Issuu on Google+

Today's Image June 30, 2012, Pretty Cottage This picturesque cottage entrance evokes thoughts of Sleepy Hollow or some such fairytale abode set deep in the woods.........

A Pretty Ennis | ........But it's right here in the heart of Ennis tucked away in its own little terrace with the plants and the climbing rose around the door arch presenting a fleeting little summer scene reminiscent of days gone by. Yes summer! School's out and thoughts of holidays fill the heads of kids of all ages and County Clare is a great place to come and spend a few days. With so much to see and do there is no problem filling in the time, indeed you will find that there is not enough hours in the day. The Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Loop Head, walking, surfing, golfing, cruising, I could go on but lately I have been accused of waffling so I won't (that hurt! I mean do you know how long it takes to write a page of content that will be found by Mr G). If you are visiting anywhere in the country the Daily Adventure App is well worth the $1.99 as it's full of info about all the attractions and comes loaded with tonnes of discounts.

We are thinking of running a little photo comp in July so please join our fb page for details which will be posted soon. End of waffle... really hurt about that!


Today's Image June 29, 2012, Lucky Jim's This one is for friends of ours who are in the Blue Grass country of Kentucky.........

O'Dowd's the Turnpike Ennis ........O'Dowd's on the Turnpike is reputed to be the luckiest shop in the county for lottery winners and people make their way there to play their numbers in the hope that some of the good luck will rub off. Several high profile wins are accredited to this shop but try as I may my place is still queued for the big one, but I do it in the sure knowledge that my turn to click is not far away. Apart from the lottery the shop is a thriving store where you can get everything from fuel for the fire to cotton buds and it is a real time saver if you are busy and don't want the hassle of going the bigger stores. Jim opens from early til around 8ish in the evening and is very helpful to all of his customers, if you happen to be passing why not drop in and try your luck, you never know! The shot was taken at around 4am recently on a fine morning as we were going fishing.

See also, Turnpike Ennis


Today's Image June 28, 2012, Ennis Pub Fronts The town's bars, all 31 (trading today) of them competing for business in a place with a population of around 26,000.........

Ennis Bars ........Music, food, parties, quiz nights, fancy dress and hen party specials are all pushed by the various establishments to get them in. And these are just the ones in and around the town, in outlying areas (within 1km) there are 4 others and on top of that there is the 6 more that have closed down, ok they don't count at the moment but there is always someone willing to give it a go on a short term lease. Leasing a bar in town means paying very high rent and indeed the town is classed as being one of the most expensive in the country for rents so it is no surprise to see a number of high street shop units standing empty for this reason. For those surviving in the pub trade it's the weekends that pay the bills and the party goes on until the early hours so if you are visiting you are spoilt for choice with a wide range of entertainment and food menus to compare for the best value. The shot above is Brogan's bar the birthplace of Stockton's Wing who it is said formed there after a particularly good (music) session and the arch beside it is the late 18th century entrance to Quinn's Bow.

See also, O'Dea's | Old Ground Hotel | 31 Ennis Pub Fronts Video | View Extra Pics


Today's Image June 27, 2012, Caher Valley The Burren is full of interesting places and walking the trails is a great way to experience it.........

St Patrick's Church ........One such trail leads through the Caher Valley which is a desolate and narrow mountain pass with a road connecting Fanore to Ballyvaughan. At the entrance is St Patrick's Church, built in 1870 it sits under a rocky Burren hillside the grey building echoing the surrounding landscape. Near the church the Caher River meets the ocean and this stream is the only Burren river that runs over ground from its source to sea. In the valley there are many interesting things to explore including several ring forts the most important being Caherbannagh near the deserted village of the same name which was wiped out in the Great Famine as well as the penal chapel at Formoyle. It was at Formoyle that O’Brien assembled his forces before marching on Corcomroe Abbey in 1317 nearby are the wells of Tobar Bhrain and Tobar Lonain. This whole area is worth checking out in depth and merits much more than this short summary and the loop walk is 14km and is well worth doing (link to trail map is below).

See also, O'Donohue's Fanore | Walking | Caher Valley Loop Walk


Today's Image June 25, 2012, Scoil an Teaghlaigh Naofa Translates as The Holy Family School and I bet it brings back memories to those of you who attended classes here.........

Holy Family School ........The school came about after much work from the main driving force behind it Sr Lelia McKenna (1888-1981) before opening on 7th January 1965 when the old Convent school was finally abandoned for this fine building. An initial cost of £4,000 for the 5 acre site on Station Rd purchased in 1958 soon escalated to £500,000 on the back of extra work and labour costs during construction when the town's main sewage system which was underneath had to be diverted. The Department paid £218,000 with £80,000 coming from the Parish but that still left a deficit of £200,000 which was eventually cleared in 1977. There have been major upgrades since with the roof windows and floor being replaced and new whiteboards were installed as part os a continued commitment to IT by the school board. In 2012 this school was runner up in the best kept school competition and the boys and girls achieve high grades and excel at music and sports. So were you a pupil and do you have a story about your school, please leave a comment we would love to hear from you.

See also, Nun's Cemetery | St Patrick's Water Font | View Extra Pics


Today's Image June 24, 2012, Sunday Service for the Bug Whilst out and about on the morning walk we came upon this scene at the Cathedral that was just begging for a snap.........

The Red Beetle ........The red Beetle was parked on the pavement in front of the flight of steps that leads up from street level to the main door in the spot where wedding cars or hearses park up depending on the service. Today it was just an ordinary Sunday, no happy wedding chimes nor the solemn toll of the funeral bell just the usual attendance for a service at Ennis Cathedral. Plenty of parking spots too so why did the driver choose to park there, lateness, health problems that require minimum effort, or maybe a proud owner of a nice new red Beetle just showing it off, who knows and does it really matter. I guess not but no harm in mulling it over while having the brekkie is there. Nice little car though, wonder was it a little old lady......

See also, Evening Silhouette | St Patrick's Water Font | View Extra Pics


Today's Image June 23, 2012, Frog on the Wall This is another image gleaned from the streets of Ennis this time its a frog with attitude.........

Ennis Street Art ........I had previously thought that this street art was the result of random demented individuals who roamed the streets of the town pencilling images on walls that looked like suitable drawing boards. Not so! It is actually part of a well planned series called the Wall Candy Street Project. Quoting from the website "the aim of Wallcandy is to give artists the opportunity and freedom to conceive and create a piece of art that uses a particular site in an interesting and quirky way. The resulting artworks hope to engage, surprise and entertain viewers of all ages." It is definitely very innovative and effective in its own right and all of the art is outstanding and yet simple but also eye-catching. Apart from the frog there is at least 2 Friesian cows, a lady with butterflies, warriors and a series of faces on view throughout the town and the chances are you will see one on your rambles. The frog can be seen at the Lower Market Street car park at the drive-in market side entrance (there are 2 pedestrian entrances from High St).

See also, The Face | Wallcandy Site | View Extra Pics


Today's Image June 22, 2012, The Old Military Barracks It wasn't until 1855 that the Military took over the complex that housed the Fever Hospital which bore the brunt of the suffering caused by the Great Famine.........

The Old Barracks ........Rampant disease epidemics reached their peak in 1847 before abating around 1850 and soon after the winding down of the hospital as a treatment centre and its appalling workhouse began. The building continued to be used as a barracks until the end of the century and many of its officers and men went on to earn distinction in overseas campaigns with the British forces. Today the site of the Barracks has been restored and part the original housing can still be seen on the Kilrush Road. One end is a private domain while the newer apartments at the other side have been blended in on a part of the structure which had to be knocked due to its bad condition. The shot is an early morning view of the barracks building through the gates of the private residence.


Today's Image June 21, 2012, Busking in Parnell St Buskers abound in Ennis and a walk through the streets at anytime of the day will invariably bring you into contact with a street musician playing a few tunes.........

Busking ........The best pitches or if you like stages for these sessions are Arthur's Row (Ned) both ends of Merchants Square under each arch, (for the acoustically conscious musician) Parnell Street, O'Connell Street, Lr Market Street and the lower end of Abbey Street. Gig times are varied except for Ned (yep, he's German) who has a set timetable starting off at 9.30 and continuing well into the afternoon. All musical tastes are catered to performed with a virtual symphony of instruments from traditional Irish or sometimes Eastern European (Romanian?) to duets consisting of fiddle and guitar. Sometimes it's just soloists who range from whistle players to pipers who chance their luck in the hope of some appreciation for their efforts and not just a round of applause mind. Most just stay an hour before counting the takings (if any) and packing up the gear after another day topping the bill under the sky in Ennis. The musician in shot is playing a tune in Lr Market Street Ennis.

Today's Image June 20, 2012, St Patrick's Terrace There are several terraces in Ennis well over a hundred years old including St Patrick's Terrace which was built circa 1880.........


St Patrick's Terrace ........These rows of houses are notable not only for their unique building style but also for the historical bookmarks they represent in the evolution of this mediaeval town. Saint Patrick’s Terrace is a row of single story houses with high steep roofs some of which have been converted in recent times to dormer style dwellings by renovating the attic into an extra room. When the terrace was built in 1880 there was not a lot of places with a tap water supply in the town, so apart from bathing in the Fergus which was dangerous the people had to make do with hand drawn water to wash as the town's Tukish Baths had closed in 1878 after unsustainable rising costs particularly of coal forced the company out of business. There also would have been no electrical power at that time and while the houses were modern for the era they were pretty basic by our standards and remained so until the arrival of utilities which we take for granted today. This quaint terrace is located at the Clare Rd end of the Turnpike and it backs on to the playing fields of St Flannan's College which was also coincidently constructed in the 1880s.

Today's Image June 19, 2012, The Jacobean Chimney


18 Parnell Street Ennis is the address of the oldest known inhabited building in the town and sitting on top is the chimney whose recent restoration uncovered long lost clues as to its real age.........

1600's Chimneystack ........McParland's is the name on the front of this brightly painted house which is thought to have been the residence of the Arch Bishop of Killaloe during the time of the Penal Laws. Coincidently the building also sits on the corner of Chapel Lane where a small church was built and used by the Catholic population before the relaxing of the stifling Penal Laws and the coming of the Cathedral. The restoration of the chimney was undertaken with funding acquired from Ennis Town Council and the Department of the Environment which resulted in a team of archaeological conservation professionals overseeing the work. The chimney had to be stripped down because it was leaning precariously so it was dismantled in five stages and catalogued for re-use. During this preservation work a series of oak beams were discovered in the framework of the house and it is almost certain that they date back to the late 16th century as does the chimney which would make it the oldest inhabited house in town. Apart from this chimney there is at least one other such structure in the town which is located in Abbey Street and is visible from the Queens Hotel by looking up the street to the rooftops on the left.

Today's Image June 18, 2012, Hermitage Grotto


The Hermitage in Ennis is one of the older more mature housing estates in the town.........

Hermitage Grotto Ennis ........It is also the location of one of the largest grottos in the region, this shrine is set on a mound that forms a roundabout in the centre of Hermitage and even from a distance the sheer size of it is evident. Most grottos date back to 1954 the first so called Marian Year which was a designated year of devotion to Mary. Although not as ostentatious as some such places it nevertheless took some work to put it all together. The statue centrepiece is set in little circular area accessed by a gate that leads up a flight of steps and it is surrounded by a neat well manicured landscaped gravel garden adorned with plant pots containing shrubs and flowers. Each May (Mary's month) there are organized devotions at the shrine with Benediction and open air service followed by a procession to Drumcliffe Cemetery. There are several grottos in the town including Buttermarket, Dalcassian Park and Clon Road. The shot is an early morning view of the Hermitage Grotto.

See also, Grotto at Buttermarket | Garden of Remembrance

Today's Image June 16, 2012, Bloomsday


The action in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce (1882-1941) takes place on a single day which is June 16th 1904.........

Queens Hotel Ennis ........Joyce picked the date on account of it being the first time he went out with Nora Barnacle his future wife and the story revolves around Leopold Bloom the central figure as he stumbles through the day together with other real and fictional characters. Bloomsday began in 1954 when on the 50th anniversary of that fateful day a reenactment was organized by John Ryan and Flan O'Brien. They were joined by Anthony Cronin, Brian O'Nolan, Tom Joyce (cousin of JJ) and Patrick Kavanagh. The plan was to assign each person a character from the novel and visit the places mentioned in the book giving readings etc. in what was intended to be a day long event. Inevitably it ran aground when they ended up in the Bailey Pub then owned by Ryan and the pilgrimage came to an abrupt end. Some Bloomsday trivia; Leopold Bloom resided at No. 7 Eccles Street, his father Virรกg Rudolf was a Hungarian from Szombathely, the Queens Hotel in Ennis is mentioned in the novel. In 2009 an episode of the Simpsons featured a trip to Dublin and Lisa referred to Bloomsday, U2's Breathe also refers to events on a fictional 16th June and in 1956 Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath were married at St George the Martyr Church, Holborn, on 16 June, in honour of the day. The shot is a night time view of the Queens Hotel in Ennis. Happy Bloomsday!

See also, Bloomsday | James Joyce | James Joyce Pub

Today's Image June 15, 2012, Leonardo at Lahinch


Today we delve into the National Library Commons images once again and in doing so we discovered that Lahinch is a notorious black spot for plane crashes.........

Plane Crash Lahinch ........The most famous of these incidents happened in 1943 when the airplane nicknamed Travelling Trollop a B-24 Liberator bomber on route to Prestwick in Scotland from Maine became disoriented in fog and had to land at Lahinch beach. All the crew survived and the local priest quickly took charge and called for a painter to immediately come and cover up the Trollop's motive which was a topless woman emblazoned on the aircraft's nose. That crash was just one of at least nine such incidents in the county during WW2, some of these landed at Shannon (then Rineanna) due to low fuel and other problems but Kilmihill, Ballyvaughan, Spanish Point and Doonbeg also figure as crash sites with the only fatalities being recorded at Doonbeg where 9 of the 11 crew perished on 3rd December 1941. Before the War on 16th May 1934 Lahinch was the scene of another crash landing this time by the Leonardo da Vinci (NR 13137), the two crew Capt. George Pond and Lieut. Sabelli who were on route to Rome afterwards walked to town and booked into a hotel and slept, well after 32 hours in the air I suppose they were entitled to. Petrol tank problems compounded by heavy fog appear to have contributed to this landing which took place in a field near Moy. The image is part of the National Library Commons photostream and shows the Leonardo propped against a ditch in Lahinch.

See also, Clare Crashes | National Library Commons


Today's Image June 14, 2012, Inside the Ennis Friary The Franciscan Order established one of the first settlements in Ennis over 800 years ago when they built the original Friary on the banks of the River Fergus.........

Ennis Friary ........After the suppression of the monasteries in the 1500s the building fell into disrepair and was eventually abandoned altogether. The present Friary opened in 1892 after a brief period when worship was conducted in a small chapel in Friary Bow and it is full of interesting objects and architecture. Two pieces of sculpture of note are the Bust of Padre Pio by Shane Gilmore and the statue of Anthony of Padua which stands under a superb circular stained glass window at the shrine dedicated to him. The main altar is of a style not commonly seen in this country with the tabernacle topped by an ornate spire and flanked by images of saints five on each side housed in frames that echo the tall window behind it (see image).

See also, Chapel Lane Ennis | The Cathedral


Today's Image June 13, 2012, Burren Gateway It's wild and beautiful, rugged and varied; all of these descriptions apply to the Burren of County Clare.........

Burren Scene ........This area of north Clare is high on the list of 'must do' things when visiting the county and while a drive through is a fair means of seeing it the best way is to take to some of the many walking trails that bring you to awesome places that cannot be accessed by the motor vehicle. There are many differing vistas within this natural wonder, from the coastal aspect to the high ridges, from rock strewn landscapes to green pastures. Wildlife abounds too and the rare flora found within makes it a special place of interest for nature lovers. Remember that visitors are asked to respect the fragile lands and to follow the Burren Code by leaving it as it was found. Things to see in the region include the Poulnabrone Dolmen, Caherconnell Stone Fort and the caves at Aillwee and Doolin as well numerous ruins of churches and castles long since empty of habitation. Picturesque towns and villages scattered throughout the area add to the experience and our favourites are Fanore, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna but you are sure to find your own favourite place to rest awhile and enjoy a break from the sightseeing activities. The shot is a view to Aillwee Hill from the Ballyvaughan Wood Loop trail.

Today's Image June 12, 2012, Ballinalacken Castle


This example of a tower house castle was built sometime in the 15th century on foundations that were laid as far back as the 10th century by the O'Connor clan.........

Ballinalacken Castle ........Located on a limestone mound on the road between Fanore and Lisdoonvarna in the grounds of the Ballinalacken Castle Hotel it was one of the more impressive of the many castles built in the area. Lochlan MacCon O'Connor is credited with the first rebuilding of this tower house in the 14th century as a fortress for the powerful family who ruled west Corcomroe until 1564 when control of the region passed to the O'Briens. It eventually ended up in the hands of Turlough O'Brien of Ennistymon. The hotel building was constructed in 1840 for Lord O'Brien and is often referred to as 'one of the most beautifully sited houses in Europe'. To find it take the R477 from Lidoonvarna for near to three miles and the ruin will come into view on the right hand side with the hotel further back, the entrance is near the junction to Fanore and Doolin. See also Lemanagh Castle The shot is a view to the castle from the coast road.

Today's Image June 11, 2012, Maid of Erin Column


People looking for this landmark are sometimes surprised by its small scale when they eventually find it.........

The Maid of Erin ........The grey 23ft high column stands in the middle of a busy roundabout at the Mill Bridge and for those in cars on the lookout for it a fleeting glimpse is all they get as they pass it by. (The best way to view it properly is on foot either by yourself or as part of the walking tour groups that take in all the interesting places in the town and they well worth checking out especially if you are a fact and figure person.) The statue on top depicts Ireland personified and at the Maid's side is a harp (national emblem) and a dog-like representation that is described elsewhere as an Irish wolfhound but to me it looks more like a fox, check it out and decide for your self. It was designed by P. J. O'Neill and erected in 1881 as a commemoration to the Manchester Martyrs a trio of Fenians who were hanged in dubious circumstances in 1867 in Manchester England. If you are interested in finding it quickly then see the complete details and location on the map here. See also Maid of Erin Gallery The shot is a view of the monument lit by the early morning sun.

Today's Image June 10, 2012, St Columba's Church


This interesting church is home to the Anglican Communion of Ennis in the Parish of Drumcliffe.........

St Columba's Ennis ........Constructed between 1868 and 1871 on land donated by wealthy Protestant William Murphy it has the distinction of being the last Anglican Church built in Ireland before its disestablishment by the Irish Church Act 1869. There are several items of interest here that are worth mentioning, the first being the collection of 24 ceramic and mosaic figures of Biblical and Celtic saints by parishioner Catherine Amelia O’Brien completed during the 1930's, these are located in the chancel and are a source of much admiration and pride. Inside a manual pipe organ provides the music during ceremonies and the church is a favoured venue for choral events because of its excellent acoustics. In the grounds the pyramid structure of the Blood family mausoleum is a talking point as General Sir Bindon Blood a descendant of Colonel Thomas Blood who attempted to steal the Crown Jewels is interred there and of course the place where the church is located is on Bindon Street. A wooden grave cross from Ypres, a relic of the Great War of 1914–1918 and the beautiful stained glass west window can also be seen inside this striking Neo Gothic chapel.


The shot is a view of the building which is located on a tight corner at Bank Place and Bindon Street in Ennis. See more photos in the St Columba's Church Gallery.

Today's Image June 9, 2012, Shannon View from Killimer What better place to chew the cud then in your own field overlooking the Shannon Estuary.........

Estuary View ........And very nice is too but for our non-bovine readers we will just fill in a few details regarding this picturesque inlet to give you something to chew on. The distance from Loop Head to Limerick city is 70 miles with no land bridges in between those points. Before Shannon Airport was built in 1942 transatlantic flights used the estuary as a terminal and runway at Foynes for the seaplanes operating the service. Before that in 1588 ships from the storm stricken Spanish Armada sheltered in the bay off Carrigaholt. The biggest power station in Ireland is on the river at Moneypoint in County Clare and just to compound matters there is another one opposite in Tarbert (in picture). Near to Kilrush St Senan established the monastic settlement on Scattery Island around about 534 and the last inhabitants finally left in 1978. Kilrush itself is a listed Heritage Town and home to a marina which offers a safe haven for Small Ocean going craft and there are boat trips from there to the Island. There have been several high profile shipwrecks on the Estuary including seven under Kilcreadaun Lighthouse close to Carrigaholt and four at Kilbaha near the mouth of the Shannon.


Amenities include angling, dolphin watching, boat trips and Shannon Ferries the only car ferry service operates between Killimer and Tarbert while the Loop Lighthouse is now open to visitors and can be booked as a self catering holiday home. There you have it then a few details to mull over as you have your brekkie.

Today's Image June 8, 2012, Surname in Action - O'Dea The origins of this Clare family name can be traced back to a 10th century chieftain called Deรกghaidh.........

O'Dea Family Name ........According to Edward MacLysaght the former Chief Herald and authority on Irish genealogy the name is not very common outside of Munster and particularly County Clare. Common derivatives are Alday, Allday, O'Dea, Dea, Day, O'Day, Dee, O'Dee, Godwin, or Goodwin. Dysert (Disert meaning hermitage) O'Dea in west Clare would appear to have been the first location to be associated with this surname where the 500 year old tower house called O'Dea Castle (built between 1470 and 1490 by Diarmaid O'Dea) can be found and nearby is the ruins of Dysert O'Dea monastery and round tower. In 1318 the Battle of Dysert O'Dea took place in this area culminating with the AngloNormans being driven from the region. There is a tenuous connection to the Dal gCais the ancient bloodline which included Brian Boru and MacLysaght supports this assertion in his book The Surnames of Ireland where he states that the O'Deas were "one of the principal Dalcassian septs".


Famous family members include actor Jimmy O'Dea (1899-1965) and Paul O'Dea (1920-1978) the American basketball player and coach. The shot is a view of John's pub in Ennis licensed since 1847 and to get in one needs to go through the little shop at the front right inside the door and is well worth a visit when in town. See also, Wikipedia | O'Dea Clan Footnote; the castle is home to the Clare Archaeology Centre, and it is located close to Corofin.

Today's Image June 7, 2012, Killimer Cemetery The graveyard at Killimer is in two sections divided by the road called Old Burrane and New Burrane after the townland in which they lie, known as Burrane Lower.........

New Cemetery Killimer ........Located in a picturesque spot overlooking the Shannon Estuary the older section is notable for the church ruin and the Madigan masoleum a curved roofed structure sitting just inside the perimeter wall on the east side corner. A lot of the headstones here are flat on the ground with only a few Celtic Crosses standing upright and it was no mean feat to manage to record all the inscriptions as some are very weathered, the work was completed by Senan Scanlan of Kilrush in association with the Kilrush Youth Centre. The new section (pictured) is more straight forward with everything following well defined lines, the point of focus in this part is the Hassett family vault which is right in the center and is a substantial structure consisting of a rectangle topped of with a Celtic Cross.


Further details of interest to genealogists and people tracing family roots can be found at the Clare Library website by clicking here, this page has an introduction from Senan Scanlan and a listing of West Clare cemeteries which may come in handy. The shot is a view towards Tarbert powerstation in Kerry from the new cemetery. Killimer Cemetery Gallery has more photos of both sections. See also, Templemaley Cemetery | Molony Tomb

Today's Image June 7, 2012, Killimer Cemetery The graveyard at Killimer is in two sections divided by the road called Old Burrane and New Burrane after the townland in which they lie, known as Burrane Lower.........

New Cemetery Killimer ........Located in a picturesque spot overlooking the Shannon Estuary the older section is notable for the church ruin and the Madigan mausoleum a curved roofed structure sitting just inside the perimeter wall on the east side corner. A lot of the headstones here are flat on the ground with only a few Celtic Crosses standing upright and it was no mean feat to manage to record all the inscriptions as some are very weathered, the work was completed by Senan Scanlan of Kilrush in association with the Kilrush Youth Centre. The new section (pictured) is more straight forward with everything following well defined lines, the point of focus in this part is the Hassett family vault which is right in the centre and is a substantial structure topped of with a Celtic cross.


Further details of interest to genealogists and people tracing family roots can be found at the Clare Library website by clicking here, this page has an introduction from Senan Scanlan and a listing of West Clare cemeteries which may come in handy. The shot is a view towards Tarbert power station in Kerry from the new cemetery. Killimer Cemetery Gallery has more photos of both sections. See also, Templemaley Cemetery | Molony Tomb

Today's Image June 6, 2012, The Aylmer's Rest Coming in to Ennis by way of the Turnpike you will come upon this quirky little place taking up one corner on the roundabout.........

The Aylmer's ........Up to a few years ago, maybe six or seven it was known as the Gallows which was what the locals like to call a 'townie' pub. But the whole place has been totally refurbished after a fire had completely gutted the premises and nowadays it is a guesthouse with a little restaurant called the Rose Cottage which is nice and cosy and serves a good meal. Built in the style of an old coach house inn it is one of those bars where people drop in for a quiet pint on the way home from work and being a bit out from the town centre it doesn't have the hustle and bustle associated with the main streets.


For people staying over there is music at the weekends and a filling lunch menu is served during the day and it is worth considering when you are visiting the town. We like it for its low-key ambience and the cod and chips, you can contact the guesthouse at this number 353 656842716 or check the website here. What is an Aylmer? Don’t know, but if anyone does please tell us as it’s not listed in our dictionary. See also, Ennis Toll Road | The Turnpike

Today's Image June 3, 2012, Chapel Lane Ennis As mediaeval streets go in Ennis they don't come any more authentic than Chapel Lane or in Irish, Lana an tSeipeil.........

Chapel Lane ........Named for the church built in 1734 and used by the Catholic population of Ennis as a place of worship before the Cathedral was built, this narrow passage is steeped in history.


The church itself is deliberately low-key on account of the persecution of Catholics when the Penal Laws were being enforced in the 16th century. There was no bell tower to draw any unwanted attention to it and apart from a tall window it looks just like any house in the lane. At the Parnell Street end there is a chimney stack dating back to the early 1600s which has recently been refurbished and is known as the Jacobean Chimney and is the best example of such a structure perhaps in the entire region. The Rev. Dean James Barrett (1722-1808) who served in Ennis for 46 years resided on the lane where he passed away after a short illness in his house aged 86 and he is remembered for his fostering of good relations with the Protestant community. A walk through the little street which connects the market area to Parnell Street will almost certainly make one think of long gone times with the low doorways and small windows reflecting a scene not unlike a Dickens story location. The shot is a view towards the Parnell Street side where the alley has a slight kink just outside the church which is visible in the distance on the right. See also, Cathedral | Merchants Square

Today's Image June 2, 2012, Picnic Table at the Mill Wheel The June holiday weekend signals the start of the summer proper and people will be hoping to get some quality time while enjoying their favourite activities in County Clare.........

Stone Table at the Mill ........We are walking in the Burren and hat will be followed by angling and perhaps a game of golf over the following few days down by the seaside in Kilkee.


The Loop Peninsula is a great place to spend a few days with plenty of interesting things to see and do, the Lighthouse has to be on the agenda and the kids (big and small) will enjoy the Shannon Dolphins which can be seen by boat from Carrigaholt. Fans of the Cliffs of Moher can avail of boat trips too and these depart daily from Doolin when the weather permits, see O'Brien Line for details of tours to the Cliffs and the Aran Islands. Lahinch is the place to be for surfing and while it is the weekend there are still some great value breaks on offer there and throughout the entire county, check out availability here. Ennis is a great central base from which to see everything and a fantastic free resource is the Clare Museum where 6,000 years of history is presented through fabulous interactive audio visual exhibits coupled with real artefacts. A few suggestions for you but there is so much more to it, just get out and do what you love doing this weekend in County Clare whatever it is because the summer is here at last and that's a cause to celebrate! The shot is a view of the Mill Wheel on the Riverside Sculpture Trail in Ennis. See also, Golf | Walking

Today's Image June 1, 2012, June's Flower The Rose The first day of June is upon us and today we will look at some interesting facts about the month's birth flower the rose.........

June's Birth Flower ........This flower is associated with passion, love and beauty and the Victorians read a lot into the 'messages' that were supposedly hidden within the bloom. For instance the red rose means "I love you" while the yellow says "I am not worthy of your love" pffffffff! And so began the 'say it with flowers' exploitation of these prickly plants and the subject of love, so much so that you have to say it a dozen times and take out a second mortgage every February 14th just to keep the peace. Did I say that!


I digress, getting back to the interesting facts, the fruit of this perennial is called the rose hip, it's a rich source of vitamin C and edible while the flowers come in a variety of sizes and colours and are one of the most important notes on the perfumer’s organ for their scent. Between 1455 and 1485 the War of the Roses was fought between the houses of Lancashire and Yorkshire who were saying "I love you" (red, Lancs) and "You are Heavenly" (white, Yorks), the victory went to the reds and Henry Tudor after much sniffing and sneezing around the gardens of the north of England. Dog Rose, Briar Bush, Gallic Rose, French Rose and Virginia Rose are some of the names attached to the bush and "Please Believe Me" (pink) when I say my favourite is the Wild Rose as opposed to those cultivated ones used as weapons of mass manipulation by florists around the world. If anyone is trying to find me to give me a bunch of black ("You are Dead") roses I will be in the Rose and Crown. See also, May Flower | War of the Roses


June Pics