Remembering Liam Cosgrave

 

Sir, – In 2002 I had the honour to have Liam Cosgrave launch my book Ranji: Maharajah of Connemara – a biography of the famous Indian cricketer and statesman. Ranji was the first head of state to visit the new Irish Free State in 1924 and he subsequently purchased Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara where he lived for part of the year until 1933. In 1927 he was invited to lunch by WT Cosgrave at the family home in Templeogue. Having never seen a person of “colour” before, Liam, then a young boy, and his brother Michael were warned by their parents that on no account were they to make any remarks about their unusual guest. Ranji arrived dressed in full regalia – turban, silk kurta and white tight leggings. On being introduced, Liam’s brother Michael looked the Maharajah up and down and, to his parents’ relief and to Ranji’s amusement, enquired, “Where’s your trousers?” – Yours, etc,

ANNE CHAMBERS,

Rathgar,

Dublin 6.