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Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween 2017

Have a Frightening Time!

The above graphic was prepared for a selection of images from 
the Portlaw Halloween parade
organised by Portlaw Task Force
for Sunday October 29th,
but I was unable attend same due to circumstances beyond my control.

Then on the 'real' Halloween, Tuesday 31st,
I was late heading out and ended up with a limited number of images.
The above witch, seen in a local hallway, was one of the lucky shots.

Brown Street, usually with plenty of 'Trick or Treat' people,
was almost deserted, but I managed this one picture
before my camera developed some problem.
This group said they came a long distance,
but were well received at all houses they visited.

I was just about to give up meetng any more participants,
after travelling around various streets,
when I came across this delightful group in Bridge Street.
Fortunately, my camera was back in working order.
Asking for a name, they said they were
'The Portlaw Spice Girls'!!!

Luckily I had come across one more witch the previous day
in someone's front garden.

(one left click will show an enlarged copy)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Séipéal agus Reilg an Chaisleáin Nua, Co. Phort Láirge:

Once part of Portlaw parish,
Newcastle church and cemetery are now seldom heard of.
Their unique 'secret' location may well be the reason!

As already stated, the location of the long-defunct Newcastle church, and cemetery, must surely be quite unique. On the road from Kilmeaden to Carrolls’Cross (Waterford to Cork road), turn left immediately before Haughtons’ pub. A short distance further on, having come to a Y junction, keep left again, and a very short distance still further on one will see the entrance gate on right, with name plaque on gate pillar.

From inside the gate, a very-well-kept grassy passage leads uphill,
making one wonder what is over the top!                              

On one's right, before reaching the summit,
one is pleasantly surprised at seeing this nice grotto to
Our Lady of Lourdes,
with this natural outcrop of local stone.

The stone, sandstone surely, is beautifully coloured.

A pleasant surprise, on the right side, going uphill, was this very healthy cluster of
Cornflowers (Centaurea Cyanus) ?

Once over the top of the incline, the well-maintained entrance to the cemetery
comes as a surprise.
This work may well be performed by volunteers from the Ballyduff end of the
combined parishes of Ballyduff & Portlaw,
or is is Portlaw & Ballyduff!

This stile on the left side of the entrance gate caught my eye, but there was a second,
which I discovered later.

The centre stone in this photo caught my eye.

The two stiles on the inside wall.

The east gable-end of the church,
where slightly to the right of the sycamore tree, can be seen a close-up of the object in the next image
Beside it, lies a table tomb, burial place of a one-time local Parish Priest.

Canon Patrick Power, in his
'A Compendius History of the United Diocese of Waterford & Lismore',
published in 1937,
"There is, however, an eight-sided baptismal font, which is of interest,
if only for its octagonal character;
 in medieval symbolism, eight was the number of regeneration."

The eastern gable end.

Obviously the location of a window, now filled with stone.
Oddly this small window was at the eastern end, where one would expect the altar to be.

A very large cross, made with the shrub - 'Box'.

One of the most legible headstones found;
tilted forward slightly, which possibly prevented weathering.

                                                                                                                                                             Possibly one of the oldest headstones to be seen.

No text anywhere on this crucifix.
I've seen somewhat similar crucifixes/crosses elsewhere in other, not-too-distant cemeteries,
with embossed wording, which denoted they were made in Carrick-on-Suir.

Part of one of the window opes.

Part of doorway arch.

Final image in the series.

Further text to follow.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Despite having received emails during storm OPHELIA about the safety of people in this area 
from distant concerned friends and blog followers in Canada and the USA, UK., 
Dublin, Waterford city, and more
I wasn't aware of what was happening as I heeded the national warnings
to stay indoors, and just had a short look around today (Tuesday). 
Plenty of debris from trees was to be found everywhere,
and all trees that had fallen across roads had already been cut up and disposed of.

A number of trees had fallen on the Portlaw to Clonea-Power road.
Entering Curraghmore estate at Whitestown Lodge, 
much tree damage was evident,
and the above tall Beech, nearer to Curraghmore House,
was one of the casualties.
Further fine Beeches were down inside the main entrance to Curraghmore,
one near Coe's Lodge, and two great tall ones just about 100m from
Clonagam Church. 
Much tree damage was also evident in the vicinity of the polo field entrance,
and one had to drive carefully.

Fortunately the above tree, a very short distance from the previous one,
was undamaged and so survived.
Regrettably, however, this photogenic specimen appears to be dying for some reason.

Only when I saw the 5.30pm news on TV3 this evening
was I made aware of serious damage to approximately six roofs
in Brown Street.
Hopefully all have been repaired by now, and that no one injured.

Other parts of the country were not so lucky.
Thanks to the excellent radio and tv coverage,
we were able to see or hear what was happening nationwide throughout the day and evening.
At 10pm yesterday, the storm had passed away to the N.W. and N.
and there was hardly a 'puff' of wind!
Today, Tuesday, was a brilliant sunny day, and most things were back to normal. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Pageviews for yesterday originated in the following countries:

Canada - 170;  Ukraine - 20;  Ireland - 11;
United States - 7;  United Kingdom - 5; China - 3; 
Germany - 3;  Brazil - 2;
Australia - 1;  Spain - 1. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017


The modern way to harvest potatoes,
'captured' in recent days at Curraghmore:

The light-brown land in the distance shows the extent of the potato crop area.

Harvesting with The Gap in the Comeraghs in background.

Trailer with suitable containers being loaded
from the harvestor's conveyor belt.

The modern harvester being used.

Note the canvas-covered platform at the end of this huge machine.
Two men worked inside this, picking items (probably stones?) from the conveyor belt
and discarding them!

October 23rd:
Just eighteen days later, I managed to get out while nursing a bad cold for some time
and lo and behold, the ground above had already been ploughed and harrowed
and spring wheat covered the entire area in a beautiful shade of green!