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100-year-old love letter found under Cork pharmacy

Published 29/10/2015

The letter has pride of place in Deasy's Pharmacy. Credit: Irene Deasy
The letter has pride of place in Deasy's Pharmacy. Credit: Irene Deasy

A love letter, believed to date back to 1911, has been found during building work at a property in Cork.

Irene and Cormac Deasy happened upon the declaration of love when carrying out extensive renovations at their property, a three storey house and retail pharmacy located on the Main Street in Macroom.

The couple bought the property in 2011 from the Kerins family who had operated a pharmacy there for three generations.

Prior to this, the building was part of the Williams Hotel.

"The fact there was a hotel here for years means that there would have been hundreds of guests coming and going, lots of soldiers, which makes it hard to trace the letter writer," Irene told

"Also, the writer's name, John McCarthy, is a common one, so that isn't much help either," she said.

The letter was found in a sealed envelope under wooden floorboards on the third floor of the property.

"It was the last thing we expected to find and it was a lovely surprise.

"After we finished the building work we framed the letter and mounted it on the wall in the pharmacy.

"It has attracted so much attention, people are travelling from miles away to come and see it," Irene said.

Although there is no actual date on the letter, Irene is confident it was written in 1911 when the floorboards in the building were put down.

No address is visible on the letter either, but the name ‘John McCarthy’ is clearly written on the envelope.

The handwriting is neat and legible.

The words in the letter appear to be a variation of a poem called ‘Would You Care?’ which was popular during the late 1800's.

However the writer cleverly tweaked the words to include a reference to Macroom:

“Remember me when this you see,

"Remember me forever.

"Don’t forget the jolly night

We spent in Macroom together.”

A pestle and mortar, avery scales and old fashioned medicine bottles were also found during the renovations.

"The best thing about the letter is that it was written by a man.

"Most love letters are written by women so I think it's lovely that a man is responsible for this one," Irene said.

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