Monday, 9 April 2007

It’s a long way to Tipperary

After a brief stop off at Galey Bay by the shore of Lough Ree, we sped through several counties - Roscommon, Laois, Westmeath, Kilkenny, and ended up in Parson’s Green campsite near the village of Clogheen Co Tipperary.
We bought a booklet of campsites in Ireland and this gave us Parson’s Green as one of few that were open all year round. They have a small zoo with emus, ostriches, llamas, sheep, goats, deer as well as ducks, chickens, pheasants etc and very good in and outdoor adventure play areas for kids. There was also a pond/small lake and pony and trap rides (during the Summer months). It would be a great place to camp with young children; and the people were friendly and helpful too. One of the ladies that worked there, Josey, sounded just like Mrs Doyle from Father Ted complete with a liberal sprinkling of “fecks” !!

Once we had settled in we went for a walk into the village where Ger Flynn the butcher gave the dogs a big bag of fresh bones!! We liked the look of his shop!
We also liked this Guinness advert mural on the wall of the pub; especially as the artists attempt at Lara Croft bears a striking resemblance to Eva from one of her self-portraits!!!

We spotted this ruin looking quite picturesque and these old advertising signs nailed to a wall made us smile!

The following day started out fine and bright so we headed up to the well known beauty spot called “the Vee” up in the mountains. We initially thought it was called the Vee after the vee shape in the mountains from the Bay Lough where you can look through to the valley below; but it turns out that it is named for the hairpin bend in the road that looks like a huge letter V !!

A Banshee type ghost is said to haunt this lough where she was drowned after playing fast and loose with the men of the area!!

We had just reached the lough, about a mile from the car park, when the heavens opened and hurled rain and hailstones at us ‘til we reached the top again! Luckily we had the ‘van with us and soon warmed up with a brew! These shrines to Mary are everywhere in Ireland; this one had just had fresh coat of paint. She stands near the carpark at the top of the road to the Lough.

The road through the mountains joins Co Tipperary with Co Waterford and is one of many so-called “famine Roads” built during the potato famine of 1845 to try and improve supplies to the rural areas where so many people were dying of starvation. The famine was not just down to the blight that ruined the potato crop throughout that year but through the deliberate exporting of food to the UK that continued during this time by absentee MPs and landowners.

The rain tipped down throughout the following day so we spent a lovely lazy day cozied up in the ‘van curled up with coffee and books!!

We left the following day heading for Co.Cork

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great that you enjoyed Clogheen and kept a photographic journal. Lovely to see. Just for the record, the Vee road appears on the 1840 Ordnance Survey map, and so, predates the Great Famine of 1845-50.