Friday, January 5, 2018

Croppy Burial Ground, Dublin

Several hundred croppies or Irish rebels from the 1798 rebellion are buried on the banks of the river Liffey close to Collins Barracks museum in the heart of Dublin city.

Thomas McEver

I have an article in this week's Tuam Herald concerning the murder of Thomas McEver.

The following is an excerpt. I will post the entire article soon.

By Rónán Gearóid Ó Domhnaill
IN THE early hours of May 20, 1921, a chemist in Dunmore was taken from his lodgings by masked men and murdered. Thus begins and ends the contribution of most historians to this seemingly unexplained murder.
When I first wrote about Thomas McEver in my book Gone the way of Truth — Historic Graves of Galway, I had no idea where his grave was. Neither did anyone else in Dunmore but given that he was a Corkman, all assumed he was buried in Cork.
Several months later, I received a call from my uncle, Eamonn Boyle, who informed me that he had stumbled across and cleaned the long forgotten grave of Thomas McEver in Dunmore Cemetery — I resolved to get more closure on the murder.
The internet will only tell me so much so I made an appointment with the military archives in Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin. It is here that witness statements given to the Bureau of Military History are held and old IRA men, who rarely spoke about what they did, speak freely. The files were only made accessible after their deaths. The statements are online but some files are not and the helpful archivist there is a mine of information.
Thomas McEver, sometimes erroneously written as McKeever, was born in Bantry in 1884 to Henry McEver of Fermanagh, a farmer and vintner, and his wife Mary from Co Westmeath. The couple had seven children and both the 1901 and 1911 census show them living in Fisher Street, Kinsale. The 1901 census shows 17-year-old Thomas was an apothecary’s assistant. Ten years later he is listed as a registered druggist. He graduated as a chemist in July 1920 and moved to Galway.
Galway was in turmoil at the time. A curfew had been imposed in Dunmore between the hours of 8pm and 4am and half a company of Scots Borderers were stationed in Dunmore, the other half in Tuam. In 1921 District Inspector Healy had been placed in charge of the RIC in Dunmore. He was the man responsible for the assassination of IRA man Joseph Howley in Dublin and the local IRA tried to assassinate Healy on several occasions but he was always a step ahead of them. Someone was obviously tipping him off.
Against this backdrop McEver arrived in the village in October of 1920 and began work at Stafford’s Medical Hall. He lodged at Glencoe, now demolished, and became romantically attached to a local woman.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Lucky Stone, Dublin

The Lucky Stone is to be found in the 12th century St Audeons Church, the oldest Church in Ireland, Dublin. Made of granite, it was probably a tombstone and is adorned with a Greek cross. It dates from around the 9th century. It was located at the start of the Slí Mhór, an esker which brought travellers to the west and was considered lucky to rub it over the centuries. The church in managed by the Office of Public Works(OPW) and entrance is free.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Unkempt buildings of Dublin

Although Dublin city has cleaned up its streets in recent years, many building in the city centre, north and south of the Liffey,  are in an unkempt state. The above building reminds me of Eastern Europe in the 1990s and it is lamentable that the city does compel the owners of such building to keep it in a presentable state. It is interesting to note that although there is a housing crisis in Dublin, there are apparently 20,000 empty dwellings in the capital. Sadly the city centre is becoming unaffordable to live in and it has been forecast that with in ten years Dublin city centre will be unaffordable to rent for anyone earning less than 70,000 Euro.   

The German Children Monument, Dublin

A monument, representing the three Norns of Nordic Mythology was presented to the Irish people by a grateful German government in recognition of the aid Ireland offered to young German citizens. Around 800 German children arrived in Ireland in the aftermath of the Second World war. Many were malnourished and had only the clothes on their back. They stayed for two years before returning to their native Germany. 50 of them remained here and made Ireland their home.The monument in St Stephen's Green, Dublin.

Famine Memorial Galway City

Unveiled only very recently and against the backdrop of Galway bay, is the city's only famine memorial. For decades the subject of the famine was a taboo topic and a sense of shame meant that very few monuments were ever erected to this tragedy in our history. The names of the ships which sailed west during the famine years are inscribed on the adjacent plaque. The monument is located on Grattan Road, Salthill. 

Late medieval bird catcher, Adare

The structure shown above served as a bird catcher in the medieval period. Birds could enter through the narrow opening in the roof but could not exit making them easy to catch for food. It is situated in Adare, county Limerick and is one of many interesting sites in the picturesque village