Thursday, 26 July 2012

Small tour of Cork & Kerry

We took a few days off from the treadmill of life to go sight-seeing around the counties that lie to the West and South of us.

The Shannon ro-ro ferry that plies between Killimer in Co Clare and Tarbert in Co Kerry saving  many miles tedious driving.

Shrone Beg showing the Paps of Anu in the background and in the foreground a spring well that has been venerated continuously for thousands of years; today it is known as Mary's Well, prior to that it was named after three female saints whose names closely resemble ancient pagan deities.

Inch Beach is a 3 miles long by approx. 3/4 mile deep peninsula with sand dunes and provides a natural breakwater to Castlemaine harbour to the east.

The speed limit through the small village of Adrigole on a well dressed tarmac surfaced road is safely signed as 60 km/h (35 mph) So it came as a surprise to me to see that the speed limit on twisty, stony boreen (track) was signed as 80 km/h (50 mph) ! I wonder who in Cork County Council is responsible for this bit of mis-management and whether they were sober at the time of signing the appropriate order ?

We visited Eyeries a small picturesque town where every building is painted a different colour. Eyeries nestles on high ground between the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountains. It was holding a Family Day in aid of the local school, here amongst the many stalls we found a friend of ours selling her Eco-wares.

I am drawn like a magnet to businesses that sell good food and wine. One such place is Val Manning's Emporium at Ballylickey, a few short miles west of Bantry. Here we managed to find a table for two and in warm sunshine we feasted on Lemon Polenta cake washed down with delicious coffee and enjoyed our talk with Val, who is a legendary conversationalist with a wealth of knowledge on many subjects.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

BIRR - revisited

The Birr Civic Offices & Public Library are housed in a revitalised Gothic building that was formerly owned by the Sisters Of Mercy and designed by A.W.N. Pugin.  The library holds as part of it's treasures an illuminated copy of the Macregol Gospels, the original of which was written in 800 AD in Birr and now sits in the Bodelian Library in Oxford, England. Incidentally 2012 is the bicentenary of the acclaimed architect who works span England & Ireland

The former convent has an internal cloister and the south-eastern cloister has been extended into an internal quadrangle to provide an exhibition & tourist information area. The extension consists of a frameless glazed roof, which is supported by a masonry wall within which six old stained glass windows have been restored and relocated. The overall ambience within this building needs to be experienced to be properly appreciated, for there is so much peace and tranquility present that it as if the former occupants were still in residency.

Dr. John Feehan & Bernie in discussion

Maid, Mother & Crone (Cailleach)

Fred salutes a Lady

A profound conversation perhaps ?

Everywhere it is the paintings that sit as
silent witnesses to conversations

To read the opening speech by Dr John Feehan please visit

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Brú na Bóinne & exhibition extra's

The silent stone that greets visitors.

The ornate entrance gates with a triple spiral design.

From the car park the approach to the visitor
centre is via a sloping pathway covered by a

Along the entrance path the trees and shrubs are named
and the Ogham hieroglyph is shown when appropriate.

The view of the ancient monument from the upper floor of
the visitor centre, in the bottom left corner of photo the river Boyne
can be glimpsed.

Flor who kindly modelled for
the God Manannán

Flor & partner moved by the painting
perhaps ?

The Healing God Dian Cecht witnesses a téte á téte
between lovers !