Wednesday, 24 May 2017


Following our visit to Woodfield’s Cottage Market we took ourselves off on an adventure.
Driving along the roads of Tipperary, which border the banks of Lough Derg, we visited a couple of the harbours which provided safe havens for the pleasure craft that sail its’ waters.

A crowded signpost with misleading signs
because the road sign did actually

Brockagh Harbour
the name translates to na brocaí and may mean a dirty (muddy ?) place. 
It certainly has nothing to do with badgers for it is very low lying 
and floods in the winter.

Map of an interesting walk for those whose legs are up to it !

Dromineer Harbour

The name Dromineer in Irish is "Drom Inbhir"
meaning the back or the ford of the river. 

Well, this one could certainly carry a lot of baggage!

Here is an old lady named Miranda that is made of iron - I bet she could tell some tales!

On the skyline are the hills of County Clare in the Province of Munster.
County Tipperary in the Province of Leinster is a long county that shares it boundaries with two provinces in seven other counties: Waterford,Cork and Clare in Munster, Limerick, Kilkenny, Offaly and Laois in Leinster and Galway in Connaught. Five of these are land borders apart from Clare and Galway, which are watery borders. These two counties are divided by Lough Derg, Loch Deirgeirt, meaning "loch of the red eye”’

Ireland’s longest river, The Shannon, which takes its’ name from the goddess Sionnan, flows through the Lough to emerge on her way to the sea on the far side of Limerick City.

Those of you looking for a place to live in Ireland with a grand view 
of Lough Derg might consider this?

Monday, 15 May 2017

An Almost Village

On a green field with a stand of trees where hens once pecked, a tented market blossomed, a street of stalls, an almost village; with a Baker, a Willow Weaver, a Candle Maker, a Poetic Rhymer, a Potter, a Framer, a Soap Maker and a Pizza Purveyor all mixed in between arts and crafts persons, knitters, garment makers and a Wildfood Mistress.

Then came the comers and goers, customers, chatterers, the Happy Sunday People and nosey-parker photographers clicking away quietly.
Yes, it was a resounding success - Woodfield’s of Birr first Cottage Market which will be held on the second Sunday of every summer month at eleven o’clock.


Thursday, 11 May 2017


My blog FIRESIDE TALES contains the stories I wrote several years ago for my grandson.
They tell of an old druid and a young lad discovering the magic of nature and the nature of magic.

I doubt that I shall continue writing this series but if you enjoy reading them then perhaps the adventures will continue in your own imagination......

You can find FIRESIDE TALES on the link HERE

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Hill of Truth !

Our intention this time was to visit several places that Mrs. H has had her beady eye on for the past few weeks so at the weekend we set off on a round trip of two hundred and thirty-three miles. The weather was perfect, the coffee in the flask was strong and the road was ours.

Apart from visiting the places that were on our schedule, my navigation brought us to a small home that I had long heard about but had never seen. Finding it was a surprise and a treat for sore eyes.

Eamon De Valera’s home-place at Bruree in Co. Limerick. 


The Galtee Mountains
photo taken from Lattin in Co. Tipperary

The highest peak in the Galtee range is Galtymore which rises to 917 m (3,009 ft). Although not the highest mountain in Ireland it is very impressive and can be seen as a great backdrop on the skyline. Some of the best views can be found when approaching Cashel, Co.Tipperary from the north and onwards towards Tipperary Town. 
The Galtees are classified as having a High Fall risk for ramblers, with steep and dangerous areas as well as being very wet underfoot so great care must be taken when walking there.  

My favourite view of The Galtees

By mentioning The Galtee Mountains and Eamon De Valera it has brought to mind a song about a comrade-in-arms of his which I share with you here:

The song of the Galtee Mountain Boy

We continued along our route, travelling further south until we finally saw the outline of Cnoc Fírinne, Co. Limerick. Known as the Hill of Truth or of truthful prediction, because it serves as a weather glass to the people of the surrounding plains who can predict whether the day will be wet or dry by the appearance of the summit in the morning. It is here by tradition that the Irish God, Donn, has another home. 

The Hill of Truth

Cnoc Fírinne

I find it humorous that the male gods are more than likely to be found in the high places and associated with weather, death and truth, whilst their female counterparts are generally found lower in the landscape, in caves, valleys and rivers. 

On the drive home we both felt a bit weary and yet satiated from all that we had seen, the happy memories of which will remain with us. Thank you for visiting this blog and I hope you have enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017



County Laois in April

A brackish lake in county Clare


Coastal Waters of Clare

The Offering

The Shannon in May

Tuesday, 25 April 2017


I have spent over twenty-five years criss crossing the Slieve Blooms in Co. Laois looking at what it has to offer me and taking great enjoyment from all that I have seen. The other day while driving along a country road with fields on either side we turned a corner and received a very pleasant surprise.

Ducks, thousands of them and all made of plaster. Well, we just had to stop and take photo's to share with you all. Hope that you leave this blog post feeling happy with a smile on your face.

Oliver Delaney
The Duck Master.

Oliver's private guard lest you be tempted
to remove the ducklings.

Thursday, 13 April 2017


We left home early the other morning to journey to the village of Ballaun. We wanted to see a stone, decorated with Continental Celtic designs, known as La Tène carving. Such pieces are very rare in Ireland. 
Lunch was taken alongside Lough Rea on the outskirts of Loughrea town, where it rained constantly so consequently there are no photos.
After a false start with directions that Mrs H had copied from a web site, I suggested that herself made enquiries at a fuel depot. This was done and off we went, straight in through the gateway of the establishment where the Turoe Stone is sited.

I stayed in the car with Toby whilst herself took photos of the stone. Within a few minutes she returned with two ice creams and a look of disappointment on her face. The famous stone had been taken to Athenry for cleaning.  A black mould had grown all over the stone so that the carvings were no longer discernible.
The ice creams were definitely not the best either so we were disappointed but at least the dog was happy.


Rather than return the way we’d come we took a different road home, one that put us on the western side of  Slieve Aughty, a range of mountains that is shared between county Clare and Galway. Fortunately by then the weather had greatly improved and we could take in the scenery.
Driving along I noticed  a ‘pile of stones’ so we stopped. When I hopped out of the car to explore further I discovered it was Cloghan Castle!

Please view the link

Mrs H is mad keen on viewing sacred wells so our next distraction was Peterswell. Peterswell is confusing because it is also known as Kilthomas.

“Kilthomas is the name of both a civil parish and a Roman Catholic parish in South Co. Galway. 
The RC parish of Kilthomas is also sometimes known as Peterswell or Peterswell/Kilthomas”

We didn’t see the well either but continued on, up and up, towards Hollymount until we ran out of tarmac. Here we found a place to park and take photos.

You can tell when you are up high, when the blades look 
as if they are cropping the grass.

Lough Cutra and the continuing range of the Aughty Mountains

Our route off the Mountain took us to the townland of Ballycahalane and at a T junction 
I spotted the 1916 - 2016  commemorative plaque to the Irish Volunteers of the Easter Rising and beyond.

The Liam Mellows Monument

A close up of the plaque.

For information about Liam Mellows please link 

We shall be returning to explore the Slieve Aughty Mountains [Slíab Echtge] when skies are clearer. I hope to discover more of its’ historic sites and perhaps Mrs H will find her sacred well.