Not to far away from the previously mentioned Ballymount Castle lie the ruins of Whitehall or Tynan Hall as we knew it as children. It was the home of the famous Irish Poet Katherine Tynan, whom was born in a house on the Belgard Road in Tallaght, County Dublin. Katherine Tynan (1861-1931) is a major literary figure associated with South Dublin. She was the fourth daughter of Andrew C. Tynan, Whitehall, and at the age of 17 published her first book of verse, which was followed two years later by a novel. Tynan went on to play a major part in the literary circles of Dublin, until she married and moved to England; later she lived at Claremorris, County Mayo when her husband was a magistrate there from 1914 until 1919.
The above image is a portrait of Katherine Tynan painted by the William Butler Yeats. She was one of a band of Irish writers resident in London in the 1880’s that combined to make the Irish Literary Movement. Many of the leaders of the emerging cultural movement visited her at Whitehall. Most noted of these would have been William Butler Yeats and A.E. Russell, both of which were high ranking members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
For those whom do not know, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (or, more commonly, the Golden Dawn) was a magical order active in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they practiced theurgy and spiritual development. It has been highly regarded as one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism.
Both Yeats and Russell are believed to have used the folly built on the nearby ancient burial mound at Ballymount Castle to practise certain Golden Dawn rituals. As to Tynan’s involvement in the Golden Dawn I cannot say, but it would not be impossable to suggest involvement as unlike the popular Masonic Lodges of the time whom forbade women amongst their ranks, The Golden Dawn openly admitted women to their order and gave them equal status within their ranks.
Another known associate said to have spent time at Whitehall was Lady Gregory. Lady Gregory was an Irish dramatist, folklorist and theatre manager.Lady Gregory produced some of my favourite books which retold stories taken from Irish mythology.
Tynan’s works included 18 volumes of poetry, 105 novels and 38 other miscellaneous books, including five volumes of autobiography. Tynan also worked for improved conditions for shop girls and single mothers and was against capital punishment. She pressed for votes for women, and with Lady Aberdeen, attended the World Congress of Women in Rome in 1914. President Mary Robinson unveiled a plaque in Katherine Tynan’s honour in the pocket park in Tallaght village. Tynan died in Wimbledon, London, in 1931 at the age of 70.