In north Dublin there's a small city square called Mountjoy. I've never been there, but this weekend I think I'll toast to one of its early residents.
Today, when I circled the block, admiring the surrounding Georgian architecture through the lens of Google Earth, I didn't see anything particularly noteworthy. In the square's center was a well-manicured park and a playground. Several empty tour buses were parked along the curbs, but no tourists were in sight. The area seemed quiet with only a few Dubliners walking by.
The elegant square was built in the early nineteenth century and became home to many well known Irish writers, including James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, and Sean O'Casey. In 1916, it played an important role in politics when leaders of the Easter Rising met in one its homes. The Rising was an effort to break from British rule and establish an Irish republic. However, the men who met there were later executed for treason.
One of the square's early residents was a man named Arthur, who was in his seventies when he moved there during its construction. He died a few years later in 1803. Arthur spent most of his life building a business he started when he was in his early thirties. It later grew well beyond the borders of Ireland and currently distributes its product all over the world.
Arthur never did much advertising, but his product now seems to be everywhere. It will surely be visible (briefly) when Nancy and I go out for drinks this weekend. I may even propose a toast to Arthur Guinness, founder of Guinness & Company, who spent his last years at Dublin's Mountjoy Square.
Article originally published at NewFoundEurope.com.
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