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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Malodorous Tumuli

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)


Mark Granier said...

Ah yes, brings back memories. yself and a few friends and cousins rented a cottage on the seafront near Bray Head in the late 1970s (the cottage was torn down about a decade later) and our abode was well-stocked with "strange accessories", none stranger than ourselves.

I don't recall having seen the ferris wheel located on the Head itself. Is that recent photo?

puthwuth said...

It turns up every summer now, during the festival. Any year now it will break free and crush a consignment of day-tripping northsiders into the roof of Dawson's amusements (fumbles suspiciously with screwdriver).