Bhí sé beagáinín fuar ar maidin but this afternoon was warm without being too hot – perfect for the work of our team which had expanded this week: Bróna, Máire, Diarmuid, Daniel agus Seán. Bhí Simon ann also at the end to help us pack up.
In somewhat of a change from last week, we were kept busy in conversations with people interested in the campaign and in the history of the area and the time flew past.
A building near our stall that had housed a Vietnamese cafe/ restaurant which had been closed for a long time was being redecorated today — we learned it is to sell hot Brazilian food. A cafe is badly needed on the street and probably a bakery too.
HARRY (HENRY) COYLE whose grandfather of the same name (and also often called “Henry”) was shot dead at the corner of Salmon’s Lane – hit by five bullets so almost certainly the British machine-gun on the barricade on Parnell Street.
He had been in The Ó Rahilly’s charge and Diarmuid speculated he could have been shot after O’Rahilly had gone ahead along with ICA Volunteer Tom Crimmins, because Crimmins did not mention Coyle’s body being there when he shot the British soldier at that junction (the wounded British soldier was later picked up under fire by Vol. George Plunkett and taken into the field hospital being run at No.10).
Coyle’s widow was pregnant and only a few months from giving birth when her husband was killed. Hearing that she was pregnant, The O’Rahilly’s widow visited and offered her own child’s baptism gown and for the child to be baptised in the O’Rahilly home, an offer which she accepted and Henry said that gown was in his family for decades.
NOEL CONNOR’s relative BILLY MEEHAN was one of the last groups to leave the GPO, giving covering fire for the evacuation. He did not support the Irish State and would not accept a combatant pension from it, which his wife did as a dependent, after he died. Noel believes in keeping our history alive and passing it on to other generations.
ANNE-MARIE PARNELL had not been to Moore Street for a while, she told us and was sad to see it run down. We told her the running down was deliberate to remove some of the resistance to the speculators’ plans. She used to come here with her mother at the weekend to load up with shopping and always looked forward to it. Anne-Marie was disgusted to hear of Hammerson’s plans and posed for a solidarity portrait which she would like to share on her own page.
ANITA LAWLOR (JOHN LAWLOR) told us about her support for the campaign and that she had memories of getting up at 5 a.m to go to the market with her father John Lawlor. He set up stalls and before he had the use of a horse, pulled the cart there by hand. Anita would get a “baby tea” and a fresh apple, both highly-regarded treats at the time. She liked the big workhorse which she remembers as “Rosie” and her father would set up Bridie Clarke’s fruit stall (the street traders sell from their stalls all day but the stalls are set up by market workers).
Sadly John died when Anita was still only 12 and, as the eldest, Anita had to act grownup as an example to the younger children. John was remembered for decades afterwards, she told us and people remarked that his hands were “as big as spades”. Anita posed for a solidarity portrait with the campaign banner as a backdrop.
FAMILY FROM GALWAY
A family from Galway were happy to sign the petition. It was their son’s Catholic Confirmation and it was a family tradition to go to Dublin and Moore Street when there. The father’s grandmother was from the Aran Islands.
Among the many who kept us busy today were some with a background abroad; among the latter who stopped to talk and wished the campaign well today were a man from MAURITIUS and a couple of USA TOURISTS.
UPDATES: good, bad or indifferent: none this week.
WANT TO HELP THE CAMPAIGN? Probably most effective way to do that is to make people aware, especially your own contacts. You might also like to ask your local Councillor what progress is being made on listing buildings for protection, as agreed by them some months ago.