more regular blogging.
Logainm assists with the meaning of Glenageenty – Gleann na Ginnte
Another word added to my Irish vocabulary – dícheann – to behead
My conversational Irish weekend took me west of Dingle last April.
Saturday late afternoon had me walking around Dingle when I came across this manhole cover.
It records the raising of the Green Irish Republic flag over the G.P.O. in Easter 1916 by Eamonn Bulfin. Finola on Roaringwater Journal educated that there were actually two flags raised with Gearóid O’Sullivan’s raising the tricolour, remembered in Skibbereen.
I was intrigued as I had not seen one of its type previously, or since – and I do look out for the likes of manhole covers.
Last week, we left our holiday location for a spin over the Conor Pass to Dingle where I was hopeful of discovering more about the manhole cover. It was the first that the Tourist Office knew about the manhole cover. They suggested a visit to the library who were equally unaware.
On the off chance that it was a specially commissioned piece, I did ask at the Green Lane Gallery but they had not spotted what is near their door.
My next step was to be a visit to the Council offices on my next trip west but the internet has provided some answers.
There were manufactured by EJ Co in Birr, Co. Offaly – the former Cavanagh plant. The August 2016 edition of the Local Authority News publication advised that the commemorative covers were designed in conjunction with Siobhan Bulfin.
Twitter revealed that Kerry County Council installed one in Listowel.
I do think that such covers are a great way to record and commemorate, as well as display art – I do hope that there will be more such commemorations to be spotted under our feet.
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.
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.
Following some recent messages which can be viewed below, you may be interested in the following links:
Radio Kerry has details of the exhibition at Dingle Library which continues until 8th April
An Saol ó Dheas has a piece, as Gaeilge, about Thomas Russell and the commemoration on Easter Saturday 31st March, 2018
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.
I very much like the idea of bringing metal or even street furniture into the garden as a feature.
I still hope for a phone box – and a letter box. I was jealous of JV’s Cannon Bath.
I do have a hopper, a yellow fire hydrant ‘H’ sign and recently got the top of an old bus stop when CIE were installing the new design bus stops. I think that they improve the garden – not everyone agrees but they definitely provide a discussion topic.
The most recent acquisition is a church pew – an adequately sized location is the current hurdle.
When in Kerry during the summer, my envy increased a few levels when I spotted what I assume to be a railway line marker.
The Inchicore Works from 1899 for the Great Southern & Western Railway – absolutely lovely and guaranteed to start a discussion.
An absolute beauty – in the eyes of this beholder.
To Find Out More List
The three books have provided little bits of knowledge about so many things that I need to find out more (ever connecting).
I have enjoyed a pint in The Blue Bull in Sneem. It was Éamon Kelly who educated that The Blue Bull was a Synge Play.
I will need to return to Gneeveguilla to photograph the plaque to Mick Sullivan who was shot by Black & Tans while Éamon Kelly was in the adjacent school – the list of Civil War and War of Independence memorials ever growing.
There are many traditions that intrigued, sounded lovely or just demanded further exploring – families joined in butter; overnight fasting prior to receiving Holy Communion; family owning a church pew so those standing at back did not have funds to purchase and pay rent on pew; stopping the clock upon a death, as seen in Jean deFlorette; and the giving of a disease to another similar to leaving cloth on a rag tree at a Holy Well.
It also introduced words to me, many appear derived for Irish. These will keep me going for some time. The list is below but any education as to ‘gripe’; ‘hoult’; ‘fakah’;or, ‘roiseters’ would be welcome.
A Visit To The Theatre
This week I spotted that Jack Healy had a play based upon the stories of Éamon Kelly at The Cork Arts Theatre on Camden Quay.
Yesterday lunchtime was a magnificent hour spent listening, smiling, laughing and remembering.
More than halfway through the show, I was reminded as to one of my flysheet notes in The Journeyman. There had been quite a few different stories. Éamon Kelly in The Journeyman was writing of ‘In My Father’s Time’ – ‘We found that a number of stories told one after the other could sound episodic. There had to be a changing relationship between the pieces, and the links had to be carefully thought out to make seamless the fabric, which we hoped would be colourful and entertaining’.
My flysheet note was that the book, unlike The Apprentice which I found much more interesting, was failing to flow. Fair play to Jack Healy. With the benefit of reflection on my hour or so in the auditorium, the different aspects and stories flowed; and, the knitting of the stories was brilliant and of a manner that brought the occasion up to date.
I had heard or read of a few of the stories but the delivery, verbally and with actions, made them a new experience – I laughed even when I knew the punchline.
It is in the Cork Arts Theatre only until tomorrow night but is intended to travel later in the year.
I do recommend.
There may be a difference between the strategies of city based and coastal based seagulls.
Last week, I was enjoying a dirty black pint with my chips and sandwich at Murphy’s Bar at Brandon Pier - there is something extra tasty about a summer lunchtime pint.
Sitting there, us city dwellers saw for the first time dive-bombing seagulls.
They are possibly common and seen by nearly all but me. As new to me, I thought it warranted an upload even though it is not a sign (or is it) and especially even though I have yet to find out how to manipulate video to turn 90°.
Blogs I Read & Links
Thought & Comment
For the Fainthearted
Bock The Robber
140 characters is usually enough
That’s How The Light Gets In
Tea and a Peach
Buildings & Things Past
Come Here To Me
Pilgrimage in Medieval Ireland
The Irish Aesthete
Ireland in History Day By Day
Buildings of Ireland
Irish War Memorials
The Standing Stone
Time Travel Ireland
Stair na hÉireann
Wide & Convenient Streets
The Irish Story
Our City, Our Town
West Cork History
Cork’s War of Independence
Cork Historical Records
Rebel Cork’s Fighting Story
40 Shades of Life in Cork