Yesterday, I was delighted to respond to an invitation to attend the screening of The Irish Revolution at the Cork Opera House next week. The book remains on my desk at home – I doubt if I will ever get through all of it but it great just to open any page and read.
Responding to the invitation reminded me of a visit to the Cork Opera House a few months back where I was shown that blocked up opening in the middle of the back wall of the store room.
President Éamon de Valera opened the current Opera House in October 1965. In the lead-up to the night of the formal opening, an issue was discovered with the design – the stage and the auditorium were separated. Access to the stage was from the rear of the building. Access to the auditorium was from the front of the building.
How Dev was to go from his seat in the auditorium to make his address on the stage was solved by the forming of an opening in the wall that separated the auditorium side from the stage side.
In the intervening years, door access has been created, and the need to use this access route no longer exists. The access passageway has been blocked up but it remains known by the title it received over 50 years ago – De Valera’s Hole.