Chip shop first past post for fictional donkey derby poster

Customers at one of Cork’s most famous chip shops can soon take their pick from the runners and riders in a fictional local race card from more than a century ago.

The 1898 poster for donkey and pony races around The Lough on the city’s southside was bought at auction for the Jackie Lennox outlet on Bandon Road. It is just a few hundred yards from the suburban lake where the poster purported there was to be a race meeting on Sunday, Feb 27, of that year.

The two-foot poster was the design of an elaborate local joker, Murty Downey, who played hurling for the nearby St Finbarr’s hurling club around that time.

The snapshot of Victorian humour features a list of prizes that included a second-hand bicycle with golden ball-bearings, a new tweed suit and a set of Irish bagpipes, while many of the horses, owners and jockeys were named after local characters.

The hammer fell at Marshs auction rooms in the city at a price of €300 on Saturday. Hungry customers at Lennox’s can look forward to perusing it at closer quarters soon.

A 1901 Census form shows a Mortimer Downey lived on Bandon Road around that time, and some locals suggest he was probably a relative of the Downey family which owned a shop at the junction with Barrack Street, within sight of where Jackie Lennox opened his chip shop 61 years ago.

A private buyer paid €500 at Saturday’s auction for a 1785 bill of lading signed by William Crawford for the shipping of 50 firkins of new butter from Cork to London.


The Menu was delighted to make recent mention of a new UCC postgraduate diploma in Irish food culture and is equally pleased to announce availability of two new bursaries for same.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

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