Category Archives: Ireland

Celluloid connections

I always enjoy recognizing places I know in movies, particularly when it surprises me. It brings back memories and makes connections with people and places. A recently viewed movie became much more enjoyable when I spotted Pedernal in the background.

This morning, I finished watching The Quare Fellow, an adaptation of Brendan Behan‘s play. It presents a critique of thedeath penalty as it focuses on two pending execution.

The character subje ct to execution is not named or seen, except with a hood over his head at the hanging. The crime remains unnamed.

As a death penalty opponent, who has not been active enough lately, I appreciate that. My opposition is to the death penalty – to the state taking a life. My opposition depends neither on the person nor the certainty of guilt nor the crime for which the person is convicted, many of which are truly horrific. I grieve for those killed and violated in the crime. But executing the criminal demeans society. Execution is the issue.

Given such a topic, the movie is bleak and somber.

I recognized a filming location as Kilmainham Gaol. Kilmainham has a painful, tragic, troubling history. It is a place of defiance and resistance. All that washed over me this morning.

541970_10150941839146063_1422754043_nBut so did the memory of visiting Kilmainham with Tricia and Bruce and Nancy when we were in Dublin for the wedding of Joel and Roja. And the connections to my family and friends warmed me. (And yes, I realize celluloid is not used much anymore.)

See you along the Trail.

 

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Death Penalty, Family, Friends, Ireland, Movie

Advent 17: Free

Kilmainham Gaol

4 May 2012
Kilmainham Gaol
Dublin, Ireland

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Five Lamps

On the ride back to the hotel from the Henna Night Party for Joel and Roja last year in Dublin, the cab driver pointed out the window and said, “There’s the Five Lamps.”

We looked and sure enough, there stood a lamp-post with five lanterns. One of us asked about why the lamp-post had significance.

The cab driver said, “Because it has five lamps.” A true answer, but somewhat obvious.

We asked again and he replied, “It is the only one in Dublin.” Not so obvious, but hardly a significant increase in information.

We tried once more and learned no more. I for one gave up. It was dark so I did not get a photo. I guess that is a reason to return.

photo (39) (1024x768)Tonight, because the 1 Train was crowded, I opted to walk part way home. On Broadway, where I have been before, I noticed the Five Lamps Tavern.

I figure there is a connection. Some Internet searching has proven about as helpful as our Dublin cabbie.

However, from the Dublin City Libraries, I have learned about the lamp-post in Dublin:

The Five Lamps were put up around 1880 as a memorial to General Henry Hall from Galway who had served with the British Army in India. They were originally a water fountain with four basins at their base. Water gushed from the spouts in the shape of lions’ heads. Cups hung from chains over the basins, so that the locals could have a drink. At that time people were poor and had no running water in their homes. The fountain was probably also used as a watering trough for horses to have a drink as well.

Some mystery remains:

Some people think that the name “five lamps” comes from the five streets which meet at this point; others believe that they commemorate five major battles fought in India during the days of the British Empire.

But I know more than I did before. And someday I can learn about the Five Lamps Tavern and possible connections.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Ireland, New York, Photo

The usual mixture

I bask in the Manhattan sun,
warm against my face

and remember Ireland a year ago
with Tricia and with friends,

and rejoice with Joel and Roja
whose promises drew us across the water,

and ache for Joe who joined us there
and today grieves his brother’s death.

Disparate feelings stir, mix, tug,
today, as every day. Life.

27 April 2013
Shire near the Hudson

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Filed under Family, Friends, Ireland, New York, Poem

Purple flowers, St. Stephen’s Green

St. Stephens Green, May 4, 2012

On our final day in Dublin,
for this trip,
we visited St.Stephen’s Green
where we saw ducks,
busts of Joyce and Markievicz
a Boer War arch,
a statue of Tone,
reminders of the Famine,
and purple flowers.

St. Stephen’s Green
Dublin, Ireland

4 May 2012

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Filed under Ireland, Photo, Travel

Sláinte

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

General Post Office
Dublin
28 April 2010

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Lent 31: Temper

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Kilmainham Gaol
Dublin, Ireland
26 April 2012

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