Traces of Heraldry at Oakland (St. Luke's) Rathgar
Updated: Mar 15
The printer and businessman Charles Wisdom Hely (1857-1929) lived at Oakland, now St. Luke's Hospital, Rathgar, along with his wife Edith Beech. Interesting traces of heraldry connected to the Hely family can be seen today in many old structures about the grounds, especially on the gate lodge and main entrance.
The Hely or Hally coat of arms - Argen on a chevron between three leopards’ faces gules guttée d’or, a sun of the last.
Crest - An arm in armour holding a broken tilting spear proper.
(At Oakland, the broken spear has been replaced by a broken antler.)
Other decorative features include Charles Wisdom Hely's initials, done in stone and wrought iron.
C. Wisdom Hely was immortalized in Ulysses as Leopold Bloom's ex-employer. In 2016 an exhibition at Fumbally Exchange, Dame Lane, which was once the site of Hely's print works, examined the tightrope the company walked in 1916 when caught in the print war between militant nationalists and the British army.
Charles W. Hely was an early investor in the pneumatic tyre invented by John Dunlop in the late 1880s, It made him very wealthy. From 1891, the national bicycle polo championships were often held on the lawn at Oakland .