Tuesday, 31 October 2017

On the banks of Lough Derg.

A pictorial tour from the banks of Lough Derg where the mighty River Shannon flows,
past the counties Clare and Tipperary.

Autumnal colours at Mount Shannon

It was with sorrow that we found an inconvenient Convenience.

It does make me wonder about the sincerity of the local administrators,
 closing down buildings such as these.
 Where do they expect needy visitors to relieve themselves ?

It is against the Law in Ireland to relieve oneself within in a public area 
irregardless of whether private parts are actually visible - even behind a tree.

In Mount Shannon harbour a foreign ( Dutch ?) craft is for sale.

I found her stern quarters as attractive as her bow and especially the yellow detailing.

The mascot of the Iargo Sneek.

From the banks of east Clare across a placid Shannon to Tipperary.

I think that the tower house, bottom right is Castlebawn which was restored in 1995

Lots of islands loiter creating dreams for some.

In case you are wondering I am not focussed on the tree :-)

More islands lurking near the banks of Clare can be seen when in County Tipperary.

From Portroe in Tipp to the misty mystique of county Clare.

In the foreground an old sleeping ground of yesterday's people lie silently slumbering.

I hope that you have enjoyed this photographic visit
as much as I have in sharing them.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

A Melding of Thoughts

The other day we returned to Slieve na Cailleach especially to meet up with the artist Lar Dooley who had traveled there from the Dublin area.

Sometimes when meeting people for the first time it can be a bit nerve wracking, not though this time for we met with ease. We felt that we were linking up with an old friend and at the end of our discussions, we all knew, that we shall meet up to talk again. 

Neither of us practise religion in any shape or form. There is nothing that we can give, take or receive from any belief system and thus no intermediary is required to advise or intercede on our behalf. Lar uses the word ‘spirit’, I use the word ‘energy’ for what we both know as life-force.

We had a very interesting conversation where each of us expressed a mutual understanding about the existence and continuance of life. Each of us, in our own way, had met The Cailleach (the ancient crone) experiencing her presence in an indelible and unforgettable way. 

The artists Lar Dooley beneath his work with Mrs H.

The Café

The hosts Niall and Sarah who created the best BLT Panini 
that I have ever eaten.

Mary Heaney's Cottage.

Mary's hearth in her kitchen.

Mary's bedroom with a cradle alongside the bed

A visitor from the USA finds her way

On leaving the café, I trotted around to take more photos and to talk with some of the people from the USA who were on a day tour of the area. It was a day of pleasant exchanges and a certain president did not come out well - ah such is life.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Hill of the Witch

We took to the road last weekend intending to ramble around the area of Loughcrew otherwise known as Sliabh na Cailleach and to view the paintings of a Dublin based artist Lar Dooley, which had caught Mrs H’s eye on Facebook.

It was a soft day, meaning that although warm it was very damp, with fine misty rain. Not the type of day for me to walk up the hill to the cairns although I have done so in the past. The climb is quite easy when going up but coming down it can be very treacherous and my old bones no longer appreciate tumbles.

The hill of the witch - the Cairns of Loughcrew, a quick guide by Anthony Murphy

Instead we headed to the new to us visitor centre, several buildings, one of which was once a cottage home. The cafe was inviting and the staff friendly so we partook of a great up of coffee then went into the gallery to view the work of Lar Dooley. Each image was inspired by the landscape of Loughcrew and the ancient cairns with their stone art. His technique was unusual, to me it seemed almost ceramic in texture, with symbols seemingly carved into stone. Mrs H fell in love with an illustration of the stone which sits in a chamber inside Cairn T and is illuminated by the sun at the Equinoxes.


This over looks the childrens' playground.

The courtyard where an old bone shaker leans next to the wall.

A fairy bridge - not that I was aware of any!


We wended our way homewards stopping in Oldcastle Co. Meath which I was surprised to learn is a relatively new town, created by the Naper family in the 18th century.

This auction house had some classical pieces of furniture on show.

I can only presume that the people from these cars were
propping up the pub counters.

A memorial to two sons of Ireland who lost their lives
when fighting of independence in the 1920's

A colourful corner in Oldcastle

The link below has an audio which goes into great detail about the town of Oldcastle and I suggest that you read and hear for yourselves all about the place.

We shall shortly be revisiting the megalithic centre and hopefully to meet and speak with Lar Dooley
so I will keep you informed. Until then take care of yourselves.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Sailing Across the Pond

There is an old ugly Irish phrase for people have moved here from another country - 
‘blow ins’. 
I was called one several years ago and my retort was that every person in Ireland is either a blow in or historically related to one. 

The first known group of people who arrived here at the end of the last ice age were the Palaeolithic people, they were followed in turn by the Mesolithic, Neolithic Bronze Age and Iron Age people-the Celts. The Vikings,The Welsh and much later the Welsh-Normans followed by the British and were all of them, ‘blow ins’.
I must mention that there was a great flow of people moving out from this island to other parts of Europe throughout those times too.

A three masted barque.

Dunbrody's figurehead with bowsprit above.

Between the years of 1843 to 1850 great distress fell on Ireland caused by the potato blight which brought about starvation, illness and the death of a million Irish people. 
The migration of another two million departed and left Ireland with a depleted population. 

Dunbrody and her reflected image.

A great proportion of the migrants travelled to the USA from a variety of ports in England and Ireland. They left on ships such as the Dunbrody, a replica of which is moored to a wharf at New Ross in Co Wexford. Here the River Barrow flows through the town on it’s way to join the sea at Waterford and it was to New Ross that we drove on Saturday to view the three masted barque Dunbrody. 

A monument to those who emigrated

The Emigrant Flame

The link below is an Irish emigration database though this is not exactly correct as it covers all of the emigrant sailings to America from English and Irish ports of that period. Detailing the ages, names, occupations, nationalities and the destinations of people who emigrated to the USA are shown here. I found over five hundred people with my last name and a few had historically known first names from my branch of the family so I include the link here for you to do your own research.

You can also find much more information about the Famine times and all about the sea journey from viewing www.dunbrody.com