A West Cork botanist, a Dublin psychiatric hospital, mythical creatures of Cashel & the Irish founder of the SAS

November 7, 2022

RTE Brainstorm featured West Cork botanist Ellen Hutchins recently - an interesting article but a slight exaggeration to say that 'Hutchins' name had been almost lost to history' given that she is very well-known in Cork and there's a Festival named after her in Bantry every year ! The beautiful image is above is taken from the collection of Hutchins' drawings held at UCC, which has named its Environmental Research Insitute building after her.

And another West Cork story - we only recently discovered the stained glass windows in the Church of the Holy Rosary at Kilcoe. You can read more about them on this excellent blog They were commissioned in 1943 from the Harry Clarke Studios by the Very Rev Florence McCarthy, parish priest at Aughadown from 1926 to 1963. They were designed by Terence Clarke, son of Walter Clarke and nephew of Harry.

This is a really interesting podcast from a series exploring the histories of the Grangegorman area of north, inner-city Dublin. This particular one looks at the history of the 'Richmond Lunatic Asylum', now restored at the TU Dublin Lower House.

We're a bit late for Halloween, but the Heritage Ireland blog had a piece on the grotesque carved animals in Cormac’s Chapel at the Rock of Cashel. They are medieval and generally depict mythical beasts or hybrid creatures with animal and sometimes human features. Read more here.

Lots of really interesting talks can be found on the PRONI (Public Record Office of Northern Ireland) YouTube channel, including Festival contributor Ronan McGreevy talking about his book on the assassination of Sir Henry Wilson in 1922. Also this might be a good opportunity to mention that the Festival has its own YouTube channel which can be found here.

Finally the BBC has started screening a new historical drama SAS Rogue Heroes about the founding of the SAS during the Second World War (which is very loosely based on fact). The creator Steven Knight was responsible for Peaky Blinders, starring Cork's very own Cillian Murphy. The Wartime NI blog has a feature on one of the founders Robert Blair 'Paddy' Mayne from County Down, who is pictured below.