I’ve chosen an interesting part of Cork city for this week’s Thursday Doors, a place that has a connection with probably the greatest guitar player to ever come out of Ireland. The door above belongs to Saints Peter and Paul’s presbytery and school, built in 1879 by Robert Walker. I’m not sure if it still houses a school today but it is the presbytery for Peter and Paul’s parish, the church being nearby. I did notice a plaque about marriage counselling on the door. I took some shots at different angles as I worked my way round to the side of the building, to what was formerly called Paul Street Plaza.
It was renamed Rory Gallagher Place in October 1995 in honour of one of the world’s greatest musician. He grew up in Cork but was born in Ballyshannon, county Donegal on 2 March 1948 in Rock Hospital (very appropriate name for a musician) where there is another Rory Gallagher Place. In fact, there are many locations that pay tribute to him. There’s even a Rue Rory Gallagher in France, in Ris-Orangis, in the southern suburbs of Paris, where he played his last French concert just months before he died. In Dublin there’s a Rory Gallagher Corner and in Belfast they have a memorial plaque at Ulster Hall.
As he got older Rory developed a phobia of flying and to help him cope with this, he received a prescription for a powerful sedative. The medication, combined with drinking alcohol resulted in severe liver damage and, although unwell, he continued touring. His final tour had to be cancelled as he was so ill during his performance in the Netherlands on 10 January 1995. On being admitted to King’s College Hospital, London in March 1995, the extent of his illness became apparent and doctors advised that a liver transplant was his only option. Rory was in intensive care for thirteen weeks after his surgery and plans were being made to transfer him to a convalescent home, when he contracted MRSA and died of the infection on 14 June 1995, just 47 years of age. He was unmarried and had no children.
Rory Gallagher received an award in 1972 for International Guitarist of the Year and his albums have sold in excess of 30 million copies worldwide. When asked in an interview how it felt to be the greatest guitarist in the world, Jimi Hendrix replied, “I don’t know, go ask Rory Gallagher.” Now that’s a tribute.
Thank you for your visit and if you would like to see a selection of Thursday Doors from around the globe (or participate yourself) head on over to Norm’s blog and click the blue link at the bottom of his post.