Queer Places:
56 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin
63 Palmerston Road, Dublin

James Pillar (February 2, 1822 - November 24, 1894) was a married Quaker grocer and merchant, who pleaded guilty to the charge of buggery during the Dublin Castle scandal and was sentenced to twenty years penal servitude. Pillar’s business premises at 56 Lower Rathmines Road beside Portobello Barracks was revealed to be a key meeting point for this homosexual network.

James Pillar was born on 2 February 1822 in Culkeeran, Dungannon, County Tyrone. He had a wine and grocery business at 56 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin from at least 1850. He married Susanna Hudson (1822 – 1894) in 1847 and had three children: Charles Henry Pillar (1851-1910), Frederick James Pillar (1852-?) and Susanna Pillar (1857-1928).

At the time of the 1884 scandal, the Pillar family were living at 63 Palmerston Road. He was known to his friends and lovers as ‘Papa’ or ‘Pa’.

Pillar was charged with committing buggery with Malcolm Johnston; George Taylor; Villiers Sankey; Private Odell and with conspiring with Clarke; Daniel Considine; Robert Fowler; Michael McGrane; Thomas Allen and William Carter.

Pillar served half of his 20 year sentence according to author Glenn Chandler and was released in 1894. He didn’t last very long on the outside. Records show that James Pillar died in Mercers Hospital, Dublin on 24 November 1894 aged 72. He was a listed as a merchant of Ballin?, Wicklow.

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