Find us on FACEBOOK

Our Constitution

Heritage Trail

St. Mary's Parish, Cappoquin

Tidy Towns Committee

Submission to County Plan

Submission to CCDC's 2015 Plan



Twinning with Chanat La Mouteyre


Cappoquin News

In search of James Joyce
It has been a pleasure in recent weeks to engage with Tim Johnson, a well-known expert on the works of James Joyce the famous Dublin-born writer. Tim contacted the Heritage Group in search of information on Cappoquin around a century ago, when Joyce’s greatest works were written. There are several reasons for this.
For many years now, it has been puzzling why Molly Bloom, a central character in Ulysses, talks of her first lover being a man named Mulvey, an officer ‘from Cappoquin, on the Blackwater’. It is not a hundred per cent clear whether the character was a military or naval officer, but either would have fitted satisfactorily with a fictitious Cappoquin background because the town had both a military barracks and a river dockside in Joyce’s time.

There is an added detail in Joyce’s most famous short story, The Dead, where one of the characters talks of having prayers said in Mount Melleray. This story appears in the collection known as Dubliners. Another Joycean expert has noted that the song The Maid of Aughrim, which is sung in that story, was a favourite song of Joyce’s wife, Nora, but that in her family home the opening verse that they sang referred to the maid coming from – you guessed it – Cappoquin.
In more recent times, Tim Johnson has also become aware of an old atlas which surfaced in a bookshop near Joyce’s Sandycove home. In that atlas, a number of places in Ireland are marked, as if for special attention and possibly by James Joyce himself, and lo and behold, one of the underlined places is again ‘Cappoquin’.
Tim Johnson will be uploading material to Facebook and via Twitter in the coming weeks, to see if any further links to Cappoquin can be discovered, among other things, so anyone interested in following or contributing to the various threads, please feel free to do so. Tim will be supported with any heritage material, photos etc that we can source too.


This Week’s Pictures

Two more photos from the late Matthew Hickey’s collection this week, with thanks again to Steve Williams for sourcing them. In one, you can see Matthew in his RAF uniform, with the Cappoquin native working as an air mechanic during World War 2. The second photo was obviously taken in Cappoquin, but shows the Boathouse with a gable end that many will not recall. The man sitting atop the stairs is the one and only Terry Crotty.

Michael Hickey

The man sitting atop the stairs is the one and only Terry Crotty.

Boat House
There is an interesting story about how those steps contributed to a Shakespearean performance back in the days of Anew McMaster and his travelling players. During a soldout performance of Hamlet, the ghost of old Hamlet (played by McMaster) appeared in the opening scene, on the stage which stood at the bridge end of the hall. Naturally, all the audience seating was faced in that direction too.
Knowing that the next appearance of the ghost would not be until the middle of the play, McMaster arranged it so that he was able to climb out the back window behind the stage and down a ladder which had been supplied by a local helper. He then made his way, in the dark and along the river bank under the Boathouse itself, around to the end where the stairs in this picture was and climbed up nice and quietly. Then, as the audience all watched for the appearance on stage (in front of them) of old Hamlet’s ghost, the ‘ghost’ came up the aisle from behind, calling out his lines and frightening the living daylights out of the audience.
Hopefully Shakespeare would have approved of the Boathouse version of Hamlet. In all likelihood, Matthew Hickey would have enjoyed the crack too, as he ended up living in the Southwark district of London, where the same William Shakespeare once hung out as well.
Once again, thanks to Steve Williams, Matthew’s grandson, for the lovely photographs.




Web page host: