Archive for the ‘Scenery’ Category

Cavan Tourism

Friday, June 26th, 2009

There was a good report about visiting Cavan in Saturday’s Irish Independent newspaper, particularly the area around the river Erne (Ireland’s second longest river; both it and the Shannon, the longest river in Ireland, rise in County Cavan).
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Here’s a photo of the Bellavally Gap. Highest point in Glan Gap. Any water flowing left of here goes into the River Erne and on towards Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal; any flowing right goes into the Shannon, and on towards Limerick! The square shapes in the field the other side of the road are pieces of cutaway bog.

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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?”

Sally Gap

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

The Sally Gap in Co. Wicklow, is the highest mountain pass in Ireland, at least 200ft higher where it meets the military road than the Conor Pass in Co. Kerry at 1650ft (although almost everyone, including Failte Ireland list the Conor Pass as the highest). Also the Lugalla estate, previously owned by the Guinness family, now an adventure centre.

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Click on the photos for larger versions

Wild Garlic

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

The walks in Killykeen are a sea of this wild garlic. The smell is very strong although the flowers don’t seem to have it. The bulbs in the ground must be giving it off. I’m going to gather some and have a go at cooking with it.

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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

A sure sign of Spring, the bluebells are out in the woods near Loreto College in Cavan

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Dun an Ri

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

The weather’s good now so you’ve no excuse not to get out in the fresh air. I recommend Dun an Ri Forest park near Kingscourt. It has several walks of about a mile or two in length and lovely trees and scenery. Like Killykeen, it’s owned by Coillte, but they seem to be more successful here, maybe because they get more visitors they can spend more money on development.
This is Cromwell’s Bridge on the estate


Bruse Hill

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Here’s another photo Paul took from the top of Bruse Hill
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Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Paul and I went for a walk to Mullaghmeen, near Ballinacree yesterday. It’s Europe’s biggest planted Beech forest right here on our doorstep with panoramic views of Lough Sheelin.
Sheelin Pano
It was a totally calm day and we could hear a lad playing the bagpipes while walking his dog through the woods. Surreal. There are more photos on the flickr page.