There have been TV and radio programmes recently featuring the late Dr. Noel Browne. As Minister for Health, Browne is credited with waging a successful total war on Tuberculosis. However, his attempt to implement the Mother and Child Scheme in effect brought down the First Inter-Party Government of Taoiseach John A. Costello in 1951 and remains one of the greatest political controversies in modern Irish political history. One radio programme included Liveline on RTE Radio 1, Wednesday August 2nd., featuring artist Robert Ballagh, whose portrait painting of Noel Browne is hidden away in storage. Among other details mentioned in that broadcast was that Dr. Noel Browne lived in Malahide for 6 months each year! Does anyone know or have any more details/information on where in Malahide he lived or any details of his life here? If you have you can contact Malahide Historical Society on their email at: email@example.com (courtesy of Malahide Historical Society)
By Malahide Historical Society
A recent rescue of swimmers in the deep narrows channel in Malahide had a happier outcome than this sad event which was reported in the press 101 years ago.
Titled “MALAHIDE DISASTER”
“Three Dublin men, who were fishing from a boat in Malahide Creek, lost their lives on Sunday through the upturning of the boat, in an attempt to float through one of the arches of the railway bridge. Their names are Thomas, Ryan, 47 York St. , John Somerville, Manor Place and Richard Tisdall, 143 Gt. Brunswick St.With them in the boat was Robert Wilson of Robert St. The four were members of a fishing party organised by the Knights of the Silver Hook Sea Anglers. Several boats, in each of which there were four competitors, set out and took up their separate positions.
The men set their baits and, after some time, that occupied by Ryan, Somerville and their companions drifted towards the railway bridge, known as the “Eleven Arches.”’ With the falling tide a strong current flows there and, carried away by a strong wind, the small boat capsized at a point which may be described as a waterfall. The occupants of the boat were thrown out, and quickly carried away into deep water. Wilson succeeded in clinging on to the boat and was rescued by other fishermen. The occurrence was witnessed by a lady looking from a window in the vicinity. She raised the alarm, but owing to the distance from the village, before help could reach the bridge the three men were carried away to death by the flowing waters. When Mr. Wilson was brought ashore he was in a state of exhaustion.The body of Ryan was recovered and taken charge of by members of the I.R.A but the other bodies have not yet been recovered. Mr. Ryan was an employee of Messrs. West and Son, goldsmiths and jewellers, Grafton St., Dublin. Mr. Wilson is Hon. Secretary of the Knights of the Silver Hook Sea Anglers’ Club”.Source: Southern Star newspaper 1 July 1922
Malahide Abbey ruins stand adjacent to the Castle. Their size suggest that it was no private oratory or chapel. The surrounding cemetery would indicate that it probably served the people of Malahide from the 12th to 16th Century. In 1630, the Abbey was stated to be in a ruinous condition. When Cromwell installed Myles Corbet in Malahide Castle for a brief period, tradition has it that Corbet used the Abbey as stables and stripped the lead off the roof to make bullets. The present structure consists of a late fifteenth-century nave and a sixteenth-century chancel. The east wall of the chancel features a fine three-light window whilst the west gable of the nave is surmounted by a three-arched bell turret with an access stairs and a triple window beneath. It is likely the bells were fixed and the bell-ringer climbed the stairs and sat or stood beneath the bells and struck them with a hammer. Within the Abbey is the fine deeply carved 16th. Century tomb of Maud Plunkett who was “maid, wife and widow” on the one day, her husband having been killed in battle on their wedding day. On the North-East angle of the Abbey opposite the Avoca entrance may be seen a Sheela-na-gig, a grotesque stone carving, whose function it was to warn the faithful of the terrible results of sin and excess. Generations of Talbots lie buried in the surrounding cemetery and the last local burial took place here in 1960.
A great occasion was held recently with the official opening of our refurbished local history museum at the Steward’s House, Malahide Castle. Over 100 members and friends of Malahide Historical Society turned out to see Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, and local lad, Darragh O’Brien, T.D. unveil a plaque in the presence of the Mayor of Fingal Howard Mahoby and the CEO of Fingal County Council Anne-Marie Farrelly. In a speech, Malahide Historical Society President Paddy Ryan thanked the committee and Minister O’Brien and Councillor Eoghan O’Brien for their support for the project and the management and staff in Fingal County Council without whose unstinting support the project would never have got across the line. The museum is now open on weekend afternoons and will soon open from Tuesday through to Sunday and admission is free. Our Pictures show the event as well as the Steward’s House in the 1960s with members of the Raeburn and O’Neill families who lived there when the estate was still owned by Lord Milo Talbot.
For our next talk on April 26th in the Bracken Court Hotel at 8pm we are delighted to have a very special visiting speaker of note, Rory Golden, Diver, Speaker, Explorer with a talk titled ‘TITANIC - Search, Discovery and Diving to the world’s most famous shipwreck.’ Member International of the Explorers Club of New York, Vice Chair of the Great Britain and Ireland Chapter of the Explorers Club, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. Rory Golden became the first Irish diver to visit the site of RMS TITANIC, in August 2000. This expedition recovered 800 artifacts from nearly 4,000 metres deep. His dive was in a Russian submersible, and he left a memorial plaque on the wreck on behalf of the people of Ireland from Cobh. He also spotted the main ship’s wheel which was recovered on the dive. He returned in August 2005, leaving two more memorial plaques from Belfast on the ship. This expedition was broadcast as a wonderful detailed documentary, “A Journey to Remember”, on BBC with veteran journalist Mike McKimm .youtube.com/watchv=EGoJMc7hXDA. In July 2021 he was contracted by OceanGate Expeditions to be on the 2021 Titanic SurveyExpedition as the on board content expert. Other duties included assisting in the surface support dive ops and preparation of the revolutionary 5 person carbon fibre TITAN submersible. In June and July 2022 he was again a team member for the second OceanGate expedition to the wreck site as a content expert and surface dive support co-ordinator. He made his third dive to the ship during this trip in the 5 person submersible TITAN oceangateexpeditions.com/titanic He has spoken at multiple venues and events, including: a 15 date UK tour, Titanic Belfast,The National Museum of Ireland, Belfast City Council, Belfast Titanic Society, The Explorers Club, Dive shows, schools and colleges, after Dinner functions, and during the Covid era, on ZOOM presentations for outreach programmes. For more information see rorygolden.com.As always members are free and anyone can attend for €5, see balbrigganhistory.com.
Our photo shows a newspaper clipping of a nice print of Malahide Castle in North County Dublin from about 1895. The clipping also provides a brief outline of the history (to that date) of the castle, parts of which date to the twelfth century when King Henry II (1133-1189) granted Richard Talbot the lands and harbour of Malahide for his services to the English crown. In its current form, Malahide Castle incorporates a variety of different architectural styles as various rooms and fortifications were added, altered, and enlarged over time. The castle remained in the possession of the Talbot family for nearly eight centuries (broken only by a brief interval between 1649 and 1660 when the family’s lands were seized during the Cromwellian conquest and the castle was occupied by Miles Corbet (1595-1662), Lord Chief Baron of Ireland). The last representative of the family to reside in the castle was Milo Talbot (1912-1973), 7th Baron Talbot of Malahide. On his death, the estate passed to his sister Rose Maud Talbot who sold the castle to the Irish state in 1975. The castle and its 260-acre demesne has now been developed into a popular tourist amenity, public park and summertime concert and festival venue. The article is taken from a bound volume containing clippings of articles and accounts of various Irish castles, abbeys, and historic monuments. The volume was acquired by Fr. Senan Moynihan OFM Cap. (1900-1970), the editor of ‘The Capuchin Annual’.
Thanks to Malahide Historical Society
Under the terms of a lease agreement of 1844 between Lord Talbot of Malahide Castle and one James Fagan, who developed St. James Terrace, the Talbots agreed to make a footway along the seaward side of the pleasure gardens (now occupied by the tennis club and sea scouts) with a retaining wall along the beach and to level the ground to the boundary. The ‘Bandwalk ‘remains a popular and much frequented route today and the supporting wall between it and the beach is still in good condition if a little overgrown with weeds. The path continued in the other direction towards the coast and was referred to in old leases as ‘the waste’ road for reasons that are not clear. As well as the set of stone steps in front of the scout den at the bottom of St. James’s Terrace, used by Victorian and Edwardian trippers for boat trips around the estuary or to picnic on The Island, there is another set of steps surviving from that time. Little used nowadays, the broad zig-zag steps down to the beach opposite the fountain at the Grand Hotel were known as ‘Granny Holton’s Steps’ and were a popular means of accessing the foreshore for children and adults alike in years gone by. It is not known how the steps took her name but Granny Holton is believed to have been of the Holton family which ran the post office over a long period and also a grocery and provisions shop on Main Street. The Farrell Holton shop (later Findlater’s) was about where Brophy Estates and the former Xtravision premises is today.
by Malahide Historical Society
On the corner of Bath Avenue, immediately beyond the Grand Hotel towards Portmarnock, where a tall apartment block is now located, stood the popular Malahide Baths. Lord Talbot built the baths at his own expense, apparently for letting, shortly before 1863. They were leased to a Mrs. Gamble. She retired or died in 1864 and her household goods were auctioned off, including “a barometer, an eight-day clock, two fowling pieces, a first rate four-oared boat and two smaller boats”. The baths were then, apparently, taken over by the adjoining hotel.The hotel featured its hot sea and freshwater baths from time to time in advertisements.The baths consisted of a long low building with a number of bathing rooms at one end, a boilerhouse and tall chimney in the middle and living accommodation at the other end. There were two open-air plunge pools to the rear. There were bathing boxes on the shore in front of the baths building for use by modest Victorians who wished to bathe in the estuary seawater.The seawater baths were exceedingly popular in the 19th century and in the latter half of that era tourists flocked to Malahide to avail of the baths’ renowned health-giving properties. The bath water was changed at high-tide. Patrons had a choice of heated indoor baths and or a plunge in an outdoor cold pool. Sadly, the buildings were demolished in 1984 and the rubble used to fill the pools
by Malahide Historical Society
Standing across the road from St. Sylvester’s Church, this elegant terrace of four three-bay three-storey 19th century houses is recessed from the street by a common garden fronted by railings set between stone pillars. Nos. 1 and 4 have bays extending the full height of their facades. Until recently, a curious damaged sculpture was to be seen on the roof parapet at the centre of the terrace which appeared to be a representation of a sea lion but this has lately disappeared. (Does anyone have information on its whereabouts?). The construction of No.1 commenced in 1842 and No. 4 was completed eight years later. Though a terrace, each house is slightly different. An 1850 watercolour (present whereabouts unknown) depicts the terrace with scaffolding around No 4. John Killeen of Millview House and later Seapark House built the terrace as a potential marriage dowry for his only child. However, she entered a religious order in Dumfries, Scotland, where she rose to the position of Abbess before her death in 1918. As a consequence, the terrace was sometimes referred to as the Dowry Terrace. However, by 1862, John Killeen was in financial difficulty as the Official Assignee was advertising the sale of : “the title and interest of the Bankrupt, John Killeen…in the two Plots of Ground situate at Malahide… with the four commodious and first-class dwelling houses thereon, with outhouses, offices and gardens, and known as Killeen-terrace (in the erection of which the bankrupt expended a sum of nearly £4,000), held under two leases from Lord Talbot de Malahide to the bankrupt, for 99 years from 1st May, 1849, at the yearly rents of £20 and £2 18s.; there is yet space for the erection of other houses. Three of the said houses are let to respectable tenants, and produce £162 10s annually. The fourth house is unlet, but was lately let at a rent of £60 a year.The local Presbyterian community, having unsuccessfully petitioned Lord Talbot in 1891 for a site for a church, shortly afterwards acquired an interest in No.2 Killeen Terrace. This remained their place of worship until they moved into their newly built church on the Dublin Road in 1956. This building was partly financed by the sale of No.2 Killeen Terrace. Our Photos show the terrace in the 1960s and 1970s.
Courtesy of Malahide Historical Society
Many will remember with great fondness Sammy Wells and family who ran a sweet factory and sweet shop from about 1948 at or about the former X-traVision outlet on Main Street. Sammy made the sweets from his own recipes which he had brought from England. The most popular sweets were his fruit bon bons, butter bon bons, liquorice, fruit drops, nougat bars and the most popular of all were his penny bars. The penny bars are said to have been his speciality. In those days the children of Malahide were able to walk safely from school to Sammy Wells sweet shop specially to buy those bars. Everyone used to pop in to buy their sweets on the way to Ma Walshe’s cinema. This was a big treat. To buy your sweets you had to go to the counter in the office and ring the bell for attention and when eventually someone came, the value given for one penny was well worth the delay, the best value in town! One former resident remembers that Sammy also sold fishing gear and “If you found a wasps’ nest and you told Sammy Wells, you would get a reward and he would send someone to remove it and use the grubs for bait.” Sammy and his family, including daughters Sally and Gwneth, lived at “The Haven” at the corner of Texas Lane and the Back Strand (upper Broadmeadows estuary). He became famous for his pigeon loft and was said to have been the first person to have pigeons in the area. He built the narrow concrete landing stage opposite his house, which is still used today and erected a pole with a disclaimer notice which was certainly there up to recently. The factory and shop closed in the 1960’s and the family left Ireland thereafter but we know that some of them follow this Facebook page so if you have memories to share with them please feel free to leave a comment.
Can anyone identify the staff members in the photos? If so please contact Malahide Historical Society at malahideheritage.com