A plethora of photographic exhibitions

The Sirius Arts Centre just sent in news of a series of photographic exhibitions by both Irish and international Artists which they will be holding  in association with a number of arts organisations.

These exhibitions are being brought together to celebrate the opening of ‘ALL MY LOVIN’ which opens in the Crawford Art Gallery on Thursday 3 of February at 6:00pm  For a full list of exhibitions please the Sirius Arts Centre web site  and click on the ‘All My Lovin’ Banner.
Openings to include
Prisoner of Damp Patches – works by April Gertler at Basement Project Space. Running now until 10 February 2011 Camden Quay, Cork

Stag and Deer Season Two present photographs by Maeve O’Neill Winthrop Arcade, Cork running now until Wednesday 9 February

7:00 Pat the Picket in the Camden Palace Hotel Photographs by Doug Dubois and the costumes and effects of Pat Allen 1953 – 2010Running until 25 February

Further Information on Cobh Calls

Call for entries – Open House 4

Call For Entries:

To celebrate the creative energy of artists living and working in the Cork area Sirius Arts Centre is once again inviting artists to exhibit in a unique group exhibition.  Admission is open to artists over the age of 18,  working in a variety of materials, there is a submission charge of €10 per artist.

For further information, visit the Cobh Calls Blog


AST Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Clinic set to expand Internationally

The AST Rehabilitation Clinic in Cork has just announced plans for a major international expansion into Saudi Arabia. Adrian and Suzanne Tanzer recently returned from the Middle East with the blueprint for this exciting new development. AST will be responsible for the establishment and management of a chain of state wide clinics for the Saudi Arabian rehabilitation programme. They will also be assisting with recruitment for physiotherapy and occupational personnel at the hospital ‘Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City,’ just north of Riyadh.

AST have formed a partnership with Mr Kussay Al-Rammah. Mr Al-Rammah has studied in the USA and is the former CEO of the medical division of Saudi Aramco, the state-owned national oil company and the largest oil corporation in the world. Oil companies in Saudi provide hospitals and medical facilities for their employees.  He was previously responsible for all medical management, plus health and safety administration for the corporation. The medical infrastructure is only beginning to develop in Saudi Arabia and Kussay is a man with a vision to bring a first class health care system to the entire Arabian Peninsula.

The importance of an informative web site played a major role in this exciting development for AST. An email arrived in the inbox of info at astphysiotherapy.com last year from Kussay Al-Rammah with a business proposal. How many of us would have binned that mail as thrash?

Speaking on his return to Cork, Adrian Tanzer described how AST would be operating the new Saudi venture. “Initially, four treatment centres, catering for up to 300 patients per day, will be set up in different communities around the peninsula. These will be located in the provinces of Ad Damman in the Eastern Region, Riyadh in central Ar Riyad region, Jeddah in Makkah and Ha’il to the north.” Adrian went on to note, “With his well established connections in Saudi Arabia, our partner, Kussay Al-Rammah, will act as the liaison between AST and the relevant authorities, such as health boards and the planning authorities. Kussay’s role will be to source appropriate properties for the clinics and to obtain the necessary planning permissions, etc.  AST, on the other hand, will be responsible for the recruitment and training of staff for the new clinics and the Humanitarian City. In partnership with Sven Conrad, MD of Secona Conrad GmbH, they will also be responsible for the design layout of the clinics the provision of all medical equipment.”

Humaidan, Mr Kussay Al-Rammah and Adrian Tanzer  at the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City Hospital in Riyadh.
Humaidan, Mr Kussay Al-Rammah and Adrian Tanzer at the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City Hospital in Riyadh.

Adrian and Suzanne were overwhelmed by the friendliness of their new Saudi associates. The reality of their visit was not at all like what they had been told to expect. They really enjoyed being invited into the homes of their new friends and experienced traditional foods and the family culture of the region – an unusual gesture for Westerners in Saudi. Adrian’s enthusiasm for this development is contagious and he is adamant that concepts such as these should be embraced by other Irish businesses to expand abroad during these difficult times in Ireland.

As well as excursions to see the historical sites of Saudi with Mr. Al-Rammah, Adrian and Suzanne visited three rehabilitation clinics in Ad-Dammam, ranging from a private clinic, to semi private and to a public clinic. They were also invited by the Dr. Abdulaziz A. Al Shamekh, CEO of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City to visit the hospital complex. “Treatments at the Humanitarian City were at the same level of quality as in Europe,” noted Adrian. “This complex was stunning; it is a non-profit 400 bed hospital supported by the King, and at one million square metres, is the biggest private hospital in the world!” While at the complex, Adrian met the executive Director of Clinical Affairs, Abdullah H. Bin Zarah, Mazen H. Al- Humaidan and Engr. Hamad A. Aloumi, the Director of Support Services and Abdul Rahman.  Humanitarian City will be one of the biggest referrals for the new AST Rehabilitation Clinics.

Work has already commenced on the project and AST have begun to recruit medical staff for both the new clinics and the Humanitarian City Hospital. Personnel will be recruited from Ireland, Europe and North America. In addition to pre-paid tickets, successful candidates will have free accommodation in the specially planned estates for Westerners in Riyadh. Adrian will be returning to Saudi in January to check out the premises for the first clinic which AST plan to open next March/April.

AST continue to provide rehabilitation and physiotherapy therapies at their clinic in Rushbrooke in Cobh and have now gained world wide recognition for their standards of excellence.

Wilmount Castle, Cobh.

We are located on Wilmount Avenue, Carrignafoy in Cobh, County Cork.  At one point of time, the  property and the avenue was dominated by a Castle,  known as Wilmount Castle.

Landseer lion sculpture
Cast Lion of Wilmount Castle

The castle had two towers that were surmounted by 4  lions. We were told that these may have been cast by Edwin Henry Landseer, better known for his lions in Trafalgar Square. One of these lions still remains.

Recently, Anne McSweeney from Cobh completed some research on the castle that we would like to share:

“Ever since I was a child the ruins of Wilmount Castle held a fascination for me. I used to explore inside its walls with my friends and admire the beautiful stone lions and pick bunches of  bluebells which grew abundantly there in the 1950’s and even later in the early sixties when my husband and I were courting.

I felt sad when the Castle was demolished in 1962 even though a very fine modern house Castlebeg was built on the site by the late Jack O’Gorman (father of Paddy O’Gorman of TV fame) and is now the property of the Mulcahy family.

Recently I came across some old photos of Cobh taken from the sea and lo and behold there was (my Castle) standing proudly in all its glory; lording it over the eastern side of the town, flag flapping in the breeze. I was curious to find out who built it and who lived in it and came up with the following info :

Wilmount Castle was built in 1852 for the Seymour family. Captain William Deane Seymour, a prosperous Shipping Agent, Town Commissioner and Consul to various countries and Justice of the Peace with many business interests, too numerous to mention, lived in the castle with his wife Catherine. A force to be reckoned with was W.D., as he was known locally.

He owned some steamships including Arran Castle and Fanny and also shared ownership of a sailing ship with his brother Henry Seymour. William Deane represented the Inman Line for many years in Cobh and was author of “Journal of a Voyage round the World” and “ A Tour in Syria and Palestine” etc.

Captain Seymour is also credited with the building of both Athenian Terrace and St. Maur’s Terrace

Only remaining picture of Wilmount Castle

Wilmount Castle was built to the design of Richard Rolt Brash, Cork, a distinguished antiquarian as well as an architect who lived in Sundays Well until his death at his home on 18 January 1876.   He also designed the Assembly Rooms in Cork, Windele Monument in St. Joseph’s Cemetery also in Cork and Bandon Town Hall to mention but a few.

The castle consisted of two tall towers, one at each end of the main building. At the Eastern end was a large wing in which were situated the billiard room and the suite usually occupied by  Mr William Inman of the Inman Line on his visits to Ireland. Running from this Eastern Wing to the end of the corresponding wing at the Western tower was a picture gallery, a most imposing hall in which hung some very fine Marine paintings. W.D. gave some of these paintings on loan to the Crawford Art Gallery when they ran exhibitions from time to time.

The towers were surmounted by four well-cast lions and there was an immense American Eagle between them. Upon the western tower, Captain Seymour installed one of the earliest, if not the earliest telephone in Ireland, connecting the castle with his shipping offices on Lynch’s Quay.

I’ve been told that there was a telescope on the top of the castle where Captain Seymour was able to see messages being sent to him from Roches Point, letting him know of ships movements. There was a lodge at the entrance gates to the castle, all that remains of it now are the foundations.

Captain William Deane Seymour died 22nd August 1886 at the age of 73. His wife Catherine died 9 June 1900, aged 82, her address at that time was given as ‘The Park’.  In January 1887 there was an advert in the Cork Examiner referring to Wilmount Castle as a “Superior Boarding School for young ladies”. The Seymour’s son William Christopher died 8 July 1887 at the age of 55. His wife Francesca predeceased him in 1884 at the age of 48. I don’t know if William and Francesca had any children.

Lt Colonel William Christopher Seymour 1832-1887 only child of William Deane and Catherine Seymour, Wilmount Castle, Queenstown had a yacht called “Knight Templar” which he sailed all over Cork Harbour accompanied on several occasions by Richard Peterson Atkinson, Painter, who painted a lot of water colours depicting their adventures. Richard was the second son of George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson, famous Marine Painter who lived at 3 Merview Terrace until his death at the age of 78 in 1884. Richard and Christopher appear to have been great friends.  A lot of these paintings still hang in Crawford Art Gallery, with captions hand- written on the mountings and signed W.C. Seymour. Richard predeceased Christopher by five years, he died a young man in 1882.

In 1895 a Mr J Fox JP MD MP was recorded as residing at Wilmount Castle and in 1898 James Thomas Page, Chief Engineer R.N. was recorded as having died at the castle. The 1911 Census found the castle to be uninhabited.

The Seymour family are interred in the Old Church Cemetery. Their resting place is just as ostentatious as their previous dwelling. It seems to me that in spite of their power and wealth the family did not have the best of luck or health. I no longer envy them their castle or their way of life.”  Anne McSweeney