If ever a picture could tell a story, then a picture of Reardon’s pub back at the HX crossroads could tell a plethora of them. And that’s an understatement.
The pub has been in the Reardon family name for 50 years or more; MB is not sure of the exact number (strangely enough) – maybe some HX inhabitant and blog follower could enlighten MB in that regard. Would be good to know.
For those followers who have lived miserable and spiritually impoverished lives (ie – those of you who have never heretofore visited HX) then MB must tell you a little of the immediate HX locality and hinterland. The epicenter of HX features in the below photo. It’s a great Irish pub at the rural crossroads of HX in the county of Limerick, south-west Ireland. The village of Bruff lies 5 minutes due south, and the city of Limerick is 20 minutes drive due north. A few hundred meters, as the sober crow flier, lies the magical lake of Lough Gur. The largest Stone Circle in Ireland, called the Grange Stone Circle, lies 2 minutes drive north, along the Limerick Road. Many other places of interest are also only a stones-throw from the pub. It’s a heavenly place for sure.
MB could tell followers a thousand stories from the pub. Or ten thousand. Or ten times ten thousand. But he won’t. Not this time at least. Lest he gets lynched next time he’s home! He will instead refer followers to the story of Gearóid Iarla (Gaelic for ‘Gerard the Earl’ – pronounced – ‘Gar-ode Ear-la’), who features on the facade mural of the pub, just over the front entrance door. Gearóid, the 3rd Earl of Desmond, died in the year 1398, but still lives in a cave on the bottom of the Lough Gur lake. Followers may think that MB’s story is a tad far-fetched, but MB asks followers to take his word for it. He assures all that the story is 100% true. No kidding. Seriously.
Anyway, every seven years, Gearóid rises from the lake waters on his white horse and rides around the lake shore. The 7-yearly visit normally takes place around the October Halloween weekend, in case any followers are thinking of taking an adventurous HX trip. But if you are misfortunate enough to happen across him at this time, then it is highly likely that you will be whisked away to keep him company until seven years hence. Folklore has it that when the silver shoes of the horse eventually wear away, the Earl will rise permanently from the lake bottom and reclaim the surrounding Kingdom of Desmond, his former lands.
And there you have it, dear HX followers. The story of Gearóid Iarla and his white horse, a minuscule part of the much greater story of HX itself.
Reardon’s Pub, HX, with the mural of Gearóid Iarla and his white horse top right: