Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ireland Trip Part 16: Wolfe Tone, his "Shiny Sack," St. Stephen's Green

St. Stephen's Green
This is Part 16 of our Ireland Trip blog, and our walking history tour with Garvan. We call this blog: Wolfe Tone and his "Shiny Sack." It's about another historic figure in Ireland, but with a fun twist on a statue erected in his honor.  

    Garvan is the "Dublin Tour Guide" and you can find him at www.dublintourguide.ie/.

ST. STEPHEN'S GREEN PARK - This large park of grass, trees and flowers sits in downtown Dublin, and reminded us of the "Boston Common" in Boston, Massachusetts, or Central Park in New York City (although not that large). The current landscape of the park was designed by William Sheppard, and it opened to the public on July 27, 1880. The park is rectangular in size and is bordered by 4 main streets. It's 22 acres (89,000 m2) and it is the largest of the parks in Dublin's main Georgian garden squares.

Although open to the public today, St. Stephen's Green was once a private gated garden owned by the wealthy upper class that built their grand Georgian style townhouses around the outer perimeter of the park; only these homeowners had keys to the gates of the park. This "arrangement" is very common in the U.K. and still exists today throughout the wealthier neighborhoods of London.

Wolfe Tone, Credit:Wikimedia Commons

WHO WAS WOLFE TONE? - Theobald Wolfe Tone, known as Wolfe Tone after his death was a leading Irish revolutionary figure. He was a founding member of the United Irishmen and is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism. He was involved in several uprisings against the British that all ended badly. The 1798 Uprising was a military catastrophe. 
   He was also involved in a French raid at Donegal, Ireland in 1798 but was captured and court-marshalled.  Before he was to be executed, it is believed that Wolfe Tone attempted suicide. He subsequently died from mortal wounds eight days afterwards, thus avoiding being hanged as a convicted traitor to the British Crown for his involvement in the 1798 Irish Rebellion.   Garvan told us that he is looked upon as a hero to the people of Ireland

Wolfe Tone statue
WOLFE TONE'S STATUE AND "SHINY SACK" - At one end of St. Stephen's Green stands a statue of Wolfe Tone in the middle of a cobblestone courtyard. We were told that behind the statue stones are stacked to resemble a "Stonehenge." 

   LOCAL FUN - Here's where the "Shiny sack" part comes in. We were also told that locals like to give people and statues a "pat" for luck. Garvan asked us to look closely at Wolfe Tone's dull metallic statue and notice where the most "shiny" part of it was located. He said that's where people walk by and give it a "pat." 

  The shiniest place? Wolfe Tone's groin! 

  Of course there were pats all around. :) 




Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next