Johnny "whack fol de diddle" Roche

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Where: Munster, Cork, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Johnny Roche had a tower with a tree on top,
he loved to dance and never stop,
He lived in Cork near the corner shop,
But why has he got a tree on top!

It has come to the weekend and it's cold outside. At the top of the link to this image on the NLI is a reference to a composition by Peader Kearney entitled "Johnny whack fol the diddle" and so that dreadful verse above. Hopefully the Beachcomber will be able to improve on it with a suitable Limerick?

Photographer: Irish Tourist Association

Photographer


Collection: Irish Tourist Association Photographic Collection

Date: 1942 - 1944

NLI Ref: NPA ITA 309 (Box II)

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: 3485
nationallibraryofireland ireland bwfilmnegatives glassnegatives anunpublisheddatabaseisavailableatnpareadingroomcounter johnnyrochestower boherbue countycork munster castlecurious irishtouristassociation irishtourist

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  • profile

    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 09/Dec/2022 09:00:53

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/] I cannot improve on Johnny Roche's own epitaph ... “Here lies the body of poor John Roche, He had his faults but don't reproach; For when alive his hearth was mellow, An artist, genius and comic fellow.” See - www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/irish-inventor-america...

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 09/Dec/2022 09:53:42

    A couple of mentions in dúchas.ie "Once there lived a man by the name of Johnny Roche in Kilnanare. He was a handy man. One time he tried to build a house. He bought a cord for to measure the walls of it. When he had a good part of the wall built he noticed it was getting crooked. A man named John Sullivan was walking along the road and he said "Your wall is a bit crooked Johnny" Johnny was very angry and he said " I wouldn't doubt Mick Flurry (of Firies) because he never sold a bit of straight cord." " From - www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4742069/4732488 Another - www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4921814/4894964/5187089 dúchas.ie and this Irish Tourism Association collection seem again to be connected ...

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 09/Dec/2022 09:56:47

    Is this it ?? Streetview July 2019 - goo.gl/maps/1S3gniPUKp2EYWmC7

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 09/Dec/2022 10:16:31

    Yes, marked as 'Castle Curious' on the 25" old map. 52.213419, -8.490018 (via google maps)

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    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Dec/2022 10:23:08

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Your candidate is marked on the 25" as Castle Curious Youtube drone footage with commentary.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Dec/2022 10:27:36

    Yes, confirmation at the NIAH:, built in 1845: Castle Curious was personally designed and constructed by local eccentric Johnny Roche, who used the building as a workshop, smithy and home. The structure is built in the castle style and retains the remains of a complex interior plan. The carved date-stone to the east elevation was removed from a bridge built by Roche and inserted into the wall of Castle Curious after his death. The structure is a local landmark in the area and the site retains the ruins of a mill, in the same ownership and built on the banks of the River Awbeg.

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 09/Dec/2022 10:39:04

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley I like that droneview. It's good to see the trees still growing on top.

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Dec/2022 10:42:56

    Curiouser and curiouser

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Dec/2022 10:58:35

    His obituary in Cork Constitution - Tuesday 12 February 1884.

    DEATH OF A WELL KNOWN CHARACTER. — On Sunday at Wallstown, near Shanballymore, very remarkable man, John Roche, died in his 80th year. He was the son of a farmer in the locality, and got but a plain education. When living with his father he soon developed into a "Jack-of-all-trades,” and did all mason, carpenter, and smith work, necessary for the farm. He then turned his attention to making and repairing musical instruments, varied with an occasional job of dentistry, Subsequently be erected a small corn mill and stone saw, but bis masterpiece was "Castle Curious,’’ a castellated residence which be, unassisted, erected for himself. Years before the tricycle became favourite, John, or as he was usually called "Johnny Roche,” made one on which he rode to every gathering in the country. He was most convivial in his habits—he could play, dance, and sing, and was withal very gentle and refined in his nature; it was no wonder then that he was welcome to all—rich and poor, and that no festive gathering in the neighbourhood could be considered complete if Johnny were absent. His eccentricities and racy sayings will remain behind him in this district while his castle by St. Bernard's Well will continue to be a most picturesque object in the charming valley of the Awbeg, the scene of his life-long labours. "
    "occasional job of dentistry" - Why not? After all he could do everything else.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Dec/2022 11:15:25

    Occupation Miller on the record of his death.

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    John Spooner

    • 09/Dec/2022 11:16:18

    Some more on his skills, from the Cork Constitution - Tuesday 09 November 1858

    He is what is called Ireland universal genius. He makes bis own shoes, his own clothes. He on excellent dentist, and some of the most aristocratic ladles the country, it is said, masticate with the teeth manufactured by Johnny Roche. I saw a beautifully-executed set of three teeth of his manufacture In the mouth of a country woman, which would do credit to the first dentist in London. He Is excellent musician, and makes all his own instruments. He plays on the bagpipes, the fiddle, the flute, the key-bugle, and I know not how many more instruments.
    and
    He is at present employed in finding out perpetual motion, but he will not allow any person to Inspect the Instrument by which be means to effect it.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Dec/2022 11:16:30

    Found Unconscious by the roadside cause unknown 12 hours no medical attendant.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 09/Dec/2022 11:18:02

    Mae Roche (her mark) sister in law present at death

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Dec/2022 14:01:22

    Google Earth Link earth.app.goo.gl/Dxvyxs #googleearth youtu.be/CQlEja2bYNY theirishaesthete.com/tag/castle-curious/

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    an poc

    • 09/Dec/2022 17:05:31

    Should Irish Tourism Association be Irish TOURIST Association? I can find numerous primary sources for the latter in the NLI catalogue, but the only results for the former are the photos in this collection. A search of the Irish Newspaper Archives for "Irish Tourism Association" between 1940 and 1944 produces zero results, but "Irish Tourist Association" produces 1,858 results.

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Dec/2022 17:48:47

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Could be wrong, but I think it predated the Irish Tourist Association, and was funded by the tourism industry not the state

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Dec/2022 22:36:26

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It is a good point and I will have it checked and get back to you. Mary

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Dec/2022 23:11:33

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000577057 This photo published in Irish Travel, October 1945, “official organ of the Irish Tourist Association arrow.tudublin.ie/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&co...

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    suckindeesel

    • 09/Dec/2022 23:54:53

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ From the Oct ‘42 issue SECTION II.-IRISH CURIOSITIES. First Prize….£5 (one award) Second………£3 (five awards) Third…………..£1 (twenty awards) " Curiosities" include old landmarks, wishing stones, curious objects and structures, freaks of nature (e g, grotesque rock-carvings), any scene or item queer. quaint or mirth-provoking, also quaint old customs, tra- ditional cures &c. Brief descriptive story or legend must accompany each photo. Our series of photos appears to be from reader’s own photo contributions to this section, with prize money! This may go some way to explain the rather curious and random nature of the pictures. There were also sections for ‘General’ and ‘Eyesores’

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    ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq

    • 10/Dec/2022 00:49:20

    There is another glimpse of the Curious Castle with two women drinking from the nearby well, marked on the 25" map as 'St. Bernard's Well' - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000574732 Johnny Roche gets EIGHT mentions in dúchas.ie - www.duchas.ie/en/src?q=Johnny+roche

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/Jan/2023 06:25:37

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] The archive was opened, and the records were searched and researched, and it transpires that you are correct. Our colleagues report “We are sorry for having caused him unnecessary research. He’s quite right – the record should have read Irish Tourist Association. Along the way, transferring to Special Collections cataloguing, the word was changed from Tourist (as in our own original records) to Tourism” We are now of course presuming that https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] is male which may be another error?

  • profile

    an poc

    • 11/Jan/2023 14:13:47

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Thank you for following up on this - no apologies necessary! Your presumption is (I'm quite sure) correct. Many thanks again.