Just off Noonan Road, in the vibrant residential area near UCC, is a little street with a very odd name.
98 Street, or Sráid Nócha a hOcht as Gaeilge, is a street with no other description apart from a number.
If you come from, say, New York, then this probably isn’t weird to you, but in Ireland, where every patch of grass with a building on it must also have an evocative title, this is more than enough to raise an eyebrow.
A little digging reveals they didn’t just get bored of doling out proper names at Gillabbey Street.
In fact, the row of houses was originally called Hospital Lane, but the name was changed in memory of the rebels who died in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, an uprising against British rule in Ireland.
Lasting from May to September 1798, it was organised by the republican revolutionary group The United Irishmen to fight the penal laws that discriminated against the majority Irish Catholic population.
Image credit: Michael O’Leary, Corkpastandpresent.
While much of the battle was fought in Wicklow, Antrim, Meath, Wexford and Dublin, The Battle of the Big Cross saw up to 400 United Irishmen take on a column of British troops on the Shannonvale-Ballinascarty road, known locally as the big cross, (roughly four miles east of Clonakilty) on June 19th, 1798.
At least 100 United Irishmen were killed in the battle, including the group’s leader Tadhg an Astna O’Donovan.
Grimly, the dead bodies were dragged into Clonakilty town and piled in front of the market house where public notices were placed, warning locals to surrender their weapons.
One hundred years later in 1898, as part of the commemorations of the 1798 Rebellion, the row of homes formerly called Hospital Lane due to the presence of a hospital in the area, was renamed ’98 Street in memory of those who died.
It’s not the first time the street was re-named. Hospital Lane had replaced the previous name: Beggar Man’s Lane.
The Beggarman pub traded on the corner of Gillabbey Street and 98 Street for a few years before being replaced by The Red Horse Inn.