Duchas.ie, The Schools Collection

dúchas.ie, The Schools’ Collection, Co. Roscommon

A treasure trove of old school books lovingly scanned and transcribed. The handwriting is superb and the insights fascinating.

One of several entries about Fairy Forts written circa 1937

“There are two fairy forts situated in my district. One is about a quarter of a mile from my house in a village known as Cloonarrow while the other is about three hundred yards east of my house.
The fairy fort situated about a quarter of a mile is of circular shape and is surrounded by trees. Fairies are supposed to abide in it and are said to appear after twelve o’clock a.m. In front of this fort a house was situated but now the owner of the house and of
the land in which the fort is situated is dead and the house has collapsed. There is no entrance hole to it.
The other fort situated a very short distance from my house is a circular little hill surrounded by trees. Neither is there an entrance hole to this fort. It is said that a woman dressed in white appeared to a man at this fort and accompanied him to a place known as the “Crooked Bush” where she disappeared.
Nobody ever dreams of tilling the land in which the forts are, neither do they cut the trees as it is said that anybody who touches those trees is sure to be unlucky.”

Using freely available online resources and my local knowledge I’m pretty sure this is the location of the Fairy Fort 300 yards East of the author’s home:


Fairy Forts are typically, but not exclusively circular archaeological sites. Often tumuli or hill forts, there are over 30,000 of them in Ireland.

See also: https://www.nolligan.ie/SU/?p=3504

New Header Picture: the Plassey

reck of the Plassey
The wreck of the Plassey, Inisheer, Aran Islands

The MV Plassey started its life as HMS Juliet, a naval trawler in the Royal Navy built at the beginning of WWII. during the war she took part in Operation Torch in 1942 and in the Mediterranean theatre. After the war she was converted into a merchant ship and sold to the British merchant service as the Peterjon. Later, in 1951 she was acquired by the Limerick Steamship Company and her name changed yet again to the MV Plassey (sometimes written as Plassy).

She operated around the coast of Ireland until 1960 when she was caught in a severe storm and ran aground on Finnis Rock, Inisheer, Aran Islands whilst carrying whiskey, stained glass and yarn. Luckily, the entire crew was saved. Two weeks later, a second storm washed her off the rock and drove her up the beach.

The Plassey is probably most famous for appearing in the opening credits of the TV comedy Father Ted.

Photo taken July 2019

New Header Picture – The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher in County Clare attrac up to 1.5 million tourists a year.

Rising to a height of 214 meters they stretch for 14 kilometres. They are made up of sandstone and shale formin distinctive layers as can be seen in the photo.

The award winning visitor centre is dug into the hillside so it doesn’t detract from the scenery.

Alternatively take a virtual tour:

This photograph was taken in July 2019.

Il faut cultiver notre jardin – Voltaire

Ce bon vieillard me paraît s’être fait un sort bien préférable à celui des six rois avec qui nous avons eu l’honneur de souper.
Toute la petite société entra dans ce louable dessein ; chacun se mit à exercer ses talents. La petite terre rapporta beaucoup.
car, quand l’homme fut mis dans le jardin d’Éden, il y fut mis ut operaretur eum, pour qu’il travaillât, ce qui prouve que l’homme n’est pas né pour le repos.
Cela est bien dit, répondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.

RED Gardens – New page

These photos were taken in July 2019 in Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Co. Tipperary, Ireland

RED Gardens Project, (Research Education and Development) consists of 6 family scale gardens each one 100m2 (1000sqf) and following a different methodology, or approach to growing vegetables. There is also a larger Black Plot, of about 1000m2 (1/4 acre) which is exploring issues and possibilities of an intermediate scale growing space.

Bruce Darrell manages all of the gardens and related research projects, as well as scripting, filming, illustrating, and editing the videos on this youtube channel:

Welcome to Craggy Island

Inisheer Island (Inis Oirr), Aran Islands, Co. Galway
More about the wreck of The Plassey: https://www.doolin2aranferries.com/blog/plassey-famous-shipwreck-inis-oirr/
The islands supports arcticMediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side, due to the unusual environment. Like the Burren, the Aran islands are renowned for their remarkable assemblage of plants and animals.
The grikes (crevices) provide moist shelter, thus supporting a wide range of plants including dwarf shrubs. 

11 reasons why Roscommon is the best county in Ireland

https://www.irishmirror.ie/whats-on/arts-culture-news/roscommon-best-county-ireland-gaa-8457417

  1. Lakes – Lough Allen and Lough Ree
  2. Great Towns – Boyle, Frenchpark, Roscommon, Castlerea, Strokestown, Athlone and Ballaghaderreen
  3. Historic houses
  4. Golf courses – if you like ruining a good walk that is…
  5. Nature – Rivers teaming with fish, woods and forests and don’t forget the bogs!
  6. Roscommon Lamb – pass the mint sauce please
  7. Roscommon Castle – looks lovely doesn’t it
  8. Good nightlife – okay so this might be over egging the pudding…
  9. Mining experience – visit the coal mining museum in Arigna
  10. Home to Chris O’Dowd
  11. Primrose and blue steel Roscommon football team

The Battle of Clontarf April 23rd 1014

logoboc2

 

The story of Brian Boru, his life, his triumph and tragic death at Clontarf in 1014 has captured the imagination of generations of Irish people.

The 2014 national programme of events will centre on four key locations with links to Brian’s life; Killaloe in Co. Clare, Brian’s birthplace and seat of Brian Boru’s High Kingship , Cashel in Co.Tipperary where Brian was crowned High King of Ireland, Clontarf in Dublin where Brian died, and Armagh, where Brian Boru is buried.

 

See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Clontarf

Turf Cutting

Quote

turf Cutting

 

My grandfather cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner’s bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away

Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, going down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mould, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.

 

from “Digging”, Death of a Naturalist (1966)