Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Multitudes Arrive . . .

A welcome sign at Malcomson Square awaits the multitudes
arriving for the first annual

A little short of 15,000 music lovers turned up,
and the weather was excellent throughout the three days and nights. 

The entire event ran to perfection, thanks to the excellent planning of the organisers.

The location (part of), from a distance, one day before commencement of festival.

On  Friday, August 3rd, HUGE numbers of concert-goers descended on Portlaw,
in and around Malcomson Square.
From here, throughout the entire weekend, 
they were ferried back and forth in a free shuttle-bus service to and from the festival site, 
about three kilometres away.

This Dublin bus was just one of very many.

Two music-lovers from Melbourne, Australia,
who arrived on that Dublin bus,
and with whom I had a great conversation about Irish ancestors,
and the 'infamous' Ned Kelly, whose ancestors came from my own native parish in South Tipperary.

Portlaw villagers were enjoying the frenzied activity right through the weekend.
Tom Nugent and daughter, Sarah, done it in style from a seated position,
while also enjoying the excellent weather the country was experiencing.

Notes taken re some of the visitors were mislaid,
but I believe this group had just arrived from Cork.
Correct me, if I'm wrong! 

At times traffic at the roundabout almost became a  problem,
but fortunately the situation was handled to perfection by
stewards and gardaí right through the entire weekend.


Monday, July 23, 2018


Music Festival Fever is hitting Portlaw for almost two weeks now,
with the big event,
beng held in Curraghmore estate during the forthcoming bank holiday weekend.
Vehicles laden with equipment are driving through the area
for some time, raising dust clouds everywhere after them,
due to the abnormally dry weather.

Big surprise today, July 23rd,  was seeing this tall communications mast
being erected right outside the front door of
Clonagam Church! 
Initially TV/Radio broadcasting came to mind,
until someone suggested it was to facilitate mobile phone users,
as the festival location is down in somewhat of a hollow beside
Curraghmore farmyard. 
Am glad to notice some local shops are  getting business from the many 
workers who are here already.


One left-click will enlarge the above and most other images on this site.

Waterford City & County Council
also currently have a road closure notice on their website as follows:

Notice is hereby given that Waterford City and County Council, will close the following public road from 3rd to 6th August 2018 to facilitate the All Together Now Festival:
Road to be closed:
L8026 Clonegam road from junction with Kilmacthomas to Carrick on Suir road R677,           to its junction with Portlaw village.

-   August 25th   -

Despite the music festival fever just a few fields away, life goes on,
carrying away the bales of straw from what appears to have been
a very successful crop of winter wheat.

Meanwhile, some locals were taking it easy at the fountain and enjoying
the much increased flow of people and traffic through the village.

Left to right:
Michael Walsh, Davy Keane, Séamus Crotty, Johnny Crotty.

Enjoying the Clonagam area, where he can regularly be seen,
and admiring the technology outside the church,
was local man, Tom Nugent.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Rain Shortage

Weeks of abnormally-dry weather has resulted in problems for various crops.
in parts of the country.

A number of local potato-fields are being sprayed during past two weeks.
This scene, opposite main entrance to Curraghmore,
had two sprayers in action .

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The EMO connection . . .

The village of EMO, in County Laois ( from the Irish IOMA, which I can't find a translation for), is situated a few miles N.E. of Portlaoise, on the road to Portarlington. 

The village grew up around the estate called EMO COURT, founded in the late 1700s by the then Earl of Portarlington.  The estate in those days consisted of thousands of acres of land. The 3rd Earl, Henry Dawson-Damer, donated the site for the village's Gothic R.C. church, Saint Paul's, completed in 1870 approx. 

We noticed the above plaque on an entrance gate pillar while driving by one day at Easter last.  

The church's fine interior includes some beautiful stained glass windows, especially that over the altar, depicting the Last Supper, also one depicting Mary Magdalene washing the feet of Jesus


In addition, there's this fine 'Pieta' on left inside the main door.

Main attraction, however, must surely be a life-size Carrara marble monument by the famous sculptor, Joseph Boehm, which was commissioned by Lord Portarlington in 1875 in memory of his wife, Lady Alexandrina, better known as Aline.   



Therein lies the first connection with Portlaw.
The sculptor, Boehm, also executed the fine marble effigy of
Florence Grosvenor Rowley (1844 - 1895),
wife of the 5th Marquess of Waterford,
at Clonagam Church, Portlaw.

Lady Florence's memorial in Portlaw. 

Lady Florence died in childbirth.
Both herself and her infant child are buried outside the front door of
Clonagam Church (Church of Ireland/Eaglais na hÉireann), Portlaw,
County Waterford.
Further pictures of the memorial can be seen on this blog
by clicking on the Clonagam Church entry
under 'Popular Posts' on the site's home-page.

N.B.  Clonagam Church and cemetery are seldom open nowadays;
maybe only one day a year!

The present house, known as Emo Court, situated near the village of EMO in County Laois, was only under construction in 1798, when its owner, John Dawson, the 1st Earl of Portlarlington died. After the Phoenix Park, the enclosed estate was then the second largest in the country.
He employed the architect, James Gandon*, to draw up plans for his new house in 1790, and therein lies the second Portlaw connection.
 Construction continued under the 2nd Earl, also John Dawson, but he passed away in 1845, leaving the building still unfinished. He had employed a new architect to continue with the work, changing much of what Gandon had planned.   The 3rd Earl, Henry John Reuben Dawson-Damer (1822-1889), more-or-less brought the house up to its present status.
Like many of his Anglo-Irish contemporaries, who during World War II, The War of Independence and the Civil War, left the country, Henry left the estate, then covering an area of twenty square miles, and sold it to the Irish Land Commission in 1920. Much of the land is believed to have then been distributed among local farmers, but the house remained idle for the next ten years until it was purchased, along with 250 acres, by the Jesuits, who turned it into a Novitiate.  

Among those novitiates was Fr. Francis Browne, the distinguished Irish photographer, who travelled the country, as a missionary, for many years, and created one of the finest collections of images depicting the Irish people and places during the period 1930 to 1957. His pictures relating to the Titanic are his most famous.

 Emo Court now houses a fine display of his work to which admission is free. To view the remainder of the house, there is a reasonable charge, with a reduction for seniors (which many places of interest do not have!), also students, children and families. Entrance to the magnificent park, with its many fine trees, is also free, and includes a car-park, picnic tables and toilet facilities, also a tea and lunch room.   Check out for further info. For Sat Nav owners, the postal code is:  R32 C44V.

      Further text to follow!

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Third Day of Summer . . .

Looking towards the Comeraghs, with the highest point, Knockanaffrin, left of centre, and 'The Gap' nearer to left.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Handmade Quilt for Auction

A Fundraising  Table Quiz for the Dr Martin Day Centre will be held  in the Cotton Mill Portlaw on next Friday the 23rd of March at 8.15 pm. A table of 4  is 20 Euro or 5 Euro per person and also a raffle for some great prizes. On the night we will also hold an Auction for a beautiful handmade patchwork quilt. After the quiz we will have music by D.J. Alan;  so please come along to support this excellent service for the older members of our community to raise badly needed funds.

Cards every Tuesday night at 8pm in the Dr Martin Centre; all welcome come along; cash prizes.