YORK ROAD AND THORNCASTLE STREET
This is a rather unattractive section York Road in Ringsend and the advertisement for Corcoran Solicitors does not help . It is home to St. Patrick’s Rowing Club and Dodder Buoy is located here.
St Patrick’s Rowing Club its 87 rd birthday this year, 2023. The club was founded in 1936 by the hobblers. There is a memorial beside the clubhouse celebrating their effort, and a Hobblers’ Bench built into an old anchor. My photograph of the memorial is distorted because I used a wide-angle lens.
Hobblers in Dublin were a group of freelance pilots who would row out to sea to guide ships into Dublin Port. They were so called because they would often hobble or limp, due to the long hours they spent rowing in their heavy boats.
The hobblers were a skilled and important part of the Dublin maritime community. They were known for their knowledge of the local waters and their ability to navigate in difficult conditions. They were also known for their courage and determination, as they would often row out to sea in stormy weather to guide ships to safety.
The hobblers began to decline in the early 20th century, as the introduction of steamships made their services less necessary. However, they continued to operate until the 1950s.
Today, there is a monument to the hobblers in Dún Laoghaire, which commemorates their important role in the history of Dublin Port.
They were typically young men, but there were also some older men and boys who worked as hobblers.
They would row out to sea in small boats, known as skiffs.
They would often compete with each other to be the first to hook a ship, which meant throwing a boat hook up and over the side of the ship.
The hobblers were paid a fee by the ship’s captain for their services.
They were a vital part of the Dublin maritime community, and their skills and courage were greatly respected.
I came across the following description which I believe to be incorrect in almost every detail : “The Dodder Buoy is a red metal sculpture located in the Grand Canal Docks in Dublin, Ireland. It was created by the artist Spleodrach in 2018. The buoy is about 3 meters tall and is shaped like a traditional buoy, but it is made of red metal instead of wood. The buoy is mounted on a concrete plinth and is surrounded by a small patch of grass.” [I suspect that this description is partly referring to a nearby abstract metal sculpture].
I am going to dedicate a section of my website to ‘Red Metal Things’. The country is full of red metal things and at times I cannot decide if they are examples of public art or if someone has found a way of not having to pay the cost of disposing of scrap. There are at least two other metal things nearby.