Marlay Grange, Thomas MacDonagh

November 26th, 2018

8 years after first exploring the Gate Lodge, and promising information about a famous resident, I'll return to Marlay Grange, and present selected entries from the 1911 census for the townland of Haroldsgrange:

In the latter we find Thomas MacDonagh, whose potted history follows:

from Tipperary and was born in 1878. He was a teacher and later taught at St. Enda’s School; the school he helped to found with Patrick Pearse. He was appointed director of training for the Irish Volunteers in 1914 and later joined the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood). Thomas MacDonagh was appointed to the IRB military committee in 1916. He was commander of the Second Battalion of Volunteers that occupied Jacob’s biscuit factory and surrounding houses during the 1916 Rising. He was executed on the 3th of May 1916.

The Dictionary of Irish Biography gives us a little more detail on the period of his life before 1916:

During his second year at St Enda's, MacDonagh read English, French and Irish at UCD, graduating BA (1910). Shaken by an unhappy love affair with writer and teacher Mary Maguire (Mary Colum), he resigned from St Enda's at the time of the school's move to Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin.
After a restorative six weeks in Paris, he assumed a semi-reclusive residence in the lodge of Grange House, Rathfarnham (whose owner, Professor David Houston [appears in its 1911 census] of the College of Science, became an intimate friend), engaged in writing, post-graduate research and part-time teaching at St Enda's (1910-12).

In the original introduction to a book of his poetry, MacDonagh mentioned the gate lodge, and also wrote a poem "Grange House Lodge"

The making and re-making of these poems, my new work and my old, began in 1911, during the year that I lived in Grange House Lodge, Rathfarnham, the tenant and neighbour of my friend, David Houston.

The later introduction to The Poetical Works of Thomas MacDonagh, published after his execution, is more lyrical:

At that time he lived a kind of semi-detached life at the gate-lodge of Mr. Houston's house in the Dublin hills. To this house all literary Dublin used to repair, and there MacDonagh was constantly to be seen. He was a quaint recluse who delighted in company, and he fled into and  out of solitude with equal precipitancy. He had a longing for the hermit's existence and a gift for gregarious life. At Grange House both these aptitudes were met, and I think he was very content there. Out on the hills, walking across the fields, or along the narrow roads curving to this side and that, but always running upwards, he would repeat his verses to me, and accompany them and follow them with a commentary that seemed endless as the bushes that lined our road.

What might have been

November 11th, 2018

For the day that's in it.

Living in Switzerland, I'm often struck by how quintessentially European life here can be, in the most positive sense: public transport, rich culture, multilingualism, deep historical roots.

To some extent, I consider it more European than any one other EU country, but paradoxically aloof from Europe (without wanting to discredit Swiss individuality, or minimise the negative aspects of the country).

The thought that recurs: Switzerland today gives us a glimpse, however partial and illusive, of what France, Germany, Austria, Italy; Europe, might be like without having suffered two World Wars.

Portholes

April 20th, 2014

IMG_20140312_164847 IMG_20140312_164846 IMG_20140312_164844 IMG_20140312_164843 IMG_20140312_164836

Ready messages

January 12th, 2014

Ready messages

Pink card

December 2nd, 2013

Pink card

Selection Bias

March 18th, 2012

Bull Island

January 30th, 2012

Photos from a walk along Bull Island and Dollymount Strand in North Dublin, December 2009. You may recognise the scenery from the end of Adam & Paul, tragicomic film about two Dublin heroin junkies.

Gordon Foster

January 30th, 2012

1921 - 2010

Pioneering figure in the worlds of informatics and computing
- The Irish Times
Saturday, February 26, 2011
(mirrored here)

Gordon Foster moved through the 20th century like a lost character from Cryptonomicon.

He worked as a code-breaker in Bletchley Park, met Alan Turing, studied cybernetics, helped develop operations research, invented ISBN, became a professor in Statistics at TCD, connected remote areas to the internet and communicated with doctors attending the Ebola epidemic in Zaire.

RIP.

Marlay Grange, after snow

September 21st, 2011

The last two winters in Ireland have been colder than usual, with deep snow and frozen roads. Public transport seized up and water supplies dried up. In February 2009, I was working in An Gúm, on the New English-Irish Dictionary project, first real job after college.

I was walking to work because the buses weren't running out as far as my house, and the bike was a non-starter on icy roads. As I walked past my beloved Marlay Grange, I saw the gate was partially open, as it often was (more on that later).

I resolved to get up extra early the next day, and bring my camera to work if the snow still lay. And it did, so I slipped between the gates and explored the snowy landscape, for all the world like the world of Narnia.

I took a number of photos which I wanted to share, but I delayed doing so for a number of reasons. Now there's no point in sitting on them any longer. These may be the last photos of the house intact, a very sad thought.

You can also read more about the house and grounds or take a look at the gate-lodge and its history.

Comment as you wish, click below to see the photos.
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Somehow, my Wikipedia treasure-trails always lead to…

June 13th, 2011

On a lovely trip to Nice yesterday, I saw a monument to a mayor of the city from 1928 - 1943 and 1947 - 1965,

Jean Medécin,

who had a son who was also mayor for a long time,

Jacques Medécin

who, unlike his father, was fond of

Gaullism,

the French political ideology which espouses national independence, including the

Force de frappe,

the tactical and strategic framework for

France's weapons of mass destruction,

which were mostly tested in her colonies and had some costly accidents including the

Beryl incident,

when some soldiers and officials were exposed to radiation, including another Gaullist,

Gaston Paleweski,

long-time lover of English novelist Nancy Mitford, one of the

Mitford sisters,

another of whom married

Oswald Mosley

a notable British proponent of

fascism.

The Unabomber was a hipster

May 15th, 2011

The personal effects of Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, will be sold via an online auction by the U.S. Marshals beginning May 18, 2011. U.S. District Judge Garland Burrell of the Eastern District of California ordered the sale in August 2010. Proceeds from the auction will be used to compensate Kaczynski’s victims.

The Marshals have seen fit to upload the photos of his effects to a Flickr album, where you can peruse them to make your choice in advance.

What is most striking about the items is not how evil and terroristic they look, but how well they would fit into a Williamsburg loft apartment...

All he's missing is the fixie. Read the rest of this entry »

A lot left to learn

April 28th, 2011

Bold for done, underline for in-progress, italic for not started.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Robert A. Heinlein, 1973

Marlay Grange, grounds and house

March 27th, 2011

Marlay Grange was built by renowned Dublin architect John McCurdy in the 1850s or 1860s, possibly 1866. John McCurdy also designed the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin's city centre. It lies on the Grange Road, in a woodland setting, sitting on 5.06 hectares, or 12.5 acres.

The grounds include specimen trees, two ornamental pounds and a trellis-covered sunken pathway which encloses a semi-circular formal garden. A long tree-lined avenue leads up to a gravelled forecourt in front of the house.

The house and estate were sold by then-owners the McGrane family in the year 2000 to the British Embassy in Dublin for stg£6.4 million. It was intended to replace the British Ambassador's residence at Glencairn House.

Tree-lined extent of the grounds of Marlay Grange, on the Grange Road

Planning permission was received from South Dublin County Council for a lot of work to renovate the property and to add a number of outbuildings and chalets on the estate to accommodate embassy staff, but the plan was eventually dropped due to security concerns. This led to the British Government re-purchasing Glencairn House and putting Marlay Grange back on the market, losing significant money in the process.

The property was bought in 2007/8 by Niall Mellon, property developer and philanthropist, who tried to build houses on the grounds. The council turned down his application for planning permission and the house went back on the market. Enquiries with the estate agent at the time suggested that the asking price was in the region of €12 million, even though the property crash was already in progress.

Last satellite image of Marlay Grange house and formal garden

The building is a cut-stone two storey high-roofed Victorian house built in the Gothic style. The imposing structure contains gables, dormer gables, and a tower with a truncated pyramidal roof.

The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage described the house as "a fine and comparatively rare example of a Victorian Gothic country house in the Ruskinian style".

Age And Impotence Await Us All

February 21st, 2011

A free album for everyone: Sampler by Ulrike Jokiel

February 21st, 2011

This album has been doing the rounds online for some time, but I was first recommended it by Aengus a few years ago. I really enjoyed the cut-down sound which reminded me of Rebirth and simpler times.. The tracks have no titles, just numbered 1 to 13. I find it to be great music for driving, and particularly enjoy tracks 4, 9 and 11. Ulrike Jokiel is a pseudonym it seems, but I'm not sure whether the actual artist is Finnish or not.

MC-303 SH-101 TR-606 KMS-30 JX-3P RY-10

Here's what Ulrike Jokiel  had to say about the production of the album:

the equipment used is more than minimal: roland jx-3p, roland tr-606, roland sh-101, mc303 groovebox, yamaha ry-10 drumbox
all sequencing is done with the built-in sequencers, the trigger/midi interface is my good ol' korg kms-30. everything was recorded directly to 2-track stereo tape (no overdubs, no mix, everything LIVE). no computer used.

Read the rest of this entry »