Ireland - 2016
15/06/16 We made our only potentially serious mistake this day. We packed up and headed for Ballylongford and Castle View B&B where we would be for the next five nights, discovering upon our arrival that one of our bags was missing! The bag, actually a back pack, contained only one thing of importance, our passports! I immediately called Willie at Carrigshane and he told me they had the bag and had been trying to reach us to tell us. They were a little concerned that we might be headed to the airport from Midleton but that was not the case. Any way, the next day consisted of driving to and from Midleton again, about three hours each way. Apparently we took the bag out to the car and set it down while we placed the rest of the luggage into the car.
16/06/16 This day was spent driving to Midleton to recover the lost back pack.
17/06/16 to 19/06/16 These days were spent driving around the area triangulated by Listowel, Ballylongford and Ballybunion, looking for any signs of the old homes of the Hollys and Lynchs. We visited churches and cemetaries, finding plenty of records of ancestors but nothing about living relatives. It wasn't until Friday evening that we stopped at Jack J's pub in Asdee (sometimes spelled Astee) and a patron there told me of a Holly in Ballylongford. On Saturday we found him: Mike Joe Holly. He is well known in the area and is an occasional entertainer at the local pubs including John B. Keane's in Listowel. When we were searching for a living relative, we did come across my grandmother's baptism record at St Michael the Archangel church in Ballylongford. During our stay at Castle View we drove down to Tralee and out on the Dingle Penensula to the 'quaint' little tourist trap called Dingle. We were told that from a scenic and easier standpoint, it was as good as the Ring of Kerry (doesn't say much for the Ring!.) Many we talked to agreed. We did visit the library in Tralee as it is the 'capital' of County Kerry. The worst driving for me of the entire trip was navigating the little narrow and often one way streets of Tralee's City Centre. And the library didn't turn up anything we didn't already know.
20/06/16 Today we drove north along the coast, stopping for a visit to the sea shore south of Limerick. The water was cold and the seas were rough but we saw a waveboarder in a wet (or dry) suit braving the waves. Didn't look fun to me. At Limerick, we passed under the Shannon River on our way to Bunratty for the night. We got in early enough to take the Bunratty Castle tour; it was interesting but was swarming with kids for some reason. Our stay at Headley Court B&B was good, the first time we had a shower that one could even turn around in! I don't know what it is about showers at the B&Bs but I'm glad I don't weigh 300 lbs!
21/06/16 Time is slipping away as we head for Doolin and a night with Deidre in her house, also known as Gliondar Croi. She has just two rooms that she lets (Irish for rents) and they share a bath just off the kitchen! But we were the only ones there and she left for the evening to tend to an elderly aunt so we had the run of the house. It was one of the best and friendliest B&Bs of the trip. But before we checked in, we made our way up to the Ciffs of Mohr, a must see tourist experience. Pretty cool actually but it was very windy and a little cold rain came up just as we reached O'Brien's Tower. That experience was muted by the fact that there was a group of young Germans smoking in the very tight area at the summit of the tower. I tried to tolerate them but had to leave before I was ready just so I could breath. Photos here:
Above, The Cliffs. On the right, Cathy at O'Brien's Tower