No 12: Clontarf Beach – 5 February 2011

Per Wikipedia the suburb of Clontarf is named after a district in Dublin, Ireland. But far more interestingly this beach, in 1868, was site of Australia’s first attempted political assassination.

Henry James O’Farrell, an alcoholic recently released from a lunatic asylum, shot Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh – second son of Queen Victoria – in the back. The Prince survived, most colonists were embarrassed and outraged (and took it out on the Irish as expected). A hospital was opened to memorialise the drama. Thus: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

One hundred and forty-three years later there seems to be some drama around dog poo. Clean up after your pets, people.

This beach is actually just across from beach number nine, Chinaman’s, but the patronage seemed quite different. Where there were big groups of Lebanese Muslims at Chinaman’s, Clontarf had attracted a lot of Russians this Saturday — or Russian speakers in any case.

Clontarf is in the Manly LGA, the state district of Manly (Mike Baird, Liberal) and the federal division of Warringah (Tony Abbott, Liberal).


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