Wednesday, July 26, 2017


What a surprise to note we had visitors to this site during the past two weeks
from places seldom heard of.
However I can remember well having some items from those places in my  philatelic collection very many years ago!

São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about 140 kilometres (87 miles) apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres (155 and 140 miles), respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon.
With a population of 192,993 (2013 Census), São Tomé and Príncipe is the second-smallest African country after Seychelles, as well as the smallest Portuguese-speaking country. Its people are predominantly of African and mestiço descent, with most practising Roman Catholicism. The legacy of Portuguese rule is also visible in the country's culture, customs, and music, which fuse European and African influences.
The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis,  is a two-island country in the West Indies. Located in the Leeward Islands chain of the Lesser Antilles, it is the smallest sovereign state in the Western Hemisphere, in both area and population. The country is a Commonwealth realm, with the British monarch, who is currently Queen Elizabeth II, as head of state.
Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be settled by Europeans. 
(Above info from WIKIPEDIA)

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Before the Mass.

Before the Mass

Introduction to the occasion by Fr.Richard O'Halloran, C. C. 

Fr. Mick at Commencement of Mass.


Many pictures plus some text to follow in this series

One left click on each image will show an enlarged copy!

(Having been away for some time and hospitalized briefly since, this series is 'way behind'!)

Friday, June 23, 2017

JAPANESE KNOTWEED once again . . .

Thanks to WLRFM radio for recently commenting on the situation, even if it was in County Cork.

Check out this item from the Irish Examiner in August of last year: 

Enough information here to slow down the building of the proposed
Solar Panel Farm
at nearby Coolroe townland!

-    oooOooo    -

During a recent visit to West Cork,
I was glad to see that Japanese Knotweed had been treated
and was withered completely everywhere I went.

Thanks to
Councillor Pat Dunphy,
Leas-Cathaoirleach Kilkenny County Council,
for a recent number of emails
re Japanese Knotweed at Strand Road, Fiddown.
Much appreciated!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


to visitors in the last ten days from some new countries:

This brings the total number of countries of origin of viewers on this site to  118
and the total number of page-views to 181,714.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Waterford Greenway

Rian Glas na nDéise

Greenway Girls + Gent at Ballyvoile viaduct. 

The popularity of the recently-opened greenway  has exceeded all expectations.
Stretching 46 kilometres from Waterford City to Dungarvan,
it has already attracted thousands of walkers and cyclists from all over Ireland and abroad,
some bringing their own bicycles on their cars, or hire them along the way.
Refreshments are also available at a number of places.
There are a number of entrances & exits along the way, each with a map and signage re the entire route,
also fine car-parks.
Nearest entrance from Portlaw, is just down the road at the
Suir Valley Railway entrance.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Scarlet Pimpernel is back!!!

Keeping an eye on a single Scarlet Pimpernel plant in the Tower Hill area for a number of years, It disappeared completely last year and did not appear either this year. Then, yesterday, on viewing an area about fifteen metres from the same location, lo and behold, there was a number of clumps of this tiny but beautiful wildflower. They had appeared where two years ago approx. some people from Coillte had bulldozed an area where lots of rubbish was dumped inside the wall going N.W along the road from Clonagam church.  Obviously they had sprang up from seeds which lay dormant for very many years.

Dumping in this area has now reached epidemic proportions. Within the last week, a trailer-load of household rubbish was dumped over the wall here, and yesterday within an hour of travelling up the Clonagam road and back, a sackfull of bottles etc. was dumped ON THE ROADSIDE at one of the entrances to the forestry area. Do these people not know that there is a bottle bank much nearer, at the GAA field. Where are the new surveillance cameras we were told of during the past year???

Addendum Friday, May 12th '17:

Within hours of posting the above item yesterday, I was once more walking in the Clonagam area, when what did I see but another trailer-load of rubbish, just 3 or 4 metres from the above Scarlet Pimpernel plant. This time the rubbish consisted of what almost certainly looked like the crap from a dogs run ( large plastic container full of it),some corrugated galvanised and perspex roof panels and some chipboard . . . obviously the contents of a dog's kennel.  Presumably the poor dog had died in appalling conditions!

If you are aware of who done this, or any other dumping, why not contact the City & County Council?

Addendum 31st May 2017:

Within four days of posting the previous addendum (May 16th), lo and behold what was dumped at the same location but a toilet bowl and handbasin plus matching support pillar. Oddly enough, the items seemed to be in perfect condition, and could have easily been sold on the Internet, fetching a substantial amount. A blue bag nearby contained broken tiles.  Obviously the 'dumper' now is showing off his new bathroom suite with matching  tiled surround.

Yesterday, May 31st, I was back at the scene nd now a large tyre was dumped  there.

Further down the road, inside the same wall,  was dumped what was obviously a trailer-load of assorted household rubbish, as can be seen above, which shows a red 'buggy' in the foreground and a large quantity of wood shavings on the left side.

Included amongst this huge array of items was the above distinctive piece of clothing, or whatever. You may recognise it as having belonged to your neighbour? Then there's that Tipperary blue bag. 

Addendum - June 8th, 2017:

Today. just a few days later,
a newly-dumped mattress beside the road to Curraghmore estate and beyond,
and a huge area of Japanese Knotweed immediately behind it!
The problem further up the road has now become a serious traffic hazard,
as the rapidly spreading plant has now reduced the carriageway
to the width of one vehicle, especially by a very sharp bend.

A report to Councillor Dunphy of Kilkenny Council
re a large area of the same invasive non-native species
on bank of Suir at the Fiddown amenity area,
brought two immediate responses,
saying he would immediately contact his county's environment department.
Much appreciated.

A reported sighting, a few weeks ago,  of a large area of the same species,
in the grounds of a public building in Dublin,
again brought a fast response,
saying 'No problem, we'll come tomorrow and cut it all down'
which was done!!!
No further comment on that 'estate manager' !!!


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Warm Weather Arrives!

After cold and windy weather for some weeks,
the warm weather arrived in earnest on Sunday last,
with top temperature of over 22 degrees Celsius in part of County Mayo.

Here at the junction of Queen St. and William St., enjoying the sunshine were:

L. to R:  'Doc' Morrissey, Ann Laffan and Johnny Crotty.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An April Day 2017

                                                                                                                                                    Curraghmore and the Comeragh mountains looking great 
on one of April's many sunny days, but bitterly cold, and some sleet falling
minutes after this view from
Tower Hill cottages. 

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.

-   OOOoOOO   -

The same evening,
I headed for the Hill of Slane, Counrty Meath,
to see the annual Paschal Fire ceremonyy here.
This we also witnessed three years previously.

Some 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.