Shantalla in 1953

Fri, Oct 02, 2015

Walter Macken’s first published English language play Mungo’s Mansion was about people in the tenements of Buttermilk Lane about to be rehoused away out in the country, in the wilds of Shantalla. This was causing great distress to the ‘townies’ who would have to move less than a mile as the crow flies.

The main features of Shantalla at the time were the Emancipation Rock, known as O’Connell’s Rock or locally as the Sliding Rock, where Daniel O’Connell spoke to 300,000 people in June 1843; the old quarry set up by a Scotsman named Miller in 1880; some houses on the Rahoon Road; and The ‘Red Lane’, so called because of the granite stone in the vicinity. Otherwise, the area was covered in empty green fields. A man called Bermingham built the first modern houses in the area in the 1940s and called it Bermingham Terrace, now known as Shantalla Place. They had to be finished by the corporation when the developer went bust. The corpo was already preparing its own plans to develop a housing estate on a site of four and a half acres in the area and was having it surveyed. 

The scheme proposed was of three bedroom houses, some terraced and some gable ended, which would be more expensive. The corporation decided to start near the Red Lane (to the left of our picture and now known as Old Séamus Quirke Road) because that area did not require much landfill. The initial tranche of 68 houses was completed in 1943 at a cost of approximately £25,000. McNally’s were the builders. The children of Shantalla Place used to play on the site and knew it as ‘down the scheme’. They probably drove the builders mad. As soon as the houses were finished, people began to move in to their new homes, and then the second scheme of 64 houses was started. It was finished in 1947. Roads, footpaths, drains, manholes, etc, had also to be built.


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