Sepia Saturday 103: A Tale of One City (in an alternate universe)
(on the back: “Taken in Dublin, Ireland in or near the month of July 1952)
Taken by Kat in June of 1994 while on honeymoon.
After extensive Googling of maps and even a virtual “stroll” along O’Connell Street in Dublin, I have come to the conclusion that, were the men in the foreground of both of these pictures to somehow come together in a time-space continuum, they would pass each other on the street.
By determining the placement of statues on said O’Connell Street, I have deduced that my father is approaching the statue of Daniel O’Connell (with angels). I cropped a copy of the original (see below) to find that the statue in the background of his photo is that of Sir John Gray, a man who supported both, O’Connell and Charles Parnell. In fact, it was Gray himself who was responsible for the statue of O’Connell on what was then, Sackville Street. Gray’s is the second statue on the street as you proceed north, after Parnell’s.
The white-haired man, is standing opposite the statue of O’Connell that is adorned with the bullet-ridden, bronze, winged-victories (courtesy of the Easter Uprising and other conflicts between 1916 and 1922). I can easily imagine him crossing the road to find the pavement on the east side where the shops are.
By my reckoning, were my dad and the white-haired man to proceed at a clip (that was my father’s way, and the determination in his face and the angle of that left hand tells me he was true to form on this occasion), they would pass each other across the road from the William Smith O’Brien statue.
O’Brien, interestingly, was a Protestant who was a member of the Young Ireland movement. In 1848 he was convicted of sedition for his support of Catholics. He was deported to what was then known as “Van Diemen’s Land”, but is now called Tasmania and part of Australia.
Coincidentally, when my Catholic father left the British Army in 1953, he considered emigrating to Australia. Fortunately for me, he did not do so, and settled instead on emigrating to Canada where he met my mother, and the rest is history (as most of you know).
On the other hand, this white-haired fellow looks as if he just might be heading to the pub. In which case, I’m pretty sure my dad would be keen to join him and wet his whistle on this summer’s day in an alternate universe. They might even share a slab of “Mackintosh’s Toffee” since my dad was also quite partial to it.
What the heck! If there’s going to be some Toffee involved, then I’m going to find a Tardis and see if I can join them!
(click to enlarge and see the Gray statue)
A really great website I discovered in my travels is IRISH HISTORY LINKS where you can find lots of other photos of Dublin through the years.
Don’t forget to visit the Sepia Saturday Blog to read and enjoy other articles and photos of great interest.