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Monday, January 31, 2011

087. Portlaw Well.

Well inside Salaheen gate on Curraghmore estate. This well, possibly from the middle 1800s, served the estate workers who lived at Salaheen cottages up to the not-too-distant past.
A local gentleman informed me this was called the Cradle Well, because of its shape!
Taken today January 31st 2011.

The holy well, Tobair na nAingeal - Well of the Angels - in Kilmogemogue townland, possibly from early Christian times, and even earlier Pagan times.  As is common with holy wells, and there are very many around the country, votive offerings can be found at the site. I believe there may be early ecclesiastical remains in the vicinity.

I would be interested to know if anyone ever heard of the tradition of unbaptised children being buried nearby.

Taken today January 31st 2011.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

086. Ringing in the New Year.

Ringing in the New Year, a minute after  midnight, on January 1st, 2006, at St. Patrick's Church.

Left to right:
Ger Crotty, Kieran Laffan, Assumpta Phelan, Anne Laffan,
and Bernie Crotty (in front).

085. The Clódagh in Flood, 2009.

November 19th 2009 brought much flooding to the area following heavy rains, the extent of which can be seen in this image, taken at Portlaw's new riverside amenity area.

However, the weather was to get much worse, and it can be seen here that Portlaw's bridge, originally built in the late 1700s, was just about able to cope with the tsunami of water sweeping down from the Comeragh mountains, especially from its main tributary - Iske Solas - anglicised from the Gaelic - Uisce Soluis - Water of Light, which rises immediately to the east of Coumshingaun.

The Clódagh river, from the Gaelic - Clóideach - meaning mountain torrent, lives up to it's name at least once every year.

The local fire engine can just about be seen, over the life-buoy,  in front of the former Presbyterian Manse, which the fire brigade was helping to save from the rising water.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

084. Queueing up!

These animals, near Tower Hill cottages, were ever so curious every time I passed.
They liked being photographed too.
This picture from April 2010.

083. Wall Repairs.

Old walls always keep falling, and these around Curraghmore estate, being about 150 yearsold, are most likely to, due to falling trees, storms, etc.
With an expert like Michael Hanrahan on left, this section being re-built should surely last at least 100 years more.
Michael is being ably assisted by James Walsh, on right here, and Freddie Kelly, in the centre,  must be overseeing the job?
Now I am well aware of Freddie's capabilities as a comedian and singer, maybe dancer too, but I didn't know he was an expert on wall-building also!

Curraghmore has over twelve miles of boundary walls.  It's quite possible they were built during the Great Famine era, like the walls around Kilcooley Estate, on the Tipperary/Kilkenny border near Gortnahoe. The latter, from records kept at Kilcooley House, a Ponsonby residence until recently, were built to provide work during the famine times, the labourers receiving a Penny a day plus a bowl of Porridge.
The Ponsonbys had come up from Piltown and married into the Barker family there in the 1700s.
Read the recently published book - 'Kilcooley Abbey' - by Maura Barrett,  which includes 23 of my photographs. This book deals with the history of the abbey only.  It can be purchased at Slieveardagh Heritage & Cultural Centre, Killenaule.

The above photo was taken in September 2010.

Monday, January 24, 2011

082. Febuary Landscape.

View from the Polo Field gate on a cold afternoon, 6th February 2007,
looking towards Croughán and the Comeraghs.   

081. Landscape - September 15th 2008.

This attractive Portlaw landscape image was taken on September 15th 2008.

Can you say what road it was taken from?

Send me an email (address on this site), saying it's the road from xxxxxxxxxxxxxx to xxxxxxxxxxxx
by April 30th and, if correct,  you will be in a free draw for an A4 size copy of ANY picture on this site, printed on archivally-permanent paper (100-year-plus lifespan), titled, signed, and bearing the author's embossed logo! 

The image can be enlarged by left-clicking on it twice.

080. Snow in January 2010.

Yes, we had snow twice in 2010; the first picture in a series.

Quite light at this stage, but enough to cause problems for walkers.

It began to get heavier, but Jimmy Power wasn't going to miss his daily newspapers! 

Nellie Walsh enjoyed the snow immensely!

Things were deteriorating, but it didn't prevent Cleona O'Shea and Denise Kavanagh from walking about. In the background, boys were now beginning to throw snowballs!

It was still getting heavier, but dogs had to be walked!

This family in Queen Street were making the most of it all!

Nearby neighbour, Maurice Long,  was already making the approach to his house in Queen Street safer. 

Setting out to get some landscape pictures, the lodge at Kellys' Gate looked attractive, but it was quite dull just at that time.

The view at Clonagam Hill was like something on a Christmas card, but I failed to get back up and had to make an 18-mile detour because the roads were becoming a problem.

It was worth it all, however, when I saw this fine panoramic view of the Comeragh mountains.

Friday, January 21, 2011

079. Clonagam road Fog - 21 January 2011.

Exercising horses on the Clonagam road at 1.00pm today.
There was no fog, just brilliant sunhine, 200 metres back up the hill, but visibility, a short distance downhill, in Portlaw, was quite poor.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

078. Bell Tower on St. Patrick's Church.

St. Patrick’s Church, high on a hill outside the town, was built in 1859 during the ‘reign’ of a Fr. John McGrath, to an Early English style designed by Dubliner, James Joseph McCarthy, who was considered the Pugin of his time. McCarthy, who lived from 1817 to 1882, designed numerous Catholic churches (over forty), monasteries, abbeys, convents, etc., including the nearby fine churches in Tramore,  Thomastown, Clogheen and Killenaule. The latter was considered his most impressive; a visit is highly recommended.
McCarthy also designed the cathedrals in Derry and Thurles, and finished the interior work at Enniscorthy cathedral, now an important tourist attraction, which Pugin had commenced back in 1841.

Note in the image above, a Lawrence postcard from very early 1900s, that there is no bell tower on the church, but there is today! However, on the right side of the church (the town side) you can just about discern a number of tall pillars in what is now the oldest part of the cemetery. On this cast-iron structure hung the church bell. The present-day bell tower was added in 1910 during the pastorate of Fr. Thomas Hearne, Fr.McGrath's nephew. 
Compare this picture with image No. 018 on this site. 
Why the bell tower was not included in the original building here is unknown.  Maybe it was due to insufficient funds. However, it is a co-incidence that neither was the proposed bell-tower at St. Mary’s Church, Killenaule. Instead, the bell there was erected on a cast-iron ‘stand’ similar to the one just about visible in the above postcard.  The Killenaule bell still remains in situ beside the church, on its original support, but an electronic device has now been put in place there which plays the music of a hymn at the times for the Angelus!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

077. Curraghmore Trees - Jan. 19th 2011.

When a section of the Curraghmore boundary wall on the hill down to Clonagam church collapsed very recently, it opened a completely new view of part of the estate - which I understand is the largest in Ireland.
This afternoon (Jan. 19th 2011),  I made use of the gap, and succeeded in getting a few nice new images as the sun was about to go down over Croughán and the Comeragh mountains.

There were pictures to be had all around in a semi-circle!

Clonagam Church, which was on my right, was beginning to look better as the colours warmed up.
The water in the middle distance is called 'The Shepherds' Pond'.
The name of this townland*, Clonagam, is from the Gaelic - 'Cluain na gCam' - meaning the Meadow of the Bends, or Windings, as in a meandering stream, river or path through the countryside.  It may well refer to that pond+stream or the nearby Clódagh river.  Placenames or Townland names beginning with the word 'Cloon'  or 'Clon' - meaning 'Meadow' - are quite common and can be found nationwide.

* Ireland is divided into over 64,000 townlands approx., almost entirely bearing Gaelic names from aeons past.  On the series of Discovery Maps, the townland names are to be seen, but the boundaries themselves, which are usually roads, streams or hilltops, are not marked.  To find the exact boundaries, one must consult Ordnance Survey Maps, which are usually available to examine in the numerous libraries throughout the country.  

Finally, I settled on the above image as being the best of the afternoon, but there were quite a few more, as these magnificent  beech trees, and the remains of many fallen ones,  were all over the place.
Here the rising fog in the Clódagh valley is quite obvious and a tiny bit of Curraghmore lake is visible through the trees. 
Note that in the last three pictures I left out the sky. Skies can frequently be a problem, if they are just grey, insipid,  too bright, etc.  

076. Last of the Summer Wine!

Yes, "Last of the Summer Wine", as suggested by one of those in the picture!

This scene, from October 15th 2009,  is a regular one in Portlaw when the weather permits, and the location on this day was
the junction of William Street and Queen Street.

William and Queen . . . now there must be a story behind those royal titles,
and I'm not forgetting George's Street.

If you wondered where the title of the picture came from, click on:

Also . . . as I type this, you can see over 11,500,000 images relating to the popular TV series, if you search via Google.

You can also view extracts from the series by searching for the title on You Tube;

075. April Evening at the Fountain.

April Evening, Yes . . . and the year was 2005!

Reminds me of a seldom-heard-now, famous hymn of the same name by Katherine Tynan:-

All in the April evening,
April airs were abroad;
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road.

The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road;
All in the April evening
I thought on the Lamb of God.

The lambs were weary and crying
With a weak, human cry.
I thought on the Lamb of God
Going meekly to die.

Up in the blue, blue mountains
Dewy pastures are sweet;
Rest for the little bodies,
Rest for the little feet.

But for the Lamb of God,
Up on the hill-top green,
Only a Cross of shame
Two stark crosses between.

All in the April evening,
April airs were abroad;
I saw the sheep with their lambs,
And thought on the Lamb of God.

A search via Google revealed a brief biography of this prolific Dublin writer,
who lived from 1859 to 1931.
Check out:

This young father and daughter appeared minutes later at the same venue, enjoying the glorious weather.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

074. Coffee Morning 2006.

An earlier Coffee Morning at the Fountain Centre on Septemebr 28th 2006.
Am short a few names.  If you know them all, please contact me!

073. Coffee Morning 2010.

Organisers and 'customers' at a Coffee Morning on September 16th 2010, in the Fountain Centre, George's Street, Portlaw.
This fund-raising event is held annually in aid of the Hospice Movement.

Further 'customers'.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

072. Wind Turbine convoy arrives.

Portlaw's Turbine No. 1, in three sections,  arrives outside the local sportsfield  on September 19th 2007, having had to travel through the night when there was little traffic.
This was the only place they could park while awaiting a 'guide' to bring them to Baylough where they would be erected. 

Truck No. 3, above, was owned by a haulage company in Campbelltown, Argyllshire, Scotland.

An escort vehicle, to precede the convoy, was essential.
This was of Danish origin.

No. 1 Turbine in position high above the surrounding countryside.
In the middle distance can be seen the hill called Croughán
and behind that - the Comeragh mountains.  

071. Curraghmore House from S.S.W. approx. 1905.

From a colour postcard with Waterford 1905  postmark.
Condition so poor, card was not worth cleaning up.
The 'red plate' was noticeably out of alignment.

070. Curraghmore from S.W. approx.

This image of Curraghmore House from S.W. approx. Off a colour postcard circa 1905.

069 Curraghmore House front circa 1905.

From a Lawrence - Dublin 1905 postcard, after much 'cleaning up', etc.
Note the man working on right side of courtyard entrance gate.
Also, when image enlarged (at high resolution), a pony and cart can be seen on right side of yard 1/4 way in from edge.

068 Beeches, Tower Hill. May 2005.

067 Tannery Oil Tank - 2005.

066 Portlaw Mission Group 2006.

Some of th Mission organisers, including Fr. Gerry O'Connor, C.C.,
Fr. Paschal Scallan, C.M. and Fr. Seán Farrell, C.M.

The Mission held at St. Patrick’s Church in February 2006, the first for many years,  was highly successful,  and bore the title – ‘Bridging the Gap’.  The programme was as follows:-
18th to 25th February 2006
 “Bridging the Gap”
with the
Ember Team  - Fr. Paschal Scallon, C.M. and Fr. Seán Farrell, C.M.

Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist,
Fullness of Life in Christ
Blessing and Healing
Church as Community
 “Has no one condemned you?”
(Sacrament of Reconciliation)
Reflection on the Cross.

An Open Forum on Wednesday 22nd included the following speakers:

Fr. Paschal Scallon, C.M., Fr. Sean Farrell, C.M.,
Fr. Liam Power - Diocesan Director of Pastoral Development,
Revd. Jenny Crowley - Church of Ireland,
Mr. Andrew Meaney - Layperson working in Child Development.

The above illustration, showing the overflowing Clódagh River, used on the Mission brochure cover, was adapted from a photograph taken on 17 April 2005 following heavy rains.

065 Curraghmore House, Portlaw - November '09.

Situated deep in the Clódagh valley, Curraghmore House, residence of the Marquis of Waterford and his wife, Lady Waterford, is occasionally surrounded by fog.
Incorporated into the building is part of a de la Poer (later Power) Tower House from the Norman era. 
See picture No. 058 on this site.

Also, check out:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

064 Chopper in Town!

Arrival of a helicopter at edge of town in August 2005, carrying a prospective purchaser for the Cotton-Mill/Tannery complex.  Regrettably, nothing seems to have come of it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

063 FLICKR notice

Simply click on link and discover an easy way to show your own work:

Over 5,000 new photos per minute are uploaded to the site!
Your images can be made available to the entire world
or simply to your own family . . . and friends.  

062 Barrow in Wood.

The mysterious wheel-barrow in the beechwood apast Tower Hill Cottages.
Maybe an installation by some artistic person?

061. Kilbunny (a).

Doorway with Bulláuns.

1987 South East Tourism notice.
The reference to the effigy of a Bishop no longer applies, as the artefact has been removed . . . maybe by the National Museum?

Kilbunny – from the Gaelic, Cill mo Mhunna – the church of St. Munna, is believed to date back to the 8th century, but the present ruin dates from the 11th century. St. Munna’s feast-day used be commemorated on October 21st.  Maybe this annual event could be resurrected in Portlaw?
The now-well-worn narrow  Romanesque doorway is quite interesting, and to the left of the arch can be seen a sculpted head – maybe St. Munna himself – but now so weathered it looks more like an animal. Two other small carvings can be found, if you look carefully!
The ruined church, a national monument, is signposted on the Portlaw to Kilmeaden road, approx 2km from Portlaw, on the right-hand side, and is a very short distance up a side-road. An old cemetery with just about two headstones can be seen on the SW. side of the building.  A tall coniferous tree and a Yew tree are located at far side of the ruin.  Yew trees can be found in many old cemeteries, and were believed to ward off evil, a relic of our pagan past.
Two Bulláuns, irregular shaped stones with bowl-like depressions, can be seen outside the entrance. These, which can be found all over Ireland, may have well been used for the grinding of corn (as a mortar and pestle is used), and may have come from elsewhere.  They may also have served as containers for water, or collected rain-water, for ritual purposes.
The Bulláuns themselves remind me very much of Indian Grinding Rock State park, near the small town of Volcano, in California, which I had the pleasure of visiting in 1988 while on a 23-day tour of California with my late wife, Neansai, courtesy of Mr. Dan Sniffin, the then- President of Fresno Camera Club in central California.  A huge limestone  rock there had almost 1,200 depressions, which the native Americans (the Miwok tribe) once used for grinding acorns and other seeds. Here for the first and only time ever, I saw a Woodpecker!
Check out Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park at:
. . . also images of same via Google. As I write there are over 50,000 images of the park online!
Check out also:
where you can see the excellent and inspiring landscape and abstract nature photography of Dan Sniffin.