Just a question? Why?

How many people know why Donegall Pass has such a curious name? For whom was St. Anne’s Church named? It was not for Queen Anne. There were five Annes and five Arthurs in the Marquis of Donegall’s family and that explains why these names were so frequently used in Belfast. How many know why there is a King John’s Road in Holywood, and a King William’s Road on the Holywood Hill? Why is there a “Joy” Street in that particularly joyless neighbourhood, or a Fountain Street where no water is now seen?

Why should a road high and dry above the city be called The Falls? We shall find why these things are so in Belfast, and then see what is interesting in the places near us.

The first idea which suggested itself was to take the City Hall as a starting point, and in imagination take a walk along each road leading from it out to the suburbs. This is impossible, for in old times the place where the City Hall stands was surrounded with extensive fields and meadows for grazing, where we now have streets and houses.

We cannot go to the Lisburn Road or the Shore Road when there was no road there, so we must give up that plan and take the places as we can make the best out of them.

Belfast has no very ancient history as we know it in Ireland. Derry, Armagh, Newry, Carrickfergus and Bangor are richer in memories of the olden times, and these neighbouring places are filled with tales of thrilling interest.

Some one has truly said “Happy are the people who have no history,” and we know the best times are the years when nothing particular happens. So our fair city has been spared the bloodshed, the cruelties, and the destructions that were so painfully familiar to some more ancient cities.

It is mentioned in the “Four Masters”—a wonderful old book,—that there was a king’s residence about ten miles from Belfast and a great fort called Rathmore about the year 680. A little while before that time, Bel-Feirste was the scene of a battle which took place on the banks of the Lagan. St. Patrick was very near us when he was in County Down, but we are not told if he ever really came to Belfast.

The next mention of the town comes with the famous John De Courci, who arrived with a small army in the year 1177. He built a great many castles and churches, and lived in regal state in Downpatrick. He is said to have built the first castle in Belfast and a church where the old graveyard of Shankill is now. It was called the “White Church,” and the “Chapel of the Ford ” where St. George’s Church now stands was a minor building.

De Courci was made the first Earl of Ulster, and he built twenty strong fortalices round Strangford Lough, and great castles and churches at Ardglass and Greencastle, Dundrum, Antrim, and Grey Abbey all owe something to his masterful guiding hand. King John next came in 1210. He arrived at Jordan’s Castle in Ardglass on the 12th of July. He visited Dundrum, Downpatrick, and Carrickfergus and crossed the Lough to Holywood on the 29th of July, where the road he passed along is still known by his name. The O’Neills were for one thousand years great warriors in Ulster, and the story of that powerful family would fill volumes. One branch of the clan was intimately connected with Belfast, Clannaboy Clan-Aod-Buide—children of yellow Hugh O’Neill.

The principal stronghold was the Grey Castle, at Castlereagh, which was in existence long before the name of Belfast was on any document, and was once called “The Eagle’s Nest” from its situation and the powerful influence of Conn O’Neill. The coronation stone chair of the O’Neills is now in the Museum in College Square. It was found among the ruins of the Old Castle, and was brought to Belfast in the year 1755, but the chair of state had many adventures. It was built into the wall of the Butter Market. No doubt many a farmer’s wife found it a resting place. Afterwards for some unknown reason it was taken to Sligo. Then it was brought back, and has found a home in the Belfast Museum. King Conn O’Neill has left his name at Connswater and Connsbridge. Many a story is told of him, and his end was very sad. He was imprisoned in Carrickfergus, but he managed to escape to Scotland. In order to save his life he was obliged to transfer his property to Sir James Hamilton and Sir Moses Hill, for he was the owner of 244 townlands. In the year 1606, he gave seven townlands to Sir Hugh Montgomery and seven to Sir Fulke Conway. His vast estates were taken from him, and he died in great poverty in a small house at Ballymenoch near Holywood. All the land as far as the eye could see had once belonged to him, and, at the end of life, he could claim only a grave in the old Church that once stood at Ballymachan.

http://www.libraryireland.com/Belfast-History/Early-History-Belfast.php

http://ancientclanoneill.com/

With many thanks to: Ulster Clans of Ireland.

29th July 1915 – The remains of the late Fenian leader Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa are lying in state for three days at City Hall in Dublin.

The remains had been brought by the American liner St Paul from New York to Liverpool, and then transferred to the steamer Carlow, which conveyed them to Dublin.

image
O'Donovan Rossa and Mary Jane

https://m.facebook.com/100010604520513/albums/100510776979073/#!/groups/250140148442168?view=permalink&id=797359887053522

image
O'Donovan Rossa lying in state in City Hall, Dublin.
image
Mary Jane O'Donovan Rossa.

With many thanks to: Gillean Robertson Miller – 1916 Easter Rising Historical Society.
http:// https://m.facebook.com/dakota29?soft=notifications#!/groups/250140148442168?notif_t=group_activity&ref=m_notif

1916 Easter Rising Historical Society

The remains had been brought by the American liner St Paul from New York to Liverpool, and then transferred to the steamer Carlow, which conveyed them to Dublin.

image
O'Donovan Rossa and Mary Jane

https://m.facebook.com/100010604520513/albums/100510776979073/#!/groups/250140148442168?view=permalink&id=797359887053522

image
O'Donovan Rossa lying in state in City Hall, Dublin.
image
Mary Jane O'Donovan Rossa.

With many thanks to: Gillean Robertson Miller – 1916 Easter Rising Historical Society.
http:// https://m.facebook.com/dakota29?soft=notifications#!/groups/250140148442168?notif_t=group_activity&ref=m_notif

Sinn Fein set to support Belfast Diamond Jubilee events

 

The Queen meeting children waving flags

Belfast is due to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee from 2 – 5 June
 
Sinn Fein members on Belfast City Council are set to support plans to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in the city.

The celebrations are due to take place from 2 June to 5 June.

The planned events have been discussed by a special council working group.

Meeting minutes show that two Sinn Fein members of the group said that “they would be supporting” the plans when they come before the council’s strategic policy committee.

Events planned for the Diamond Jubilee include the planting of commemorative trees, a tea dance to be held in the Ulster Hall and a ‘big Sunday lunch‘ event at City Hall on Sunday 3 June.

A beacon will also be lit on Monday 4 June on top of Cave Hill.

There will also be a council-run grant scheme to help community organisations in the city organise their own jubilee events.

The projected cost of the celebrations is £56,000.

TricolourThe events were discussed by the Joint Group of the Party Leaders Forum and the Historic Centenaries Working Group.

That is a group of councillors from all parties who were selected to look at how the council should approach the forthcoming decade of centenaries and commemorations.

Belfast City Hall The working group also heard a suggestion that the Irish tricolour be flown at Belfast City Hall

Sinn Fein councillors Jim McVeigh and Conor Maskey are members of the working group.

At a meeting on 27 January they abstained from the group’s decision to agree the Diamond Jubilee events.

However, at a subsequent meeting last Friday the Sinn Fein members supported the plans.

The minutes read: “The Sinn Fein members indicated that they had now had the opportunity to discuss within their group the Diamond Jubilee report which had been presented at the last meeting and they would be supporting the report at the next meeting of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee.”

In a statement, a party spokesperson said that they were not in a position to discuss these matters as talks are at a sensitive stage and there are a number of important issues to be resolved.

Meanwhile, the working group has also examined issues around the flying of the Union flag on council buildings.

The 27 January meeting received a presentation from Ms Denise Wheatley, an expert in equality policy.

She had researched equality issues around council policy on the flying of the Union flag.

She found that it was “acceptable and appropriate” for the council to fly the flag at City Hall, but suggested that there should be no Union flag flown at the Ulster Hall and the council’s Duncrue complex.

With regard to City Hall, she put forward four options in descending order.

The fourth of these suggests that “both the Union flag and the Tricolour” be flown at City Hall.

Ms Wheatley stressed that these suggestions were her own professional opinion.

Any change to the current arrangements for flying the Union flag would have to be approved by council and issued for public consultation.

NOW ON THE SAME STORY HEADLINED IRIS MEETS QUEEN..AGAIN

Iris Robinson will get her second chance to meet the Queen in a year – thanks to $hame £ein !

Belfast City Council
Image via Wikipedia

Sinn Fein aim to snub the Queen when she comes here on a Silver Jubilee visit early that month. The current Belfast Lord Majyor is Niall O’ Donnghaile of Sinn Fein. We can reveal that he was due to step down from his post of First Citizen at the Council’s next annual meeting due to be held on Wednsday, June 6th. but the Queen is due on a Silver Jubilee Royal vist to Belfast on either the Monday or Tuesday of the same week, altough, as usual, plans are still hush-hush. And sources say the Shinners at City Hall didn’t want their man in the top post to have to officially meet and greet the Queen at City Hall. So they’ve worked out a still secret compromise with the other parties.

SPATS

Revealed one City Hall insider yesterday : ” There have been behind closded-doors negotiations. ” The plan is for the annual meeting to be moved forward to the Friday, June 1st.

” That would mean Niall O’ Donnghaile will have finished his term as Lord Mayor when the Queen visits on either June 4th or 5th. ” And very conveniently for Mrs Robinson and the party she once represented, the next Lord Mayor of the city will be from the DUP !

” Unusually for the City Council after recent bitter spats,” the source added, ” this seems to be have been a very diplomatic  sidestep engineered by Sinn Fein -and accommodated by the DUP.”

 
 
 
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