39 of 365 pix – Shanrahan Cemetery, Clogheen


Shanrahan Cemetery, just outside Clogheen, is the burial place of Fr. Nicholas Sheehy.  Fr. Sheehy was born in Fethard in 1728 and was Parish Priest in Clogheen.  He was a friend of the ‘Whiteboys’, (a secret Irish organisation that rebelled against landlords and tithe collectors).

In 1766 Fr. Sheehy was tried in Clonmel for the murder of a John Bridge.  He was convicted, and hung, drawn and quartered (a very gruesome death that I cringe at the thought of, ever since watching Braveheart). He protested his innocence to the end, and I read somewhere that, to this day, a black cloud hangs over Clonmel as a result of this wrongdoing. I can testify though that the black could only appears when I hang my washing out.

Detailed information on Fr. Sheehy can be found on Waterford Museum’s website. It’s an interesting read.

I was keen to visit Fr. Sheehy’s grave and see the remains of the church at Shanrahan Cemetery, so I cranked up the motor and took a spin out there this afternoon.
Shanrahan Cemetery

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38 of 365 pix – Cemetery near Ballymacarbry Grotto, Tipperary (Bennetschurch)


I’m trying to identify the name of this cemetery near Ballymacarbry. Ally and I passed it on the way to Ardmore at the weekend and stopped to take some photos. It’s quite close to the grotto which is on the opposite side of the road.

Anyone any ideas?

Edit: I stumbled across a reference on to a ‘Teampull na mBeinéad’ in Ballymacarbry, (Bennetschurch).  The building in the photo below is an old schoolhouse. It would be nice to know when the schoolhouse was built and when it ceased to operate as a school. The website refers to the east wall of the church, which I think I saw on the day, but the site is extremely overgrown so it’s hard to know.

Cemetery Ballymacarbry


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More from the Durrow Scarecrow Festival 2013


Yesterday I posted about our visit to the Durrow Scarecrow Festival.  I didn’t like to post up too many photos as the festival was ongoing and there was an admission charge in to see some of the displays.

But, as the festival is now over, here are a few more photos, as well as my own favourite display of the day (later on in the post).



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Durrow Scarecrow Festival 2013


It’s that time of year again! Scarecrows have taken over the little town of Durrow in Co. Laois, and, as usual, Bláthnaid and I made the hour long trip to view the competition entries.

The Scarecrows

There didn’t seem to be as many entries this year as there were in 2012, but we were still impressed by many of them.

Bob's Bar Durrow

Bob’s Bar always has a great display, and across the road, at the fire station, there are always a few characters hanging around.

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Around Dublin on a Bus


I’ve been spending a bit of time getting rid of all the old junk around the house lately – stuff that I’ve collected over the years and have either become sentimentally attached to, or haven’t had the time or the inclination to dispose of.  Among the many items I had stored in a cupboard at the end of the hall was a biscuit tin full of pre-decimal coin.

I decided a trip to the ‘Big Schmoke’ with the girls was in order, so that we could cash the dosh in and squander the proceeds.

Our first port of call was the Central Bank in Dame Street to exchange our pre-decimal hoard for some yo-yos.

(Photo of the Central Bank below, taken from the rooftop of a speeding bus – more on that later.)

Central Bank Dublin


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37 of 365 pix – Holy Year Cross, Clonmel


Meanwhile….on the 365 pix project…

My camera lens is FUBARED. At some stage it must have gotten a hard knock.  The  filter is wedged well and truly on, and there’s something rattling around inside which results in the focus ring jamming every so often. It’s a matter of (a long) time before I can afford a new one but all donations are greatly received in the meantime. 😉

I’m quite a bit behind with the whole 365 project, not because of the camera, but partly due to putting in some work for my Honours Degree (4 years finished….finally), and partly because a close family member wasn’t well over the last few months and I had to do a bit of running around to hospitals, doctors, etc.

With another close family member undergoing hospital treatment at the moment, I thought it was as good a time as any to visit The Holy Cross in Clonmel. I’m not very religious or anything, but I feel that God must be able to hear a prayer or two when it’s said at the top of a hill under a great, big holy cross.

The Holy Year Cross

Holy Year Cross

Situated at the base of the Comeraghs, at the top of ‘Cnoc a Chomortais’, the Holy Year Cross was erected in 1950.  Every year, on the August Bank Holiday, locals make the short climb to the top of the hill where mass is said.

I say ‘short climb’, but the truth is that the small space for cars to park at the base of the hill is VERY small, so for anyone who turns up late, then a longer walk is involved…and possibly a visit to A&E, suffering from exhaustion, before you ever make it to the cross.

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Dromana House and Gardens – Herbs and Wild Flowers




Over the last year I’ve seen lots of photos of Dromana House and it’s gardens, but haven’t had the time to visit. So I was delighted to finally get to see this wonderful place today when I attended a talk on growing and foraging for herbs.

Thanks to Google Maps, Ally and I had an ‘interesting’ drive from Clonmel to Newcastle, over the Vee, and around Cappoquin before finally reaching our destination.

This beautiful gate, alone, made the journey worthwhile.

Dromana Bridge

This is Dromana Gate, and it’s history is quite enchanting, if not a little unfathomable.

Dromana Gate

Aside from the questionable origination of the gate, one has to wonder what on earth’s name a 160 year old woman was doing up a cherry tree. She was obviously one very agile lady.

The road from the gate stretches on for a fair distance before reaching the turn off for Dromana House. Google Maps was spot on (apart from the pronunciation).

There’s a fine size car park (I’ve said this in my best Tipp accent) that faces part of the garden, at the rear of the house.

This is the stunning view that greeted us as we drove into the carpark.

Dromana Gardens

Below is the herb garden where the talk, by Áine Marie Reilly, started. I really like the layout of the circular herb patches.  I might have to steal this idea.

Dromana Herb Garden

Herbs grown included lavender, lovage, sage, thyme, chamomile.  The list was endless.  Within other sections of the garden there were peppermint, lemon balm, fennel and lots more.

Dromana House

Áine Marie Reilly was a fountain of knowledge when it came to the properties, healing qualities and methods of growing the various herbs. Some I was familiar with, and others were new to me.

Some notes that I took on the herbs while I was wrestling with my camera in the breeze (it was quite windy):-

Peppermint has a cooling and anaesthetic effect – good for pain, itching, bites and swollen joints

Lemon balm uplifts the mood and is also great for viral infections

Fennel relaxes the digestive system. It also helps increase the flow of breast milk and is good for colic.

Lavender is calming and is handy for people who don’t sleep deeply. (I can vouch for this.)

Thyme is an antiseptic and good for infections, especially lungs (coughs) and kidneys (urinary tract infections).

Chamomile is good for inflammation (chamomile teabags on inflamed eyes is supposed to work wonders). It’s also good for stomach ulcers and leg ulcers.

Rosemary increases the circulation to hands, feet, and also the head. It helps with concentration. (I need a good dose of this stuff.)

Those were just a few of the herbs that Áine spoke about.

Dromana Gardens

As we progressed through the gardens I was fascinated by the display of colour throughout. I especially loved the rhodo….rhododendro…rhododenrens….you know the ones I mean…

I think I’ve planted a rhododendron at every house I’ve ever lived.  None of them ever did very well, until we moved to the house we’re in now.  We planted a rhododendron last year and it has the most amazing pink blooms on it now, even if it is still quite small.  I’m sure those at Dromana must have been planted a lot longer though.  Some of them are magnificent and cover a huge area.

Dromana House Gardens

Dromana House

Dromana House and Gardens

Dromana House


The little pathways through the grounds are fabulous and I’m looking forward to going back and taking more photos when I’ve more time.

After the tour of the garden we were taken into the old kitchen part of the house, where there was tea waiting for us, and the most delicious vol au vents with wild garlic flowers garnishing them, followed by both rosemary and lavender biscuits – a really nice touch.

Then Áine demonstrated how to make some of the herbal remedies, making it look so easy that I think I’ll give it a go myself….if all my herbs don’t pass away before I get around to it.

Dromana House is definitely worth a visit, and certainly worth another visit or two in this case.  It has an amazing 600 years of history behind it – a history that is visible in the structure of the building that incorporates an original castle, and the furnishings and paintings within.

Thank you so much to the owners of Dromana House for their hospitality today, to Bill Flynn for showing me around the house, and, of course, well done to Áine Marie Reilly for her enlightening talk and demonstration.

Dromana House and Gardens is open to visitors during April, May and June and offers guided tours.

All other times are by appointment.

Visit the Facebook page at:- Dromana House

A walk down Dublin’s Grafton Street


Grafton Street is a great place to get a bit of photography practise.  The street is buzzing with pedestrians and street performers, and on a sunny day the atmosphere and the colour are amazing.  I was in Dublin yesterday doing the ‘Mum’s Taxi’ thing, so I got a bit of time to stroll around and ‘air the camera’.

It was really busy and every time the crowd cleared in front of a group or a performer, a security van would drive through and the place would be mobbed again, but I managed to get a few photos.

Living Statue

Children really can make photos.

This little guy was fascinated with the living statues.

So was I.

I don’t know how they managed to stay so still with all that heavy gear and makeup on in the heat of the sun.

Living Statue

Gigantic Bubbles

I wish I could make bubbles like this.

I haven’t had much success in the past in making my own ‘bubble mixture’ from water and washing up liquid.

Bursting bubbles

These children were having a great time bursting the enormous bubbles.

They were the source of entertainment for several passers-by.

Giant Bubbles

Bursting bubbles

The guys in the pic below get my vote for being the best band on Grafton Street yesterday.

They’re ‘MuteFish‘ and they’re a ‘reggae folk and punk band’ according to their website.

I could have spent all day standing in the sunshine listening to them.

Mute Fish

Someone told me years ago that the freshest flowers in the country were to be found in Grafton Street.

Looking at the vibrant colours on this lady’s stall, I’d well believe it. Absolutely gorgeous!

flower seller on grafton street

Classical music was also available yesterday – this guy was very very good.

Posh Spice even stopped by to take his photo!

Piano player

Final performance before we headed back to the car.

Dancer on Grafton Street

 I decided I might lose a couple of stone (or three or four),  squeeze back into my Irish dancing costume and dance a few jigs and reels on Clonmel’s O’Connell Street.

Watch this space!

Rant of the Day – Waterford


I almost got through an entire 24 hours without a rant!  But, as d’Unbelievables would say ‘Ye can’t be having that lads!’

And besides, it’s been a long time since I posted a rant here. Nothing like letting off a bit of steam to….to….well I’m sure there are benefits somewhere.

The long and the short of it (and it’s probably more long than short) is that I will NEVER use the €5 all day carpark in Waterford again.

It took me THREE attempts to get out of there today.

If anyone was watching me they’d have had a right laugh. (Please let whoever monitors the Garda cameras have been on a lunch break.)

First –  I couldn’t find the machine to pay my parking fee….because there isn’t a machine… until you reach the exit barrier.

There are no signs anywhere to tell you HOW to pay….until you reach the exit barrier.

And so it was that I pulled up at this exit barrier, with a ten euro note, thinking that in THIS day and age, surely I could put a tenner into the machine and get change. (That’s how all the OTHER machines work!)

A notice on the barrier informed motorists that ‘NO CHANGE IS GIVEN’.

I had to reverse from the barrier, park my car again, wait for an age at the pedestrian lights, walk up to The Granary for a take-away coffee….which I was beginning to need anyway, then wait for a hundred years at the pedestrian lights again, while my coffee grew cold.

I reversed my car out of its space again, this time gleefully approaching the barrier, with my newly gained five euro note held aloft….only to see that the slot I had thought was for the insertion of paper money was actually for….I don’t know what it was for actually….Waterford blahs, judging from the size of it.

As I was about to explode with annoyance, I noticed the credit card slot (YEAH!) and, as much as I hate using my credit card for small stuff (or anything that’s not a flight somewhere sunny actually), I hated the thought even more of once again getting out of my car to try to source change.

So I whipped my credit card out of my purse (where it’s lain dormant since June 2012), and inserted it into the specifically designed slot….only to find the fooking slot was  JAMMED!! I mean SERIOUSLY jammed. No matter how hard I shoved my card at it, it didn’t give way.

I had to reverse for a SECOND time from the barrier and park the car. I parked it  a little haphazardly this time. Personally I just wanted to abandon the thing and take the bus home.

I was getting out of the car and I must have looked like I was going to MURDER someone, because a lady who pulled up in another car to park in the space next to me (or, rather, the space that had the front end of my car stuck in it), thought better of it and drove off. I got into the car again and straightened it up because I’m nice like that, and then stormed into the bus station to beg for change in there.

WAHAYYYY….lucky me, there were two change machines in the bus station! I stuck my fiver into the slot of one of the machines, ready to hit the jackpot, when a message popped up asking me to ‘select my destination’.

If you’ve just laughed at that bit….I hate you.

I got my five euro back and managed to get change at the small shop in the bus station, where the girl who served me told me that so many people come in looking for change, and she wished someone would put proper signs up.

No small wonder that that particular car park was still largely empty as I was leaving then.

Get your act together, Waterford!!  Get some proper signs up…or at least fix the Blah machine.

36 of 365 pix – Clonbeg Church, Glen of Aherlow


I had some job keeping the rain off my lens for these photos, and the wind was something else. As I entered the church grounds clutching my camera to me, a man hurrying towards his car gave me a look that implied that I was completely bonkers.

He was probably right.  And not just because of the photos.

Clonbeg Church, Glen of Aherlow


Clonbeg Church was built in the 1800s  and is Church of Ireland. The graveyard is both Catholic and Church of Ireland.  Within the church grounds, the remains of an old medieval church can be seen and are covered almost entirely in ivy.

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