PIC: 100-year-old love letter found during pharmacy renovations in Cork

It’s a love lost and found — a romantic tale that didn’t quite have the fairytale ending one mystery suitor planned.

One hundred years after it was penned, a handwritten love letter was discovered under the floorboards in a pharmacy in Co Cork.

Cormac and Irene Deasy uncovered the wishful note during recent renovations on the property at Deasy’s pharmacy in Macroom.

“The building had to be completely renovated so when we were taking up the floorboards on the third floor we found the love letter underneath.

The love letter found during renovations at Deasy’s pharmacy.
The love letter found during renovations at Deasy’s pharmacy.

“We were thrilled to uncover it and now have it on proud display in our pharmacy,” Ms Deasy said.

Although there is no actual date on the letter, Ms Deasy and her husband are confident it was from over a century ago when the floorboards in the building had been first put down.

No address was found on the letter either, although the name ‘John McCarthy’ was written on the side of the envelope.

“You can make out all the writing on the love letter and it’s signed at the end by ‘John’,” Ms Deasy said.

“The handwriting is lovely. It’s old style handwriting and it’s twirly,” she added.

The poem, however, appears to be a variation of an original poem called ‘Would You Care?’ which first circulated during the late nineteenth century. It also appeared as a 1960s song and featured in June Harman Betts’ 2008 book Father Was A Caveman.

However the romantic behind the love letter appears to have adapted the poem to suit the town of Macroom as he wrote:

“Remember me when this you see

Remember me forever

Don’t forget the jolly night

We spent in Macroom together.”

Some of the original items found during renovations at Deasy’s pharmacy, Macroom, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane
Some of the original items found during renovations at Deasy’s pharmacy, Macroom, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane

Prior to the Deasy family’s purchase of the Main Street premises in 2011, the pharmacy had operated for three generations by the Kerins family. The building had previously been part of the Williams Hotel, which Ms Deasy said makes tracing the letter harder.

“We would absolutely be interested in tracing the letter but because the pharmacy used to be part of the old hotel next door it means John could have been a soldier, he could have been a guest staying in the hotel, he could have been anybody really,” she said.

Apart from the mysterious love letter, other historical items such as pestle and mortar cosmetics, avery scales and original medicine bottles were also uncovered during renovations.

Ms Deasy, who is a pharmacist and has a strong interest in old Victorian remedies, said the discoveries were made at the back of the cabinets in the pharmacy.


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