With Dublin in L3 Covid controls, a group of 24 people (in two socially distanced groups, of course) took on a historical tour of the area instead of their normal Saturday morning spin. Club and county colours were prominent!
We pass our history and heritage on a daily basis and since March 2020, people have been taking a little more time to observe their surroundings. With that back-drop, Gerry Q gathered 24 fellow members to research a particular aspect of the local area and tell that story on our historical tour of the locale. It included Castleknock College castle, the magazine fort and a couple of other expected spots, along with some surprising discoveries.
Did you know, for instance, that the Knockmaree Dolmen in the Phoenix Park is older than the pyramids of Giza? Amazingly, 5,000 year ago our ancestors brought the capstone up from the river Liffey to the burial site without any of the modern equipment we would now use. The Grangegorman military cemetery on Blackhorse Ave was an eye opener for most, with poignant stories about the lives of people buried there, such as Martin Doyle, awarded the Victoria Cross by King George in WW1, who then joined the IRA and fought in the War of Independence; or 18 yr old GV Chalmers shot by the IRA and buried in a bog in Clare before being reinterred last year in Grangegorman, or the 500 people who were killed on the RMS Leinster when it was torpedoed outside Dun Laoghaire.
There was poetry and song on Chesterfield Avenue (no sign of Michael D though), lunch for all in the Ashtown Cafe (thank you Helen & team) as well as craic and banter throughout. It wouldn’t have been possible without the initiative of Gerry Q and the support and stories from everyone who got involved. Very nice to find a silver lining to the covid cloud!
And last but not least; who is responsible for maintaining the cross in the grass alongside the cycle path opposite the Áras, commemorating two people stabbed to death in the dark past of the Park?