By John Carney
ENNISKILLEN has been given its very own “Hollywood Walk of Fame” thanks to a new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council initiative.
“Walking on Words” is a quirky series of words, phrases, places, and sayings that celebrates places, people, landmarks, history, literature, culture, and connections that are unique to Enniskillen. There are now 21 embossed granite stones in locations across the town, on and around the main street from Belmore Street through to Darling Street.
The initiative is to pay tribute to local characters and famous and lesser-known sons and daughters of the town and outlying areas such as Joan Trimble, Samuel Beckett, Cathal Bui Mac Giolla Ghunna, Michael Softley, Gordon Wilson, St Fanchea, and Henry Francis Lyte.
Local existing and former landmarks are also celebrated including The Buttermarket and the former Gin Palace. Historical references date back from AD431 to the present day and include paving stones in English, Irish and French.
Enniskillen bar Charlie’s is one of the recipients with the “White Star Bar” on the paving outside the popular pub.
When Gerry Burns re-named the pub Charlie’s after his father, back in 2001, Charlie’s response was, “Get the White Star Bar back on 1 Church Street or someone else will take the name”. Now that doesn’t need to happen.
“Twenty one years on, the White Star Bar is back on 1 Church Street, right outside our front door and we couldn’t be happier,” Charlie’s bar manager Una Burns said.
“My grandfather Charlie had his first job in a bar in Cavan called the White Star, and that’s what he called this bar when he took it over.
“Even after the bar’s name was changed to Charlie’s, it’s still called the White Star by some locals, especially those of the older generation. It’s a way of recognising the past. We really appreciate the gesture.
“The pavings are also a talking point for local people who will be trying to work out the different meanings or references.”
One that falls into this category is the paving outside Blakes of the Hollow pub which says: “On the tiles – Cathedral of a Pub.”
It refers to a quote attributed to celebrated author John McGahern who said: “If Irish pubs were churches, Blake’s (of) the Hollow would be the cathedral of them all.”
All the artwork has helped to celebrate the strong sense of place, local heritage, and tradition in Enniskillen.
A digital map showing all the locations and detailed information is currently being developed and will be going live in July.
It will be available here: https://www.fermanaghomagh.com/services/arts-and-culture/enniskillen-public-art/
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