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Sunday, September 26, 2021

MARCHANT surname . . .

 Coming across this plaque among pictures from the past, brings back pleasant memories of the late Neil Marchant, Portlaw, probably one of the greatest conversationalists I ever knew. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a h'anam dílis.                                                                                         


Saturday, September 25, 2021

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A look back at the Well of the Angels

 Looked after by the late David Foley of Ballyquin for very many years, the well is now in a sorry state!

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Sunday, August 29, 2021

An August Evening in County Tipperary.

 Making use of the long spell of great weather, my colleague, J.R., and I spent quite some time last Saturday, first at Derrynaflan island, in Co. Tipperary, where that famous chalice and more was found; then on to Lough Doire Bhile, now being called Lough Doire Mheille.  The area was crowded with many people swimming, sun-bathing, walking, fishing, picknicking, etc., so we left and headed up to Doirín, aka Dereen and 'The Reen', which offers a fine view over much of north Tipperary.  North Tipp's distant mountains can be seen on the horizon, and Keeper Hill, near Nenagh, can be seen immediately behind them on the extreme right of the photo. 

We waited on for some time until the sun dropped lower in the sky, and had the pleasure of meeting a lady (a science teacher) who had been coming there numerous evenings, sitting in her chair, and photographing the sun as it began to drop behind the mountains at a slightly different place each time.  Her photos, she said, were for use with her pupils.  A perfect end to a perfect day, while observing the planet Jupiter and two stars behind and to the side of it, from Grangemockler homewards, which formed an interesting triangle in the sky, something I have never noticed previously. Thanks to my daughter, Fionnuala, for that bit of astronomical info! 

A single left-click on most images will show an enlarged copy!

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Séipéal na hUidhre

 Séipéal na hUidhre, Gleann na hUidhre, Co. Phort Láirge.

The Nire Church, Nire Valley, Co. Waterford.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Naomh Fiachra/St. Fiacre

                  Tomorrow, August 18th, is the Feast Day of St. Fiacre. 

St. Fiacre/Naomh Fiachra  (of Breuil in France – as there were two others of same name) was born in the year 600 approx.near Bennetsbridge, Co. Kilkenny.  He became a priest, an abbot, a hermit and a herbalist  and also ran a hospice for some years. He is the patron saint of gardeners, herbalists, taxi-drivers, florists, also victims of hemorrhoids and venereal diseases, and even more.  He died in the year 670 on August 18th. He is venerated by both Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. He is reputed to have founded the village of Graignamanagh, in which is located DUISKE ABBEY, founded by Cistercians in 1204 A.D.  Following suppression in 1536, it was used for some years by the Church of Ireland, but was returned to the Catholic community in 1812. After being in ruins for many years, it was fully restored in the 1980s.  The above processional banner was photographed there. The abbey also includes a life-size statue of him.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Friday, July 30, 2021

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Curraghmore Lion!

 . . . and one of the stages from the last "All Together Now"  music festival.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Recent Evenings

                                                                                                                                                              Beautiful scene at Clonagam four evenings ago

 Beautiful also in Ballyquin area. (Modified). 

Wednesday, July 14, 2021


 A Wolf in cast iron, one of a number of such 'ornaments' in the grounds of Curraghmore estate,        County Waterford.
(The month should read June!)

Monday, July 12, 2021


 Preparations for 'The Twelfth' commence well before the date itself in many areas of Northern Ireland.  Above scene photographed by the coast, in the village of Ballywalter on July 2nd 2012.  For some, it's the ideal opportunity to get rid of old mattresses, prams, blankets, furniture, etc!

'Orange Arches', under which the parades pass, can be seen in many towns and villages at this time. 

A very small parade here at fog-bound Kircubbin village some days before the nearby bigger parades. Kircubbin is on the shores of Strangford Lough, Co. Down.
The village was originally called Kilcubin, after St. Gobán, later evolving to Kirkubbin, and finally Kircubbin. 

Hebe Flower

 HEBE shrubs are in full bloom right now.  Once a plant is established and it's flowers start to offload seeds,  they take root, some clinging to walls, etc.  Better still, the shrub is evergreen.                                      The blossoms are delightful. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021


                                                           Bowers Margaret, Fiddown.

Brennan Mary, Fiddown.

Conway Patrick, Portlaw.

Curtis Thomas H., Portlaw.

Dooley Patrick, Portlaw.

Harney William, Portlaw.

Henebery Michael, Portlaw.

Moroney Bridget, Portlaw.

Phelan Patrick, Coolfin, Portlaw.

                                                                 Power James, Portlaw.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Power Joseph, Portlaw.

Prendergast Mary, Portlaw.

Stone John, Portlaw.

Walsh Walter, Portlaw.

Higgins David, Portlaw.

Quite a comparison with the status quo, where due to Covid 19, only one pub open, in Portlaw, out of a total of five in the area . . . one in Fiddown and four in Portlaw!

(sometimes text insists in getting out of alignment. Will try to correct later)


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Belfast Visitors

 Had the pleasure of a long conversation with the Gribbens from Belfast this afternoon, after their long journey by train - Belfast to Waterford via Dublin, and Waterford to Carrick-on-Suir.                                                They stayed at a B&B near Curraghmore.

Earlier in the day, a family group of us decided to visit Curraghmore, which had opened for visitors three days previously. On arrival, we decided to sample some food from their café.  Two of us choose Pancakes and didn't regret our choice, as they were excellent. See image above. The meal sustained me for another three and a half hours, which I spent roaming all over the gardens, and taking a total of 120 photos!. Weather was superb, but sunburn was a serious problem for a few. It was a pleasure meeting many people from a variety of places, some far away. 

Trees of a kind


North Tipperary Passage Grave

 Also known as Knockeravoola and Knockcurraghbola Wedge Tomb.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

A place to visit

 Located a few miles from Carlow town, the ruined mansion, called Duckett's Grove, is well worth a visit. Lots to see there, including the refurbished gardens. Plenty of information panels. Car Park. No charges for admission. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Mayfield House, Portlaw - 2004.

Mayfield House Portlaw

Portico Italianate,

Splendour towering

Towards the sky;

Jackdaws screaming

From your chimneys;

Collared Doves

In love, up high.

Roof collapsing,

Gutters rusting;

Balustrade and

Transoms loose;

Rose-red bricks and

Window timbers

Crumbling, crumbling -

Mayfield House.

Poem and illustration copyright 2004 Seán O’Brien.