Visits For May, 2007

Saturday, 5th May 2007

Waterford ... But Not For As Long As I'd Hoped

I set off this morning with the tent in the car and a plan in my head. The plan was to have two days in Waterford and see some more of the sites I haven't been to yet, but must visit for my forthcoming book. I saw a few sites and then, in Tramore at lunchtime, found a campsite and set the tent up. Then I whizzed off to see some more monuments and met some wonderfully friendly farmers - one of them walked me to two of the standings stones on his land and directed me to another. All the while he chatted about the other stones that used to be around the place and gave me directions to more elsewhere.

After a good run around east Waterford I set off back to the campsite and the hope of fine seaside fish and chips. By this time the eather seemed to be taking a turn for the worse and the air felt as if it was about to rain. The people in the chipper told me the forcast was bad for overnight, so I decided to head home rather than have to pack a wet tent in the morning. The fact that there was, apparently, a stabbing on the campsite the night before helped me to decide, too. Before setting off home I enjoyed watching the antics of some kite-surfers. The thrill from doig something so fast and elemental must be amazing, but I don't think it's for me.

The trip was a good one though, despite being shorter that I'd planned. I got to see some good stuff and revisited a couple of places, too. It does mean extra trips in the future, though, but that's no hardship - Waterford is a great county and most of the people always seem to make you welcome.

Munmahoge (Co. Waterford)Wedge Tomb4 New Images
Knockeen (Co. Waterford)Portal Tomb2 New Images
The White Lady - Ballymacaw (Co. Waterford)Standing Stone4 New Images
Carrickavrantry (Co. Waterford)Wedge Tomb4 New Images
Garranmillon Lower (Co. Waterford)Stone Pair10 New Images
Ashtown (Co. Waterford)Stone Pair7 New Images
Ashtown (Co. Waterford)Standing Stone4 New Images

Saturday, 19th May 2007


Today I found myself driving through Glencree in County Wicklow. What a stunningly beautiful place! The scenery in this part of the Wicklow Mountains is amazing. After stopping at the German Cemetery to see what on Earth it is I headed for the Tonygarrow bullaun stone. The German Cemetery is a pretty little area where a number of German soldiers were reburied in the 1960s or 70s. It was raining heavily, so I didn't have chance to read the signs there to find out how they perished, but apparently they were Germans that died and were washed up on the Irish shore. They gathered together from all around the country. Many of the grave markers simply say Two German Soldiers. A few have a name.

The Tonygarrow bullaun stone is a very nice one. The family that have farmed the land for many generations are very proud to have this monument on their land. The lady of the house was very kind and took me to the stone.

From there I headed for Onagh to check on the portal tomb and the rock art in that townland. The little cottage by the portal tomb has gone and the land has been cleared. The field by the tomb is in a mess. I hope the builders know how old and important this monument is and that they need to be very careful. This development is a bit of a worry, to be honest, and I shall try to pop by as often as I can over the coming months.

I finished this little outing by stopping at Kilgobbin cross. Now, remember that this is a National Monument. If you saw it today you would think it was a National Embarassment! The building work to the rear of the cross seems complete, but the tatty fence is still around the cross. The ground around its base is a mess and hasn't been tended to for a long time. It's about time the Council got their butt into gear and sorted this out. I can feel a letter coming on ... Where's the respect?

I must give a mention to the proposed port at Bremore in north County Dublin. This development will destroy the passage tombs there and should be opposed. The Progressive Democrats fully support this project, so please challenge them about it on your doorsteps over the coming weeks. When I mentioned the destruction of five 4,500 year old monuments to a representative canvassing the other night she simply shrugged and said something about it 'freeing up the area', whatever that means.

The Relic - Tonygarrow (Co. Wicklow)Bullaun Stone2 New Images
Onagh (Co. Wicklow)Portal Tomb2 New Images
Onagh (Co. Wicklow)Rock Art4 New Images
Kilgobbin Cross (Co. Dublin)High Cross2 New Images

Saturday, 26th May 2007

Way Out West On The Dingle

It's a long, long journey to the Dingle Peninsular. It's definitely a long trip to do in a day and back, especially if it turns out to be wetter than anticipated. Not to worry - I did get 4 hours of good(ish) weather, before giving up and heading home. Eight hours on the road for four hours at some great monuments. In many other countries people have to settle for such trips, so I'm happy with that.

Once again the generosity of folk in rural Ireland to strangers astounds me. While looking for my first site (a wedge tomb with a view to die for) I asked a passer by if he could give me directions. He couldn't, but knew a man who could and promptly rang him up on his mobile for me. The map, the directions and the final destination didn't quite match up, but I found the site after a bit of wandering around.

From there I went rock art hunting. I knew the firt two targets were large boulders and one had recently been visited by Ken Williams. They were easy to find. The third evaded me.

The rest of the day was spent driving around to visit some standing stones and mighty bullauns. These included the incredible parked bullaun of Dingle town!

Sunday looks like a wet day, so I'm not sure what will happen to my plans. Maybe a quick trip into Wicklow in the afternoon to find some more 'lost' bullauns.

Pookauncorrin - Doonmanagh (Co. Kerry)Wedge Tomb9 New Images
Minard West (Co. Kerry)Wedge Tomb2 New Images
Doonmanagh (Co. Kerry)Standing Stone1 New Image
Aghacaribble (Co. Kerry)Rock Art3 New Images
Graigue (Co. Kerry)Standing Stone2 New Images
Kinard East (Co. Kerry)Rock Art5 New Images
Dingle (Co. Kerry)Bullaun Stone5 New Images
Kilmalkedar (Co. Kerry)Church1 New Image
Kilmalkedar (Co. Kerry)Bullaun Stone5 New Images
Kilmalkedar (Co. Kerry)Oratory3 New Images
Kilmalkedar (Co. Kerry)Bullaun Stone2 New Images
The Milestone - Milltown (Co. Kerry)Standing Stone2 New Images
Milltown (Co. Kerry)Standing Stone2 New Images
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