5 Jun 2008

I suppose the younger element of the Dispatch's demographic (if there is a demographic (or a younger element)) won't know who Uinseann McEoin was. For the rest of us, this is from this morning's Times.

'THE MEMORIAL service for architect Uinseann McEoin, held in historic Tailor’s Hall, nearly did not happen, in a way that would have appealed to the noted conservationist.

About 100 mourners – who were also celebrants of his life – found themselves unable to enter the hall, because another party had requested that a fire officer to do whatever fire officers do when “one or more are gathered together in a confined space”.

In this case the antique building had to be inspected and numbers counted. For a while it seemed the entire attendance were about to be enrolled in An Taisce, which apparently would have allowed Uinseann’s admirers to partake in the consumption of food, drink and merriment which was Uinseann’s wish – under some different by-law.

After due process and some legal discussion, the service proceeded.

Rather like the stray horse which has been known to stop a jockey’s funeral, the irony was not lost on those present, as they heard fulsome tributes to McEoin’s work in saving many of Dublin’s historic and neglected buildings – including Tailor’s Hall, where a local branch of the 18th century United Irishmen was founded. He was a sometimes irascible, but always idealistic, campaigner and celebrants heard tributes from mountaineers, republicans and conservationists – reflecting the many interests of his life. And Tailor’s Hall stayed open ...'

He would have laughed and laughed and laughed...

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