Archive for the ‘Interesting’ Category

Cavan Cathedral

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

cavan cathedral-2105

The original Cathedral of the diocese of Kilmore was situated about four miles south of Cavan town in the present parish of Kilmore. Some time in the 6th century St Felim established a church there. It was rebuilt in the middle of the fifteenth century as a cathedral. During the reformation it was confiscated and is still a Church of Ireland (Anglican) cathedral

The new cathedral was built between the years 1938 and 1942, and was one of the last of the huge Roman Catholic cathedrals built in Ireland from the 1850s onwards. Unlike most Irish cathedrals, it is neo-classical in style with a single spire rising to 230 feet. The portico consists of a tympanum supported by four massive columns of Portland stone with Corinthian caps. The tympanum figures of Christ, St Patrick and St Felim were executed by the Dublin sculptor, Edward Smith.

The interior is vast and quite gloomy. The twenty eight columns in the Cathedral, the pulpit on the south side and all the statues are of Pavinazetto marble and came from the firm of Dinelli Figli of Pietrasanta in Italy. The interior seems unfinished, the chapels to the northern side are finished in better materials than those on the southern, suggesting a budgetry problem. Unusually it still has its altar rails intact.

Cavan Cathedral-2091

cavan cathedral-2

Kilcrea Friary

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

Kilcrea Friary-2036

Kilcrea Friary is near Ovens, west of Cork city. Founded in 1465 for the Observant Franciscans by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry. It is set in beautiful farmland and is the burial place of Airt Ó Laoghaire (Art O’Leary) , a Roman Catholic, who was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army.
Having returned home to Rathleigh House near Macroom, Cork, Ireland, Art refused to sell his prize-winning horse to Englishman Abraham Morris, and was thus made an outlaw. Under the Penal Laws of Ireland, Roman Catholics were obliged under law to sell their horse to Protestants if demanded to do so. Morris tracked O’Leary and shot him on his horse on May 4, 1773.
O’Leary’s wife Eileen O’Connell composed the famous Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire or Lament for Art O’Leary, mourning his death and calling for revenge.

As is common in ancient Irish churches and Abbeys, people began using the interior as a graveyard, and there’s a mixture of people buried here; some right up to the present day.

Kilcrea Friary-2043 Kilcrea Friary-2044

Lough Derravaragh

Friday, October 16th, 2009


Beautiful Lough Derravarragh, near Crookedwood, Co. Westmeath is associated with one of the most famous tales of Irish imaginative literature – ” Oidhe Chlann Lir”, the Fate of the Children of Lir. Founded partly on fact and partly on fiction this tale is classed among what are generally called Tri Truagha na Scealaidheachta, The Three Sorrows of Storytelling – the other two being The Exile of the Children of Uisneach and The Faith of the Children of Tuireann.

Lir was a chieftain of the Tuatha de Danann tribe. On the death of Daghda, their king a convention of chiefs elected Bodhbh Dearg (Bov the Red) his son to succeed him. This decision offended Lir who felt he had a greater claim to the kingship.

Shortly thereafter, Lir ‘s wife died and Bodhbh Dearg, who had three beautiful foster-daughters, as a gesture of friendship offered Lir the choice of his daughters as wife. Lir chose Aobh (Eve) the eldest who bore him four beautiful children: Fionnuala, Aodh, Fiachra, and Conn. Tragedy struck and Aobh died, Lir was heartbroken and he too would have died but for the great love he had for his children.

After a time Bodhbh Dearg offered Lir Aoife, the sister of Aobh, as wife; accordingly Lir and Aoife were married.

Lir’s four children were famous for their beauty and were beloved by all the Tuatha De Danann. At the beginning Aoife looked after the children with a mother’s love but evil touched her heart and she became insanely jealous of Lir’s love for his children.

One morning when Lir was away hunting Aoife took the children out in her chariot to visit their grandfather Bodhbh Dearg. Stopping at Lough Derravaragh she led the children to the water to bathe. As soon as they were on the lake she cast a spell changing them into four beautiful swans, decreeing that they should spend 300 years on Lough Derravaragh, 300 years on the Sea of Moyle (between Ireland and Scotland) and 300 years on the Bay of Erris, Co Mayo.

Aoife left them their speech and also gave them the power of singing in a way surpassing all earthly music. Legend has it that for this crime Bodhbh Dearg punished Aoife by transforming her into an air demon.

During their 300 years on Lough Derravaragh great crowds frequently camped on the shore to listen to the singing of the swans. Later on the stormy Sea of Moyle and finally, on the Bay of Erris the four swan-children underwent great sufferings.

During their final days on the Bay of Erris, the children learnt of a holy man called Patrick, who had come to Ireland to tell the people about the Christian faith (St Patrick came to Ireland in 432A.D.). As one of Patrick’s disciples prayed with them their feathers fell away and they were restored to their human form. They were now three old feeble men and an old woman. Patrick’s disciple St Caemhoch baptised them before they died. They were buried together in the one grave as they had wished .

Cavan Kola

Monday, September 14th, 2009

There is a facebook group called “Bring back Cavan Kola” and now a new song from Dublin band ‘Reader’s Wives’ You can check out their website here or listen to the song now When I was a kid, I used to think this was revolting stuff, but most kids liked it because when it was poured into a glass, it kept it’s head and resembled a bottle of stout


Monday, September 14th, 2009

If any of you have broadband from Eircom and are fond of filesharing, you might have noticed that the site has been blocked. Eircom have agreed to block sites that record companies claim help people to infringe copyright law on their music.
The solution is to use another torrent site or to simply use a proxy server to get to the site. I particularly like the aptly named but there are plenty of them out there (google “proxy server”) just enter into the box on their site, and away you go. You’ll also need a bittorrent client such as azureus which is available as shareware.
Eircom are the only Irish ISP to agree to this pressure so far. Your other alternative is to change ISP. The others are cheaper anyway.
Have fun.

Rhubarb Vodka

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I made this Rhubarb Vodka in May so it’s ready for tasting now. You need a 700ml bottle of vodka, 3 stalks of nice red rhubarb, half a pound (250g, quarter of a bag) of sugar, and an empty litre sized bottle to put it in. Wash and cut the rhubarb into about one-inch pieces, add everything into the empty bottle and leave for eight weeks, turning it every week or so to make sure the sugar is dissolving properly. When it’s ready it’ll be a nice golden colour; strain it through a coffee filter. It’s absolutely LOVELY. There’s probably some stupid law against selling it but if you’re in, ask me and I’ll give you a drop for free! (while stocks last, terms and conditions apply you know yourself)
Rhubarb Vodka-0491

Google Streetview comes to Kilnaleck

Friday, July 17th, 2009

If you see a car with an Italian registration and a big camera like this on it’s roof in your area, then you’re being photographed for Google Streetview. The company aims to eventually have photos of every street in the world available on its Google Earth and Google Maps applications as part of it’s aim to be the source of all information on the internet. Here it is in Kilnaleck today but they’ve been spotted all around the area recently.
Google Streetview Car-0498


Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

is about 10 miles away near Oldcastle. If you’re wondering where to bring the kids for a couple of hours, this is an ideal spot. Loughcrew is the second largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland (after Carrowmore, in County Sligo) and has around 30 cairns. Most people have heard of Newgrange and the way its inner chamber is illuminated during the Winter solstice, Cairn T or the hag’s cairn at Loughcrew is similar except that it’s alignment illuminates the inner chamber at dawn at the Spring and Autumn equinoxes. The tombs were built around 3200BC, around the same time as the tombs at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, and the Great Pyramids at Giza in Egypt. I prefer Loughcrew to Newgrange, there’s more to see, great views, less people and it’s FREE. In good weather you can see 13 out of Ireland’s 32 counties. The OPW have guides there to tell you all about it and show you around inside Cairn T for three months in the Summer (Jun-Aug) but you can go anytime and have a look round on your own.
Cairn T


Monday, June 8th, 2009


Doolough (The Black Lake) in County Mayo. During the Famine in Ireland more than 2.5 million people died of hunger and many more emigrated to America to escape starvation. Like the rest of Connemara the Famine had a devastating effect on the area around Killary Harbour. Still etched in the landscape to the present day are the ridges and hollows of the potato beds and the ruins of many tiny stone dwellings which failed to house such impossibly large families at that time. In March 1847, a crowd of over 600 starving people, including many women and children gathered in Louisburgh seeking assistance from the relieving officer. He informed them that they would have to apply to the Board of Guardians who were to meet next day at Delphi Lodge, ten miles away. Having traversed the short mountain route they spent the night in the open, and proceeded on foot to Delphi . When they reached Delphi , the Board were at lunch and could not be disturbed. When they finally did meet with them, assistance was refused. That day it rained and snowed and there was piercing wind. On the longer coastal return journey to Louisburgh, over 400 of these people were washed into the open waters or died from exposure by the shores of the Killary.

In 1841 the Choctaw Indians in Mississippi were forced from their homelands to journey many hundred miles cross country to Oklahoma . Many of them perished on what became known as the ‘Trail of Tears’. A report in ‘The Arkansas Intelligencer’ of April 3rd 1847 stated that the Choctaw Indians, on learning of the Doolough Tragedy, sent money to a famine relief fund in Ireland. Although destitute themselves, the Choctaws scraped together $710 to send to help the starving Irish. In 1992, in recognition of this extraordinary act of generosity, 22 Irish men and women re-enacted the tragic 500-mile ‘Trail of Tears’ which resulted in the Choctaw Indian population reduced to less than half. Raising 1,000 dollars for every one given by the Choctaws to relieve the suffering in famine-stricken Somalia . In 1997, at the annual ‘Famine Walk’ held between Louisburgh and Doolough, the Chief of the Choctaw Nation joined hundreds of others in remembering this tragic event. This monument in the valley has the following inscription from Gandhi, among others, commemorating the event. “How can men feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings?”


Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Does anyone else remember Smokie coming to the Springs year after year? Charlie Mullally’s party piece is still “Alice, Alice, where the fuck is Alice?”. Here’s their video “Jet Lagged” from 1982 and it’s no wonder they’re not still going. There was no expense spared but the world just wasn’t ready for the go-go vegetables and the burger spewing something red about halfway through. Watch out for the singer’s coke-snort around 1m45s…