The Rathmines Cheetah


grosvenor cheetah

From top: Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin 6; A Cheetah


A huge, exotic, hungry cat prowls Dublin 6.

Only Cecil can stop him.


Sibling of Daedalus writes:

No one expects to meet a Big Cat in the leafy suburbs of south Dublin, but that’s what happened to Mr Cecil A. Graves at Grosvenor Square, Rathmines on March 3, 1913.

Mr Graves, described in contemporaneous news reports as a very important official in the Customs House, encountered the stray cheetah in the course of his evening constitutional.

Fortunately the customs official was also a man of action and – ably assisted in his defence by his loyal terrier – clubbed the feline interloper with a stick before stabbing it to death with his penknife.

No satisfactory explanation as to how a cheetah came to be prowling around Dublin 6 was ever forthcoming, although some suggested it might have been a pet of one of the soldiers stationed in nearby Portobello (now Cathal Brugha) Barracks.

The animal’s unclaimed carcass was ultimately appropriated by Mr Graves himself either as a trophy of the field or an illegal import. He subsequently sent it to a taxidermist to be stuffed.

The Natural History Museum in Merrion Square contains a very fine specimen of a cheetah. Perhaps it’s the same one?


Tales Of Old Dublin (Sibling of Daedalus)

Pics: Google Maps, pbase

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15 thoughts on “The Rathmines Cheetah

  1. Scooperman

    And in a cruel twist of karmic fate Cecil was rebourn as a lion and then cruely shot down just as he had taken the life of Walter the cheetah

  2. louislefronde

    Very good piece Sibling. Keep them coming. Mind you the thought of importing a few cheetahs to prowl Dublin 6 and gobble up a few urban culchies (1st generation Dubliner with bogger parents) sounds very appealing.

  3. Marconi

    Poor cheetah. Imagine being knifed in Rathmines by a penknife-wielding goujer simply because you were exploring the locality and waiting for the penny dinner to come. I feel so sorry for the cheetah and am abhorred that a human being would take the life of an innocent animal and put it up as a trophy on his mantlepiece. Just as well wild animals are now in Dublin Zoo and surrounded by high bars otherwise there might be many more such incidents.

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