Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Limerick. Limerick City. Hanratty's Hotel and Che Guevara, Guest

Limerick; Che Guevara
Dowd update
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Limerick - with Shannon airport nearby - dates from the old hunter-gatherers 3000 years ago, and began as a town under the Vikings. See http://www.answers.com/topic/history-of-limerick/ 

It gets foggy; as Che Guevara learned when his plane, refueling, was grounded at Shannon Airport in the 1960's nearby.

Where Guevara stayed.   See Maureen Dowd on the topic at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/04/opinion/gaelic-guerrilla.html?_r=1&ref=opinion.  Guevara had been on his way back to Cuba.  Dowd says he stopped at a pub in Kilkee. Why would Guevara, in a fog, try to get all the way to Kilkee?  Check any map:  long way from Limerick, all the way past Galway, out to the sea.  Then again, it is only some 42 miles says the computer calculator.  Even that, however, in a fog, that is risky. We know first hand.

But where did he stay?  He was here, we were told as guests, at the venerable Hanratty's Hotel. Ms. Dowd.  Check that out for us.  A total 84 miles round trip, off to Kilkee when nothing of the seaside could be seen, in fog? Perhaps he stayed a few days in Ireland, not just overnight.  Who will tell us.
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Hanratty's Hotel is on Glentworth Street. Limerick's oldest, and advertising itself as a "commercial" hotel -- business travelers, not tourist-catering. It is so old that the floors are tilty. Hold on. Stairs are deeply hollowed.
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There is a very dark pub. Excellent. The hotel is on a side street, with its stable areas nearby. Ride right in.
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In 1965, Che Guevara (1928-1967) and friends were there and, the story is told, they put shamrocks on their heads. See the politician section at http://experts.about.com/e/i/ir/Irish_diaspora.htm for Che Guevara at Hanratty's.  See http://limerick.1802.net/che-guevara-at-hanrattys-hotel-limerick-ireland/


Ernesto Che Guevara - see biography at http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/chebio.htm.  A hero to some, despicable to others, his fight against injustice itself bordered on the unjust, but his talents - working in hospital, a photographer, a philosopher, an incendiary, anti-imperialist. 
  • Why do we object to others calling western economic and political influence "imperialism",  a pejorative that probably is accurate:  when empires are being built to the detriment of the indigenous people. We call out "jihad" when others try to spread their beliefs by force.  But many in the west see religious forced conversions as merely the proper spread of the right religion. 
Che. We hardly knew ye, and who has a balanced view. See
http://time.com/time/time100/heroes/profile/guevara01.html.
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Weather:  with our beloved Weather Underground now bought by dinky Weather Channel, see http://www.michigandaily.com/news/university-alums-sell-weather-underground-weather-channel-after-17-years-independence, we recall Dan Himself after his shower, and after his own performance of a weather show. Hear the accolades (in the absence of a TV in the room, or was there one?) in our vintage chintz Hanratty's Hotel room.
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Dan Widing enjoying Hanratty's Hotel, Limerick, Ireland
 
Logistics at Hanratty's Hotel:  Where to park? Drive around the block to the big double swing doors that lead to an inner stables and courtyard, the old horse and carriage area, crawl through the archway and through the alleyway to the old stables.




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