Archive for the ‘Scenery’ Category

Drumlane Abbey

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

near Milltown, Belturbet, Co. Cavan was founded in the early sixth century. The original wooden buildings were replaced by stone in the 12th Century, and later added to in the 15th Century. You can clearly see the two periods by the different types of stone building in the tower. The monastery is associated with St. Mogue, who was born in nearby Templeport. It’s in a beautiful place overlooking two lakes in peaceful quiet countryside, however we weren’t the only visitors yesterday, these two Irish hares must have thought it was still March. There are some unusual headstones in the graveyard. The one below with the skull and crossbones is conclusive proof that we’ve been colonised by aliens, with it’s egg-timer on the left, coffin underneath, and space-shuttle on the right!

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After a little further research (Thank You, Google), it’s possible these weren’t aliens after all. William Roulston explains the meaning of the strange pictures known as ‘Mortality Symbols’ on some headstones. The skull and cross-bones is a well known symbol for death. The coffin and the bell represent a funeral. The hour glass represents the time running out. These symbols tell us a lot about how people felt about life and death at that time. Headstones like these can be found around Fermanagh and in parts of Monaghan.

Boa Island

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

In Caldragh Cemetery on Boa Island, Lower lough Erne stand two unique stone carvings. Dating from the first century A.D. the larger of these is a Janus figure, two figures back to back with pear shaped heads and interlacing between the heads representing hair. seems to consist of a woman and a man, fastened together back to back by a solid band. Although the leather band does not really include the arms the hands of both individuals do seem to be tightened by shackles and they are unable to free themselves.

The male person is lusty and we wonder why he cannot turn around and mate with his partner. The male figure with a phallus underneath his crossed arms seems to be blind on one eye, which may refer to Odin, who was blind at the left eye as well. He gave his left eye to the giant Mimir who allowed him to drink from the source of wisdom.

The third figure which is known as “the Lustyman” because it was found on the nearby island Lusty More, may in fact be a female figure. Both figures are described as Celtic Idols. The Carvings appear to have weathered quite a lot in recent years.

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Cuilcagh

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

The highest mountain in counties Cavan and Fermanagh at 2188ft, Cuilcagh remains snow covered for long after it has melted elsewhere. here it is with Benaughlin and Lough Derryallen, near Derrylin in the foreground.

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Corglass, The Movie (now new and improved)

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Including daredevil Mini Motorbike rider LOL

Deep Freeze

Friday, January 8th, 2010

We’ve never had such a prolonged cold spell since I’ve lived in Kilnaleck, and I’ve never seen Corglass lake frozen like this before. Fritz Rennix says he rode a motorbike across it in 1965. Here’s intrepid explorers Craig Lovett, Donal Harten, Damien Lynch and Paul Lynch at least 50 meters from the shore this morning. There’s about 10″ of ice and it seems very solid, people have been out on it on motorbikes, quads, even a Mitsubishi Pajero!

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More photos here

Sloe Gin

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The country’s covered in these sloes right now. They’re the fruit of the blackthorn tree so every hedge should have some. Don’t attempt to eat them. They’re bitter and horrible. They’re a member of the plum family. You can make jam, or better still SLOE GIN with them. Paul picked these on the bog line near Finea about two weeks ago and the gin should be ready for Christmas. Isn’t it a beautiful colour?

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I know, I know, it’s in a Powers bottle but it was handy

Kilcrea Friary

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

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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.

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Lough Derravaragh

Friday, October 16th, 2009

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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 .

Bad year for the bog

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

This Summer’s been very wet. Cathal Keaney and Noel Lynch are still hoping they’ll get this turf home from Abbeylara though.

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Loughcrew

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