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  • Northside East

Irish Rail history initiative is on track for Malahide station

Tuesday, 22nd October, 2019 1:00pm
Irish Rail history initiative is on track for Malahide station

The Past Tracks panel at Malahide Train Station.

Irish Rail history initiative is on track for Malahide station

The Past Tracks panel at Malahide Train Station.

IARNROD Éireann, together with Turtle Bunbury Histories and Flahavan’s, have installed a beautifully illustrated panel at Malahide Station.

Researched by historian Turtle Bunbury and illustrated by renowned artist, Derry Dillon, Past Tracks tells fascinating stories about historical events that occurred in the vicinity of Malahide.

As commuters wait for their train, they can learn all about the curious local custom of dropping eels into St Sylvester’s Well, which up until the town was connected to the mains water supply in 1929 was where many residents obtained their water. 

Eels were considered magical and curative and also would gobble up some of the insects that swam in such waters. 

Malahide was also a major salt producing centre from 1770 to 1837. 

The saltern or salt evaporation pond was just off sea road, where Pope John Paul II National School now stands. 

These are just a sample of the fascinating tales that are featured.

Mr Bunbury first approached Iarnród Éireann over a year ago with the idea of creating historic panels at stations around the country that could be enjoyed by members of the travelling public as they waited for their trains. 

Flahavan’s, Ireland’s oldest privately-owned family food business with its own rich history spanning seven generations, agreed to come on board as sponsors and 10 stations around the country now have Past Track panels, which feature quirky and accessible information about the areas surrounding the stations.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Bunbury said: "In Ireland, we are surrounded by the past wherever we stand. 

“Past Tracks is about taking some of the stories from our rich history and presenting them to commuters as something that will hopefully intrigue, amuse and maybe even inspire them as they proceed onwards with their journey.”

John Flahavan of Flahavan’s  said: "We are delighted to be involved in bringing local history to life through the Past Tracks project with Iarnród Éireann as the rail network was integral to the brand’s expansion and success during the mid-20th century.

“We are pleased to be associated with this initiative, as it presents local history in an engaging and meaningful way to passengers young and old across the country". 

Iarnród Éireann District Manager for the Malahide area, Chris Rafferty said: "The station is very much part of the local community and I am delighted that my customers have such interesting information to read, while they wait for their train. 

“Too many of us now have our heads constantly stuck in phones or other devices and it is important to appreciate the world around us. 

“We cannot move into the future if we do not appreciate the past and these little nuggets that Turtle Bunbury has created are living history.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here