Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How it goes - stages of decay

The Barracks, Cootehall

Time takes away. My own Roscommon home flattened, I don’t really want to go down the road I lived on; too many memories were flattened with it.

But sometimes time removes slowly and poignantly: the Barracks at Cootehall,Co Roscommon, immortalised  by John McGahern in “The Barracks” looks in good order today but the last garda gone, it now stands empty. What next?

Hanna Greally's Cottage
Hanna Greally as author of “Bird’s Nest Soup” recounted her almost 20 years incarceration in St Loman’s psychiatric hospital in Mullingar, “Mentally well, but unclaimed”. She eventually came to live in a cottage, "Sunny Acre", not far from Roscommon town. She died in 1987; her cottage is on its way back to oblivion.   
Ruins of Church, Kilgefin Graveyard

Bithia M Croker was the colossally successful author of books such as “The Road to Mandalay”, “Babes in the Wood”, “In Old Madras”. Born in Kilgefin, Co Roscommon, where her father was rector, she and her books are now almost forgotten in spite of huge popularity in the 40’s. The remains of her father’s ministry have all but disappeared and with them all marks that she ever had connections with this part of the world.

There are no indications that Croker or Greally ever existed at these sites, and that is a pity. 

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