Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cavendish and Burke Cross, The Phoenix Park, Dublin

It is a little known white pebble cross which marks the exact spot where the newly appointed Chief Secreatry for Ireland Frederick Cavendish and the Permanent Undersecretary Thomas Henry Burke were assassinated in 1882 by a group calling themselves the Invincibles. It was a murder which shocked the British establishment. The ghost of Cavendish is said to still haunt the area.
The cross is very discreet and there does appear to be any political motivation for the lack of a proper monument. It is difficult to find. As you enter drive along the main thoroughfare through the main entrance it is on the left hand side just across from Áras an Uachtaráin, very close to a distance stone, bench and a tree.

My most sincere thanks to the park ranger who helped me track down this forgotten monument.

Below: The Vicregal Lodge, home of the Lord Lieutenant, Britain's representative to Ireland and today called Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of the Irish president.

Martello Tower, Portmarnock

The Martello Towers were built along the Irish coast in the Napoleonic era as watch towers for a  potential French invasion. There are several in Dublin, some of which have been converted into residential homes,  such as this example at Portmarnock in County Dublin. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

James Joyce

James Joyce (1882-1941), who immortalised Dublin in his writings, most of which he penned while living abroad. Ignore in Ireland during his lifetime, he has recently become cherished and though William Butler Yeats’ remains were repatriated there was never any interest in doing the same for Joyce.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

George Bernard Shaw Quotes

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

" You see things; and you say 'why'? But I dream things that never were; and I say 'why not?' "

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Born in Dublin. He was the only person ever to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Academy Award (1938).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it's done, they've seen it done every day, but they're unable to do it themselves."

                                                                  Brendan Behan

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Magdalen Laundry Monument, Galway City

It is an awkward monument, a reminder to a disturbing part of the history of the city, which many would prefer forgotten. For decades unmarried women and single mothers were incarcerated at the Magdalen Laundry- delivered there by their own families. Society was happy to have them swept under the carpet. Located close to the site of the former Magdalen Laudry and across from the tourist office, plans are afoot to have it removed to a less prominent location.

Make visible the tree
its branches ragged
with washed out linens
of a bleached shroud

Patricia B.Brogan

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Connaught Rangers Memorial Window

The Connaught Rangers, an Irish Regiment of the British army were based in Galway, until they were disbanded in 1922. Though many Galwegians served in the regiment, it was considered that they had fought on the wrong side and their history was largely suppressed. When the cathedral was built in 1965, a discreet window was dedicated to 'The Devils Own' as the regiment was nicknamed. According to local lore, shots were fired at it soon after. It is  a little known part of our city's cultural heritage. It depicts David and Goliath and the inscription 'In memory of all ranks who served in the Connaught Rangers "Quis Separabit" 88th 94th.

Holy Well,Galway City

St Augustine's Well in Loughatalia (Loch an tSáile=salty lake) is located on the shores of Galway Bay, close to the Radisson Hotel. The county has hundreds of wells but this particular one is the city's most well known and most accessible. In the past it was known for providing a cure for eye and ear ailments. Note the coins, a votiv offering, in the well.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Kiltullagh House

Kiltullagh House, County Galway. Located near Athenry, it numbers among one the county's 'Big Houses', a remnant to a bygone era. It was the home of the D'arcys, descendants of the Tribes of Galway and was built around 1786. By the end of the 19th century it had fallen into ruin. Its two chimneys make is distinctive and attracted my attention when driving past. Scaffolding was erected within the structure recently either with a view towards possible restoration or preventing it from further decay.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Red Hugh O'Donnell

Red Hugh O'Donnell statue in Donegal Town. He preceded the more famous Red Hugh who broke out of Dublin Castle.

Religious plaque, Galway

A number of houses in Galway have this plaque before their door. It became fashionable after the Eucharistic Congress of 1932.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Kilmacduagh Round Tower

The leaning tower of Kilmacduagh, just south of Gort, leans about two feet out of position. Round towers were built between 900 and 1200. This one is believed be to be 12th century. The entrance to the tower is higher than in most round towers.  Entry to the site is free.

Holy Well, County Galway

I came across this gem near Shanaglish in South County Galway. It is signposted from the road and about a kilometre into a  field. It  is called Tobar na Lámh or St Collman's Well.   

Friday, January 2, 2015

The San Patricios

I wrote about the San Patricios, an Irish regiment of the Mexican army, in Fadó. Its members were previously in the US army, but deserted after enduring discrimination.
Their story is told here in the film "One Man's Hero" with Tom Berenger in the lead role. Given that it is not quite the flag waver movies the Americans like, it did not get the recognition it deserves.

My thanks to Bob Angelo for providing the link.