Sunday, 28 August 2016

East of Griffiths Bridge

This time we view the activities at the eastern side of the bridge
which are very different, from my first visit of twenty-five years ago
and am pleased to see the new berths with the modern services.
The sturdy road bridge at Shannon Harbour called Griffith’s Bridge was named after Richard Griffiths one of the directors of the Canal company who built the
Grand Canal.

This beautiful steam launch named Maggie caught my eye and I would very much liked to have removed the cover and viewed her details, which I imagine are excellent.

Nice touch to see a bucket of flowers at the end of the pontoon!
 Look at this beauty with her almost vertical stem and bulwarks along with a pulpit rail.
Once again my admiration goes to her owner for having such a ship-shape craft.
Having mentioned the pulpit guard rail there is an error in believing that a stern guard rail is a pushpit rail, this completely wrong for both are pulpit rails and pulpit means a place where a person may lean on a speak from - ok lecture over.

Further upstream all manner are craft are moored along the bank.
Those tall buildings (ruin) are all that remains of the Grand Hotel that was built to accommodate travellers and patrons of the Grand Canal in late 19th century.

More moored boats !

I have not yet finished with Shannon Harbour as you will
see in my next blog post.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


A quare blog post to make you smile!

THE BOG MAN of PULLAGH, Co. OFFALY  carved out of Bog Oak.

Looking at the map and also at the road signs it would be easy to believe that there are two places with similar names next to each other, for just over Plunkett Bridge which strides the Grand Canal is POLLAGH and the reasoning for this is something for which I know absolutely nothing about. Last night I read a survey compiled by Offaly County Council hoping to find an answer - unfortunately they described it all as being PULLAGH !

The carpark at Ballinahown, Co. Westmeath.
with a Bog Oak structure which was once a fountain.

The reflection looks better with a root stock emerging from
a stony pond and somehow more meaningful ?

These miniature iconic models or perhaps garden decorations
caught my eye.

I think that this fellow is supposed to be a

Thursday, 18 August 2016


The title says it all, for the Slieve Blooms are beautiful, especially when the heather is out. This year it carpets the land with a purple blanket that burns the eyes. We are very fortunate to be living where we do close to Sliabh Bladhma [Irish name]. 
This photo was taken from The Ridge of Capard looking towards the east and on the skyline several ancient sites sit in equal splendour. Different to us in that they are on the tourist route; I am never quite sure whether it would be good to have the same number of visitors as they do or not, it would bring about changes and they are not always beneficial.

The quiet and almost secret mountains.

Part of the Ridge of Capard is an area of scientific interest, to allow access board walks have been laid to prevent damage.

Here I captured two female photographers unaware of my actions.

A proud Grandpa with his Grandson.

A significant full moon marked the end of our family
holiday together and the eve of my daughters' birthday.
We celebrated with Prosecco, gifts and talk that went on past midnight.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Rescue at Brownshill Dolmen

The 5,000 year old Brownshill Portal Tomb, 
Kernanstown, Co.Carlow 

Poor Granny has a 150 tonne capstone on her head!

Grandpa assists Ollie to lift what is reputed to 
be Europe's largest capstone off Granny's head.

After the lift the Druid's Apprentice checks the energy,
to make sure all is as it should be.

The next stage is to do a rhythmic step dance
to seal the energy force.

On his final inspection of the portal tomb Ollie
discovers a Wooly Caterpillar.

The rescuers and the rescued are refreshed with ice creams
at the Chocolate Garden in Rathwood, Co. Wicklow.

Ollie takes Granny on an assault course to improve
her dexterity.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

An Intrepid Explorer

A visitor all of four feet and two inches high has arrived with his parents to explore the wonders of this island. Yesterday he made a visit to an inland beach far from the coast!

The intricacies of the river being explained to him.

There is no better experience than solitary exploration.

It takes courage to stand on the edge and look down
into the depths of the river.

Leading the nervous along a new route!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

The Confluence Tree

To the rear of the dry docks at Shannon Harbour stands part of a bog oak tree on which has been inscribed with the names of three waters that join together at the western end of the harbour, hence the name of this blog.

The Confluence Tree

The three waters are :-
The River Shannon
The River Brosna
The Grand Canal

Monday, 1 August 2016

Guinness goes West

On leaving Shannonbridge we retraced our route for home and made a detour to the attractive Shannon Harbour. A place that holds fond memories for me of my early time in Ireland, for here I would visit and take a relaxing stroll along it’s banks to look at what floats in its waters. I loved and still love the sense of an ambiguous freedom that glides above the surface to permeate the very air that we breathe.

Looking West

Shannon Harbour built in 1803 is the terminus for Grand Canal which starts in Dublin and connects to the River Shannon via a lock at the western end. The GC whose waters were once used for making Guinness, also provided a means of transporting the great beverage to all hostelries en route to and including the City of Limerick. On their return journey they would bring back various cargoes such as turf (peat), potatoes and other goods. 

All types of craft moor here including a few
English narrow boats.

I have to admit to being intrigued by the name of this boat
SLY FOX which I think might have been named by a woman.

This beautiful yacht bears the name of famous Irish woman Granuaile also known as known as The Pirate Queen Gráinne Ní Mháille  or Grace O’Malley in English (c 1530- 1603)

The narrow boat SNOWBALL in the dry dock being prepared for bottom blacking.

I could not quite work out as to what the thumb-stick was for because he
seemed to be quite able to walk.

The Irish canal barges were 80 feet long by 17 feet-1 inch wide and made of iron and later of steel. Today the remaining barges have been converted into houseboats.

The first or the last road bridge over the Grand Canal, depending on which end you count from !