Saturday, April 8, 2017

Seachtain na Páise 2017

Signs of Easter are to be found everywhere right now, but especially in our supermarkets and in the literature they are clogging up our letter-boxes with   . . . and not a religious symbol to be seen anywhere on such; just eggs of every description, chicks, rabbits, and offers with the titles - Easter Food, Easter Recipes, Easter Wines, Easter Flowers, Easter Specials, Easter Egg Hunts, Cocoa for Easter, Easter Hen Decorations, Easter Colouring Pages for Children and more. The only surprising offer with a real Easter connection seems to be the one entitled, 'Good Friday Fish'!!! Just like Christmas, where the real reason for the festival has almost disappeared in favour of Santa Claus and expensive presents, the true story of Easter is also rapidly disappearing.

(A high percentage of Dublin houses have a sign over their letter-boxes stating -    NO JUNK MAIL!)                                                                                                                                                                         
However, it was nice to see a much larger attendance than on usual Saturdays at our Vigil Mass for Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday this year, and a larger choir than usual with some new faces.  Congrats to all concerned!.

Christ before Pontius Pilate.
part of a window at Fourmilewater church, Co. Waterford. 

Upper section of a window at Lahardane, Co. Mayo.

The window above (upper portion of overall window) from the church in the small village of Lahardane (aka Lahardaun), Co. Mayo, must surely be one of the finest depicting the Crucifixion in any church in the country, and a wonderful example of Irish stained glass art.  

Lower section of a window at Lahardane.

The extremely tall window, obscured partly by furniture, had to be photographed from an acute angle from the side, and in two stages. Fortunaterly, using computers, such problems can usually be overcome, but two separate images had to be accepted. A search for the artist’s name brought a pleasant surprise. It was none other than James Cox, a native of Rooskey, who spent most of his life, from the age of fifteen, working for Myles Kearney & Sons, Ranelagh, Dublin.  This was a branch of the Waterford City business which bears the same name.  The Kearney family were natives of Portlaw. There is also a great window depicting St. Patrick in the same church by the same team.

Lahardane has a lot more to tell, but not with a Portlaw connection. Nevertheless, it’s of such historic interest, I will put it online later. 

The Empty Tomb by stained glass artist, Evie Hone (1894-1955)
at St. Mac|Cullin's Church, Lusk, Co. Dublin, which I had the pleasure of seeing on
Easter Saturday last.
This is the lower portion of a memorial window to the Dodd family.

The upper portion of the same window,
depicting The Risen Christ.

Further item and text to follow.


On the lookout for new photographic subjects and re-visiting old ones in recent days in the Blackwater Valley area, I came across the sign underneath at a lay-by beside the stream known as - ‘Abha na Séad’ (River of the Jewels).

About ten other people were there, including some children, enjoying this little-known beauty spot, where two streams meet. One lady was overheard saying – “They must be rare plants with a conservation order on them. They’d probably look lovely in my garden, but I’d better abide with the wording on the notice”. I was not surprised at her attitude, the signs being so poorly worded. However, I explained the dangers of uprooting or cutting such plants, possibly the most invasive non-native plants in the country.
On the riverbank, no less than two such signs were in situ, where there are only two small colonies of the plants, as opposed to the Coolroe area of Portlaw, where they grow in profusion by the roadside in two areas with no warning signs.  Now coming into leaf, apart from the environmental damage that will happen, they will soon become a serious traffic hazard at a dangerous bend (where the Solar Panel s Farm notice is currently displayed).

The Coolroe problem has previously been well explained on this site (October 29th 2016). Three emails to the Council Environment Dept. didn’t even bring an acknowledgement of receipt. Are any of our many councillors out there looking in???  Over to you!

Thursday, March 30, 2017


A new planning permission application notice 
is now on display at the site in Coolroe townland on the uphill drive to Clonagam church:

Let's hope the application is successful;
anything but nuclear power.
Simultaneously, it will surely mean an end to the vast amount of Japanese Knotweed
growing along the roadside in the area, which  our environmental dept seems to have no interest in,
and which also has been a serious traffic hazard for years.
The largest solar panel farm I've seen to date can be visited at
in North Tipperary.
There may well be others in the country.
Check out:

A single left-click on the image will show an enlarged copy.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Thank You!


                                                                                                               From Israeli viewers on Friday last, March 24th . . . 
4702 page views on the one day!  Inexplicable!
Total page views from Israel since site opened now stands at - 25,771. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

National Daffodil Day 2017

Back in the 1960s, the Canadian Cancer Society began usng the daffodil
as a symbol of hope, and for the promotion of awareness and research.
The idea for such a logo caught on universally
and began to be used in Ireland
Professor Austin Darragh
founded the Irish organisation in this country in 1963.
Daffodil Day here now raises millions to fund the society's cause.
Portlaw has it's more-or-less same faithful volunteers to collect
for many years.

Above can be seen Ann Power and Biddy Hanlin
extracting as much as possible from these two contributors
last Friday, March 24th, outside th Centra.

Simultaneously, Johnny Crotty was on the same mission outside Fogartys' at the bridge,
with benefactors
Teddy O'Brien and Claire Holden.

 A total of €1,822 was raised here in Portlaw.
to all concerned!

Friday, March 17, 2017

An Paráid 2017

                                                                                                                                                              The Portlaw Task Force, organisers of the parade,
must be complimented on the fine turn-out . . .
and they brought snakes galore with them!

The saint himself arrived by boat up the Clódagh river!

Councillor Declan Clune, Sinn Féin, opened the event and welcomed all present.
A runnng commentary on all participants was given as they arrived in the square. 

A few very strong Leprechauns arrived also!

Ever-reliable, the local Pipe Band led the parade, and was probably the main attraction for many.

                                                                                                                                                            Quite a variety of vintage vehicles was on display.

The local pipe band is always on the lookout for new members.
It's never too late, or too early to join!

Carrick River Search & Rescue participate each year
and are much appreciated locally for the work they do.

So many snakes around, some wrapped themselves around the fountain . . . 
and we thinking St. Patrick had managed to get rid of them all!

In between tunes, we managed to get a nicely-posed picture of the band.

All this little boy wanted a was a ride on this motor-bike
and some fine ones were to be seen.

A single left-click on each image will show an enlarged copy. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017