Siney’s Corner gets its name from Mrs. Siney’s sweetshop, which once stood on this site.

Siney’s Corner is also the birthplace of Cornelius Magrath, an Irish giant who lived from 1736 -1760. At the age of just 16 he travelled to Cork seeking medical advice about pains in his back. Whilst there, he was persuaded to join a circus and exhibit himself for money. In January of 1753 he was already a huge star in London as the press noted: “Just arrived in this city, from Ireland, the youth, mentioned lately in the newspapers, as the most extraordinary production in nature. He is allowed by the nobility and gentry, who daily resort to see him, to have the most stupendous and gigantic form (altho’ a boy), and is the only representation in the world of the ancient and magnificent giants of that kingdom. He is seven feet three inches in height, without shoes. His wrist measures a quarter of a yard and an inch. He greatly surpasses Cajanus the Swede, in the just proportions of his limbs; and is the truest and best proportioned figure ever seen. He was sixteen years of age the 10th of last March and is to be seen at the Peacock, at Charing Cross, from eight in the morning, till ten at night.”1

After touring England the young Magrath did short stints throughout all of Europe, where he was painted by the well-known Italian painter Pietro Longhi. He was forced to return to Ireland as his health rapidly began to decline, and he died soon after.

At his wake in Silvermines, students from Trinity College Dublin are believed to have ‘spiked’ the porter, and stolen his body. His bones were preserved, and can be seen on display to this day at Trinity College.

1. The Daily Advertiser, January 31, 1753

Source/ Internet, local conversations and the Irish Independent

Artwork/ Fiona Woods


Le Géant Cornelius Magrath, etching, Cunningham, 1891, after older German etching.

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The skeleton of Cornelius Magrath, Trinity College Dublin. Photo by Clive Moloney, 2009.



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