Raise a ticket stub to William Dargan.
Without him you’d be on the bus.
Sibling of Daedalus writes:
“Readers taking the train or DART home today might be interested to know that it is the birthday of William Dargan, who not only brought the railway to Ireland but was the only Irishman ever to have a statue erected to him in his own lifetime, displayed at the Irish Industrial Exhibition which took place on Leinster Lawn [Dublin] in 1853, and which he underwrote.
Queen Victoria attended the exhibition and was very taken with Dargan, whom she found ‘touchingly modest and simple’, going so far as to press his arm to show him that she had ‘the… intellect to understand and… heart to appreciate’ his work.
Dargan, an Irish patriot whose fortune declined in later years, invited the Queen to tea at his home in Mount Anville, but steadfastly refused to accept a knighthood. Meanwhile, the Queen’s husband, Prince Albert, remarked sniffily that the Irish public ‘looked like Italian beggars’. I am not sure what happened to his larger-than-life statue (shown above) but I think there is still a mural of the dashingly frockcoated Dargan up on the wall at Bray station?”
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