Posted on July 12, 2017
Back in the HX heartland, there’s a cultural museum on the HX/Meanus road called the Old Irish Ways Museum. It includes a large collection of agricultural implements and multiple other mementoes from an older Ireland; the Ireland of our parents and grandparents. The contents were gathered over many years with huge dedication and effort by HX local Dennis O’Connor who travelled the length & breadth of Ireland in his quest. Many acquisitions needed repair and renovation, and as can be seen from the end result, it was very obviously a large labour of love on the part of DOC. If ever you get to visit HX, then do not miss the Old Irish Ways Museum.
Every room and exhibit within provide a spectacular visual collage for the visitor.
Posted on June 2, 2017
There is a castle and pub next to a river bridge on the road between Shannon Airport and Limerick City in the west of Ireland at a village called Bunratty. The castle takes it’s name from the village – Bunratty Castle, where you can book into one of the castle banquets that take place there most nights during the tourist season as far as MB is aware. The pub is one of Ireland’s oldest at almost 400 years old and has the great name of Durty Nelly’s. If you want to check out who Durty Nelly actually was, you can read it on the pub’s website She was certainly a character.
Even amongst natives, the pub is renowned for the quality of the Guinness beer served within. A number of years back, MB and English friend Pete, who liked his Guinness in the pubs of London, stopped off for a tipple having landed at Shannon Airport only a short while before. “Well Pete, how do you like our Irish Guinness served in Durty Nelly’s” enquired MB, Pete having taken a swallow that made almost half the contents of the pint glass disappear on the occasion of his first visit to Ireland. Pete closed his eyes, leaned back on his bar stool and uttered the immortal reply -“It’s like strawberries and cream on a summer’s day MB”. And so it was.
MB took the below shots on his trip home last week on a bright sunny day as he passed through the village:
Posted on May 5, 2017
MB’s home city Limerick, had it’s Great Limerick Run last weekend with some 12,500 participants. Lots of nice pics appeared on facebook, for those of us on distant shores.
The following is an MB ‘Limerick’ shot of St John’s Castle, taken from Patrick St.
Posted on March 16, 2017
In Qatar, it’s already St Patrick’s Day as it’s 30 mins past midnight. In Ireland, there’s still a few hours to go.
Best wishes from MB to all on the occasion of the Irish National Holiday, which is also celebrated to a greater or lesser degree in most countries around the globe.
MB has avoided pics of churches and such like in making his celebratory selection. Instead, he has just selected a few shots from his HX homeland from October 2013. The occasion was a charity horse ride around the local lake. MB’s Arab friends, in particular, like to see some greenery!
Happy St Patricks Day to one & all.
Posted on November 26, 2016
In recent years, MB has been lucky on a few occasions to be home for the Christmas Carol service in his home Church at Grange. On the nights MB has attended, the services have opened with a traditional Irish air called Innisheer (or Inis Oírr in Gaelic).
So, without further ado, here are Grange girls Noreen O’Sullivan on concert flute, and Jade Dillon on keyboard, playing Inisheer (& apologies for posting a video as MB’s effort for the weekly photo challenge!):
Posted on October 28, 2016
“To change in appearance or form, especially strangely or grotesquely; transform.”
MB will not post anything strange or grotesque, but will instead focus on the ‘transform’ element of this weeks challenge.
Our local churches back home at Grange & Patrickswell are almost exclusively used for daytime and daylight activities throughout the year. Living in a very rural location there is no great, or hardly any, need for the opening of the churches after dark, save an occasional evening funeral service.
But at Christmas time each year the churches host Christmas carol services, or midnight masses which are actually on at approx 8pm (an Irish midnight!).
Anyway, it’s interesting to see them in their transformed Christmas state.
Posted on October 14, 2016
Posted on August 26, 2016
The ruins of ‘Crokers’ estate house, framed through a whitethorn bush, directly across the road from the farmhouse where MB and siblings grew up in Grange, just north of HX, Limerick, SW Ireland.
Posted on June 27, 2016
MB has oft mentioned Lough Gur lake in posts of his HX homeland. He has told you a little of the mystique of the lake, and the fact that one of the adjoining hills (called Knockadoon) is home to one of the four Irish entrances to the Land of Everlasting Youth, called ‘Tír Na Nóg’ in the Irish Gaelic. The entrance, as MB has also previously informed you, is secret and is known only to certain ‘Guardians’ (such as MB). It is also heavily guarded by the fairies, and it is no easy task to get past them. Beware of HX fairies dear followers. Read More
Posted on June 9, 2016
Posted on May 29, 2016
The city of Limerick lies on the Shannon & Abbey Rivers in Ireland’s south-west, 12 miles from HX, give or take. It dates from Viking days, circa 800 AD, although there were older settlements in the locality. The architecture is primarily Georgian, with many buildings built from red brick and containing impressive Georgian-style doorways. The population is approximately 100,000, making it the Nr 3 city in Ireland. Sport is huge; with hurling, soccer and rugby (in particular) to the fore. Read More
Posted on May 28, 2016
Lots of HX locals are heading to the Lough Gur lakefront at present trying to capture photos of the (allegedly) 5 new cygnets born to the pair of resident swans last week. MB was in the locality yesterday with canon-in-hand, not exactly at the lakefront area – but nearby, when he spotted a swan swimming slowly by with – not 5 – but 8 cygnets in tow. MB is not sure if this swan is a totally different one from those at the lakefront area (swans are territorial and tend to stay in their own locality), or it is one of the lakefront swans who has managed to pick up a few spares in recent days!
Posted on April 29, 2016
MB admires very much the unpaid volunteers from his home community who man the Lough Gur lake Heritage Centre. As well as giving of their daily time to look after the shop and interactive displays for visiting tourists, they also act as guides for those who wish to gain some knowledge of local monuments. Some of those same monuments date back over 6,000 years.
Check out www.loughgur.com for further info on MB’s home locality.
The Lough Gur Heritage Centre
A local Guide with a group of visiting tourists at the Grange Stone Circle
Posted on April 29, 2016
MB took a flying visit home last weekend. Lots of local events were taking place, particularly relating to the centenary celebrations of the 1916 Easter Rising against British rule.
Some pics from the trip:
Posted on March 15, 2016
If you walk along the Lough Gur lake front, past the visitor centre, you come to a closed metal gate. Scale the gate or the adjacent style, advance straight ahead, rather than left for the hill of Knockfennel, and the Farm by Lough Gur appears on your right as your elevation above the lake level increases. The farm was the home of the Catholic O’Brien family who lived there and farmed the land in the mid 19th century. The story of everyday life of the family was transcribed by Sissy O’Brien (with some assistance from family) who passed her recollections to one Mary Lady Carberry. The book was first published in 1937 in London. It was a best-seller in Dublin and also sold well in England.
The local community reprinted the book in recent times with the passing of the copyright time limit.
From the loughgur.com website:
The book ‘The Farm by Lough Gur’ written by Mary Carberry has been re-launched following much local interest. This true story is based on the life of Sissy O’Brien who lived on the farm at Lough Gur in the mid 19th century, as told to Mary Carberry. A fascinating account of ordinary domestic life in Ireland. Available at Ryans and Reardons at Holy Cross, Nagles Spar shop in Bruff and also available at the Honeyfitz theatre 087 285 2022. Price €15 per copy. Limited edition.