The Market House in Mullingar, County Westmeath, has a lovely door and beautiful windows and I thought it would make a nice contribution to Thursday Doors. Inside you’ll find the local tourist office and a military museum. The man on the podium in front of one of those arched windows isn’t waving at us as we pass by in the car, it’s a statue in memory of one of the biggest international stars to come out of the Irish Showband era.
Joe Dolan, born in Mullingar, was the only Irish singer to reach the Top Ten in all four decades of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. The youngest of eight children, his mother passed away when he was only eight years old and his father seven years later. Although not very well known in America, in 1980 he played 64 shows in Las Vegas, selling out most of them. It was in Ireland and the UK were Joe did most of his touring and on mainland Europe, too – in fact, in 1978, he became the first Irish artist and one of the first Western acts to tour, what was then, communist Russia. The Irish music industry lost one of its best when Joe Dolan died in December 2007, aged 68.
Black, white and red doors seemed to jump out at me as we drove through the various towns on our way home from visiting family over the holiday weekend. All the shots were taken from the car (through the glass in the window as it was way too cold outside to open it – even for Thursday Doors) so I do apologize for the quality.
The cloud formations were so beautiful they kept me enthralled for most of the four hour journey home. (I know, I’m easily entertained).
From time to time a piece of art would catch my eye but I only got a half decent shot of one the four ‘Saints and Scholars‘ roadside sculptors near the Tullamore by-pass. They represent County Offaly’s monastic past and are the work of Derry born artist, Maurice Harron.
Each twenty-five foot high steel figure is on an elevated site and is depicted holding a symbol of the world of learning and sanctity. One holds a book, one holds a chalice, one a staff and one throws aloft a flock of birds or souls. Looking at the last two photographs, maybe I should have titled this Thursday Outdoors.
For a little bit of nostalgia (if you remember the ’60’s) here’s a nice little video I found on Youtube of Joe Dolan and The Drifters Showband. (I love the advertisement for the shoes at 0:23).
Thank you for joining me on my travels this week and if you would like to view more Thursday Doors, pop over to Norm’s blog and see what he’s posted. (Click the blue link on his page for a variety of interesting doors).