Saturday, 29 June 2019

Limerick - Kerry Spin

In Limerick and Kerry recently for a Cycle. I managed to snap the rear gear cable but had a spare.
Unfortunately I couldn't see where to insert it into the STI lever so I just carried on without replacing it.

Adare Limerick

Cue a further 165 Kms with no gears. Luckily enough there weren't many hills but it was hard going into the wind and rain around Kerry.

Newcastle West

I met a friendly Horse at Askeaton Franciscan Friary in Limerick. I managed to visit Adare Castle and Castle Desmond in Newcastle West the previous day and passed Listowel Castle on the spin itself.


 I also visited Saint Nicholas Church of Ireland in Adare, a former Augustinian Friary founded in 1315. The cloisters are fully covered and beautiful while the whole building was very interesting to wander around.

Askeaton Limerick

Adare Franciscan Friary is a ruined building on Adare Golf course and they kindly gave me permission to visit the site, it's a beautiful old ruin, well worth visiting.


Adare Manor has 5 Ogham Stones located in the grounds but there was a function on so I couldn't gain access to view them which was a pity. Perhaps a reason to visit on another day.


There is also the lovely Trinitarian Church in Adare and a Columbarium.

Nearby Rathkeale also has an old ruined Abbey which I dropped in to see while in the area.

The famous Sophie Peirce, Irish Aviator and Sportswoman was from Newcastle West in Limerick and there is a commemorative Plaque in her memory in the local Square.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Grand Canal and River Barrow

A short spin today and the weather had picked up nicely from the previous chilly "Summer" weeks.

Laois Cycling

I passed over the River Barrow at the Borness near Mountmellick and again another 3 times going to and from Portarlington.

Laois Cycling

I also passed over the Grand Canal Aquaduct at Monasterevin. Not a swimmer in sight but a nice spin on the bicycle nonetheless. The Park at Monasterevin looked inviting in the Sun and well kept and maintained. 

Laois Cycling

Perhaps a picnic for another day.

Laois Cycling
Laois Cycling
Laois Cycling
Laois Cycling

Link here on the Canal:

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Kells, County Meath

A few photo's from a trip to Kells in Meath at the weekend.


 Traditionally every year for the last few decades a member of the Church is tasked to go to Dublin and ask the Provost of Trinity College to give them back The Book of Kells. As you might have guessed so far they've had no luck.

Kells Round Tower

A nice area with lots of interesting things to see and do. 

Saint Colmcille's House

The Spire of Lloyd is just outside the town and Trojan work has been done to turn this area into a well kept amenity.

Spire of Lloyd

I'll post a full page on Kells at a later date.....

Mountmellick Post Office

I've managed to get in a good few cycles this last few days.
Unfortunately my pictures today depict a sad but regular occurence. It's the recently closed local Post Office in Mountmellick.

Located just off the main square for who knows how long the Post Office has shut it doors and moved to a new location on the edge of town beside a modern Retail Centre.

Mountmellick Post Office

Despite the obvious local objections large Supermarkets in rural areas seem intent on closing the local Post Offices and moving them into their sphere of influence.

Mountmellick Post Office

The small shop in the Town Square has recently undergone a facelift under new ownership and closing the nearby Post Office certainly will not help sustain rural towns and villages nor business's located in those same towns and villages.

Mountmellick Post Office

The larger Supermarket Chains are doing a brisk enough business without necessitating the relocation of essential services towards their business's. If progress necessitates the "stripping bare" of small villages then there's not much future for local economies in rural Ireland.

As you can see from the photographs it certainly doesn't add to the local "ambience" at all.

Friday, 7 June 2019

Lugacurren Megalithic Tomb, Laois

A short spin today to locate the Megalithic Tomb at Lugacurren. This tomb is either a Bronze age Cist (Kist) or part of a larger complex of several Cists which have since been destroyed. In the 1800's it was surrounded by other Cist's and several standing stones.

Lugacurren Cist

None of these other relics survive today which is a great shame. When I got here (about a Kilometre uphill from the junction at Lugacurren) I wandered up and down the road for quite a while looking for the tomb. It was invisible and buried deep beneath brambles and nettles. 

Megalithic Laois

I spent 20 minutes pulling weeds and Ivy off it. It is badly neglected and unsigned unfortunately.


 Considering the scarcity of Megalithic structures in Laois I have no idea why it isn't looked after and signposted. This structure may well be over 4000 years old.

Church Ruin

 My cycle also took in Kilmurray just behind Chicken Byrne hill where I came across a 16th Century Church ruin in someone's garden, very unusual.

Killone Bullaun Stone, Laois

 Coming from Kilmurray towards the Heath I came across a Bullaun stone at the roadside by the entrance to a house. This particular stone was covered in moss and Ivy which I cleared away to get a photograph. A huge stone, it looked quite heavy and was an interesting find. I don't know of its history in the area or what it was used for.

Rathdaire Church

 I later passed Rathdaire Church (Church of the Ascension) which was built as a memorial Church by Cornelia Adair for "Black Jack" John George Adair, a most unloved character to say the least. This Church is described as Hiberno Romanesque and was built in 1883.

The detail in the doorway is outstanding.
It looks like a mixture of Scandanavian Urnes and Celtic La Téne at the Doorway and Arch.

Rathdaire Church

Adair built Glenveagh Castle in Donegal and by all accounts seems to have been the most hated man in that County for the forced evictions of his tenants. Mind you, he seems to have been a controversial figure wherever he went although it's difficult to cast an unbiased judgement on a historical figure from the past. His legacy here in Laois is the stunning little Church in Rathdaire.

Rathdaire Church

 A memorial stone for him in Donegal was destroyed and at Ballybrittas Laois, close to the Church, Belgrove House, an Adair family residence (built between 1835/40) was burned to the ground in 1887.

Rathdaire Church

Cist (Kist)

Keep the wheels turning....

Thursday, 6 June 2019

The Heath, Laois

A spin last week saw me cycling through the Heath near Portlaoise.

The Heath

This area is grassy commonage and covered in Bronze Age Ring Barrows and Iron Age Ring Fort remains (Raths).

The Heath

Most are difficult to make out as they are covered in gorse and scrub. The Ring Barrow just up the road from the Primary School is particularly easy to spot as it has been cleared of gorse.  It also looks great. Barrows are Bronze Age burial sites.

The Heath

There's an interesting old stone building near the golf course and I have no idea what it was used for. It doesn't seem to be listed in the Architectural Inventory.

The Heath, Portlaoise

Near to the Heath is the ruin of The Heath Church which has a nice font (stoup) on the brickwork. The Church ruin is a "T" shape and the grounds are well kept.

The Heath, Portlaoise

The archaeology of the Heath spans thousands of years and it's a pity there's not more done to highlight the area and its long history.

The Heath, Portlaoise

The Heath, Portlaoise

The Heath in Irish : An Fraoch Mór.