National Geographic : 1951 May
678 Bridget Sullivan, Home from Her London Job, Sets Out to See Killorglin's Puck Fair As this 18-year-old colleen headed for the merrymaking, she was slowed by two younger sisters. Every thing piqued the children's curiosity. Here they stand fascinated by donkey and colt, an everyday sight in Killorglin (pages 670, 671). Bridget tugs impatiently, but her charges refuse to budge (page 659). and social capital. Today, with more than 500,000 people, Dublin, the city, is overflow ing into Dublin, the County. One Government plan proposes a string of satellite towns built around the city at strategic points to relieve the concentration of people and factories. But in the heart of Dublin is quiet grandeur. Along College Green, past dignified Trinity College's cobbled courtyard, I discovered tree-shaded College Park, scarcely out of sight of O'Connell Street and its swarm of bicycles, taxis, buses, cars, and sprinting Irishmen (page 657). In Trinity Library was the rare Book of Kells (Ceanannus Mor). At the National Museum I saw the sprawl ing antlers of the extinct Irish giant deer, or Irish elk, retrieved from a bog; and in a case in Trinity College Museum, mounted and unbelievable, stood the great auk, bird of times past. To Abbey Theater and Bird Market That night from the crowded pit of famed Abbey Theater I heard a gong mark the acts of a comedy of the West, Katie Roche, and the Irish laughed at themselves. A penny paid my way one Sunday morn ing into the bird market in a lane near St. Patrick's Cathedral, where I mingled with ,men,' boys, and little girls in their fathers' arms. Here bird fanciers, for 18 or 20 shil lings, bought a linnet or a lark and carried it home in a paper bag. "There's the best of the lot! Won't do any harm to look at that one!" the seller cried, pointing to a green finch in one of the many cages on the brick wall. A Last O'Sullivan My trip was ending. I sat in the shadow of the Cathedral, still talking and listening. An old man on a near bench reminisced. "When I was a boy, a strange thing used to happen. Water under St. Patrick's would burst through the floor. People came from all over Dublin bringing jugs and bottles, buckets and pans, to get it." "Would they drink it?" "They would-and add to it and keep the strain. 'Twas good luck!" My last chat was with an O'Sullivan of the Irish Folklore Commission. He gave me a kind of benediction. When he asked where my people came from in Ireland, I told him I didn't know. "No matter," he said. " 'Twill be written in God's Book." And so it will.