Thursday, September 27, 2012

‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages in Raheny

‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages in Raheny. They are called ‘Doh-Ray-Mee’ cottages because there are eight cottages all together, just as there are eight notes on the musical scale. Their official name is ‘crescent cottages’ because they are built in a semi-circle called a crescent. The crescent cottages are among the oldest buildings in Raheny. They were built around 1790 by Samuel Dick, the Governor of the Bank of Ireland and a wealthy businessman. He lived on a large area of land in Raheny and built these eight houses for his workmen. Samuel Dick also built a school on Main Street beside the old graveyard of St Assam’s. It became known as ‘Dick’s Charity School’ because it was intended for ‘poor children of all persuasions’. This building, the oldest in Raheny, still stands today but is now a restaurant. When Samuel Dick died in 1802, his will stated that the rents the tenants paid for the crescent cottages should be used for the salary of the schoolmaster of his Charity School. Over time the cottages fell into disrepair and by 1879 were in such a poor state that Lord Ardilaun, the owner of St Anne’s estate, paid £375 to improve them all. In 1947 a terrible tragedy happened in one of the cottages: a gas explosion killed Kathleen McKee, aged 11, and Hector McKee, aged 10. Luckily, the other six members of their family survived. The cottage closest to the Station House pub was once the village post office. The cottages have remained almost unchanged since they were built in the eighteenth century and people still live in them today.

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