Thursday, 28 April 2016

The Banner County

“The custom of carrying banners goes back a long way in County Clare. There is little doubt but that the Dál gCais carried banners at the battle of Clontarf in 1014 or that the Clare Dragoons carried banners at Fontenot in 1745 and in the many battles fought by the Clare Regiments on the continent during the eighteenth century.”

We went on a day trip recently to re-visit one of our favourite counties, as there are so many  antiquities dotted around the countryside we still have not viewed them all. The one thing I learnt a long time ago, when looking for interesting vistas or ancient sites, is that when touring you need to slow down, drive carefully and be adventurous. The best type of narrow roads to take are those with a thin strip of grass growing up the middle as very often you will see something interesting.

This is how we found ourselves outside (1) Smithstown Castle and on another narrow road we saw a fingerboard pointing towards the (2) Blakemount Holy Well.
This tempted Mrs H to go and find it - now doubt she will reveal all soon on her own blog.
It was on yet another narrow road, that I managed to photograph  (3) a double donut shaped erratic which had been dumped there by the last Ice Age.
Photo number (4) A Sham was found on a tourist road on the outskirts of Kilfenora, it is not an ancient monument and was only constructed recently by a local resident.
Photo (5) was taken with my new camera along the road from Callan to Ballyvaughan - said as Bally vocken not vawn.


2. Stile to Blakemount Holy Well.

a 'double donut' shaped erratic.

A Sham.


5 Along the road from Callan to Ballyvaughan.

Our circuitous route took us from Gort in Co.Galway along the R460 towards a small town of Corrofin or is it Coroffin or perhaps Caroffin or even Corofin ? 
I mentioned to  Mrs H on our way in that I wondered which spelling was correct because every imaginable spelling could be seen on signposts and billboards. I also wondered if the local business people had found a new method of attracting trade or perhaps their signwriters  were drunk?

Well now guess what I read last night on a news channel..

“Local groups have formed in the towns of Lahinch, Ennistymon, and Corofin, with each group set write to Clare County Council later this week, to officially begin the legal process of changing the towns’ names. The local authority has confirmed it is the appropriate agency to deal with this issue and that a local vote, similar to that held in Dingle in 2006, may also be required.

This situation arose more than five years ago when Transport Infrastructure Ireland, formally the NRA, contracted Clare County Council to update signage on the N67 tourism route.

At this time the official legal spelling of the towns, which was derived from documentation written before the formation of the state, was used to replace the traditional local spellings which had appeared on all signage for the past 100 years.”

My online research says this :The origin of Name: Corofin takes its name from the Irish ‘Coradh Finne’ which means ‘The Weir of Finnia’.

So there we have it:Transport Infrastructure/National Roads Authority and Clare County Council please take note!


22 comments:

  1. I love the wildness your photos capture especially the Burren, theres nothing like a mystery tour to enliven the soul! All roads eventually lead home :)

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    1. Thanks you for your appreciation Snappy ;)

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  2. The double donut looks like a cat.
    I love touring off the beaten track and I always suggest to visitors to do the same.
    As you know we live practically on the Ring of Kerry and that gets very busy during the summer months. While it is gorgeous, staying on the main road, the side roads take you to some spectacular places, away from the madding crowds. And you see things where the average tourist drives passed.

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    1. Thanks for your observations Patricia. The Ring of Kerry is delightful ! Though the roads I enjoyed are those that are in the centre that traverse around the mountains and over narrow bridges.

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  3. A "double donut" erratic, that's a new one on me. I don't understand the mania for changing names. What a wild part of Ireland you've been visiting.

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    1. The problem in Ireland with the names of places can all be traced back to the seven hundred and fifty years of British occupation. When they took it upon themselves to Anglicise place names and most of them do not reflect the meaning of the original Irish name. Corofin (‘Coradh Finne’) is perhaps fortunate in that part of its original Irish name is contained within the anglicised version. Any other independent country in the world would have stripped the anglicised forms away and reverted back to the original names.
      Thank you your comment Janet and we hope to see you on our shores once again.

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  4. Love the photos. I think the erratic looks like a cat too or maybe a lion, but I like your description. I find narrow roads with strips of grass down the middle intriguing and scary - not that I find them very often :-)

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    1. Hello Teresa, thank you for leaving a comment.
      Ireland already has a famous Cat-stone which is at the renown Bealtaine Fire site at Uisneach in Co. Westmeath. So if you want to see the double donut stone as a lion then that's great :)

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  5. Hello!
    I am for sure very glad that I dared to cross the waters and find bloggers n the UK and otherwise! Oh how much I learn, what views and interesting stories I can take part of. The pictures you bring us are very close to the ones I love to take myself, being confronted with comments like: and there were no actual living PERSONS where you took this picture, just rocks and ruins and fields???
    I will visit here again, for sure. Thank you!

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    1. Hello Fairtrader, thank you for your comments. I very rarely include people in my photos for I respect their right to privacy. I should point out to you that I am in Ireland and not the UK :)

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    2. Oh yes, but you see, Ireland is included in the word "otherwise". No, I'm only joking, I'm quite aware of your whereabouts, and I am only too sad that I never took time to visit. In my parish we have a halfirish priest, she speaks warmly of the island. I never publish pictures on people that are not public, so I agree. In your pictures there is no need for people, they speak for themselves, these rocks.

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    3. Hello Fairtrader and thank you :)
      It is never too late to make a visit you know.

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    4. You are so right and eventually, I will!!! It's never too late to visit Sweden either!!
      However, I got almost overwhelmed by that small staircase to the holy well, what is holy about it??
      It triggers my imagination ,those small steps up, have you tried writing a poem???
      Sorry if I'm using all the space here!!

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    5. Ah' all the old wells in wilds of Ireland are considered to be Holy or Sacred for majority of them have cures and most were flowing in pre-christian times. Perhaps calling them holy keeps the priests and parishioners happy (?)
      No, no poem as yet, I compose only when I am moved t do so;)
      No shortage of space here Fairtrader and your comments are very welcome.

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  6. I learn so much from blogs, Mel. I'd never come across an 'erratic' before. What a special lump of pre-history! I had to look the word up, but now I understand. Your photos capture the sort of scenery I love too and yes, the best roads are always the most intriguing 'unmadeup' ones, aren't they? I think the original Irish for the name Corofin is lovely!

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    1. Thank you Val and I must come clean here for 'erratic' in the sense that it is used in geology is fairly new to me too and was I was only introduced to the Ice Age meaning because of it being one of Mrs H's special interests. We live and learn don't we :)

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  7. Hi Mel - stunning countryside .. and yes those country lanes are the best ... the grass cleaning the underside of the car! Yes an erratic - I knew ... but I'm doing some geology as one of my U3A courses ...

    So interesting about the name change ... and genealogists beware - the scribes knew not how to spell babe's names in the Parish Register ... especially early on ...

    Your last photo of the landscape is incredible .. the road to BallyVaughan - great name too ..

    So pleased you had an occasion to wander out ... I found Ice Age remnants at Maer Lake in Bude, Cornwall on my West Country tour ... that tour offered much geology-wise ..

    A few days out just wandering in the quiet lanes - wonderful .. and then of course banners - presumably similar to the heraldic links of armies and Colours - which we still see today in our traditional events that occur every year ...

    Cheers to you both - Hilary

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    1. Thank you for your comments Hilary.
      Geology is a fascinating subject to study - the formation of the landscape and livelihoods etc, etc.

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  8. I think the British 'Anglicising' of Irish names was so that they could pronounce them! I had a real surprise when I found out how Dun Laoghaire was pronounced. My late mother-in-law was from Terenure in Dublin - but she didn't help much!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Actually Bazz it was all about enforcing British control, in the same way that they tried to prevent the Irish language from being spoken - the blighters !

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  9. The way that rock forms never ceases to amaze me, always so different. I am constantly picking up and collecting stones and small rocks (I suppose if I collect enough we could use them as ballast!). 'A double donut, shaped erratic' those words are wonderful to say, they just roll around one's mouth :)

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    1. Thank you Fran and am glad to have pleased you :)

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