Two poems immediately spring to mind when I look at this image but neither of them refers to Connemara. This beautiful scene may have cheered "Mick McQuaid" on a daily basis or perhaps due to the harshness of life in such a remote and poor area he did not even see it? I hope that he was able to sit with his pipe, smoking "Mick McQuaid" tobacco, contemplating the scene with a sense of peace and appreciation?
And so we have learned from beachcomberaustralia
that the "Mick McQuaid" in question was fictional. Making this scene, as Niall McAuley
suggests, something of a 19th century equivalent to the (nearby) "Quiet Man cottage". Mick McQuaid was a character developed by Captain William Lynam for a popular weekly serial - that was carried by newspapers for some decades from the 1860s. Seemingly, as per the summary which beachcomberaustralia
shares in the comments, those who could not read would travel some distance to hear the latest installment. And such was the popularity of the character that, as well as inspiring tobacco branding, when Lynam died in 1894, the paper continued the serial - reaching new generations....
Photographer: Robert French
Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection
Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Though possibly after 1895.
NLI Ref: L_ROY_06806
You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie
Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
It's on "L[ake] Shindillagh" according to this - www.postcardsireland.com/postcard/through-green-hills-eri...
via https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ on Flickr "Mick McQuaid was a notorious poitín distiller of the last century. This cabin is typical of the poitín makers’ home. The cabin has no windows – this may be because it was originally built when there was a tax levied according to the number of windows in a house." https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3965162989
Aka Mick McQuaid’s Castle, L. Shindillagh "The caption refers to a contemporary cartoon character - Mick McQuaid - whose exploits featured in a popular periodical called the Shamrock, from the 1860s to the early twentieth century." www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigati...
"In the 1880's a popular magazine named 'The Shamrock' featured a serial written by a Colonel Lynam about imaginary conversations between an optimist, Mick McQuaid, and a pessimist, Terry Garrity. During these philosophical conversations, Mick often drew inspiration from a pipeful of Carroll's tobacco. Consequently, in 1889, the company launched one of its most successful tobaccos, Mick McQuaid." pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/pj-carroll-dundalk-ireland... (Seems to be an early case of product placement)
It's apparently here: goo.gl/maps/gKWjmtRNzRU2
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/66[email protected]] That must be right, 'cos of the view to the right - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000320603 The wicker basket has moved on to the table.
S. also talesofthewest.ie/docs/25_02_1911.html: " ... a place named Shindilla, rendered famous by the late Major Lynam as being the spot where the famous Mick McQuaid kept a shop, which is now known as Maam Cross, ..." William Lynam died on August 17, 1894, s. 'Historic graves in Glasnevin cemetery', 1915, p. 27 f archive.org/stream/historicgravesin00oduf#page/26/mode/2up
Some contemporary (1891) background to why the serial was written - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/164859776?searchTerm=M... . Mentioned there is 'souperism' a newbie for me - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souperism
Which all begs the question, why did Mr French / Lawrence take photos of a real place with a dubious connection to a fictional character? Is he pulling our legs?
A poetic license , like James Joyce?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia That spot must have been famous. But apparently there is not much left.
I assume Mr. Lawrence took the photos because they were of interest to the public, even though McQuaid was fictional, much as people still visit the Quiet Man locations not a million miles from here.
National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Thanks guys! Have updated the map to reflect. On the date range, one imagines that (for the reasons https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley notes) this was probably taken at least a few decades into the range of the character's popularity...(?)
I imagine the date is after 1895 when the railway line opened, including a station at Maam Cross, encouraging visitors - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midland_Great_Western_Railway Another tidbit via Trove -From - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/83048966 (1927)
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] is right about the date being taken after 1895. This Robert Welch photograph from the Belfour Album was taken 1893-1895 and it shows the bohán before it was extended and rethatched. Note hipped roof!
Tourist trap, obviously. Gift shop/tobacconist ... Still nice looking place
How spectacular a place for a child to grow up with a lake and wooded island. I can picture myself a young man standing with a pack destined to leave but finding it almost impossible to turn away...
Buenas fotos antiguas .
National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Thanks https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia and https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]. Have updated the date and description to reflect. Great stuff as usual!
I don't claim to know anything about it, but noted this in "The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction" (page 387):
Has anyone managed to find an online digitized version of Mick McQuaid's adventures ? Perhaps the https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/ has old copies of the Shamrock gathering dust in the attics of Library Towers ? My curiosity is piqued !