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PostGreetings from Madigan's Pub, Dublin (Patrick Mears, -Germany, 08/26/23 4:02 am)
Greetings from Dublin! Connie needs to finish her research and take photos for her book-in-progress, "Glücksorte in Irland," and so we landed in Dublin two days ago. This pub was great fun--the bartender was a fellow from Manchester, England and he entertained us (put up with us, really) while we were there.
Maybe I should have been a pub owner like my dad. Well, maybe not.
This "fair city" is full of Americans who either attended Notre Dame or wished that they could have. The Fighting Irish play the Midshipmen in town today, but we will be leaving here for Cork City in a few hours, avoiding the crush (we hope).
Two happenings worth noting since we arrived, which Connie will write about: First, we were given a personalized tour of six sites in town by a woman who is a singer and dresses up in garb that goes back to James Joyce's day here. One stop was the famous, metal sculpture of "Molly Malone," where our host sang there that bittersweet song, and then told us its background story. Yesterday we visited Drogheda just north of Dublin and were given a tour of the canals paralleling the Boyne River with other guests on a "curragh"--a long and skinny wooden boat that just skims the surface of water. The canal system had been constructed for navigation and trade, with work beginning circa 1794. The canal then fell into disuse in the first two decades of the 20th century. The owner of the vessel knew and expressed well the history of this waterway and its surroundings, which included the decisive Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
Best wishes to you all!
JE comments: I never knew about Dublin's "Aer Lingus Classic," today's American football contest between Notre Dame and Navy. There's something culturally fascinating about the Fightin' Irish going at it, well, in Ireland. And playing a game that few in Ireland understand. What do the Irish people think about an institution that claims to be more Irish than they are? Do they appreciate the bellicose leprechaun mascot, or find it offensive? And finally, isn't Navy basically setting itself up for a drubbing in hostile territory?
Cheers! Connie has the best job in the world--traveling the world and telling folks about it. Although I might even prefer your job, Pat. Riding along with no deadlines is even better!
Pat Mears and Connie Lohs, Dublin
Cork Travelogue: English Market and Father Mathew
(Patrick Mears, -Germany
08/28/23 2:51 AM)
Greetings to WAISers from Cork City, County Cork, Ireland!
Connie and I traveled by train from Dublin to Cork City yesterday morning--a pleasant, 2 1/2 hour journey south through the Midlands and into Ireland's second city. The passenger train service in Ireland is a ghost of its former self that existed prior to the 1950s. Although its reach is limited, the service is very efficient and punctual.
Yesterday afternoon we visited a popular Cork City landmark, the English Market, which is located in the city center and has been open for business for Cork residents and visitors from other cities and lands since 1788, when it was opened primarily as a "meat shambles"--a collection of butcher shops. The original structure is long since gone, and the existing brick structure was built in stages during the 19th century. The food choices available to visitors inside are varied and extensive. If you purchase some Market food from a stand there and seek a comfortable place to sit and enjoy it, you are in luck. The "Mutton Lane Inn," one of Cork's oldest pubs, is located just outside the Market's door that opens on to Mutton Lane. There you can sit and enjoy your victuals purchased inside the Market along with a pint or something stronger served by the bartender.
Only five minutes' walking distance northeast from the English Market stands the statue of one of Cork City's most famous residents, Father Theobald Mathew (1790-1856). His statue there looks onto the River Lee, which divides the city into north and south halves. Father Mathew is best known for two achievements. First, he became the most important temperance reformer in Ireland, founding in 1838 the society originally named the "Knights of Father Mathew," and later known as the "Catholic Total Abstinence Society." At its peak, the society claimed approximately three million members across Ireland.
On March 28, 1847, only two years after the Great Famine enveloped Ireland, the United States warship, USS Jamestown, departed from Boston Harbor on its relief journey to deliver victuals and other aid to those in dire need on the island. The Jamestown arrived on April 13, 1847 in Cork's nearby harbor in Cobh, where the warship discharged its precious cargo. In Cork city the ship's captain, Robert Bennet Forbes, coordinated the distribution of this life-saving aid among the needy with Father Mathew and other city leaders. This venture was also remarkable in that it was the first American humanitarian mission that sent such aid from the US to another nation. A fine history of this venture is described in detail by author Stephen Puleo in his 2020 book titled Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America's First Humanitarian Mission.
For your visual enjoyment, below are photos taken by Connie of the English Market and Father Mathew's statue in Cork.
JE comments: Let's raise a glass to Father Mathew! Sorry for that inappropriate quip--the temperance movement was huge in the US during that same time, but I never knew it extended to Ireland. (Not far from WAIS HQ is the small hamlet of Temperance, Michigan.)
Pat, I bet few in WAISworld have heard of the USS Jamestown mission. This shows the US at its nurturing best, as Herbert Hoover would show again in the wake of both world wars. Just a few weeks before the Jamestown embarked, however, there was another, less altruistic international "mission"--on March 9th, 1847, Winfield Scott landed in Veracruz on the "second conquest" of Mexico.
Ireland Travelogue, Chapter 3: Nano Nagle
(Patrick Mears, -Germany
08/31/23 3:48 AM)
Greetings from Dunmore House, situated on Clonakilty Bay just south of the town of Clonakilty, County Cork. This town by all appearances is still "owned" by the honored and respected Michael Collins (1890-1922). Tomorrow we will switch our temporary residence further south to Galley Head Lighthouse, which is perched on a bluff over the southwest coast of Ireland in County Cork.
Yesterday produced a much-savored surprise. While on the train from Dublin to Cork, Connie's neighbor recommended that we visit "Nano Nagle Place" in an old and rough-around-the-edges neighborhood in Cork City near Elizabeth Fort and St. Finbarr's Cathedral. We lacked knowledge of this "Place" and of its namesake, "Nano Nagle." Yet when we arrived there, we were treated not only with a history lesson about Cork City and Ireland during the 18th century, but also with an unforgettable tale of incredible emotional and religious strength.
Nano Nagle's first name was "Honora," but her family promptly gave her the nickname of "Nano." She had been born in 1718 in the village of Ballygriffin, County Cork, and because her Roman Catholic family resided in the valley carved out by the nearby Blackwater River, Nano and her family members were considered to be "Blackwater Catholics." Because this group was concentrated in this then-remote area of Ireland, they were relatively untouched by the English Penal Laws directed against Irish Roman Catholics during the 18th Century. If you are interested in learning more about this esoteric yet fascinating subject with a special emphasis on Nano and her family during this difficult time for Irish Catholics, please consider reading the Internet post below, authored by University College Dublin Professor Katherine O'Donnell:
Despite having enjoyed a relatively charmed life in her youth and adolescence, Nano later experienced a religious conversion, whereupon she took the vows of the Order of the Presentation Sisters and moved into what was then a wretched neighborhood of Cork City. There she devoted the rest of her life to teaching and caring for the desolate poor of the city, by educating them on how to survive and to thrive independently in an environment that had previously cast these souls aside.
JE comments: Let's honor Honora! Her backstory is complex (see above), but the Nagles were one of the few still-thriving Anglo-Catholic families remaining in Ireland.
Pat, you and Connie have taught us a great deal of Irish history. Connie will certainly have a lot of anecdotes to include in her upcoming book. Enjoy the rest of your sojourn--when do you return to Heidelberg?
- Ireland Travelogue, Chapter 3: Nano Nagle (Patrick Mears, -Germany 08/31/23 3:48 AM)