Mick McQuaid's Cabin, Connemara, Co. Galway

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Where: N59, Bunscanniff, Co. Galway, Ireland

When: Unknown

Two poems immediately spring to mind when I look at this image but neither of them refers to Connemara. This beautiful scene may have cheered "Mick McQuaid" on a daily basis or perhaps due to the harshness of life in such a remote and poor area he did not even see it? I hope that he was able to sit with his pipe, smoking "Mick McQuaid" tobacco, contemplating the scene with a sense of peace and appreciation?

And so we have learned from beachcomberaustralia and B-59 that the "Mick McQuaid" in question was fictional. Making this scene, as Niall McAuley suggests, something of a 19th century equivalent to the (nearby) "Quiet Man cottage". Mick McQuaid was a character developed by Captain William Lynam for a popular weekly serial - that was carried by newspapers for some decades from the 1860s. Seemingly, as per the summary which beachcomberaustralia shares in the comments, those who could not read would travel some distance to hear the latest installment. And such was the popularity of the character that, as well as inspiring tobacco branding, when Lynam died in 1894, the paper continued the serial - reaching new generations....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Though possibly after 1895.

NLI Ref: L_ROY_06806

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8084
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland lake isle trees scene cabin scraws stones mickmcquaid connemara souperism serial branding fiction poitín poteen williamfrancislynam captainlynam mickmcquaidtheevangeliser shamrock

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 16/Nov/2016 08:56:57

    It's on "L[ake] Shindillagh" according to this - www.postcardsireland.com/postcard/through-green-hills-eri...

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 16/Nov/2016 08:59:44

    via [https:[email protected]/] on Flickr "Mick McQuaid was a notorious poitín distiller of the last century. This cabin is typical of the poitín makers’ home. The cabin has no windows – this may be because it was originally built when there was a tax levied according to the number of windows in a house." [https:[email protected]/3965162989]

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    B-59

    • 16/Nov/2016 09:04:26

    Aka Mick McQuaid’s Castle, L. Shindillagh "The caption refers to a contemporary cartoon character - Mick McQuaid - whose exploits featured in a popular periodical called the Shamrock, from the 1860s to the early twentieth century." www.omnia.ie/index.php?navigation_function=2&navigati...

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    B-59

    • 16/Nov/2016 09:13:23

    "In the 1880's a popular magazine named 'The Shamrock' featured a serial written by a Colonel Lynam about imaginary conversations between an optimist, Mick McQuaid, and a pessimist, Terry Garrity. During these philosophical conversations, Mick often drew inspiration from a pipeful of Carroll's tobacco. Consequently, in 1889, the company launched one of its most successful tobaccos, Mick McQuaid." pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/pj-carroll-dundalk-ireland... (Seems to be an early case of product placement)

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    B-59

    • 16/Nov/2016 09:18:34

    It's apparently here: goo.gl/maps/gKWjmtRNzRU2

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 16/Nov/2016 09:29:48

    [https:[email protected]] That must be right, 'cos of the view to the right - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000320603 The wicker basket has moved on to the table.

  • profile

    B-59

    • 16/Nov/2016 09:49:21

    S. also talesofthewest.ie/docs/25_02_1911.html: " ... a place named Shindilla, rendered famous by the late Major Lynam as being the spot where the famous Mick McQuaid kept a shop, which is now known as Maam Cross, ..." William Lynam died on August 17, 1894, s. 'Historic graves in Glasnevin cemetery', 1915, p. 27 f archive.org/stream/historicgravesin00oduf#page/26/mode/2up

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 16/Nov/2016 09:55:06

    Some contemporary (1891) background to why the serial was written - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/164859776?searchTerm=M... . Mentioned there is 'souperism' a newbie for me - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souperism

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 16/Nov/2016 10:06:46

    Which all begs the question, why did Mr French / Lawrence take photos of a real place with a dubious connection to a fictional character? Is he pulling our legs?

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    mikescottnz

    • 16/Nov/2016 10:17:49

    A poetic license , like James Joyce?

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    B-59

    • 16/Nov/2016 10:19:46

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] That spot must have been famous. But apparently there is not much left.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 16/Nov/2016 10:38:12

    I assume Mr. Lawrence took the photos because they were of interest to the public, even though McQuaid was fictional, much as people still visit the Quiet Man locations not a million miles from here.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Nov/2016 11:41:16

    Thanks guys! Have updated the map to reflect. On the date range, one imagines that (for the reasons [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] notes) this was probably taken at least a few decades into the range of the character's popularity...(?)

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 16/Nov/2016 12:35:11

    I imagine the date is after 1895 when the railway line opened, including a station at Maam Cross, encouraging visitors - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midland_Great_Western_Railway Another tidbit via Trove -

    A 30-YEARS' SERIAL. There, was once a serial story that lasted somewhere about 30 years, says the 'Daily Chronicle.' It was written by a Captain Lynam for an Irish weekly, and its hero was one Mick McQuaid, a cheery scamp with whom every true son of Erin at once fell in love, so that, the illiterate went miles to hear someone better educated read out McQuaid 's latest adventure. The first instalment appeared in the [18}sixties. Lynam died in 1894, still busy with his hero, and then to satisfy the demand, the paper went back to the beginning of which half that generation had never heard, and began all over again.
    From - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/83048966 (1927)

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 16/Nov/2016 13:55:08

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] is right about the date being taken after 1895. This Robert Welch photograph from the Belfour Album was taken 1893-1895 and it shows the bohán before it was extended and rethatched. Note hipped roof!

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 16/Nov/2016 14:00:09

    Tourist trap, obviously. Gift shop/tobacconist ... Still nice looking place

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    Giuseppe's

    • 16/Nov/2016 16:14:26

    How spectacular a place for a child to grow up with a lake and wooded island. I can picture myself a young man standing with a pack destined to leave but finding it almost impossible to turn away...

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    silverio10

    • 16/Nov/2016 19:43:03

    Buenas fotos antiguas .

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 17/Nov/2016 00:09:35

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] and [https:[email protected]]. Have updated the date and description to reflect. Great stuff as usual!

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 17/Nov/2016 00:33:56

    I don't claim to know anything about it, but noted this in "The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction" (page 387):

    LYNAM, Colonel William [Francis] (1845?-94). Lynam was born in Galway. He gained his military rank in the 5th Royal Lancashire Militia, which he joined in 1867 and in which her served until 1881. He lived in Dundrum, 1863-87, then at Clontarf until his death. For many years, Lynam was proprietor and editor of 'Shamrock', a weekly paper. For this journal, he invented the tremendously successful 'Mick McQuaid' series. This devious scemer's adventures, begun in 1867, were continued by other hands until well after the original author's death. The McQuaid tales were reprinted in volume, and 1d.-part form. Lynam actually became tired os his famous character, and tried to replace him. (The most successful substitution was 'Dan Donovan'). But any cessation caused an immediate loss of circulation of 'Shamrock' and as with Sherlock Holmes, resurrection was forced on an unwilling author.

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 17/Nov/2016 06:23:19

    Has anyone managed to find an online digitized version of Mick McQuaid's adventures ? Perhaps the [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/] has old copies of the Shamrock gathering dust in the attics of Library Towers ? My curiosity is piqued !