Kinsale Walking Tour 4

A mysterious chili pepper and hidden watchers

The fourth of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

This mural on the corner wall where Market Quay meets the Market Square. I puzzled over the following photograph until I recognized the Chili Pepper from the mural.

Without Dermot Ryan’s storytelling I’d never have guessed this stub of a post was a bollard to which ships’ mooring lines were fastened. It follows the memorial bollard is close to the lane named “Market Quay.”

The Jim Edwards hotel and restaurant façade is a colorful and elegant element of Market Quay.

Dermot told a tale about spies, looking from windows above the square, reporting on shortcomings of citizens.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kinsale Walking Tour 3

A story lurks….

The third of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Looking northwest along Market Quay toward Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church seen rising above the rests. The Jim Edwards hotel on the right. This, and the next, photographs are an interesting, or not, slice of life on Market Quay this May day: a man in a striped apron carries packaged food, ostensibly a delivery, and it probably is.

An man in striped apron carrying a delivery (…or a story plot line….) walks in front of Victoria Murphy and Daughter, Real Estate Agent, storefront on Market Quay, Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland. Notice the store to left is vacant and handled by Victoria Murphy. That store front has high turnover: was occupied 2017, vacant again 2019 (as per Google Maps).

“Angle’s Secrets” storefront on Market Quay, Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland. I believe this building is owned by Victoria Murphy and Daughter Realty, the storefront second to the right. Don’t ask me how I know this as, no, I do not know it in the usual sense.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kinsale Walking Tour 2

Sensory Disconnect

The second of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

Text from the current Facebook page: The Temperance Hall is Kinsale’s example of Victorian architecture, constructed in 1885. It provides a space to facilitate those within the community and is used on a regular basis by all walks of life. Temperance Hall is space that can be rented by the community through Finishing Services which is located in the heart of Kinsale or can be contacted on 021 477 3571. The hall is run by a voluntary community committee who oversee the day to day running and maintenance of the hall. This Space is used by many groups in the town some of which are: Youth Café, Set Dancing, Bowling, Drumming Circle, Kuk Sool One, Active Retirement Tae Kwan Do, Craft Fairs, Self Defence Class, Dance, Art Exhibitions, Kinsale District Court Service, and Many Fundraising Events. This space can be used for many events on a non-commercial basis for €10 per hour and all enquirers can by made to Finishing Services on 021 4773571.

In “Dubliners,” Joyce uses sensory disconnect in evoke Gabriel’s epiphany, and effect the writing of this sign, quoting another writer, an American no less, near (next to…on?? Don’t recall) the Kinsale Temperance Hall.

All this is happening on Market Quay. A quay is a dock, historically ships were offloaded here.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Kinsale Walking Tour

The streets rise in a singular and in regular manner of acclivity of an eminence called Compass Hill

The first of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a 2014 walking tour of Kinsale.

Text from an poster behind glass accessible to all and sundry. Directory 1846 Munster, Kinsale with the villages of Cove and Scilly. Kinsale is a seaport, parliamentary borough and market town in the parishes of Saint Multose and Ringcurran barony of Kinsale, County of Cork, 172 miles s.w. from Dublin, 121/2 s and 11 e.s.e. from Bandon; eligibly situated near the mouth of the river Bandon or Glasson, (as it was formerly called), which here forms a capacious and square harbor, accessible in nearly all weathers, and navigable for vessels of any tonnage. the origin of this place, from its great antiquity, is but imperfectly known, and the derivation of its name is compassed by doubt. Cean Taile (Cionn tSáile), signifying in Irish “Headland in the Sea” is said to be its ancient appellation. (see more in the photograph).

Here we are on Emmet Place. There is a row of houses built along a steep alley named “The Stoney Steps.” At top is the aptly named Higher O’Connell Street.

From the informative poster…The streets rise in a singular and in regular manner of acclivity of an eminence called Compass Hill, the house ranging tier above tier, many of them on sites excavated in the solid rock, while other are perched on the level of some projecting crag: the descent is exceedingly precipitous, and the dwelling are inaccessible to carriages, except from the summit of the hill or from Main street, which takes a circuitous course along the shore of the harbor.

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

Attack on the Lusitania

Rescue operations and memorials

Our day of touring Kinsale and environs, the last day of May 2014, continues with our morning visit to the “Old Head of Kinsale.” Head is short for headland, a narrow strip of land projecting into the sea.

On May 7th, 1915 the Cunard liner Lusitania was torpedoed 16 km (10 miles) off the Old Head of Kinsale, 40 km (25 miles) west of Queenstown. Of the 1,959 people on board, 1,198 died. Those who survived were brought to Queenstown and Kinsale by rescue vessels and cared for in local hotels and hospitals. Many of those who died were buried at Old Church cemetery, 3 km (2 miles) north of Queenstown. The first class Queen’s Hotel cared for some of the survivors. The elegant Edwardian atmosphere of the hotel was shattered by the horrific news of the loss of the ship. This is the setting for the story of Queenstown’s role in the Lusitania disaster. –text from Cobh Heritage Center poster, see image below.

The Old Head is notable, in the contest of the Lusitania attack, for being the land closest to the incident. Cobh, then named “Queenstown”, was the focus of rescue operations. See text below, from a display of the Cobh Heritage Museum.

The Kinsale tower is just over nine meters high, with walls up to 80 cm thick. Records show a signal crew was in place in 1804 and the tower finished the following year, though severely affected by dampness. When Napoleon was defeated by Wellingtons forces at Waterloo, 1815. With the diminished threat these expensive installations were neglected. The 1899 Ordnance Survey map lists the site as being in ruins. During our 2014 visit the local community was renovating the tower and the work appears complete sometime before 2021.

I did not see and/or recall much emphasis in the museum for pillorying Germany, after all a German U-boat was responsible. Curious, I did a Wikipedia search and found this text. The topic of Ireland, Germany and World War I is complicated.

On the afternoon of 7 May, a German U-boat torpedoed Lusitania 11 miles (18 km) off the southern coast of Ireland inside the declared war zone. A second internal explosion sank her in 18 minutes, killing 1,198 passengers and crew. The German government justified treating Lusitania as a naval vessel because she was carrying 173 tons of war munitions and ammunition, making her a legitimate military target, and they argued that British merchant ships had violated the cruiser rules from the very beginning of the war. The internationally recognized cruiser rules were obsolete by 1915; it had become more dangerous for submarines to surface and give warning with the introduction of Q-ships in 1915 by the Royal Navy, which were armed with concealed deck guns. The Germans argued that Lusitania was regularly transporting “war munitions”; she operated under the control of the Admiralty; she could be converted into an armed auxiliary cruiser to join the war; her identity had been disguised; and she flew no flags. They claimed that she was a non-neutral vessel in a declared war zone, with orders to evade capture and ram challenging submarines.
However, the ship was not armed for battle and was carrying thousands of civilian passengers, and the British government accused the Germans of breaching the cruiser rules. The sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States because 128 American citizens were among the dead. The sinking shifted public opinion in the United States against Germany and was one of the factors in the declaration of war nearly two years later. After the First World War, successive British governments maintained that there were no munitions on board Lusitania, and the Germans were not justified in treating the ship as a naval vessel. In 1982, the head of the Foreign Office’s American department finally admitted that, although no weapons were shipped, there is a large amount of ammunition in the wreck, some of which is highly dangerous and poses a safety risk to salvage teams.

The original memorial to the Lusitania was unveiled on the 80th anniversary of the May 7th, 1915 sinking (May 7, 1995), Old Head of Kinsale, County Cork Ireland. The imemorial nscription reads “In memory of the 1198 civilian lives lost on the Lusitania 7th May 1915 off the Old Head of Kinsale.”

The inscription of the commemoration plaque accompanying the memorial reads, “This memorial was unveiled by Hugh Coveney D Minister of Defense and The Marine on 7 May 1995.” Around the edge of the medallion reads, “Brian Little Sculptor” “This (cannot read) donated by Lan and Mary Buckley”

Reference
Wikipedia, “RMS Lusitania.”
Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Napoleonic Era Signal Tower

19th Century Technology

Our day of touring Kinsale and environs, the last day of May 2014, began with this elegant breakfast by Marantha House near Blarney, our base for County Cork.

On the way to the Old Head of Kinsale. Located in Knocknacurra on the Kinsale side of Bridge Kinsale on R600. Looking toward the peninsula of Castle Park Village and James Fort. Coordinates 51°41’40.1″N 8°31’42.0″W

This tower, at the apex of the Old Head ring route, has extensive views. The next station at Seven Heads, to the southwest, is visible against the skyline on a clear day. These are two of the 81 stations planned for this signaling system implemented in the first years of the 19th century when a French naval invasion was a possibility.

The Kinsale tower is just over nine meters high, with walls up to 80 cm thick. Records show a signal crew was in place in 1804 and the tower finished the following year, though severely affected by dampness. When Napoleon was defeated by Wellingtons forces at Waterloo, 1815. With the diminished threat these expensive installations were neglected. The 1899 Ordnance Survey map lists the site as being in ruins. During our 2014 visit the local community was renovating the tower and the work appears complete sometime before 2021.


References
Click me for Irish Times 2013, “Ireland’s Napoleonic-era signal towers.”

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved