Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Moore House

Moore House, was the ancestral home and birthplace of the Irish artist and writer George Moore (b.1852 - d1933).  These days Moore is most remembered for his 1894 novel, ‘Esther Waters’, a critical  social commentary of the horrendous plight of abandoned single mothers in his day.   Moore had originally intended for himself a career as an artist  and went to Paris to further that ambition.  There he met Pissarro, Degas, Renoir, Monet, Daudet, Mallarm√©, Turgenev and, above all, Zola, under whose influence Moore dropped painting for writing.

The ruined, burned out shell of Moore House is presently hidden within a forestry company’s plantation.  Even in its poignantly sad decrepitude there is enough left of the building, today the protected home of a colony of Horseshoe Bats, to easily imagine how grand it might have been in its heyday but Moore House is but one of Ireland’s abundance of these sad ruins.  The building was destroyed by fire in 1922, towards the end of the civil war, by the IRA who believed Moore’s brother to be a pro-treatyist.  Ironically, it was the IRA who, in 1964, had a memorial plaque raised beside the road opposite the ruins of Moore Hall lauding the family for their famine relief work and for their ‘refusal to barter their principles for English gold’!
Irish wit on a notice on the wall of the ruin.

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