Friday, 31 May 2019

The Clonfinlough Stone, Offaly

A longer spin yesterday saw me cycling on a generally dry day.
It was reasonably warm so I stopped for a few Photographs. All were taken in the often much overlooked County of Offaly.

Dan and Molly's Pub, Ballyboy. Always a warm welcome.

Famine Grave Site, Ballyboy.

The enigmatic Clonfinlough Stone. A mysterious stone with strange carvings lying on an Esker near Clonmacnoise.

Clonfinlough Stone

Is it Neolithic, Bronze Age, Early Christian... perhaps a Pilgrim's marker, who knows ?

Clonfinlough Stone, Offaly

Footed turf in a field and the same turf six weeks previously when freshly harvested.
The footing has been done by hand.


Saint Ciaráns Well and early Christian carvings close to Clonmacnoise.
Saint Ciaráns Well

Saint Ciaráns Well

Shannonbridge. Time for a Pint.

Shannon Harbour.
Shannon Harbour

Shannon Harbour

A Ruin on Wolftrap Mountain.
Wolftrap Mountain

There are many bigger and better known places of interest in Offaly but sometimes it's the road less travelled that the Bike takes me along..............

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Monasterevin, Kildare

A short cycle this evening to relax the legs took me through Monasterevin in Kildare.

I passed the Aquaduct that takes the Canal over the River Barrow.

Monasterevin Kildare

Then I took a few pictures of the 1798 United Irishmen Memorial Celtic Cross which remembers Father Prendergast who was hung in Monasterevin.

Monasterevin Father Prendergast memorial

It's only by taking a closer look that I got to appreciate the detail in the Memorial. The Hound and Harp are beautiful close up.

Monasterevin Kildare

Then I went into Moore Abbey built in the mid 1700's for the Earl of Drogheda. It is now the home of Muíriosa Foundation and was a one time home of Count John McCormack, probably the world's best Tenor of his time, certainly one of the most famous. There's a link to a performance by McCormack at the bottom of this post.

Moore Abbey Monasterevin

His title "Count" was a Papal title and he was also Knighted by the Pope.


Monday, 27 May 2019

Ballymore Eustace, West Wicklow

Got a few spins in this week and passed by Ballymore Eustace in West Wicklow.


Ballymore Eustace

There's a small Church here, Saint John's Church of Ireland  with a 16th Century Effigy Tomb inside of a Fitz Eustace Knight. 
Ballymore Eustace

I didn't get to go inside however the Church grounds contain a lovely simple 10th Century High Cross and some beautiful Medieval  burial Cross's and Slabs.
Ballymore Eustace

Well worth taking a few moments to stop if passing by. These High Cross's are over a thousand years old and still standing tall.

Ballymore Eustace

The Church grounds ooze history and character.

Ballymore Eustace

Some of these old Church grounds are a hidden treasure trove of historical and archaeological remnants of Ireland's past.

Ballymore Eustace

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Walsh Island and Clonygowan Offaly

A few spins this week thankfully. There's a lot of history in the Irish Midlands.

Walsh Island Bord na Móna Locomotive

I passed Clonygowan by it's Village Green and took a photo of the old water pump.
 Clonygowan Village Green
 At Garrymona I stopped at the Ringfort and burial ground, it's quiet here with an air of sadness though.

Garymona Memorial

Clonygowan much like Walsh Island is also a village that once relied on Bord na Móna for most of its work and employment in the midland bogs.

I cycled up to the old Bord na Móna Train to get a quick snap.
Hedge School sign at Garrymona

Walsh Island got it's unusual name because it was a fertile "Island" in a sea of surrounding bog.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Barnes and McCormack

Back cycling and out and about on the TCR in the nice weather.

I passed a memorial which I've meant to take a look at but until now hadn't. It was a Cross at Banagher in Offaly in memory of Peter Barnes and James McCormac.

They were hanged in Britain at Winson Green Prison in 1940 and their bodies were not returned to their homeland until decades later.

I have read that 15,000 people attended their reinterment in Ireland. It is widely believed they were innocent of the charges levied against them relating to a bombing in Coventry. They were active members of the I.R.A. at the time.
The immediate decades following on from the Irish Civil war were far from quiet and partition had left a very sour taste and bitter memories.

An article below from the Irish Times illustrates the enmity still evident throughout Ireland at the time.

Article here :

It is difficult to believe that in the 1940's the State was still flogging people and had introduced Internment. It's a part of Ireland's hidden history and irrespective of one's Politics a part that should be told. Without remembering the past the future becomes a neutral and sterile environment.

Entry at the National Graves Association here:

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Lough Gur, Limerick

Lough Gur

Lough Gur

I haven't been cycling much these past few weeks so we took a trip down to Limerick to see the Stone Circle at Grange, near Lough Gur. It's the largest Stone Circle in Ireland, very picturesque.

Grange Stone Circle, Lough Gur

Nearby was a smaller Stone Circle and a Standing Stone and further along the lakeside a medieval Church ruin.

Lough Gur

A beautiful Wedge Tomb was just a short distance away and close to that were a couple of 7th Century Stone Hill Forts (Cashels) with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Lough Gur

We didn't have time to visit the nearby Interpretive Centre. The countryside here is one huge vista of beautiful scenery dominated by the lake and lush grass and the many exposed rocky "bluffs" surrounding the area.

Lough Gur

There's a wealth of sites of archaeological and historical interest to visit around the lake.

Lough Gur

Lough Gur is well worth taking the time to visit.

Lough Gur, Stone Circle.