6th January, 2000
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
SAVE HAVISHAM HOUSE
I wish to draw attention to developers Howard
Holdings' plans to demolish the historic mid-eighteenth century
Havisham House Hotel in Rochestown to make way for a luxury
apartment and housing development ( Examiner 11 Dec. 1999 ).
Havisham House, built 1740, is one of urban Cork's older
buildings and perhaps the last living link with Charles Dickens's
1858 stay here. There is a strong local tradition that the great
novelist stayed in this building as the guest of the then owner,
Stanish O'Grady, an Irish writer and translator of Irish into
English. Alto Villa (High House) as the building was then known
was a few minutes walk from Monfieldstown House, a magnificent
28-room mansion that seems to have provided Dickens with the
genesis of his abandoned wedding- feast idea in the novel
"Great Expectations", published three years after his
sojourn here. The hotel has long been associated with Dickens
visit; it seems sadly ironic that the same developers who used
mention of Dickens and other artistic associations in the area in
a glossy brochure promoting a separate development of
half-million pound houses nearby, should now be planning to erase
the most tangible remaining link with that time. Havisham
commands a fine view of the Douglas River and Lough Mahon. One of
the small windows contains the original glass pane from 1740,
which has a bumpy texture, making vision through it blurry. It is
a short distance from the former Cork-Passage West railway line,
now a walking trail, and has great tourist and heritage
potential. It could be developed as corporate, administrative, or
tourist premises or sold as a house, but simply to demolish it is
an appalling option. Now as never before, we need secure points
of reference that provide a continuum with the past. Preservation
also makes sound social and economic sense, for such sites are a
permanent resource. Havisham House must be saved.
BROHAN TOO CLEAN?
So far with all the hype re-Cork's Hurling Team
of the century, the silence has been deafening regarding the
Rockies stylish right full back, Jimmy Brohan. Remember the Cork
full back line of the late '50's, Brohan, Lyons, and Shaugh (Tony
During the years of 'Hell's Kitchen' (The Square) it was said Brohan was too clean. All the more credit to Jimmy with his loose style of play. Keeping his man quite without resorting to foul play. Brohan is in my Cork Team of the Century.
Story told about Tipp's teak tough full back line of, Dolye, Maher, and Carey, lining out against Clare. As the forwards take up positions Maher says " Jayus they're very small." " No problem" says Doyle
"Just lower the blades"
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