Posted in Troubles

Postcards of the Easter Rising by Edward Margiotta

Postcards of the Easter Rising Stenlake Publishing

If you’re baulking at the prices being asked for postcards of the Easter Rising you may like to consider this book published at the end of 2015 by Stenlake Publishing (Scotland) as a good alternative.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Essentially the book is a narrative about the Easter Rising of 1916 liberally illustrated with original picture postcard images. The Rising and its immediate aftermath were comprehensively recorded by photographers and postcards of the events and personalities involved were quickly published. The author has probably the most extensive collection of these cards and 244 of them are shown in the book which also deals with the War of Independence, Treaty Conference and the Civil War. Also included are chapters on the postcard publishers themselves with details of these firms’ history and the cards they published for the Rising.

ISBN : 9781840336931

Available here:

Posted in Military, Troubles

Centenary of 1916 Rising produces a frenzy of postcard selling

In recent months as the centenary of ‘The Rising’ approached a plethora of cards have been appearing for sale online and in salerooms. The black and white cards produced at the time do little for me as the pictures have appeared in numerous publications over the years. However, I include a selection below.

The destruction of Sackville/O’Connell Street

The Imperial Hotel Dublin - Copy

Much of the destruction of the street was – apparently – caused by British shelling in particular from the “Helga” gunboat on the Liffey. Miraculously the Nelson Pillar came through unscathed despite its proximity to the rebel HQ in the GPO.

1916 Sackville St in flames

An Eason & Son card using a Daily Sketch photograph presents a nightmarish scene. Note the incorrect date on the card.

Sinn Fein Rebellion

Dublin’s citizens survey the aftermath of the rebellion.

Daily Sketch photo Eason card possibly1916 Captured Flag

Two very staged cards published by Eason & Son. I can’t identify the street on the first card but the flag scene is clearly at the base of the Parnell monument.

I’m all 1916-ed out now, but for those of you who want more information  “Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion” by Charles Townshend is highly recommended.



Posted in Military, Troubles

Larne gun-running postcard fetches a hefty price!

Larne Gun Running FINAL - Copy

The Larne gun-running incident saw a major importation of weapons from Germany to equip the recently formed Ulster Volunteer Force. The UVF were determined to prevent the implementation of Home Rule in Ireland and urgently needed weapons for their 90,000 strong ‘army‘. Thus it was that in the wee small hours of the 25th April, 1914 almost 25,000 rifles and 5 million rounds of ammunition were landed at Larne, Bangor and Donaghadee.

This artist card, posted barely two weeks after the event, captures well the scene as it must have unfolded at Bangor Harbour. Unsurprisingly no artist or publisher is indicated. The card was sold on eBay on the 18/3/16, fetching a tidy £148.66, and probably would have gone for more in an Irish saleroom. Start searching the attic!

Further information here: Larne Gun-Running

Yesterday (17/5/16) I spotted another card from the same stable on eBay, but of poorer quality and condition. Here it is below for your delectation.

Ulster Gun Running

Posted in Castles, Celtic Tiger, Hotel, Troubles

Dunboy Castle a Celtic Tiger Survivor…

Dunboy Castle Castletown Berehaven LAWRENCEDunboy Castle deep in West Cork, on the Beara Peninsula, for many years a spectacular ruin was rebuilt during the height of the Celtic Tiger madness. It was intended that the castle would become a luxury 100-bedroom hotel, but the 2007 economic collapse intervened before the project could be completed. Today the semi-restored castle remains as a monument to the boom and with a far from certain future.

More here: Castles in the Air – Irish Examiner

Postcard by W.Lawrence, Dublin.

Dunboy Before + After

Left to right: A view of the castle during its lengthy period as a ruin and a more recent picture of its reincarnation. I have cropped the view of the ghastly, obligatory additional accommodation block!

The castle as it is presently constituted incorporates the fabric of an earlier house on the site dating from the 1740s, an extensive rebuild in the 1860s for Henry Lavallin-Puxley and, of course, the €50 million (!)) rebuild during the early noughties.

The castle was burnt by the IRA during the Troubles in June 1921 and the Puxley family took what compensation was on offer and left the country.

Daphne du Maurier’s 1943 novel Hungry Hill was based on the lives of the Puxley family of Dunboy Castle, their wealth generated from copper mining at nearby Allihies and the curse put on the family. Though the characters and placenames have been changed there’s no doubting where the inspiration for the novel came. In 1947 ‘Hungry Hill’ was made into a now long forgotten feature film by Brian Desmond Hurst starring Margaret Lockwood, Denis Price and Jean Simmons.

Hungry Hill poster

Another interesting piece about the early history and legends surrounding the castle: