This year marks the centenary of the birth of Séamus Ennis, the renowned musician, singer, folklorist and broadcaster who left behind, to quote from one obituary, “a priceless heritage of Irish tradition to the nation”. Inspired by on-going centenary events taking place across Dublin and at the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre, this blog briefly examines Ennis’s final years and death. (The bronze statue of Séamus Ennis which was unveiled in Naul on 24th October 2001. Courtesy of the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre)In 1975 Ennis settled in The Naul to live out his remaining years on land which had once belonged to his grandparents. A countryman at heart, he felt a strong attachment for the area and christened the plot where he lived in a caravan ‘Easter Snow’ (after the slow air of that name which he was fond of playing). He played an important role in helping to revive interest in uilleann piping during the twentieth century. While he continued to perform across Ireland and sometimes further afield, Ennis’s health gradually deteriorated during the period and he underwent an operation for cancer of the throat. An able cook who could deal expertly with game, as his health continued failing it was noticed that he began to lose interest in food.On the afternoon of Tuesday, 5th October 1982, Ennis passed away at home during his sleep. He was 63 years old. No inquest was held into the death, with the post-mortem examination taking place the following day. On Thursday evening Ennis’s remains were then brought from St. Vincent’s Hospital, Elm Park, to the Church of the Nativity in Naul, with friends and neighbours standing in the rain for almost an hour to greet the cortege, which had been delayed in heavy traffic.The following morning Ennis was buried in the adjoining Naul Cemetery. Leading traditional musicians had crowded inside the tiny Naul church alongside neighbours for the funeral Mass performed by local curate Father Malachy J. Mahon, who also officiated at the graveside ceremony. After the recital of a decade of the Rosary in Irish, broadcaster Séan Mac Réamoinn delivered a bilingual funeral oration in which he spoke of Ennis’s sincerity, prowess as a piper, and fidelity to north County Dublin and Ireland. This was followed by a lament – “Cois Abhainn na Séad” – played by Liam O’Flynn (Liam Óg Ó Floinn) on a set of uilleann pipes given to him by his deceased friend and mentor. (An uilleann piper at a Dublin Street Carnival in College Green, 1984. Available at;http://digital.libraries.dublincity.ie/vital/access/manager/Repository/vital:42327)Since his death efforts have been made to keep Ennis’s memory alive. These include the renaming of a section of Jamestown Road (Finglas) in his honour in 1994, and unveiling of a bronze statue of Ennis with uilleann pipes in hand beside the newly opened Séamus Ennis Cultural Centre (now the Séamus Ennis Arts Centre) in Naul seven years later. On Friday 3rd May, a new Dublin City Council ‘Séamus Ennis Commemorative Plaque’ will be unveiled in Finglas at the site of Burgess Galvin & Co. Ltd., Jamestown Road.Dr. James Curry, Historian in Residence, North West Area.Dublin City Council Historians in Residence are available to meet groups and schools, give talks, walks etc, run history book clubs and advise on historical research.
Dublin supported James II at the Battle of the Boyne, but following his defeat by William III, a protestant ascendancy resumed control of the city and began to forge links with the new and successful monarchy. This process intensified after the death of Mary II in 1695 left William III as sole monarch. Dublin Corporation added William’s arms to the City Sword; in 1697 and in the following year, the king presented a chain of office to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, carrying the monarch’s bust on a medallion, which is in use to this day.
JSTOR is a comprehensive online resource that spans a variety of topics. Access to The Ireland Collection – JSTOR can be accessed at Dublin City Public Libraries free of charge. The Ireland Collection is an interdisciplinary collection of journals and other materials. The Collection contains titles and resources across the arts, humanities, and sciences in disciplines such as music, art, history, literature, archaeology, mathematics, and biology. Materials span from the 1780s to the present.Find out more about this and other research materials available at Dublin City Public Libraries. Whether you want to satisfy your curiosities, increase your content knowledge or for personal research the information is at your fingertips. For example you can find a copy of every Dublin Historical Record article ever written since 1834. Students can access further information to assist their studies. Researchers who may not have access to journal databases will find a wealth of information available."JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is an online system for archiving academic journals, founded in 1995. It provides its member institutions full-text searches of digitised back issues of several hundred well-known journals, dating back to 1665. Membership in JSTOR is held by 7,000 institutions in 159 countries. JSTOR was originally funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, but is now an independent, self-sustaining not-for-profit organization with offices in New York City and Ann Arbor, Michigan. In January 2009, it was announced that JSTOR would merge with Ithaka, a non-profit organization founded in 2003 and "dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies." (Wikipedia)JSTOR is an example of information storage and access that is required to protect the masses of information available. It was a solution for libraries to deal with the growing level of print journals that were in circulation. In the 2003 copy of JSTOR News (Issue 2 No. 7) Michael P. Spinella of JSTOR writes “Though there is not yet a complete tally at the time of this writing, it is believed that many thousands of artefacts, works of art, ancient manuscripts, and historic letters housed by the Iraqi National Museum and National Library have been destroyed or stolen. These works encompass some 2000 years of history and culture. We should take a moment to contemplate the enormity of these losses. Beyond this, we must act to guard against such tragedies in the future. The situation underscores the urgency of preserving history in as many places and forms as possible. Digitization cannot replicate the experience of an original work; nevertheless, digital copies are preferable to the calamity of total loss. In my first few months at JSTOR, I have encountered many people who share an awareness of the need to protect intellectual and cultural histories. JSTOR staff members demonstrate this commitment through their work to ensure the continued accessibility of the literature entrusted to us.”