Sometimes the attitude to our built heritage is so crass, I’m left speechless, and this is one such example.
Here’s a stone plaque in the wall of a house in Limerick’s William Street. It says
STREET JUNE 2
That’s a month before the storming of the Bastille. It would be a further two weeks before Captain Bligh and the other Bounty survivors reached Timor in their open boat. A month earlier, George Washington became the first president of the United States. It was nine years before the United Irishmen uprising.
It was eight years after the Spanish founded Los Angeles. Two years before the Haiti revolution. Ten years after the start of the Boer Wars.
This plaque was inserted into the wall of a street in Limerick at a time of huge change in the world, but some small builder with a jackhammer either didn’t know, didn’t care or was instructed not to think about its significance. The person who told me about this managed to have the vandalism stopped, but only after two phone calls to the City Council and far worse damage than when he called the first time.
You might think this is a small thing in the great scheme of things but I think it symbolises all the crassness that has afflicted our country and allowed the destruction of so much that is valuable.
Shouldn’t we all care more? Once this heritage is gone, it’s gone.