Fantasies of the future – Wellcome Collection.

In this dramatic Victorian prediction, politics is centre-stage:
Ireland has been brought to her knees before Britannia.
This seems less a prediction than a reference to the potato famine from the 1840s that had devastated Ireland.
Other doom-and-gloom forecasted included shipwrecks and war.
Source: Fantasies of the future | Wellcome Collection

Deserted House in Castlecove.

Ireland is full of abandoned, weatherbeaten homes.
This one is in Castlecove, a few miles north of where we stayed during our vacation.
The yard is wildly overgrown, but I hacked my way in to take a peek.
If I had taken this picture at dusk instead of dawn—and perhaps underexposed it instead of deliberately overexposing it—it would have looked like something out of a gothic novel.
Instead, it looks like it just wants a gardener and a fresh coat of paint to become someone’s home again.
This particular design, featuring a centered door surrounded by five windows, is apparently a very popular one. I saw it all over the place.
via Lunchtime Photo – Mother Jones

Ireland’s Oldest Pub. circa 900.


Sean’s Bar, Ireland’s Oldest Pub
I visited more than 50 pubs around Ireland over the eight weeks my wife and I toured the country in the summers of 1997 and 1998.
I don’t recall being in any pub that had a selection of more than five beers: Guinness, Smithwick’s, Carlsberg, Kilkenny, Budweiser or Coors, and Murphy’s or Beamish.
The first three beers were available at all pubs and often those were the only three beers served.
In a tiny pub on Arranmore Island, County Donegal in 1997, when I commented about the small selection of beers, an old Irish man said to me,
“Too much choice is not necessarily a good thing”.
Sean’s Pub is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest pub in Ireland with ownership records dating back to 900 AD.
Source: A day in Athlone, Ireland

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin.


Kilmainham Gaol was a working and silent prison that housed men, women, and children, and was in operation from from 1787 until 1924.
The youngest child imprisoned at Kilmainham was believed to have been just seven years old. In the years of the harshest famines, people would intentionally break the law to enter the Gaol, in the hope that they would be fed while incarcerated, which led to severe overcrowding.
Women and children were forced to sleep on the floor in the corridors with no blankets while men were squeezed into cells that held up to five people at a time.
Kilmainham Gaol became notorious for its rebel prisoners. Irish Nationalists were sent in great numbers to the prison and almost every Irish Republican leader had been housed within its walls at one time or another, during its years of operation.
Many were executed there as well.
In 1916, during an event called the Easter Rising, Irish republican rebels took over the General Post Office and other locations in the heart of Dublin to protest being ruled by the British.
They held their positions for six days before surrendering. When they did surrender, the leaders were sent to Kilmainham Gaol.
Once there, they were tried in secret, found guilty, and executed by firing squad in the yard.
All seven signatories on the Proclamation of Independence were shot at Kilmainham, including one who had just been married in the prison chapel and another who had to be tied to a chair due to his injuries.
But the executions, intended to quell the nationalist uprising, had the opposite effect.
A movement that had before been the interest of only a few gained momentum and strength as word spread about these martyr-like executions, eventually leading to independence for the majority of Ireland just a few years later.
via Kilmainham Gaol | Atlas Obscura.

Ireland’s Vanishing ‘quirky’ shopfronts.

John Delaney’s, Tullaghought, Co Kilkenny
With its unpolished wooden cornice and elegant serif lettering, John Delaney’s bar looks unassuming – but it’s known throughout County Kilkenny for hosting lively traditional music sessions.
Open for just two days of the week, it has remained largely unchanged for decades.

‘This garage was a pit-stop when I was on my grandmother’s farm in the 1950s and 1960s,’ says Patrick Comerford, who leads the church choir in singing and who grew up near Lehane’s of Cappoquin.
The still-operational family garage opened in 1949. ‘It looks the same half a century later,’ he says.
See more Shopfronts via Last orders: Ireland’s vanishing ‘quirky’ shopfronts – in pictures | Cities | The Guardian