Friday, June 23, 2017

JAPANESE KNOTWEED once again . . .

Thanks to WLR for commenting on the situation, even if it's in Cork.

Check out: 

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. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017


From the Illustrated London News of October 23rd, 1897:

The Marriage of the Marquis of Waterford

The marriage of the Marquis of Waterford to Lady Beatrix Fitzmaurice, younger daughter of the Marquis of Landsdowne, which was celebrated at St. George’s, Hanover Square, on Oct. 16th, was the most fashionable ceremony that London has seen for a long time, involving the interests of many of our greatest families.       
The Marquis, who was born in 1875, succeeding his father at the age of twenty, represents on the paternal side those fighting Beresfords who, in the persons of Lord Charles and Lord William Beresford, are, perhaps, the aristocratic idols of the man in the street; while his mother, who died only recently, was the daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, who stands for all that sport implies to the well-bred Englishman.  The bride represents the statesmanlike Landsdownes, while her mother is one of the beautiful Hamiltons who claim the Duke of Abercorn as chief.  The church was beautifully decorated, and the magnificence of the twenty tall troopers of the Blues (the bridegroom’s regiment) varied a lively scene.
The Prince of Wales, who had just come from the christening in St. James’s Chapel of the bride’s second cousin, the little Marlborough baby – for Lady Blandford, its grandmother, is Lady Waterford’s aunt – was present, and there were Dukes and Duchesses galore – Abercorn, Atholl, Beaufort, Buccleuch, Devonshire, Leeds, Marlborough, Newcastle and St. Alban’s.  After the ceremony a reception was held at Landsdowne House, which the host of presents had converted into a veritable treasury, and in the afternoon Lord and Lady Waterford left for Coates Castle, Pulborough, the seat of the Dowager Duchess of Abercorn.

-    oooOooo    -

The Marquis in question was Henry de la Poer Beresford, the 6th Marquis/Marquess of Waterford, who was born on April 28th, 1875. His father was John Henry de la Poer Beresford, the 5th Marquis of Waterford; his mother being Lady Blanche Elizabeth Adelaide Somerset.

His bride, Lady Beatrix Frances Petty-Fitzmaurice, was daughter of Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, the 5th Marquis of Landsdowne and Lady Maud Evelyn Hamilton, whom he married on October 16th1897. On December 1st 1911, he passed away at the young age of 36.

The marriage produced three daughters and three sons, as follows:
(1) Lady Blanche Maud de la Poer Beresford (1898-1940);  (2) Lady Katherine Nora de la Poer Beresford  (born 1899);  (3) Lady Beatrix Patricia de la Poer Beresford (born 1902);  (4) John Charles de la Poer Beresford (later 7th Marquis of Waterford) (1901-1934);  (5) Lord William Mostyn de la Poer Beresford (1905-1973) and (6) Lieut-Commander Lord Hugh Tristram de la Poer Beresford (1908-1941).  

Lord Hugh enlisted in the Royal Navy and rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander.  During World War II, whilst serving aboard the HMS Kelly, he was killed in action off the island of Crete. He was buried in Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt, on June 27th, 1941.  There is a memorial to him  and his sister, Lady Blanche Maud in Clonagam church.. . . image No. 093 on this website. 

-    oooOooo    -

N.B. The accompanying image, reproduced here as a single image with difficulty because of quality,
was originally two separate images in the ILN article.
The photo of Lady Beatrix was by Pooles Photographic Studio, Waterford.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Pubs in the area 136 years ago!

From an 1881 Directory

Bowers Margaret, Fiddown.                               Moroney Bridget, Portlaw.
Brennan Mary, Fiddown.                                 Phelan Patrick, Coolfin, Portlaw.
Conway Patrick, Portlaw.                         Power James, Portlaw.
Curtis Thomas H., Portlaw.                             Power Joseph, Portlaw.
Dooley Patrick, Portlaw.                                  Prendergast Mary, Portlaw.
Harney William, Portlaw.                    Stone John, Portlaw.
Henebery Michael, Portlaw.                    Walsh Walter, Portlaw.
Higgins David, Portlaw.

-    oooOooo   -

Curently (1st March, 2017) Portlaw has only four pubs in operation!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Last Summer . . .

A look back at one of last summer's great days:

The farmyard, Curraghmore, looking great in mid-June 2016.