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.


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.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


Taken about a week ago, it's life, and that of many others, was short lived,
due to the weight of the recent snow 

Fortunately, all nearby miniature ones survived!

-    oooOooo    -

I am pleased to say I was able to visit places associated with
while on a holiday in Cumbria a short few years ago.
More about that another time.

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Three days after the heavier snowfall of Wednesday, February 28th and Thursday, March 1st:  

Marion O'Neill & Breda Gorman enjoying a walk in Malcomson Square,
after being house-bound for some days.

The former Mayfield House and Tannery Lodge.

Malcomson Square

Malcomson Square

The Green Island bridge abutment, with St. Patrick's Church at centre top.

St. Patrick's Church from |Bridge Street.

The river-side walk.

Mallard on the riverside walk, anticipating food.


                                                                                                                                                        Shortly before midnight last night, March 3rd (2018), the number of page-views on this site passed the 200,000 mark, and from six months after the launching of this website they came from 130 countries. All statistics  for the previous six months were lost in a computer crash. These records have to be viewed daily and recorded.

In the last seven days, page-views from the top ten countries were as follows:

Canada - 197;  Ireland - 187; Ukraine - 128;  Russia - 106;  USA - 57;  China - 14; U.K. - 12;  Germany - 7;  Australia - 4 and France - 4.

Browsers used during past week were as follows:
Google Chrome - 50%;  Internet Explorer - 21%;  Firefox - 15%;  Safari - 7%  Opera - 1 % and Bing Preview - 1%.  Other browsers at less  than 1%.  These statistics vary considerably from the statistics for 'all time', when Internet Explorer was the most popular browser @ 31%,  Chrome @ 29% and Firefox @ 23%.

These statistics, and even more, are all available to the site owner at the press of a few buttons!
The ever-changing page-views counter can always be seen near bottom right side of the opening page.  

The graphic accompanying this 'post' shows Clonagam Church early on December 21st, 2012. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Friday, March 2, 2018


The scene has changed considerably . . . 

Little hope of heading out today. 
Height of snow on this table is 23 cm (9 inches),
and still snowing. 
Drifts, all over the place, are at least one metre high!
A short while later it was 28 cm (11 inches).
That was hours ago, and it never stopped snowing since!
Drifts in parts of the S.E. are now reported over to be up to and over two metres high.
Latest warning says further NEW heavy snow arriving along East coast tonight.  

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

A Robin in February . . .

This guy follows me endlessly around the garden
and will come into the kitchen if and when he's allowed!
He has  a less-assertive companion; male or female I don't know,
as they look identical!

His favourite food is uncooked Flahavans' Porridge Oatlets,
which he demands a few times each day!
This photo taken on Feb. 21st last. 

The February 28th Snow, 2018.

Not as heavy here in Malcomson Square, Portlaw, as expected,
and melting rapidly at this time (11.00 am approx.),
due to sunshine and gritting.
Like 'your's truly', Teddy O'Brien, pictured above,
was wearing Yaktrax on his shoes,
both of us having acquired them in 2010 for future use
and not used until today!
By strange co-incidence another photo of Teddy was the first uploaded
to this site on Monday December 27, 2010.
A copy has now been positioned hereunder.

Mikey O'Sullivan was also out for some shopping
and is seen here outside the long-defunct
Mayfield Lodge. 

Over three hours later, the snow was falling heavily
and then stopped.

Storm EMMA and blizzard conditions to arrive about 4.00 pm tomorrow, Thursday,
when, it is recommended, that EVERYONE should be indoors,
until mid-day Friday.
Workers to be allowed to be home by 4.00 pm
and driving to be 'suicidal' from then until Friday,
due to the forecasted NIL visibility!

Next Day - March 1st:

Footprints of numerous birds outside our back door,
where a variety of food awaited them today,
including seed, peanuts, suet balls,
and some uncooked Flahavans' Porridge Oatlets.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Photoshopped Bus, as some thought!!!

The above image, published on this site in June 2012,
was published simultaneously on the site:
where to date it has attracted 1352 views!
This Dublin bus was photographed in Portlaw's polo field,
where it was located for a short period.

White Pheasant

White Pheasant in the snow of February 6th.
Taken from inside my car.
Plenty of these white ones in this area.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February Snow (2018)

                                                                                                                                                          There were plenty of snow warnings for the night of 5 & 6th February,
but it wasn't as severe as expected. and melted rapidly in the next day's sunshine.
The Comeraghs looked great, however. 

Curraghmore House in the foreground,
with Sliabh na mBan on the horizon, and little snow to be seen.

In shady areas only was snow to be seen locally, like here at Sallaheen.
One fine beech grounded here after recent storms.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The January 11th Fog (2018)

An especially dense fog
descended over a wide area in the country
on the night of January 10th and most of next day, 
making travelling hazardous.
This Curraghmore tree gives some idea
of how bad it was.
                                                                                                                             This tree, quite near the previous one,
looks better when the shadow areas were modified in Photoshop!

Even this beechwood was somewhat enveloped in the fog also. 

                                                                                                                                                                                               However, these beech leaves, lingering on from autumn, brightened up the scene

Polo ponies,usually in plenty in this roadside field,   
were completely hidden,
except for this one in her winter coat.                   

Also brightening up the scene were these flowering Ranunculus ficaria plants,
growing beside a roadside stream in the same area.
Also known as Lesser Celandines. 
Lots more were just about to open.

Then again . . . 

. . . I was pleasantly surprised today to see the above Camellias in flower in a local garden,
despite recent severe weather, and more of it to come


The unwanted white borders, seen above,
just keep occurring.
Trying to get rid of them!