STREET ART ON THE GRAND PARADE IN CORK CITY ON A REALLY WET DAY
It should be mentioned that I have been aware of Frederick Douglass since 1964 because I had an American teacher who had been a missionary priest and had been a great admirer of Frederick Douglas and Susie King Taylor [the first African American Army nurse].
I included this photograph because of the following news item [31 July 2023] “A striking bronze statue of author, anti-slavery campaigner and early champion of women’s rights Frederick Douglass has been unveiled in Belfast city centre.” The lifesize statue was created by Scottish figurative sculptors Alan Beattie Herriot and Hector Guest. It is located beside the historic First Presbyterian Church in Rosemary Street where Douglass delivered lectures during his time in Belfast. I plan to photograph this memorial when I next visit Belfast.
Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1817 or 1818[a] – February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, during which he gained fame for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. Accordingly, he was described by abolitionists in his time as a living counterexample to enslavers’ arguments that enslaved people lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been enslaved. It was in response to this disbelief that Douglass wrote his first autobiography.
Douglass wrote three autobiographies, describing his experiences as an enslaved person in his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (1845), which became a bestseller and was influential in promoting the cause of abolition, as was his second book, My Bondage and My Freedom (1855). Following the Civil War, Douglass was an active campaigner for the rights of freed slaves and wrote his last autobiography, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. First published in 1881 and revised in 1892, three years before his death, the book covers his life up to those dates. Douglass also actively supported women’s suffrage, and he held several public offices. Without his knowledge or consent, Douglass became the first African American nominated for vice president of the United States, as the running mate of Victoria Woodhull on the Equal Rights Party ticket.
Douglass believed in dialogue and in making alliances across racial and ideological divides, as well as in the liberal values of the U.S. Constitution. When radical abolitionists, under the motto “No Union with Slaveholders”, criticised Douglass’s willingness to engage in dialogue with slave owners, he replied: “I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.”
Thomas Michael Kettle (9 February 1880 – 9 September 1916) was an Irish economist, journalist, barrister, writer, war poet, soldier and Home Rule politician. As a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, he was Member of Parliament (MP) for East Tyrone from 1906 to 1910 at Westminster. He joined the Irish Volunteers in 1913, then on the outbreak of World War I in 1914 enlisted for service in the British Army, with which he was killed in action on the Western Front in the Autumn of 1916. He was a much admired old comrade of James Joyce, who considered him to be his best friend in Ireland, as well as the likes of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, Oliver St. John Gogarty and Robert Wilson Lynd.
He was one of the leading figures of the generation who at the turn of the twentieth century gave new intellectual life to Irish party politics, and to the constitutional movement towards All-Ireland Home Rule. A gifted speaker with an incisive mind and devastating wit, his death was regarded as a great loss to Ireland’s political and intellectual life.
As G. K. Chesterton surmised, “Thomas Michael Kettle was perhaps the greatest example of that greatness of spirit which was so ill rewarded on both sides of the channel […] He was a wit, a scholar, an orator, a man ambitious in all the arts of peace; and he fell fighting the barbarians because he was too good a European to use the barbarians against England, as England a hundred years before has used the barbarians against Ireland”.
Kettle was killed in action with ‘B’ Company of the 9th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in an attack on German lines on 9 September 1916, near the village of Ginchy during the Battle of the Somme. During the advance Kettle was felled when the Dublin Fusiliers were ‘struck with a tempest of fire’, and having risen from the initial blow, he was struck again and killed outright. His body was buried in a battlefield grave by the Welsh Guards, but the grave was subsequently lost trace of. His name is etched on the monumental arched gateway for the missing of the Somme at Thiepval. He was 36-years old.
The poet George William Russell wrote about Kettle, comparing his sacrifice with those who led the 1916 Easter Rising:
You proved by death as true as they, In mightier conflicts played your part, Equal your sacrifice may weigh Dear Kettle of the generous heart.
When I photographed this plaque back in May 2016 I was unaware of Frederick Douglass but for various reasons I encountered his name many times since but mainly because he was in Ireland at the beginning of the 1845 Famine.
In October 2013 Mayor of Waterford John Cummins unveiled the plaque on the facade of Waterford City Hall to commemorate the address by Douglass, a former slave who was one of the leading abolitionists of his day and an influence on the thinking of US president Abraham Lincoln.
Note: The Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, began in 1845 when a mold [mould] known as Phytophthora infestans (or P. infestans) caused a destructive plant disease that spread rapidly throughout Ireland. The infestation ruined up to one-half of the potato crop that year, and about three-quarters of the crop over the next seven years.
Douglass’s friends and mentors feared that publicity at home would draw the attention of his ex-owner, Hugh Auld, who might try to get his “property” back. They encouraged Douglass to tour Ireland, as many former enslaved people had done. Douglass set sail on the Cambria for Liverpool, England, on August 16, 1845. He traveled in Ireland as the Great Famine was beginning.
Frederick Douglass (born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, c. February 1817 or 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, becoming famous for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. Accordingly, he was described by abolitionists in his time as a living counterexample to enslavers’ arguments that enslaved people lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been enslaved. It was in response to this disbelief that Douglass wrote his first autobiography.
Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born enslaved on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Talbot County, Maryland. The plantation was between Hillsboro and Cordova; his birthplace was likely his grandmother’s cabin east of Tappers Corner, and west of Tuckahoe Creek. In his first autobiography, Douglass stated: “I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic record containing it.” In successive autobiographies, he gave more precise estimates of when he was born, his final estimate being 1817. However, based on the extant records of Douglass’s former owner, Aaron Anthony, historian Dickson J. Preston determined that Douglass was born in February 1818. Though the exact date of his birth is unknown, he chose to celebrate February 14 as his birthday, remembering that his mother called him her “Little Valentine.”
You may need to be a “Derry Girls” fan in order to understand this. In case you don’t know “wee” is little or small or unimportant.
This is located on Dame Lane off Palace Street the shortest street in Dublin, if not all of Ireland.
Nicola Coughlan as Clare Devlin, one of Erin’s best friends. Clare often acts as the voice of reason in the gang, as she is far more intimidated by authority figures than her friends. At the end of series one, Clare comes out to her friends and the school as a lesbian.
Derry Girls is a sitcom created and written by Northern Irish writer Lisa McGee and produced by British production company Hat Trick Productions. It is set in Derry, Northern Ireland, during The Troubles in the 1990s.The first series was broadcast in January and February 2018 on Channel 4. The second series was shown in March and April 2019. A third series was commissioned for 2020, but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
GEORGE WILLIAM RUSSELL Æ [MERRION SQUARE PUBLIC PARK]
This bust to commemorate the poet and artist George William Russell (1867-1935) was unveiled on the day of the 50th anniversary of Æ’s death.
George William Russell, who wrote under the pseudonym Æ, was an Irish nationalist, writer, editor, critic, poet, and painter, and a lead- ing light in the Co-operative Movement He was also a mystical writer and a personage of a group of devotees of theosophy in Dublin for many years. In around 1980, the maquette of this portrait bust emerged in the ownership of Donal Ó Murchadha who had rescued it in the 1940s from Jerome Connor’s Dublin studio following the death of the impoverished artist. It was brought to the attention of the Æ Commemoration Committee. The Co-operative Movement gathered the necessary resources to place this bronze bust in Merrion Square.
Born in Co. Kerry, Jerome Connor emigrated, with his family, to Massachusetts in 1888. He trained as a stone carver and moved to New York, where he became an accomplished sculptor. Throughout his life he worked on numerous public monument commissions in the United States and Ireland. In 1914 he was commissioned to produce a statue of the Irish nationalist Robert Emmet for the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He returned to Ireland in 1925 and regularly exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and the Royal Academy, London.