Cyril Fagan's birthplace
Cyril Fagan was born in Dublin on May 22nd 1896 at 31 North Frederick St., which is the building with the blue door second from the left in the photo.
As indicated on the map shown below, his first home was just a few hundred yards from OíConnell St.. This is the main boulevard in the city and location of the General Post Office. It was from this building that the Proclamation of Independence was read out on April 23rd 1916, an act which initiated the Easter Rising.
The photograph below was taken from the top of O'Connell St. looking up Parnell Square East, the road leading in to North Frederick St. The church spire in the distance lies at the corner of North Frederick St and Parnell Square North.
The photo below shows the view looking down North Frederick St. towards the city centre. No.31 is on the right, the building with the open windows.
Harry Clarke, Ireland's pre-eminent stain glass artist and book illustrator, was born two doors down at no. 33 on March 17th, 1889. His father Joshua had a decorating and stained glass business out the back. Harry Clarke was a few years older than Cyril Fagan, but they were neighbours and their families surely knew each other. Harry and Cyril also went to the same school, Belvedere College. This is situated in Great Denmark Street, within walking distance from both homes. The photo below shows the old front facade of Belvedere College, and is taken from inside the current school yard.
The Fagans vacated 31 North Frederick St. after the untimely death of Cyril's father Patrick in October 1910. They moved to 2, Upper Leeson Street, which is situated on the south side of the city overlooking the Grand Canal.
In the above photo 2, Upper Leeson St. is the tallest building, with the red door and to the left of the lamp post.
In his regular Solunars column in American Astrology (June 1963, p22), Cyril Fagan, writing in the third person, mentions a fire which broke out on the third floor of the terraced house:
"The bedroom has not been occupied since the writerís mother died in it on April 28th (** - see below) 1930 in Dublin, Ireland. A Georgian house, it was the tallest in the street, and her bedroom was situated at the back of the 3rd floor. At 7:20am GMT on April 13th 1931, the writer, who slept on the top floor, was awakened by the pungent smell of acrid fumes. He could hardly open his eyes for he was enveloped in dense yellow smoke which smarted them. Through the gathering gloom the morning sun seemed almost opaque. The first to awake, he dashed down the stairs to find that his brother, sister and her dog, Danny, were still soundly asleep. His motherís bedroom was completely gutted. The cause of the fire is unknown. At the time it was surmised that it originated among the ceiling joists. That evening the newspapers carried a touching story of how the barking of her pet dog saved its mistress from being burned to death!!!"
** - According to her death certificate, Isabella Fagan died on April 29th 1930, not the 28th.
The Evening Herald of Monday April 13th 1931 carried the following story:
Fire at Upper Leeson Street
"The barking of an intelligent little dog in all probability prevented the serious spread of fire at 2, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin, this morning. The dog, alarmed by the thick smoke, awoke the occupier, Dr.Fagan, who immediately got in touch with the Rathmines Fire Brigade. Their prompt arrival confined the flames to a top back room, the interior and equipment of which were damaged."
The "Dr Fagan" referred to in the press report was Cyril's brother Albert, who followed in his father's footsteps. He became a surgeon, specialising in the ear, nose and throat area. As he says in the Solunar article, it was the dog who was given credit as the hero rather than Cyril.
Copyright © 2004 Bill Sheeran. All Rights Reserved.