Today In Irish History – March 7, 1913, Women Take Sides in Achill Land Agitation

Today In Irish History – March 7, 1913, Women Take Sides in Achill Land Agitation.

Check out The Irish Story’s article written by Patricia Byrne on the 1913 Achill Land Agitation and the role of Agnes MacDonnell.

(side note: I spent a summer studying Archaeology in Achill so I’m always fascinated with a bit of Achill history)

Ireland, B&B’s and the Food!

I hope to get back to Ireland sometime soon. Meaning, within the next five years or so. When I travel overseas, I prefer to stay at Bed and Breakfasts for many reasons. The main reason – the food.

Photo by Irish Fireside

I love the fact that A) someone else is cooking and B) it’s really good, home cooked meals. A full Irish breakfast consists of eggs, and rashers, and pudding (eh, you get used to it) and of course, the brown bread. You can choose to stay in a self-catered homes, but I prefer the entire Irish experience.

A great place to start travel planning is with B & B Ireland. It’s a comprehensive website of Irish Tourist Board approved B &B’s.
Check out their brochures or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

B&B Ireland’s free phone app, available on iTunes.

I’ve spent a lot of time on their site…planning…dreaming…one day, I’ll return!

Any B&B favorites from your travels? Would love to hear about them!

Moonscape: The Burren

Burren (c) Sheila R. Lamb

Moonscape, once a forest. 

The Burren, the Boireann, or great rock, is one of the most unique landscapes in Ireland, close to 155 square miles of Karst limestone. Located in western County Clare, this area edges up to the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay

It’s through pollen evidence lodged the soil between the rocks that pollen archaeologists (palynology) believe that in prehistoric times, this barren, rocky place had been wooded. 

Burren flora (c) Sheila R. Lamb

The vast area of limestone is a remnant to the last Ice Age that ended about 15,000 years ago. What is left, besides the rock, are high Alpine plants and flowers that grow in the grikes, fissures within the rock. 

Mediterranean and arctic flora are also found in the Burren, a rare co-existence of three flora species. Irish Fireside has posted beautiful photographs of Burren wildflowers.

Ringfort (c) Sheila R. Lamb

Evidence of human existence, from prehistoric time, is evidenced by dolmens, megalithic tombs, and ring forts. 

Millennia of human habitation led to the deforestation.

Burren limestone grikes (c) Sheila R. Lamb

Burren ponies (c) Sheila R. Lamb

For more geology, archaeology, and history of the Burren, check out these resources: 

Ogham Mystery and the River Caragh

River Caragh (c) Sheila R. Lamb

One of the most beautiful places in Co. Kerry (and there are many) is along the River Caragh.  It’s part of Killarney National Park, and we were lucky enough to have a boat ride on the river.  The Caragh is popular for its abundance of fish.

Rose (c) Sheila R. Lamb 

Writes Yeats …”Surely thine hour has come, thy great wind blows,
Far-off, most secret, and inviolate Rose?”  

I found this beauty in the garden of our Glencar hotel. 

Glencar (c) Sheila R. Lamb

And in that same backyard, I found this stone with odd markings. Immediately, I thought I had found some undiscovered ancient writing, a lost font of Irish Ogham.  Ogham is the earliest known form of the Irish alphabet, according to  Many of the inscriptions, of which there are about 400 known surviving carvings, seem to represent names and territorial divisions. 

Glencar (c) Sheila R. Lamb

I asked the owners if it was Ogham, and they said no. It’s not quite like Ogham – the shapes are geometric instead of slashes. Yet no one could tell me exactly what, if not Ogham, the symbols meant.

Any other guesses, theories, or hypotheses? 

For additional Ogham information, check out Every Ogham Thing on the Web.

Killarney: The Gap of Dunloe and Deserted Farmhouses

Killarney was the perfect place to begin my walking tour adventure. We left Bunratty Castle and headed into the lush, green land of County Kerry.

(c) Sheila R. Lamb

We visited the Killarney Lakes (and nearby waterfalls) before heading off to the mountains, to the Gap of Dunloe set within the Macgillycuddy Reeks.

If you pass through the Gap this way, you most likely will stop at Kate Kearney’s Cottage.  Kate was known to sell “…poitín, ‘Kate Kearney’s Mountain Dew’, which was “very fierce and wild…” Which was also, of course, illegal in the mid-1800’s. This poitín isn’t for sale anymore. You’ll have to settle for a pint or a shot of the Jameson.

(c) Sheila R. Lamb

Hiking through the Gap of Dunloe was breathtaking. Purple and green mountains were topped with mist, sliding down the hillside. It’s a rugged country, with narrow winding roads. Driving is nearly impossible, so plan to hike, bike, or take a pony cart through the mountains.

(c) Sheila R. Lamb

From Kate’s, we walked to a deserted farmhouse. There are quite a few of these throughout the Irish countryside, usually abandon during the Famine. These were my favorite places to explore.  

These homes had been abandon, but they weren’t completely empty. There were stories to be told. Perhaps a wisp of the past lingered within, waiting for someone to listen.

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