Last week we posted an image from Croppies Acre memorial park, which commemorates those who fought in the United Irish rebellion of 1798. The image, showing a pile of used needles, was a pretty good insight into the life of the park today, which has been locked to the public for well over a year owing to anti-social behaviour and drug use. In recent days Luke Fallon climbed the wall and took a series of photographs for us to post on the site here. He was actually knocking around town experimenting with a film camera for something entirely different, but decided to hop into the wall and see if it was as bad as the image posted here made it seem. In his own words, it’s worse. The memorial itself is beautiful however and this post will hopefully give many readers their first glance inside the railings.
As is often the case with monuments to the republicans of the 1790s, the French language appears alongside Irish and English.
This interesting little Wolfe Tone memorial below grabbed my attention, as it’s dated to 1898. In the past we looked at Wolfe Tone on the site, and in that post noted that in 1898 a crowd of 100,000 marched to Stephens Green for the laying of a foundation stone for a Wolfe Tone monument. Is this it?
On 15 August 1898, ‘Wolfe Tone Day’, 100,000 people came onto the streets to see the laying of the foundation stone for a monument dedicated to Wolfe Tone. The foundation stone began its journey in Belfast, in many ways the ideological birthplace of Irish republicanism as it was there that the United Irishmen were formed.
It’s obvious that the park is actually dangerous in its present state, with needles abandoned in both the walkways and the grass. Along with the presence of human bodily waste, the risks to children, pets and others in the park is huge.
With so much talk of history at the moment and the centenaries aplenty, it’s an ideal time for the OPW to take control of this park again and open it to the public.