When parts of Cork city was extensively burned by the unwelcome Black & Tans (many of them convicts conscripted into the British Army) the Long Valley, at the time a favourite haunt for British soldiers, remained untouched. Going right back in time the building was used as a stable for horses used by the General Post Office which still stands to this day just across Oliver Plunkett Street.
Present owner, Peadar’s father Humphrey, a true Corkonian and eccentric enjoyed a propensity for playing gramophone records behind the counter of German marching songs, especially the popular march ‘Horst Wessel Lied’ (pronounced Leet)…
Humphrey, who died in 1994, was a very well educated man and knew my father, Sean Lyons. Humphrey was the son of of a Savile Row tailor and had a master’s degree in economics. Born in 1921 in Antonia Villas, Southern Road on the south side of the city, he had an extremely lucky escape whilst being taken to the South Chapel in Dunbar Street to be baptised.
The Moynihan family were stopped in nearby Douglas Street during a British army curfew and threatened with being shot. Miraculously they were saved by the prompt action of Humphrey’s godfather Captain O’ Brien, who produced his naval papers and saved the day.