Monday, 30 November 2015
Brian Boru and Old Magic
On Saturday morning we were up early (for us) to drive down to Cashel in Tipperary in order to meet with some friends. They were also driving down from somewhere in Cork.
Has that confused you ?
Here in Ireland no matter where you live or in what direction you are going the phrase used is ‘going down to’, people who live on the south coast will 'travel down to’ places in the north.
For a few days I had been keeping an eye on the weather forecasts to see what we could expect.
On Saturday morning there was an orange alert for a high, west wind and heavy rain with a variable temperature of 4 to 7 deg C.
"Damn to hell" I thought that can’t be right, "ah’ we will give it a go anyway."
So we did. As we left home the temperature was 5.5 deg C but after a few miles it rose to 7.4 degrees. I sat in the front passenger seat and in my mind kept focussing on seeing blue skies over Cashel.
When stopped for a while in Urlingford to have a sandwich we had sleet falling on the windscreen. That did not deter me though as I kept on focussing on fine weather. We arrived at our destination, the temperature had risen and it was dry but with a chill wind. We finally met our friends and repaired to a pub.We sat in a window seat chatting away and drinking coffee. Nothing stronger as alcohol during the day makes me sleepy and I recall, when I was a 'dry’ driver, how annoying the fumes of strong drink could be.
Towards the end of our meeting a burst of sunlight shone through the window and as I looked up the sky was blue. “Ah-hah the old magic still works” I thought to myself.
The Rock of Cashel
Outside the pub we said our goodbyes and returned to the car park in a strong biting wind, we were very glad of the shelter that the car provided.
On leaving the town I asked her Ladyship to pull over so that I could take a photo of The Rock of Cashel from whence the town of Cashel gets its name.
In the 5th century, the Eóganachta dynasty founded their capital on and around the rock and many kings of Munster have reigned here. In 977 the Dál gCais usurper, Brian Boru, was crowned here as the first non-Eóghanacht king of Cashel and Munster in over five hundred years. His great-grandson, King Muirchertach Ua Briain, gave the place to the bishop of Limerick in 110, denying it forever to the MacCarthys, the senior branch of the Eóganachta.
The bishops once had a famous school in Cashel and from there sent priests all over the continent.They even maintained their own monastery, called Scots Monastery, in Regensburg, Germany.
These days Rock is under the care of Heritage Ireland whose scaffolding can be seen over Cormac’s Chapel.
The project underway currently involves conserving the chapel, built from sandstone, which has deteriorated to such an extent that it is letting in water.
A notice on their web site explains that access to the Chapel is limited from May till September each year for bus tours until the work is completed. Visitors are admitted in small groups for 10 minutes maximum.
We had a great day out and by the time we had returned the temperature had risen to 10 deg, which proves that it is unwise to believe everything that the experts tell us.
Our next adventure will be ……. ah you will have to wait and see :)