Thursday, March 01, 2007
At this period there were only two habitations along the sea front – one a small, pretty cottage where Bray Head Hotel now stands, whilst somewhere on the ground occupied by Claddagh Terrace was the other, a mud hovel, so diminutive, so wretched and so miserable as to earn for it the local soubriquet of ‘The Rat Hole’. This strange dwelling was tenanted by an equally strange occupant – an eccentric, solitary, tar-begrimed old fisherman, who was a well-known character in the neighbourhood, and who took a delight in surrounding his unattractive abode with ill-smelling heaps of manure, offal, seaweed and every other abomination that came within his reach, until at last it became difficult to distinguish between the dwelling and these strange accessories. To what end he accumulated these malodorous tumuli none who knew him could surmise; but that he enjoyed the possession of them could be open to no doubt, as he was to be seen there daily, during his leisure hours, regaling his nose and eyes on their perfume and proportions.
(Weston St John Joyce, The Neighbourhood of Dublin, 1912)