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of Ireland’s

Blue Book


Irish Salmon


Visit the Shannon Region

Issue 5 Vol 2

Spring / Summer 2014

promising ireland: For over 35 years The American Ireland Fund has supported innovative work that preserves Irish culture, counters sectarianism, advances education, strengthens community development and cares for those in need. Today, our Promising Ireland Campaign has exceeded its initial goal of $100 million and the target has been doubled to raise $200 million for Irish charities. With charities facing increased demand for services with fewer resources, your support is needed more than ever. So far, over 650 outstanding projects and organizations have received support from the Promising Ireland Campaign.

p l e as e jo i n u s i n p ro mi sing ir eland . We invite you to learn about giving back to the land that has given us so much. Please visit

Contents Issue 5 | Spring / Summer 2014

Irish Style Living & Enterprise Issue 5 Spring / Summer 2014


Cover Credit: Courtesy of Failte Ireland

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Founder and Creative Director Lisa McGee


Logo Design Louisa Condon The Ant Team


Website & Magazine Design One Little Studio

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Intern Sophia McGee



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Registered offices are at 25 Radharc Darach, Nenagh Co. Tipperary IRELAND Phone: +353 (0)86 347567; Email: Company Registration number 506406. All contents of this magazine are copyright ©ISLE magazine and they may not be reproduced in any form without written consent from the publishers.



Art / Craft – Meet contemporary Irish Artists

Drink Producer – Ireland’s newest whiskey distillery

Food / Cookbook ISLE – Celebrating Irish Salmon


Contributing Writers Louise Cantillon Barbara Collins Lila Connolly Susan Fitzgerald Neil Jackman Desi Kenny

ISLE magazine ® is a registered trademark.


Travel ISLE – Discover the Shannon

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Editor’s Page News ISLE–

What’s happening around

the island

Taste ISLE – See what has been tickling our taste buds lately

Product ISLE – Lisa rounds up her favourite finds

Blog ISLE – Meet four bloggers in Ireland Getaway ISLE – Ireland’s Blue Book Celebrates its 40th Anniversary and we visit Bellinter House ISLE Abroad – Our newest column is introduced this issue – linking the Irish together around the world Book ISLE – Desi Kenny picks out his latest favourites

Museum ISLE – Susan Fitzgerald visits The Clare Museum Spring 2014 Isle 3

Run by Birgitta and Peter



ESTABLISHED 1893 Scarves, Caps, Blankets & Throws *Special Offer: For 10% off on on-line orders use Discount Code ISLE on our website. Valid only until 31, August 2014.

Curtin since 1989 Smoked Salmon ✫ Trout ✫ Mackerel Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare Visit our shop or shop on-line Meet us at ifest in Boston 26-28 September 2014



Welcome to Issue 5 of our magazine. We’ve had a busy spring here at ISLE and now summer is upon us. This issue as always we are bringing you our latest finds from all over the island. Travel this issue features the Shannon region (pg. 24). Encompassing 4 different counties including North Tipperary, South Offaly, Limerick and Clare the Shannon Region has plenty to offer. We take you back to Kerry where the Dingle Whiskey Distillery (pg.44) is producing not only whiskey but also gin and vodka. As I’m always interested in art, having grown up with two parents that are artists, this issue we give you a glimpse at a selection of contemporary Irish artists (pg. 38) and finally our food feature celebrates Irish salmon (pg. 52). Our regular columns are back again including Blog ISLE, Getaway ISLE, Product and Taste ISLE plus our latest selection of books on Ireland. Our new column called ISLE abroad (pg. 18) makes its debut this issue. It will feature people and groups or

communities that support Ireland in other countries. This issue we focus on the Irish Network USA. Personally, I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been Nominated for the Disaronno Hi Women in Business Awards as 1 of 8 Tipperary Women in Business. The awards take place in Cork on the 5th of July and you can enter a vote by emailing: vote@no1. ie – put in subject line, Lisa McGee, Tipperary Women in Business. I’d so appreciate your support – it is a great honour to be recognized for all my hard work promoting Ireland. Issue 6 is scheduled for October and it will be a bumper issue to celebrate our 2nd Anniversary. As always we love to hear from you, our readers so feel free to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ ISLEmagazine or by all means drop us an email – . Have a wonderful summer!

Spring 2014 Isle 5



Compiled by Lila Connolly

Some newsy bits from all around Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way Failte Ireland launched their latest tourism initiative earlier this year - the Wild Atlantic Way. From Malin Head in Co. Donegal to Mizen Head in Co. Cork covering 2500 kilometres and can be enjoyed in various sections or counties – all at once or once piece at a time. While it has officially launched, it is actually an ongoing project that will build over the next few years and each year more attractions will be added. For more information or to plan your route –

Inch Beach, Co. Kerry

Irish Heritage Every year National Heritage Week runs in the month of August. This year it will be held 23-31 August and there is now a FREE app you can download to check out the events. With events happening throughout the country – you can delve into Ireland’s history. To find events in your area - 6 Isle Spring 2013

A Few Festivals and Events: Mark Graham, who gained notoriety for his blog A Year of Festivals in Ireland (www. ), has recently published a book with New Island on the same topic. Mark’s quest to attend three Irish festivals each week in a year really turned into a mission to find people out there that “were innocent of bankrupting our country, they were more than likely the same people who were still volunteering to create fun and festivals in the places they lived, making the country a better place to live in and giving the rest of us something to look forward to. I was so sure of this that I was willing to bet year of my life and my dwindling deposit on it. I wanted to meet these people and to be free from negativity. The plan was to become something of a positivity vampire.” We love his wit and enthusiasm and often pass him on our travels around this great island. Pick up a copy today and be sure to plan to attend at least one of our numerous festivals when you visit Ireland.

The Niland Collection Quietly tucked away in Sligo is a contemporary art museum called The Model, which houses the Niland Collection – begun by Nora Niland in 1959. One of the most notable collections in Ireland, it features works by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry, Louis le Brocquy and others. The building was originally built in 1862 as a Model School. Running until 30th September is an exhibit on Jack B. Yeats. Admission is free and there is also a shop and café. For additional exhibits and events, visit:

Tis Swell This festival has really piqued our interest this summer – maybe it’s because we are lucky enough to know organizer John Muldowney – but let me tell you – this sounds like some craic on the island of Arranmore, off the coast of Donegal 11-13 July. There will be loads of music acts, arts and even the “preacher’s pulpit”. Don’t be surprised to see the ISLE car up there with a wee tent pitched next to it. For more details on the line up and tickets or on Facebook (be sure to watch their highly amusing promotion videos! ) Spring 2013 Isle 7



Compiled by Lila Connolly

Bread Delights:

What is about freshly baked bread? Is it the smell? The warmth that melts your butter? On a recent visit to Cloughjordan Wood Fired Bakery based inside Ireland’s only eco-village (www. ) in Co. Tipperary, all these thoughts came to mind while watching owner and baker Joe Fitzmaurice make his sourdough boules. His hand repeated the same task of kneading and shaping the dough – after they rose – he scored them and put them 8 Isle Spring 2014

Products and Ideas Tickling our Taste Buds

into his brick oven. A short time later he was pulling them out – perfectly baked and loading them into his wire baskets for delivery. Along with traditional sourdough – he also bakes bread specifically for vegans using Altantic kombu seaweed from Donegal which is cooked with whole meal brown rice – creating a bread with complex proteins. Many of his breads are sold locally but also up in Dublin at Blazing Salads Bread Company. For more visit

Packing a Flavour Punch

In 2013 the Cornstore Restaurant Group, which includes restaurants in both Limerick and Cork along with their Cornstore at Home, became the first restaurant group in Ireland to launch their own in-house beef dry ageing process. Bring home flavour with their No. 6 Steak Rub - which won Gold in the Seasons Category at Blas na Éireann Irish Food Awards in October 2013. For more on their range of products and restaurants

Save the Date th 5September - 14th

New Cooking School

Award Winning Black Pudding In March Rosscarbery Recipes won silver in the grilled pudding class and bronze in the traditional class (served cold) in the biggest European black pudding competition known as Le Confrerie des Chevaliers du Goute-Boudin. Entrants come as far away as Canada, the West Indies & Japan. The Allshire family live in Co. Cork and produce not only Caherbeg Free Range Pork but also Rosscarberry Recipes which includes their award winning pudding. To find their products – follow them on Facebook: Caherbeg-Free-Range-PorkLtd/250142158334295

In Killaloe, Co. Clare – Laura Kilkenny, owner of The Wooden Spoon, a charming café located right in the town minutes from the bridge that joins Killaloe and Ballina, has recently launched a cooking school. Classes include Young Chefs (for 1st-3rd years), Budding Bakers (4th-6th class) Essential Baking and a Taste of Italy plus many more. For more go to the Facebook page - TheWoodenSpoonCookerySchoolKillaloe

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Lisa McGee gathers together her latest finds from travelling around Ireland Caddies from the new kitchen range €59 each from

Nautical pillows in 100% Irish linen Jonah (boat), €71, Pott’s Point, €62 from

Stylish glass jug in new ‘ Forest’ colour €69 from

Imaginative “Tiny Towns” made of paper (this is Dingle) €14.95 from 10 Isle Spring 2014

Irish slate and a trio of copper tea light holders €35 from

Siobhán tote (lg), with matt nickel hardware €485 from

Presentation platter in Clover pattern €78.20 from

Cotton screen printed tea towels with vintage charm €9.90 from

Recycled wool & colourful ribbons make these iPad covers unique €65 from

Print of Irish Georgian Doorways €10 from

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This month we round up four more blogs in Ireland each with their own unique flair

French Foodie in Dublin started in August 2012

Written by Ketty Elisabeth What is it about or why did you decided to start it? French Foodie in Dublin is a blog about my food experiences in Dublin. I write reviews about restaurants, cafes and food businesses I like and also post some recipes from time to time. I started the blog as a diary of my meals out because people around me tended to ask me for recommendations. Why you love living where you do? I love living in Dublin city centre because it’s always buzzing and vibrant. Even if it’s a capital city it’s human-sized and people are friendly, plus there is always something going on. Tell us about your food tours – I run French food and wine tours of Dublin every Saturday afternoon. It’s a three hour walking tour around my favourite places for French food and wine in Dublin. I guide small groups of people and tell them about French food cultures and customs. It’s a fun and original way to spend a Saturday afternoon and an opportunity to meet fellow food lovers. I also run ‘The Foodie Movie Club’ where each month where people watch a food movie in a private cinema and then gather around a meal inspired by the movie.

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Magnumlady’s Blog started about 5 years ago. Written by Val Robus What is it about or why did you decided to start it? There was a lot of illness in the family and I started the blog as a diary to get the thoughts out of my end on onto a page so to speak. The blog is about photographs and ‹life in general›, there really is a bit of everything and anything and in the most part I look for the positive things in life. I will try most things and love exploring and adventures so all of that is covered. I had people contacting me for recommendations for places to visit in Sligo so I’ve recently started a sister site sligo-secrets (www. which is still a work in progress but is getting great feedback already. Why do you love living where you do? Sligo is a beautiful part of the country. We have the best of everything: mountains, forests, beaches all on our doorstep. I came here on holiday 23 years ago and never left! 

Edible Ireland started in 2011. Written by Kristin Jensen What is it about/why did you start it? Ireland has been good to me and I love calling it my home. I also love Irish food. Coming from the US, where the food travels 1,500 miles on average to reach your plate, I believe that on this small island, all Irish food is local food. With Edible Ireland, I want to explore the vibrant food scene here – the people who grow it, produce it, cook it, serve it, sell it and champion it – and tell the stories and share the recipes behind the country’s food and artisan producers.   Why do you love living where you do? If I had drawn up a wish list of the ideal place to live and had stuck a pin in a map, I couldn’t have picked a more perfect place than where I live now in County Louth. It’s the best of all worlds. It’s only an hour’s drive to Dublin or to Belfast, half an hour from the airport and a 10-minute drive to the motorway,

so it’s easy to get out and about and enjoy all the city has to offer. And yet I also get all the advantages of living in the beautiful Irish countryside, with views of the Cooley and Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea. Even after living in Ireland for 15 years now, I still have to pinch myself - I can’t believe I’m actually lucky enough to live here and have this life. Tell us a bit about your upcoming book: I’m co-authoring a book with Caroline Hennessy (from the Bibliocook blog), The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider, to be published this autumn by New Island. The book will do what it says on the tin and will cover everything from how beer and cider are made to profiles of Irish craft brewers and cider makers to how to match beer and cider with food right through to tips and recipes for how to cook with them.

The Donkeys Hind Legs started in June 2013. Written by Paula Conneely What is it about or why did you decided to start it? I love to talk, and I love to write, so this is the place where I can literally talk the hind legs off a donkey! Why do you love living where you do? I’m from Dublin, but always say that I was meant to live over here on Inis Óirr (the smallest and most eastern of the Aran Islands). Every day brings the feeling that anything is possible in this place, which is full of history, tradition, community, raw beauty and wonderful peace with the sea at its every boundary.

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Getaway Across Ireland

Getaways Across


Marfield House Junior State room.

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Ireland’s Blue Book celebrates its 40th Anniversary and we visit Bellinter House in County Meath Written by Lisa McGee

F Gregans Castle Hotel. Breakfast in bed at Ballymaloe.

Forty years ago, in 1974, Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House (who recently turned 90) was the first President of Ireland’s Blue Book and a founding member. Today this collection of Irish Country Houses, Manor Houses, Historic Hotels, Castles and even a lighthouse includes forty-six different properties throughout the island of Ireland. Latest additions to the collection include Clare Island Lighthouse (we featured this in Issue 3, pg 16). Also added to the collection is Liss Ard Estate, a gorgeous Victorian house in west Cork. Thornton’s Restaurant in Dublin also joined Blue Book this year bringing the number of Michelin starred restaurants in the collection to five. You may want to getaway to Northern Ireland and stay in properties such as Newforge House in Armagh or the Bushmills Inn in Antrim or pick a county in the Republic of Ireland where you can stay in the Castle Durrow in Laois, dine at Chapter One restaurant in Dublin, travel to Fermanagh and stay in Belle Isle Estate or venture to County Kerry to stay in the Park Hotel Kenmare – there is a property that suits everyone and every taste. To see the entire list of properties visit the Ireland Blue Book website. Spring 2014 Isle 15

Getaway Across Ireland

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In April I escaped with a friend to Bellinter House in County Meath. It was the perfect time to visit as the daffodils were in full bloom dotting the drive in with highlights of yellow. Built in 1750 and designed by renowned Irish architect, Richard Castle, Bellinter is a classic Palladian style house. Our visit started with seaweed baths, followed by a sauna and dip in the outdoor hot tub which overlooks the River Boyne. We stayed in the Ruins in a quiet courtyard adjacent to the main house with a copper bath and views out onto the surrounding woods. Our dinner that evening was delicious. I had halibut on butternut squash risotto for my main. On the ground floor, the drawing room filled with miss-matched furnishings and stunning lighting, my favourite being the water buffalo head. There is also an intimate bar and game room. The feeling throughout the house is as if you’ve come to visit someone at home- albeit quite luxurious. I loved the quirkiness of the furnishings; nothing is too perfect making it feel very comfortable and welcoming. The grounds are particularly stunning and I know they’ve hosted many a wedding here – in fact, on the sideboard in the game room was a collection of thank you cards from many a happy couple. Enjoy your own getaway to Bellinter House Spring 2014 Isle 17

ISLE abroad

Linking groups and communities around the world back to Ireland

Irish Flag displayed in Cleveland City Hall for kick off reception of IN Cleveland, August, 2013.

Photo by

L-R, RoseMarie FitzSimons ( IN Seattle Chairperson/ IN USA), Paula Stokes ( IN Seattle member and glass artist who made presentation of glass piece to the Taoiseach), Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and Noreen McCormack ( IN Seattle/IN USA) at breakfast event hosted by Irish Network Seattle. Photo By Rozarii Lynch


Isle Spring 2014

IN USA Board of Directors with Ambassador Anne Anderson at opening reception of 2013 Irish Network USA Board meeting held in November in Washington, DC.


Irish Network USA reception at University of Buffalo - this was held as first stage to establishing an IN in Buffalo which should be formally launched this Spring. Pictured Left to Right are: Padraic Walsh( Buffalo Fenians GAA), Mike Pietkiewicz (UB), Deirdre Woodbyrne (ED INUSA), Liam O’Neill (President, GAA), Steve Lenox (Co-President, INUSA) Peter Ryan (Deputy Consul General)

Irish Network USA was formally established in 2010 to provide national level organization, communication and support to individual “IN” chapters around the country. Irish Network USA currently includes 16 chapters. By providing a national framework and support, Irish Network USA and its chapters are able to offer high quality networking opportunities for Irish, Irish-Americans and ‘friends’ of Ireland; increase business opportunities and economic development between the United States and Ireland; connect newly arrived Irish immigrants with their communities in Member cities and states, promote Irish Arts and Culture through film, literature, theatre, dance and language; support the promotion of Irish cultural sports such as hurling and Gaelic Football; and complement the efforts of pre-existing Irish organizations and associations in IN Member cities. As we continue to strengthen our chapters that already exist, and launch new ones in cities across the US, the ability to connect the Diaspora to Ireland at a grassroots level will be greater than ever. This will lead to increased opportunities for Irish indigenous companies to enter new markets, for introductions to US companies seeking to expand their footprint beyond this country, and for individuals that continue to seek opportunities in the US to more fully integrate into their new communities. – Steve Lenox, Co-President, IN USA. Irish Network USA has chapters in Boston, New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota, New Orleans, Austin, Colorado, Phoenix, San Diego, Nevada, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle. For more information on IN USA and each chapter – go to Spring 2014 Isle 19



Written by Des Kenny

The first of these is a delightful collection of poems, illustrated by celebrated Irish artist, Harry Clarke, is based on a book published nearly 100 years ago. A really wonderful collection of poetry Irish and non Irish the poems are greatly enriched by the uplifting illustrations from the brush of one of Ireland’s greatest painters. Still in a light mood is the humorous collection of GAA anecdotes compiled by Roscommon man John Scally and compiled in the best selling “Breaking Balls The Funny Side of the GAA” which sold out just before Christmas and is now back in stock again. The book celebrates the great GAA comedians although much of the time the humour is unintentional. Everyone who is anybody in gaelic games is here and the book is a celebration of the lighter side of our national sports. 20 Isle Spring 2014

With the storms gone and the days lengthening, it is perhaps time to settle down and enjoy a few books that might lighten the spirit a little.

And somehow with tongue in cheek although with its more serious side too is the intriguing publication from Lorna Sixsmith “Would You Marry A Farmer?” While the horrors of sharing a kitchen with the farmer’s Mammy are looked at askance there is also an underlying serious narration going on here relating to the social differences between living in rural and urban Ireland.

With the centenary of the 1916 Rebellion, new books on the subject abound. Perhaps one of the more amazing volumes to come to hand is Seán Hogan’s “The Black and Tans in North Tipperary Policing, Revolution and War 1913-1922. An obvious labour of love, the author goes into incredible detail relating to the period and more specifically to the activities of the Black and Tans. It will soon become a collector’s item and anybody interested would be well advised to pick it up sooner rather than later. Des Kenny was born in Galway and a member of the Kenny Family who have been selling books since 1940. He was educated in Galway and Paris and jokingly says that he has been selling books since before he was born. You can purchase all the books he has reviewed from (FREE worldwide shipping)

Do you know an unusual museum we should feature? Email Us info@ islemagazine .com



Written by Susan Fitzgerald

The Clare Museum in Ennis is a perfect example. Featuring modern interactive displays, this lovingly curated museum is home to artefacts spanning 6,000 years. It‘s packed with fascinating finds; butter 1,000s of years old, a shocking Irish goddess once found on churches, the story of the Irish inventor of the submarine, gemstones native to Clare, and much more. Adults and children alike will enjoy delving deeper into the tales behind the items using the interactive screens, watching videos, and listening to Irish storytelling by the traditional hearth. Give yourself around an hour to explore the museum, which is located in the Ennis Tourist Office.

Irish county museums are like wrapped gifts- inside are such wonderful surprises.

Do explore lovely Ennis as well, which certainly deserves being voted Ireland’s Friendliest Town. Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 9.30 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 17.30 A 6th day added in summer Closed Bank Holiday Saturdays Website: claremuseum/ Susan Fitzgerald writes a blog called Vibrant Ireland which provides insider information & travel tips from Ireland and abroad. It was short-listed as Best PopCulture Blog for the Blog Awards Ireland 2013. Spring 2014 Isle 21

Be the High King of Ireland!

The ultimate coastal retreat could be yours in what is sure to be a once in a lifetime sale. The last home in Ireland, complete with 55 acres along the Atlantic Coast is for sale in Malin Head, County Donegal. View videos, stunning photos and further information about this special place, the very last stretch ‘of Ireland’ at: For Sale by Private Treaty

Stories to Inspire

This issue we travel to the Shannon Region - celebrate Irish salmon introduce you to Ireland’s newest distillery and highlight contemporary Irish artists.

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The Shannon


Encompassing four different counties that surround Lough Derg , sit along the Shannon River and border the Atlantic Ocean – this region offers a wealth of sites to see, pubs and restaurants and many outdoor activities. Written by lisa mcgee

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For those of you that fly into Shannon Airport when you visit Ireland – you are immediately immersed into the Shannon Region. The area covers Counties Clare, Limerick, South Offaly and North Tipperary and the counties are clustered around beautiful Lough Derg – the second largest lake in Ireland plus take in some of our Atlantic Coastline or as it is now known, the Wild Atlantic Way. This year Limerick is the City of Culture 2014 and Lough Derg has recently received new funding to help develop it as a destination over the next three years. There’s a lot to be said about this vibrant region of the country that is full of hidden gems.

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While a lot of focus this year will be on the city of Limerick – Limerick County has plenty to offer as well. One of the most picturesque villages in all of Ireland is located in Adare. The main street is lined with thatched cottages with lush gardens that house a string of shops and restaurants. There is a public park in the centre of the village and it is a popular place to get married so if you are lucky you’ll see a happy bride walking to the church from the Dunraven Arms Hotel (www. There are plenty of choices for eating out and doing some shopping. It is also home to the five star Adare Manor hotel, a NeoGothic building located on an 840 acre estate with a beautiful 18 hole golf course among many other exclusive amenities 26 Isle Spring 2014

( It an easy walk from the village to see the historic Desmond Castle or the Franciscan Friary. For more on Adare and surrounding areas visit: For those of you interested in outdoor activities Ballyhoura offers miles of trails for mountain biking, horseback riding, walking and more. Located in east Limerick and into north Cork – go to www. In Foynes, you’ll find Ireland’s only aviation museum, the Flying Boat Museum, the only museum dedicated the flying boat in the world www. They’ve recently added a maritime museum which covers the history and personality of the Shannon River and more.

Photo credits: Hunt Muse Village, court

Hunt Museum (with canon) courtesy of Failte Ireland). eum (inside) courtesy of Shannon Development. Adare tesy of Willowbrook B&B – Frank McCourt Museum, courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Visiting Limerick City Compiled by Louise Cantillon.

King John’s Castle Located on Kings Island, the heart of Medieval Limerick, King’s Castle was built between 1200 and 1210 and it is one of Limerick’s most impressive historic sites. For more information: Limerick City Museum Founded in 1906 it chronicles the history of Limerick and its people. Tel: 353 (0) 61 417862 or email museum@ Hunt Museum See the collection of 2000 works that were gathered by John and Gertrude Hunt during their lifetime. It includes the work of Picasso, Renoir and Yeats and a unique Jewellery Gallery. Located on Rutland Street, it also has a gift shop and cafe. Frank McCourt Museum Dedicated to the writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank Mc. Court, the museum is located in The Leamy School, where Frank and his brothers received their early education. McCourt is best known for his memoir “Angela’s Ashes”. For opening Hours: www. Thomond Park Home to Munster Rugby, it’s also been a venue for some of the best international musicians including Rod Stewart and JLS and also has a museum. To book a tour and for more information: For more on Limerick City of Culture events:

Louise Cantillon also writes for First Online Radio in Limerick. Spring 2014 Isle 27

Visiting Clare

County Clare is most renowned for the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and The Burren but there are many other places that are there to be discovered. Loop Head, located on Clare’s most southwest peninsula was recently voted by The Irish Times as the Best Place to Holiday in Ireland. It is home to the stunning Loop Head lighthouse and offers picturesque views of the Atlantic Ocean in addition to great walks and spots to eat. www.loophead. ie/ The Burren, is of course well worth visiting and they’ve recently introduced the Burren GeoPark which ties the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher into one “package” – there are Burren Food Trails, with special Monday events throughout the rest of the year. , and a wide selection of not only pubs and restaurants to visit but also farms and kitchen gardens. Burren Walking Trips, where you can learn about biodiversity, geology, history, archeology ad much more. www.burrentrips. For more on things to do in Clare – visit: 28 Isle Spring 2014

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All images courtesy of Failte Ireland, except Bunratty Castle which is courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Visiting north Tipperary

North Tipperary partially borders Lough Derg but the rest is lush farmland ideal for raising cattle and dairy cows. It has a rich food community with many local food producers, a wide selection of restaurants and plus plenty of opportunity for a wide range of outdoor activities ranging from sailing, walking, and fishing to cruising and hiking. The two main towns of North Tipperary include Nenagh ( and Thurles ( For “Hidden Tipperary” – check out this blog - www. In Nenagh, Nenagh Castle, has only recently been beautifully restored and now hosts tours inside. The view from the top gives one an amazing 360 degree look at the town and surrounding areas. From there you look down onto the Court House, the octagonal shaped building of the Heritage Centre, which used to be the town jail and St. Mary’s of the Rosary Church among other landmarks. 30 Isle Spring 2014

Thurles is home to the new Lár na Páirce Museum which celebrates the story of Gaelic Games and houses an impressive collection of hurleys from every decade since the founding of the G.A.A. in Thurles in 1884 ( In town is Bridge Castle build in 1650 and just outside Thurles, near the village of Holycross, Farney Castle dates back to 1185. It is now owned and occupied by the knitwear and porcelain designer Cyril Cullen and his wife Margie (www. Places to Stay: (a few suggestions) One that does a wonderful job promoting Ireland and the area is Willowbrook Bed and Breakfast on the outskirts of Nenagh. Check out their Facebook page: www. In the town of Nenagh, you can also stay at the Abbey Court Hotel. The Abbott’s Steakhouse in the hotel offers steaks from Tipperary plus a generous fish and seafood menu. The hotel also has a leisure

centre and is conveniently located to many local attractions. www.abbeycourt. ie/index.html In Thurles, you can stay in the Horse and Jockey Hotel (www.horseandjockeyhotel. com/ ) which has two restaurants, a shop and café and it is located just off the M8 motorway to Cork and Dublin or stay in a country house in the village of Inch at Inch House, (www.inchhouse. ie/, featured in Issue 2). Lakeside villages we recommend visiting include Dromineer which has a great playground for children, a well kept beach, a harbour and paths to stroll along the lakeside. Have breakfast in the Lough Derg House café ( index.html) – they also have accommodation. Enjoy a meal in the cosy pub, The Whiskey Still, which also has an outside deck when weather permits (www.facebook. com/pages/The-Whiskey-

Still/112124492172236). Further around the lake in the village of GarryKennedy, you can enjoy the wood walk, a pint Ciss Ryans pub or a meal in Larkin’s which is a traditional thatched pub serving locally sourced food along with great traditional music sessions (www.larkins. ie/). Fish with locals, Paul Bourke or Danny Tiernan, who run Irish Fishing Tours and do half day trips to six day holidays including accommodation - www. For walks and hikes or customized tours – The Celtic Connexion offers a wide range of options - www. Photography credits: Nenagh Castle lit for St. Patrick’s Day in March 2014, photograph by Tom Doherty. Countryside in North Tipperary, Courtesy of Willowbrook Bed and Breakfast; www. Boats; courtesy of Failte Ireland. Spring 2014 Isle 31

Visiting Offaly & the Waterways No trip to Offaly is complete without a visit to Birr Castle Demesne (www. Set on 50 hectares (120 acres) of parkland, the property also includes beautiful formal gardens, Ireland’s Historic Science Centre with a café and shop. Also on the grounds is The Great Telescope, a world famous engineering and astronomical wonder. Built in the early 1840’s by the 3rd Earl of Rosse it remained the largest reflecting telescope in the world for over 70 years. While the castle itself is not open to the public, except on rare private occasions, the rest of the property is open year round and suitable for the perfect family day out. The Shannon River runs into Lough Derg in Portumna, Co. Galway. A popular family activity is cruising the Shannon on

30 Isle Spring 2014

a boat hire and a fabulous way to take in the sites including the historical site of Clonmaicnoise (see page 34/35). For more on things to do in Offaly, visit Boat Hire: Further south, Lough Derg feeds back into the Shannon at the towns of Ballina (Co. Tipperary) and Killaloe (Co. Clare). This area is steeped in history as it was the birth place of the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru who reigned from 1002-1014. With a wide selection of pubs, restaurants and cafés plus numerous options for walking, fishing, kayaking and getting out on the water – the area attracts visitors

far and wide. The Lakeside Hotel, (www. which overlooks the two towns is the main hotel in the area with a leisure centre, restaurant and gardens – an ideal venue for weddings. On the Ballina side there are many pubs and restaurants including– Goosers Pub and Restaurant (, Flanagan’s on the Lake (, and Tuscany Bistro, (, The Cherry Tree (www.cherrytreerestaurant. ie/). On the Killaloe side there are several great café’s for lunch or breakfast on the

weekends plus great pubs. Wood Brothers Bistro (, The Wooden Spoon, (see page 9 for more), Brendan’s Grace’s pub (owned by the comedian Brendan Grace), The Anchor Inn and Molly’s back on the Ballina side, which also serves food. A cruise on Lough Derg is well worth it For more on the area: www.

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History ISLE

Visiting Clonmacnoise

One of Ireland’s most iconic historical sites. Written by Neil Jackman

Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland’s most iconic historical sites. The monastery was founded by Saint Ciarán in the middle of the sixth century. Unlike many of the other early Irish saints who were often from privileged families, Ciarán was the son of a carpenter. Despite his humble origins, Ciarán soon gained a reputation for his intelligence and holiness. After completing his education, Ciarán became the founder of a small monastery on Hare Island in Lough Ree, before choosing the site of Clonmacnoise to establish another monastery. His choice of location at Clonmacnoise was incredibly shrewd. Today, the site seems like a tranquil and isolated place, however in the early medieval period, Clonmacnoise was at the crossroads of the two major routeways of ancient 30 Isle Spring 2014

Ireland. The mighty River Shannon and the Slí Mór (meaning The Great Way) was a roadway that traversed the country from east – west over the glacial eskers that offered easy passage over the wetlands and bogs of the midlands. Clonmacnoise was also situated on the borders of two of the great kingdoms of early medieval Ireland, Connacht to the west, and Mide (Meath) to the east and the site prospered from its close relations to both of the ruling dynasties. The earliest churches at Clonmacnoise would have initially been wooden constructions, known at the time as a dairthech (Oak House), but as Clonmacnoise grew in prestige these were gradually replaced with grander buildings made from stone, often founded by Kings and nobles. In 909 King Flann

commissioned the construction of the Cathedral and the beautiful high cross known as the Cross of the Scriptures. The cross, now on display in the excellent visitor centre, bears an inscription marking the event. Not to be outdone, over the centuries more ruling dynasties like the O’Melaghlins (kings of Meath) commissioned churches at Clonmacnoise. The monastery grew wealthy as rulers and nobles clamoured to be buried within the same hallowed ground as Saint Ciarán, as it was believed that the saint would ensure entry into Heaven. At its height the monastery was surrounded by a large bustling settlement, with markets, craftsmen, and farmworkers. It would have had one of the largest early medieval populations outside of the Viking cities of Dublin, Waterford, Limerick and Cork. The growing wealth and reputation did not go unnoticed, and Clonmacnoise was raided a number of times through its history, mostly by warriors from rival Irish kingdoms like Munster, and in 842 and 845 by the Vikings. As the fortunes of the once mighty kingdoms of Meath and Connacht waned following the Norman invasions, Clonmacnoise too gradually declined over

the centuries. The Normans left their mark on the site by constructing Clonmacnoise Castle to ensure they controlled the strategically important crossing point of the Shannon. Despite Clonmacnoise having a brief period of resurgence in the early seventeenth century, by the mid1600s the site had been largely abandoned. Its isolation has left us with a wonderfully atmospheric site, a truly fantastic place to explore. Today Clonmacnoise is under the auspices of The Office of Public Works. For information about entry fees and opening times please visit en/midlandseastcoast/Clonmacnoise/ If you’d like to hear the story of Clonmacnoise try our fun and informative audioguide. Packed with original music and sound effects it is an immersive way to discover the story of Ciarán’s Shining City. clonmacnoise Neil Jackman is the owner of www., a new Irish company passionate about making the incredible story of Irish history and heritage accessible to all. He writes highlighting great historical sites to visit around Ireland.

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Contemporary Art

ISLE Written by Lila Connolly

Throughout Ireland there is a wealth of artistic talent – these are just some of the Irish artists we’ve become enamored with lately

Cara Murphy Using traditional silversmith techniques, Cara Murphy is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. She is inspired by nature and her work “addresses the concept of 36 Isle Spring 2014

a silver landscape in the context of the table that challenges the boundaries of functional silver tableware.” For more examples of her work visit her website –

Mairi Stone To see the work of Mairi Stone in person – one cannot believe the amazing detail - the delicate nature of her pieces and her inventive use of colour. Inspired by the sea – Mairi uses a technique using porcelain and glass creating these magical pieces that bring the underwater world to life. Based in Cork, she’s recently begun working on a series of lamps and has just launched a shop on Etsy Website; or Facebook Spring 2014 Isle 37

Catherine Keenan Working with glass, Catherine Keenan brings her imaginative textural shapes to life. While she has been primarily working on her range of vases – these are from her ‘Eye Candy’ range – at Showcase she introduced her ‘Colourscape’ necklaces which are made of glass beads in a range of graduating colours. See her entire range on her website - or Like her on Facebook - www.

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Lauren Scott We discovered the unusual work of Lauren Scott also at Showcase. Based in Northern Ireland, Lauren makes her wonderful animals out of recycled materials – scraps of tweed, lace and cottons which are layered over a base made of wadding and finished off with ceramic feet. Her creatures include birds, foxes, rabbits and deer heads and a chubby yet endearing hedgehog. See more work on her site - www. or Like her on Facebook - www.

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Tony O’Connor We discovered Tony O’Connor’s work through Facebook and have become completely entranced by his amazing lifelike paintings primarily of horses and stags but also other animals. The paintings are powerful and capture his subjects in such a realistic manner one is often wondering if they are photographs. Like him on Facebook - www.facebook. com/pages/Tony-O-Connor-EquineArt/275031255420 or check out his website (although it is undergoing a bit of a revamp) - www.whitetreestudio. ie/index.html His solo show “Stag & Stallion” opened on 29th May at The Doorway Gallery, 24 So. Frederick Street, Dublin 2 and runs until 26th June. www.

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Victoria Bentham Victoria Bentham graduated from the University of Ulster with a degree in Fine and Applied Arts specializing in ceramics. We love her powerful use of colour and the interesting textural elements she incorporates into her work. She is inspired not only by the countryside of her childhood but also old tiles and Islamic architecture among other things. See more of her work and find where she is exhibiting on her website

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In Dingle, Co. Kerry - today’s rain is becoming tomorrow’s whiskey Written by FionnÁn O’Connor Photographs by Florian Walsh (except where noted)



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Dingle is a damn strange place. Stuck against the frigid Atlantic on Ireland’s rainy western fringe, Dingle nevertheless enjoys its own miraculously temperate microclimate due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream. It is Ireland’s westernmost town but was also the site of the Spanish Hapsburg treaty that allowed generations of “wild geese” exiles to sail eastward into the military ranks and government councils of continental Europe. The whole peninsula is dotted with archeological remnants of the solitary monks who first made the place famous but modern Dingleans are notorious for their hospitality, charisma, and generally first class craic. They make their own ice cream, have their own dolphin, and eat some of the best seafood in the country. But before Oliver Hughes and John McDougall came to town, Dingle never had a whiskey distillery. Strange that. The two seem almost made for each other. Whiskey, after

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all, is a damn strange drink. It’s Ireland’s most natively ‘Gaelic’ beverage but was also one of its most exotically oriental imports. Like Dingle, Ireland’s national spirit is something of a minor miracle. And the elements of that miracle have always been quietly kicking around the Dingle peninsula, starting with the monks themselves. Although Europe is now peppered with regional spirits such as Italian grappa, Polish vodka, German Schnapps and, of course, Irish whiskey, the art of distillation isn’t really European at all. The word ‘alcohol’— like ‘alchemy,’ ‘alembic,’ and ‘elixir,’ is originally Arabic and it was the Spanish Moors who first brought the hard stuff into Europe via the long arm of the Caliphate. Being Muslim, they weren’t drinking too much of it and mainly used their early ‘alembics’ or stills to purify powders and cosmetics. Needless to say, that didn’t last terribly long. Soon enough,

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early Spanish and Italian medical schools were commending the restorative virtues of Aqua Vitae, “the water of life.” The secret was out. Put some mildly alcoholic liquid in a Moorish alembic, heat it enough to evaporate its alcohol but not enough to evaporate its watery bits, and what you’ll get is something fairly bracing on the other side. Distillation quickly spread across European monasteries and other centres of learning as early “Aqua Vitae” was adapted into anything from French Eau-de-Vie to Scandinavian Akvavit to Irish “Uisce Beatha,” all of which are translations of the exact same phrase. Wherever it landed, distillation blossomed into some new local beverage that made the most of whatever grew locally. It’s 46 Isle Spring 2014

from the ‘uisce’ in the phrase’s Gaelic translation that we derive the English word whiskey. It’s impossible to know when distillate first passed through Irish lips but, by the time craythur gets its first real written mention in 1405 in the Annals of the monastery of Clonmacnoise, the records are already describing the death of a local chieftain after drinking too much of it. Over time, the secret slipped out the back door of the church and whiskey distilling passed into the hands of farmers, who’d happily discovered a means of transforming their excess grains from a rotting surplus into a winter’s worth of wonderful times. And that was how whiskey stayed for many years: a clear grain spirit, usually

the time The Liberator himself arrived on the scene, the legal Irish distilleries were at the dawn of a Victorian whiskey boom that saw Ireland’s national spirit prized internationally (and especially among the London aristocracy) as one of the finest drinks that money could buy. When it came time for the O’Connell monument to be laid in Glasnevin, the task of laying down the cornerstone was given to one of Daniel’s personal friends and one of the fair city’s favourite sons: Sir John Power. A distiller. But lets get back to all that sherry and port. Or, should I say, lets get back to that harbour. That peculiar interaction between whiskey, wood, and the wine stain of a used cask particularly thrives in a damp and temperate climate with plenty of foggy moisture in the air. Just like Dingle. As any Scottish Hebridean distiller will tell you, a bit of exposure to some salty sea air can also quirk those maturing flavours into something even more peculiar. Again, we find ourselves in Dingle. And yet, the town has never had a distillery. Fast-forward to 1996. Due to the combined commercial ravages of the temperance movement, prohibition, the rise of blended scotch, the war of

Photographs courtesy of Porterhouse

drunk straight off the pot still and often spiced up with honey and herbs to improve the taste. It wasn’t until the 1700s that it began to evolve into the un-adulterated barrel aged drink that we call whiskey today. After the levying of the British excise tax on Christmas morning, 1661, a line was drawn between the “parliament whiskey” of commercial tax paying distilleries and the poitín of the illicit home distillers who continued to make whiskey as they’d always done without paying any ruddy tax to anyone. Although it was the latter who probably discovered, while hiding their hooch from the authorities, that prolonged contact with an oak barrel drastically improved the whiskey’s flavour, it was the former who actually made use of that information and began aging their whiskeys in the used sherry and port barrels that were lying around from the wine trade. Again, we find ourselves back in Dingle, a town whose deep political ties with Spain also made it one of Ireland’s first major wine importers. Even into the late 1700s, families such as Daniel O’Connell’s made their money importing (or some would say smuggling) brandy, port, and sherry through the ports of southwest Kerry. By

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independence, and Ireland’s subsequent economic war with Britain, almost all of those celebrated Victorian distilleries had long since been reduced to rubble and Irish whiskey abroad mainly meant Jameson. Across the river from Daniel O’Connell’s imposing statue, Oliver Hughes and Liam LaHart were on the verge of challenging Guinness’ supremacy over Irish stout and opening Dublin’s first brewpub: The Porterhouse. At the time, the idea of an Irish pub turning away the Guinness contract to serve its own stout porter looked suicidal. But Oliver is nothing if not a canny businessman and his brewer Peter is something of a fanatic so its no surprise that, twenty years later, their plain porter has won a whole mess of awards and The Porterhouse now owns a corresponding mess of pubs in Dublin with two additional sisters in London and New York. And not just any pub in New York. Fraunces Tavern happens to be the pub where America’s favourite distiller took his troops to celebrate the end of the American Revolution. (In case you’re wondering, that distiller was George Washington and his tipple of choice was American Rye.) Which brings us back to whiskey. Having weathered an eighty-year Valley Forge of decimation after tragic decimation, Irish 48 Isle Spring 2014

whiskey has recently been making one of the world’s most miraculous comebacks since Washington himself. Long forgotten categories such as smoky Irish peated malt and ginger-creamy Irish Single Pot Still have been resurrected and those bottles of Jameson are increasingly sharing their shelf space with a whole range of diverse alternatives. Irish tipples such as Redbreast Cask Strength and Bushmills 21 rank side by side with the most critically beloved of Scottish single malts and small distilleries have begun sprouting up all over the country. In fact, Irish whiskey is currently the fastest growing spirits category in the world. Not to be outdone, Oliver, Liam and Peter are at the forefront of this revival too. Backed with a financial plan that offers their investors a custom made cask of single malt whiskey aged in their choice of sherry, port, or bourbon seasoned woods, their new distillery has already begun selling gin and vodka via the Porterhouse pubs as they wait for the first batch of the brown stuff to mature. They’ve been selling the gin and vodka throughout Ireland for the last two years and both won awards in the recent Blas na Eireann Irish Food Awards during the Dingle Food Festival this past October. They officially launched the gin at the Fraunces Tavern in March and it is now

All in the Family: The Dingle Distillery is part of a large “family” of pubs and restaurants throughout Ireland, the UK and New York.Dingle Distillery The Porter House Brewing Company with locations in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Dublin, Covent Garden, London and the Fraunces Tavern in New York The Port House Traditional Tapas and Wine Bars in Dublin and London

Read our Travel Feature on the

Photographs courtesy of Fraunces Tavern

Dingle Peninsula in Issue 3

rolling out across the United States. The vodka will be following soon. Along with a team of passionate locals, they’ve enlisted the help of legendary malt whisky distiller John McDougal (Laphroaig, Springbank, Balvenie, etc) to make world class single malt and Irish pot still whiskey in the one place that whiskey seems to have been flirting with from the very start: Dingle.

Fionnán O’Connor had his first whiskey in a pub in Galway at a tender enough age and has never looked back. As a student, he taught a 2 unit class on the history of whiskey through the UC Berkeley Celtic Studies department while working as a brand representative for the Bushmills single malts and teaching an Irish whiskey class at San Francisco’s legendary Bourbon & Branch cocktail bar. He is currently living in Dublin finishing up his first book, A Glass Apart, on the history and revival of traditional Irish Single Pot Still whiskey. The book will be published in the autumn of this year.

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irish Salm

Celebrating Irish Salmon Salmon have been part of Ireland’s history and heritage for thousands of years and it still plays an important role for tourism and industry. Compiled by Lila Connolly


Irish mythology immortalized the salmon through the story of the Salmon of Knowledge. It was featured on our coinage into the early 1990’s, we love fishing for it, we cook it and we love to eat it. Visitors to our island will find many salmon smokehouses producing their own recipes for success and most restaurants have some form of salmon on their menus either as a simple starter of smoked salmon and brown bread or as a hearty main dish with a salmon fillet. Then there are the anglers who come to Ireland for a bit of peace and tranquility and to enjoy the simple pleasures of fishing on an Irish river.

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Drowes Salmon Fishery is located in Co. Leitrim. Here you can fish along a 5 mile stretch of the River Drowes or in Lough Melvin. The estate also has 11 cottages available to rent with all the modern conveniences and they can cater to people interested in Coarse Fishing or Sea Angling as well. For more information:

Photographs by Eunan Sweeney, courtesy of Drowes Salmon Fishery.


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Great Fishing

Houses of


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Photographs, courtesy of Ballyvolane House.

There are 16 houses listed as part of this group throughout Ireland and all provide not only excellent accommodation but also a great fishing experience. Longueville House in Co. Cork was featured in Issue 2 of the magazine. Near Fermoy, in Cork, Ballyvolane House & Blackwater Fishery is an Italianate style Irish country house that was built in 1728. Owned by Justin and Jenny Green, here you can fish along a six mile stretch of the River Blackwater and stay in one of their 6 rooms and enjoy delicious locally grown and artisanal food.

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A Selection of


Smokehouses Burren Smokehouse Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare Tel: +353 (0)65-7074432 (See our Premier Issue for a full feature on them) Connemara Smokehouse Bunowen Pier Bally Conneely, Co. Galway Tel: +353 (0)95-23739 Smoked salmon, tuna and mackerel Duncannon Smokehouse Co. Wexford Tel: +353 (0)51-42190 Smoked salmon, trout and haddock Woodcock Smokery Castletownshend, Skibbereen, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0) 28-36232 Smoked salmon, tuna, mackerel, haddock and kippers Ummera Smoked Products Ltd. Inchybridge, Timoleague, Co. Cork Tel: +353 (0)23-8846644 Smoked organic Salmon plus gravadlax, smoked chicken and duck along with dry-cured bacon. 54 Isle Spring 2014


Written by Barbara Collins

The Haven Smokehouse Photographs, Barbara Collins

Photographs, Eddie Cleary

Photographs, Barbara Collins

Photographs, Eddie Cleary

Photographs, Eddie Cleary

Photographs, Eddie Cleary

Spotlight On: The Haven

A turf fire is a wonderful thing. The aroma comforts as much as the heat, so it stands to reason that it would work on the prince of fish. Normally, salmon is smoked over oak woodchips, but Sue Cruse and Declan McConnellogue had the brainwave of using fine Donegal turf to smoke their organic salmon. They moved to Carrigart near Downings in Donegal from London 2 years ago. They had to earn a living, of course, but they wanted to do something fulfilling and different. The fact that Sue was expecting her daughter at the time didn’t deter them at all. “We wanted to enjoy life, food, the land, the exquisite produce grown in Donegal, breathe in fresh air and be part of this wonderful environment” says Sue. So they did a course on Artisan Food Production, sourced the salmon from Marine Harvest, Fanad Head, built a timber-framed smokehouse and so it began. The flavour of the salmon has a deep warm smokiness that gives way to a rich sweetness but isn’t too salty or fishy. Declan favours a short salt curing time and then allows the smoke to do finish the cure over a few days or as he says ‘It’s ready when it’s ready’. This leaves you with a melt in the mouth texture. It’s also best eaten at room temperature. The Haven Smokehouse Organic Turf Smoked Salmon is now stocked in restaurants and delis right across Donegal. You can also buy it direct. Tel: +353 (0)86-4672737. Facebook: The Haven Smokehouse Twitter @turfsmoker. Spring 2014 Isle 55

Chef & recipe Vivian Kelly Restaurant: Kieran’s Kitchen, Roadside Tavern Client: Burren Smokehouse, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare


Irish Salmon Acclaimed food writer Máirin Uí Chomáin brings us salmon recipes from around Ireland Photographs by Walter Pfeiffer (excerpted from Celebrating Irish Salmon, Artisan House Editions, 2013)

The salmon has been part of Ireland’s natural heritage for over 10,000 years. Down through the millennia, this ‘silver treasure’ has been caught and eaten, bartered and traded, celebrated in myth and lore. Celebrating Irish Salmon presents over 100 mouth –watering recipes which are interspersed with contributions from all of Ireland’s Michelin-starred restaurants as well as from Euro-Toque members, salmon smokehouses, fisheries and foodie havens around the country. We bring you six recipes from the book that will inspire your meals and wow your guests. Celebrating Irish Salmon is available through or 56 Isle Spring 2014

Burren hot-smoked organic salmon on a bed of colcannon Serves 4

Colcannon Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender, then drain. Boil the cabbage for about 5 minutes, drain and set aside. Mash the potatoes with spring onions, butter and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the cabbage.

Ingredients 700 g / 1½ lb Burren Smokehouse hot-smoked organic salmon Colcannon 450 g / 1 lb floury potatoes, peeled

Stir-fry vegetables Cut all vegetables in strips and stir- 1 head cabbage, finely shredded fry in olive oil until they are soft. (4 cups shredded leaves) Mustard cream sauce 2 tablespoons spring Combine cream, white wine and onions, chopped mustard and bring to the boil. 2 tablespoons butter Remove from the heat and keep 50 ml / 2 fl oz milk, heated warm. salt and black pepper Assembly Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas mark 4. Stir-fry vegetables Cut the hot-smoked organic 1 red pepper salmon into 4 pieces. 1 onion Heat the salmon in the oven for 5 minutes. 1 courgette To serve, create a base of 8 mushrooms colcannon, arrange stir-fry 1 teaspoon soya sauce vegetables on top and pour the mustard cream 1 tablespoon olive oil sauce over the vegetables. Top the dish with the hot-smoked salmon. Mustard cream sauce Beverage suggestion 1 tablespoon wholegrain Why not try one of the Burren mustard Brewery craft beers from the Roadside Tavern if you are near Co. 600 ml / 1 pint cream Clare. Otherwise, the old reliables, 2 tablespoons white wine Guinness and Murphy’s, will cut mustard with this hearty dish.

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Chef & recipe Guillaume Lebrun Restaurant: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2 Photography: Barry McCall

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Frank Hederman’s beech-smoked salmon with quenelle of crab and cauliflower tempura Serves 4

Ingredients Salmon Using a long, straight-edged knife, slice thin horizontal slices from the smoked salmon. Cut these layers into even squares 4 cm / 1½ inch × 4 cm / 1½ inch. Quenelle of crab Mix the crab meat, chilli, lime, grapefruit, orange and mint in a bowl. Fold in the mayonnaise and season to taste. Pack the crab mixture into four 8 cm / 3 inch cylindrical moulds. Lift off the mould. Avocado purée Blend the avocado, crème fraiche, cayenne pepper and lime juice in a food processor. Season to taste. Cauliflower tempura Add the water to the cornflour in a bowl and whisk until a batter consistency is achieved. Preheat the deep-fat fryer to 170 °C / 340 °F. Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to simmering point and plunge the cauliflower into it for a few seconds. Drain the cauliflower and refresh in a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain again. Dip the cauliflower in the batter, shaking off the excess. Deep-fry for 2–3 minutes until golden brown, then drain the tempura and transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm. To serve Arrange the smoked salmon on four chilled plates and top with a quenelle of crab, a cauliflower tempura and a teaspoon of avocado purée. Beverage suggestion Riesling from Germany, Alsace or Clare Valley, Australia, works well with this dish. A white Bordeaux is equally good, or a Rhône such as a Châteauneuf-du-Pape or a Saint-Joseph.

110 g / 4 oz beech-smoked salmon Quenelle of crab 225 g / 8 oz white crab meat, picked over to remove any pieces of shell 1⁄2 red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped 1 lime, zest 1 pink grapefruit, segmented, chopped, sieved to remove excess juice 1 orange, segmented, chopped, sieved to remove excess juice 8 mint leaves, finely shredded 2 tablespoons mayonnaise salt white pepper, freshly ground Avocado purée 1 avocado, peeled and stoned 1 tablespoon crème fraiche pinch of cayenne pepper ½ lime, juice only salt white pepper, freshly ground Cauliflower tempura 50 g / 2 oz cornflour, sifted 2–3 tablespoons iced water 4 cauliflower pieces, 35 g / 1½ oz each salt white pepper, freshly ground Spring 2014 Isle 59

Chef & recipe Máirín Uí Chomáin Photography: Walter Pfeiffer

Wild salmon sashimi with melon and pomegranate Serves 4

Pomegranates are among the most antioxidant-rich fruit in the world. They are very good for the heart and also increase your levels of serotonin (happy hormones). Besides, the red seeds look beautiful. Cut the melons into 12 delicate finger-size rectangles. Cut the raw salmon into similar sized pieces. Using four rectangular plates, place three melon fingers on each plate and top with salmon fingers. Arrange three pomegranate seeds on each salmon finger and arrange pea shoots and flowers between the fingers. Place a teaspoon of wasabi on the side. Beverage suggestion Try a sake such as Hoyo ‘Genji’ Sake, full of white flowers, peaches and apricots. A Riesling or a craft beer would also work well. 60 Isle Spring 2014

Ingredients 225 g / 8 oz wild salmon fillet, skinned 2 cantaloupe melons 1 pomegranate 12 pea shoots 6 edible flowers (e.g. borage, chive or wild garlic, depending on season) wasabi (or hot horseradish)

Spicy salmon on samphire with saffron sauce Serves 4

Sauce Soak the saffron threads in the fish stock and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes. Strain the stock and discard the threads. Place the saffron-flavoured fish stock, vinegar and shallots (or chives) in a saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce by two-thirds (see p. 12). Remove from the heat and whisk in the chilled butter cubes slowly to get a nice gloss. Keep sauce warm by sitting the saucepan in a bowl of hot water. Toss the cubed potatoes in a pan with sunflower oil and butter and fry until golden. Keep warm in oven until ready to serve. Fry the salmon in a little oil in a medium-hot pan, skin side down, until the skin is nicely crisp and golden, 3–4 minutes. Turn salmon fillets over and cook the flesh side for 2 minutes until salmon is firm to the touch. While salmon is frying, blanch the samphire in boiling water for 2–3 minutes, drain well and toss in olive oil. To serve, place salmon fillet on bed of samphire on a warm plate, drizzle with saffron sauce and arrange cubed potatoes on the side. Beverage suggestion Gewürztraminer, Sipp Mack, Alsace, France. With nuances of rose petal and grapefruit on the nose, plus spice to the finish, this classic wine has enough body and aroma to unite the samphire and spices perfectly.

Ingredients 4 salmon fillets, 175 g / 6 oz each, with skin 2 teaspoons coriander seeds 2 teaspoons fennel seeds 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds sunflower oil, for frying 225 g / 8 oz rock samphire, washed 2 teaspoons olive oil 2 litres / 3½ pints water Sauce 150 ml / ¼ pint fish stock 100 ml / 3½ fl oz white wine vinegar 2–3 shallots, finely chopped (or chopped chives) 4–5 strands saffron 110 g / 4 oz cubed butter, chilled 4 potatoes, cooked and cubed 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 2 tablespoons butter

Chef & recipe: Máirín Uí Chomáin Photography: Walter Pfeiffer

Marsh samphire (Salicornia europaea), also known as sea asparagus, is widely available along our coastline. It is at its best in July and August. The late great cookery writer Jane Grigson suggested using samphire as a summer delicacy to be enjoyed like asparagus. It has vibrant green stalks and a distinctive crispy and salty taste that complements fish dishes particularly well. Do not use seasoning with this recipe as the samphire and smoked salmon contain enough saltiness Toast or dry-fry the seeds and crush using a mortar and pestle. Coat the flesh part of the salmon with the crushed seeds. Cover and set aside in a cool place to allow flavours to be absorbed.

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Chef & recipe: Máirín Uí Chomáin Photography: Walter Pfeiffer

Rustic potted salmon Serves 6

Ingredients To Make This is an incredibly easily prepared dish that tastes wonderful, looks very inviting and allows you to taste and enjoy the differing textures of the cooked and smoked salmon.

450 g / 1 lb cooked fresh salmon, finely flaked

By hand, fold all the ingredients together except salt and pepper. Ensure you keep the texture rough. Taste and season as required. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with toasted sourdough bread.

2 teaspoons crème fraiche

Beverage suggestion Verdejo, Tortora, Spain. This has all the citrus flavours and mineral complexities required to compete with the horseradish component of this rustic pâté. 62 Isle Spring 2014

225 g / 8 oz smoked salmon, finely chopped 4 teaspoons creamed horseradish 2 lemons, juice only 2 teaspoons chives, roughly chopped salt and pepper

Isle spring summer 2014