• PROGRAMME 1 & 2

    TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

    AS FEATURED IN THE THE TG4 TOURISM SHOW SUNDAYS 8.30PM

    TED TOURS.

    “Ted Tours”, Cill Fhionnúrach & Inis Díomáin, Co. an Chláir

     

    Chuaigh Osgur agus Sinéad go Contae an Chláir go bhfeicfidís na háiteanna ar tarraingíodh aird agus cáil orthu sa tsraith teilifíse Father Ted.

     

    Más duine thú ar breá leat Father Ted, seo é an turas agatsa. Bhíomar gléasta in éide bheirt de na carachtair (Mrs. Doyle agus Pat Mustard, an fear bainne is cáiliúla in Éirinn) ag dul isteach ar an mbus le dream daoine eile atá tógtha leis an tsraith. An chéad áit ar stop an bus, ag Teach an tSagairt ar Craggy Island, mar dhea. Óladh tae agus itheadh cáca ansin le muintir an tí féin.

    Tar éis pictiúr nó dhó a thógáil taobh amuigh den teach, isteach linn ar an mbus arís gur tugadh turas timpeall áiteanna éagsúla a raibh feiceáil orthu sa chlár teilifíse agus rinneadh cónaí beag arís ag an eas a fheictear san fhíseán leis an amhrán “My Lovely Horse”.

    Tar éis 3 huaire an chloig de spraoi agus de spórt ar fud Chontae an Chláir, bhí sé in am deoch a chaitheamh siar i dteach ósta na Síneach agus an leagan is fearr fós de My Lovely Horse a chanadh.

    Lá taitneamhach ó thús go deireadh.

     

    Tá eolas breise ar fáil ar an láithreán gréasáin: www.tedtours.com

     

    Osgur and Sinéad popped down to Co. Clare to take in the sites and locations made famous by the hit TV series Fr. Ted.

     

    If you’re a fan of Fr. Ted, then this tour is for you. Dressed up in our fan gear (as Mrs. Doyle and Pat Mustard, Ireland’s most infamous milkman) we boarded the tour bus with a bunch of other enthusiastic fans. Our first stop was the house used as the Craggy Island Parochial House. There we had tea and cake with the actual owners.

    After taking a few photos outside the house it was back on the bus to drive around some of the famous locations that featured in the series before stopping off at the waterfall used in the music video for “My Lovely Horse”.

    After around 3 hours of fun and frolics around Co. Clare, it was time for a swift drink in “The Chinese Pub” and a rendition of My Lovely Horse.

    All in all, quite an enjoyable day.

     

    For more information check out their website: www.tedtours.com

    TITANIC PARK.

    Leacht Cuimhneacháin an Titanic i Leathardán, Co. Mhaigh Eo

     

    Chuaigh Osgur go Leathardán i gContae Mhaigh Eo mar a bhfuil páirc cuimhneacháin leagtha amach ag Cumann an Titanic in Eadargúil i gcuimhne ar dhaoine ón bparóiste a bhí ar an turas tragóideach loinge sin.

     

    Suite faoi bhun Néifinne i dtuaisceart Mhaigh Eo atá Leacht Cuimhneacháin an Titanic i Leathardán.

    Chuaigh ceithre dhuine dhéag ón gceantar go Cóbh sa bhliain 1912 chun dul ar an Titanic. Bhí saol nua i Meiriceá rompu de réir mar a shíl siad ar fad ach cuireadh deireadh tragóideach leis an aistear sular baineadh tír agus talamh amach thall. Cailleadh aon duine dhéag d'fhir agus de mhná na háite nuair a chuaigh an Titanic síos.

    Chruthaigh muintir Leathardáin páirc chomórtha álainn cáiréiseach seo i gcuimhne ar na daoine a chuaigh rompu. Chuir mé eolas ar scéal na ndaoine sin, ar a chalma a bhí siad agus an Titanic ag dul faoi uisce agus ar ar thit amach sa saol don triúr a tháinig slán ón ngeábh.

     

    Bíonn eolas breise faoi imeachtaí atá beartaithe sa pháirc cuimhneacháin ar www.addergoole-titanic.com

     

     

    The Lahardane Titanic Memorial, Co. Mayo

     

    Osgur travelled to the small village of Lahardane where the Addergoole Titanic Society has created a memorial park for the local parishioners who made that tragic journey.

     

    Nestled at the foot of Nephin in north Mayo is the Lahardane Titanic Memorial.

    In 1912 fourteen people from the area travelled to Queenstown (Cobh) to board the Titanic. They all dreamed of a new life in America and their exciting journey was ultimately to end in tragedy. Of the fourteen men and women, eleven perished when the Titanic sank.

    To honour their ancestors, the people of Lahardane created this beautiful and tasteful memorial park. I found out about their story, the bravery as the Titanic sank and the fate of those who survived.

     

    For more information on events planned in the park, go to www.addergoole-titanic.com

    IRISH MILITARY MUSEUM.

    Iarsmalann Stair Mhíleata agus Cogaíochta na hÉireann, Starraíneach, Collann, Co. na Mí

    Chuaigh Sinéad go Contae na Mí go bhfeicfeadh sí Iarsmalann Stair Mhíleata agus Cogaíochta na hÉireann:

     

    I mí Meitheamh 2014 a d'oscail an t-úinéir, William Sullivan, an músaem seo in aice le baile Chollainn. Tá déantúsáin cogaíochta ina mílte ann, idir mhór agus bheag. Le ré an Chéad Chogadh Domhanda agus an Dara Cogadh Domhanda a bhaineann an chuid is mó ach tá roinnt ann freisin níos nua ná sin.

    Tá achar urláir níos mó ná 5,000 troigh cearnach faoin iarsmalann.

    Ar na cineálacha éagsúla den lón cogaíochta atá ar taispeáint, tá gunnaí láimhe, meaisínghunnaí, gunnaí airtléire, gránáidí agus teilgeoirí roicéid. Tá feithiclí airm ar fud an fhoirgnimh fhairsing, tancanna, feithiclí armúrtha agus jípeanna ina measc chomh maith leis an rothar. Déantar ról na hÉireann sa dá chogadh domhanda a ríomh san iarsmalann agus scrúdaítear an tionchar a bhí ag an bpolasaí neodrachta agus ag an gcaidreamh leis an mBreatain ar pháirt na hÉireann iontu.

     

    Bhí ábhar spéise dom san iarsmalann ach is é an spin gairid sa tanc atá ag William is mó a fhanann i mo chuimhne. Cé gur iondúil gurb eisean a dhéanann an tiomáint nuair a chuireann cuairteoirí turas gairid sa tanc in áirithe, lig sé domsa tabhairt faoi agus b'iontach an spraoi é. Tá cúrsa leagtha amach i ngarraí mór ar chúl na hiarsmalainne ionas go dtuigeann tú go maith an rud atá i gceist le taisteal trasna tíre i bhfeithicil throm airm.

     

    Tá eolas breise ar fáil ar an láithreán gréasáin: www.imwm.ie

     

     

    Irish Military War Museum, Starinagh, Collon, Co. Meath

    Sinéad headed to Co. Meath to check out the Irish Military War Museum:

     

    This museum near the small town of Collon was opened in June 2014 by it’s owner William Sullivan. It has thousands of big and small military artefacts, mainly from WW1 and WW2, but also from more recent times.

    The museum itself covers over 5,000 square feet of floor space.

    Authentic weapons including hand guns, machine guns, artillery guns, grenades and rocket launchers are on display. Vehicles of war including tanks, armoured vehicles, jeeps and the reliable old bicycle are laid out across the expansive building. The museum also examines Ireland’s role in both World Wars and how our neutrality and relationship with Britain influenced our involvement.

     

    As fascinating as I found the museum, the highlight for me was taking a spin in William’s tank. Although he usually does the driving when visitors book a ride in his tank, he let me drive it and it was great fun. The course is laid out in a large field behind the museum and gives you a prefect feel for going cross country in a heavy armoured vehicle.

     

    For more information check out their website: www.imwm.ie

     

     

    LOUGH GUR.

    Loch Goir, Tobar Phádraig, An Brú, Co. Luimnigh

     

    Chaith Sinéad agus Osgur lá ag Loch Goir, ionad áilleachta agus staire i gContae Luimnigh.

     

    Síleann daoine go bhfuil eolas acu ar áiteanna scéimhiúla uile na hÉireann, go dtí go gcuirtear ceann eile fós ar a súile. Ní raibh cloiste ag ceachtar againn faoi Loch Goir cheana agus tar éis cuairt a thabhairt ann, níor thuigeamar cén chaoi nár luadh linn riamh é.

    Tá an oiread sin ann! Suite ar thaobh an chnoic le taobh an locha atá an tIonad Oidhreachta a ndearnadh athchóiriú iomlán air sa bhliain 2013. Tá taispeántas ansin a thugann léargas ar cheann de na láithreacha seandálaíochta is tábhachtaí in Éirinn. Tá seo ar an aon cheantar amháin in Éirinn a bhfuil lorg gach ré ón aois Neoiliteach anuas le feiceáil ann.

    Tá an loch féin go hálainn agus is fiú na cosáin lena bhruach a shiúl. Tá Carraig an Chrochadóra siar ón Ionad Oidhreachta agus fianaise go raibh cónaí á dhéanamh le 6,000 bliain anuas le sonrú mar gheall ar an amharc ar cheantar an locha ar fad atá le fáil ón áit chrochta sin.

    Is é ciorcal na liag ag an lios atá turas cúig nóiméad tiomána ón Ionad Oidhreachta is mó a chuaigh i gcion orainn. Tá an lios anseo le níos mó ná 4,000 bliain agus é ar an gciorcal liag is fairsinge in Éirinn. Tá sé socraithe de réir éirí na gréine maidin ghrianstad an tsamhraidh. Tá sé le taobh an bhóthair go díreach agus é an-éasca dul chomh fada leis.

    Idir cúrsaí dúlra agus cúrsaí staire, tá iontas na n-iontas i Loch Goir.

     

    Tá eolas breise ar fáil ar an láithreán gréasáin: www.loughgur.com

     

     

    Lough Gur, Patrickswell, Bruff, Co. Limerick

     

    Sinéad and Osgur spent the day at the scenic and historic Lough Gur in Co. Limerick.

     

    Just when you think you know all the stand-out beauty spots in Ireland, think again. Neither of us had heard of Lough Gur before and having visited the lake, we were left wondering why?

    Where to start? Nestled in the hillside beside the lough is The Heritage Centre which was fully refurbished and restored in 2013. Inside you will find an exhibition which provides an overview of one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites. It is recognised as the only area in the country where you can see visible evidence of every age since Neolithic times.

    The lough itself is stunning and the walkways by the shore are worth exploring. Behind The Heritage Centre is Hangman’s Rock, an elevated viewpoint about the lough. Here you can see evidence of settlements around the lough, stretching back 6000 years.

    The highlight of our trip was the stone circle, which is a 5 minute drive from The Heritage Centre. It’s the largest stone circle in Ireland and is over 4000 years old. It is aligned on the sunrise of the summer solstice. Situated right beside the road, it is easily accessed.

    Between the wildlife and history, Lough Gur is simply amazing.

     

    To find out more, go to www.loughgur.com

     
     

     

    SEAL RESCUE IRELAND.

    Seal Rescue Ireland, Cuan Bhaile na Cúirte, Guaire, Co. Loch Garman

     

    Chuaigh Osgur go Baile na Cúirte, Guaire, Contae Loch Garman mar a bhfuil leas á bhaint ag Seal Rescue Ireland as an turasóireacht chun aird agus tuiscint a chothú chomh maith le cistí a bhailiú.

     

    B'fhéidir gur iontach leat tearmann ainmhithe de leithéid Seal Rescue Ireland a bheith ar láithreán gréasáin maidir le cúrsaí turasóireachta ach deirimse leat gur maith is fiú é a bheith ann.

    Mar a thuigfeá ón ainm, glacann Seal Rescue Ireland isteach le rón ar bith atá gortaithe nó tinn as áit ar bith ar fud na hÉireann. Féachtar leis na rónta a thabhairt ar ais i mbarr a sláinte agus a maitheasa san ionad atá acu i mBaile na Cúirte agus iad a ligean ar ais amach san fharraige. Bíonn siad ag brath ar shíneadh láimhe ar mhaithe le cistí agus tá fáilte acu roimh chuairteoirí ó tosaíodh ar an obair le fonn daoine a chur ar an eolas agus le súil go bhfágfaidh siad síntiús a chuideodh leis an obair a choinneáil ar bun. Beart nua atá breá cliste gur féidir le daoine den ghnáthphobal táille €50 a íoc agus oibriú ar feadh an lae ag sábháil na rónta. Cuireann sin go mór leis an tuiscint ar an obair agus leis na cistí.

    Agus is iontach an bealach é sábháil na rónta le lá a chaitheamh. Tá taitneamh le baint as ag óg agus aosta. Coinníonn duine den fhoireann súil mhaith ar na turasóirí agus iad ag beathú na rónta, ag cuidiú leis na cróite a ghlanadh, agus ag tabhairt aire do na hothair is measa atá san ionad dianchúraim. Agus má bhíonn oiread den ádh ort agus go mbíonn tú i láthair an lá tráthúil, d'fhéadfadh go mbeifeá ag cuidiú le rón a ligean ar ais amach ar an bhfarraige mhór. Tharla gur éirigh liomsa sin a dhéanamh agus is fada a mhairfidh cuimhne agam air.

     

    Dá mba mhaith leat lá a chaitheamh ag obair ar son na rónta, tá breis eolais ar fáil ar www.sealrescueireland.org

     

     

    Seal Rescue Ireland, Courtown Harbour, Gorey, Co. Wexford

     

    Osgur headed to Courtown, Gorey, Co. Wexford where Seal Rescue Ireland is using tourism as a way to raise awareness and funding.

     

    You may wonder what an animal sanctuary like Seal Rescue Ireland is doing on a tourism website, but believe me, it belongs here.

    Seal Rescue Ireland, as the name suggests, take in injured or ill seals from anywhere around Ireland. In their facility in Courtown, they endeavour to heal the seals and release back into the wild. They rely on donations for funding and have always had their doors open for people to visit and hopefully leave a donation on their way out the door. In a clever initiative, members of the public can now pay €50 to become a seal rescuer for a day, which not only helps raise awareness of the work they do, but also helps raise much needed funds.

    And being a seal rescuer for a day is simply a fantastic way to spend a day. It is something that children and adults can enjoy. Under the guidance of a member of staff, the tourist seal rescuers get to feed the seals, help clean out their kennels and tend to the most vulnerable patients in the ICU. And if you’re lucky enough and happen to be there on the right day, you get to help release a seal back into the wild. I got to do this and it was a very memorable experience.

     

    If you fancy being a rescuer for a day, then go to www.sealrescueireland.org

    CAMDEN FORT MEAGHER.

    Dún Camden Uí Mheachair, Bóthar Camden, Cnoc Muircheartaigh, Bun an Tábhairne, Co. Chorcaí

     

    Thug Sinéad cuairt ar an seandún airtléire le cósta i gContae Chorcaí ar a mbíodh Camden Fort agus Dún Uí Mheachair ag tráthanna éagsúla.

     

    Tá dúnta airtléire le cósta den chineál seo ar fáil ar fud chósta Chorcaí agus ós é Cuan Chorcaí an dara caladh cuain nádúrtha is mó ar domhan, bhí tábhacht mhór ag baint leis ó thaobh cúrsaí eacnamaíochta agus airm de le 500 bliain anuas.

     

    Bhí Dún Camden Uí Mheachair i ndroch-chaoi sular shocraigh dream de mhuintir na háite, a thug Rescue Camden orthu féin, teacht le chéile agus cuma a chur ar an láthair, na foirgnimh a dheisiú agus an dún a oscailt arís don phobal.

    Mar gheall ar an obair mhór atá déanta ar dhroim talún agus thíos faoi, tá an dún á chur ar ais arís sa riocht is fearr ina mbíodh sé. Is féidir le turasóirí na tolláin faoin talamh a shiúl faoin tráth seo chomh maith le cuairt a thabhairt ar an Armlann bhreá. Tá radharcanna iontacha amach ar Chuan Chorcaí. Sin uilig de thoradh ar oibrithe deonacha na háite a bhí mórtasach as ionad stairiúil sa cheantar. Níl dabht ach gur fiú cuairt a thabhairt ar an áit.

     

    Beidh an dún ag athoscailt do shéasúr an tsamhraidh i mí Bealtaine. Tá breis eolais ar fáil ar www.camdenfortmeagher.ie

     

     

    Camden Fort Meagher, Camden Road, Crosshavenhill, Crosshaven, Co. Cork

     

    Sinéad visited the historic coastal artillery fort Camden Fort Meagher in Co. Cork.

     

    Dotted all around the coastline of Cork you will find coastal artillery forts. Cork Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in the world and this has made it a valuable economic and military asset throughout the last 500 years.

     

    Camden Fort Meagher had fallen in disrepair but in 2010 a local group of volunteers called Rescue Camden came together to clean up the site, repair the buildings and reopen the fort to the public.

    With extensive work done above and below ground, the fort is slowly being return to it’s former glory. The underground tunnels and the amazing Magazine Room can now be explored by tourists. Above ground, there are spectacular views of Cork Harbour. All this, thanks to the ongoing work of volunteers taking pride in their local historic site. Definitely worth a visit.

      

    The fort opens again for the Summer season in May. For more info, go to www.camdenfortmeagher.ie

     

     

    CASTLE WARD, STRANGFORD.

    Caisleán Mhic an Bhaird, Baile Loch Cuan, Dún Pádraig BT30 7LS, Co. an Dúin

    The Cuan Licensed Guest Inn, Baile Loch Cuan, BT30 7ND, Co. an Dúin

                                                  

    Chuaigh Sinéad ó thuaigh go Baile Loch Cuan in aice le Dún Pádraig i gContae an Dúin. Game Of Thrones a bhí de théama leis an lá!

     

    Díreach taobh amuigh de bhaile beag Loch Cuan i gContae an Dúin atá Caisleán Mhic an Bhaird, áit a ndearnadh scannánaíocht ar a dtiteann amach i Winterfell sa dráma teilifíse Game Of Thrones.

    Bíonn Winterfell go mór i gceist i scéal Game Of Thrones agus, dá réir sin, tá cuid mhór de lucht féachana na sraithe ag trácht ar an gcaisleán mar ionad turasóireachta. Cuirtear fáilte mhór roimh na cuairteoirí seo ar fad agus taispeánann treoraithe de leithéid William Kells fearann an chaisleáin do na sluaite a thagann ar bhusanna. Is féidir leis an turasóir triail a bhaint as boghdóireacht freisin nó imeacht rompu ar fud fhearann fhairsing an chaisleáin, ag siúlóid sa choill agus le bruach na locha.

    Cúig nóiméad tiomána ón láthair atá teach beag lóistín ar a dtugtar The Cuan i gceartlár Bhaile Loch Cuan. Sa teach aíochta seo a d'fhan na haisteoirí an tráth a raibh scannánaíocht ar bun don chéad sraith de Game Of Thrones, Seán Bean (Ned Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) agus Jack Gleeson (King Joffrey) ina measc.

    Is féidir le duine a chuireann seomra in áirithe sa teach sin a rogha seomra a ainmniú agus bhí mise ar mo chompord i seomra na banríona Cersei. Bhain mé triail freisin as fleadh Game Of Thrones agus bhí compántas aisteoirí de chuid an háite i mbun seó ina gcarachtair as Game Of Thrones le linn an bhéile. Scéal diamhrach faoi dhúnmharú atá sa seó agus is féidir leat féin agus leis na cuairteoirí eile féachaint lena dhéanamh amach cé atá ciontach as an marú an tráth céanna a mbíonn béile atá bunaithe ar bhia as Game Of Thrones á chaitheamh agat. Bealach breá taitneamhach chun tráthnóna a chaitheamh le cairde leat agus le haithne a chur ar chuairteoirí eile atá ag fanacht san óstán.

     

    Tá breis eolais faoi The Cuan agus faoi Chaisleán Mhic an Bhaird ar fáil ar:

    www.thecuan.com

    www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-ward

     

     

    Castle Ward, Strangford, Downpatrick BT30 7LS, Co. Down

    The Cuan Licensed Guest Inn, Strangford Village, BT30 7ND, Co. Down

     

    Sinéad headed North to Strangford near Downpatrick, Co. Down where the theme of the day was Game Of Thrones!

     

    Just outside the small town of Strangford, Co. Down is the impressive Castle Ward, which was used as the filming location for Winterfell in Game Of Thrones.

    Winterfell is a key location in Game Of Thrones and as such, Castle Ward has become a popular place for fans of the TV show to visit. These visitors have been welcomed with open arms with guides like William Kells showing busloads of tourists around the castle grounds. Visitors can also try their hand at archery and wander around the expansive grounds, forest walks and lakeside trails.

    A five minute drive away is The Cuan, a small guest house in the heart of Strangford. The Cuan provided accommodation for cast members during the filming of the first series of Game Of Thrones, including Sean Bean (Ned Stark), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow) and Jack Gleeson (King Joffrey).

    When booking a room there, you can request whose room you want to stay in and I spend a pleasant night in the Queen Cersei room. I also tried out their Game Of Thrones banquet. A local acting troupe play the roles of Game Of Thrones characters while you eat your evening meal. They perform a murder mystery which you and your fellow guests must try and solve, all the while eating food that is based on dishes from Game Of Thrones. A rather enjoyable way to spend an evening with friends and to get to know other guests staying in the hotel.

     

    For more information for The Cuan and Castle Ward, go to:

    www.thecuan.com

    www.nationaltrust.org.uk/castle-ward

     
     

     

    ENNISCORTHY CASTLE, ENNISCORTHY.

    Caisleán Inis Córthaidh, Cnoc an Chaisleáin, Inis Córthaidh, Co. Loch Garman

     

    Go Caisleán Inis Córthaidh a chuaigh Sinéad agus Osgur gur casadh leo Michael Benson ó Wexford Paranormal. Ní tharlódh aon rud i bhfolach orthu, an dtarlódh?

     

    Is fiú go mór cuairt a thabhairt ar Chaisleán Inis Córthaidh, mura mbeadh duine ag dul sa tóir ar thaibhsí ar chor ar bith. Tá radharcanna fairsinge ar an mbaile mór ó fhorbhalla an chaisleáin seo a thóg na Normanaigh sa tríú aois déag. Tá treoraithe ar fáil taobh istigh a thugann duine ar cuairt timpeall réimsí éagsúla taispeántais agus ríomhann stair fada eachtrúil an chaisleáin.

    Ach taobh amuigh den chuairt sin, is féidir freisin dul ar thóir taibhsí sa chaisleán. Dream a thugann Wexford Paranormal orthu féin a eagraíonn tóraíocht den chineál sin. Má tá spéis agat i gcuairt den chineál sin, tugtar eolas faoin láithreán gréasáin atá acu thíos ó tharla nach lonnaithe sa chaisleán a bhíonn siad an t-am uilig.

    Thug Michael Benson ón ngrúpa Wexford Paranormal síos san íoslach faoi urlár an chaisleáin muid agus d'oibríomar Bosca Franks ansin chun caidéis a chur ar aon taibhse a tharlódh san áit an lá céanna linn. Deis raidió AM, le beagán cóiriú tugtha air, atá sa Bhosca Franks agus de réir mar a deirtear, is féidir leis na taibhsí labhairt leat tríd an ngléas sin. Bíonn torthaí cluichí le cloisteáil ag duine ar aon chuma murar fiú leis na taibhsí aird a thabhairt air...

    Nílimid cinnte dáiríre an raibh aon taibhse le cloisteáil againn ach bhí Michael ag áitiú go dearfa go raibh bleid á bhualadh ag Jim orainn ceart go leor, taibhse a fhanann sa chaisleán go buan. Is cuma an creideamh nó amhras agat é, bhí spraoi agus greann le baint as agus baineadh cúpla gáire asainne le linn na cuairte.

     

    Tá eolas breise faoin gcaisleán ar fáil ar www.enniscorthycastle.ie agus eolas faoi imeachtaí agus faoi thurais arna n-eagrú ag Wexford Paranormal ar www.wexfordparanormal.com .

     

     

    Enniscorthy Castle, Castle Hill, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

     

    Sinéad and Osgur head to Enniscorthy Castle and meet up with Michael Benson from Wexford Paranormal. What would they find lurking in the shadows…

     

    Enniscorthy Castle is worth a visit even without the added excitement of hunting ghosts. This 13th Century Norman castle offers up sweeping views of the town from the battlements at the top of the building. Inside there are tour guides to take you around the various exhibits and talk you through the rich history of the castle.

    But it is also possible to attend a ghost hunt in the castle, conducted by a group called Wexford Paranormal. If you’re interested in doing this, get in touch with them as they are not permanently based at the castle (their website link is below).

    Michael Benson from Wexford Paranormal took us down to the basement where we used a Franks Box to communicate with any ghosts knocking around that day. A Franks Box is essentially a modified AM radio receiver which supposedly allows ghosts to speak to you. Although it was quite handy to keep a tab on the football results too…

    We’re not really convinced that we heard anything, but Michael assured us that the resident ghost, Jim, was reaching out to us. Whatever you choose to believe, it was a bit of fun and provided us with a few laughs.

     

    To find out more about the castle go to www.enniscorthycastle.ie and for information of events and tours with Wexford Paranormal check out www.wexfordparanormal.com .

     

     

     

     
     

     

    SPIKE ISLAND, COBH, CO. CORK.

    Inis Píc, Cóbh, Co. Chorcaí

     

    Chuaigh Osgur agus Sinéad ar thuras gairid báid as Cóbh anonn go hInis Píc go gcloisfidís faoi na pleananna lóistín na hoíche a bheith ar fáil ag cuairteoirí sa seanphríosún ansin.

     

    Lá dorcha fliuch a bhí againn ar an turas 10 nóiméad sa bhád anonn go hInis Píc. As céibh Uí Chinnéide i gCóbh a d'imigh an bád, buailte ar ionad an Titanic ansin i gceartlár an bhaile.

    Tá an t-oileán féin an-spéisiúil. Is féidir stair na háite a ríomh siar go dtí an 6úh Céad nuair a bhí mainistir ann. Is ann a bhí an príosún is mó ar domhan i rith réimeas Victoria. Sa lá atá inniu ann, is é Dún an Mhistéalaigh, a tógadh san 18ú Céad, an t-áras is mó ar an oileán. D'athoscail rialtas na hÉireann an príosún i rith na 1980idí mar gheall ar phríosúin an stáit a bheith plúchta le géibheannaigh. Lean an cás mar sin go dtí an bhliain 2004 nuair a dúnadh an príosún arís.

    Osclaíodh an t-áras don phobal sa bhliain 2015 agus faoin mbliain 2017 bhí sé á ainmniú mar Phríomhionad Turasóireachta na hEorpa ag Gradaim Taistil an Domhain, chun tosaigh ar Acrapolas na hAithne, Buckingham Palace i Londain agus Túr Eiffel i bPáras.

    Tá beartaithe anois roinnt de na cillíní is nua-aimseartha a chóiriú agus lóistín na hoíche a bheith ar fáil iontu. Níl sin ach ina phlean go fóill ach bheadh seomra codlata le téama an phríosúin ar Inis Píc tarraingteach go maith! Tá an t-oileán féin sách fairsing go bhféadfaí lá a chaitheamh á shiúl agus nuair nach bhfuil Cóbh ach 10 nóiméad uait i mbád, d'fhéadfá "éalú" furasta go leor.

    Beidh sé suimiúil a fheiceáil cén chuma a chuireann siad ar na seomraí agus cén chóir eile a bhíonn á chur ar chuairteoirí ar an oileán – bialann, teach ósta, ionad súgartha, etc. Bíonn daoine ag súil le hoiread áirithe compoird nuair a chuirtear lóistín na hoíche in áirithe. Murab é atá uathu nach bhfanfadh aon duine níos mó ná oíche amháin, go mbeadh le rá acu gur chaith siad oíche i bpríosún, beidh orthu roinnt de na háiseanna atá ina ngnáthrudaí in óstáin a chur ar fáil. Fadhb eile a bheadh le réiteach ansin gach deis agus áis a cheilt ionas nach gcuirtear as do chuma an phríosúin ar an áit.

     

    Tá eolas maidir le cuairt ar an oileán ar fáil ar www.spikeislandcork.ie

     

     

    Spike Island, Cobh, Co. Cork

     

    Osgur and Sinéad took the short trip on the boat from Cobh to Spike Island to find out more about the plans to open up overnight accommodation in the former prison.

     

    On a damp and gloomy day we made the 10 minute boat journey to Spike Island. The boat departed from Kennedy pier in Cobh, which is right in the town centre next to Titanic Cobh.

    The island itself is very impressive. The history of Spike Island goes right back to the 6th Century when it was home to a monastery. Later it became the largest convict prison in the world during the Victorian era. Today the star shaped Fort Mitchel, built in the 18th Century, dominates the island.

    In the 1980’s the Irish government reopened it as a prison to alleviate prison overcrowding in the State. This lasted until 2004 when the prison closed.

    In 2015 it opened to the public and in 2017, at the World Travel Awards, it was named 'Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction', ahead of the Acropolis in Athens, Buckingham Palace in London, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

    Now the plan is to convert some of the modern cells into overnight accommodation. This is still in the planning stage, but a prison themed bedroom on Spike Island would be pretty cool. The island is big enough to spend a day exploring and with Cobh only 10 minutes away by boat, you could “escape” to the mainland without too much fuss.

    It will be interesting to see how they do up the rooms and what other facilities they put on the island – restaurant, bar, play area, etc… People have expectations when they book somewhere overnight. Unless they only want people to stay for one night just for the novelty factor, they’ll have to offer up some more comforts that one expects from a hotel. How they disguise those comforts to fit in with the whole prison experience will be interesting to see.

     

    For visitor information go to www.spikeislandcork.ie

     

     

     

     
     

     

    SHEEPDOGS, LARAGH, CO. WICKLOW.

    Irish Working Sheepdogs, Áth na mBó, an Láithreach, Co. Chill Mhantáin

     

    Chuaigh Osgur ag feirmeoireacht an tseachtain seo, nó d'fhéach sé le madra a chur i mbun na gcaorach ar aon chuma. Beidh na caoirigh ag fanacht!

     

    Tá borradh faoi thurasóireacht talmhaíochta in Éirinn agus fear amháin atá ag teacht i dtír ar an spéis atá i seanmhodhanna feirmeoireachta na hÉireann é Michael Crowe.

    Bhí an t-eolas ar an bhfeirmeoireacht ag Michael ar aon chuma agus tá sé ag baint athleasa as i ngnó na turasóireachta. Cuireann sé taispeántais éagsúla ar siúl chomh maith le cúrsaí oiliúna a rith agus chuaigh mise chomh fada leis i gContae Chill Mhantáin. Achar gairid as Gleann Dá Loch, i mbaile beag scéimhiúil Áth na mBó, tá turasóirí ina sluaite á dtarraingt i mbusanna go bhfeiceann siad an feirmeoir, ar an bhfeirm, agus é i mbun feirmeoireachta.

    Ach más gnáthrud aigesean é, tá sé taitneamhach agus tuigim go maith an chúis gur breá le turasóirí Mheiriceá agus Cheanada é. Ní dochar ar bith é go bhfuil teacht i láthair deas nádúrtha ann. Tá greann ann a mheallann na turasóirí. Insíonn sé dóibh faoin smacht atá aige ar na madraí caorach agus faoin tábhacht atá le sean-nósanna feirmeoireachta. Nuair a tháinig am an taispeántais, amach leis an madra agus ba ghearr go raibh na caoirigh ag déanamh Ionsaí na hInse ag an madra de réir mar a bhí Michael ag fógairt air agus ag ligean fead air.

    Ar an gcuma chéanna a mbeadh spéis againne i mbuachaillí bó ag locadh na mbeithíoch dá mbeimis ar thuras i Meiriceá, bíonn an-suim ag turasóirí in obair an fheirmeora agus an mhadra i mbun na gcaorach i gCill Mhantáin.

    Bhain mé féin triail as ina dhiaidh sin. Bhí an fheadaíl le foghlaim agam ar dtús agus sílim nach ndearna mé ródhona ar fad nuair a bhí mé in ann an méid sin a dhéanamh!

     

    Tá níos mó eolais faoin taispeántas a chuireann Michael ar siúl i Áth na mBó agus ag Teach Mór Russborough ar fáil ar www.irishworkingsheepdogs.com .

     

     

     

    Irish Working Sheepdogs, Annamoe, Laragh, Co. Wicklow

     

    This week Osgur tried his hand at farming, namely commanding a sheepdog to herd his flock. Don’t give up the day job Osgur…

     

    Agri-tourism is a growing market in Ireland and one man taking advantage of international interest in Irish agricultural traditions is Michael Crowe.

    Michael has taken his farming expertise and branched out into the tourism sector. He does various demonstrations and training courses and I went along to see him in action in Wicklow. A short hop from Glendalough in the idyllic Wicklow village of Annamoe, busloads of tourists are pulling up to see a farmer, well, do some farming.

    But it is strangely enjoyable and I can understand why the Americans and Canadians who visit him absolutely love it. For starters, he’s ultra-charming. His wit and humour has the tourist eating out of his hands. He chats to them about controlling sheepdogs and the importance of this Irish farming tradition. Then it was time for the demonstration. Out came the dog and with a mixture of voice commands and whistles, Michael had the dog waltzing the sheep around the field.

    In the same way we might be fascinated by cowboys rounding up cattle in America, the Americans were loving his dog rounding up sheep in Wicklow.

    I gave it a go myself afterwards. Firstly, I had to learn to whistle, but once I got the hang of that, I don’t think I did too badly actually!

     

    To find out more about Michael’s demonstrations in Annamoe and Russborough Country House, go to www.irishworkingsheepdogs.com .

     

     

     

     

     
     

     

    CAVAN COUNTY MUSEUM.

    Músaem Contae an Chabháin, Bóthar Achadh an Iúir, Baile Shéamais Dhuibh, Co an Chabháin

     

    Músaem ann féin a bhfuil "iarsma" faoi leith ar taispeáint ann an t-iarsmalann seo ar thug Sinéad cuairt uirthi.

     

    Sa bhliain 2014 a cuireadh samhail trinse ón gCéad Chogadh Domhanda, atá 350m ar fhaid, ar taispeáint i Músaem Contae an Chabháin agus is mór an díol suntais é. Níl aon mhacasamhail trinse eile amuigh faoin aer in Éirinn ná sa Bhreatain Mhór is mó ná an ceann seo. Is é leathcheann an trinse é a bhí ag Fiúsailéirí Ríoga na hÉireann le linn Chath an Somme sa bhliain 1916. Tá roinnt den trinse mar a bhíodh i dtosach an chatha agus tá trinsí cumarsáide agus trinsí cúltaca le feiceáil chomh maith. Úsáideadh níos mó ná 6,000 mála gainimh agus an trinse seo á thógáil.

    Thug an Dr Michael Finnegan, an príomhthaighdeoir agus an príomhthreoraí sa mhúsaem ar shiúlóid thart sa trinse mé. Téann caint ar an stair a ghabhann le Cath an Somme i gcion go mór ar dhuine nuair atáthar i dtrinse den aon chineál leis an gcuid ina mbíodh saighdiúirí na linne sin, beagán le céad bliain ó shin anois. Is fusa go mór a tháinig sé liom cruatan agus uafás na cogaíochta a shamhlú dom féin.

    Chuala mé clog stáin á bhualadh ansin ag lucht an mhúsaeim agus b'in an t-aláram go raibh ionsaí gáis ar bun. Ar an bhfógra sin a chloisteáil dóibh, ní bhíodh ach cúpla soicind ag na saighdiúirí le gásphúicíní simplí déanta as éadach a chur orthu. Bhí mise ag útamáil leis an bpúicín a bhí agam féin, soicindí á gcur amú agam go místuama, agus tuigeadh dom an scáth a d'airigh na saighdiúirí agus iad ag deifriú lena gcur orthu nuair nárbh aon chur i gcás a bhí ann.

    Tá ról mhuintir na hÉireann sa Chéad Chogadh Domhanda ligthe i ndearmad cuid mhór. Ach is féidir, le taispeántais den chineál seo, spéis an náisiúin a spreagadh i saighdiúirí cróga calma de chuid na tíre seo a fuair bás le linn an Chogaidh Mhóir.

     

    Tá breis eolais ar fáil ar an láithreán gréasáin: www.cavanmuseum.ie

     

     

    Cavan County Museum, Virginia Road, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan

     

    Sinéad paid a visit to this quaint museum that has a unique exhibit.

     

    In 2014 the Cavan County Museum opened a truly fascinating exhibit – a 350m long replica WW1 trench. It is the largest outdoor replica trench open to the public in Ireland and the UK. It is a replica of a trench used by the Royal Irish Fusiliers at the Battle of the Somme 1916. Along the exhibit there is a frontline section, and communication and support trenches. Incredibly, over 6000 sand bags were used in its construction.

    Dr Michael Finnegan, lead researcher and head tour guide at the museum, walked me around the trench. Talking through the history of the Battle of the Somme while standing in a trench that those soldiers would have built over 100 years ago was quite moving. It made imagining the hardship of the war and the horrendous conditions they faced so much easier to do.

    At one point, the museum staff rang a large tin bell which was the alarm for a gas attack. When soldiers heard this noise they had seconds to put on rudimentary gas masks made from cloth. As I struggled with my gas mask, wasting valuable seconds fumbling it in my hands, it made me think of the terror the soldiers would have felt as they desperately raced to do the same in the war.

    Ireland’s role in WW1 has to a large extent been forgotten. But exhibits like this can reignite the nation’s interest in the brave Irish soldiers who died during the Great War.

     

    For more information check out their website: www.cavanmuseum.ie

    SCATTERY ISLAND, KILRUSH, CO. CLARE.

     

    Inis Cathaigh, Cill Rois, Co. an Chláir

    Chuaigh Osgur ar bhád amach ar Inis Cathaigh atá in Inbhear na Sionainne amach ó chósta an Chláir in aice le Cill Rois.

    Ba mhór an pléisiúr dom an tseachtain seo casadh le Irene Hamilton i gCill Rois a oibríonn le Scattery Island Tours. Thug sí amach ar oileán breá suaimhneach Inis Cathaigh mé, in inbhear na Sionainne.
    Tá Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí i bhfeighil an oileáin seo ar a bhfuil seanláthair mainistreach agus clogtheach breá. Tá cuid mhór de stair an oileáin ar eolas agus tharla cath ann sa bhliain 977AD idir Brian Bóraimhe agus na Lochlannaigh. Maraíodh an rí deiridh a bhí ar na Lochlannaigh i Luimneach i rith na troda ann.
    Ach is é an suaimhneas is mó a théann i gcion ar dhuine anois ann. Ag féachaint amach dom trasna inbhear na Sionainne, bhí na muilte gaoithe le cósta Chiarraí le feiceáil. Is mó an draíocht a bhí le cantaireacht na n-éan agus ceol na gaoithe trí na crainn ar an oileán nuair a bhí sin i gcodarsnacht le tionsclaíocht na linne seo taobh thall den tSionainn. D'airigh mé gur tugadh as Éire na linne seo mé go dtí áit nach raibh i mbrú agus i mbrostú an ghnáthshaoil ach iomrascáil ag daoine i gcéin. Agus nach agam a bhí an áit bhreá ag faire ar an stró sin – ar chnocáinín glas féarach ar Inis Cathaigh.
    Ag an gceann den oileán is faide ón gclogtheach, tá teach solais agus seanbhataire airtléire a tógadh sa bhliain 1814 d'fhonn iarthar na hÉireann a chosaint ar aon ionsaí a dhéanfadh na Francaigh.
     
    I mí Bealtaine a chuirfear tús arís le turais báid amach ar an oileán. Tá breis eolais ar fáil ar www.scatteryislandtours.com


    Scattery Island, Kilrush, Co. Clare

    Osgur hoped on the boat to Scattery Island, which is located in the Shannon Estuary, Ireland, off the coast of Kilrush, County Clare.

    This week I had the pleasure of meeting Irene Hamilton of Scattery Island Tours in Kilrush as I ventured onto the peaceful island in the Shannon Estuary.
    The island is maintained by the OPW and is home to an old monastic site, which features an impressive round tower. The island itself is rich in history and was the site of a battle in 977AD between Brian Boru and the Vikings, where the last Norse king of Limerick was killed.
    But it was the peace that is to be found on the island that most enchanted me. Looking out over the Shannon Estuary you can see the wind turbines on the Kerry coastline. The contrast between the sounds of the birds singing and the wind blowing through the trees on the island and modern industry across the Shannon was strangely magical. It was as if I had stepped out of modern Ireland for a few hours to a place where I had become an observer of the hustle and bustle of daily life. And I had the best seat in the house – a grassy hill on Scattery Island.
    At the opposite end of the island from the Round Tower is the lighthouse and the old artillery battery, built in 1814 to defend the West coast from French invasion.
    Sailings to the island start again in May. For more info on how to get there, check out www.scatteryislandtours.com

     

    A VICTORIAN ESCAPADE, MULLINGAR, CO MEATH .

    Seal Seanaimsireachta, Teach Chluain Ioraird, Bóthar Bhaile Átha Cliath, An Muileann gCearr, Co. na hIarmhí

     

    Thapaigh Osgur agus Sinéad an deis saol Downton Abbey 100 bliain ó shin a chaitheamh i dTeach Chluain Ioraird.

     

    Más maith leat Downton Abbey nó má tá fonn ort spraoi de chineál neamhghnách a bheith agat, b'fhéidir gur seal seanaimsireachta i dTeach Chluain Ioraird an rud díreach a thaitneodh leat. Chaitheamar tráthnóna ar aimsir i dTeach Chluain Ioraird mar ar chuir Deirdre, bean an tí, agus Dermot, an t-ardbhuitléir, slacht agus smacht orainn inár searbhóntaí i gceann de thithe móra ré Victoria sula ndearnadh Tiarna agus Bantiarna asainn gur chaitheamar an tae agus na cácaí milse agus gur imríomar cluichí parlúis.

    Tá Dermot thar cionn ar fad i ról an ardbhuitléara. Níl oiread agus smid as ó thús go deireadh an lae nach bhfuil oiriúnach don charachtar. Ar an bpointe agus bhí éide na searbhóntaí curtha orainn againn, bhí orainn máirseáil síos an staighre agus d'imríomar roinnt seanchluichí a mhínigh Dermot go soiléir dúinn agus a ndearna sé réiteoireacht orthu. Bhí seanéadach leapan le níochán againn nóiméad amháin agus rás sealaíochta le potaí seomra á rith timpeall chlós an tí mhóir tamall ina dhiaidh sin. Bhainfeadh grúpaí an-sult as a leithéid seo – cóisir na gcearc nó cóisir na gcoileach, lá chun meon na foirne a chothú i meitheal oibre, etc…

    Tar éis chluichí aclaíochta na searbhóntaí a imirt, bhí sé in am againn éadach a athrú arís. Bhí rogha le déanamh againn sna seomraí feistis. Tugadh tae agus cácaí milse dúinn agus isteach linn sa pharlús ansin go n-imreoimis roinnt cluichí a bhíodh coitianta i ré Victoria. D'imríomar “Squeak Piggy Squeak” nuair a bhí orainn a dhéanamh amach, agus púicíní ag dalladh na súl, cé a bhí ag sianaíl mar a bheadh muicín ann agus muid inár suí ar na glúine acu. Más áiféiseach féin, ba mhór an spraoi é. Ní raibh deireadh leis an lá go ndearnamar damhsa ar stíl na linne sin freisin.

    Dá fheabhas dá raibh na cluichí ar fad, ba é Dermot an chuid ab fhearr den chuairt uilig. Chuir sé gach duine ar a gcompord, bhí sé greannmhar spéisiúil agus, mura mbeadh tada de sin féin, is duine breá é ar breá an rud a bheith ina chuideachta.

     

    Má tá grúpa daoine ag iarraidh rud as an ngnách a dhéanamh, b'fhiú seo a chur go mór san áireamh.

     

    Tá breis eolais ar fáil ar an láithreán gréasáin www.victorianescapade.com

     

     

    A Victorian Escapade, Clonard House, Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

     

    Osgur and Sinéad stepped back 100 years into the past to try the Downton Abbey experience at Clonard House.

     

    If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey or just out to have some unusual fun, then Victorian Escapade could hit the spot. We spent an action packed afternoon at Clonard House, where owner Deirdre and “head butler” Dermot put us through our paces as Victorian big house servants and then treated us to some tea and cakes and parlour games as a Lord & Lady.

    Firstly, Dermot is perfect for his role as head butler of the house. He stays in character all day, right from the moment you arrive. Once we got changed into our servant costumes we were marched downstairs. There we played a couple of games which were brilliantly explained and refereed by Dermot. We washed some old linen and ran around the courtyard in a chamber pot relay race. This is exactly the kind of thing that groups would love – hen or stag parties, team building exercises for work, etc…

    Following the physical games as servants, it was time for a costume change again. Once you’ve selected your outfit of choice from the dressing rooms, you have some tea and cakes and then move into the parlour for some Victorian games. We played “Squeak Piggy Squeak” where you are blindfolded and must identify who is squeaking like a piggy – while sitting on his/her lap. Sounds silly but was really good fun. We rounded off the day with some Victorian dancing.

    As much fun as the games were, Dermot was the star of the day. He put everyone at ease, was very entertaining and just a downright likeable guy!

     

    If you’re looking for something different to do as a group, this should be on your list of considerations.

     

    To find out more check out their website at www.victorianescapade.com

     

     

     

     

     

     

    ALLIHIES COPPER MINE MUSEUM, BEARA, WEST CORK .

    Músaem Mhianadóireacht Copair na nAilichí, Béarra, Iarthar Chorcaí

    Chuaigh Sinéad go ceann leithinis Bhéarra i gContae Chorcaí. Tá sé beartaithe sna hAilichí seanmhianaigh copair an cheantair a oscailt ionas gur féidir le turasóirí cuairt a thabhairt orthu.

     

    Tá leithinis Bhéarra ar cheann de na háiteanna is scéimhiúla in Éirinn agus d'fhéadfá lán na súl a bhaint as na radharcanna ann ar feadh an lae. Ach bíodh sin mar atá – tháinig mise le fonn dul faoin talamh!

     

    Sa bhliain 1812 a d'oscail John Puxley, an tiarna talún, an chéad mhianach copair sna hAilichí. In imeacht scór bliain nó mar sin tháinig athrú mór ar bhaile beag na nAilichí go raibh trácht mór tríd ina bhaile mór mianadóireachta. Bhí an mianach luachmhar á tharraingt as sléibhte an cheantair go dtí gur tháinig deireadh leis an mianadóireacht sna hAilichí sa bhliain 1878. Ainneoin iarrachtaí anois agus arís na mianaigh a chur ar ais i mbun a saothraithe, fágadh na tolláin faoi uisce agus é i ndán go ligfí i ndearmad iad.

    Mar sin a bhí an cás gur shocraigh muintir na háite beart a dhéanamh. Tá músaem oscailte ag muintir na nAilichí maidir leis an oidhreacht mianadóireachta agus tá cosáin siúlóide leagtha amach acu ar an sliabh os cionn an tsráidbhaile. Tá súil acu anois an mianach féin a athoscailt ionas go bhféadann an turasóir siúl trí na tolláin go slán sábháilte agus na pluaiseanna breátha a fheiceáil.

    Cé nach bhfuil cead isteach sna mianaigh ag an bpobal faoi láthair, bhí deis agamsa dul ar shiúlóid faoi threoir tríothu agus ba mhór an t-iontas iad. Tá an dath aduain glasuaine sin ar na ballaí a thagann ar an gcopar nuair a theagmhaíonn an t-aer leis. Tá dréimirí síos go dtí an duibheagan sna tolláin íochtaracha atá feistithe do na ballaí níos mó ná céad bliain agus iad caomhnaithe i gcaoi mhaith mar gheall ar iarmhairt copair. Ag ceann na dtollán, tá pluaiseanna móra, toradh oibriú uirlisí de láimh breis agus céad bliain ó shin. Tá locha móra dorcha sna pluaiseanna, cosáin chúnga thart orthu, agus gan cor as an uisce.

    Is é a bun agus barr an scéil go bhfuil an áit go hiontach! Bhí uair amháin ar mhúchamar na tóirsí agus bhraithfeadh duine meáchan ollmhór an tsléibhe os do chionn ag brú anuas ar dhorchadas an mhianaigh.

    Is casta an obair a bhaineann le mianach a oscailt agus a chóiriú ar bhealach atá sábháilte ag an turasóir. Ach má éiríonn sin le muintir an cheantair seo, is iontach an t-ionad turasóireachta a bheidh ar fáil. Is díol spéise stair na mianadóireachta sa cheantar, tá áille agus scéimhe sna radharcanna sceirdiúla os cionn talún agus bheadh eachtra faoin talamh, más aisteach le rá é, ina sméar mhullaigh ar an gcuairt ar fad.

                                                  

    Bíonn eolas faoi imeachtaí sa mhúsaem agus tuairisc ar an dul chun cinn maidir le cóiriú an mhianaigh don turasóireacht ar: www.acmm.ie

     

     

    Allihies Copper Mine Museum, Allihies, Beara, West Cork

    Sinéad headed down to the tip of the Beara Peninsula. In the small village of Allihies plans are afoot to open the copper mines in the region to tourists.

     

    With views that you could look at all day long, the Beara Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. But forget all that – I was interested in going underground!

     

    In 1812 the first copper mine was opened in Allihies by local landlord, John Puxley. Over the next few decades Allihies went from a sleepy village to a bustling mining town as the precious ore was dug out of the surrounding mountains. Mining eventually ceased in Allihies in 1878 and despite a couple of other efforts to get the mines back up and running, the tunnels were left to flood and be forgotten about.

    This was until the local community decided to take action. The people of Allihies have opened a museum to their mining heritage and have developed walkways in the mountain overlooking their village. And now they are hoping to reopen the mine itself where tourists can safety walk through the tunnels and magnificent caverns.

    Although the mine is closed to the public now, I had the opportunity to take a guided walk through them and it was spectacular. The walls had the eerie green discolouring from the copper. Ladders, that were over a hundred years old, stretched downwards in to the flooded darkness of the lower tunnels, perfectly preserved by the copper residue. The tunnels opened up into massive caverns, all dug out by hand tools over one hundred years ago. Dark still lakes surrounded by narrow walkways dominated the caverns.

    In short, it was just really cool! At one point we switched our torches off and you could feel the weight of the mountain above you crushing down on the complete darkness within.

    There are complications to opening the mines and making them safe for tourists. But if this community manage to achieve it, it will be an amazing tourist attraction. The history of the mining in the area is fascinating, the views are spectacular above ground, and the sense of adventure underground would cap it all off.

                                                  

    To keep up to dates with events in their museum and progress on opening the mine to the public, go to: www.acmm.ie