The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Sunny Side of Ireland, by 
John O'Mahony and R. Lloyd Praeger

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Title: The Sunny Side of Ireland
       How to see it by the Great Southern and Western Railway

Author: John O'Mahony and R. Lloyd Praeger

Release Date: September 19, 2006 [EBook #19329]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Janet Blenkinship and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

[Pg 1]


[Pg 2]

[Pg 3]


Second Edition. Re-written and Enlarged.





The Great Southern and Western Railway.



With Seven Maps and over 160 Illustrations.




ALEX. THOM & CO. (Limited),
87, 88, & 89, Abbey Street,

[Pg 4]

Transcriber's Note: Inconsistent spelling of place names are left as in the original.


These pages attempt to make better known the large part of Ireland which is served by the Great Southern and Western Railway Company, and while doing so to realise Shakespeare's words:

"An honest tale speeds best being plainly told."

If they succeed in these endeavours, they will satisfy the compiler. No inexorable route is insisted upon, but no suggestion is stinted which may help the tourist to enjoy fully the beautiful country he passes through—and a beautiful country it truly is, be it approached from Athlone, its north-western gate, by the Shannon, where,

"In the quiet watered land, the land of roses,
Stands Saint Kieran's city fair,"

or from its south-western side, in the kingdom of Kerry, where the ocean leans against the mountains, and the storm-swept peak of Skellig Michael makes the most westerly citadel of Christ in the Old World! Everywhere within its broad borders, swift-rushing rivers, mirror-like lakes, and mountains tiaraed in the skies, delight the vision and gladden the heart.

The Gaelic names of places are usually word pictures reflecting with fidelity the physical features of each place, or "tell sad stories of the death of kings." Where possible, the equivalents have been given in English.

With these forewords, nothing further remains but to offer an Irish welcome—

FAILTÈ. [Pg 5]


Since "The Sunny Side of Ireland" was issued the Royal Assent has been given to an Act of Parliament which makes the Great Southern and Western Railway foremost in every sense amongst Irish Railways. The two Provinces of Munster and Connaught are now knit together by a huge network of railway lines comprised in their amalgamated system.

The several counties thus included are dealt with in this Second Edition. The volume is further enhanced by more particular information as to the sports and pastimes of the country, and by a valuable chapter on the Natural History of the South and West of Ireland, by writers of authority on such subjects.[Pg 6]

Map of the Great Southern and Western Railway
Map of the Great Southern and Western Railway
and its Connections in Ireland.


Map of the Great Southern and Western Railway 
and its Connections in Ireland6
Map Showing Connections of the Great Southern and Western 
Railway in Great Britain7
Map of Dublin City14
Map of Environs of Dublin15
Map of Cork City72
Map of Environs of Cork73
Pictorial Map of Killarney District132
Pictorial Map of Clare District220

[Pg 7]

Map Showing Connections of the Great Southern and Western
Map Showing Connections of the Great Southern and Western
Railway in Great Britain.


Dublin and District 
Dublin District24
Limerick and District 
Limerick District53
The Shannon Lakes67
Cork and District 
Cork District85
The River Blackwater, Youghal, &c.98
Waterford and District112
Killarney and Glengarriff133
Lakes and Fjords of Kerry175
County Clare221
Galway and District235
Connemara and Sligo245
Summer and Winter Resorts256
Natural History of the South and West Of Ireland260
River Fishing295
Lake Fishing299

[Pg 8]

Chapter header


Travelling through Ireland in the good old times was at best a precarious and inconvenient diversion. Those who had to do so regretted the necessity, and those who had not, praised Providence. Many "persons of quality," to use Dr. Johnson's phrase, have written narratives of their adventures and experiences in "the most damnable country." No man of position, even early in the nineteenth century, would dream of travelling threescore miles from his residence without having signed and sealed his last will and testament. The highways were beset by "Gentlemen of the Road," such as that fascinating felon, "Brennan on the Moor," of whom the ballad tells—

"A brace of loaded pistols he carried night and day."

The coach roads were dangerous, the stage was deplorable, and everything but the scenery unpleasant. The interior and west of the country were connected[Pg 9] with Dublin by canals cut in the time of the Irish Parliament, which followed the enterprise of the Dutch. They were looked upon at the time as feats of engineering skill, somewhat in the light that we view the Suez or Panama Canals to-day. Neville, the engineer, was the recipient of extravagant encomiums from the Lords and Commons, and his fame is embalmed in a street ballad which sings the praise of—

"Bold Neville,
Who made the streams run level
In that bounding river
Called the Grand Canal."

Nowadays we have changed all that, and Neville and his skill are as little remembered in Ireland as the military-road cutter in Scotland, of whom, to show that[Pg 10] Ireland had not the monopoly in "bulls," an English admirer wrote:—

"If you had seen those roads before they
Were made,
You would hold up your hands and bless
General Wade."

W. R. Corridor Train.
G. S. & W. R. Corridor Train.

A poor Italian boy—Charles Bianconi—who tramped through the country as a print-seller, was the first, in the days of Waterloo, in the south of Ireland, to begin really that healthy competition with the mail-coaches which made straight the way for the Iron Horse.

The Great Southern and Western Railway was incorporated in 1845. Mr. Under-Secretary Drummond, the English statesman who got closest to the Irish heart, was identified with the construction of the line.

Year after year the Company prospered and increased, gradually absorbing the smaller lines adjoining it until the year 1901, when it amalgamated the only two other systems of broad gauge lines in their district which had remained independent. Practically the two provinces of Munster and Connaught are now knit together by the great network of railway lines which comprise the Great Southern and Western System. The total length is about 1,100 miles. The main line stretches from Dublin, through Cork, to Queenstown, forming the route for the American Mails and the great transatlantic passenger traffic. Branches extend to Waterford, Limerick, Killarney, and Kerry, and every place of importance in the South of Ireland, while in the west the line extends from Tralee, through Limerick,[Pg 11] to Sligo. The carriages which the Company provide are of the very latest design; vestibule corridor trains, with dining and breakfast cars, are run daily, and the speed of the trains will bear comparison with any. The journey, Dublin to Cork (165 miles) is performed in four hours; to Killarney (189 miles) in about fifteen minutes more, and all the important tourist centres can be reached within a very short time. The comfort of passengers is well arranged for; refreshment rooms are provided at the principal stations, and breakfast, luncheon, and tea baskets can always be had, as well as pillows, rugs, and all the modern conveniences of travel. Besides all this, the enterprise of the Company has provided at Killarney, Parknasilla, Kenmare,[Pg 12] Caragh Lake, and Waterville, hotels, which for appearance and luxury, tempered by economy, are the equals of any in Europe.

W. R. Dining Carriage.
Interior of G. S. & W. R. Dining Carriage.

The scenery of Ireland surpasses the most roseate expectations. Within a comparatively small compass her scenic beauties include mountains, lakes, and seas, and it is the good fortune of the Great Southern and Western Company to have within its borders the finest scenery in the country. The "Skies of Erin" have been paid tribute to by artists again and again. Turner said the sun never seemed to set so beautifully anywhere as in Ireland, and Lady Butler, the well-known painter, has expressed the opinion that nowhere, except in the valley of the Nile, does the firmament put forth such varied changes of beauty as in Ireland. To the Gulf Stream, which strikes the south-western coast, scientists attribute the mildness of the climate. From Queenstown to Leenane the coast-line contains countless health resorts, where invalids may be recommended winter quarters as salubrious as many of the continental districts.

The sportsman has always found himself at home here. The fine hunting counties of Kildare, Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Waterford are familiar to every son of Nimrod. Shooting and fishing, although the preserves are not so many or so well kept as in Scotland, may be called the staple sports of Ireland. Golf has come to stay, and within recent years links have been laid in the vicinity of most of the tourist districts.[Pg 13]

One word for Irish industries will not be out of place. Ireland has no industries in the sense in which England has. With the exception of Belfast, there is no place in the country which approaches to a factory town in the sense in which that phrase is understood across the channel. Agriculture, of course, is the backbone of Ireland, and in connection with it the creamery system of the south may be mentioned. Anyone anxious to find a line of industry in Ireland which has beaten the Dane in his own market should visit Cleeves' famous factory at Limerick. The woollen industry in the country has withstood destructive legislature, and a typical example of modern success is the great tweed factory of Morroghs, at Douglas, County Cork. The Blarney tweeds have become a household word, but Douglas is shouldering them in the keen competition for public recognition. The great bacon-curing houses of Denny, at Waterford, are well worth seeing, as is also the thriving wholesome Co-operative Factory at Tralee. In Dublin the mammoth brewery of Guinness and Sons can be viewed under the conductorship of a servant of the firm employed for the sole purpose of showing visitors through the great concern. But it is the lesser industries in Ireland which are really attractive. The law of the survival of the fittest stands to these—the homespuns woven in the cottages, the beautiful Dublin poplin, the delicate lace of Youghal and Limerick, the exquisite pottery of Belleek, these good things are beyond compare.[Pg 14]


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Sackville-street, Dublin.

Map of Dublin City
Map of Dublin City.

Chapter header

[Pg 15]

Dublin and District.


The Tourist too often hurries away from Dublin to the south or west with but a superficial knowledge of the attractions of the city. It will well repay a stay, and if the visitor happens to come at Horse Show week he can easily believe himself sojourning in the capital of one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. During that short carnival each autumn the tears are brushed aside, and Erin is all smiles and welcomes for her guests. The hotels are good, the lodging-houses are clean, and moderate in price. The restaurants have much improved within recent years. Readers of Lord Mayo's encouraging articles to would-be Irish tourists will do well to test his tribute to "The Dolphin" in Essex-street. If anyone wants to see the ladies of fashion at their tea, Mitchell's in Grafton-street is a sure find, and the well-equipped D.B.C. tea-houses, which are established in several parts of the city, will meet the requirements of moderate purses.

Map of Environs of Dublin
Map of Environs of Dublin.

To attempt to mention more than a few of the more important places worth seeing in this city would be beyond the intention of these pages. Stretched beneath[Pg 16] the beautiful Dublin Mountains the city scatters itself about the sides of the River Liffey. To get from one place to another in Dublin is simplicity itself. The electric-tram system is equal to any in Europe, and excels most in the cheapness of its fares. The cars run through the principal streets and along the quay sides to the suburbs. A good view of the city may be had from the top of a tram on a fine day. Those who wish to suit their own convenience, however, will always avail themselves of the outside car. The jaunting car is to Dublin what the gondola is to Venice—at least an imaginative Irish Member of Parliament has said so, and that settles the matter. When selecting an "outside" take care that you secure one equipped with a pneumatic tyre. The Dublin driver is much[Pg 17] maligned, he is generally courteous, and not without humour. The municipal authorities supply him with a list of fares and distances. He is bound to produce it should any difficulty arise as to the financial relations, which sometimes happens.

Shelbourne Hotel

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Shelbourne Hotel, Stephen's-green.

Dublin was an old fortress of the Danes. They held the whole eastern seaboard of Ireland until 1014 when Brian Boru defeated them and broke their power at the battle of Clontarf. Historic remains of the old city—the Ford of the Hurdles the Irish call it—there are none. The Danes, the Normans, the Elizabethan, the Cromwellian, the Jacobite, all made history in Dublin in their day, but the city as it stands is practically modern. Between the Rotunda, one of the finest maternity hospitals in the world, and St. Stephen's Green, the beautiful park presented to the citizens by Lord Ardilaun, the principal buildings in the city lie. The College Green, however, forms a natural centre from which to make a short tour. The magnificent portico of the Bank of Ireland—formerly the Irish House of Parliament—is characterized by surprising dignity of proportion. Visitors can witness the printing of bank notes. The Irish House of Lords, which remains unaltered, is an oblong room with recess for throne at one end. Within may be seen two valuable Dutch tapestries, the one representing the famous Siege of Derry, and the second the Battle of the Boyne. Immediately outside "The Old House at Home," as the historic building is affectionately called by Irishmen, is a noble statue of Henry Grattan. He was the people's darling from 1782, when the Volunteers mustered in College-green, up to 1800, when the Act of Union was passed. Behind Grattan stands the old leaden statue of William III., erected in 1701. This equestrian figure of "King Billy," as the prince of glorious, pious, and immortal memory is familiarly known, has been the centre of, in its time, much mischief and merriment. Up to 1822 His Majesty was annually decorated with orange ribbons to[Pg 18] celebrate the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. This party demonstration was always resented by the populace, and King Billy came in for no end of ill-treatment. However, he has braved the battle and the breeze.

Turning from the Bank we face the University, in front of which stand fine bronze statues of its distinguished sons, Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith. The University, unlike its sisters, Oxford and Cambridge, contains but a single college—that of the Holy and Undivided Trinity—founded by Adam Loftus in Elizabeth's reign. Visitors to the College should be shown the chapel halls, museum, and library, and grand quadrangles, including Lever's notorious "Botany Bay." While in the library the world-famous "Book of Kells" may be inspected, and the enduring qualities of its marvellous illuminations admired. The College park is very beautiful, and during the College races at midsummer presents quite a gala sight.

Dublin Castle.

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Dublin Castle.

In Dame-street most of the Irish banks have their offices. At the end of the street furthest from the College is the City Hall. The building was originally the Royal Exchange, but in the middle of the nineteenth century it was handed over to the Dublin Corporation. The Corinthian columns which form the portico are very handsome. The entrance is modern, the older structure having given way in "the troubled times," while a crowd of citizens were beguiling the time watching a public whipping of a malefactor from the steps. The centre hall is crowned with a decorated dome. The hall contains statues of O'Connell, Under-Secretary Drummond, Grattan, and Dr. Lucas, a publicist in eighteen-century Dublin. The Council Chamber is well furnished, and some of the portraits of former Lords Mayor are very fine. Immediately behind the City Hall is Dublin Castle, far from being the imposing structure those familiar with its history may suppose. The Lower Castle Yard is entered from Palace-street.[Pg 20][Pg 19] It contains the Birmingham Tower, a modern structure replacing the fortress, some of the walls of which still stand, from which the fiery Red Hugh O'Donel, Prince of Tyrone, escaped. The Castle Chapel is beside the Tower, and permission to visit it is easily obtained. Among the things of interest in the chapel are the emblazoned arms of all the Irish viceroys. The wood work throughout is Irish oak, and there are ninety heads in marble to represent the sovereigns of England. St. Patrick's Hall, the Throne-room, and the Long Drawing-room are the most important of the State apartments. While in the vicinity of the Castle, St. Patrick's Cathedral should be visited. Founded so long ago as 1190, this cathedral, dedicated to the Apostle of Ireland, has had a chequered history. Mostly Early English in architecture, modern styles have been grafted on the building without consistency or unity of ideal. The monuments are many. Dean Swift's bears an inscription written by himself and breathing the hatred of oppression and love of liberty characteristic of the writer—

"Hic depositum est corpus
Hujus Ecclesiae Cathedralis Decani
Ubi saeva indignatio
Ulterius cor lacerare nequit
Abe Viator
Et imitare si poteris
Strenuum, pro virili,
Libertatis vindicatorem,
Obiit 19° die mensis Octobris, A.D. 1745,
Anno Aetatis 78."

Hard by is a white marble slab in memory of her whose name must be for ever associated with that of Swift—"Stella." Ten minutes' walk through Patrick-street will bring one from St. Patrick's to the most interesting ecclesiastical structure in Dublin—Christ Church Cathedral. An old Danish foundation, fire and time laid[Pg 22][Pg 21] hands upon the original building. Its restoration is a triumph of architectural genius in the reproduction of thirteenth-century English Gothic. Strongbow's tomb is the famous monument of the place. The Crypt contains, besides other antiquities, the old City stocks, which is some three centuries old. Other places worth seeing in the city are the Four Courts, the Custom House, the Pro-Cathedral, Marlborough-street, St. Michan's Church and Churchyard, and the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Gardiner-street. The general architecture in the streets is incongruous, and the modern "improvements" not always desirable. In the back streets here and there the quaint gables as old as Queen Anne still survive, but the Dutch houses have almost entirely, and the Cage houses have entirely, disappeared.

Custom House

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Custom House, Dublin.

Leinster Lawn, or the Duke's Lawn, as the man in the street in Dublin still calls it, contains, among other attractions, the National Gallery, Museum, and Public Library. These are store houses of treasure. The catalogue of the Gallery reveals a valuable collection of paintings, and the Museum contains an unique exhibition of gold, silver, and bronze ornaments, collars, brooches, shields, clasps, and spears, which were found from time to time throughout Ireland, and are evidence of her former civilization. The Royal Irish Academy, in Dawson-street, possesses a rich collection of ancient Irish manuscript.

National Library and Four

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

National Library and Four Courts, Dublin.

The cemeteries of Dublin are small, except Glasnevin. A drive through the Phœnix Park will bring one by the embanked river or through the northern side of the city. An inquisitive tourist asked an Irish driver why the Park was so called, when there was no such bird ever in the world. "Sure that's the reason," said the driver. "Sure there's no such Park in the world either." Lord Chesterfield put up a column with a Phœnix in the Park, but of old its name was Parc-na-Fionniake (the field of the clear water). It lies on the northern bank of the river celebrated by Sir Samuel Ferguson:[Pg 24][Pg 23]

"Delicious Liffey, from the bosoming-hills
What man who sees thee issuing strong and pure
But with some wistful, fresh emotion fills,
Akin to nature's own sweet temperature;
And haply thinks:—On this green bank 'twere sweet
To make one's mansion sometime of the year,
For health and pleasure on these uplands meet,
And all the Isle's amenities are here."

Long ago the St. John's Hospitallers had their house at Kilmainham, and the lands belonging to the Order lay about either side of the stream. The Hospice is now the Old Man's House—an Asylum for Disabled Soldiers, designed by Sir Christopher Wren—and possesses one of the finest halls in Europe. The lands have been built over at Inchicore, and on the other side of the river formed into the Phœnix Park, containing close on two thousand acres, and bounded by a circumference of seven miles. The Park contains the lodges of the Viceroy and the Chief Secretary for Ireland, and the monuments to Lord Gough, Lord Carlisle, and the "overgrown milestone," as the obelisk to the Duke of Wellington has been called. The People's Gardens have been laid out with great taste, but they cannot compare with the natural beauty of the Furze Glen with its deep shade and silent lake. Visitors in the summer time should not fail to drive from Knockmaroon gate, beside the Liffey, to "The Strawberry Beds." Here, in the season, delicious fruit, fresh from the gardens, and rich cream, can be had in most of the cottages beside the road.


Church at Clondalkin

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Round Tower and Church at Clondalkin.

The country in the immediate vicinity of Dublin contains much that is picturesque. The scenery along the coast has in general been already referred to. But Killiney, Bray, and Howth, if time permits, should be visited. The train and tram facilities[Pg 25] are sufficient. Wicklow County has been called the Garden of Erin, and on no account should a visit to Glendalough or "The Meeting of the Waters" in the Vale of Avoca be deferred. But those who wish to speed on to the south or west will do so from the Kingsbridge Terminus. From here we pass through Inchicore, the busy thriving hive of industry, where the[Pg 26] Great Southern and Western Railway have their engineering works. The first station we come to is that of Clondalkin. The old village sits snuggled up at the foot of its round tower, which is one of the best specimens of that early architecture in Ireland, of which the poet says:

"Two favourites hath Time—the Pyramids of Nile
And the old mystic temples of our own dear Isle."

Salmon Leap

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Salmon Leap, Lucan.

Castletown House

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Castletown House.

Carton House

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Carton House, Maynooth.

Irish antiquaries for generations have squabbled over these famous "Pillar Towers of Ireland," but the general trend of scientific opinion is that they are of early Christian origin. Father Matt Horgan, a famous Munster antiquary, humorously started the theory that they were built to puzzle posterity, which they have very successfully done. Lucan is a health resort,[Pg 27] possessing a sulphur spa, and situated in a well-wooded country above the Liffey. The Hydropathic stands well sheltered and commanding a splendid view. The drives in the district are many, and the antiquarian will find much of interest. In Lord Annaly's demesne are the remains of an early Norman castle, and in the vicinity is an ancient Rath and souterraine. The drive to the Salmon Leap, at Leixlip, should not be missed. Near by is Castletown, the palatial mansion of the Connolly family, and a grotesque structure known as "Connolly's Folly," which was built in the time of the famine of "Black '47" to give employment. Here, too, the great Dean of St. Patrick's beguiled his time at "The Abbey," the home of Esther Vanhomrigh, the[Pg 28] "Vanessa" of his strange life. From Lucan Maynooth may be reached. Here is St. Patrick's National College for the education of priests for the Catholic Church, originally founded on a Government grant. "Carton House," in the vicinity, is the residence of the Dukes of Leinster. It is surrounded by beautiful parks, well planted, among the trees the royal oaks, for which Kildare was celebrated, being conspicuous. Straffan may be called a "hunting village," as the meets of the famous "Killing Kildares" most usually take place in its neighbourhood. Here, too, are the seats of Lords Cloncurry and Mayo. The thriving market town of Naas is two miles from Sallins, and is the railway station for Punchestown, the great steeplechase[Pg 29] meeting of the Kildare Hunt. Long centuries ago it was an historic spot—"Naas of the Kings." From the station may be seen the Hill of Allen, rising like a sentinel on the mearings of the "Great Plain of Ireland." Harristown, the second station on a branch line, is about three miles from Poulaphouca Waterfall. The road to the Falls leads through the picturesque village of Ballymore-Eustace, situated on a bank at a bend in the river Liffey. The view from the river below the Falls is very impressive. Tullow is the terminus of this branch of the line. It is a good business town, and the river Slaney affords excellent trout fishing. Within half-an-hour's walk from Sallins is Bodenstown Churchyard, where Theobald Wolfe Tone, the founder of the United Irish Organisation of 1798, is buried. He was the most desperate man who ever crossed the[Pg 31][Pg 30] path of the English Government in Ireland. "The most extraordinary man I ever met," is the verdict of the Duke of Wellington. "He went to France with but one hundred guineas in his pocket, and induced Bonaparte, by his single unaided efforts, to send three armaments to Ireland." Six and twenty miles from Dublin, the town of Newbridge exists as a kind of aide-de-camp to the Commissariat Department of the Curragh Camp. The Curragh, a great plain over twelve miles square, was once a common, the property of the Geraldine tenants, but the Crown quietly seized upon it, and "their right there is none to dispute." It has been made a camp of instruction, and can accommodate, under more or less permanent cover, ten thousand men. It is in a good fox-hunting, sporting country, "the country of the short grass," and several times a year is the scene of race meetings. It is the Newmarket of Ireland, for here are the training stables for Punchestown, Fairyhouse, Leopardstown, Baldoyle, and all the lesser meetings in the Green Isle, and many of the greater ones across the water. The Curragh was the scene of more than one battle in centuries past, and, like Tara, was one of the historic places chosen in the minds of the insurgents of Ninety-eight as an ideal mustering point. The Curragh District Golf Club has been formed by the military stationed there. Kildare, some thirty miles from Dublin, is the junction for the Kilkenny branch of the line. The town is very old, being, in the early Christian era, a cell of St. Bride, a patroness of Ireland. The ancient cathedral has been partly rebuilt, and in the south transept is the vault of the Earls of Kildare, progenitors of the Leinster line. These Geraldines were the most famous of the Norman invaders:

"And, oh! through many a dark campaign
They proved their prowess stern,
In Leinster's plains and Munster's vales
[Pg 33][Pg 32]On king, and chief, and kern;

But noble was the cheer within
The halls so rudely won,
And generous was the steel-gloved hand
That had such slaughter done.
How gay their laugh, how proud their mien,
You'd ask no herald's sign—
Amid a thousand, you had known
The princely Geraldine."

The Liffey

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

The Liffey, near Celbridge.

Poulafouca Falls

Poulafouca Falls.

Curragh Military Camp

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Curragh Military Camp.

The Round Tower in the graveyard, which is one hundred and three feet high, is perfect, except that the original cap has been replaced with a battlement, out of character with the rest. The old castle stood by, to guard the church and tower, and what remains of it has been turned to use as a tenement. The Earls of Kildare were often warring with the Kings of England. The Archbishop of Cashel one time protested to the King against the Earl burning down his cathedral, and the Earl, when reprimanded, explained to the King in person that he would not have done so had he not thought that the Archbishop was inside the church at the time. This was the same Earl of whom the Parliament complained that "all Ireland could not govern the Earl of Kildare." "Then," said the King, "let the Earl of Kildare govern all Ireland," and he was appointed Lord Deputy, and made an excellent one. From Kildare, Carlow, twenty-six miles distant, and Kilkenny, fifty-one, are the principal stations on the line which terminates at Waterford. Carlow is an old town which belonged to the hereditary enemies of the Fitzgeralds, the Butlers of Ormonde. It is beautifully situated, surrounded by fine trees, and built on the picturesque Barrow. There is splendid water-power above the town, and it was the first place in Ireland that was lighted with electricity. Kilkenny, the marble city, easily induces the visitor to linger within its walls and enjoy fully the attractions of the river Nore. Long ago it was a keep of "Dermott of the Foreigners," "who had grown hoarse from many shoutings in the battle," and was given by him[Pg 36][Pg 35][Pg 34] as a dowry with his beautiful daughter Eva to Strongbow. Afterwards it passed, by purchase, into the possession of the Butlers, Lords of Ormonde. Here a Parliament was held in 1367, which endeavoured by law to prevent the absorption of the newcomers by the old Irish race. It tainted the blood of all who gave their children into fosterage with Irish women, and penalised the usage of Irish dress and customs. It made it a capital offence for any of English blood to marry an Irish woman, which was humorous enough when we remember that Strongbow, "the first of the foreigners," did so. But the statute was of no avail, and the Butlers in time became as big rebels as the Geraldines. Here, in 1642, the Confederate Catholics held their Parliament. Among other things they drafted a scheme of local government for the country, and set up the first printing press in Ireland. St. Canice's Cathedral, the Round Tower, one hundred feet high, the Black Abbey, and Franciscan Friary, are the principal ecclesiastical objects of interest. The Round Tower is at the southern side of the Cathedral. This latter building, which is of an Early Pointed Style, was founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century. The pavement is of the famous Kilkenny marble. The principal object of interest in the building is St. Kieran's Chair, against the wall in the northern transept.



Kilkenny Castle

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Kilkenny Castle.

The grounds of the Franciscan Friary have been overbuilt by a brewery, but the fine seven-light window and tower still stand. The Black Abbey, a thirteenth century foundation, has come back into the possession of the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans, who have restored it. The small parish church near the northern transept of St. Canice's contains a window commemorative of Lieutenant Hamilton, V.C., of Inistioge, who was killed in the massacre of the Cavagnari Expedition by the Afghans in 1879. From the market place, Kilkenny Castle, the noble seat of the Butlers, may be entered.[Pg 37] In the absence of the family of the Marquis of Ormonde, the public are allowed to visit the castle. It is a practically modern residence, built into the ancient walls; and three of the imposing watch towers of bygone years survive. The hall of the castle is decorated with beautiful Spanish leather work, and the rich tapestries on the staircase were wrought in the sixteenth century, on looms set up in the town by Flemings. Besides the family plate, jewels, and heirlooms—which are displayed in several apartments—the picture gallery is exceptionally attractive. Among its treasures are Murillo's "St. John," Corregio's "Marriage of St. Catherine," and Giordano's "Assumption of the Blessed Virgin." From St. John's Bridge, above the Nore, a splendid view of the castle may be seen. There is a[Pg 38] pleasant pathway under the castle wall, along the river side from the bridge. From Kilkenny many interesting excursions may be made. To Kells, twelve statute miles, where there are the ruins of an important twelfth century priory. Two miles from Kells is Kilree, where are situate a ruined church, Round Tower, and Celtic cross, and a remarkable tomb slab in the church, on which is an ancient symbolic sculpture of a cock-in-a-pot crowing. Three miles from Kilree is Aghavillar, with ruined church, attached castellated house, and Round Tower. About seven miles from the city is the Cave of Dunmore, a stalactite cavern worth seeing. Thomastown, on the line to Waterford, was formerly a walled town. It is less than two miles from Jerpoint Abbey, the ruins of which are interesting. It was founded by Donough Tiernach, Chief of Ossory, in 1180. The style is Early Norman, but the turrets and battlements are fifteenth century work.

Picture Gallery

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Picture Gallery, Kilkenny Castle.

Cromwell, who is discredited with destroying places in Ireland where he never was, is said to have passed by Jerpoint without molesting it, but when the peal of bells rang out in thanksgiving, he took it for a challenge, and returned and sacked the place. In Cork he melted down the chapel bells, saying that "as it was a priest that invented gunpowder, the best thing that could be done with chapel bells was to make them into cannons," which he did.

If, instead of branching off the main line at Kildare, we continue along it in the south-western direction.

Monasterevan, which was an old ecclesiastical place of importance, now insignificant except for its malting houses and distillery. The Marquis of Drogheda's demesne and residence, Moore Abbey, stands in the centre of the well-wooded lands, which were formerly monastic property. Portarlington, a small town on the Barrow, has the seat of the Earl of Portarlington. The river divides the town, and is the boundary here between Kildare and the Queen's County. The Irish[Pg 39] name of this place is Coltody; but in the time of the "Merrie Monarch" it was given to a court favourite, Lord Arlington, who here built a little harbour on the Barrow, whence its name. In the townland of Deer Park, near the town, there is still a colony of pure Huguenot descent. Portarlington is the junction of the branch line running to Athlone.

Maryborough is pleasantly situated on the river side. From the Rock of Dunamaise, an old fort of "Dermot of the Foreigners" in an almost impregnable position, there is a splendid view of the Slieve Bloom mountain ranges. At Ballybrophy is the junction for the Parsonstown and Roscrea and Nenagh branches. Roscrea, under the Devil's Bit mountains, has celebrated ecclesiastical remains and a modern Cistercian Monastery, the parent house of which is the famous Mount Melleray Abbey. Among the ruins of interest to the antiquary are the remains of Augustinian and Franciscan foundations, and a Round Tower, about the foot of which St. Cronan had one of the early schools in Ireland in the sixth century. A square tower of the Butlers and a tower of Prince John's Castle will repay attention. Birr Castle, the seat of the Earl of Rosse at Parsonstown, is surrounded by a fine park. It is remarkable for its mammoth telescopes, one of which is fifty-two feet long, with a speculum six feet in diameter. Nenagh, at the foot of the Silvermines and Keeper mountains (2,278 feet), is a stirring market town, and possesses a Norman keep in fair preservation. Birdhill brings us to the Shannon, the attractions of which are dealt with in another chapter.

Birr Castle

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Birr Castle.

Lord Rosse's Telescopes

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lord Rosse's Telescopes at Birr.

The Bridge, Athlone

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

The Bridge, Athlone.

The branch line which runs from Portarlington to Athlone, runs right through the Bog of Allen. It is available for through passengers for Connemara. For miles, the undulating bog land, green and brown. The King's County still remains out of the primeval forests, and its great peat fields are the only source of wealth to the surrounding peasantry. Athlone, some two[Pg 42][Pg 41][Pg 40] miles below Lough Ree, on the Shannon, is the military key to the Province of Connaught. The keep of the old Castle, dating from King John's reign, remains, but the bridge and salmon weir are of more interest. In 1691 Ginckle besieged the town on the eastern bank, but a handful of Irish troops held the Connaught side, desiring to keep the position until St. Ruth arrived. The defence of the bridge is one of the most gallant exploits in Irish history. Colonel Richard Grace, who held the position for the Jacobites, was offered security in his estates and military honours, if he surrendered, by the Duke of Schomberg. At night, when the offer reached the Jacobite general, he was in his quarters, playing the familiar Irish card game of spoil-five with his officers. The six-of-hearts happened to be the[Pg 43] "deckhead." Grace took it from the pack and wrote on the back, "It ill becomes a gentleman to betray his trust," and gave it to the Williamite messenger. The "six-of-hearts" is still known as "The Grace's Card," especially in Kilkenny, where the general's estates were. From Athlone excursions may be made to Auburn, eight miles; Clonmacnoise, ten Irish miles; and to Lough Ree. Lissoy, where Goldsmith spent his childhood, there can be little doubt, was the original of—

"Sweet Auburn, loveliest village of the plain."

It is a pleasant drive, the road from Ballykeeran skirting Lough Killinure. Lough Ree, three miles from Athlone, is low-lying, some ten miles long, and in parts prettily wooded. There is a small archipelago in the northern[Pg 44] end, of which pretty "Hare Island" is the residence of Lord Castlemaine. The Seven Churches of Clonmacnoise formed the old city of St. Kieran, whose feast day is the 9th September. There are two Round Towers, O'Rourke's and M'Carthy's; a Holy Well, the Cairn of[Pg 45] Three Crosses, Relich Calliagh, founded by Devorgilla, who bewitched Dermot of the Foreigners. Teampul-Kieran is a small cell. Teampul-Connor has an interesting tenth century doorway, and in Teampul-Fineen the chancel arch still remains, and the piscina can be traced. Teampul-Ree has two round-headed lights and a lancet window, twelfth century work. The Great Cross of the Scriptures is inscribed with Gaelic, "a prayer for Flan, son of Malseclyn," and "a prayer for Colman, who made this cross for St. Flan," referring to the ninth century monarch of Meath, and to Colman, Abbot, early in the tenth century, of Clonmacnoise. The cross is fifteen feet high, and its panels were sculptured with Scriptural scenes, interlined with Celtic tracery.

The Shannon

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

The Shannon at Athlone.

At Clonmacnoise

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Clonmacnoise.

"In a quiet, watered land, a land of roses,
Stands St. Kieran's city fair;
And the warriors of Erin in their famous generations
Slumber there.

"There, beneath the dewy hillside, sleep the noblest
Of the Clan of Conn;
Each below his stone with name in branching Ogham,
And the sacred knot thereon."

For information as to Sport to be had in the Dublin District, see end of this volume, where particulars are given as to Golf, Fishing, Shooting, &c.

Chapter footer

[Pg 46]

Chapter header

Limerick and District


Leaving Limerick Junction, between it and Limerick City, there are few places of interest. The country side is very rich, and is the centre of the Creamery Co-operative system. At Boher is Glenstal, the residence of Sir Charles Barrington. The demesne contains the Ilchester Oaks, with which the country people associate a romance. The story is told in detail in Lefanu's "Seventy Years of Irish Life." At Caghercullen, which is now part of Glenstal Demesne, early in the last century lived Squire O'Grady, an old grandee of Limerick; he was a fox-hunting widower, and his beautiful and only daughter was the cynosure of all eyes. When she came out at a Limerick hunt ball the little beauty captivated Lord Stourdale—eldest son to Lord Ilchester who was then with his regiment at Limerick. O'Grady's keen eye soon discerned that the young people were falling in love with each other. Proud of his family as the Irishman was, he feared his position was such that an English lord may not look on an alliance with favour. He wrote a friendly letter to[Pg 47] Lord Ilchester—in order to prevent trouble—saying that, as an elder man, he perceived that his son was about getting into a scrape, and it would be well to have him brought home or sent on active service. Stourdale disappeared; and Lord Ilchester wrote thanking the squire, and notifying that an old military friend—a Colonel Prendergast—would call and thank him personally. The colonel came in good time, and partook of O'Grady's hospitality. As he was leaving, he mentioned to the squire that he thought his beautiful daughter was falling into bad health. O'Grady, with brusque confidence, said that she had been fooling about Stourdale, but would soon forget him. Lovers will rejoice at the sequel of the romance. Colonel Prendergast discovered himself as Lord Ilchester, and expressed his gratification at the possibility of having such a wife for his son. There was the usual happy marriage; and the present Earl of Ilchester and the present Earl of Lansdowne, can claim descent from Maureen O'Grady.

Limerick.—Like most of the Munster seaboard towns, it was built by the Danes; and it was the cock-pit of the fights between the Ostmen and the warlike clans who followed O'Brien's banner in the early centuries. It made history in Cromwell's days, and until recently the old house occupied by Ireton stood within its streets. Ireton sentenced many men of eminence to death during the short triumph of Cromwell. Among the most noble of the cavaliers who died at Limerick was Geoffrey Barron of Clonmel, a young Irish lawyer who acted as civil secretary to the Confederates. With exquisite cruelty he was sentenced to be executed upon the morning which had previously been fixed for his wedding. He asked, as a favour, that he should be permitted to wear his bridegroom attire on the scaffold, and Ireton granted the boon.

He made a brave show amid the crop-eared Roundheads.[Pg 48]

Treaty Stone

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Treaty Stone, Limerick.

[Pg 49]

"Taffeta as white as milk,
Made all his suit.
Threads of silver in the silk
Trailed like moonlight through it.
Silver cap and white feather,
Stepping proud and high,
In his shoon of white leather,
Came Geoffrey Barron to die.
Then the Roundhead general said,
Fingering his sword—
Art thou coming to be wed,
Like a heathen lord?

"Go! thy pride thy scaffold is,
Give her sigh for sigh.
Breath for breath, and kiss for kiss,
For Geoffrey Barron must die.
But he laughed out as he ran
Up the black steps;
Never happier bridegroom man,
With his wife's lips.
If for mortal woman's sake,
In silks should go I,
I shall for heaven the same pains take,
Now, Geoffrey Barron must die."

But the name of Limerick scintillates in those glowing chapters in its country's history, when it stoutly withstood the valour and prowess of the great soldier-king, William of Orange. Sarsfield, Earl of Lucan, the beloved of damsels and dames, was the hero of this period. A handsome, large-limbed, brawny soldier, towering over the tallest of his dragoons, and true as the steel he wore, he was a fitting leader of a forlorn hope. Originally, one of the "Gentlemen of the Guard" under the Merrie Monarch, his defence of Limerick was a military achievement worthy of the ambition of any general; nor were his Williamite opponents slow to cordially appreciate his valour. But he was fated to die, "on a far, foreign field." The sieges of Limerick led up to its name of the City of the Broken Treaty. William of Nassau, having routed King James in August, 1690, invested the city with[Pg 50] 35,000 men. Tyrconnel and Lauzun, Commander of the French allies, had cleared out, considering that the place could not be defended. Sarsfield, although not in command, with other kindred spirits, decided to defend the position. The heavy ordnance of the Williamites, while on the way to the scene of siege, was surprised at night at Ballyneety by Sarsfield and a hero called[Pg 51] "Galloping O'Hogan," and the guns spiked and the ammunition mined and fired. Auxiliary artillery was, however, brought into camp, and the assault delivered. The guns breached the walls, the outworks were carried, but before the garrison could pour in, the townspeople—men and women—the latter, vieing in valour, flowed out and swept away all opposition. The siege was raised. But a year later, Ginckle again invested the place by land and sea. After three months' defence, Sarsfield agreed to capitulate, the chief conditions of the treaty being, that Catholics should be admitted to practice their religion without hindrance, and that the Jacobite garrison should march out with the honours of war. The latter condition was kept, but when Sarsfield and his regiments had gone beyond the seas, the former was shamefully violated. By the Thomond may be seen the Treaty Stone, on which the capitulation papers were signed, October 3rd, 1691. In the Cathedral place is the modern monument to Sarsfield. The castle, which was built by King John—now a store—is an excellent example of the military architecture introduced into Ireland by the Normans. The Shannon, the largest river in Ireland, flows through the city. Limerick lace is valued wherever people of taste are. The industry still thrives; but the former greatness of the glove manufacturers has departed. Bacon curing is the great industry of the city to-day, and the names of Denny, Matterson, and Shaw—the principal manufacturers—have become household words. The greatest factory in Limerick, however, is belonging to the famous Condensed Milk Company, organized through the enterprise of Sir Thomas Cleeve. The milk of some 15,000 cows contributes to the huge output of this great concern.[Pg 52]

Sarsfield Statue

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Sarsfield Statue, Limerick.

At Castleconnell

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Castleconnell, near Limerick.

[Pg 53]

Chapter header


From Limerick tours may be made into North Kerry by rail, or by combined steamer and coach service along the Shannon lakes and shores. The amalgamation of the railway services in the south and west of Ireland has contributed greatly to the many facilities which, with an improved railway accommodation, now await the tourist.

Falls of Doonass-River

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Falls of Doonass-River Shannon.

Some seven miles from Limerick, and about the same distance from Killaloe, is the pretty little town of Castleconnell. The place was of yore a stronghold of the O'Brien's, and to-day the remains of the old castle from which the village takes the name still stand. During the Jacobite wars the place was of importance as one of the military keys to the Province of Connaught, and Sarsfield and Ginkel alternately garrisoned and fought for its possession. The village is situated delightfully beside "The lordly Shannon," and is famous as a resort for anglers. The scenery in the immediate vicinity is unsurpassed, and the Shannon here has been described as possessing "The majesty of the Amazon with the grandeur of the Rhine." Taking the well-appointed Shannon Hotel as our centre many most enjoyable[Pg 55][Pg 54] excursions can be made to the beautiful places in the adjoining district. The hotel itself is only five minutes' walk from the far-famed Rapids of Doonass, and beside the celebrated Chalybeate Spa. Beneath a list of excursions is given of some of the pleasant driving and boating trips that may be made. It cannot pretend to be exhaustive, however, and is only offered as suggestive. Assume that the visitor has three days at his disposal—

First Day.—Start from Hotel, walk to Chalybeate Spa, World's End, Old Castle and Grounds (admission by pass), cross River at Ferry, walk to "Old Turrett," from which a grand view of the "Rapids" may be obtained—the Scenery at this particular point is unsurpassed—visit St. Synan's Well, return to Hotel, drive to "Clare Glens," see the Cascades—this is one of the most picturesque spots imaginable and well repays a visit.

Second Day.Day Trip on the Lordly Shannon (Lough Derg).—Take train from Castleconnell Station at 10.40 a.m. for Killaloe where the Shannon Development Co.'s Steamer awaits the arrival of the Train to convey passengers for a Cruise on Lough Derg. Steamer returns to Killaloe about 5.30 p.m., the Train leaves Killaloe at 6.10 p.m. for Castleconnell, arriving at 6.41 p.m.; or take car from Hotel to meet the 8.15 a.m. Steamer at Killaloe for Portumna, return by down Steamer to Killaloe, thence by 6.10 p.m. Train for Castleconnell. This Cruise embraces the whole length of Lough Derg, and affords a grand combination of lake and mountain scenery.

Third Day.—A selection from the following may be made:—

(a) Drive to Limerick City. See its magnificent Churches,
Treaty Stone, etc, etc.

(b) To Killaloe. St. Flannan's Cathedral, a very ancient edifice,
Oratory with stone roof, Brian Boru's Fort, and Cragg
Hill, from which a very pretty view of Lough Derg may be

(c) To Glenstal Castle and Grounds (admission by pass).

(d) To Keeper Hill. A splendid panoramic view of the
surrounding country afforded from the summit of this Hill,
including Lough Derg and "reaches" of the Shannon below
[Pg 56]Limerick.

(e) To Adare Manor (admission by pass).

(f) Or take Row Boat from Castleconnell to Killaloe via
O'Brien's Bridge, or to Limerick via Plassy.

(g) Take train from Castleconnell Station at 10.40 a.m. for
Nenagh, drive from Nenagh to Dromineer, take Steamer
from Dromineer to Killaloe, thence rail or car to Castleconnell.

(h) Or take train from Castleconnell Station at 10.40 a.m. for
Killaloe, take Steamer Killaloe to Dromineer, drive from
Dromineer to Nenagh, thence rail to Castleconnell.

(i) Lower Shannon Steamer Trip to Kilrush (see special programme
of Sailings).

Above a bend in the river at the Falls of Doonass the "Rapids" begin, and eddying and whirling through the rocks run for nearly half a mile along the surface of the river. It is to the angler, however, Castleconnell will prove most attractive. The season commences on the 1st February, and closes on the 31st October. Trout, pike, and perch fishing free; salmon and grilse fishing by arrangement. The fishing-rods manufactured at Castleconnell have won a world-wide reputation for Messrs. Enright and Sons, and Mr. Jack Enright has himself won the record as a long distance fly caster. A writer in The Fishing Gazette having dealt in an appreciative article with Castleconnell gives valuable information as to the names and situations of the more important pools on the river.

The fisheries in the Castleconnell district taken in rotation from below, are: the Prospect or Clareville Fishery, on the Limerick side of the river (this means that the fishery extends to midstream; adjoining it on the Clare side, and immediately opposite, is the Landscape Fishery. Both of these are well-known salmon and peel catches. A few of the best pools in Prospect are Pinnee, Salahoughe, Feemoor, and Commogue. On Landscape the best pools are Poulahoo, Pallaherro, and Filebegs).[Pg 57]

Adjoining the Prospect Fishery, on the Limerick side of the river, is the New Garden Fishery, which contains the pools of Moreagh, Glassogue, Black Weir, and Sporting Eddy. Next to this, on the Limerick side, is the Hermitage Fishery, which contains some famous catches, such as Back of Leap, Fallahassa, Poolbeg, the Commodore, Bunnymoor, and Head of Moreagh. Still on the Limerick side, we next reach the Woodland's Fishery, a picturesque portion of the Shannon, and here are the pools of Panlaides, Drarhus, Thunnavullion, and Long Eddy. Next is reached the Castle Fishery, and the pools here are Balcraheen, Lackaleen, and the Lough, the last affording several courses of fly fishing. Still on the Limerick side the World's End Fishery adjoins the Castle Fishery, and the pools here are the Pantry, the Kitchen, and the Over the Weir.

Returning to the Clare side of the river the fishery next to Landscape is the famous Doonas, the lower part of which contains the pools of Poolcoom, the Stand, Black Weir, Faalgorribs, Franklin's Eddy, and the Old Door, while the upper part includes Lickenish, the Dancing Hole, Old Turf, Lurgah, Lacka, and Sallybush. Next on the Clare side we reach the Summer Hill Fishery, part of which is opposite the Woodland's Fishery and part opposite the Castle Fishery. The pools on Summer Hill are the Black Eddy, Clare side of Drarhus, Thunahancha, Figar, Clare side of Lackaleen, and Clare side of the Lough. After this the Erinagh Fishery is reached, and here the pools are Gorribs and side of the big Eddy.

In the spring salmon fishing is pursued principally with Devon minnows as lures, the "cullough" running a good second favourite. Phantom minnows and the very large spinning Shannon flies are also useful. A bit later on the prawn takes precedence, the bigger the prawn the better. As the season advances the lure, whatever it may be—fly, minnow, prawn, or what not[Pg 58]—should decrease in size until October, when again they should assume larger proportions, but not so big as in the spring. Towards the latter end of March, and onwards for the rest of the season, artificial flies are are almost exclusively used. Truly wonderful specimens of the fly dresser's art are some of the Shannon patterns. Fancy a salmon fly dressed on an 8-o hook! Yet this is at times absolutely necessary to ensure success. The best patterns for various times of the year are—For February, March, and April, big Shannon Blue Fly, the Black Goldfinch, the Jock Scot, and the Yellow Lahobber; for May, June, and July, Purple Mixture, tinsel bodied Green Parrot, purple bodied Green Parrot, Silver and Blue Doctors, Purple Widgeon, Orange and Grouse, and Thunder and Lightning. Towards the end of the season here, as elsewhere, strange fancy patterns will frequently prove successful. The most suitable patterns of trout flies (the size of which depends entirely upon the height of the water) are—Orange and Grouse, Green Rail, Purple Rail, Black Rail, Orange Rail, March Brown, Hare's Ear, silver-tinselled body Black Rail, and Orange and Grouse with a sprig of Guinea Fowl or Green Parrot in wing.

The tackle for the coarse fish is of the ordinary character.

At the foot of Lough Derg stands Killaloe, an ideal resting place for an angler. The cathedral is of some interest, and in the vicinity the Protestant Bishop's palace stands. The bridge connecting the town with the village of Ballina has thirteen arches, and the huge weir helps as a breakwater. Shortly above the bridge of old time stood Kincora, the fortified palace of Brian Boru; its glory has departed, and all that remains is a mound, crowned with a grove of trees. Here Brian of the Tribes held his sway; and still the peasant in Munster, wishing to express his welcome, says in Gaelic—"Were mine the boire of the Dane or the wine[Pg 59] of Kincora, it would be poured for you." Here it was that the Norse King, Magnus, wintered early in the twelfth century, and found a wife for his son, Sigurd, in the house of Brian. M'Laig, the bard of Brian Boru, after the death of his king in 1014, made a lamentation, which Mangan thus translated:—

"Oh! where Kincora is Brian the Great?
And where is the beauty that once was thine?
Oh! where are the princes and nobles that sate
At the feast in thy halls, and drank the red wine?
Where! oh, Kincora.
They are gone, those heroes of royal birth,
Who plundered no church and broke no trust,
It is weary for me to be living on earth,
When they, oh, Kincora, are below in the dust.
Lo, of Kincora."

From Killaloe, northwards for twenty-five miles, Lough Derg at times expands in width over eight miles, where its distant shores form a sky line—hedged in with Tipperary and Clare Mountains. The lough loses none of its picturesque attractiveness to the sportsman, who is informed that the whole of the fishing is free.

From Limerick as centre, as we have said, tours may be made into North Kerry.

To the average tourist North Kerry is a terra incognita, and yet from the pleasant pasture lands around "Sweet Adare" in Limerick to where the distant mountain of Caherconree sees his regal head reflected in the sea—there lies a beautiful land. Beyond Patrickswell, on the Maigue, is the little village of Adare, once the camping ground and stronghold of "those very great scorners of death," the Desmond Geraldines. Still the ruins of Desmond Castle, and of three abbeys, tell the tale that here once, beside a citadel of strength, were places of religion and refuge. Now, in the depth of the retreat of sylvan splendour, the Earl of Dunraven has his noble mansion.[1] At Adare, as well as at[Pg 60] Ballingrane, six miles away, still are many evidences of the Palatine plantations, which were effected here in the eighteenth century. In 1709 a fleet was sent to Rotterdam by Queen Anne, and brought to England some 7,000 refugees from the German Palatinate. Of these, over 3,000 were settled in this part of the County Limerick. They were allowed eight acres of land for each man, woman, and child, at 5s. per acre; and the Government engaged to pay their rent for twenty years, and supplied every man with a musket to protect himself. Industrious and frugal, the exiles throve in the land of their adoption; many of them emigrated to America, and only a comparatively small number of families still remain. These, however, preserve, besides the names, many of the characteristics of their predecessors[Pg 62][Pg 61]—as Dr. R. T. Mitchell, Inspector of Registration in Ireland, testifies in his survey of this very district:—"Differing originally in language, though even the oldest of the present generation know nothing of the German tongue spoken or written, as well as in race and religion, from the natives amongst whom they were planted, these Palatines still cling together like the members of a clan, and worship together. Most of them have a distinctly foreign type of features, and are strongly built, swarthy in complexion, dark haired, and brown eyed. The comfortable houses built in 1709 are in ruins now. The original square of Court Matrix in the ruined wall can be traced, and also, in the very centre of this square the foundations of the little Meeting House in which John Wesley occasionally preached to them in the interval, 1750-1765. Modern houses stand there now, but not closely grouped together. They are all comfortable in appearance, some thatched, some slated, some with one story, others with two; nearly all have a neat little flower garden in front, and very many have an orchard beside or immediately behind the house. There is all the appearance of thrift and industry among them." From Ballingrane, a branch line passing Askeaton, with its ruined Castle and Abbey ruins, to Foynes, a good harbour, from which passage can be made to Kilrush, and thence per rail to Kilkee. From the junction the main line runs by Rathkeale and Newcastle, where there is a ruined castle of the Knights Templars, and by Abbeyfeale and Kilmorna, where Mr. Pierce Mahony bred and kept his stud of famous Kerry cattle, to Listowel, an old market town which figured in the Desmond rebellion.

Adare Abbey

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Adare Abbey, Croom.

Adare Manor

Photo— Lawrence, Dublin.

Adare Manor.

From Listowel the Lartigue railway, unique in the British Isles, runs to Ballybunion, a beautiful watering place, remarkable for its sea-caves and old castle. Ardfert is remarkable for its ruined Abbey and Cathedral, both dedicated to St. Brendon, the story of whose voyage to the New World was one of the subjects[Pg 66][Pg 65][Pg 64][Pg 63] mentioned at the court of Ferdinand and Isabella by Columbus, when inducing them to assist him in his mission of discovery. Tralee is the largest town in the Kingdom of Kerry. It is one of the most thriving towns in the south of Ireland, and is situated in the vicinity of marine and mountain scenery. Those interested in the revival of industry in Ireland will do well to visit the Kerry Knitting Co.'s Factory, as well as the fine bacon-curing establishment of the Wholesale Co-operative Society which has been erected under the management of the well known Mr. Joseph Prosser. At Spa and Fenit there is good sea-bathing, and on the Dingle Promontory the ascent of Mount Brandon may be made. From Dingle excursions can easily be taken to Slea Head, by Ventry, and under the Eagles' Mountain, and within sight of the Blasket Islands. Smerwick has in its neighbourhood a coast line of mighty cliffs, the most remarkable of which is called the Three Sisters. Smerwick was the scene of the massacre of seven hundred Spaniards, who had surrendered in the sixteenth century to Lord Deputy Grey's forces. The bloody affair is the blackest stain in the careers of the gallant Raleigh and the gentle Spenser. Between Smerwick and Ballydavid Head the well preserved remains of the Oratory of Gallerius may be seen.

Lartique Railway

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lartique Railway, Ballybunion.

At Ballybunion

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Ballybunion.

At Ballybunion

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Ballybunion.

For information as to Sport to be had in the Limerick District, see end of this volume, where particulars are given as to Golf, Fishing, Shooting, Cycling, &c.[Pg 67]

Chapter header

The Shannon Lakes.


The Shannon Development Company run during the season a service of steamers between Killaloe and Dromod (county Leitrim). The whole of the journey from Killaloe to Dromod—about one hundred miles—is interesting and full of variety, the shores and lakes of the lordly river presenting an ever-changing panorama of beautiful scenes. About Killaloe the views are very fine. The mountains of Clare and Tipperary shadow the town on either side, and away to the north for twenty-three miles stretches Lough Derg. Going up the lake, the first stopping place is at Scariff, which overlooks the beautiful Inniscattery or Holy Island. The reach from here to Portumna is crowded with islands, and on both shores are ruined castles and finely wooded demesnes. Dromineer, on the opposite bank, four and a quarter miles from Nenagh, is the next station. Nearly opposite Portumna, with its ruined and blackened castle, are the ruins of the monastery of Tirdaglass.

Sailing on the Shannon


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Kincora, Killaloe.

Shannon Steamer

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Shannon Steamer.

The ancient city of Portumna was once the chief pass and means of communication between Connaught and North Munster. Between Portumna, at the head of[Pg 72][Pg 71][Pg 70][Pg 69][Pg 68] Lough Derg and Banagher, are the rich meadow lands of Galway, along which the river winds tranquilly, passing beautifully wooded islands; its banks green with rich, low-lying pastures. A few miles from Shannon Bridge is Clonmacnoise, over which hang many ancient memories of learning, of wars, and of worship. Near Athlone is a point in the river where the Counties of Westmeath, Roscommon, and King's County meet, and the waters of Lough Ree wash the shores of County Roscommon on the one side and of Westmeath and Longford on the other. Lough Ree is but little known to the tourist; and yet this lake, with its rocky shores full of indentations, and its shoals of sparkling islands, is one of the loveliest in Ireland. King John's Castle, on the Roscommon side of the lake, is a magnificent Norman ruin, and the town of Roscommon—which is not far from the brink of the lake—also contains the remains of a fine castle and of a Dominican Friary. The castle, which is flanked by four towers of massive masonry, was built in the thirteenth century by Sir Robert de Ufford, and afterwards suffered many changes of fortune; it is now the property of The O'Conor Don. The abbey is chiefly interesting as containing the sculptured tomb of Phelim Cathal O'Connor.

Lough Ree

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lough Ree, Shannon Lakes.

Circular tourist tickets for one day trips are issued by the Railway Company. Details will be seen on summer time tables.[Pg 73]

Chapter header

Cork and District.


Map of Cork City
Map of Cork City.

Enshrined in song and saga, set in the beautiful valley of a romantic river, Cork is one of the pleasantest places within the four shores of "the most distressful country." It is the capital of the rich Province of Munster, "the wheat of Ireland," says a Gaelic proverb, and while it preserves the characteristics of an old Irish town, here, too, the traveller, familiar with the quaint cities of the Continent, will meet with much that is suggestive of foreign scenes.

Map of Environs of Cork
Map of Environs of Cork.

Cork sits snugly at the foot of, and leans her back up against, high hills that shelter her from the north, and the breeze that blows up from the sea is fresh and mildly bracing. From a height to the north overlooking the city a bird's-eye view can be had of the entire surroundings, and of what the poet Spenser called—

"The pleasant Lee, that like an island fayre
Encloseth Cork in his divided flood."

Away to the west the eye can easily trace the river, winding with haste to the sea, through the barony of Muskerry, "the fair country," from its fountain home over the hills and far away.[Pg 74]


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Patrick-street, Cork.

[Pg 75]

More than halfway along the Mardyke Walk there is a sidepath leading down to a ferry across the Lee. Here a good view may be had of the river looking towards the city, with Sunday's Well, Blair's Castle, and Shandon standing high on the hill.

The history of the foundation of Cork City, and its progress through the centuries, is well authenticated. Towards the close of the sixth century, the place was founded by Lochan, son of Amirgin, the great smith to Tiernach M'Hugh, the proud chief of the O'Mahonys. Lochan has since come to be called St. Finbarr. His feast day is a retrenched holiday in the diocese of Cork, and his patron day is kept by the peasantry at the shrine of Gougane Barra, by the cradle of the river Lee. The Irish name, Cork, signifies that the locality was a[Pg 76] marsh, and in the life of its founder it is described as a "land of many waters."

The Marina

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

The Marina, Cork.

For less than three hundred years the little city throve, and then came the Sea Rovers, hungry for spoil. In 820 they burned down Cork, carrying away as pillage the silver coffin wherein St. Finbarr was buried. Shortly afterwards they returned, and seized on the marshes lying beneath Gill Abbey Rock, fortified them, and founded another little city—but their own. There they sang their "Mass of the Lances; it began at the rising of the sun," and, as the Four Masters assure us, "wheresoever they marched they were escorted by fire."

But in time the Rovers were absorbed, and race hatreds died out. They paid tribute to the MacCarthys, and were married and given in marriage to the Irish. Merovingian Kings came to buy and sell in Cork, and the Sagas of the North tell of many a hardy Norseman who fell captive to the maidens of Munster. To this day the Danish blood moulds the nature of many in Cork, and among the men especially the passionate affection for the sea is a characteristic. When the Normans invaded Ireland they found Cork a Danish fortress. They broke the power of the Danes in a sea fight, and won over the allegiance of MacCarthy, the old King of Cork, through the wiles of a woman. The strangers had not been long in the city when they, like the Danes before them, were absorbed, and became more Irish than the Irish themselves. As their island city grew in opulence, they began to assert an independence similar to the free cities of the Continent. A historical writer of repute points out that they were practically independent of external authority. Their edicts had nearly the force of laws. They levied taxes, and regulated commerce. They judged, pilloried, and hanged offenders. To suit themselves they modified the English laws of property. They set up a mint of their own, and their money had to be declared by the English Parliament to be "utterly damned."[Pg 77]

Their audacity can be imagined from the part they played in Perkin Warbeck's rebellion of 1492. They decked him out "with some clothes of silk," and John Walters, the Mayor, insisting that the poor Fleming was son to the Duke of Clarence, demanded that the Lord Deputy should declare him King. Failing in this a number of Cork merchants sent him to France, where they duped the King, and induced the Duchess of Burgundy to give them armament and money. They then sailed for Kent, and having landed there, proclaimed their foundling "Richard the Fourth, King of England and Lord of Ireland." But the sequel of all this bravura behaviour was not so happy, as Warbeck and Walters lost their heads, and Cork lost its charter.

In 1847 the city suffered fearfully from the ravages of famine and famine fever. The failure of the potato crop drove the unfortunate, hunger-stricken peasantry into the city for sustenance; and it has been estimated that upwards of a million of people emigrated in these unhappy years through the port of Cork. During the Fenian movement, 1865-67, Cork was a hotbed of treason, and more prisoners were sentenced from there than from all the other parts of Ireland put together. Thus, in the nineteenth century, the name of "Rebel Cork," which was earned so far back as the time of Perkin Warbeck, was still deserved.

The manners of the people, gentle and simple, rich and poor, are perfect. There is, perhaps, too often a tendency to adopt your view of anything or everything with the most accommodating agreeableness. This is very pleasant, if not always sincere, but in this respect a thing never to be forgotten is that Cork is only a few miles from Blarney, and

"There is a stone there, whoever kisses,
Oh! he never misses to grow eloquent.
'Tis he may clamber to a lady's chamber,
[Pg 78]Or become a Member of Parliament.

A clever spouter, he'll sure turn out, or
An 'out-an'-outer' to be let alone;
Don't hope to hinder him, or to bewilder him,
Sure he's a pilgrim from the Blarney Stone."

Thackeray, like many another man before his time and since, has paid tribute to the loveliness of the girls of Cork. There is a graceful charm about them before which the most inveterate bachelor succumbs. The accents of the Siren singers were never so insinuating and caressing as the Munster brogue as it slips off the tongue of a gentlewoman. Blue eyes predominate, but are excelled in lustre by what Froude has been pleased to call "the cold grey eyes of the dark Celt of the south of Ireland." Edmund Spencer, when he was not busy "undertaking" Rapparees, or smoking Raleigh's fragrant weed—"than which there is no more fair herb under the broad canopy of heaven"—wooed and won and wedded a fair woman of Cork; not of the city, though, but of the county. She was a country lass, as he is at pains to point out to the Shandon belles who fain would vie with her:—

"Tell me, ye merchant daughters, did ye see
So fayre a creature in your town before?
Her goodlie eyes, like sapphyres shining bright;
Her forehead, ivory white;
Her lips like cherries charming men to byte."

There is nothing of peculiar interest about the streets of Cork but their number, their narrowness, and the irregularity of the houses. St. Patrick's-street, which is the principal thoroughfare, has many handsome shops, and winds its way in three curves through the city.

From the "Dyke," as it is locally known, through the "Band Field"—the baby park of Cork—we can cross to an entrance to the Queen's College on the Western-road. The College itself is a handsome building of white Cork limestone, in the later Tudor style, forming three sides of a quadrangle, and consisting of lecture-rooms, museum, examination hall, &c. It is built in[Pg 79] the centre of well-laid pleasure grounds, which are open to the public, and which formerly were the site of St. Finbarr's old monastery. During the session proper, practically from November to June, visitors will not be admitted through the building without an official order, which may be had at the Registrar's office.

Queen's College

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Queen's College, Cork.

During the vacation the steward or assistant officials are in attendance to conduct visitors. The large palm-house is one of the most successful in Ireland, and the Crawford Observatory will repay a visit. The grounds were laid out under the personal supervision of the late president, Dr. W. K. Sullivan, a distinguished scientist. While at the south side of the[Pg 80] city, St. Finbarr's Cathedral[2] (Church of Ireland), eastward from the College, should be seen. It is a very dignified design of the French Early Pointed style. The nave, aisles, and transepts are grouped under three lofty towers with spires.

St. Finbarr's Cathedral

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

St. Finbarr's Cathedral, Cork.

[Pg 81]

From the foot of the street a few minutes' walk will bring us under the old bi-coloured steeple, which contains the famous Shandon Bells. The church was built in 1772. The steeple is unique, inasmuch as the southern and western sides are of white limestone, and the northern and eastern red sandstone—

"Parti-coloured, like Cork people,
Red and white, stands Shandon steeple."

But the "Bells" are the chief attraction, and the quaint inscriptions on them amuse the curious. In the stillness of a summer night their sweet chimes sound with peculiar cadence across the waters which encircle the old city of the Lee. The charter song of Cork is:—


With deep affection and recollection
I often think of the Shandon bells—
Whose sounds so wild would, in days of childhood,
Fling round my cradle their magic spells;
On this I ponder, where'er I wander,
And thus grow fonder, sweet Cork, of thee;
With thy bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
[Pg 82]The pleasant waters of the river Lee.

I have heard bells chiming full many a clime in,
Tolling sublime in cathedral shrine;
While at a glib rate brass tongues would vibrate,
But all their music spoke nought to thine;
For memory dwelling on each proud swelling
Of thy belfry knelling its bold notes free,
Made the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters of the river Lee.

Shandon Church

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Shandon Church, Cork.

[Pg 83]

Francis Sylvester Mahony, author of this ballad, known in the world of literature as "Father Prout," was born in Cork in 1804. He was educated for the priesthood, but spent the best years of his life in London, as a magazine writer.

Further north than Shandon is St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, an ample piece of architecture, not particularly attractive. Coming down the hill towards the city on Pope's-quay, St. Mary's Dominican Church may be seen. It is a very beautiful church, of the composite style of architecture. The Grecian portico is remarkable for the gracefulness and justness of its proportions, and is very much admired. It is, perhaps, the most chaste building of its kind in the kingdom.

Besides the churches and public buildings already enumerated, the Courthouse and the Municipal Schools of Science and Art should be seen. The Courthouse is in Great George-street. In a recent fire there many valuable records were destroyed. Courthouses seem to be ill-fated in Cork. The old Courthouse fell during the trial for treason in the Penal days of the Catholic Bishop of Cork. The present Courthouse was burnt on Good Friday, 1891.

The punning, duel-fighting, hanging judge, Lord Norbury, of whom the country people still say, "He'd hang a man as soon as knock the head off a rush," often dispensed with an escort in the most exciting times, and rode here on circuit with a brace of pistols at his saddle-bow. But he was a man of uncommon determination. Once, when his acts were unusually unjudicial, he was reprimanded from Dublin Castle and threatened with compulsory retirement. He rode instanter to Dublin, and never stopped until he drew rein at the Castle gate. He demanded to see the Lord Lieutenant, but the then Viceroy, Lord Talbot, was in England. He was ushered into the presence of a courteous official, who was a little astonished to be authoritatively asked, "Who are you?" "I, sir," said the Under Secretary,[Pg 85][Pg 84] whom he addressed, "am Mr. Gregory." "Then you be d——d, and don't Sir me," said his Lordship. "Fifty-two years ago I began life at the Irish Bar with fifty guineas and a case of pistols. Here it is! I have fought my way to preferment. Within a few months I expect a letter of an unpleasant character from the Castle. Tell the writer he may take his choice of these, and send me his second." History does not record whether "the letter of an unpleasant character" was ever written.

Cork Exhibition

Photo—Guy and Co., Dublin.

Cork Exhibition.

The Municipal Buildings of Science and Art in Emmet-place can bear comparison with those of any town of the same size in Great Britain or Ireland. The sculpture and picture galleries are open to visitors. The splendid collection of casts from the antiques in the Vatican Gallery were executed under the superintendence of Canova, and sent by Pope Pius VII. to George IV. The ship which carried them by long sea from Italy put into Cork, and was there detained for harbour dues. The King, instead of paying, transferred the Papal gift to the Cork Society of Arts.

A paltry exhibit of coins, antiquities, and fossils forms the Museum. Although Cork County has been one of the richest in Ireland in "finds" of gold and metal work of the ancient Irish, they are absolutely unrepresented.


The county of Cork is the largest shire in Ireland. The pleasure seeker, the artist, the antiquary, the sportsman, the invalid, will each find within its broad barriers much to meet his wants. Sir Walter Scott is credited with the statement that the history of this single county contains more romance than the[Pg 86] history of the lowlands and highlands of his own dear land of the mountain and the flood.

The surface of the county Cork is as diversified as the people. In some places, such as Kilworth, Mushera, and Ballyhoura, the elevation is considerable, elsewhere it sinks to a low-lying plain, such as at Kilcrea, where the bog is that tradition says saw the last wolf in Ireland killed, and Imokilly, where the sea is yearly eating into the lowlands. The county is watered by no less than twenty rivers of importance.

Making the city the headquarters for a few days, there are many places of interest in the vicinity which may with ease be visited. The excellent tram system may be availed of by visitors to the sights in its immediate vicinity. A drive by Douglas and Vernamount can be recommended. Douglas was an old town, famous for its manufacture of sail cloth, and in recent years a village providence in the person of the late Mr. John Morrogh has resuscitated industry in the district by the establishment of a splendidly equipped tweed factory. With a fine day and a good "outside jaunting-car" to travel the five miles' drive to Blarney Castle will be found most enjoyable. The famous stone, which no one should miss kissing, is set in the parapet wall. The word "Blarney," meaning pleasant "deluderin' talk," is said to have originated at the Court of Queen Elizabeth. MacCarthy, the then chieftain over the clan of that name, resided at Blarney, and was repeatedly asked to come in from "off his keeping," as the phrase in the State Papers goes, to abjure the system of Tanistry by which the clan elected the chief, and take tenure of his lands direct from the Crown. He was always promising with fair words and soft speech to do what was desired, but never could be got to come to the sticking point. The Queen, it is told, when one of his speeches was brought to her, said, "This is all Blarney; what he says he never means."[Pg 87]

By the Great Southern and Western Railway the castle can also be reached. By this route a good stretch of the Upper Lee is seen, with Carrigrohane Castle, which belonged to the M'Sweeneys, beetling high on a rock, and the line runs through the picturesque valley of the Sournagh, which may be likened to a Swiss ravine. All the remains of the former greatness of Blarney consists of the ruins of two mansions, one of the fifteenth century, and the other of the Elizabethan period. In its time the place was one of considerable strength, and was erected by Cormac MacCarthy Laider, or the Strong-handed chief of his name. Most of the outworks and defences are gone. The old square keep, ivy-crowned, rises from a huge limestone rock, around which the Coomaun or crooked river winds. The[Pg 88] Castle is over 120 feet high; the great staircase at the right-hand side leads through the entire building, here and there small vaulted chambers being set in the massive walls, which are in places nine feet thick. The arched room, of which the projecting window with three lights overlooks the streamlet below, is known as the Earl's Chamber. The last fight in which Blarney Castle figured, was that in which the Confederates held out for King Charles in 1642. It fell before the superior ordnance of Cromwell's commander, Ireton. It was never afterwards used for a dwelling-house, being almost completely dismantled. From the summit of the Castle a good view of the surrounding country can be had. To the west lies Muskerry, with what Ruskin calls "the would-be hills" rising towards Mushera Mountain. To the north is St. Ann's Hydropathic Establishment, on a gentle slope, surrounded by well-wooded parks. In the village beneath is the well-known Blarney Tweed Factory of Messrs. Martin Mahony Brothers, through which visitors may be shown when convenient to the courteous proprietors. The "Rock Close," which is at the foot of the Castle at the southern side, is one beautiful jungle of foliage, in which myrtle, ivy, and arbutus intertwine with the rowan tree and the silver hazel.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle.

If we have gone to Blarney on the "outside jaunting-car," the return journey may be made by Bawnafinny, Kerry Pike, and the Sournagh Valley, and Northern Lee road. Beneath Bawnafinny, "the pastures of beauty," we get a glimpse of Blarney Lake, a broad sheet of water bordered with tall trees, above which the old Castle raises its head. It would gladden the heart of Izaak Walton, as it is full of fish, among which is the famous gillaroo trout, which will not rise to the tantalising fly. The peasantry have a legend, that within the lake lies hidden the treasure and plate of the last of the MacCarthys, who hid them there sooner than allow his conquerors to gain possession of it. The secret is said to be known to three of the old family, and[Pg 89] before one dies he tells it to the other, so that it may be recovered when the MacCarthy "comes to his own again." The milk girls also on May mornings are said to have frequently seen fairy cows along the banks of the lake, which vanish into thin mists when approached by human footsteps!

Blackrock Castle

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Blackrock Castle, Cork.

Ballincollig is a place of some interest. The powder mill is a long-established factory, and gives considerable employment in the neighbourhood. The large cavalry barracks is amongst the finest in the south of Ireland.

Blackrock is little better than a fishing village; but the suburbs between it and Cork are filled with villa residences, pleasure grounds, and market gardens.[Pg 90] Beside the road, between the city and the village, are situated the well-known nursery gardens belong to Hartland. The daffodil farm, when the flowers are full, is a sight very difficult to surpass in the three Kingdoms. Maxwellstown House, on the slope of a southern hill, was the scene of a tragedy, not yet forgotten in Cork. After a marriage dejeuner, the bride retired to her dressing-room to don her going-away dress, but the bridegroom waited in vain for her return. She had died suddenly in the arms of those who attended her; and the story goes that the disconsolate lover dismissed the servants, shut up the house with everything just as it was, and went on his way out into the wide world alone. Long years afterwards, when news of his death came from a far-off land, his next-of-kin had the house re-opened, and found everything just as it had been left half a century before, after the wedding breakfast. The dust and cobwebs were cleared away, and all went to the hammer.

Eastward, towards the harbour's mouth, there is much to be enjoyed. Excursionists may take the train direct from the Great Southern and Western Railway terminus, or by Passage from the Albert Station, and then by steamer to Queenstown. Taking the direct line the train runs almost parallel with the promenade called the Marina, which separates from the river side the broad pasture known as Cork Park, which is the local race course. A race meeting at Cork is well worth witnessing. The gay young bucks, described long ago by Arthur Young, still are with us, and they and their lady friends make a fine flutter during race week.

Queenstown Harbour

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Queenstown Harbour.

Passage (West) was once the busy site of ship-building and dock-yards, but the industry is no longer of anything like its original proportions. The town is an old-fashioned place, and has not escaped the pen of Father Prout, who, in what he calls "manifestly an imitation of that unrivalled dithyramb," The Groves of[Pg 92][Pg 91] Blarney—with little of its humours and all its absurdity—signs the attractions of what he styles a fashionable Irish watering-place:—

"The town of Passage
Is both large and spacious,
And situate
Upon the say;
'Tis nate and dacent,
And quite adjacent
To come from Cork
On a summer's day."

Steamers ply between the railway station at Passage and the many little towns around the port. Glenbrook and Monkstown are particularly picturesque. Above the latter, nestling in the trees, may be seen Monkstown Castle, the legend attached to which says it was built for one groat. The owner of the site, one of the Archdeckens, an Anglo-Irish family, having gone away to the wars in the Lowlands, his better-half promised him a pleasant surprise on his return. She employed a number of workmen to build the castle, a condition of the contract being that they should buy their food from her while so engaged. Truly, she was a shrewd woman. Her profits were such, that she had enough to pay the entire cost of the work, less one solitary groat.

Spike Island is mentioned in Church History as a present given by a Munster King to St. Cartach, of Lismore. In modern times it was used as a convict prison, the convicts' labour being employed in the construction of the fortifications around the harbour.

Queenstown, or, to give it its old Irish name, Cove, is built upon an island. It is the paradise of naval pensioners, and the home of all nationalities, yet Irish is still a spoken tongue not a mile away, behind "Spy Hill." The magnificent Cathedral to St. Colman, the patron Saint of Cloyne, occupies a commanding position over the harbour. It is in the later florid Gothic[Pg 93] architecture, and within one of its transepts is buried the celebrated Dr. Coppinger, a learned writer and member of the most famous and enduring of the Danish families to whom Ireland became a native land. In an old graveyard on the island, Charles Wolfe, the writer of the elegy on Sir John Moore, and Tobin, the dramatist, are buried. The panorama from Spy Hill embraces the enchanting river and the wide harbour, which is capable of holding all the ships in the British Navy within the line drawn from the two forts, Camden and Carlisle, which guard the entrance. Of Queenstown, the Dublin Health Record says:—"The climate is remarkably mild and equable, and, at the same time, fairly dry and tonic, and is especially suitable as a winter and spring residence for persons with delicate chests, to sufferers from chronic catarrhal throat affections, and to convalescents from acute diseases. It is particularly appropriate as a seaside resort to persons requiring a soothing and sedative atmosphere. From the position of Queenstown, winds from the colder points are very little felt, and it is completely protected from the north, north-east, and north-west winds. The mean temperatures of the seasons are exactly similar to those at Torquay, the noted winter health resort in the south of England, and higher than those of Bournemouth, Hastings, and Ventnor. As a winter health resort, Queenstown possesses all the best natural and climatic advantages."

The beach presents the most varied and motley sights to be seen anywhere in northern Europe. Merchant seamen from every port of the world congregate here; military and man-of-war sailors are ever present, pleasure-seeking yachtsmen, pilots and fishers mix with the melancholy groups of emigrants, or the irrepressible vendors of impossible wares. Beyond in the blue waters, His Majesty's flagship rides at anchor, one or more of the "ocean greyhounds," with dead slow engines, are steaming out between the forts; tenders,[Pg 94] whale-boats, small steamers, tugs, and every craft that sails the sea, down to the familiar Munster "hooker," are hurrying to ports far and near, or lying "idle as painted ships upon a painted ocean." Most of the Atlantic liners have offices here. Tenders convey the mails from the deep-water quays at the Great Southern and Western terminus out to the steamers, which usually ride in the fair way by the harbour's mouth. Queenstown is the principal port through which the emigrants leave Ireland. Young and old, when the "emigration fever" is rife, the tides of people may be seen flowing oceanwards. Sometimes they have a little money, and are going to better themselves; but most usually they are going out penniless to relatives abroad, or "just trusting in God." Not an unfrequent sight is to see bare-footed peasant children waiting for their turn to cross the gangway which leads to the New World. Perhaps they have nothing with them but "a pot of shamrock," or a little mountain thrush or orange-billed blackbird, in a wicker cage, to make friends with "beyant the herring-pond." It is very curious, but very Irish, that they do not at all seem to want the sympathy that is lavished upon them by the onlookers. When they are leaving their native place, the "neighbours" hold an "American wake," and in the morning, with heartrending embraces and wild caioning, give them the last "Bannact Dea Leat"—"God's blessing be on your way"; but when they come to Cove, the sorrow is smothered; they are buoyed up by that trusting faith in the future which is the first fibre in the Irish nature. They may look melancholy to us, but they themselves make merry, and before the "big ship" is but on the "Old Sea," as the Atlantic is called, the girls and young men are slipping through rollicking reels to improvised music "to show their heart's deep sorrow they are scorning." Perhaps, as the Gaelic proverb expresses it, "'Tis the heavy heart that has the lightest foot." But a truce to[Pg 95] trouble. They tell a story of an emigrant and a grand trunk merchant at Queenstown which shows alike the hapless condition and happy-go-lucky heart of the Irishman. "Pat," said the merchant, "you're going to travel; will you buy a trunk?" "A trunk," answered Pat, "an' for what, yerra?" "To put your clothes in, of course." "And meself go naked, is it? Och! lave off your gladiatoring; sure it's took up I'd be if I did that!"

Crosshaven and Aghada, two watering places inside the harbour, are within easy reach of Cove by steamer, which calls at Currabinny Pier. The Owenabwee[3] river runs between Currabinny and Crosshaven; it is a beautiful, well-wooded stream which has been celebrated in a plaintive-aired Jacobite ballad, the "Lament of the Irish Maiden."

"On Carrigdhoun the heath is brown,
The clouds are dark on Ardnalee,
And many a stream comes rushing down
To swell the angry Owenabwee.
The moaning blast is whistling fast
Through many a leafless tree,
But I'm alone, for he is gone,
My hawk is flown, ochone machree."

A few hundred yards from Crosshaven river there is a fiord of the Owenabwee, known as Drake's Pool. Here the great soldier-sailor, Sir Francis Drake, with his five little sloops, hid in 1587 from a formidable Spanish fleet. The Spaniards entered the harbour, but failing to find their quarry, put to sea again in high dudgeon.

Near Aghada, at the other side of the harbour, is Rostellan Castle, formerly the residence of the Lords of Thomond. Cloyne is only four miles' drive "on the long car" through a rich countryside, and on the way may be seen a Druidical cromlech, at Castlemartyr, in a very fair state of preservation. Cloyne Round Tower "points its long fingers to the sky" above the ancient[Pg 97][Pg 96] church wherein there is a fine alabaster statue of the metaphysician, Dr. Berkeley, who was Bishop of Cloyne. Ballycotton is seven miles from Cloyne. The cliffs here are high and wild, and Youghal, shining white in the sun in summer weather, can be easily seen at the mouth of the far-famed Blackwater. There are modern hotels and moderate lodgings at Ballycotton. In the season splendid deep-sea fishing can be had in the vicinity, and the opportunities of sea-bathing are enticing.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


For information as to Sport to be had in the Cork District, see end of this volume, where particulars are given as to Golf, Fishing, Shooting, Cycling, &c.

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[Pg 98]

Chapter header

The River Blackwater, Youghal, Etc.

Edmund Spenser spent most of his time in Cork County, at Kilcoleman Castle in the vicinity of Buttevant. The place was well chosen as the house of a poet. The surrounding country is very beautiful, and every mountain and glen has its story.

The town of Buttevant took its name from the battle-cry of the Barrymores—"Boutez-en-avant," "push forward." The ruins of the beautiful Abbey remain. At the time of the supervision of monasteries it was described as "a nest of abbots." Buttevant is the railway station for Doneraile, and hard by is Cahirmee, where the greatest horse fair in the British Isles is annually held. The fair lasts for two days. It is held about midsummer, and attracts buyers not only from all parts of these countries, but from as far away as Vienna and Stockholm. Spenser pays tribute to the beautiful Blackwater which flows through Mallow to Youghal—

"Swift Annsduff, which of the English is called Blackwater."

Far away in the highland country between Cork and Kerry the stream rises, and comes floating and pushing[Pg 99] down from the haunt of the fairies and the outlaw, through the wild country of Meelin. Here is a remarkable cave, the hiding place of Donald O'Keeffe, last of the old chiefs of the land of Duhallow, who was outlawed after the fall of the Jacobites.

In the Woods at Buttevant

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

In the Woods at Buttevant.

The river flows through Newmarket, the birthplace of Curran, and Kanturk, the birthplace of Barry Yelverton, to Mallow which is the centre of the lines of railway radiating into Kerry, Fermoy, and Lismore, as well as to Cork city. The town is very beautifully situated. In the distance are the Kilworth mountains, which seem afar off to join the ample deer-park at Mallow Castle. It was once one of the liveliest and most fashionable resorts in Ireland, but its famous spas, to which gentlewomen and gallants came in the last [Pg 100]century, are now unfrequented and almost forgotten. When abductions, duelling, and such pastimes were in vogue, "The Rakes of Mallow" were in their heyday. As Lysaght sang:—

"Beauing, belleing, dancing, drinking,
Breaking windows, damning, sinking,
Ever raking, never thinking,
Live the rakes of Mallow.

Spending faster than it comes,
Beating waiters, bailiffs, duns,
Bacchus' true-begotten sons,
Live the rakes of Mallow.

Living short, but merry lives.
Going where the devil drives:
Having sweethearts, but no wives,
Live the rakes of Mallow."

Mallow Castle

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Mallow Castle.

[Pg 101]

The Blackwater flows past Mallow through a rich country surrounded by soft-breasted hills and well-planted lawns, to Fermoy, a garrison town of importance, from which Mitchelstown, eleven miles away, may be reached by a light railway. The caves at Mitchelstown are described elsewhere (Waterford section). We will part the branch line here and return, via Cork, to Youghal, the point from which to become familiar with the Blackwater at its best.

Youghal, except in summer-time, when the visitors to its splendid strand enliven its appearance, is a sombre old place with an air of retired respectability. It is full of memories of other days, for here the Dane and the Christian came together; the Norman made it a walled town, and the Spaniards came into its harbour.

View on the Blackwater, Youghal

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

View on the Blackwater, Youghal.

[Pg 102]

The Clock Tower, Youghal

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

The Clock Tower, Youghal.

Sir Walter Raleigh's House

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Sir Walter Raleigh's House at Youghal.

From here Sir Walter Raleigh, its Mayor, went forth to found Virginia—and to the scaffold. It was a chartered city, and grew in wealth and importance from 1183 to 1579, when it was sacked by Gerald, sixteenth Earl of Desmond, then out "upon his keeping." Ormonde drove the Geraldines out of the town, and hanged the then Mayor outside his own door for aiding them. He[Pg 103] rebuilt its walls, and placed here a strong garrison. In 1641 it was again besieged, but held out for six weeks until relieved. In 1645, Castlehaven attacked it, but was repulsed by Broghill, fifth son of the Earl of Cork. Here, during the war with the Confederates, money was struck. On the execution of Charles I., Ormonde proclaimed his son King, but the Puritans in the town[Pg 104] revolted to Cromwell, who wintered here in 1649. In 1660, the Cavaliers and broken followers of the Geraldines captured the town, and ten days before his actual succession proclaimed Charles II. King. With varying fortunes of war, the town passed into the hands of the Jacobites and Williamites. The objects of interest, besides the picturesque attractions of the strand and beautiful bay, are very many. The Clock Tower remains where the old South Gate to the town stood. Tynte's Castle was built by Norman settlers in the fifteenth century. St. Mary's Cathedral is cruciform, consisting of nave, aisle, transepts, choir, and massive tower. In the chantry of Our Blessed Saviour, or south transept, besides the memorial to the founder and his countess, is the grotesque mausoleum, in florid, glaring Italian style, to the Earl of Cork and his family. At Boyle's feet is the kneeling figure of his first wife, Joan; at his head is that of his second, Catherine. Over the arch is his mother, Joan, and along the margin of the plinth are nine diminutive effigies—his children. The tower was evidently constructed rather as a defence than simply for a belfry. The churchyard, where there are many ancient gravestones, is the chief centre of local superstition, and here all local ghostly visitations are alleged to take place. Myrtle Grove, whilom the residence of the ill-fated Elizabethan soldier, Raleigh, is an unpretentious, ancient gabled dwelling. The interior is remarkable for its beautiful oak wainscoting.

During his sojourn in Munster, "Captain Sir Walter Raleigh" performed many deeds of dering-do, albeit some of them were far from being like Bayard's, without reproach. He was Mayor of Youghal, 1588-9; and, with Spenser, was granted the greater[Pg 105] part of the forfeited estates of the Earl of Desmond. Raleigh's grant comprised property at Youghal and along the Blackwater to Affane, already mentioned. In the garden attached to Myrtle Grove he is supposed to have planted the potato, the first planted in Ireland.

The strand at Youghal is very fine, and sea-bathers are afforded every opportunity of enjoying themselves. In summer time the watering-place is much patronized, and every year is becoming more attractive. There are good hotels, and plenty of residences and lodgings to accommodate visitors during the season. In the morning the whole fore-shore is given over to the bathers, and in the evenings it is mostly "Oh, listen to the band" along the Promenade and in the Green Park. The inroads of the sea at Claycastle are at length being successfully encountered by the Case groining system, which has been found so efficient elsewhere.

The coast-line from Youghal to Cork is indented with splendid sea cliffs, fiords, and strands. Garryvoe lies between Youghal and Ballycotton. The sea for miles along this district has been eating into the clay cliffs, and threatens to fulfil a Gaelic prophecy that it will yet reach Killeagh, a town six miles inland. Near Killeagh is a very beautiful scene of sylvan splendour, Glenbower.

The railway line runs direct from Youghal to Cork, passing the thriving market town of Midleton, the granary of Cork County, and Carrigtwohill, where there are the ruins of a Norman Castle.

A ferry from Youghal brings the passenger into Waterford County. The road above Whiting Bay leads to the fishing village of Ardmore. It was perhaps, the first place in Ireland where the light of Christianity shone, as St. Declan is generally agreed to have been a precursor of the National apostle. In the country districts surrounding, as in the fishing village itself, the language most in use is Gaelic. The round tower, said to be of later date than any other in Ireland, is unique in many respects. The Cathedral,[Pg 106] with its exquisite chancel arch and elaborate exterior arcading, will delight the antiquary and architect. Other interesting objects are the Ogham stones in its chancel, and the narrow lintelled "Bed" of St. Declan.

Strancally Castlee

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Strancally Castle, Co. Waterford.

The service of steamers from Youghal to Cappoquin up the River Blackwater depends at present mainly on the state of the tide. But despite this and other things, the scenery on the river side will well repay inconvenience. Having left the ferry behind, the first place of interest is Rhincrew (The Bloody Point), and on the wooded hill the ruins of a preceptory of the Knights Templars still remain. Higher up on the western bank of the Glendine tributary stands Temple Michael,[Pg 108][Pg 107] an old fortalice of the Geraldines, which Cromwell battered down for "dire insolence."

Blackwater River

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Blackwater River.

There is a legend which tells that the last of the Geraldines was buried at Ardmore, far from his young bride, who lost her life during the siege by the regicides. The story says, after his burial, at night his voice could be heard clearly, calling across the river, to bring him back and bury him by his own. For seven years the awe-struck peasants heard the plaintive voice calling, in the tender tongue of the Gael, "Garault, come to me,"—"Gerald, a ferry!" At last, some young men of his clan went to Ardmore and brought his dead body to Temple Michael, where his wife was buried, and henceforth his spirit no longer troubled the silent vigils of the fishermen at night.

The bend in the waterway brings one into sight of rich pastures and fine demesnes. Ballintray, "The Town of the Strand" has in its vicinity Molana Abbey, where the warrior, Raymond Le Gros, lies buried. At the broads of Clashmore, the highest water-mark to which the inflowing tide comes, one can easily imagine themselves upon an inland lake. Beyond is Strancally Castle, beetling over the river, set firmly in a foundation of crags. The local tradition carriers will gladly point out "The Murdering Hole," a natural fissure in the rocks, and here they will tell you that the departed Desmonds destroyed their guests after robbing them! Above the confluence of the Bride with the Blackwater, Villierstown and Camphire villages are passed, then the Awbeg joins its little flood, and beyond the island Dromana Ford is reached. Near is Dromana Castle, where "the old Countess of Desmond" was born. In the table-book of Robert Sydney, second Earl of Leyicester, written when Ambassador at Paris, about 1640, there is the following reference to her:—

"The old Countess of Desmond was a marryed woman in Edward IV. time of England, and lived till towards the end of Queen Elizabeth, so as she must needes be neare one hundred and forty[Pg 109] years old. She had a new sett of teeth not long afore her death, and might have lived much longer had she not mett with a kind of violent death, for she would needes climbe a nut-tree to gather nuts, so falling down she hurt her thigh, which brought a fever, and that fever brought death. This my cousin, Walter Fitzwilliam, told me. This old lady, Mr. Haniot told me, came to petition the Queen, and, landing at Bristoll, she came on foot to London, being then so old that her daughter was decrepit, and not able to come with her."

Dromana House, on the eastern branch of the river, is situated on a beautiful height, which commands the reaches of the river from Cappoquin to Youghal. At more than one point on the river there were opportunities of seeing in the distance the cloisters of Mount Melleray—"the little town of God," lonely above the mists and shadows of the hills. As we walk[Pg 110] or drive, the hillside behind the river winds its way through cliffs and well-wooded lands in front, the mountains unfold themselves range behind range. No one who has ever visited Mount Melleray will forget it or the generous Brothers. The Trappists, expelled from France in 1830, first settled on the borders of Kerry, but subsequently colonised this barren hillside, and already they have transformed it into a fine farm, containing rich pastures and thriving plantations. The monastery may be visited by gentlemen visitors, and cannot fail to prove of extraordinary interest. There are two guest houses, one for gentlemen and the other for ladies. No charge is made for their bed or board, and all creeds, classes, and nationalities are received with a caed mille failté. Every week a sermon in Irish is preached to the mountaineers.

Mount Melleray

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Mount Melleray—View from South.

Either from Melleray or Cappoquin, Lismore may be reached by car or train. It was the home of learning of old, and to-day, not only its beautiful position but historic Castle command attention. It is the birthplace of Boyle, the philosopher. Ptolemy is asserted very confidently by some authorities to have mentioned this place and its river. It is certain, however, that the place was long in existence in 631, when St. Carthage, of Rahan, fled thither. Nothing could be prettier than the appearance of the town, and it is a comfortable, well-to-do place, monopolising the trade of a large countryside. St. Machuda's Cathedral will repay inspection. The Castle is the Irish seat of the Duke of Devonshire. It was an ancient fortress, dating back to the reign of King John. It stands in a pre-eminently commanding position, over the Blackwater, and was the scene of many a hard-fought fight, especially in the wars of the Commonwealth, when Castlehaven captured it from the Roundheads. A magnificent view of the surrounding country may be had from its higher-storied windows. The public are freely admitted. From one of the high windows, it is said, when James II. was[Pg 111] asked to look, he accused the maker of the suggestion of desiring to throw him from the dizzy height.

From the Railway Station at Lismore, the most interesting object in view is the new Roman Catholic Cathedral, dedicated to St. Carthage, the founder of the See, and believed to occupy the site of his cell. Thickly surrounded by beautiful lime trees, the warm red sandstones of the walling, with the limestone dressing of the windows and doorways, forms a brilliant picture. The interior is richly furnished, and altogether the church is well worthy of a visit.

The Guest House

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

The Guest House, Mount Melleray.

[Pg 112]

Chapter header

Waterford and District.

Waterford is the port of call for most of the shipping from the West and South of England and Wales. The projected system by which steamers will run direct from Fishguard to Rosslare Harbour, whatever effect it may have upon Waterford as a port, will bring it by many hours nearer to the English markets. It is only a question of a few years until this route will be at the disposal of tourists and travellers from across the Channel. Under the Amalgamation of Railways Act of 1900, Waterford has the additional advantage of becoming a terminus of the system. With it as centre, railway services are supplied to Cork County and Lismore, to Limerick via Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel, and to Kilkenny via Kilmacow and Thomastown.


Photo—Croker, Waterford.

Waterford, from North Side of River.


Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Waterford, from North Side of River.

"The Star of the Suir"—the City of Waterford—derived its name from the Danish words, Vedr-fiord, given to it by its original founders, the hardy Norsemen. From whatever side we approach the old town, whether land or sea, the sight is equally delightful. From without, approaching by the broad waterway, the city stretches forth to meet us, with the quaint wooden bridge spanning the noble river, and the hills forming a zone behind. Surely the Danes had an eye for beauty, as for[Pg 114][Pg 113] maritime advantage, in selecting this happy spot for their fortress. In the ninth century, when the ploughers of the sea seized on the mouth of the Suir, they fortified a little delta some twenty acres in size, having the present Quay as its long side. From this little triangle the town grew, and in the last century was one of the first seaport towns in Ireland. Here, in 1171, Strongbow landed, defeated the Danes and Irish, who had confederated to repel him, and sacked the town. It is a strange historical coincidence that the Feast of St. Bartholomew was the day on which Strongbow landed and countenanced the massacre of the inhabitants. Under Raymond Le Gros the carnage was carried out, and in St. Lawrence O'Toole's address to the Irish princes at peace with the invader, which has been[Pg 115] versified by Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, it is referred to in the lines:—

"Tell me not of leagues and treaties,
Treaties sealed in faith as true
As Black Raymond's, on the bloody
Feast of St. Bartholomew."

The Quays

Photo—Croker, Waterford.

The Quays, Waterford.

King John landed here, and the town was walled in and fortified against the Irish, who hung like wolves around a fold in the outlying country. In the Revolution the town adhered to the King. It was the port most used by the Confederates, and here many of their proclamations were printed. It was the one place in Ireland which successfully resisted the all-conquering Cromwell, and hence received the name from the Cavaliers of[Pg 116] Urbs intacta. An object of historic interest which has been restored within the present century is Reginald's Tower. It was built originally by Reginald the Dane, son of Sitrius, the great Danish King of Dublin and Fingal (The Fair Strangers), whom Brian Boru defeated at Clontarf. Here, it is said, DeClair married Eva, whose fair face induced him to join his forces to her father's fallen fortunes. Maclise, in his wonderful historical picture "Bartered Away,"[4] represents the nuptials as taking place on the battlefield, dyed with the blood of the vanquished Irish. There could not have been much love in the match after all. Strongbow was scarcely dead when his young widow wrote to Raymond Le Gros that "a great tooth had fallen out," which he understood to mean that the time had arrived for him to come and make her his own, which he did. The patron saints of the diocese of Waterford and Lismore are Saint Cartach and Saint Otteran, the latter being a Dane who embraced Christianity. The Cathedral (Episcopalian) occupies the site of the old Danish Cathedral, the existence of which, together with that of Christ Church in Dublin, bears testimony to the zeal with which the Danes embraced Christianity. The Quay is the most characteristic bit of Waterford. Across the bridge, from Mount Misery or Cromwell's Rock, two points of vantage, excellent views of the surroundings can be had. The Suir, shining silvery, steals in and out among the hills and by the old town into the sea. The most interesting of the ancient monuments in Waterford is what is commonly called the "French Church," which, more correctly, is entitled "The Holy Ghost Friary." Authorities agree in assigning the date of its foundation to 1240, but its history has never been written. After the Edict of Nantes, the fugitive Huguenots formed a little colony in Waterford. The Corporation granted a salary to their minister, and they were provided with a place of worship in the choir of the old church. All[Pg 120][Pg 119][Pg 118][Pg 117] that remain of this once gorgeous pile of buildings are the ruins of the tower, Lady Chapel, chancel, and nave. The style is Early English, and the most attractive feature is the graceful three-lighted east window. The Catholic Cathedral is worth a visit. Within easy reach of the Quay is Ballybricken, the heart of the bacon industry, and the home of the best known body of pig-buyers in Ireland. These men are almost a community to themselves. They have their own traditions, and are more like an organisation which would have sprung up from a church guild centuries ago than in any way a modern trades union. Formerly Waterford was remarkable for the manufacture of beautiful cut glass, but the industry has died away. The housekeeper who possesses specimens of the art considers herself lucky indeed in her possession, as collectors are continually on the alert to procure them. In the immediate vicinity of Waterford itself there are many beauty spots and places of interest. In the suburb of Newtown stands the paternal home of Lord Roberts of Waterford and Candahar, besides whom on its roll of famous children Waterford includes the names of Charles Keane and Vincent Wallace. Portlaw, four and a half miles away, on the south bank of the Suir, was once the centre of a thriving cotton industry. Here an order may be had at the estate office to visit Curraghmore, the residence of the Marquis of Waterford. The magnificent demesne includes over four thousand acres, and Curraghmore is possessed of the best-blooded stud of hunters in Ireland.

Imperial Hotel

Photo—Croker, Waterford.

Imperial Hotel, Waterford.


Photo—Croker, Waterford.



Photo—Croker, Waterford.


Tramore, seven miles away, is reached by train in fifteen minutes. It is one of the most popular watering places in the South of Ireland, and in the height of the season it is estimated that about four thousand visitors augment the normal population of two thousand. Many of the Waterford merchants live there, and their villas and the houses of the town, rising one street above another on the side of the hill, make a pretty picture when viewed from the strand. The hotels are[Pg 122][Pg 121] numerous, the Grand Hotel can be recommended as being specially comfortable, while there are three or four other hotels where very good accommodation can be had. The lodging-house accommodation is equal to that to be obtained at any Irish seaside resort.

Evening at Tramore

Photo—Croker, Waterford.

Evening at Tramore.

In addition to capital sea and trout fishing, the visitor can enjoy the pleasures of golf and lawn-tennis, and during the summer months races are frequently held at the Tramore Flying Course, which is situated within view of the town. The views of this pleasantly situated holiday reunion will recall to many minds happy days spent by the Sounding Sea.

The Rabbit Burrow, a little further on, is a mile in length, and helps to divide the Back Strand from the spacious bay. Just before reaching this Burrow, the visitor will see a tombstone erected to the memory of those who were lost in the "Sea Horse" transport, in January, 1816, when returning from the Peninsular Campaign. No less than 362 lost their lives in this terrible disaster. At the western side of Tramore there are many places along the rock-bound coast well worth a visit. Passing along in the Newtown direction we come in view of the Ladies' Cove; here, years ago, a fishing pier was built by the Board of Works. It was swept right away one stormy night over two decades ago, and has not been replaced since. Along the Cliff Road we catch views of Gun's Cove, and the Gillameen Cove, where excellent bathing facilities, free of charge, can be availed of by the visitor.

On the western shore, twelve miles by road from Waterford, is the pretty watering place of Dunmore. It is situated at the mouth of the river Suir in a valley gently sloping to the sea, and is protected from the north winds by a wood which, in the hot summer days, is a most delightful resort for visitors. There is also a public park and tennis ground, and the facilities for bathing, particularly for gentlemen, leave nothing to be desired.[Pg 123]

Evening at Tramore

Photo—Croker, Waterford.

Evening at Tramore.


Photo—Croker, Waterford.


[Pg 124]

In the early part of the last century the place was a mail packet station for the mails to and from England. The harbour was built by the Government at a cost of about £100,000, and is at present under the control of the Board of Works. Here, in the fishing season, are boats from all parts of the Kingdom fishing for herring and mackerel, and special steamers are constantly running to and from Milford with the harvest of the sea.

There are some particularly good villas and houses which can be rented in the season, and there is a good hotel just over the harbour, while rooms are to be had on reasonable terms at many houses in the town. For persons who desire a select quiet place to spend a holiday in, it can be recommended strongly, while for those who are fond of sea-fishing or yachting no better place in Ireland can be had. Although there is no railway connection with Waterford cars run daily, the fare being only 1s. for the twelve miles.

Above the confluence of the Barrow and Suir, six and a half miles from the city, from the top of the hill over Cheekpoint (Side a fairy)—where "the river Rosse meets the river of Waterford"—a grand panorama presents itself. In the distance the mountains shoulder one another for prominence; the Comeraghs, the many peaked Galtees, and

"Sweet Slievenamon, the darling and pride,
With soft flowing bosom and brow like a bride."

This beautiful mountain owes its name, "The Hill of the Women," to a Finnian legend, which tells that Finn M'Cool promised to make his wife of whichever of the fair women of Ireland could reach its summit first, when all were started from the foot. Grainne Oge, the Gaelic Helen, of course was heroine of the day, and Finn's taking her was the origin of one of the most enthralling of the Celtic romances.

Dunmore Harbour

Photo—Croker, Waterford.

Dunmore Harbour.

Among the more interesting objects at Dunbrody are St. Catherine's Church, an old time dependency of the[Pg 126][Pg 125] Abbey, and the splendid remains of the Cistercian Monastery, rising above the meadows by which the Campile Stream flows. The monastic church in general style is Early English, and is fairly preserved. It dates from the twelfth century, and was founded by Henri de Montmorenzi, Marshal to Henry II.—the same who was killed at the Curragh.

There is a severe simplicity about its lines which gives an impression of great dignity. The crenelated Tower springs from the nave and transept. The Abbots of Dunbrody sat as Lords in Parliament, and exercised civil jurisdiction. Above Dunbrody, on the river opposite "The Little Island," where was an ancient hermitage, in a straight line is Ballinakill House, where James II. spent his last night in Ireland, on the day before that celebrated in the ballad, which tells:—

"Righ Shemus he has gone to France,
And left his crown behind,
Ill luck be their's, both day and night,
Put running in his mind."

Passage East (seven miles), now a fishing village, with spider-legged spit light, was reduced by Cromwell in 1649. The old mole still stands. At Ballyhack, across the ferry, a strong, square castle is well preserved. "New Geneva," in the vicinity, was garrisoned with Hessians during the Rebellion of '98. It is mentioned in the well-known Irish song, "The Croppy Boy." The place received its name in 1786, when a colony of Genoese exiles were established there. On the Waterford coast, from the city to where the Blackwater kisses the sea, beside a range of noble cliffs, there are many points of interest. The Tower of Hook, standing one hundred feet high, on the promontory of the same name on the Wexford side, is attributed amongst others to Reginald the Dane, Ross MacRume, the founder of New Ross, and Florence de la Hague (1172). Its circular walls are of great thickness and strength. When Strongbow[Pg 127] heard of this Tower of Hook, with Crook (Norse, Krok a nook) on the western side, he is alleged to have said "He would take Waterford by Hook or Crook," and thus originated a common saying which has come down to our own days. The Saltees, two islands off the Wexford coast, were the refuge to which Colclough and Bagnall Harvey hastened in vain after the suppression of the Rebellion in '98. Helvick Head, the name of which also betrays its Danish origin, marks the entrance to Dungarvan Bay. The line running from Waterford to Limerick Junction contains many places of interest, from which short tours may be made. As we come near to Carrick-on-Suir the castle comes into view. The present building was mainly erected by the former Earl of Ormonde, "Black Tom," as he is known in history. He was one of the many Irish gallants who found favour in the eyes of Queen Elizabeth. From Carrick, a drive of eight miles brings us to Lough Coumshinawn, a lonely tarn lying high among the Comeragh mountains, on one side of which the cliff rises perpendicularly to a height of seven hundred feet. The railway from Carrick runs through the beautiful valley of the Suir to Kilsheelan, and then passes to the left of the Knockmealdown mountains to Clonmel, the capital of the "premier county." The town is pleasantly placed in a thriving centre of local trade. It figured largely in the fights between Cromwellian and Confederate, and some of the old battlements still stand witness to its strength in bygone times. The peasantry have a tradition that a cloud will ever hang above the town since Father Sheehy's death in the last century. The tradition is hinted at in the beautiful emigrant ballad "Shameen Dhu," by Katherine Tynan:—

"Now, God watch over you, Shameen,
An' His blessed Mother Mary!
'Twas you that had the lightest heart
[Pg 128]In all sweet Tipperary—

'Twas you could sing the blackbird's song,
In dry or rainy weather:
Avic, the long-road wasn't long
Whin we thravelled it together.

Sure, scores of times in the mornin' bright
You sung this very road,
You med the mare's heart bate so light
She never felt her load;
'Twas you could lilt wid the thrush's trill,
Ah, well, avic machree!
God grant you may be singin' still
In that lonely far counthrie!"

Holy Cross Abbey

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Holy Cross Abbey at Thurles.

The name of Laurence Sterne, author of "Tristram Shandy," and of the gorgeous Countess of Blessington, are both associated with Clonmel as their birthplace. Through a mountain cut, appropriately called "The Wilderness," the railway line runs aside to Thurles. The little church of Rathronan, standing high on the hill, was the scene of the sensational Arbuthnot abduction in the last century. Those who wish for details of that unhappy love affair will find the story told in faithful words elsewhere. The demesne lands between Clonmel and Fethard are many. Fethard was an old walled town, it defied the Cromwellians, and surrendered with all the honours of war. After treaty and terms were agreed on, the Roundheads found that what they had mistaken as gaping mouths of cannon on the fortress were nothing more dangerous than innocent churns placed in positions of pretence, not defence. The bogland from Fethard to Thurles is uninteresting; the intermediate stations are Farranalleen, Laffan's Bridge, and Horse and Jockey, at which collieries are still being worked. At Thurles we meet the main line of the Great Southern and Western. Thurles, originally a Danish town and the scene of the battle between the Norsemen and Irish, afterwards became a fortalice of the Knights Templars. Here, by the bridge across the Suir, the remains of the old settlement are still to be seen. Four miles distant, standing by the banks of the river,[Pg 129] surrounded by tall trees, are the remains of the once great Cistercian Holy Cross Abbey. It was built in 1168-69 to house the relic of the True Cross sent by the Pope to Brian Boru's grandson, Donald, King of Thomond. This interesting relic, after centuries of vicissitudes, is now enshrined at the Convent of the Ursulines, in Blackrock, Cork. On the feasts of the Finding of the True Cross (May 3rd), and of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14th), and on every Friday in Lent, it is presented for public veneration. Thurles is the seat of Episcopal residence of the Archdiocese of Cashel. On the main line higher than Thurles is Templemore, founded by the Knights Templars. Between Thurles and the Limerick Junction is Goold's Cross station, six miles from Cashel. The noblest[Pg 130] evidence of the early civilization of Ireland is to be found in Cashel Of the Kings. Generally the buildings date from the early twelfth century, the Round Tower being much earlier and the Cathedral later. Cormac's Chapel was consecrated in 1134, being built by the Saint King of Munster. It is rich Norman work, comprising nave, chancel, and towers at the transepts. The doorways and chancel arch are elaborate. The Round Tower is unique when compared with the other buildings, as it is of sandstone. It is connected with the transept of the Cathedral. The pointed windows, choir, transepts, and tower are very beautiful. In the burial-ground outside is the famous Cross of Cashel, with a sculptured effigy of St. Patrick. The whole group gathered together on the massive Rock of Cashel, whose firmness[Pg 131] is a proverb in Ireland, presents an imposing array. This Cathedral was the one burnt by the Earl of Kildare in 1495, when his excuse was that he thought the Archbishop was within. Here, in 1647, a bloody tragedy fell out. Murragh-an-Theathaun, "Murrough of the Burnings," as the peasantry still call Lord Inchiquin, massacred a number of women and children, who sought sanctuary here when Cashel had fallen before his siege train. At the foot of the rock are the cruciform remains of the Abbey of the Cistercians. If, instead of diverging from Clonmel to Thurles, we continue to the Limerick Junction, we pass Cahir, a military station with an ancient Castle in excellent repair. From Cahir, tourists can drive to Cashel, to Ardfinane, or to Mitchelstown via Clogheen. The Caves at Mitchelstown may be visited from Fermoy, Lismore, or Clogheen, and if the visitor is sojourning at any of these places he should find his way to these wonderful formations. Besides the caves, Mitchelstown contains Caherderinny Castle, Kilbehiny, and Mitchelstown Castle, the residence of the Kingston family. Leaving the village of Kilbehiny we cross to Skereenarinka, "the height for dancing," and follow a narrow hilly road on the Galtee side which leads to the caves, in the townland of Coolagarranroe. The different chambers of the larger caves, of which the Kingston gallery is most beautiful, have been named: "the House of Lords," "the House of Commons," "the Cross of the Four Roads," "the Scotchman's," "O'Leary's," and "O'Callaghan's" caves, "the Altar," "the Closet," "the Cellar," and "the Garret." The smaller objects of interest within have been called: "Lot's Wife," "Mary Queen of Scots," "the Bed of Honour," "the Cat and Kittens," "the Flitch of Bacon," &c. From Clogheen to Tipperary we cross the Suir, and follow the foot of the Galtees. The surrounding country is picturesque and contains some of the finest pasture land in Ireland, being part of what is known in Munster as the "Golden Vale." Four miles away by[Pg 132] a beautiful road, through the rising-grounds, the Glen of Aherlow can be reached. The glen is richly wooded, and from Newbridge over the Aherlow river, Galteemore (3,015 feet), the highest peak of the range may be reached. Tipperary town is a good market place, and is pleasantly situated beneath Slievenamon. The only relic of its former grandeur is that of the Augustinian Friary, a foundation of Henry the Third's reign.

Rock of Cashel

Photo—Roche, Dublin.

Rock of Cashel.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


For information as to Sport to be had in the Waterford District, see end of this volume, where particulars are given as to Golf, Fishing, Shooting, Cycling, &c.

[Pg 133]

Chapter header

Killarney and Glengarriff.

Pictorial Map of Killarney District
Pictorial Map of Killarney District.

Killarney.—From Limerick Junction to Mallow, where the branch line runs into Kerry, the tourist to Killarney runs by many places of interest. Emly, now a dwindled village, was once a diocesan city. During the wars of the Commonwealth, Terence Albertus O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, was executed in Limerick by Ireton. His stole and pectoral cross are still in the possession of representatives of the family to which he belonged at Mitchelstown.

In the rich plain under the Ballyhoura hills, "the land flowing with milk," is the ancient town of Kilmallock. It was the citadel of the Earls of Desmond when they held high their crests, and every stone in the place is historical.

Two of its four gates still remain, and among the ruins, which have secured it the name of the "Baalbec of Ireland," are those of the old Dominican Priory and Abbey Church. In the former is the mutilated grave of the White Knight, a name still loathsome in the peasant's ear, and on whom the bards have let fall their choicest curses.[Pg 134]

Lough Gur is of interest to the antiquary. It is ten miles to the north, and was the centre of the Desmond country. Here of old, the Kings of Cashel kept their Grenan or "Sunny Place" for feasting. The cyclopean structure in the vicinity points to the place as being of importance in pre-historic times. From Charleville, a thriving town, runs a line of railway direct to Limerick. Buttevant and Mallow are particularly referred to elsewhere. Millstreet is the border town on the mearings of Cork and Kerry.

Beyond the bogland country outside Millstreet is the village of Cullen, where tradition says no smith has been known to thrive. Saint Lateerin, a virgin of early Christian days, near here made her recluse, and every day she walked across the bog, and took "living fire" in her kirtle from the forge to her home. The smith once remarking the prettiness of her white feet, she momentarily forgot her vow of chastity, and the fire burnt through the homespun and blistered her feet. She went back to her cell, and prayed that no smith should ever thrive in Cullen, and none has ever tried to do so!

Rathmore is on the high road to Gneeveguillia mountain, and to the north of the station, and at Christmas time, 1896, occurred the fearful débâcle of the bog, which struck terror into the simple inhabitants, and, not unnaturally, was attributed by them to super-natural causes. Two hundred acres of Bogach-na-Mine formed a landslip and rolled in a huge mass southwards, sweeping away several little farmsteads and suffocating the inhabitants and cattle. At Headford, the junction for Kenmare, the scenery is very wild, and all around

"Kerry is pushing her high headlands out
To give us the kindly greeting."

At last, after about a four hours' run, if we came by the special tourist train from Dublin, we have[Pg 136][Pg 135] completed our one hundred and eighty-six miles, and are in sight of


Boating at Killarney

the home of lakes, which has well been called "the Gem of the Western World": its magnificent mountain peaks, its green swards and gushing cascades, all surrounded with an atmosphere of romance and tradition. Outside the railway station, we are face to face with the finest hotel in the south of Ireland. Well placed, well managed, it combines all the comforts of a home with the convenience of a well-appointed hostelry. It is within easy reach of the principal points of interest.

Great Southern Hotel

Great Southern Hotel—Killarney.

[Pg 137]

Lakes of Killarney

Photo—Guy & Co., Cork.

Lakes of Killarney.

[Pg 138]

The grounds adjoin Lord Kenmare's beautiful demesne and Deer Park, which skirts the lake shores, and contain the splendid Golf Links.

Killarney, or "the Church of the Sloetrees," lies on a flat plateau, within a mile from the shores of the far-famed Lough Lene, as the three lakes, popularly known as the Lakes of Killarney, are called in Irish. The town possesses an Episcopal Palace, a cathedral and churches of interest, besides a monastery and School of Arts and Crafts. Otherwise it deserves little attention; but on fair days, when the peasantry from the neighbouring parishes crowd in, it presents a lively and varying aspect. If the town is insignificant, not so its surroundings, for nowhere else in the wide world is there such a combination of charms and variety of beauty, in mountain and lake scenery, thrown together.

"For how could river, lake, and sea
In softer sister hues agree?
Or hills of passionate purple glow
Far and near more proudly flow?
And when will summer kiss awake
Lovelier flowers by lawn or brake?
Or brighter berries blush between
Foliage of a fresher green?"

There is a story of a tourist who, lingering long in the Holy Land, was pained at the irreverent hurry of an American, who arrived there one afternoon, scurried over the sacred places, and prepared to depart betimes on the morrow. He timidly inquired of the swift-foot why he, who had come so far, rushed away so quickly. "Sir," said the American, "I am timed to do Europe in a fortnight. I have thrown in the Holy Land, but if I stay here longer than one night I cannot see Killarney, which takes three days." He was a wise man in his generation. Although enterprising people have attempted to do the tour of the Lakes in a day, they have always gone away more than satisfied with what they saw, but with hearts hungry to return at[Pg 140][Pg 139] a future date, and behold the beauties they had left unseen.

On the Upper Lake

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

On the Upper Lake, Killarney.

The Lakes Of Killarney are three in number, connected by a swift-flowing stream, the Long Range, and emptying their waters through the river Laune into Castle Haven, on the Kerry coast. The entire journey can be performed by boat, but in the suggested tours given, both car, and boat, and ponies are pressed into our service.

The divisions of the Lough Lene are:—The Upper Lake (extreme length, two-and-a-half miles; extreme breadth, half-a-mile); the Torc, or Middle Lake (extreme length, two miles; extreme breadth, seven-eighths of a mile); and the Lower Lake (extreme length, five and one-eighth miles; extreme breadth, three miles). The first glimpse caught of the lakes, lying like broad mirrors beneath the high mountains, is a vision of fair delight. Like tall clansmen, Mangerton, Carnthoul, and the gathering Cruacha dhu M'Gillicuddy—the black reeks of the McGillicuddy—muster around, as it were, to re-tell us

"The tale of the spell-stricken band,
All entranced, with their bridles and broad swords in hand,
Who await but the word to give Erin her own"—

that old legend of the sleeping warriors garrisoned within the mountain's sides, which is met with in more than one Irish county. The Upper Lake is characterised by an untamed, peerless outline, and so near to the mountains does it lie, that the fissures in their rugged sides are almost countable, and the fingers of fancy almost touch the gorse on their slopes. Gliding over its waters, we readily see in them a land-locked sea. A ridge of the Glena mountains shuts it out from the north, the many-peaked reeks guard the passes to the west, and to the south stands up Derrycunnihy—"The Oak Wood of the Rabbits"—between which and Torc is the fair bend of a Glen[Pg 141] Coumagloun. Between the lips of the Lakes and the feet of the hills there appears no distance

"Save just a trace of silver sand
Marks where the water meets the land."

Muffling the boatmen's oars for a moment, we can realise that indescribable solemnity with which silent nature hushes everything. Even the countless streams that have lost their way across the highlands, in their hurry to join the Lakes, seem to cease from babbling. But following the sinuous Long Range when we reach the still water beneath the Eagle's Nest, Nadanullar, is the psychological moment to awaken the echoes that eternally haunt the frowning eyry. A bugle-call sounded here is taken up by the barricades of rock, and is repeated even ten times over. Small wonder that the fairy hosts are credited with passing it along their lines! The mountains take up their dying tones of sweet sounds, and answer it one to the other until the ear can no longer follow it through space. The ferns and rich foliage of the mountain side trail their long fingers in the water, and cluster and quicken among the crevices of the rocks. Recently the Laureate visited Ireland for the first time; hitherto this land of poetry had been to him but "the damnable country" of the politician. He came, he saw, but Killarney conquered; and he, like all others who have gazed upon its beauty, renders tribute where it rightly belongs. "Damnable" is not the adjective to apply to a heavenly land, of which he truly says:—

"Such varied and vigorous vegetation I have seen no otherwhere; and when one has said that, one has gone far towards awarding the prize for natural beauty. But vegetation, at once robust and graceful, is but the fringe and decoration of that enchanting district. The tender grace of wood and water is set in a frame-work of hills—now stern, now ineffably gentle, now dimpling with smiles; now frowning and rugged with impending storm; now muffled and[Pg 142] mysterious with mist, only to gaze out on you again with clear and candid sunshine. Here the trout leaps; there the eagle soars; and there beyond the wild deer dash through the arbutus coverts, through which they have come to the margin of the lake to drink, and, scared by your footstep or your oar, are away back to crosiered bracken or heather covered moorland. But the first, the final, the deepest and most enduring impression of Killarney is that of beauty unspeakably tender, which puts on at times a garb of grandeur and a look of awe, only in order to heighten by passing contrast the sense of soft insinuating loveliness. How the missel thrushes sing, as well they may! How the streams and runnels gurgle, and leap, and laugh! For the sound of journeying water is never out of your ears; the feeling of the moist, the fresh, the vernal, is never out of your heart. My companion agreed with me, that there is nothing in England or Scotland as beautiful as Killarney—meaning by Killarney its lakes, its streams, its hills, its vegetation; and if mountain, wood, and water—harmoniously blent—constitute the most perfect and adequate loveliness that nature presents, it surely must be owned that it has all the world over no superior."

Shooting the Rapids

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Shooting the Rapids.

Leaving the Upper Lake behind, and bidding adieu to the green islands that stud its breast with arbutus and the cedars of Lebanon, the Old Weir Bridge meets the eye. 'Neath its arch the waters come down with foam and force, the oars are shipped, and we shoot straight through the eye of the rapid, thanks to the strong arm and sure nerve of the oarsmen. The beautiful reach here is the bosom "where the bright waters meet." Amid exquisite combination of colour, a Vallambrosa strewed with ferns, lichens, mosses, rich green hollies and arbutus with many coloured berries, we tread our way by a passage of beauty round Dinis Island into the Middle or Torc Lake, sheltered by the broad breast of the mountain from which it takes its name. Like "Muckross," the "Pleasant[Pg 144][Pg 143] Point of Wild Swine," the name Torc is called after the wild boars, which in former years went "gerasening" over its slopes. Rising abruptly, the mountain stands clear between Mangerton and Glena, the lower sides well wooded. Innis Dinish, the island at the "beginning of the waters," is the port for boats. The Cottage may be visited. The Whirlpool, between the waters of the lake and river, has been called O'Sullivan's Punch Bowl. Drohid-na-Brickeen, "The Bridge of Little Trout," or Brickeen Bridge, and Doolah, where the disused marble quarries and copper mines are still pointed out, are within a short distance. At the estuary of the Devil's Stream, which flows through the ravines on the mountain side, is the Devil's Island—almost inaccessible—on which a few stunted trees manage to secure a precarious existence. Within the little bay of Dundag is Goose Island. The rocks and caves along the lake shores are shrouded with traditions of O'Donoghue, Chieftain of the Glens. A long cave is called "The Wine Cellar"; at the end is "O'Donoghue's Arm Chair"; his Butler, a solitary crag, is called "Jackybwee." The most interesting of the fissures made by the waters in the rock side are what the enterprising boatmen have agreed to call "Colleen Bawn Rock." By the beautiful Glena Bay, we enter the Lower Lake, which is the largest and most charming of the group. It sleeps beneath the guardian heights of the Toomies Hills, and a vision of more loveliness is nowhere to be found. Low-lying shores, to the east and north, are jungled with the fronds of the hill ferns.

"Oh, the Fern! the fresh hill Fern!
That girds our blue lakes from Lough Ine to Lough Erne;
That waves on the crags, like the plume of a King,
And bends like a nun, over clear well and spring;
The fairy's tall palm-tree, the heath birds fresh nest,
And the couch the red deer deems the sweetest and best;
With the free winds to fan it, and dew-drops to gem,
Oh, what can ye match with its beautiful stem!"
[Pg 145]

Eagle's Nest Mountain

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Eagle's Nest Mountain, Killarney.

[Pg 146]

The highest mountain in Ireland, Carrantual,[5] at one side lifts its lofty brow, "crowned with tiaras fashioned in the sky." On its summit an outlaw, known in Munster as the "Shon" or Hawk, after many sleepless nights, footsore and weary, slept here with a prayer, "Thank God, at last I am above all my enemies." The peasantry pronounce the name "Carntwohill," which translated means, the left-handed or inverted sickle. The expansiveness of the Lower Lake appears at first to minimise its beauty, when compared with its smaller companions. But the more its loveliness is explored, the greater the revelation of the harmony and luxuriance of the landscape. No less than thirty-five islands, like beauty spots of a fairy "drop scene," bedeck the silver sheen of its surface. The largest of these, Innisfallen, almost midway between the eastern and western shores, is some thirty acres in extent, and is engirdled by leafy bowers of green trees. Shaggy sheep are couched in repose, or are busy with its verdant lawn. In the early morning, or tender gloaming which closes the Munster day, the holy place is

"Quiet as a nun,
Breathless with adoration."


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Innisfallen. and The Turnpike Cap of Dunloe.

Shafts of the dawning or waning sun, as the hour may be, illumine the fair pageant. The wavering outlines[Pg 148][Pg 147] of the hills make the turret-tops to the dark green of the woods and the emerald of the meadows. The richest of colours from hill, tree, and rock accumulate on the surface of the Lake, burnished like silver. To-day the natural scenery is the same as of old, and few will wonder that here a saint found delights to prepare him in some degree for the pleasures stored in eternity. Of St. Finian Labra we know little beyond that he was a native of Ely O'Carroll, then a part of Munster, and was a disciple of St. Brendan. But his spirit loiters around Innisfallen, and the most casual of travellers will tread lightly on the ground hallowed by his footsteps. The monastic remains are many, but by the enthusiastic antiquary alone can their fragments and chief features be traced. "The Annals of Innisfallen," which form one of the chief sources of Irish history, were written here 600 years ago. Leaving the "Holy Island," we cross the lake and land at the foot of the Toomies Mountains, famous in pre-historic myths, to visit the O'Sullivan Cascade. The legend, which is too often wasted on sceptical ears, tells that O'Sullivan, a captain of his people, renowned amongst them for fleetness of foot and prowess as a hunter, on one occasion went to hunt the red deer. The faint yellow rays of morning were lighting up the eastern sky as he went forth. Gaily the deep-mouthed dogs obeyed, sniffing the fresh breeze across the mountain purpled with heather. Scarce had he left home when a magnificent stag bounded across his path. Swift as the lightning flash the dogs sprung upon the track—away across the moors and down the glens, on the scent they went. Throughout that livelong day O'Sullivan followed the chase, weary, tired, and thirsty, but still determined to make the prize his own. At length night, and darkness with it, came; the stag could be seen no more, the dogs, too, were at fault, and the scent was lost. Disappointed, and spent with the labour of the chase, the huntsman blew a shrill blast on his horn to call the dogs to him, and faced[Pg 150][Pg 149] for home across the hills. But there was a voice that, loud and clear, called upon him—"O'Sullivan, O'Sullivan, turn back!" Brave and fearless, like his race, he turned round, to behold before him the centre of so many cycles of romance—Finn MacCool. "Why do you dare chase my stag?" asked Finn. "Because it was the finest that man ever saw," answered O'Sullivan. The answer pleased Finn MacCool. "O'Sullivan," said he, "you are a valiant man, and have been wasted in the long chase. You thirst, and I will give you to drink." So saying, he stamped his huge heel upon the hard rock, and forth burst the waters, seething and dashing as they do to this day. O'Sullivan quenched his thirst and sped on his way.

Meeting of the Waters

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Meeting of the Waters, Killarney.

From the innermost recess of the glen the water flows down, in one of the most fascinating spots to be found within all the delicious realm of Kerry. The ivy hangs in dense draperies from the rocks, a sweet disorder of arbutus, evergreens, and all the flowers that grow in a radiant land, daringly lean across the canyon, and vainly try to trip the rushing stream, which, in cascade after cascade, flings itself with passionate energy, and a ceaseless murmur, over the rocks. The placidness of the huge lake is in strange contrast to the noisy stream which so excitedly hastens to meet it, and, as if awed by its dignity, as it comes nearer and nearer the mountain stream, sinks its voice, until in a subdued sigh it falls into the breast of the lake. Underneath the projecting rock, and overhung with luxuriant herbs, O'Sullivan's Grotto offers a quiet retreat. Following the wooded shores of Glena Bay, we pass Stags, Burnt, and other islands, and come to Glena Cottage, hiding in the foliage of leafy trees. Glena means "the valley of good fortune," and a name more suggestive of happier thoughts than weird Glownamorra across the lake—"the glen of the dead."

Muckross Abbey

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Muckross Abbey, Killarney.

A mile's drive through the pleasant demesne lands of Muckross brings us to the water's edge at Castlelough[Pg 152][Pg 151] Bay, in the middle lake, on a promontry of which the ruins of Muckross Abbey are to be seen. Here, in the fifteenth century, Donald M'Carthy founded an Abbey for Franciscan friars. The quiet cloisters in the northwest transept, with their varying pointed and rounded arches, are unique. The recessed doorway by which we enter is very beautiful. The towers and east window are in fair preservation. The monuments within the ruined pile tell us that it

In death's embrace M'Carthy More's remains,"

and also reminds us that

"If Erin's chiefs deserve a generous tear,
Heir of their worth, O'Donoghue lies here."

In the centre of the cloisters there grows a great yew tree, spreading its many branches and shade over them, and above the side walls, forming a dark cowl, which overshadows the old house of the monks. In ancient Erin the yew tree was regarded as sacred, and in its shade the Druids performed their mystic rites. With the early Christians, as an evergreen, it was a symbol of Life Eternal.

The peasants still inherit some of the awe with which the sacred tree was held in former days, and they are loth to hurt it with the loss of a single leaf. All impressive is the desolate majesty of Muckross, whatever time it is visited!

"But the gay beams of lightsome day
Gild but to flout the ruins grey."

At night, when the pale ghost of the moon looks across the lake, when the mountains are shrouded in shadows, when the waters are lulling the slumbering land,

"And the owlet hoots o'er the dead man's grave,"

the solemnity of the scene surpasses even that of fair[Pg 153] Melrose, by the distant Tweed, of which Sir Walter Scott tells.

Driving past the modern mansion in the demesne, along Torc Lake, by the groves of Dinis, and through the arches of the Old Weir Bridge, the river glistens and sparkles in the sun, while the distant calmer water lies deep in sleepy shadows. Beyond the peculiar rock[Pg 154] known as the White Deer we pass through the Tunnel cut under the huge slope of the mountains. Here is a point of view which fascinates all visitors, and from which an ample picture of the surroundings may be secured. A mile further we cross the Galway river, rushing down a well-worn channel through Cournaglown, the valley sides of which are covered with oak trees. Already the ceaseless chorus of Derrycunnihy Cascade fills our ears. With tumult and cries of havoc, the water springs from an altitude on the mountain side, dividing its force into many minor cataracts, as it forces the passage barricaded by rocks and boulders, to unite them again in a deep pool, and after a second's rest, it musters its full strength, and falls in a torrent towards the Middle Lake. Colman's Leap, across the stream beneath the Eagle's Nest, is shown here, and of it a legend similar to others in many parts of Ireland is told. A mile eastward, along the Kenmare road, we come to Torc Waterfall, lovely as a capricious colleen, whose modes are all the more "deludering" for their uncertainty—Torc, whether tripping gently or rushing angrily, "to one thing constant never," makes its bed in a fairy realm, a leafy garden of ever-changing beauty. Larch and alder, arbutus, oak, and hazel thickly curtain the Fall from the passing glance. But a sylvan path o'erstrewn with leaves, and bordered with many fronded ferns, discovers the fountain in full bearing. White with foam, and angry for its long delay in the grip of Mangerton, and the hollow of the Devil's Punch Bowl, the flood breaks through the wall of rocks seventy feet high, and spits a shower of spray on every futile thing which attempts to stem its course or stay its purpose. The panorama spread out beneath the rocks of Torc comprehends, in all their glory of colour and contrast, the Middle and Lower Lakes beneath the mountains.

Torc Waterfall

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Torc Waterfall, Killarney.

Ross Castle

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Ross Castle, Killarney.

Two and a-half miles northwards by the King's Bridge, or about one mile direct from Killarney, within sight of[Pg 156][Pg 155] the Lower Lake and the Purple Mountains, are the ruins of Aghadoe, the "Church of the two Yew Trees," founded under the blessing of Saint Finian. The remains of the Round Tower and Abbot's Castle can still be seen, but these and the eighth century doorway of the old church are all that have weathered the wind of centuries. The summit of the old tower is a vantage point for a vista. Dr. Todhunter has written a beautiful ballad, in imitation of the passionate Irish laments, for an outlaw who was buried there.


There's a glade in Aghadoe, Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
There's a green and silent glade in Aghadoe,
Where we met, my love and I, love's fair planet in the sky,
O'er that sweet and silent glade in Aghadoe.

There's a glen in Aghadoe, Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
There's a deep and secret glen in Aghadoe,
Where I hid him from the eyes of the redcoats and their spies
That year the trouble came to Aghadoe.

Oh! my curse on one black heart in Aghadoe, Aghadoe;
On Shaun Dhuv, my mother's son, in Aghadoe!
When your throat fries in hell's drouth, salt the flame be in your mouth,
For the treachery you did in Aghadoe!

For they tracked me to that glen in Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
When the price was on his head in Aghadoe;
O'er the mountain, through the wood, as I stole to him with food,
Where in hiding lone he lay in Aghadoe.

But they never took him living in Aghadoe, Aghadoe;
With the bullets in his heart in Aghadoe,
There he lay, the head—my breast keeps the warmth where once 'twould rest—
Gone, to win the traitor's gold, from Aghadoe!

Oh! to creep into that cairn in Aghadoe, Aghadoe,
There to rest upon his breast in Aghadoe!
Sure your dog for you could die with no truer heart than I,
Your own love, cold on your cairn in Aghadoe.
[Pg 157]

The Gap of Dunloe

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

The Gap of Dunloe.

[Pg 158]

The nearest boat place for Innisfallen is at Ross Castle. We approach it from the high road across the moat, where once the drawbridge was let up and down. The old keep, wearing a cotamore of ivy, still guards the water's edge. By a spiral stone staircase we reach the battlements and look out across the lake.

The Castle held out for Charles the First, but was dismantled by Ludlow. It was originally a fort of "The O'Donoghue," the chief who centres in the many traditions which the boatmen weave around every object of interest in Killarney. He lies enchanted beneath the lake, with a city full of his people. But at times he has come across the water on his fiery steed, or danced to the Rincead-fadda on the shores. Whoever sees him is fortunate, because he gives "good luck, which is better than money," to all whose eyes meet his.

The Gap of Dunloe is a gloomy mountain pass cut through the rough rocky slope in the hills between the Toomies and the Macgillicuddy's Reeks. It is a magnificent defile, four miles long. The rough bridle-path running through it, at times almost on the edge of precipices, beneath which the wild goats flock. It is approached by a winding road, embroidered on one side by a shady little grove of fir, larch, stunted oaks, and mountain ash. Through the little windows between the trees, when the sun shines, the reflection of the river Loe is caught, as it creeps humbly on its way to the lakes. On the other side, the mountains throw up a huge wall. Bidding good-bye to the little grove, vegetation seems to fear to enter the desolate, sterile places in the throat of the Gap. Where the river widens, at Cushvalley Lough, the industrious echo-makers most usually greet the visitor. One has scarcely recovered from the warmth of their courteous welcome, when some suggestive volunteer, aborigine to the place, with a "Mr. Bugler, God spare you your wind," secures their services; although you do not call the tune, you are expected to pay the musicians. But the trifle spent on[Pg 159] the gunpowder for their cannons, or the breath from their lungs, is well repaid by the mighty mass of air they start into waves of music. Here, too, the "auxiliary forces," or pony boys, besiege us with their sure-footed, shaggy "coppaleens." They have come galloping down the pass at break-neck speed to lend us the assistance of their light cavalry. Wonderful creatures they are, these horses and riders. The peasant boys are for all the world the modern prototypes of those "rake-helly horse boys" of Queen Elizabeth's reign, who filled so many pages of the State papers. Sinew and muscle knit their loose limbs together, and, in their eyes, mild and calm as those of the quiet cattle in the field, but like the surface of their native lakes, covering unfathomed depths, they conceal souls swept by deep thoughts, and minds clouded by many memories. The long unrenewed, but still to be distinguished, Spanish strain is shown in many of their olive-tinted faces and dark features. But guides safe, and true, and courteous are they, who know every perch of the dark Pass, where at times the craggy cliffs shut out the canopy of the sky, and attempt to precipitate themselves across the track. The point where the path is narrowest, the peasants have called the "Pike." From it onward the mountains begin to recede, and the Pass is more open until, crossing a shoulder of the Purple Mountain past the three great expansions of the Commeen Thomeen Lakes, into which St. Patrick is said to have driven the last serpent, we suddenly come on a surprising spectacle of magnificent scenery. Here, from the head of the Gap, we see the Upper Lake spread beneath, to the west, Coomeenduff, or the Black Valley, dark as the valley of the shadow of death, in charming contrast with the stern grandeur of the mountains. Their melancholy seems to reign supreme; the long valley is steeped with shadows in which several lakes are set, the light upon which only heightens the sublime darkness of the surroundings. The longest of these lakes is called[Pg 160] Lough Nabricderg, or the "Pool of the Red Trout." Far and wide beneath us lies what, in the old times, was MacCarthy More's country, and into which so often the Fiery Cross was sped, when the chief of the great clan went into action.

Ruskin's ideals of mountains as the great cathedrals of the earth, with their gates of rock, pavements of cloud, choirs of stream and stone, altars of snow, and vaults of purple, traversed by the continual stars, can nowhere be realized more readily than in Killarney. Here the mysterious summits, warm with the morning tints or evening's glow, will delight and refresh again and again, and reflect to us imperishable memories. Crossing the Flesk, if Mangerton be the desired point, seven good miles are to be traversed. From the Muckross, a short detour will, if desired, lead to Flesk Castle, standing on a finely wooded hill above the wide sweeping river. Eastward, along the Kenmare road, and southward for a mile, the mountain path is met. From here, either on foot or on a pony, the ascent of Mangerton may be made. The first important object that comes in view is Lough Kittane, at the eastern base of the mountain. It is nearly five miles in circumference, and its waters contain four islands. The ravine behind the lake, with Mangerton on the west and Crohane mountain on the east, is the "mustering place of the winds," Coomnageeha. In this ravine the Blackwater flows. There are two small lakes, Loughnabraude and "the Lake of Beech-crowned Rock," Lough Carrigaveha. Away in the bed of the mountains is Keimva Lochlin—the pass of the Danes—reminding the historian of "Stern Lochlin's sons of roving war," and Dereenanawlar, or "the little oakwood of eagles." Moving still higher, eastward the mountains melt into the distant counties of Cork and Limerick, and beneath, the smaller highlands recall the Psalmist's description of

"The hills like the lambs of the flock." [Pg 161]

The Gap of Dunloe

[Pg 162]

To the left, Glown-a-Coppal, the "Horse's Glen," invites the adventurous to fathom its depths. The dark lakes lying in its shadows are shoreless, but for the gloomy rocks which overhang the water's edge. Where the ground becomes more broken and rugged, suddenly a less inaccessible path arises, and leads to the Devil's Punch Bowl, a dark tarn, beset with strange echoes that strike a death-song on the heart-strings of the superstitious. The view from the summit is very wonderful; in the foreground of the huge picture, the forest of mountain tops, while westward in the distance is the fabled and saint-blessed Mare Brendanicum of the old writers, where the fiords embroider the coast line.

Descents from Mangerton may be made due south from the eastern angle along the Oubeg to Kilgarvan, five miles east from Kenmare; by the "Horse's Glen," from Lough Garagary, across the moor to the commencement of the bridle-path. Neither way is recommended in the afternoon or without a guide. The best route to Carntuol is from the entrance to the Gap of Dunloe. There is a beaten track by the side of the waterway of the mountain stream, called "Giddagh," the bed of which is filled with glacial moraines, leading into a romantic valley, the Hag's Glen, which is shut in by the Reeks and Knocknabinaneen. The dark tarn in the Glen, as well as every object of prominence, has been seized upon by the imaginative peasants, and associated in some wise with the witch who here had her local habitation and left it its name. The track across the heather leads to the junction of two rivulets from Lough Gonvogh on the right, and Lough Callee on the left. The beginning of the summit is reached by the rough moraine pavement, and with a little perseverance the "parkeen," or "little pasture," on top is reached. Here on the wind-swept height it is interesting to find the London Pride, or St. Patrick's Cabbage, and the common Thrift flourishing The view is indescribable. Like the jaws of some huge monster, the teeth of the Reeks close in everywhere,[Pg 163] each with its own blue lake behind. Of Killarney we see little; but seawards "everything between this end of the world and America," descent may be made, either following the flank of the hill, and half way between the two largest lakes beneath, striking for the Gap of Dunloe road, or through Coomduff to the shores of the Upper Lake.

When the tourist's time is limited, the following excursions, extending over three days, will enable him to see a good many of the points of interest:—

TOUR No. 1. Fare, 8s. Estate Tolls, 1s.

Well-appointed coaches, or other conveyances, leave the Hotel (weather permitting) at about 9.30 a.m., for a visit to the celebrated Gap of Dunloe and the grand tour of the Lakes. The route lies along the northern side of the Lower Lake for about six miles, when the exquisite mountain scenery comes in full view, rapidly assuming more interesting features until "Arbutus" Cottage is reached. Here the party must alight, and proceed on ponies, or on foot, at discretion, through the Pass to Lord Brandon's Cottage, at the head of the Upper Lake, where the boats will be in readiness. Arrangements can be made with the Manager of the Hotel, before starting, to provide ponies for 3s. each to this point. Some wonderful echoes are produced in various parts of the Pass. Luncheon will be served, before entering the boat, on one of the adjoining islands, after which the party will proceed by the Upper Lake and Long Range to the Eagle's Nest Mountain. The boat will then shoot the Rapids under the rustic Old Weir Bridge; stop a short time at the "Meeting of the Waters"; pass through the Middle Lake, and across the Lower Lake to "Sweet Innisfallen Island," to enable the party to view the ruins of the old Abbey, Abbot's Grave, and Bed of Honour; thence to Ross Castle, where the party will resume their drive to the Hotel, which is usually reached about 5.30 p.m.

TOUR No. 2. Fare, 4s. 6d. Estate Tolls, 2s.

The conveyances leave the Hotel about 10 a.m. for the drive through Mr. H. A. Herbert's beautiful demesne. The ancient ruins of Muckross Abbey are soon reached, and, after a short delay to inspect them, the party proceed by the shore of the Middle Lake, over Brickeen Bridge, pass the Colleen Bawn[Pg 164] Rocks for Dinis Island; thence, passing the Torc Mountain, to the Cottage and Waterfall of Derrycunihy (Queen's Cottage), the property of the Earl of Kenmare, where luncheon is usually served. Returning, the party will pass under the tunnel on the Kenmare Road, and through fine scenery by road, mountain, and lake to Torc Cascade, where, by an easy footpath, fine views can be obtained of the Waterfall and Lakes; thence to the Hotel, which is usually reached about 3 p.m.

TOUR No. 3. Fare, 4s. 6d. Estate Tolls, 1s.

The conveyances leave the Hotel at about 9.30 a.m., passing through the Earl of Kenmare's Deer Park to the Heights of Aghadoe, obtaining grand views of the Lower Lake, Macgillicuddy's Reeks, and Carran Tual (the highest mountain in Ireland), as also the ruins of the round tower of Aghadoe Church, thence through the Earl of Kenmare's beautiful West and Home Parks, which skirt the north-eastern shores of the Lower Lake, round Ross Island, and to the Hotel, which is usually reached about 2.30 p.m.


The coach drive from Killarney to Kenmare is over a fine broad mountain road, and from Mulgrove Barrack, about half way, a splendid view of the lake country can be obtained. Kenmare, as its name signifies in Irish, is at the head of the sea or beautiful bay to which it gives its name on the Roughty river. Sir William Pettie, in the seventeenth century, founded the town on lands confiscated from the O'Sullivan More. It is a market place of importance, and the Convent of the Poor Clares is famous the world over for the beautiful lace made here. The town stands on the highway between Killarney and Glengarriff, known as "The Prince of Wales' route." The coach drives through the town past the Lansdowne Arms' Hotel and into the beautiful spot which has been selected for the new hotel belonging to the Southern Hotels Company. Already young groves and plantations teem about the mansion, which is built on a natural terrace overlooking[Pg 165] the bay, and facing the high hills of Glenaroughty, behind which the Red River rises, and the bare mountain slopes of Mucksna.

No visitor should fail, if time permits, to visit the Convent of the Poor Clares, and see the lace-makers at work. From Kenmare the train or coach may be taken to Killarney.


No. 1.—Car to Goulane on old road to Killarney, walk to summit of mountain, from which a magnificent view is obtained, returning by Inchamore Cross Roads, Roughty Falls, and Suspension Bridge. 6s.

No. 2.—Car to Kilgarvan, thence to the Bird Mountain, on the Borlin Road, returning by Lounihan and Letter. Grand panoramic views of the Mangerton Mountains and Roughty Valley. 10s.

No. 3.—Car to Windy Gap on the Killarney Road, view of Gap of Dunloe and M'Gillicuddy Reeks, thence by Dirreenfeenlahid Lake and Bouchill Mountain, returning by Slieveaduff and Templemore Road. 10s.

No. 4.—Car to Blackwater Bridge and Waterfall, thence by Old Dromore and Valley of the Blackwater, returning by old road over Coomnakilla; magnificent sea and mountain scenery. 12s.

No. 5.—Car to Clonee Lakes and Glen of Inchiquin, thence to cascade at head of glen; beautiful drive along the southern shore of Kenmare Bay, affording splendid views of mountain, lake, and river. 15s.

No. 6.—Car to Derreen by the Lansdowne Road, along the shore of Kenmare Bay and Kilmackillogue Harbour, thence to Glanmore Lake by road skirting Lord Lansdowne's demesne, returning by Furniss (ancient smelting works) and Carriganine Road. 20s.

It is particularly requested that visitors requiring cars will give not less than an hour's notice at the office.

[Pg 166]


Hire for Fixed Distances (Driver's fee included)

 Two-horse carriage.One-horse car.
From Kenmare to Parknasilla,20s.10s.
From Kenmare to Killarney,28s.14s.
From Kenmare to Glengarriff,28s.14s.
From Kenmare to Caragh Lake,25s.
From Kenmare to Waterville,50s.2s.
Fifty per cent. additional for return journey.

To Glengarriff the coach runs by very beautiful scenery, terminating in the lovely creek of the bay at Eccles' Hotel and by the fair height where Roche's Hotel commands the view. From Glengarriff the coach may be continued to Bantry, and the train then taken direct to Cork, along the East Bandon line; or the road may be taken through the beautiful Pass of Keimaneigh—the "Pass of the Deer"—and by the lovely lake of Gougane Barra to Macroom. Here the Cork and Macroom Railway brings the tourist back into the City of the Lee.

The road from Kenmare leads high out of the valley up the hill sides. We command a good view of Kenmare Sound, and having passed under a number of tunnels through the rock we cross the mearings into county Cork.


At Glengarriff

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Glengarriff. and Otter Island, Glengarriff.

Glengarriff Harbour

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Glengarriff Harbour. and Otter Rock Glengarriff.

Gougane Barra

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Gougane Barra, Co. Cork.

In a fair spot above the blue waters of the Bay of Bantry, Glengarriff, as a health resort, vies with its charming young rival, Parknasilla. Its climate, too, is softened by the nearness of the Gulf Stream, and yew and arbutus, as well as tropical cryptogamia and Alpine plants, overgrow every available spot along the sides of the rough defile. It is come-at-able from Cork by train to Bantry and then coach, or by coach from Killarney or Kenmare. Apart from the beauty of the[Pg 170][Pg 169][Pg 168][Pg 167] situation and the mildness of its climate, Glengarriff possesses splendid facilities for sea bathing and boating. There is excellent hotel accommodation both at Eccles', on the shore of the bay, and at Roche's, in the midst of beautiful grounds, through which the Owvane, or "fair river," flows, making on its way a wild cascade. The drive from Glengarriff to Gougane Barra, through the Pass of Keimaneigh, "the path of the deer," is one of the great excursions to be made. Gougane Barra, the shrine of Saint Finbarr, is in the midst of a lonely lake near the source of the Lee. It is still the scene of "patrons" on Saint Finbarr's day, and Mass is celebrated in the open air in the middle of the lake. There is good trout fishing in the Allua and other streams in the Desmond Valley. Callaghan, the poet, has sung of it—

"There is a green island in lone Gougane Barra,
Where Allua of songs rushes forth as an arrow;
In deep-valleyed Desmond—a thousand wild fountains
Come down to that lake, from their home in the mountains;
There grows the wild ash, and a time-stricken willow
Looks chidingly down on the mirth of the billow;
As, like some gay child, that sad monitor scorning,
It lightly laughs back to the laugh of the morning.

And its zone of dark hills—oh! to see them all bright'ning;
When the tempest flings out its red banner of lightning;
And the waters rush down, mid the thunders deep rattle,
Like clans from their hills at the voice of the battle;
And brightly the fire-crested billows are gleaming,
And wildly from Mullagh the eagles are screaming."...

The "green island" is a little over half an acre in extent. In its centre is a quadrangle, with walls at parts fourteen feet thick, in which are eight cells or cloisters rudely arched over. Within, on a raised platform, is a large cross with five steps ascending to it. There is a large flagstone here with an inscription, giving directions how "the rounds" are to be performed on the vigil and forenoon of the feast days of St. Finbarr and[Pg 171] St. John the Baptist, to whom there is a special cultos all over Munster. The road from Gougane runs through Inchigeela and Ballingeary by a wild stretch of river inches, called the Gearagh, to Macroom, where the old Castle and Convent are worth visiting. In the latter the kindergarten system has been introduced with great success. It is also here that the Gaelic Feis or Festival is held for the locality, which contains a large percentage of Irish-speaking people, including numbers of children. From Macroom train runs direct to Cork. In the visitors' book at Inchigeela Hotel some vagabond rhymester penned the following farewell:—

Sweet Inchigeela, fare thee well, to-morrow we depart
On Mrs. Brophy's outside car, for Gougane B. we start;
I add my mite of doggerel to all I have read here,
And put my X to all that's writ of this hotel's good cheer.

O charming Inchigeela, were mine the poet's pen,
How I would do the Longfellow, in praising rock and glen;
Among thy mountains, hills, and lakes, six happy days we passed,
And sigh to think the day draws near that's doomed to be the last.

We've climbed the rocky mountains, we've plodded o'er the plain,
We've bid a wild defiance to the drizzling, drenching rain;
And yielding to the influence of your coquettish weather,
We've grilled beneath the sunshine on thy "tick" infected heather.

O lovely Inchigeela! O cosy Lake Hotel!
O Hannah! best of waiting-maids, and civilest as well;
O were I not so sleepy, a great deal more I'd say,
But I must grasp my pilgrim's staff and wend my onward way.

From Cromwell's Bridge, at Glengarriff, the road runs to Berehaven, where there is an old Castle of the O'Sullivan's and some splendid caves. Cromwell's Bridge, of which one arch only now remains intact, is said to have been built here to facilitate the march of the Protector on his return from Dunboy Castle, he having threatened, if the bridge was not erected on his[Pg 172] return, he would hang a man for every hour he was delayed. Bantry, or the White Strand, is a thriving town, a pleasant drive from Glengarriff. Here the French fleet, with Wolfe Tone on board, purported landing in the winter of 1797; but, like the Armada, were scattered by a hurricane. Bantry House, the residence of the White-Hedges family, is beautifully situated on the side of the bay.

Cromwell's Bridge

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Cromwell's Bridge, Glengarriff.

The Cork and Bandon Railway from Bantry is connected with most of the towns on the Cork coast. From Skibberreen, the famous fishing village of Baltimore may be visited. The Piscatorial School is doing good work, and is an enduring monument to the philanthropy of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Innisherin Island, in Baltimore Harbour, was an old[Pg 173] fortress of the O'Driscolls—and in particular of "Finnen O'Driscoll, the Rover"—of whom it is told:—

"The men of Clan-London brought over
Their strong ships to make him a slave;
He met them by Mizen's wild headlands,
And the sharks gnaw their bones 'neath the wave."

Baltimore was sacked in the early seventeenth century by Algerine pirates, and all the able-bodied inhabitants sold into slavery. These pirates were finally put down by the intrepidity of the Commonwealth seamen. Kinsale, also on the coast, is a remarkable old town; there James II. landed on his ill-fated visit to Ireland. Bandon, beautifully situated on the broad river of that name, was long the Derry of the South. The memory of these "good old times" only now remains, and Bandon is the centre of many successful industries.

For information as to Sport to be had in the Killarney District, see end of this volume, where particulars are given as to Cycling, Fishing, &c.

Chapter footer

[Pg 174]

[Pg 175]

Chapter header

The Lakes and Fiords of Kerry.

Coaching in Kerry

The Grand Atlantic Tour—Caragh, Cahirciveen, Valencia, Waterville, Parknasilla, Kenmare, &c.

The beauty of Killarney is not without a rival, and that even "next door" to it in its very own kingdom of Kerry. Leaving behind the soft-swelling hills, deep-eyed lakes and dark mountains, we speed southward and westward to other lakes and mountains kindred to what we have already seen. It is for these lovely lands that the Gulf Stream crosses the Atlantic to kiss, that we are making over the wide-armed railway which clasps the most picturesque scenery in the country within its embrace. Starting from Killarney for Valencia, we leave the train to continue its journey northwards to Tralee, at Farranfore Junction. While changing into the carriages for the south-west coast, where

"The mountains kiss high heaven,
And the waves clasp one another,"

one look round reveals the amphitheatre of hills. Westward, whither we are going, the hills above[Pg 178][Pg 177][Pg 176] Glenbeigh point our road to where the Atlantic meets the shore. To the eastward, where the morn, in russet mantle clad, walks o'er the dew, the line of far-piercing spears, Mangerton, Torc, Glena, Toomies, and the Reeks extend. At Killorglin (twenty-four miles rail), with a wide-spanning viaduct, we cross the Laune, wending its way from the Lakes to Dingle Bay. Here the ruins of an old Knights Templar Castle remain to remind us of the historic past. For five-and-twenty miles from this place onward, the route runs over the southern shore-line of Dingle Bay. Some five miles from Killorglin, in a secluded nest of old trees beneath the mountains, lies Caragh Lake.

"Long, long ago, beyond the space
Of twice ten hundred years;
In Erin old there lived a race
Taller than Roman spears."

Fishing in Caragh River

Caragh River and Lake

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Caragh River and Lake.

Southern Hotel

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Southern Hotel, Caragh Lake.

And in their romances and love-songs, Caragh was tenderly mentioned, for was it not here that Dermot sheltered Grania in the bowers of the quicken-trees? All who have read the fine old Finnian romance, "The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne," which tells the iliad of their flight across ancient Erin, will remember that here on the shores of Kerry he met his enemies and discomfited them. In the mists westward from the lake is the hill-summit, Seefin, where the disconsolate son of MacCool sat. For long this little paradise has remained forgotten by scenery-seeking men, but now that it is re-discovered, it will enthral all comers. The lake, sheltered under the cloak of the hills, is six miles long, and all around its coasts are things of beauty, green velvet mosses, dark broom and heather-clad hills, with rowan trees interspersed throughout. The grisly mountains are glistening with silver threads—small streams that hasten to see themselves reflected in the lake. Far from the busy haunts of men, in a sleepy hollow only five minutes' walk from the railway station, the Southern Hotel[Pg 180][Pg 179] Company has secured a delightful site for their fine hotel. If nature has done great things for Caragh, "filthy lucre," too, has done much, and here is everything to help the invalid, the sportsman, or "the common or garden" tourist to take advantage of the charming pleasure and health resort. For the fisherman there are almost endless opportunities. There is excellent salmon and trout fishing in the Caragh Lake, and also in the Caragh, Carahbeg, Ougarriv, and Meelagh Rivers, while within easy reach are Lakes Acoose, Cloon, Coomlonkir, Oulagh, Loughnakirkna, Corravoula, and Nabrackdarrig, all of which would gladden the heart of old Izaac Walton. Over twenty-five thousand acres of the best shooting in Kerry is reserved for the use of guests. It comprises principally grouse, woodcock, snipe, duck, wild goose, and plover. Both banks of the Caragh River, which is carefully preserved, have also been secured. Dooks, in the vicinity, has been selected for an excellent nine-hole golf course, of which guests, as honorary members, are entitled to take advantage. A flag-station on the railway brings the links within easy walking distance. The grand strand along the shore gives every opportunity of bathing. Across the beautiful Dingle Bay rises Mount Brandon (3,127 feet), and Dunmore Head, out at the edge of the ocean, has the Blasket Islands scattered around its coast, the treacherous rocks of which were so fatal to the Spanish Armada. By car from the hotel to Blackstones Bridge, returning by boat through the lake, is a short tour of many attractions. Beneath, at one side, lie the bright waters of the bay; on the other the dark waters of the lake. The Killorglin road is reached about a mile from Acoose Lake, and then following the declivity by a mountain stream, we get a good view of Gort-na-gloran Mountain, on the east of the lake, and see in the distance the fishing hamlet of Glencar, with the Glencar Hotel high up on pasture ground, surrounded by a cordon of green fir trees. Except in the Swiss valleys[Pg 182][Pg 181] and parts of Norway, there is no scenery in Europe to compare with an inland route from Caragh to Parknasilla. It lies across the mountains

"Where the wandering water gushes
In the hills above Glencar;
In pools among the rushes,
That scarce could bathe a star,"

through wild scenery between the gorges of the mountains, and into Ballaghbeama Pass. Beneath, in a winding valley, lies Lough Brin, turning from which we come into the valley of the Eskdhu, or Blackwater, and follow it amid the beeches until it falls into the sea.

Pass of Ballaghbeama

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Pass of Ballaghbeama.

Leaving Caragh Lake, the railway line follows the flow of the river, the next station being Glenbeigh, where there is a growing watering-place. The strand is particularly fine, extending over two miles. There is a good hotel, with golf links, beside plenty of fishing and boating. Coomasaharn—the wonderful lake in the vicinity—it has been correctly said is surrounded by precipices more awful than anything to be found nearer home than the Alps or Pyrenees—clinging to the mountain side, at a height of several hundred feet above the sea, with here a cutting or embankment, and there a mountain gorge, in which a lovely waterfall is almost lost to sight in a labyrinth of foliage.

Mountain Stage and Kells are passed, and the train glides down an incline to Cahirciveen and Valentia Harbour. Cahirciveen, the birthplace of Daniel O'Connell, is the most westerly town in the three kingdoms. It lies with its back up against the Iveragh Mountains, and facing the blue waters of Dingle Bay. Only since the road was cut across the hills to Valentia in later years has it come to be of importance. In 1803 there were only fifteen houses here, and the beginning of its uprise in the world was when O'Connell got it made a market town. But in legends[Pg 184][Pg 183] of the past it is a place of fame, and received its name from Sive, one of the beautiful daughters of the great monarch, Owen More. Carhan House, where the Liberator spent his childhood (but was not actually born, as alleged), the ruins of which now only remain, may be seen a short distance outside the town.

On the Coast near Glenbeigh

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

On the Coast near Glenbeigh.

Two charming fishing harbours under Knocktubber Mountain are worth seeing, Councroum, "the Haven's Bend," and Coonana, which is called after the woman who bore the great Finn. Here, the mighty fighter of the old days, "Conn of the Hundred Battles," fought no less than thirteen of his fields, and three pre-historic forts remain to bear testimony to the past—Cahir-na-cahal, Cahirgal, and Castlequinn.

At Glenbeigh

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Glenbeigh.

Lake Coomasaharn

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lake Coomasaharn.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


Ballycarbery's ruined castle, too, deserves attention. In ancient times it was the fortress of Carbery O'Shea, whose tide-swept tomb is still to be seen. Then it passed into the hands of Owen More's descendants, and from them to the O'Connells. When the Spaniards sent their "ale" over to Erin, and the Kerry women borrowed one another's cloaks to go to Spain to sell eggs and dulisc, Ballycarbery, commanding the harbour's mouth, was a place frequented by mariners and merchantmen from many a Spanish port. There is a story of Morgan of the Wine and a Spanish Captain worth re-telling. Two O'Connells lived in Ballycarbery together, one brother, Shawn, occupying the lower portion, and the other, Morgan, living in the upper apartments. Both at the same moment invited a Spanish captain, who had come into the port, to dine with them. The foreigner, embarrassed by their hospitality, and not wishing to show an undue preference—as neither brother would give way—agreed to give his company to whichever gentleman had his repast cooked first. The brothers repaired with speed to the castle, and Morgan was chagrined when he had mounted to his rooms, to find that Shawn had barricaded the entrance behind him, to prevent his[Pg 188][Pg 187][Pg 186][Pg 185] servants from drawing water to cook the dinner. But he was not to be foiled, for, broaching a cask of wine, he cooked in it what he wanted, and as his dinner was first prepared, the Spaniard and his brother Shawn were his guests! In the wars of the Commonwealth the castle was reduced. Derriana Lake, in the bed of the mountains—with wisps of mist on its further shores—is like a dream picture. The fair isle floating in its centre is freighted down with oak and arbutus trees standing out in relief against the mountain, and reflected in the mirror-faced waters. The coloured setting of the surroundings is exquisite. The cliffs bristle crest high with rigid firs, the young oak copse is entangled with an undergrowth of guelder rose, and in the sedges near the heron-frequented reeds, white water lilies open their wonderful eyes. Close by, Cloonaghlin Lake, when it is dark with mountain shadows and frowning clouds, is sufficiently desolate to awe the least susceptible, but when auspiciously the sky is brightened, we feel—

"Truly the light is sweet, and
A pleasant thing it is for the
Eyes to behold the sun."

The shadows recede into the depths of the water or the hollows of the hills, the many colours of the trees show themselves; and song-birds begin anew their music, as though a great hawk had been near, and had passed them by scathless.


May truly be termed the "Next parish to America," and should be visited for its noble cliffs, wild headlands, and wonderful jungle of fuschia trees. From Valencia Harbour a ferry, manned for upwards of a century by the O'Neills, brings passengers and mails across to Knightstown, the principal village, and a busy port of[Pg 192][Pg 191][Pg 190][Pg 189] industry during the fishing season. Glenleam, the Knight of Kerry's residence—about one mile inland—is surrounded by beautiful gardens, where, besides arbutus and myrtle, many tropical exotics thrive. The fuschias form a thick glade, and the trunks of several of them almost defy the ordinary axe or saw. There are on the island, besides holy wells, a number of soutterains and cairns, that

"Sit upon the ground
To tell sad stories of the death of kings."

At Valencia

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Valencia.

Valencia Harbour

Photo—Cuthbert, Valencia.

Valencia Harbour.—Fishing Fleet.—Entrance to Valencia Harbour.

Cliffs at Valencia

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Cliffs at Valencia.

Irish is freely spoken on the island, and if properly introduced, the visitor may be able to hear many old stories of Finn and his companions, the Gabawn Saior, and other heroes of the peasants' heart. Thick as mists at morn legends hover about the island, and beyond the great Slate quarries may be seen many caves of great interest. There is a tradition on the island that St. Vincent Ferrar landed there. The harbour offers a deep and sheltered anchorage, and was formerly much frequented by smugglers, whose cave is still shown. Paul Jones often put in here, and on one occasion pressed into his service a number of fishermen, whom he took from the neighbouring fishing grounds. None of them returned except one, who had long been imprisoned in France, but he came home "with a stocking full of doubloons," and his children's children are still known as "The Paul Jones's."

At Brayhead,

"Where the broad ocean leans against the land,"

there is a splendid view from nearly eight hundred feet above the sea. The rocks around the coast, encircled with white foam, make a beautiful contrast to the grey and emerald and gold of the sandy coves and green hills.[Pg 193]

Cliffs at Valencia

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Cliffs at Valencia.

Dolus and Bolus Heads reach far into the ocean. The Skelligs, "the most western of Christ's fortresses in the ancient world," raise their heads to the south, while northwards the Great Blasket, a mountainous island, and its eleven brothers, with Innisvic Killane, may be seen. On the 10th September, 1588, the Armada ship, Our Lady of the Rosary, of 1,000 tons, was wrecked in the Blasket Sound; among the many who perished was the Prince of Askule, natural son to King Philip of Spain. Around the coast line there have been many wrecks, and not a few are the pathetic stories still told of them on the island.

The last wreck of importance gave another opportunity for the intrepid islanders to show what stern stuff they were made of. Under the captaincy of Mr. Alexander O'Driscoll, the volunteers put off to the wreck, and despite of a sea running high, and the buffeting of a great storm, saved the lives of the crew, and rendered full salvage. While on the island, a visit should be paid to the Anglo-American Cable Company's Station, care being taken beforehand to go through the formality of applying to the Managing Director (26, Old Bond-street, London, E.C.) for an order. Every facility is extended by the courteous local officials.

[Pg 194]


From Valencia, or from across the channel at Portmagee, where there is a thriving fish-curing industry, the Skelligs can be reached in favourable weather. Standing high above the green billows that encircle them with collars of white foam, they repay every trouble taken to inspect them. The Little Skellig, a fantastic rock, with a great arch like a flying buttress under which for centuries the seas have churned deep, is almost inaccessible. It is a great breeding ground for gannet, with which, during the breeding season, its sides are white as the waves below.[Pg 195]


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


[Pg 196]

So unused are these magnificent birds to being disturbed by intruders that even when within oar's length of them, they remain passive and unscared. The Great Skellig swings high its cliffs seven hundred feet above the water. Clinging to the ridge of its impressive rocks "like swallows' nests" are the round roofs of the beehive cells which of old formed a citadel of Christianity. To Saint Michael the Archangel, guardian against all the powers of darkness, the isle is dedicated. Its history is of old date, for here Milesius buried the beloved son, Ir, that the thieving waters robbed of his soul. Here "the slanting, full-sailing ships" of Daire, on their way to the great battle of Ventry Harbour, paused in their march along the deep. Here, too, in recording times, was the great hero-king of the Norse, Olaf Iryggveson, baptized.

A little cove, deep in the recess of a cavern, makes a landing stage, only to be attempted at favourable times. An easy path leads halfway round the island; then, mounting a flight of steps, the visitor beholds, spread before him, a green valley, the one patch of richness on the desolate rock. This is Christ's Saddle, from which, with reverent hearts, the "Way of the Cross" may be traversed, ending in the heart of Skellig-Michael. Each of the fourteen Stations have descriptive Gaelic names, such as "The Stone of Pain," where our Saviour falls the first time; "The Rock of the Woman's Piercing Caoine," where His Mother and the Holy Women have met. Lonely and deserted, none should enter these hallowed places but with feelings of reverence.


The morning stillness, broken by the clear blast of the postillion's horn, reminds the visitor lingering lovingly over the shores at Cahirciveen that the coach for the coast tour is ready. With a crack of the whip[Pg 198][Pg 197] that would do credit to Will Goldfinch, in the coaching days of old, the driver urges on his team, and the blooded four-in-hand cut their way clear of the town. The tour along the Atlantic between Cahirciveen and Kenmare is nearly fifty miles, and passes through the most diversified country. The eleven miles as far as Waterville is first inland, passing through dreary stretches of moorland, where the small black Kerry cattle manage to thrive, until Ballinskelligs Bay suddenly comes in sight. Bolus Head reaches out its great arm into the sea, to shelter the Bay from the winds. At one side may be seen the little town of Ballinskelligs, with its white Cable Station; and in at the head of the waters, beyond where the Inny river joins the sea, Waterville spreads itself out around the long shore. Here it lies on the little streak of land which protects Lough Currane from the embrace of the ocean. Coming down the hill, out of the town, the delusion is that this great fresh-water lake is but itself a bay, the mouth of which is concealed from view, but not so, for its waters run clear and fresh, and as fishful as the Erne. It is the best free fishing lake in Ireland. Just outside Waterville the Commercial Cable Company (Mackay-Bennett system) have their extensive offices.

Gannets on Little Skelligs

Photo—Cuthbert, Valencia.

Kilkenny Castle.

Southern Hotel, Waterville

Kilkenny CastleSouthern Hotel, Waterville.

The road leads across the Inny, and we enter the little town by the pleasantly-situated Butler Arms Hotel. On going further, fronting the shore line, we pass the Bay View Hotel, and, following a bend in the hill, come suddenly in view of the beautiful Lough Currane, beside which, in the midst of plantations, more like a home than a well-equipped hostelry, which it is, the Southern Hotel is built. Lough Currane is eight miles in circumference, and its shores are fretted with thousands of inlets. Through the windows of the Hotel, a charming view is had of the mountains which encircle the lake. On one side green slopes and pleasantly wooded heights meet the eye, and on the other, old familiar grey-faced mountains, with their heads raised[Pg 200][Pg 199] on high among the clouds, shining, changing, and fading in the silver mists. The surface of the lake, calm-faced and deep-welled, here and there lifts up to be admired beautiful islands. Here a saint made his temporal home, and in Church Island is the beehive cell where St. Finian prayed, "in whose orisons were all our sins remembered." The ruins of the sixth century church deserve the attention of the antiquary. Away at the head of Lough Currane is Coppal, where sea trout and small brown trout abound. It, too, has charms all its own, in parts wild and untamed, but again, calm as the race of a sleeping child. Full information as to the flies suitable for the lake, and the places well to troll, may be had from the best known angler in Kerry, Teigue M'Carthy. Like Sir Roger de Coverley's friend, Will[Pg 201] Wimble, he can tie a fly "to a miracle," and he is an enthusiastic devotee of the "gentle art." Besides the attractions for fishermen, there are thousands of acres of shooting in the vicinity. There is plenty of opportunity and accommodation for bathing by the bay, and a new Golf Links, laid out under the best professional[Pg 202] advice, affords a further source of healthful amusement. Over the hills from Waterville the pre-historic remains of Staigue Fort may be visited. It is the best example of cyclopean stone forts that remains in Ireland, and by authoritative antiquaries is said to be at least 2,000 years old.

Lake Currane

Photo—Cuthbert, Valencia.

Lake Currane.


Photo—Cuthbert, Valencia.

Raheen, Lake Currane.

Arbutus Rock

Photo—Cuthbert, Valencia.

Arbutus Rock, Lake Currane.

[Pg 203]


Tour 1.—The conveyance will leave the Hotel at 11 a.m. for a drive to Derrynane, the historic home of the Liberator, On reaching Coomakista Pass—the highest point of the road—a gradual descent brings the party to Derrynane House, and further on to Derrynane Hotel, close to the remains of the old Abbey. Those who wish to walk can get off the car at Coomakista, and walk one and-a-half miles to Lord Dunraven's cottage, where they can meet the cars. The path winds along the shore of Derrynane Bay, and well repays those who follow it on their way to the Abbey, The party can lunch at Derrynane Hotel, and may return by the path, and meet the car at Coomakista, or drive the whole way back to Waterville. Fare for four persons, 12s.

Tour 2.—The conveyance will leave the Hotel at 11 a.m., and drive along the northern shore of Lough Currane. Crossing the Coomeragh by the Ivy Bridge, the road leads us as far as Isknamaclery Lake. At this point a unique view is obtained of Isknamaclery Lake and Lough Nabrackderrag on the right, and Loughs Namona and Cloonaghlin on the left. The party can have the option of proceeding on foot to Derriana Lake, or returning and driving along the Coomeragh to Derriana Lodge, and from thence returning to Waterville, or they can cross the Dromad Hills, and return by the river Inny. Fare for four persons, 12s.

Tour 3.—The conveyance leaves the Hotel at 11 a.m. for Saint Finan's Glen. Before entering the Glen, a fine view is obtained of the Iveragh Mountains, and even the M'Gillicuddy Reeks, and later, the Lemon Rock and the Skelligs. After luncheon in the Glen, the party will return by Bolus Head, visiting the old Abbey of Saint Michael's and Ballinskellias Castle, and (with the permission of the Superintendent) the Atlantic Cable Station. For sea and mountain combined this view cannot be surpassed. Fare for four persons, 16s.

Tour No. 4.—The conveyance will leave the Hotel at about 11 a.m., for the remarkable fort of Staigue-an-or. The route lies along the southern shore of Lough Currane for about six miles, (passing the Waterfall) as far as Isknagahenny (Coppal) Lake, and good views are obtained of both lakes. At Isknagahenny Lake the party alights, and proceeds on foot for about four miles to the fort. When the highest point of the ascent is reached, a magnificent view is obtained of Kenmare river and the islands off the coast of Beara Peninsula. The descent to the foot is easy.[Pg 204] After luncheon the party may return either by West Cove and Derrynane to Waterville, or again ascend the mountain and return by Lake Road. Fare for four persons, 16s.

Shorter excursions can be arranged.


Boat and one man, 1s. per hour, 5s. per day. Boat and two men, 2s. per hour, 10s. per day.

In no case will the charge be for less than two hours.


Hire by Time (Driver's Fee included).

 Two-horse carriage.One-horse car.
For the first hour,7s. 0d.3s. 6d.
For two hours,14s. 0d.7s. 0d.
For each additional hour or fraction of an hour3s. 6d.2s. 0d.

Hire for Fixed Distances (Driver's Fee included).

 Two-horse carriage.One-horse car.
Waterville to Caragh Lake,25s. 0d.
Waterville to Caherciveen,15s. 0d.8s. 0d.
Waterville to Valentia,15s. 0d.8s. 0d.
Waterville to Portmagee,18s. 0d.10s. 0d.
Waterville to Derrynane,15s. 0d.8s. 0d.
Waterville to Parknasilla,30s. 0d.16s. 0d.
Fifty per cent. additional for return journey.

Coomakisteen Hill

The coach road from Waterville, following the outskirts of Ballinskelligs Bay, insinuates itself up a dizzy height. Looking backwards, Waterville, "standing with reluctant feet" between the sea and the lake, seems to wonder which is more bewitching. Forging ahead through the mountain gaps, we pass under Coomakiska, 1,500 feet, and Beenarourke, 1,000 feet above the sea level. Clearing the gates of the mountains,[Pg 206][Pg 205] we come into the open highlands above Derrynane, watching out from its post over the sea. Truly the home for a chief. Here O'Connell spent his happiest days, within the roar of the Atlantic billows, but far from the turmoil and stress of the great agitation in which his figure looms large as a giant form. Here his hospitable door flew open wide to the passing stranger, and across the hills, with the fleet-footed hound, he enjoyed the most delightful of sports, coursing! Several interesting relics of the Liberator are shown at the house of his descendant, the present proprietor. The ruins of Derrynane Abbey, in the vicinity of O'Connell's home, stand on a small peninsula, at some seasons transformed into an island by the divorcing rush of the high tides. It was a foundation of the monks of St. Finbarr, called Aghermore, such a place as that described in the life of St. Brendan, who, first of the old-world mariners, discovered the great Land of the West.

I grew to manhood by the western wave,
Among the mighty mountains on the shore;
My bed, the rock within some natural cave,
My food, whate'er the sea or seasons bore.

And there I saw the mighty sea expand,
Like Time's unmeasured and unfathomed waves;
One with its tide-marks on the ridgy strand,
The other with its line of weedy graves.

And, as beyond the outstretched waves of Time,
The eye of Faith a brighter land may meet;
So did I dream of some more sunny clime,
Beyond the waste of waters at my feet.

From Cahirdaniel village, the site of a Danish fort, the route extends directly along the Kenmare Fiord, under the foot of Crohan Mountain. The Slieve Misk and Cahar Mountains separate themselves out to win our admiration the better. They recall[Pg 210][Pg 209][Pg 208][Pg 207] Lady Dufferin's words, addressed to other sweet mountains, where

"The sunlight sleeping
On your green banks is a picture rare,
You crowd around me like young girls peeping,
And puzzling me to say which is most fair;
As though you'd see your own sweet faces
Reflected in that smooth and silver sea
O! my blessing on those lovely places,
Though no one cares how dear they are to me."


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


At Sneem

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Sneem.

At Sneem

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Sneem.

On the road beneath Crohan, a mile north from Coad Church is St. Kiernan's Cell, eaten into the face of the sheer rock. In this district formerly the mines were worked and copper smelted. As the road winds along we can see Staigue-an-or, with its cyclopean mounds, lying low and dwarfed on the hillside. By the high mountains, where the coach-horn sounds sweet and awakens echoes, the road comes down into the lowlands, and from the bridge is seen beautiful landscape, with Sneem spread out in the foreground. Under lovely beechen boughs, and through a glade of oak and first we are ushered into


An ideal residence, hidden from the summer sun by a variegated veil of the rocky garden foliage; sheltered from the winter's blast by the Askeve Mountains and the kind shores that button themselves around its inlet sea, of which Mr. A. P. Graves has written:

"Ocean before, the summer sky above
Who could pourtray the mountains' purple smiles—
And all the opal hues of earth and heaven,
Foam fringing forests, heather-tufted Isles;
The roseate dawn—purpureal pomps of even—
And young Atlantic's petulant, shifting wiles?
Who could do aught but mar the true expression
Where all is change? Then why a record shape
Of scenes whose nature glories in succession
From wood to wave—from wave to distant cape—
Like the young poet's dream, fair beyond all possession."
[Pg 211]

At Parknasilla

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Parknasilla.

[Pg 212]

Here in the demesne lands of a Bishop's Old Palace, the Southern Hotel new palace has been built. The green turf of its lawn extends down to the water's edge. It is a land of arbutus and myrtle, of glades laden with the pink and white blossoms of oleander and rhododendron, and thick with bells of fuschias, the fair daffodils of Shakespeare and Herrick, that fade away too soon:

"Daffodils that come
Before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty."

Derreen, away in the lap of the landscape, found favour of Froude, and at Kilmackilloge he found material for his novel. The beautiful Garinish Island is like a little paradise, lost in a land where all is lovely. Around the shores, and in the sandy caves, the beautiful seals cluster, and at times are so tame as to answer the shrill whistle of the boatman, and show their lovely forms on the water's surface near at hand. We live in sceptical times, when

"The powder, the beauty, and the majesty,
That had their haunts in dale, or piney mountain,
Or forests by slow stream, or pebbly spring,
Or chasms and watery depths—all these have vanished.
They live no longer in the faith of reason."

But still here, along the old-world shores, where daylight dies, the superstitions and traditions of the pagan past still linger among them, and there is none more interesting than that which teaches the fishermen to regard these beautiful-eyed, plaintive-voiced creatures with tenderness. The souls of the dead, drowned at sea, who die out of friendship with God, go into the bodies of the seals, and there through the ages await the Trump of the Archangel to call them before the Great White Throne.[Pg 213]

Southern Hotel

Southern Hotel, Parknasilla.

[Pg 214]

"Parknasilla is situated on the northern shore of Kenmare Bay, a bay rich in beauty, and with singularly-indented coast lines. Its well-sheltered position amidst a number of islets, thickly wooded down to the water's edge, has endowed it with unique advantages. This protective area gives to Parknasilla claims of a special character, and prevents the access to it of all winds except those coming from the warmer points, viz., south and south-west; these winds, before reaching the southern coast of Ireland, having travelled over the Gulf Stream, and being thus subjected to its moderating and balmy influence. We all recognise what elevation of the land will do for any place, particularly if it shelters that place from winds blowing from the cold quarters. Thus, mountain protection is of supreme importance in the choice of a health resort, more especially in the winter and spring seasons of the year. In this regard Parknasilla is exceptionally favoured, a mountainous range closely guarding and protecting it from the northerly and easterly winds. The combination of mountain, wood, and water gives a special charm to this locality; and a convincing evidence of the mildness of the winter and early spring here is the forward character of the vegetation, the early budding of the trees, shrubs, and flowers—all bearing testimony to the mildness of the climate. Temperature rapidly tells its tale on the vegetable world, and there can be no more reassuring proof of the equable and balmy character of the climate of a district than the early growth of flowering shrubs, plants, and table produce. The position of this favoured and sheltered sea inlet upon the isothermal map shows it to have a mean annual temperature of 52 degrees, being similar in this regard to its neighbour, Glengarriff, and registering a higher mean annual temperature than Ventnor or Torquay. The mildness of the climate in the earlier spring months is of such a character that exercise can be freely partaken of in the open air daily, without risk of chill; and this to the invalid is of paramount importance. No record has, as yet, been regularly taken of the daily sunshine, or of the rainfall, but so far as could be ascertained, the rainfall does not appear to be excessive. To sufferers from chronic or recurrent affections of the respiratory organs, Parknasilla, in the winter and early spring months, would appear to be indicated as a most desirable place of residence. I have had the advantage of two recent visits to this district, and feel convinced that, when it becomes better known, Parknasilla will prove a veritable haven of health and rest to the chronic invalid and the convalescent, as well as a delightful retreat to the busy man of the 'world's mart,' who may need a temporary repose from the worries and cares of daily life. Parknasilla is about a two hours' drive or thereabouts from Kenmare, the drive being one of exceptional beauty and interest."—Dublin Journal of Medical Science, May, 1896.[Pg 215]

Garinish Island

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Garinish Island, Parknasilla.

[Pg 216]


No. 1—Car to Sneem, and by Killarney Road to Letterfinish; thence to Tahilla Chapel, and return by Dunquilla (ancient fort), or direct. 8s.

No. 2.—Car to Sneem and Letterfinish; on to Geragh Bridge, and by Blackwater Valley and Coast Road to Tahilla, returning by Dunquilla, or direct, 12s.

No. 3.—Car to Sneem and Coomyauna Bridge, pony (cost 5s., to top and back not included), or walk to summit of Beoun Mountain, view of Glencar and M'Gillicuddy Reeks, Cloon, Lakes, and Coomlumina Glen with Dingle Bay in the distance. Return same way. 12s.

No. 4.—Car to Sneem and Glorah, pony (cost 5s., to top and back not included), or walk to summit of Finnavagough, view of Foylenagearough, Cloonaghlin, Derriana, and Waterville Lakes. Return same way. 12s.

No. 5.—Car to Staigue Fort and back. This ancient round stone Fort, in a wonderful state of preservation, is well worth a visit. 16s.

No. 6.—Car to Blackwater Bridge and Waterfall; along the Blackwater Valley to Lough Erin, view of Ballaghbeama Pass, returning by Geragh Bridge, Sneem Road, and Tahilla. 16s.

No. 7.—By boat to Reenkilla, car to Glanmore Lake, and by Furniss to Killmakillogue, skirting Derreen, Lord Lansdowne's demesne (fare 5s., not included). Return by boat (four-oared). 20s.

No. 8.—By boat to Ormonde's Island; car along shore of Clonea Lake to Inchiquin, Glen and Cascade, thence by Derreen or coast road. (Fare, 10s., not included.) Return by boat (four-oared). 20s.

No. 9.—By boat to the Caves, and into Ardgroom Harbour; car by Eyeries to Castletown-Bere, Dunboy Castle, and back (fare 10s., not included). Return by boat (four-oared). 20s.

Excursions by Steam Launch will also be organised to the Caves, Ardgroom, Derrynane, and other places of interest on the Kenmare River.

Cycling at Parknasilla

G S Hotel, Kenmare

Blackwater at Kenmare

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Blackwater at Kenmare.

The demesne around the hotel comprises one hundred acres of beautiful land, where tropical flora flourish all[Pg 220][Pg 219][Pg 218][Pg 217] the year round. The meadows trim, with daisies pied, there are on every mossy bank the dewy lips of

"Violets dim, But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes, Or Cytherea's breath."

The road to Kenmare lies high above the sea. Ardgroom is hiding under the Caha mountains, with Glenbeg Lake behind, in the little valley. Beneath Derrenamackan the lashing seas wage perpetual warfare against the rocks. By the Eskdhu, or Blackwater Bridge, amid the dense foliage of the trees, a waterfall bleats from the thicket with plaintive murmur. Then it breaks itself free, and amid rocks, and briars, and tangled underwood, rushes wildly towards the sea. Between us and the ocean is Dromore Castle, the residence of one of the heads of a sept of the O'Mahony clan. In the demesne are the ruins of Cappacross, a stronghold of the O'Sullivans. Dunkerron Castle, on the shore, gives its name to the islands in the bay.[Pg 221]

Chapter footer

Chapter header

County Clare.

Pictorial Map of Clare District
Pictorial Map of Clare District.

Dromoland Castle

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Dromoland Castle.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


Lisdoonvarna Spa

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lisdoonvarna Spa.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.



Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


Amphitheatre at Kilkee

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Amphitheatre at Kilkee.

Look-out Cliff, Kilkee

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Look-out Cliff, Kilkee.

Golfing at Lahinch

Golfing, Lahinch

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Golfing, Lahinch.

Clare County possesses the finest cliff scenery in Ireland. From Limerick or Galway the county may be explored. On the journey by rail from Limerick, beyond Long Pavement, we come on a fine view of Cratloe woods. An ancient saint referred to Cratloe as "a pleasant seclusion from sin"; but in later times it became a haunt of rapparees, and its thick foliage provided what Spenser would call "a meet house for rebels." In later times Freney, a noted highwayman, whose exploits delighted the Irish peasant, here found a refuge. Bunratty Castle was a strong place in feudal times. Here Rinuccini, the Papal Legate to Ireland in 1641, sojourned, and his papers contain many references to the picturesqueness of the surrounding country, and its herds of wild deer. Between Newmarket and Ardsollus is Dromoland, the seat of Lord Inchiquin, and the birthplace of William Smith O'Brien, the aristocratic leader of the revolutionists of 1848. Crossing the Ardsollus river, we are near Quin Abbey, an old Franciscan Priory, and Clare Castle, which took its name from an old watch tower in the river Fergus. Ennis is the chief town in the County Clare. It is more quaint than important. It is pleasantly placed on the river Fergus, and is a clean town, doing a thriving business with the[Pg 224][Pg 223][Pg 222] country. The principal monument in the town is to Daniel O'Connell, who was returned for Clare in the famous election of 1828. The ashes of the controversy that raged around O'Connell in his lifetime are long since dead, and if one wanted proof of this it is in the recent biography of the great agitator which appears in the "Heroes of the Nation" series. In that, the famous Clare election is treated with true historic discrimination by the writer, who compares the bravery of the Clare peasants at Ennis to the gallant Covenanters standing up against Claverhouse's Dragoons at Bothwell Bridge. From Ennis, by car and light railway, Ennistymon, Lehinch, Lisdoonvarna, and Ballyvaughan may be reached. At Ennistymon there is a splendid cascade on the Innagh river. Lisdoonvarna possesses the[Pg 228][Pg 227][Pg 226][Pg 225] best known Spa in Ireland. It is come-at-able from Milltown-Malbay or Ennistymon. Its friends have called it "The Cheltenham of Ireland." It cannot be pretended that the immediate scenery is attractive, but there are many interesting drives in the vicinity. The hotels and lodgings are good. The sixth century Church of Saint Cronan, pleasantly placed in an ash-grove, will give those of an antiquarian taste opportunity of beguiling their time during a stay at the beneficial chalybeate and sulphurous springs. The drives from Lisdoonvarna may include tours to Ballyvaughan and the Cliffs of Moher. The drive by Black Head, the north-eastern promontory of county Clare, gives one a fine view as far north as the Arran; then we approach Ballyvaughan, in Galway Bay, an out-of-the-way old world village. Its approach is by a spiral hill, over two miles in length, called "The Corkscrew-road." The sides of the stony hills are interspersed with the most delicate maiden-hair fern, growing wild. There are two small but neat hotels in Ballyvaughan. From this little town Galway might be visited by steamer and the Arran Isles by hooker. Kilkee is admittedly the best bathing-place in these islands. It is dashed into with the full force of the Atlantic, but with the countless nooks fitted into the rocky coast-line, there are numbers of sandy strands suitable for bathing. Here, situated in the very outpost of the West of Ireland, it is as up-to-date and as go-a-head as some of its more fashionable rivals, while in natural advantages it excels them all. It is easy of access by land and sea. The town is protected by a long reef of rock, called "Duggerna." The cliff scenery is very beautiful. The spots to visit are The Puffing Hole, Saint Senanus' Holy Well, Bishop's Island, with its beehive cells and Green Rock. A tour to Loophead will bring one in sight of a long line of cliff scenery. Lehinch and Liscanor Bay promise to become the best patronised golf links in Ireland. Right in front[Pg 232][Pg 231][Pg 230][Pg 229] of the little town is a splendid strand, and local enterprise has been auxiliary to nature in making the spot attractive. Spanish Point also possesses splendid strands, where sea-bathing may be enjoyed with safety. Two miles away is Milltown-Malbay. The town is business-like, and the coast-line in the vicinity is associated with weird tales of wreckers; there some of the unfortunate Spaniards came to grief in 1588. The Cliffs of Moher may be visited from Milltown, Lehinch, or Lisdoonvarna. Going up the road from Lehinch to Liscanor we pass a Holy Well dedicated to Saint Brigid. The only cliff scenery in the British Isles to compare with that of Moher is at the Orkney islands. They make a magnificent embroidery into[Pg 233] the red sandstone along the coast-line for four miles, rising in heights varying from 440 to 700 feet. From their height on a clear day the distant Isles of Arran may be seen, and the whole surroundings make as gorgeous a seascape as is to be found anywhere in the world. An observer will readily recognise that the quaint craft which the fishermen still use in the vicinity of Moher, as indeed elsewhere in Clare, is the ancient coracle. Kilrush, on the Lower Shannon, is chiefly of interest to the antiquary. It can be reached from Limerick, by the Shannon, as pointed out already, and from Kilkee by Rail. By a ferry from a slip at the foot of the little town, the holy island, Scattery, the shrine of Saint Senanus, may be reached. The Round Tower is in good preservation, and the remains of the[Pg 234] Seven Churches can still be traced. Saint Senanus' bed is still pointed out. No peasant woman who wishes to be a mother will ever enter this hallowed spot. The legend of Saint Senanus is similar to that of Saint Kevin. He was haunted by the love of a woman from whom he flew. Thomas Moore in verse tells us the hard-heartedness of both the anchorites:—

"Oh! haste, and leave this sacred isle,
Unholy bark, e'er morning smile,
For on thy deck, though dark it be,
A female form I see.
And I have sworn this sainted sod
Shall ne'er by woman's feet be trod."

"Oh! Father, send not hence my bark,
Through wintry winds and billows dark;
I come with humble heart to share
Thy morn and evening-prayer;
Nor mine the feet, oh! holy Saint,
The brightness of thy sod to taint."

The lady's prayer Senanus spurned,
The wind blew fresh, the bark returned;
But legends hint that had the maid
Till morning's light delay'd,
And given the Saint one rosy smile,
She ne'er had left his lonely isle.

Cliffs of Moher

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Cliffs of Moher.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


Country Car

Country Car.

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[Pg 235]

Chapter header

Galway and District.

Leaving the County Clare by rail we cross into Galway, between Crusheen and Tubber. Beyond the marshy country on the right, away in the woodlands, nestles Loughcootra Castle. The great lake from which the place takes its name covers eight square miles. The hundreds of islets here scattered about its surface are the homes of thousands of herons. The country people have a belief that this bird is a messenger of good omen, and never interfere with it or its young. There is a beautiful legend in Irish of a heron which visited St. Columba, at Iona, a traveller from his own country. This story is recorded in the interesting life of the saint written in the seventh century by Adamnan, one of his successors; a beautiful version in English tells of the saint rising at dawn of day after a dream of the coming of the bird:—

"He looked out over the dreary moor,
Over the hill so bleak and hoar—
'A bird from the land I revisit no more
Has come to visit me,
Dear Innisfail from thy fragrant shore—
Land of my own I shall see no more—
[Pg 236]Across the driving sea.'

Then he left his prayer, and 'Brother,' he said,
'Take to thee corn, and oil, and bread,
A bird has alit—half frozen, half dead—
Upon our southern strand.
Then warm him and feed him with gentle care,
And chafe his wing's and anoint him there,
He comes from my own loved land—
From my own loved land,' and the old Saint wept;
But the Monk arose, while the others slept,
And warmed the heron, and fed and kept
The bird for a day and night.
So Columb feeling, though far away,
For Ireland's soil—like the Gael to-day—
One favour in heaven's sight."

The magnificent residence was designed and erected similarly to East Comer Castle (by Nash, who remodelled Windsor) for Lord Gort, the head of the Vereker family, at a cost of £70,000. The black hand of the famine of 1847 fed on this property, like many another in Ireland, and it passed from its owners under the Encumbered Estates Act. Cove Park, the residence of Lady Gregory, is just outside Gort. Her Ladyship has found a way to the hearts of the country people by her sympathy with the Irish language movement. Her volume, "Mr. Gregory's Letter Box," is a valuable contribution to the history of Ireland in the first three decades of the nineteenth century. Sir William Gregory's Memoirs it is that contain the circumstantial version of the Cabinet scandal, in which the name of the Hon. Mrs. Norton (George Meredith's "Diana of the Crossways") figures. The story of the leakage of the State secret is as follows:—

"When Sir Robert Peel determined to repeal the Corn Laws he consulted a portion of his Cabinet. They were Sidney Herbert, Lord Lincoln, Sir Jas. Graham, and Lord Aberdeen, all of whom determined that the repeal of the Corn Laws should be kept a profound secret until the whole of the Cabinet had assembled. That same evening Sidney Herbert dined tête-à-tête with Mrs. Norton, the well-known object of his attachment, and with whom he was infatuated. Before dinner was over she[Pg 237] wormed out of him the secret of the Cabinet. After dinner she pretended to go to see a sick friend for a short time, and returned in half-an-hour. In the meantime she had taken a cab and driven down to the Times Office, and saw Barnes, the Editor, and told him the Government were going to repeal the Corn Laws. Barnes said to her, "If you have no proof I shall not detain you, but if you have you shall have £500." She gave him the chapter and verse, and returned to poor Sidney Herbert with the cheque in her pocket. The next day the announcement was made in the Times which astounded all England. This was on the 5th December, 1845. The other papers disbelieved it. Lord Derby and the Duke of Richmond left the Government."

In the heart of a stony country beset with high fences and rough copple stones, stands the little town of Gort, The military stationed there now add to its importance. Kilmacduagh, at the base of the Burren Hills, contains a church (seventh century) of St. Colman, the Blue-eyed, and a Round Tower leaning out of the perpendicular. In pre-historic times all this country side at the foot of Burren, from Gort to Loughrea, and for miles apart, is said to have been the favourite hunting-ground of Queen Maev. Kinvara, away on an inlet of Galway Bay, is a fishing village, and the locality is celebrated for the "succulent oysters"—which in the season are to be found in every restaurant in Dublin. The antiquary will find his way easily to Corcomroe Abbey—the church is still in a good state of preservation. Donald More O'Brien, King of Limerick, is commonly believed to have built it in the twelfth century. It subsequently became subject to Furness, in Lancashire. Donough O'Brien, King of Thomond—killed in battle in 1267—is buried here; his monument discloses the rude magnificence of his attire. The effigy is looked upon by scientists as an example of the attire of an Irish King of the thirteenth century.

Athenry, as its name, the "Ford of the Kings," signifies, and its ruins testify, was of old a place of[Pg 238] renown. The tower is entered by a small gate tower; before it stands the quaint market cross, on one side is the Virgin and Child, on the other the figure of the Crucified. The base is relieved with deer and wolf hounds, and at the corner an angel holds a scroll, the legend of which is defaced. The Franciscan Priory (1464), despite the attempt to modernise it, has still two thirteenth century windows, and the south transept has the remains of a very beautiful window. The Dominican Priory is said to have been erected at the personal request of St. Dominick in 1241. So late as 1644 it was the seat of a university acknowledged by Rome.

Tuam is now of little importance. It is to ecclesiastics, however, of interest, as the centre of an Archiepiscopal See. The statue to John MacHale is worth seeing. He was well known in the first part of the nineteenth century as "John of Tuam." An uncompromising Ultramontane, he translated Homer into Gaelic, and O'Connell in one of his speeches called this great patriot bishop "The Lion of the Fold of Judah." The ancient cross in the square is a good specimen of the Irish stone crosses.

Galway still possesses the evidence of its former greatness. To-day it is simply an old world city in the midst of a sporting county. Of old it was a strong-walled town, ever on the alert against alarm and foray, with its harbour crowded with the warships of Spain and the merchantmen of many a foreign port. There is a famous map of the city, dating back to 1651, when the then Lord Deputy Clanricarde pledged the town to the Duke of Lorraine. It shows a walled-in town with fourteen gates, each guarded by a watch-tower.

At Galway

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

At Galway.

In the twelfth century, when De Burgo conquered O'Connor, he made Galway the citadel of his western possessions. During the next century there gathered into the prosperous town from far and near adventurers[Pg 240][Pg 239] and merchants—the Blakes and the Bodkins, the Lynches, the Morrises, the Martins, the Joyces, &c.; founders of the great families, whose names have since been inseparable from Galway. In after times the clanship and attachment of these families to their members and each other, drew from the Scripture-loving Puritans the scornful appellation—"The Tribes of Galway"; but the expression was afterwards adopted by the Galway men as an honourable mark of distinction between themselves and their cruel oppressors. In old times the merchant princes of the place were renowned for their hospitality, which they carried to such an excess that the civil authorities interfered with it, in 1518, with a law to the effect that

"No man of this town shall oste or receive into their houses at
Christmas, Easter, nor no feaste elles, any of the Burkes,
MacWilliams, the Kellies, nor no cepte elles without license of
the Mayor and Councill, on payn to forfeit £5; that neither O nor
Mac shall strutte nor swaggere through the street of Gallway."

Indeed, the O's and Mac's seem to have made their history by more than enjoying the hospitality of their neighbours, and what was not given them willingly they at times took by the strength of their right hands. Over the western gate of the city was the following meaningful inscription:—

"From the fury of the O'Flaherties, good Lord, deliver us."

The trade with Spain was for centuries a source of great prosperity to the town, and those familiar with the characteristics of Spanish architecture will see much in Galway to remind them of it. The sympathy of the townspeople seems always to have been with the leaders of forlorn hopes in Irish history. It was almost destroyed by Ludlow for its fidelity to the King in 1652, and having been rebuilt, it again fell before the siege trains of the victorious Ginckle in 1691 after the battle[Pg 241] of Aughrim, the Culloden of Ireland. With the fall of the Jacobite standard in that battle, the hopes of the western Irish declined. The surviving sons of most of the old families sought service abroad in the armies of France, Spain, and Austria. There are many love songs of the time in Irish, which have been translated, such as—


Do you remember long-ago,
When your lover whispered low—
"Shall I stay or shall I go,
And you answered proudly, "Go,
And join King James and strike a blow
For the Green."

Mavrone! your hair is white as snow,
Your heart is sad and full of woe—
Do you repent you bade him go,
But still you answer proudly, "No,
Far better die with Sarsfield so,
Than live a slave without a blow
For the Green."

Many of the old houses remain. Far and away the most interesting is Lynch's mansion at the corner of Abbey Gate-street. On the walls are the arms of the Lynches and their crest, a lynx, which it is said was given them for the watchfulness with which they guarded a besieged Austrian town in the middle ages. Behind Saint Nicholas' Church, in Market-street, is the Lynch stone, inscribed with a skull and crossbones, and "Vanity of vanity, and all is but vanity," above which is an inscription:—

"This memorial of the stern and unbending justice of the Chief Magistrate of this city, James Lynch Fitzstephen, elected Mayor,[Pg 242] A.D. 1493, who condemned and executed his own guilty son, Walter, on this spot, has been restored to its ancient site A.D. 1854, with the approval of the Town Commissioners, by their Chairman, Very Rev. Peter Daly, P.P., and Vicar of Saint Nicholas."

The stern and unbending justice relates to the Mayor's execution of his own son. The story tells how a young Spaniard, who was the Mayor's guest, crossed in love the Mayor's son. One night, heated with wine and inflamed with jealousy, young Lynch drove a stiletto through the heart of his rival. His father tried and condemned him for the crime. His mother roused the sympathy of the townspeople to such an extent that none could be found to act as executioner, but the old Mayor was even-handed with them, and hanged the unfortunate culprit with his own hands.

No visitor to Galway will fail to find out the Claddagh. It is the most conservative community in Ireland, and with them neither old times are changed nor old manners gone. The colony inhabit a number of low-thatched cottages apart from the town. They live mostly by fishing. The Claddagh women dress in blue cloaks and red petticoats, and their rings, which visitors procure as keepsakes, represent two hands holding a harp. Hardman, in his "Rare History of Galway," wrote of them as follows:—

"The colony, from time immemorial, has been ruled by one of their own body, periodically elected, who is dignified with the title of Mayor, regulates the community according to their own peculiar laws and customs, and settles all their fishery disputes. His decisions are so decisive and so much respected that the parties are seldom known to carry their differences before a legal tribunal or to trouble the civil magistrates."

Arran Island

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Arran Island, Claddagh.

Salthill, to the west of the town, is a well-sheltered bathing-place, with pleasant villas for visitors. The Queen's College will repay a visit. At the bridge in the town excellent salmon fishing is to be had. When[Pg 244][Pg 243] the fish are making up the river for Corrib or Lough Mask the sight is very interesting. From Galway the old Franciscan Monastery at Claregalway may be driven to, or an excursion made down the bay to the Arran Islands. They are twenty-seven miles from the harbour. There are three principal islands, Innismore, Innismaan, and Innisheen, and several small isles. Two centuries ago they were described as paved over with stones, with wide openings between them for cattle to break their legs, and the modern description by Hon. Emily Lawless does not far differ.

The dress of the people is mostly white, homespun flannel "bawneens," and sandals of cowhide, fastened across the instep, which they call "pampooties."

Queen's College

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Queen's College, Galway.

[Pg 245]

Chapter header

Connemara and Sligo.

The Great Southern and Western Railway line runs northward from Tuam to Sligo. To the westward lies Iar Connaught and Connemara, the capital of which is Clifden, standing high above Ardhear Bay. If we go direct from Galway to Clifden we pass Oughterard and the ruins of Aughnanure Castle, formerly the stronghold of "The furious O'Flahertys." From its Tower we can get a view of Lough Corrib, with its famous Caislean-no-Circe, long the lair of Grace O'Malley, of whom the western peasant may say she

"Fought, and sailed, and ruled,
And loved, and made our world."

Oughterard nowadays is given over to fishermen instead of the fighting followers of the western chieftains. The Connaught Glendalough differs much from its Leinster namesake, but the Maamturk Mountains and the Glen of Innagh have a panorama of scenes difficult, indeed, to rival. Clifden is an excellent centre from which to make excursions. Wherever we look the Twelve Bens of Bumabeola spring up like uplifted[Pg 248][Pg 247][Pg 246] lances. The coast-line is beautiful, and from the promontories we see distant Slyne Head and the Isles of the West. Mountain climbers will find on the summit of Urrisbeg a curious plateau. The district is a good one for lake and sea fishing.

Queen's College

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Queen's College, Galway.

Achill Head

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Achill Head, Mayo.

Diamond Mountain

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Diamond Mountain, Letterfrack.

The coast drive to Leenane should not be missed. Leenane itself is on the outer flank of "Joyce's County," as a fiord of Killery Bay. Letterfrack is but ten miles from Clifden. The mountain scenery in the immediate vicinity of the town is delightful. Within easy reach is Little Killery Bay and the beautiful valley, The Pass of Kylemore, near which is Kylemore Castle, where Mitchell Henry started his model farm in 1864. The mountain pass of Lehinch cuts through the hills to the sea. A journey by Ballinakill brings the adventuresome to Renvyle Bay, where there is a comfortable hotel. Leenane is the best starting ground for an expedition up the Twelve Bens; from it also a tour may be made to Cong.

About eight miles beyond Leenane is Errig Bridge, from which the best view of Croagh Patrick Mountain may be had. But an ascent of the mountain is best made from Murrisk Abbey, six miles outside Westport. From the mountain side the expansive country from island-set Clew Bay to Nephin and Slievemore, in Achill, spreads out to best advantage. The famous coach road from Clifden cuts into Westport from the south. The Quay and Mall and the Marquis of Sligo's demesne are the "sights" of the town. It is a convenient centre from which to visit Achill Island. The drive through Newport, Mallaranny, and Achill Sound to Dingort, although across an exposed country, on a fine day will more than repay the tourist.

The views of Clew Bay are like the changing scenes in a panorama. Newport will clamour for the attention of fishermen; and lavish on them opportunities for sport. The Glens on the way to Mallaranny will tempt excursions, and beyond Burrishoole Bridge the antiquary will[Pg 252][Pg 251][Pg 250][Pg 249] deviate to Carrighooley Castle, and lend his ears to the peasant tales of Grace O'Malley and her husband, the MacWilliam.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


Lough Corrib

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lough Corrib.

Killery Bay

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Killery Bay.

Mallaranny is a home of rest. It hides beside a promontory in the bay, and its splendid strand faces the south. The direct way to Achill is through Dingort. For scenery and sport few places in the west surpass the island. The mountain cliff scenery is superb. The seals breed in the cliffs, and the rocks are the homes of countless seabirds. At Meenawn, the eagles on the island mostly nest. The great horned wild goats offer good sport to the marksman, and the deep-sea fisher will delight in the shoals and "schools" of herring and mackerel which in the seasons strike the coast and into the bays of the island. Did Izaac Walton but live in our days he would be sure to find his way to Ballina, because of the Moy River and the salmon which "most do congregate there." Loughs Conn and Cullin are open free fishing, and on the preserves the terms are most liberal. Foxford, beside Lough Conn, will gladden the hearts of those interested in philanthropic schemes for the benefit of "the very poor" in rural Ireland. Within a few years, enterprises well directed, has transformed the district from being a "most distressful country" into a thriving, self-respecting, self-advancing locality. Killala, six miles from Ballina, is of interest as the point at which General Humbert and 1,100 Frenchmen invaded Ireland in 1798. Sligo is the most thriving town in the west of Ireland. Its public buildings, its commerce, and its picturesque position, are one and all notable. Sligo Abbey, a structure of the thirteenth century, is a very remarkable pile of ruins. Lough Gill contains most beautiful sylvan and sea pictures. There is sea, lake, and river fishing galore, and mostly free. The point from which to see Lough Gill in all its glory is Dooine Rock. Excursions may be made to Hazelwood, Glencar, and even to Bundoran, the most deservedly patronised watering-place in[Pg 255][Pg 254][Pg 253] the north-west of Ireland. Those who desire an exquisite souvenir of a visit to Ireland, should not fail to procure a piece of Belleek ware, remarkable for its elegance and delicacy; and if in the vicinity of Belleek village, permission may be obtained to visit the interesting pottery.


Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.


Lough Gill

Photo—Lawrence, Dublin.

Lough Gill.

For information as to Sport to be had in the Sligo District, see end of this volume, where particulars are given as to Golf, Fishing, Shooting, Cycling, &c.

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[Pg 256]

Summer and Winter Resorts

The health resorts of Ireland are so many, their attractions and advantages so varied, that one wonders why it is that they are comparatively so little patronised. The explanation is not far to seek. Hitherto they have been but little known, one cause and another have helped to keep Ireland a terra incognita. The "faculty," however, has been for long acquainted with the benefits which the Green Isle possesses, and many an insular invalid, consumed with the desire to visit some continental resort, has taken the common sense advice of the family physician and learned to appreciate the advantages Providence has bestowed nearer home.

Winter quarters we have a good store, and beauty spots abound on the coast, where summer delights can be enjoyed galore, to use an Irish expression.

Most of the places referred to beneath have already been described in the foregoing pages, but it will, perhaps, be convenient for those in search of particular information as to health resorts and seaside watering places, to have them collected in one chapter and listed alphabetically—

ARDMORE.—Fishing village, five miles from Youghal, growing as a watering place. Beautifully situated on southern shore of Bay. Splendid strand, good opportunities for bathing. Deep-sea fishing, mackerel, and herring "schools," plenty of lobsters. Cliff scenery in vicinity; the bay is frequented by seals. Gaelic-speaking peasantry. Round tower and ancient church. Good cottage accommodation.

ARRAN ISLANDS.—Three in number—Innismore, Innismaan, Innisheer—standing out in the Atlantic, a sort of long harbour bar to Galway Bay. Scenery cannot pretend to be attractive. Bathing and deep-sea fishing. Splendid views of[Pg 257] cliff scenery on Clare Coast. Steam trip up Galway Bay delightful. An enjoyable inn at Kilronan.

BALLYBUNION.—Good watering place, splendid strand, fine cliff scenery, sheer on Atlantic Ocean, plenty bathing accommodation. Castle Hotel is comfortable, lodgings clean and cheap. Eight miles from Listowel.

BLARNEY.—Hydro, at St. Ann's Hill, on the side of pleasant uplands overlooking old castle. Nicely wooded, with lake and trout stream. Cottage homes, within grounds which are between six and seven hundred acres in extent. Sandy soil and pine forests. The residences well sheltered. Six miles from City Cork and Muskerry tram; two miles G. S. W. Railway. Terms and particulars of treatment, &c., to be had from the medical officer, Dr. Altdorfer.

CAHIRCIVEEN.—An inlet of Valencia Harbour, well sheltered, mild winters. Coach drives through mountain scenery or along coast to Waterville. Valencia three miles.

CASTLECONNELL.—Fishing village on the Shannon, outside Limerick, six miles. Possesses chalybeate spring. Beautiful river scenery, and splendid fishing. The Shannon Hotel can be recommended.

DUNMORE EAST.—Pleasant, quiet, and select seaside resort, eleven miles from Waterford, at the mouth of the River Suir. Good strand, well sheltered. Splendid sea fishing and exceptionally good harbour for yachting or boating. Plenty of villa and lodging-accommodation, demand for same on increase in season. Good bathing; good hotel.

GLENGARRIFF.—Coach from Kenmare or Bantry. Beautiful scenery. Inlet of Bantry Bay. Well wooded, mild climate, winter resort beyond compare. Gulf Stream strikes coast in vicinity. Excellent hotel accommodation. Good cottage accommodation. Plenty coaching and boating facilities in summer; splendid sea bathing. Arbutus grows wild.

KENMARE.—One of the starting-points for the Grand Atlantic Coast Drive. Thriving pleasant town at the head of the fiord. Macgillicuddy Reeks stand out behind the town. Mountain climbers will make ascent best from point beyond Sohaleen Bridge. Both the Cork and Kerry sides of the bay are very beautiful and worthy of investigation. The Southern Hotels Company has one of its branches outside the railway station. The Lansdowne Arms is an old coaching inn, famed for its mountain mutton and good claret.[Pg 258]

KILKEE.—The best bathing-resort in the three kingdoms. Splendid facilities. The cliff scenery and coast walks attractive. Good villa and cottage accommodation. Modern hotels on esplanade.

KILLARNEY, see page 136.

LEHINCH.—Bracing air from Atlantic. Good bathing. Bold coast line. New hotel, fine golf links. Promises to be the most up-to-date watering place in Clare.

LEENANE.—The pleasant place on Killary Harbour. It has the Mweelrea mountains behind it and the sea in front. The bay is remarkable for sea fishing, while the salmon and trout angler will have his heart's desire in Errif Lake. The Leenane Hotel stands close to the shore, and the Aasleagh Hotel, high above the Errif, is surrounded by demesne lands. The mountain scenery is remarkable.

LISDOONVARNA.—Inland watering place. An old favourite health resort now more easy of access than hitherto. The spas are sulphurous and chalybeate. The hotel accommodation is unusually good, but still insufficient for the summer and early autumn visitors. The driving tours in the locality take in the most delightful scenery in county Clare.

LUCAN.—A very old spa. Beautiful sylvan retreat within nine miles of Dublin. Scenery on upper Liffey and drives in vicinity through charming country. The Hydro, equipped with every modern advantage.

PARKNASILLA.—THE PREMIER WINTER RESORT OF IRELAND. Hotel well sheltered on fiord of Kenmare Bay. The grounds around beautifully wooded and planted with luxuriant shrubs. Absolutely free from winter cold. This country side the pride of Kerry. The seascape and islands in vicinity delightful. Admirable arrangements for boating, fishing, and coaching.

POULAPHOUCA.—Approached from Harristown on the Tullow branch. The upper Liffey winds here through a beautiful glen with a splendid fall beyond Poulaphouca bridge. Splendid facilities for shooting and fishing are afforded in the surrounding mountain country. Convenient centre for pedestrian and cycle tours. Hotel immediately above the Fall, also good hotel at Blessington: and four miles higher up in the Wicklow Highlands, at Lacken, excellent hotel.

QUEENSTOWN.—"The Paradise of Pensioners." The port of Cork Harbour. Centre of American tourist traffic. Well sheltered. Long the winter quarters of invalids. Every facility[Pg 259] for visitors. Within easy reach of Cork city. Excellent train service. In summer steamer trips on beautiful river. Several good hotels; splendid villa accommodation. A bright cheerful town, full of life and change of colour. A well known specialist (Dr. A. Thomson), in his "Physician's Note Book," puts the query—"Where should a consumptive patient pass the winter months if he can't go abroad?" and answers himself, "There is no place within Great Britain and Ireland so well adapted for the residence of a consumptive patient as Queenstown."

RECESS.—Midway between Clifden and Kylemore, on the edge of the western Glendalough, guarded behind by mountain scenery, secluded, but all the more attractive to those weary of the busy haunts of men. The lake and mountain scenery exceptionally wild. It is an ideal resort for sportsmen.

TRAMORE.—One of the most attractive watering places in Ireland. Its name in English signifies "the great strand," and it is no misnomer. The bathing facilities are the best on southern coast, and are not, indeed, surpassed on any other coast. Splendid new hotel up-to-date in every respect, and other hotels to suit all classes, with fine race-course, plenty of lodgings and houses to be had in the season. Twenty minutes run from Waterford by train. Military bands in the summer. Exceptionally good place for families. Tramore is a delightful seaside resort, built on a gradual incline, with a southerly aspect, on the shores of the broad Atlantic. The air is almost proverbial for its restorative qualities, not only in popular but also in scientific opinion. It is beyond all doubt that Tramore has as many hours of sunshine, less rainfall, and more even temperature than any other seaside town in the United Kingdom.

VALENCIA.—The next parish to America, the home of Atlantic cable stations. The island remarkable for the number of tropical plants which grow in the open. Climate unusually mild. Boating, sailing, and bathing in the season. Deep-sea fishing with islanders. Good hotel, comfortable, clean, and cheap. Other accommodation difficult to obtain.

WATERFORD, see page 112.

WATERVILLE.—Principal posting place on Atlantic coast tour. Splendid watering place, beautifully situated on strip of land dividing mountain lake from sea. Fine strand. Sea and lake fishing. The station for Mackey Bennet cable system. Three good hotels, M'Elligott's and Galvin's, on the coast, and the Southern Hotel on the shore of the picturesque Lough Currane, within a stone's throw of the sea. Very good cottage accommodation in summer season.

[Pg 260]

Chapter header

Natural History of the South and West of Ireland.

By R. Lloyd Praeger, B.A., B.E., &c.

The Natural History of the South and West of Ireland possesses a special and peculiar interest in the occurrence in this region of a number of plants and animals which are rare in or absent from Great Britain and the adjoining portions of Europe. Let us first consider the general geographical features of this area, and the geological characters which have produced those features. Ireland has often been likened to a saucer, consisting as it does of a great central plain, fringed with mountain groups disposed around the coast. The plain has a slightly undulating floor of Carboniferous limestone; the groups of hills are mostly formed of older rocks, which break through the level limestones. On our journey from Dublin to Athlone, or from Dublin to Mallow, we pass across typical portions of the central plain; and the brown ridges of Slieve Bloom and Devil's Bit, and the greener heights of the Galtees, furnish good examples of the masses of older rocks that rise out of the plain.[Pg 261]

In considering the features and natural history of this wide area, it will be convenient to divide it into districts, which we shall treat of in the following order:—

1. Wicklow and Wexford.

2. Waterford and East Cork.

3. West Cork and Kerry.

4. Clare and East Galway.

5. West Galway and West Mayo.

6. Sligo.

7. The Central Plain and River Shannon.

1. WICKLOW AND WEXFORD.—Here we are on the East Coast, looking across St. George's Channel towards the shores of Wales. The lovely county of Wicklow is the most mountainous in Ireland, having 180 square miles over 1,000 feet elevation, and 25 square miles over 2,000. Wexford is lower and more fertile. The coasts of both counties are in great measure flat and sandy, and are the home of many rare plants. A number of species of light soils and of gravelly shores have here their Irish headquarters, such as the Round-headed Trefoil (Trifolium glomeratum) the Sea-Stock (Matthiola sinuata), the rare Sea-Cudweed (Diotis candidissima), and the Wild Asparagus (A. officinalis). The Murrough, a great gravel beach backed by salt marshes which extends from Greystones to Wicklow, and the marshes of the River Slaney, may be specially recommended to the naturalist. These coasts are the only Irish locality for the handsome ground-beetle, Nebria complanata, a typical South European animal. The Wicklow mountains, which reach in Lugnaquilla a height of 3,039 feet, are the main portion of the Leinster highlands, formed by a great mass of granite which stretches from Dublin into county Kilkenny. Considering their elevation this range is singularly devoid of alpine plants and animals, but many interesting species inhabit the lower grounds, famous on account of the beauty of the scenery.[Pg 262]

Among the Lepidoptera several rare species are characteristic of the district, such as the "Bath White" butterfly (Pontia daplidice), and the "Four-spotted Footman" moth (Œnistis quadra).

2. WATERFORD AND EAST CORK.—This is a picturesque district, formed largely of slates and sandstones of Old Red Sandstone age. The coast is mostly of very bold character, with towering cliff ranges. The country is generally undulating and fertile, with occasional mountain ranges, of which the Comeraghs are rendered especially interesting and picturesque by the deep "cooms," embosoming tarns, which give them their name. The Comeraghs and the lovely valley of the Blackwater furnish particularly attractive ground for the naturalist. The flora and fauna of this area are intermediate in character between that of the district last considered and of the surpassingly interesting country that lies to the westward, and which will next claim attention. Thus, the coasts yield several of the rare plants mentioned in the last paragraph—for instance, Diotis and Asparagus grow at Tramore; while at the same time we first meet in this area with some of the most famous plants of the south-west—London Pride (Saxifraga umbrosa), Kidney-leaved Saxifrage (S. Geum), Great Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora), Irish Spurge (Euphorbia hiberna). Two rare butterflies of this district are Dianthæcia cæsia and D. luteago var. Barrettii; and the largest of the British leaf-beetles, Timarcha lævigata, has been taken near Waterford, and at Tipperary.

Geological Section from Bantry Bay to Killarney

Drawing J. St. J. Phillips.

Geological Section from Bantry Bay to Killarney.

A Kerry ditchbank

Photo—Welch, Belfast.

A Kerry ditchbank showing Pennywort two feet in height.

3. WEST CORK AND KERRY.—This is one of the most beautiful and interesting districts in the British Isles, and indeed in Europe. The ancient Devonian rocks which prevail have been folded into a grand series of simple arches and troughs, the axes running north-east and south-west. The arches form noble mountain[Pg 263] ranges, which on the coast project far into the Atlantic in a series of grand promontories, and inland form picturesque highlands, of which Macgillicuddy's Reeks, which rise to 3,404, constitute the highest land in Ireland. The valleys in their lower portions are occupied by the sea, in the form of long island-studded fiords; their upper parts are often filled with Carboniferous limestone, and offer a pleasant contrast of tillage and green pasture between the gaunt brown mountain-ribs. Here we stand on the most western outpost of the European Continent, with the Atlantic on three sides. The effect of the encompassing ocean, and the western winds which constantly blow in from it, is to produce here and along the whole western coast the most uniform annual temperature to be found in Europe. Frosts are almost unknown, and great heat and drought likewise. These peculiar climatic conditions have resulted in the acquisition and preservation of a fauna and flora which spread here from more southern latitudes at some time now long gone by, and which in these favoured spots still remain to remind us of a period when a state of things prevailed very different from what obtains at present. For naturalists tell us that there can be no doubt that these southern plants and animals migrated to Ireland over land-surfaces now[Pg 264] destroyed, having spread along the old-time coast line which long ago extended from the Pyrenean highlands to Ireland; and as a relic of their march, we find some of the species still surviving in the south-west of England,[Pg 265] while all of them are absent from the rest of England and from the adjoining parts of continental Europe.

An enumeration of a few of the most remarkable of the plants, with a definition of their range, will make clearer this peculiar feature of the natural history of the West of Ireland:—

Saxifraga umbrosa

Saxifraga umbrosa.

London Pride (Saxifraga umbrosa). In Ireland along the west and south coasts. Absent from England. On the Continent it is found only in the south.[Pg 266]

Kidney-leaved Saxifrage (S. Geum). In Ireland in the south-west. Unknown in England. On the Continent confined to the Pyrenean district

Strawberry-tree (Arbutus unedo). In Ireland in the south-west. Unknown in England. On the Continent it grows all along the Mediterranean.

Great Butter wort (Pinguicula grandiflora). In Ireland in the south-west. Unknown in England. On the Continent it grows on the Alps and in the south-west.

Irish Spurge (Euphorbia hiberna). In Ireland along the south and west coasts. In England it is confined to Devonshire. On the Continent it occurs only in the south-west.

Among the Arbutus

Photo—J. St. J. Phillips.

Among the Arbutus, Cloonee Lakes.

[Pg 267]

Arbutus Islands

Photo—Welch, Belfast.

Arbutus Islands, Upper Lake, and the Reeks, Killarney.

[Pg 268]

Going for a moment further north, we find in Connemara, and there only, a group of three kinds of Heath with the same peculiar distribution:—

The Irish Spurge

Photo—Welch, Belfast.

The Irish Spurge.

St. Dabeoc's Heath (Dabeocia polifolia). In Ireland
in Connemara. Unknown in England. On the
Continent confined to the south-west.

Mediterranean Heath (Erica mediterranea). In
Ireland in Connemara. Unknown in England.
On the Continent confined to the south-west.

Mackay's Heath (E. Mackaiana). In Ireland in
Connemara. Unknown in England. On the
Continent in Spain only.

Nor is it the plants alone that exhibit the peculiar relation existing between the Natural History of Ireland[Pg 269] and of the Pyrenean region. Among the animals the same features may be observed, the most striking instance being the peculiar Kerry Slug (Geomalacus maculosus), which is abundant in many parts of the extreme south-west of Ireland, and is elsewhere found only in Portugal.

The Kerry Slug

Drawing—Dr. R. F. Scharff.

The Kerry Slug.

Mixed with these southern forms in the West of Ireland we find another group of still stranger affinities. In pools and lakes from Kerry to Donegal grows the curious Pipe-wort (Eriocaulon septangulare). It may be also found in the Island of Skye, in the West of Scotland, but nowhere else in Europe; to see it again we must go to the northern regions of North America, where it flourishes under conditions much more rigorous than those which obtain in its mild Irish home. The deliciously fragrant orchid, Spiranthes Romanzoviana, grows in the counties of Cork, Armagh, Antrim, and Londonderry; elsewhere only in sub-arctic America and the portion of Asia which most nearly approaches the Alaskan shores. The "Blue-eyed Grass" of Canada (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) is likewise confined to the West of Ireland and to North America; and further instances might be quoted. In the animal kingdom, too, parallel cases have been noted, the most interesting[Pg 270] being the discovery of no less than three American species of fresh-water sponge, which are unknown in the rest of Europe.

To account for the presence of this American group naturalists are driven, as in the case of the southern species, to the conclusion that these represent one of the very oldest components of our existing fauna and flora, and point to a period when the edge of Europe was prolonged far to the north-west, forming a continuous land area, presumably by way of Iceland and Greenland, to America. And here on the wild western coast of Ireland these last inhabitants of the lost lands of Europe still survive.

The Kerry Slug

Drawing—Dr. R. F. Scharff.

The Kerry Slug, showing the manner in which its
coloration mimics clusters of lichen among which it lives.

[Pg 271]

Nest of Wood Ant

Photo—Welch, Belfast.

Nest of Wood Ant at Killarney.

[Pg 272]

4. CLARE AND EAST GALWAY.—Our last district—West Cork and Kerry—was characterised by great ribs of slate and sandstone, and by an absence of limestone and the numerous plants which follow in its train. The present district forms a marked contrast, being largely composed of Carboniferous limestone. And the remarkable thing about these limestones is that they are over many miles totally devoid of any covering of soil or clay; the grey gnarled rock, fantastically carved and crevassed by the action of rain and weather, lies naked and bare. But in the crevices of the rock a wonderful variety of rare and beautiful plants abound. One or two of these have their home in the far south, like the plants we have lately considered, notably the little Close-flowered Orchid, Neotinea intacta, whose nearest station is about Nice. But the majority of the interesting species of these limestones are alpine plants, usually found at high elevations on mountains, which here form sheets of verdure down to the very edge of the sea. The Mountain Dryas (D. octopetala), the Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi), the lovely Spring Gentian (G. verna), and the Blue Moor-grass (Sesleria cærulea) are good examples, all of them growing in great abundance from the hill-tops down to the shore. It is this strange mingling of plants from the far south, from the far north, and from the mountains, which renders the West of Ireland so fascinating a field for the botanist. In the barren district of Clare, and in the adjoining Isles of Arran and south-west portion of county Galway, this peculiar flora may be seen in its greatest perfection. Some very rare insects have been taken in eastern Galway, including the Lepidoptera Nallia ancilla and Lycæna artexerus.

Wolf Spider

Photo—Welch, Belfast.

Wolf Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) spinning nest for young.

5. WEST GALWAY AND WEST MAYO.—In this district we have again a complete change of geology and of scenery. The grey limestones with rich grass and rare flowers filling every crevice are gone, and we are in a[Pg 274][Pg 273] wild region of ancient metamorphic rocks—schists, quartzites, gneisses, and granites—which form wide moorlands, dotted with innumerable lakelets, with noble mountain groups rising over the wild boggy lowlands. To the student of metamorphism the geology of this area is of very high interest. The botanist finds himself once again, as in Kerry, in a focus of the southern flora already discussed. As stated above, Connemara contributes to the list of Pyrenean plants three Heaths, of which St. Dabeoc's Heath is the loveliest of the British representatives of the order. Here we may also meet again our old Kerry friends the London Pride, and on Inisbofin the Irish Spurge—plants which strictly avoid the limestone, as do the Heaths. The American element is represented by the Pipe-wort, which is common, and the little water plant, Naias flexilis, which grows near Roundstone. Of the three famous Heaths, St. Dabeoc's is abundant throughout Connemara, becoming rarer in Mayo. The Mediterranean Heath grows near Roundstone, and in immense abundance on the north side of Clew Bay, and again near the north-west corner of Mayo, extending inland as far as Lough Conn. Mackay's Heath is the rarest, being confined to the neighbourhood of Roundstone. As regards its fauna, Connemara and West Mayo yield fewer peculiar species than the south-west; but much remains to be done before it can be said that the zoology of this area is thoroughly known, and it offers a most promising field for the explorer.

6. SLIGO.—The visitor who makes Sligo his headquarters finds himself in a district of much variety and interest. This is a district that cannot be too highly recommended to the naturalist. To the geologist the fossiliferous limestones and the metamorphic rocks are alike of interest. The botanist naturally turns to the Ben Bulben Mountains, which harbour the richest group of alpine plants to be found in Ireland, including the[Pg 275] pretty Arenaria ciliata, which does not grow elsewhere in the British Isles. To the zoologist a rich field lies waiting. A recent exploration of the limestone glens by a party of English and Irish conchologists has shown that in variety of land mollusca this district surpasses almost any other in these islands; and good results may be confidently expected in other invertebrate groups.

7. THE CENTRE.—The area comprised in the field of operations of the Great Southern and Western Railway Company include the southern half of the great Central Plain of Ireland and the lower course of the Shannon, the largest river in the British Isles. Towards the east the counties of Carlow and Kilkenny include much picturesque ground, especially along the courses of the rivers Nore and Barrow; and as picturesque ground implies the existence of hill and valley, wood and rock, the naturalist will find himself at home here. The flora is rich, though without any very marked features; the Nettle-leaved Bell-flower (Campanula Trachelium) being the most characteristic species. Regarding the fauna much has still to be learned. In Tipperary, Queen's County, and King's County we are in typical central plain country—great tracts of slightly undulating drift-covered Carboniferous limestone, the surface including wide pastures, cultivated ridges, and large areas of peat bog and marsh. The bogs, which form so peculiar a feature of the surface of Ireland, may be studied here over many miles of country. The noble Shannon, which winds slowly southward across the plain, widens at intervals into great lake-like expanses, of which Lough Derg is the largest, a place of much interest to the student of natural history. One plant which grows here, the Willow-leaved Inula (I. salicina), is found nowhere else in the British Isles; other characteristic Shannon plants are the Water Germander (Teucrium Scordium) and the rare Stone wort Chara[Pg 276] tomentosa. Further west, in Limerick, a more varied surface prevails. Like Waterford and Cork, Limerick is a great centre for animals of the "Southern" distributional type, such as the Wood White Butterfly (Leptidia sinapis) the Brimstone Butterfly (Gonapteryx rhamm), and the Purple Hair-streak (Thecla quercus). The small but handsome Ground-beetle, Panogæus crux-major, is known in Ireland only from Finlough. This species has a typically "germanic" distribution in Great Britain. The Water-beetle Pelobius Hermanni, a very rare species, and the only British member of its family, occurs near Limerick and Cork. Cratloe Wood, by the Shannon near Limerick, may be specially recommended as a hunting-ground.

Chapter footer

[Pg 277]


For sportsmen Ireland is a happy land, ready to supply their every want. Royal Meath, Kildare, Waterford, Tipperary, and Cork County are hunted by several good packs during-each season, and "the meets" are duly published in the local newspapers.

In the large tracts of bog, moorland, river reaches, and mountain lands there is splendid shooting; in Kerry especially, where poaching is put down with a heavy hand, there are plenty of opportunities for sport.

In most cases the hosts of the hotels have secured the shooting of many thousands of acres in their vicinity.

When the weather is "hard," excellent sport can be had along the southern districts.

The gentry most usually preserve their estates with great vigilance, but they are generous in giving permission to bona-fide sportsmen.[Pg 278]

Chapter header


(From Mecredy's Road Book of Ireland.)

June and September are the driest months in Ireland. Tourists will find the Royal Irish Constabulary the best source of information, and they cannot do better than inquire at the various police barracks on the way for advice as to places of interest to be visited, and the condition of the roads. In unfrequented country districts the footpaths as a rule may be taken with impunity, but it is never absolutely safe to do so. It is always well to enquire of other cyclists met en route. The roads are very variable, some being grand and others very bad. Intercourse with the peasantry will be found interesting and amusing. Nothing can exceed their civility and courtesy; and for those who are not too particular it will be found an excellent plan to lunch in their cottages, excellent tea, home-made bread, butter and eggs being procurable for 1/-per head. There is little use questioning them as to distances, however. They are nearly always wrong, and in any case they calculate in Irish miles—11 Irish equal 14 English. The police, however, are reliable, and give the distances in statute miles. Repairers are few and far between, but the local blacksmiths are often clever and handy men. The by-roads are generally better than the main roads, and the surface is better at the edge than in the middle. The mountain roads are as a rule very good, and not nearly so hilly as one would expect. The country people are rather stupid about getting out of one's way, and live stock on the road are a frequent source of danger, especially pigs, sheep, donkeys, and Kerry cows. Mountain passes should be negotiated carefully, as mountain torrents sometimes sweep away short[Pg 279] stretches of otherwise excellent roads, and one comes on these spots unexpectedly. The corners, too, are excessively sharp, and steep pitches occur unexpectedly.

In most small Provincial towns the Hotels are not good, but in tourists' districts, such as Kerry, they are really excellent and the charges are reasonable. Where lodgings are required it is a good plan to ask the local Head Constable for advice.


Cork is an excellent centre for cycling. The roads are in fair order and the inclines moderate. There is abundance of fine scenery, and notably in the extreme south and south-west where there are some entrancing tit-bits. Magnificent tracts of inland mountain scenery are to be found, and many important historical and archæological ruins. There are hotels nearly everywhere within easy reach, many of them very good, and in most cases affording fair accommodation at reasonable cost.

One Day Tours from Cork.

No. 1.—To Queenstown, road 14 miles or rail 12 miles. Thence to East Ferry, 5 miles, cross the Ballinacurragh River by ferry. Thence by road to Midleton, 4 miles, back to Cork, road or rail, 12 miles. Fine views of the River Lee, Lough Mahon, the lovely Harbour of Queenstown, Ballinacurragh River, &c.

No. 2.—To Youghal, road or rail, 27 miles. Thence by road to Ardmore, 6 miles—a watering place with a ruined chapel where there are some curious carvings in stone, and a fine and perfect specimen of the old Irish round tower, Return same road.

No. 3.—To Midleton, 12 miles, road or rail. Thence to Cloyne, 6 miles, where there is an ancient Cathedral still in use. Thence to Ballycotton, 6 miles, a small watering place. Back by Cloyne and Aghada, on Queenstown Harbour, 12 miles. Thence by steamer to Queenstown, or across the East Ferry by road to Queenstown, 6 miles. Back by road or rail, 12 miles.

Hotels at Midleton, Cloyne, and Ballycotton.

No. 4.—To Queenstown, road or rail, then by steamer, 20 minutes across the harbour to Crosshaven. Thence by road, 2 miles, to Church Bay. Fine view of mouth of the harbour and open Atlantic. Thence by Carrigaline and Douglas, back to Cork, 12 miles.

Good hotels at Crosshaven and Church Bay.[Pg 280]

No. 5.—Cork to Blarney, by the Valley of the Lee and Carrigrohane, 9 miles. Famous Castle of Blarney with the "Kissing Stone." The Groves of Blarney round the Castle may be seen, also St. Ann's Hydropathic establishment. Return by Rathpeacon and Blackpool to Cork, 6 miles.

No. 6.—Cork to Dunkettle, 3 miles, road or rail, thence along the Glanmire River to Glanmire, 2 miles. Thence by Sallybrook and Kilcully, back to Cork, 6 miles.

Two Day Tours from Cork.

No. 1.—Cork to Macroom, road or rail, 25 miles. Thence to Inchigeela, 10 miles, and Gougane Barra, 10 miles. Beautiful lake scenery, and the hermitage at Gougane Barra; a chapel on the Holy Lake is well worth seeing. The Pass of Keimaneigh is 3 miles further. From this point the traveller can return to sleep at Inchigeela or Macroom, where, at both places, there are good hotels; or may continue his journey to Glengarriff, Kenmare, or Killarney. If returning to Cork from Macroom, the journey may be made by Coachford and Dripsey, distance about 25 miles.

No. 2.—Cork to Bandon, 20 miles by rail or road. Thence to Courtmacsherry and the Old Head of Kinsale, each about 7 miles by road. The tourist can sleep at either place, and return to Cork by Kinsale and Innishannon, or continue his journey to Bantry, 37-1/2 miles by road or rail. Thence to Glengarriff, Killarney, &c.

Tours for Three or more Days from Cork.

No. 1.—Cork to Youghal, 28 miles by road or rail. Thence to Temple Michael, 3 miles along left bank of the River Blackwater, through Dromana to Cappoquin, 11 miles. From Cappoquin the Trappist Monastery of Mount Melleray, 3-1/2 miles, can be visited. Returning to Cappoquin the tourist can take either bank of the Blackwater, along a beautiful and level road to Lismore, 3-1/2 miles. The distance from Lismore to Fermoy is 16 miles by road or rail; the road along the Valley of the Blackwater being very fine throughout, and most picturesque. At Lismore the beautiful castle belonging to the Duke of Devonshire can be seen. The tourist can return from Fermoy to Mallow 16 miles, and thence to Cork, 21 miles. Good hotels at Youghal, Lismore, Fermoy, and Mallow.

No. 2.—Two day tour, No. 1, can be extended to three or more days, by proceeding from Inchigeela to Glengarriff, 23 miles, and Killarney, 39 miles. Good hotels at Inchigeela, Glengarriff, Kenmare, and Killarney.

Two day tour, No. 2, can be similarly extended to three or more days, by continuing the journey from Bandon to Bantry,[Pg 281] 37-1/2 miles. Thence 10 miles by road to Glengarriff, thence to Killarney, 39 miles. Good hotels at Bantry, Glengarriff, Kenmare, and Killarney. Or from Kenmare, 20 miles, or from Glengarriff the tourist can ride to Parknasilla, 16 miles from Kenmare, where there is an excellent modern hotel and some of the loveliest scenery in Ireland.


To the cyclist on tour, Limerick and the surrounding districts offer many scenic attractions in wood, lake, and river. The roads are not good as a rule, owing in a great measure, to the fact that the city is the centre of a large agricultural district. The hotels in the city are good, and in the surrounding towns and villages the tourist will find good accommodation in hotels and otherwise.

One Day Tours from Limerick.

No. 1.—Perhaps the easiest one day tour which the cyclist can enjoy from Limerick, as his head quarters, is to Doonass Falls via Clonlara. Five miles thence by O'Brien's Bridge, 7 miles, to Killaloe, where an excellent lunch can be had. The return home can be made by Castleconnell, the popular resort of the devotees of "Izaak Walton," where an excellent tea can be had at the Shannon Hotel.

No. 2.—Castleconnell and Clare Glens, and lengthened visit to Castleconnell to view the waterfalls, "The World's End"—a remarkably fine reach of the River Shannon. There is much to interest the visitor in the gigantic eel fishery, and here also is the renowned Enright, whose fishing rods are used all over the world. The Clare Glen, situated by the way in Limerick county, is not far from Castleconnell; and if liberty is obtained beforehand, the Glenstal Demesne, seat of the Barrington family, can be visited. Sir Charles Barrington, the present baronet, has never yet refused permission to the cycling tourist to view the charming scenery surrounding the Glenstal Castle.

No. 3.—Askeaton, 16-1/2 miles, splendid road, one of the best from Limerick; famous old abbey to be visited, with excellent fishing on the Deel, granted that the tourist has obtained the requisite permission.

No. 4.—Adare, 9 miles; roads pretty good. Mr. P. Fitzgerald, J.P., Agent to Lord Dunraven, should be written to beforehand for a permit to visit the demesne, where some fine old ruins are in an excellent state of preservation. The Manor House is a[Pg 282] magnificent building, but visitors are only allowed to enter when the family are away. This is well known as the district which inspired Gerald Griffin to write one of his famous poems. Lunch can be had at very moderate terms at the Dunraven Arms Hotel. The demesne wall turns eastward to Croom. The name of this village is derived from the old war cry of the Geraldines, "Munster Branch "—Crom-a-boo. To Limerick, from Croom, via Patrick's Well, there is a pretty good road, 10 miles.

Two Days Tours from Limerick.

Ballybunion. Good roads generally, but slightly up-hill when the Kingdom is reached. This charming seaside resort is rapidly coming to rival Kilkee. It has splendid bathing accommodation, and the coast scenery and caves equal to those of any other watering place in Ireland. The visitor for the first time makes his acquaintance with the Lartique, or "Single Line," Railway—the only one in the United Kingdom—from Listowel to Ballybunion, a distance of 8 miles.

Returning to Limerick, a digression can be made to Shanid Castle, near Shanagolden. This towering mass of masonry, perched high on a hill—three sides of which are precipitous—is almost ignored by tourists. It was one of the strongholds of the Desmonds. The other spots on the Shannon—homeward bound—are Glinn, where the hereditary Knight of Glin has his seat, and where Gerald Griffin resided in his young days, near the pretty little village of Loughill. Foynes and Foynes Island, seat of Sir Aubrey de Vere, will repay a visit. Hotels are good on this line, also roads.

No. 2.—Waterford and Tramore. Decent roads and accommodation, as good as can be got once outside Limerick county, border at the Limerick Junction, a distance of 20 miles from the Treaty Stone. Splendid views of the Galtee ranges can be had, and on towards Clonmel the wooded slopes of the minor ranges and hills are a delightful picture. If time affords, the tourist can digress from the main road and visit the famous Glen of Aherlow. Back to Tipperary for lunch, good hotels, and splendid roads. Visit the Kickham monument, and then on to Clonmel. Excellent accommodation to be had at Clonmel. Next day Waterford and Tramore, and back.

Tours for Three or more Days from Limerick.

Ballybunion, Tarbert, Kilrush, Kilkee, Lisdoonvarna, from Ballybunion. See "No. 1 Day Tours." Tarbert is only a few miles from Ballybunion. There is a steamboat service across the Shannon estuary to Kilrush. Thence to Kilkee by road, where first night out can be had. Next day to Spanish Point,[Pg 283] Milltownmalbay, Lisdoonvarna, to the famous "Spa"; home via Ennis, splendid roads.

No. 2.—Killaloe, Scariff, Portumna, and Upper Shannon. A most enjoyable trip can be had from Killaloe. See "No. 1 Day Tour." There is a constant steamboat service on Lough Derg, which will take a cyclist and his machine, and land him at Scariff—on the Clare side—or Portumna, "Galway." From either of these towns a tourist can have his chance of the most diversified lake and river scenery to be had in the kingdom. Without doubt the praises of Lough Derg and the Upper Shannon have not been sung sufficiently. From Portumna to Dromineer, on the Tipperary shore, by lake steamer, thence to Nenagh on bike; splendid roads home to Limerick, 27 miles.


Killarney is an ideal centre for the cyclist. Good roads proceed in every direction, and mounted on his favourite machine the wheelman will be able to discover and investigate scenic treasures unknown to the ordinary tourist.

One Day Tours from Killarney.

No. 1.—Killarney to Gap of Dunloe, 10 miles; Owenreagh Glen, 18 miles; Windy Gap, 30 miles. Killarney, total, 36 miles. Care should be taken to keep on the proper road through the Glen; there are many crossings. Any of the local folk will point out the road.

No. 2.—Killarney to Torc Waterfall, 3 miles; return to Muckross Hotel, 4 miles; enter demesne at Dinis, 10 miles; on to Kenmare road and home to Killarney, 17 miles. The road through Muckross Demesne is in some places dangerous owing to its steep and winding character.

No. 3.—Killarney to Ross Castle, 1-1/2 miles; through demesne to Library Point, 2-1/2 miles. Back through Ross Island and demesne to Mahony's Point, 9-1/2 miles; Killarney, 12-1/2 miles. This road is perfectly safe and good, except two descents in Ross Island. Returning from Mahony's Point to Killarney by Aghadoe, about 15 miles, splendid view of Lower Lake and mountains can be had from the old ruins of Aghadoe.

No. 4.—Killarney to Glenflesk via Lough Guittane. Visit Robbers' Den, 9 miles, home via Headford and Barraduff, 26 miles. Roads good, scenery wild and romantic. There are many short and beautiful trips which can be made in and about the neighbourhood.[Pg 284]

Two Day Tours from Killarney.

No. 1.—Killarney to Windy Gap, 16 miles; thence to Parknasilla across mountain. Total, 30 miles. Remain for night at Southern Hotel, Parknasilla. Parknasilla to Kenmare, 14 miles, and back to Killarney via Kilgarvan. Total, 35 miles. Roads fairly good, but in places very steep, so that riders must keep a careful watch.

No. 2.—Killarney to Beaufort, 6 miles; thence to Glencar, 19 miles, and on to Caragh Lake Hotel, 27 miles. Remain at Caragh Lake Hotel for the night. Return to Killarney via Windy Gap and Gerah Cross. There are some sharp turns and steep descents requiring care.

Tours for Three or more Days from Killarney.

No. 1.—Killarney to Kenmare, 20 miles. Thence by Glengarriff, 40 miles, to Macroom, via Inchigeela, Pass of Keimaneigh to Millstreet, and back to Killarney. Hotels at Kenmare (Southern Hotel), Glengarriff, Inchigeela, Macroom, and Millstreet.

No. 2.—Killarney to Killorglin. Caragh Lake, Cahirciveen, visit Valentia, Waterville, Parknasilla, Kenmare, and back to Killarney by either rail or road.


Waterford can be recommended as a cycling centre, as the scenery in many districts of the South-east of Ireland is beautiful in the extreme, and can compare favourably with any in the country, and the roads are first rate. The hotels, too, are generally very good, and have been improved wonderfully of late, and the tariffs have been so arranged by the South-eastern Branch of the Irish Cyclist Association, that all requirements of the most slender purse can be satisfactorily arranged.

Below we sketch out a few very enjoyable Tours which can be made, taking Waterford as the starting point:—

First Tour from Waterford.

Leaving-Waterford by the Newtown-road, we pass the house in which Lord Roberts spent his early days, and where his father and mother lived for many years. This is actually in the Borough[Pg 285] and, from the grounds surrounding it, a capital view of the river and part of the City can be had. After passing by Newtown we keep along to the left until Parkswood is reached, when we run under a bridge and up a hill to Checkpoint, and here a magnificent view can be obtained. From the hill overlooking this pretty little village seven counties can be seen. Dunbrody Abbey, one of the most famous ecclesiastical ruins in Ireland, is situated immediately opposite on the other side of the river. Duncannon Fort, a short distance from here, comes into view, and we are enabled to see the joining of the three rivers—Suir, Nore, and Barrow. We pass from Checkpoint, and we reach Passage, a famous fishing station since the herring industry has become so prosperous in this part of Ireland. A little further on is Woodstown, and right opposite on the far side of the river can be seen Duncannon Fort, a fortified place in the days of old. Turning to the right by Ballyglan, we mount a steep incline, and we then come in view of Hook Tower, a beacon light which is said to be the oldest in the kingdom. Dunmore, about five miles from Woodstown, is one of the most picturesque, beautiful, and delightful resorts in the whole of Ireland. Here there is a magnificent pier, and boating and fishing can be enjoyed to one's heart's content. Wheeling back in the Waterford direction we make for Tramore, ten miles away. It is beautifully situated, and the visitor here can spend several hours in viewing the most attractive scenery. Close to the town are the Golf Links and the Race Course.

From Tramore to Waterford the run is over a splendid level road, and the distance seven miles.

The full distance of this run is 33 miles, and at all the principal points capital hotel accommodation can be had.

Tour Two, from Waterford.

The first part of this run is to Passage. At the Half-way House take the turn over the bridge, up the hill and down a steep decline to Passage. At the latter place the ordinary ferryboat can be taken to Ballyhack, which is directly opposite. The run from Ballyhack to Duncannon is over a fairly surfaced road. At the latter place M'Gonnigal's hotel is well appointed. From Duncannon the run to the famous Hook Tower is about seven miles, and the surface of the road generally is very good. Along this run a splendid view of the Harbour can be obtained, and on the way there are several places of interest—Loftus Hall, the Irish seat of the Marquis of Ely, stands on the edge of the river unprotected by a single tree. It was modernised within the last 25 years, and is now a splendidly appointed mansion. Bag-an-Bun, a little distance off, will well repay a visit—the coast line at this point being the principal attraction. From Hook we run to[Pg 286] Fethard, 6 miles to the left, and here a very pleasant hour can be spent. Tintern Abbey is the next point to be visited. This is one of the most famous Abbeys in the country. From Tintern to Dunbrody the distance is 8 miles, and here we can spend a considerable time in viewing the great historical ruin, said to be one of the finest in the whole of Ireland. Leaving Dunbrody we come to the ferry of Ballinlaw, and crossing here ride by Snow-hill and Bellview into Waterford. The full distance of this ride is 41 miles.

Tour Three from Waterford.

Proceeding up the Cork road we ride up Ballyaneeshagh Hill, and on the left see Butlerstown Castle, an ancient building: which, in the days of Cromwell, held out for sometime against his forces. At the Sweep we turn round to the right and run to the bottom of the hill. A little way from the end of the hill the right turn is to be taken again to Kilmeaden, 8 miles. The ride then is to Portlaw four miles away. Some fifty years ago this town was the seat of a great cotton industry. It has since fallen into decay, and the place looks like Goldsmith's "Deserted Village." Just outside the town is the magnificent demesne of Curraghmore, said to be the finest in the three kingdoms. The variety of scenery here is almost unsurpassed. Curraghmore is the property of the Marquis of Waterford. It is one of the great points of vantage to tourists and pic-nic parties. Passing through the demesne we come to the house itself, a modern and rather unpretentious structure. The court-yard is, however, very large, and is said to be capable of accommodating close upon 100 horses. Clonegam Church, where Lord William Beresford, uncle to the present Marquis of Waterford, was laid to rest, can be seen on the right glistening in the trees on the hill side. Through Curraghmore we ride to Clonea, about 5 miles further on, and then to the foot of the Comeragh Mountains, which occupy a centre of the county, and which are to be seen from all parts, as well as from a considerable portion of Tipperary. The greatest natural curiosity in this range is the appearance and site of an almost circular lake, by name Coomshinawin. From Coomshinawin to Kilmacthomas the distance is about 8 miles. Kilmacthomas Woollen Factory may be visited, and a good hotel accommodation can be had at Walsh's. From Kilmacthomas to Waterford is 16-1/2 miles over a good road, the full distance being 45 miles.

Tour Four, from Waterford.

Our next tour will be from Waterford, via the Sweep, to Knockaderry, 9 miles away. At the latter place there is a very fine lake which amply supplies the City. Leaving Knockaderry we reach Dunhill, close to which place is the Castle of Donile,[Pg 287] still distinguished for its peculiar and romantic situation, and in ancient times the property of De-La-Poer, from whom the present Marquis is descended. The village of Annestown, distant about one mile, is on the sea coast, and from it a magnificent view of rock and ocean scenery can be had. The run from Annestown to Tramore is over a beautiful road, and many pretty views of the coast can be seen. The spin to Waterford completes this tour, which is one of nearly thirty miles.

Two Day Tours from Waterford. No. 1.

Waterford, Dunmore, Annestown, Bonmahon, Stradbally, and Dungarvan.


This is rather a long run of 47 miles, but as the roads are generally good and the scenery delightful it should be most enjoyable to the Cyclist who may feel in good form. We have already spoken of Annestown. From Annestown to Bonmahon the distance is over 5 miles. The road is very hilly, but the surface is splendid. At Bonmahon the once famous Knockmahon Mines are situated. These mines were the most valuable in the country about fifty years ago, but when the value of the metal (copper) fell operations were discontinued. Stradbally, 4 miles further on, is a delightful little village, said to be the most health-restoring place on the south-eastern coast. Here Whelan's Hotel is recommended. Dungarvan is 8 miles further on, and the road by the sea is well surfaced and very picturesque. At Dungarvan Lawlor's Hotel will be found very comfortable.


A good run can be taken through Ardmore, Youghal, Lismore, and Cappoquin, part of which tour embraces the delightful Valley of the Blackwater. This complete run will tot about 50 miles.

At Ardmore a very comfortable hotel is kept by Miss Prendergast. At Youghal, the Greenpark Hotel is a capital one. In Lismore, the Devonshire Arms and Blackwater Vale Hotels are recommended; and Kenny's at Cappoquin is also a good one.

Two Day Tours from Waterford. No. 2.


Piltown to Curraghmore, round by Coomshinawin. This complete run will be about 40 miles. The roads generally are capital, and the scenery as fine as can be seen in this part of the country.


From Dungarvan, round by Ballymacarbery, Newcastle, Ardfinan, Clogheen, Melleray Abbey, to Dungarvan. This ride[Pg 288] runs close upon 60 miles, and to undertake it the tourist must have been in cycling form for a considerable time. The roads, however, are generally very good. Ballymacarbery is 15 miles from Dungarvan; Ardfinan, about 26; then from Ardfinan to Clogheen the ride is 6 miles, and from that to Melleray about 13. At Melleray, from the Abbey, a grand view can be had of some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of the county.

The following are the best places of refreshment en route:—Ballymacarbery (Miss Power's), Newcastle, and Ardfinan. Two good licensed houses. Clogheen—The Hotel. Melleray—The traveller will always be hospitably received here.

Three or more Day Tours from Waterford. No. 1.

Waterford, Dunmore, 11; Tramore, 22; Dunhill, 27; Annestown, 28; Bonmahon, 34; Stradbally, 38; and Dungarvan, 47 miles.


To Dungarvan—have been previously referred to.

Instead of returning to Waterford by rail, the tourist on the fourth day may enjoy a most entertaining tour, via the Pike, Coomshinawin—previously referred to—Curraghmore, Piltown, and Waterford. This run measures something like 40 miles.

Three or more Day Tours from Waterford, No. 2.

Waterford, Mullinavat, 8; Ballyhack, 16; Stoneyford, 21; Danesfort, 25; Kilkenny, 30; Thomastown, 40; and Inistioge, 47-1/2 miles.


New Ross, 10; Waterford, 33; and Rosslare, 42 miles.


Lady's Island, 4; Kilmore, 11; Fethard, 20; Hooktower, 26; Duncannon, 35; and Waterford, 46 miles.

This latter tour embraces some of the finest scenery on the south-eastern coast, and the inland scenery at Inistioge is equal to any to be seen in any part of Ireland.


The tariffs for Members of the Irish Cyclists' Association and Cyclists' Touring-Club are at most of the hotels in the south-eastern districts:—

Breakfast.—Tea, coffee, or cocoa, with bread and butter, toast and preserve, ham and eggs, chops, steaks, cold meat, or fish, 2s. Substantial Luncheon, 1s. 6d. Table d'Hote Dinner, 2s. 6d. Bed, 2s. 6d.[Pg 289]


(From Mecredy's Road Book).

One Day Tour from Sligo. No. 1.

Sligo, Dromahaire, 12; Ballysadare, 24; Knockanree Glen, 28; Sligo, 33.

Keeping along the north shore of the lake, Hazlewood Park, 2 miles from Sligo, is well worth visiting. The public are admitted, and the tourist should ride right down to the shore, which is here very beautiful. The road now winds over the hills, and is undulating with fairly good but rather loose surface, and it is some miles until the lake is reached again. The scene here is indescribably beautiful, and reminds one forcibly of Killarney. The lake is studded with islands, and the shores are densely wooded, whilst northwards extends one of the most fascinating districts we have ever toured in. It consists of a regular jumble of mountains, densely wooded, and often most precipitous. The gapes of the hills are extremely picturesque, and the scene can be revisited time and again without its palling. Those who would like to thoroughly explore this lovely neighbourhood should stop at Dromahaire, where they will find a most excellent hotel, remarkable alike for moderate charges and a cuisine which could not be surpassed. There is also an ancient abbey here, well worthy of inspection. Dromahaire is some little distance from the lake, and on leaving it the road, now excellent, winds round a mountain, and a few miles farther, after taking a sharp turn to the right, reaches the lake shore again at its southern-most point. Farther on it branches inland again, and at a point 2 miles from Sligo a sharp turn to the left has to be taken for Ballysadare, and if time permits the tourist might proceed on through Collooney to Mackree Castle (3 miles), which will mean an addition of 6 miles to the day's ride. At Ballysadare there are some really beautiful waterfalls. Retracing your steps towards Sligo for a short distance, proceed along the north shore of Ballysadare Bay. The road is good. Presently it begins to ascend a spur of Knockanree Hill, and a narrow lane and gate to the right admit to the Glen of the same name. It should on no account be missed. It is one of the most extraordinary natural phenomenon we have ever seen, and is exceedingly beautiful besides. It is very narrow, densely wooded, and the sides are quite precipitous. The path wanders through a wealth of undergrowth, and in most places we fancy the Glen is not forty feet wide, while here and there it is much narrower. In some of these spots the foliage actually meets overhead, and we noticed in one place a fallen tree had made a natural bridge across. Just at the beginning of the Glen there is a little glade where a house once stood.[Pg 290]

Keeping-round Knockanree Hill the road comes out on the shore of Sligo Bay. The surface is excellent, and the scenery pretty right into Sligo.

One Day Tour from Sligo. No. 2.

Sligo, Drumcliff, 5; Carney, 7; Lissadill House, 9; Carney, 11; Drumcliff, 13; Rathcormack Chapel, 14; Glencar, 18-1/2; Manorhamilton, 27, Sligo, 41.

The road is indifferent for some miles, but gradually improves. At Drumcliff there is an interesting round tower. Lissadill House is delightfully situated on the seashore. The grounds are open to the public, and it is a very pleasant ride through on the well-kept avenues.

Retracing your steps to the main road, after passing Rathcormack Chapel, turn off to the left for Glencar, along a fairly level by-road, with fast, but stony, surface. After 2 miles turn to the left again. In due course Glencar is reached. Keeping along the north shore of the lake an extraordinary waterfall will be seen on the left. A thin sheet of water falls from the top of the cliff, and when the wind is from a particular quarter it catches the falling water every few minutes, and scattering it in minute particles makes it have the appearance of being suddenly cut off. Then all of a sudden it comes with a rush again, and apparently with renewed vigour. It is a very strange phenomenon, and fascinating withal.

Wheeling along the shores of the lake we come to a larger waterfall at the extreme extremity, to which our measurement of 18-1/2 miles is taken. There is a fine volume of water here, and the neighbourhood being well wooded, gives a pretty effect. A cup of tea can be had at Mr. Siberry's, hard by.

From this on to Manorhamilton the road, though good, is uninteresting, but if time presses the cyclist can ride direct back to Sligo, round Glencar Lake. By adopting this route, however, some beautiful scenery will be missed, and we should strongly advise following what is known as the old road from Manorhamilton to Sligo (14). Unless a meal is required it is better not to go as far as Manorhamilton, but to turn to the right, 1-1/2 miles out. This will reduce the day's journey by 3 miles. From this turn there is a stiff climb of 2 miles, but the surface is good the entire way. At the top of this incline a grand prospect bursts on the view. A confusion of miniature mountains, densely wooded, extend in every direction, while, as we descend, the waters of Lough Gill come into view beneath.

A short distance from the summit the road forks. To the right leads to Sligo, while the turn to the left runs direct to the lake's shores, and then joins the other road some miles farther on. Both routes lead through beautiful scenery. The first is the shortest, but the second the prettiest.[Pg 291]

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There are a number of splendid Golf Courses round Dublin, but on the Dublin District lines of the Great Southern and Western Railway the only courses open to visitors are the following:—


The course is of the inland description, and the period of play is from October to June. The hazards consist of hedges, ditches, and whins, &c., which are well distributed. Visitors, 5s. per month.


Visitors, 2s. 6d. per week, 5s. per month, 9 holes; Par score, 74.

The length of the course is about 1-1/2 miles, and the grass is never long. The greens are not large, and the lies are somewhat heavy. Straight play is necessary to avoid heavy punishment. The course is beautifully situated and commands fine views of the Shannon and Lough Ree.


The course is situated 1/2 a mile out of the Town, and commands fine views of the distant hills. The distance round is about 1 mile. The grass is short, and the hazards consist of ruins, walls, and fences. Number of holes, 9.[Pg 292]


Visitors, 2s. 6d. per week. Number of holes, 9.

The course is situated 2-1/2 miles from Birr. The holes are of a very sporting character, the hazards being numerous and varied, consisting of rocks, hedges, walls, and running water. The grass is short and wiry, and good lies are obtained.



Visitors, 5s. per week, or 1s. 6d. per day. Number of holes 18. Par score, 81.

The course is laid over fine natural Golfing country. The lies are good, as the soil is sandy with very short sea grass. The hazards consist of natural sand bunkers and sandhills with bent, and are ideal. The greens are excellent, and there probably is not in the United Kingdom a finer natural Golf Links.

Accommodation at Lehinch Golf Links Hotel and Aberdeen Arms. There are some lodges to be had, capable of accommodating small families. Golfers' cheap tickets are issued to Members and Visitors at Kingsbridge, Dublin, Limerick, and other stations.

Adare Manor Club.

Play on this course is confined to Members. Members can introduce a Visitor for a few days, but the Links are not open to paying Visitors. Number of holes, 9.

This is a very nice course, laid out in the demesne at Adare; the lies are perfect, and the greens small and well kept.


Number of holes, 9.

Accommodation, the Lakeside Hotel. The Links are situated about 1 mile from the Lakeside Hotel, and comprise a very nice sporting course. The hazards are varied, and the lies excellent.



Visitors, 2s. 6d. per week. Number of holes, 18.

The course is a seaside one, and commands magnificent views of the bay. The grass is crisp and short, and the soil sandy.

Accommodation at Grand Hotel and Hibernian Hotel.[Pg 293]


Visitors, 2s. 6d. per week; 5s. per month. Number of holes, 9.

High pastures interspersed with natural bunkers consisting of quarries, gorse, ridges, and roads. The greens are moderate, but the play through the course is very sporting.

Accommodation at Devonshire Arms Hotel and Blackwater Vale Hotel.


Littleisland (on G.S. & W.R., 4-3/4 miles from Cork).

Visitors, 1s. per day; or 5s. per week, on application to Secretary. Par score, 74 for 18 holes.

Fine grass of a down nature. Hazards, banks, roads, etc., requiring skilled play. Greens in first-rate order. Beautiful scenery. Handsome pavilion, with every accommodation. Professional attendant.

Youghal (on G.S. & W R., 27 miles from Cork).

Visitors, easy Terms by week or month.

Number of holes, 6 at present.

Seaside course. Good turf. Hazards, water, land, peat banks. Owing to inroads of the sea, ground has been greatly limited; but will be extended, when works now in progress are completed.

Mallow (on G.S, & W.R., 21 miles from Cork).

Visitors staying with Members free for one week; 2s. 6d. weekly afterwards. Living at hotels, 5s. first week; 2s. 6d. afterwards.

Number of holes, 9; Par score, 36.

Pasture land, limestone bed. Hazards: fences, ditches, roads, a large quarry, grass grown. Greens in first-rate order. Good pavilion. Tea three times a week free. Grass grows too long for summer play.

Bandon (on C.B. and S.C.R., 20 miles from Cork).

Visitors free, if introduced by a Member.

Number of holes, 9.

The turf is composed of short grass. The distance between the holes varies from 120 to 360 yards, and the hazards are stone walls, etc.

Clonakilty (on C.B. and S.C.R., 29-1/4 miles from Cork).

Visitors, 2s. 6d. per month; or 10s. per annum.

Number of holes, 9.

Finely situated; commanding extensive views of surrounding: landscape. The course is all grass; rather long-for summer play,[Pg 294] but first-rate from October to May. The hazards are stone walls and ditches.

Rushbrooke (on G.S. & W.R., 10-1/2 miles from Cork).

Visitors residing with Members free for fourteen days. Committee can elect temporary Members for a month, on payment of 5s. Number of holes, 9.

Grass on hill, fine view, good pavilion. Greens in good order. Long hazards.



Station—Bundoran, on G.N.R.

Hotels—The Great Northern Railway, Sweeney's, Hamilton's, etc.

Visitors—10s. per month, 5s. per week. Ladies half price.

Number of holes—9. Par score—75.

The course is partly sandy, and partly inland in character. It is finely situated, and commands views of the Atlantic and the mountain ranges. The distance round is about 1-1/2 miles, and the holes vary in length from 100 to 250 yards. The hazards consist of a cliff, sandbanks, pits, stone walls, and water.


Station—Sligo, thence by car or steamer. During the season public cars and a steamer run four times daily between Sligo and the course; fare, 6d. each way.

Hotels—In Sligo there are good hotels, and good accommodation at Ross's.

Visitors—1s. per day, 2s. 6d. per week (if introduced); not introduced 5s. per week, 15s. per month.

Number of holes, 9. Amateur record, 84.

The air and scenery at the Links are splendid. The grass is ideal turf. The distance round is 1-1/2 miles. The hazards are natural sand bunkers, broken ground, bent, walls, etc. The lies are good.



Visitors, 5s. per week. Number of holes, 9.

Accommodation at the Railway, Mack's, and Leane's Hotels.

The Salt Hill tram brings the golfer within a mile of the Links, which are situated on a hill running out into the sea.[Pg 295]

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River.—Liffey. Station.—Lucan, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 6-3/4 miles from Dublin. Accommodation at Spa Hotel. Salmon and trout free.

River.—Liffey. Station.—Hazelhatch, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 10 miles from Dublin. Hotel accommodation good. Salmon and trout free.

River.—Liffey. Station.—Sallins, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 18 miles from Dublin. Accommodation at Healy's Hotel. Splendid trout fishing free.

River.—Liffey. Station.—Harristown, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 25-1/2 miles from Dublin. Hotel accommodation at Ballymore Eustace and Poulaphouca. Splendid trout fishing at Kilcullen: at Ballymore Eustace by permission of Mr. John Royce, Stonebrooke House.

River.—Slaney. Station.—Rathvilly, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 47 miles from Dublin. Hotel accommodation moderate. Trout fishing free.

River.—Barrow. Station.—Bagnalstown, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 66 miles from Dublin. Accommodation at Ward's Hotel. Salmon and trout free.

River.—Slaney. Station.—Baltinglass, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 42 miles from Dublin. Accommodation good. Trout fishing free.[Pg 296]

River.—Shannon. Station.—Banagher, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 84 miles from Dublin. Accommodation good. Splendid salmon and trout fishing free.

River.—Barrow. Station.—Monasterevan, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 37 miles from Dublin. Trout, perch, and pike free.

River.—Shannon. Station—Athlone on Great Southern and Western Railway, 80 miles from Dublin. Hotel accommodation good. Salmon, trout, pike, and perch free.


River.—Maigue. Station.—Croom, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation at Croom Hotel and Maigue View Hotel. Salmon, trout, and pike fishing by permission of the owners.

River.—Mulcair. Station.—Dromkeen, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 11 miles from Limerick. Accommodation good. Salmon and trout in abundance, free.

Rivers.—Shannon, Maigue, Camoge. Station.—Patrickswell, on the Great Southern and Western Railway, 6 miles from the Shannon, 1-1/2 miles from the Maigue, and 4 miles from the Camoge. Accommodation.—Good lodgings and small hotel. Salmon and trout in the Maigue, and in Shannon and Camoge very fine trout. There are small tributaries which afford very good trout fishing free.

River.—Shannon. Station.—Killaloe, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 15 miles from Limerick. Accommodation at Lakeside Hotel, Royal Hotel, Shannon View Hotel, Grace's Hotel, Lough Derg Hotel, and Hurley's Hotel. Salmon and trout. The fishing is excellent. During the past few seasons salmon varying from 20 to 40 lbs. have been taken by anglers. About 400 yards below and 20 yards above the bridge is a free stretch of salmon and trout water, where the catches compare favourably with those on preserved waters. Fishings may be hired for a month or longer.

River.—Shannon. Station.—Castleconnell, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 9 miles from Limerick. Accommodation good. Castleconnell has a high reputation as an angling centre. Salmon fishing may be rented by the month, fortnight, week, or day, and the district is noted for the heavy fish taken. Trout, pike, and perch fishing is free.

River.—Deel. Station.—Rathkeale, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 19 miles from Limerick. Accommodation at Pigott Arms, Eagle Hotel, and Hibernian Hotel. Good brown trout fishing, particularly in early months of the season—April,[Pg 297] May, and June. Also salmon fishing by payment of ordinary licence.

River.—Maigue. Station—Adare, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation at Dunraven Arms Hotel. Trout and salmon, permission from Mr. P. Fitzgerald, Agent, Adare.

Rivers.—Brosna and Shannon. Station.—Birr, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation at Dooley's and Mathew's Hotels. Other private lodgings to be had in the town. Trout and salmon free.

River.—Shannon. Station.—Nenagh, on the Great Southern and Western Railway. Good hotels at Dromineer and Nenagh. Splendid salmon and trout fishing.

River.—Mulcair. Station.—Boher, on the Great Southern and Western Railway. Good salmon and trout fishing free.


Salmon fishing is as a rule strictly preserved.

Trout fishing is everywhere plentiful, and as a rule free.

Rivers.—Lee, Sullane, Bride, &c. Station.—Macroom, on Cork and Macroom Railway, 25 miles from Cork. Accommodation at four or five small hotels; moderate. Salmon and trout.

River.—Blackwater. Station.—Mallow, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 21 miles from Cork. Hotel accommodation good at the Royal Hotel, Central Hotel, and others. Salmon and trout.

River.—Bandon. Station.—Bandon, on Cork, Bandon, and South Coast Railway, 20 miles from Cork. Accommodation.—Moderate; Angel Hotel, Railway Hotel, and Devonshire Arms. Good salmon and trout.

River.—Dripsey. Station.—Dripsey, on Muskerry Railway, 10 miles from Cork. Accommodation.—None nearer than St. Ann's Hydropathic, Blarney, or Cork. Salmon and trout.

River.—Bandon. Upton, on Cork, Bandon, and South Coast Railway, 15-1/2 miles from Cork. Accommodation.—None nearer than Bandon. Good salmon and trout.

River.—Ballylechy. Station.—Bantry, on Cork, Bandon, and South Coast Railway, 57-3/4 miles from Cork. Good accommodation at Vickery's, Railway, and Terminus Hotels. Salmon and trout.


River.—Blackwater. Station.—Kilmacow, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 4-1/2 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Farmell's Hotel. Trout fishing free.[Pg 298]

River.—Blackwater. Station.—Mullinavat, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 7-3/4 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at M'Donald's and Healy's Hotels. Trout free.

Rivers.—Nore, Arigilla, Jerpoint Brook. Station—Thomastown, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 20 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Globe Hotel, Commercial Hotel, Hibernian Hotel. Small portion of Nore free. Arigilla River and Jerpoint Brook free.

River.—Nore. Station.—Bennettsbridge on Great Southern and Western Railway, 25 miles from Waterford. Accommodation.—None nearer than Kilkenny or Thomastown. Salmon and trout; partly free.

River—Blackwater. Station.—Lismore, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 43 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Devonshire Arms Hotel and Blackwater View Hotel. Salmon and trout. Charges for salmon rod fishing.—For season, £2; for one week, 15s.; for one day, 5s.

River.—Blackwater. Station—Cappoquin, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 39 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at three hotels, also private accommodation. Salmon and trout.

River.—Mahon. Station.—Kilmacthomas, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 15 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at E. J. Walsh's and P. Cullinan's. Salmon and trout, free.


River.—Flesk. Station.—Killarney. Accommodation at Killarney. Trout and salmon free by permission of Lord Kenmare.

River.—Eirk. Station.—Killarney; thence by car 7 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout free.

River.—Erhagh. Station.—Killarney; thence by car 6-1/2 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout; permission required.


River.—Ballysadare. Station.—Ballysadare, on Midland Great Western Railway. Hotels at Sligo and Ballysadare. Salmon and sea trout preserved, also brown trout, for which permission can be had.[Pg 299]

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Lake.—Lough Ree, Station.—Athlone, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 80 miles from Dublin. Hotel accommodation good. Salmon, trout, pike, and perch free.


Lake.—Lough Derg. Station.—Nenagh, on the Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation at Lough Derg Hotel, Miss Mill's Private Hotel, O'Meara's Hotel, Nenagh, and Hibernian Hotels. Some good trout and salmon fishing; some by permission, and some fishings may be hired.

Lake.—Inchiquin Lake. Station.—Corofin, on West Clare Railway, 33 miles from Limerick. Accommodation at Lake Hotel. Famous for trout fishing.

Station.—Croom, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Lakes.—Tony Hill Lake, 1-1/2 miles from Croom, and Loughgor Lake, 7 miles from Croom. Accommodation at Croom Hotel and Maigue View Hotel. Pike free by permission of owners.[Pg 300]

Lake.—Lough Derg. Station.—Killaloe, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 15 miles from Limerick. Hotel accommodation excellent. Lough Derg is one of the prettiest pieces of water in Ireland, it is within ten minutes row of Killaloe, and the trout fishing is about the best in the United Kingdom. In favourable weather large baskets of trout are taken, and the fish weigh from 1 lb. to 7 lbs. Pike and perch also abound in the lake, the former grows very large.


There is a chain of lakes near Inchigeela (Lake Allan and Gougane Barra) where some salmon and pike fishing may be had. There is also a small lake near Bruff (Loch Ghur) where trout, pike, etc., may be killed; also there are small lakes near Bantry well stocked with trout, &c.

Lake.—Inchigeela. Station.—Macroom, on Cork and Macroom Railway, 25 miles from Cork. Good hotel, provided with boats, fishermen, etc. Pike and trout free.

Lake.—Loch Ghur. Station.—Kilmallock, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 42 miles from Cork. Good accommodation at O'Sullivan's Hotel. Pike and trout free.


Killarney for the Angler is a paradise. He can fish a different stream or lake every day for a month or longer. The best fishing season is March, April, May, and September. Close season, November to February.

Lakes.—Lakes of Killarney, Lough Leane, Muckross Lake, the Long Range, Upper Lake. Station.—Killarney, thence by car. Accommodation at Killarney. Trout and salmon. Licence required for salmon, cost 20s.

Lake.—Guitane. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 5 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown and red trout free.

Lake.—Looscannagh. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 10-1/2 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout, etc., free.

Lake.—Glas Lake. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 5 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout, etc., free.[Pg 301]

Lake.—Gourggh. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 9 miles, walk two more. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout free.

Lake.—Cushvalley. Station.—Killarney, thence by car about 8 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout free.

Lake.—Garagarry. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 6 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout free.

Lake.—Cummeenduff. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 13 miles through Gap of Dunloe. Accommodation at Killarney. Amply stocked with trout free.

Lake.—Curraghmore. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 15 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout free.

Lake.—Augur. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 9 miles. Brown trout free.

Lake.—Callee. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 8 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Fine stock of trout free.

Lake.—Managh. Station.—Killarney, thence by car 6 miles. Accommodation at Killarney. Brown trout free.


Lake.—Lough Gill. Station.—Sligo, on Great Southern and Western Railway, thence by car 3 miles. Good hotel accommodation at Sligo. Salmon, white and brown trout and pike free, by permission, which may be obtained without difficulty.[Pg 302]

Chapter header


Station.—Lucan, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 6-3/4 miles from Dublin. Accommodation at Spa hotel. Rough shooting by permission of owners.

Station.—Athlone, on Great Southern and Western Railway. 80 miles from Dublin. Good hotels. Wild fowl shooting on River Shannon and Lough Ree free.

Station.—Monasterevan, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 37 miles from Dublin. Good hotels. Rough shooting free along the River Barrow.

Station.—Banagher, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 84 miles from Dublin. Good hotel. Wild fowl very plentiful along Rivers Shannon and Brosna, free.

Station.—Dunlavin, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 32 miles from Dublin. Good hotel. Rough shooting free.

Station.—Rathvilly, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 47 miles from Dublin. Good hotel. Snipe and duck fairly abundant, free.[Pg 303]


Station.—Croom, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 11 English miles from Limerick. Accommodation at Croom Hotel and Murgue View Hotel. Rabbits, plover, snipe, duck, at Tory Hill, by permission of owner of land.

Station.—Dromkeen, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 11 miles from Limerick. Accommodation good. Snipe, duck, plover; free.

Station.—Castleconnell, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 9 miles from Limerick. Accommodation good. Wild fowl; shooting on the river.

Station.—Patrickswell, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 7 miles from Limerick. Accommodation at Patrickswell Hotel or Dunraven Arms, Adare. Geese, duck, widgeon, teal, snipe, and cock; by permission of Mr. Peter Fitzgerald, J.P., Mondela House.

Station.—Rathkeale, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 19 miles from Limerick. Accommodation at Pigott Arms and Eagle Hotel. Good duck shooting; free.

Station.—- Killaloe, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 15 miles from Limerick. Accommodation excellent. In winter Lough Derg is visited by large quantities of wild fowl, which afford capital sport; and the bogs and marshes around Killaloe hold snipe in fair numbers.


There is excellent wild fowl shooting all along the sea coasts, and along the rivers for a few miles from the sea. The Youghal coast, the Lower Lee, Blackwater, and Bandon Rivers, afford excellent sport of this kind; also the deeply indented coasts of Kinsale, Courtmacsherry, Skibbereen, and Baltimore.

Station.—Bandon, 20 miles from Cork, on South Coast Railway. Accommodation fair at the Angel and Devonshire Arms. Snipe, wild fowl, and plover; free.

Station.—Blarney, 5 miles from Cork, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation excellent at St. Ann's Hydropathic Establishment. Snipe and plover fairly abundant; free.

Station.—Clonakilty, 33 miles from Cork, on Cork, Bandon, and South Coast Railway. Accommodation fairly good at Imperial or Shannon Arms. Snipe and plover; free.

Station.—Mitchelstown, miles from Cork, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation fair at Ahearn's or Fitzgerald's. Snipe and plover may be had on the slopes of[Pg 304] Kilworth Hills, by permission of Officer Commanding Kilworth Camp.

Station.—Kinsale, 24 miles from Cork, on Cork, Bandon, and South Coast Railway. Accommodation good at Kinsale Arms or Sea View Hotels. Wild fowl mostly preserved, but permission may be had.

Station.—Skibbereen, 53-3/4 miles from Cork, on Cork, Bandon, and South Coast Railway. Accommodation fair at Commercial, Eldon, and Ilen Valley Hotels. Duck, teal, widgeon, snipe, and plover; free.

Station.—Youghal, 26-3/4 miles from Cork, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation good at Adelphi, Devonshire Arms, Green Park, Imperial, and Strand Hotels. Wild fowl very plentiful along the sea coast and at mouth of Blackwater; free.


Station.—Horse and Jockey, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 48 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Thurles, about 4 miles distant. Grouse, hares, duck, &c., &c., in Liskeveen Bogs, by permission of D. J. Mansergh, Esq., Grallagh Castle, Thurles.

Station.—Ballyhale, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 15 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Mrs. Hayes, Knocktopher Hotel, Thomastown. Rough shooting to be had at Courisk and Castlecasker Bogs, about 1 mile from the station, in the direction of Innistiogue, but game not plenty, being a common; this would be free. A preserve at Knocktopher. For permission apply to Captain Langrishe. A preserve at Castlemorris. For permission apply to Rev. Wm. D'Montmorency, Castlemorris. Applications as to payment and otherwise should be made to above-mentioned gentlemen.

Station.—Attanagh, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 45 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Griffith's Hotel, Durrow. About 1,000 acres, almost adjoining station; duck, rabbit, snipe, woodcock; free, if with permission of occupiers (tenant farmers).

Station.—Kilmacthomas, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 15 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at E. J. Walsh's Hotel. There is no preserved ground in this vicinity, on which permission is given to shoot; snipe are fairly plentiful on surrounding bogs, and this is about all the shooting there is. By permission of Charles Mansfield, Kilmacthomas, and P. Power, Faithlegg, Waterford.

Station.—Durrow, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 22 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at Whelan's and[Pg 305] Riley's Hotels. Waterfowl; grey and green plover; also duck and snipe, rabbits, &c., by permission of farmers.

Station.—Lismore, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation at Devonshire Arms Hotel and Blackwater Vale Hotel. Partridge, grouse, woodcock. Permission to be obtained from James Penrose, Esq., Lismore Castle.

Station.—Carrick, on Great Southern and Western Railway. Accommodation at Bessborough Arms and Kirwan's Hotels. Duck, rabbits, rooks. Free, and by permission.

Station.—Mullinavat, on Great Southern and Western Railway, 7-3/4 miles from Waterford. Accommodation at M'Donald's Hotel and Hely's Hotel. Duck, widgeon, teal, and snipe; shooting free on Bishop's Mountain and Moenrin. By permission.


Station.—Sligo, on Great Southern and Western Railway, thence by car. Place, Rosse's Point. Accommodation—Hotels good. Shooting—free below high water mark.

Chapter footer

[Pg 306]


Achill Head, 246.

Adare, 59.

Adare Abbey, 60.

Adare Manor, 61.

Adare Manor Golf Links, 292.

Aghada, 95.

Aghadoe, 156.

Among the Arbutus, 266.

Arbutus Island, Killarney, 267.

Arbutus Rock, Lake Currane, 202.

Ardfert, 62.

Ardmore, 105, 256.

Arran Islands, 243, 256.

Athenry, 237.

Athlone, 39.

Athlone Golf Links, 291.

Ballincollig, 89.

Ballingrane, 62.

Ballybunion, 62, 65, 257.

Ballycotton, 96.

Baltimore, 172.

Banagher Golf Links, 291.

Bandon Golf Links, 293.

Bank of Ireland, 17.

Bantry, 172.

Beenarourke, 204.

Birr Castle, 39.

Birr Golf Links, 292.

Black Abbey, 36.

Blackrock, 89.

Blackrock Castle, Cork, 89.

Blackwater River, 101, 107.

Blackwater River, Youghal, &c., 98.

Blackwater at Kenmare, 219.

Blarney, 77, 257.

Blarney Castle, 86.

Boating at Killarney, 135.

Boher, 46.

Brayhead, 192.

Bundoran Golf Links, 294.

Bunratty Castle, 221.

Buttevant, 98.

Cahirciveen, 182, 187, 257.

Caragh Lake, 178.

Caragh Lake, Southern Hotel, 178.

Carlow, 33.

Carrantual, Killarney, 146.

Carrick-on-Suir, 127.

Carton House, Maynooth, 28.

Cashel, 130.

Castleconnell, 53, 257.

Castletown, 27.

Castletown House, 27.

Caves of Mitchelstown, 131.

Charleville, 134.

Christ Church Cathedral, 20.

Claddagh, 243.

Clare and East Galway Natural History, 272.

Clew Bay, 248.

Clifden, 245.

Cliffs of Moher, 231.

Cliffs at Valencia, 191.

Clock Tower, Youghal, 102.

Clonakilty Golf Links, 293.

Clondalkin, 26.

Clonmacnoise, 44.

Clonmel, 127.

Cloonaghlin Lake, 188.

Cloyne, 95.

Connemara and Sligo, 245.

Coomakista, 204.

Coomakisteen Hill, 205.

Coomasaharn, 182.

Cork, 73.

Cork District, 85.

Cork District—
Cycling, 279.
Fishing, 297, 300.
Shooting, 303.

Cork Exhibition, 84.

County Clare, 221.

Cratloe Woods, 221.

Cromwell's Bridge, 171.

Crosshaven, 95.

Curragh Camp, 31, 32.

Curraghmore Ho., 118.

Custom Ho., Dublin, 21.

Cycling, 278.

Dame St., Dublin, 18.

Derriana Lake, 188.

Derrynane, 206.

Derrynane Abbey, 206.

Diamond Mountain, 247.

Dinish Island, Killarney, 144.

Dooks, 180.

Dromod, 67.

Dromoland Castle, 222.

Dublin Castle, 19.

Dublin and District, 15.

Dublin District—
Fishing, 295, 299.
Golfing, 291.
Shooting, 302.

Duke of York Route, 67.

Dungarvan, 132.

Dunmore, 122.

Dunmore East, 257.

Eagle's Nest, Killarney, 145.

Eccles' Hotel, Glengarriff, 166.

Emly, 133.

Ennis, 221.

Ennistymon, 223.

Falls of Doonass, 54.

Fenit, 66.

[Pg 307]Fethard, 128.

Fishing, 295.

Four Courts, Dublin, 23.

Foynes, 62.

Galteemore, 132.

Galway, 238.

Galway and Dist., 235.

Galway Golf Links, 294.

Galway, Queen's College, 244.

Gannets on Little Skellig, 197.

Gap of Dunloe, 157.

Garinish Island, 212, 215.

Geological Section, Bantry to Killarney, 263.

Glenbeigh, 182.

Glenbrook, 92.

Glendalough, 249.

Glengarriff, 166, 257.

Golfing, 291.

Golfing at Lehinch, 229.

Gort, 237.

Gougane Barra, 169.

Grattan, 17.

Great Cross of the Scriptures, 45.

Guest House, Mount Melleray, 111.

Harristown, 29.

Headford, 134.

Holy Cross Abbey, 129.

Imperial Hotel, Waterford, 117.

Inchigeela, 171.

Innisfallen, Killarney, 146.

Irish Spurge, 268.

Kells, 38, 182.

Kenmare, 257.

Kenmare and Glengarriff, 164.

Kenmare, Southern Hotel, 166, 218.

Kerry Ditchbank, 264.

Kerry Slug, 269.

Kildare, 31.

Kilkee, 225, 228, 258.

Kilkenny, 33, 34.

Kilkenny Castle, 35.

Killaloe, 58, 67.

Killaloe Golf Links, 292.

Killery Bay, 251.

Killarney, 136, 258.

Killarney, Arbutus Island, 267.

Killarney, Carrantual, 146.

Killarney, Dinish, 144.

Killarney, Eagle's Nest, 145.

Killarney, Gap of Dunloe, 157.

Killarney, Innisfallen, 146.

Killarney, Meeting of the Waters, 149.

Killarney, Muckross Abbey, 151.

Killarney, Shooting the Rapids, 143.

Killarney, Torc, 153.

Killarney, Up. Lake, 139.

Killarney District, Cycling, 283.

Killarney District, Fishing, 298, 300.

Killarney and Glengarriff, 133.

Killarney, Southern Hotel, 136.

Killorglin, 178.

Kilmallock, 133.

Kilrush, 232.

Kincora, 69.

Kinvara, 237.

Kylemore, 253.

Lake Coomasaharn, 186.

Lake Currane, 200.

Lakes and Fjords of Kerry, 175.

Lartigue Railway, 63.

Leenane, 248, 258.

Lehinch, 258.

Lehinch Golf Links, 292.

Letterfrack, 248.

Limerick, 47.

Limerick District, Cycling, 281.

Limerick District, Fishing, 296, 299.

Limerick District, Golf Links, 292.

Limerick District, Shooting, 303.

Limerick Junction, 46.

Liscanor, 232.

Lisdoonvarna, 224, 258.

Lismore, 110.

Lismore Golf Links, 293.

Littleisland Golf Links, 293.

Look-out Cliff, Kilkee, 227.

Lough Corrib, 245, 250.

Lough Gill, 252, 254.

Lough Gur, 134.

Lough Ree, 71.

Lucan, 26, 258.

Mallaranny, 252.

Mallow, 99.

Mallow Castle, 100.

Mallow Golf Links, 293.

Mangerton, 160.

Marina, Cork, 75.

Maryborough, 39.

Meeting of the Waters, Killarney, 149.

Midleton, 105.

Milltown Malbay, 232.

Mitchelstown, 131.

Monasterevan, 38.

Monkstown, 92.

Mount Melleray, 109.

Mount Melleray, Guest House, 111.

Mountain Stage, 182.

Muckross Abbey, 151.

Myrtle Grove, 104.

Naas, 28.

National Library, Dublin, 23.

Natural History, 260.

Nest of Wood Ant, 271.

Newcastle, 62.

[Pg 308]Newbridge, 31.

Newport, 248.

North Kerry, 59.

Oughterard, 245.

Oratory of Gallerius,66.

Parknasilla, 210, 258.

Parknasilla, Southern Hotel, 212, 213.

Passage (East), 126.

Passage (West), 90.

Pass of Ballaghbeama, 181.

Patrick Street, Cork, 74.

Pennywort, 264.

Portarlington, 38.

Portumna, 67.

Poulaphouca, 258.

Poulaphouca Waterfall, 30.

Purple Mountain, Killarney, 159.

Queen's College, Cork, 79.

Queen's College, Galway, 244.

Queenstown, 92, 258.

Queenst'n Harbour, 91.

Raheen Lake, Currane, 201.

Rathkeale, 62.

Rathmore, 134.

Recess, 259.

Roche's Hotel, Glengarriff, 166.

Roscrea, 39.

Ross Castle, Killarney, 155, 158.

Round Tower, Clondalkin, 25.

Rushbrook Golf Links, 294.

Salmon Leap, Lucan, 26.

Salthill, Galway, 242.

Sarsfield Statue, Limerick, 50.

Saxifraga umbrosa, 265.

Scariff, 67.

Shandon Church, Cork, 82.

Shannon Development Company, 67.

Shannon Steamer, 70.

Shooting, 302.

Shooting the Rapids, Killarney, 143.

Sir Walter Raleigh's House, 103.

Skelligs, 194.

Slea Head, 66.

Sligo District—
Cycling, 289.
Fishing, 298, 301.
Shooting, 305.

Sligo Golf Links, 294.

Sligo, Nat. History, 274.

Smerwick, 66.

Southern Hotel, Caragh Lake, 178.

Southern Hotel, Kenmare, 166, 218.

Southern Hotel, Killarney, 136.

Southern Hotel, Parknasilla, 212, 213.

Southern Hotel, Waterville, 198.

Spa, 66.

Spanish Point, 232.

Spike Island, 92.

Sport, 277.

Staigue Fort, 202.

St. Canice's Cathedral, 36.

St. Finbarr's Cathedral, 80.

St. Michael's Rock, 194.

St. Patrick's Cathedral, 20.

Straffan, 28.

Strancally Castle, 106.

St. Stephen's Green, 17.

Sneem, 207.

Suir, 116.

Summer and Winter Resort, 256.

Thomastown, 38.

Three Sisters, 66.

Thurles, 128.

Torc, 153.

Tralee, 66.

Tramore, 119, 259.

Tramore Golf Links, 292.

Treaty Stone, Lim'k. 48.

Trinity College, 18.

Tuam, 238.

Tullamore Golf Links, 291.

Tullow, 29.

Twelve Bens, 245.

Upper Lake, Killarney, 139.

Valencia, 259.

Valencia Harbour, 190.

Valencia Island, 188.

Waterford, 112, 259.

Waterford and District, 112.

Waterford District—
Cycling, 284.
Fishing, 297.
Golf Links, 292.
Shooting, 304.

Waterford and East Cork, Natural History, 262.

Waterford, The Quays, 115.

Waterville, 196, 259.

Waterville, Southern Hotel, 199.

West Cork, &c., Natural History, 262.

West Galway and West Mayo, Natural History, 272.

Westport, 248.

Wicklow and Wexford, Natural History, 261.

Wolf Spider, 273.

Youghal, 101.

Youghal Golf Links, 293.
[Pg 309]

[Pg 310]


Gresham Hotel,

Gresham Hotel

This Old Established and First Class Hotel is situate in Sackville-street, one of the finest thoroughfares in the world. Many improvements have of late been made—Electric Light, &c. Visitors to Dublin will find their Requirements catered for at the Gresham in a manner unsurpassed by any Hotel in the City. No efforts are spared to ensure in every possible way the comfort of its Patrons.


Spacious Saloons and Ball Room on Ground Floor.


JAMES FARRELLY, Manager.[Pg 311]

Shelbourne Hotel

[Pg 312]

The "Hammam" Hotel AND Turkish Baths,


Hammam Hotel

"Three Days' Guide to Dublin" free on application.

Daily Terms from 8/6.

By Special Permission of Her late Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria.


Patronised by His Majesty King Edward VII., H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, the Royal Families of France and Belgium, the Nobility and Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, and leading American Families.

Hammam Hotel


MAGNIFICENTLY situated on Lower Lake, facing Innisfallen. Highly recommended for its superior comfort. The only Hotel in Killarney at which King Edward VII. stayed when Prince of Wales.

JOHN O'LEARY, Proprietor.[Pg 313]



Under New Management. Standing in its own Grounds upwards of 60 acres on the Shore of the Lower Lake.

Unrivalled in situation, concentrating in one view all that is picturesque and sublime in the scenery.

Lake Hotel

NEWLY FURNISHED; Electric Light throughout (Bedrooms included). Boating, Fishing, and Shooting. Conveyances Daily for Local Tours at fixed rates for each Person, also for Private Hiring. Billiards, Tennis.


Hotel Omnibus meets all Trains. The Glengarriff Coach stops at Entrance Gates to take up and set down Passengers.

The Railway Company allow only the Porters of their own Hotel on the Arrival Platform. The Lake Hotel Porters will be found at the Station Entrance.

Address THE MANAGER.[Pg 314]


First-Class Accommodation.

Beautifully Situated. Overlooking Bay. Magnificent Coast Scenery.

Nearest Bathing Resorts.

Recently Furnished. Board per Week or per Day.

'Bus and Porter await arrival of all Trains.

Coupons of The Irish Railway Companies Tourist Office,
2, Charing Cross, London.


Royal Marine Hotel.

Extensive additions have been made for the coming season. It is the most central Hotel in Kilkee, commanding full view of Bay and Cliffs. Is within two minutes' walk of Railway Station, principal Bathing Resorts, Post Office, and places of Worship. This Hotel contains all facilities and convenience of a First-Class Hotel, with the quiet and comforts of home. Tourists and Visitors will find it to their advantage to patronise the above Hotel.

Arrangements made for Private Families.

The Hotel Omnibus attends the trains.



[Pg 315]


"One of Ireland's beauty spots." Seven miles from Limerick.



(Mrs. K. Enright, Proprietress.)


Head-Quarters C.T.C.

Five miles walk along the banks of the Shannon. Magnificent River Scenery, Including "far-famed Rapids of Doonass."

Cycling.—Boating.—Driving.—Pretty Walks.

Castleconnell can be reached from

London in13½ hours.
Liverpool under11½ hours.
Leeds13½ hours.
Manchester11¼ hours.
Birmingham12¼ hours.
York14 hours, 20 mins.
Bristol15 hours.
Dublin3 hours.
Cork2 hours, 55 mins.
Killarney under4 hours.
Waterford3 hours, 20 mins.
Killaloe20 minutes.

N.B.—Salmon Fishing by arrangement; Trout Fishing FREE; also good Pike, Perch, and Roach Fishing FREE.

Telephone 502, Limerick.[Pg 316]

Royal Hotel



This Hotel has been patronised by H. M. The King And Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales.

It is now considered the Most Comfortable and Up-to-Date Hotel in Ireland.





NOTICE.—The Steamers of this Line come alongside the Prince's Stage, Liverpool, to land or embark Passengers without the intervention of Tenders, and London Passengers depart from or arrive at the Riverside Railway Station on the Quay adjoining.

Cunard Line



Sailings to and from New York and Boston on Saturdays and Tuesdays.



Fitted with Marconi's System of Wireless Telegraphy.

The Twin-Screw Ships "IVERNIA" and "SAXONIA," which sail between Liverpool and Boston, are among the largest Ships afloat, and their remarkable steadiness makes sea-sickness practically impossible.




For Syria, Smyrna, Constantinople, Malta, Genoa, Leghorn, Naples, Brindisi, Trieste, Venice, Fiume, Bari, Ancona, Palermo, Messina, Catania, Patras, and Corfu.


Freight Steamers from Liverpool and Havre weekly.

* * * For full particulars apply at the Company's Offices: in New York, at 29, Broadway; in Boston, at 99, State-street; in Havre, at 28, Quai d'Orleans; in Paris, at 2, bis Rue Scribe; in London, at 32, Cockspur-street, S.W., and 93, Bishopsgate-street, E.C.; in Manchester, at 18, Brazennose-street; in Glasgow, at 30, Jamaica-street; in Leith, at Exchange Buildings; in Belfast, at 49, Queen's-square; in Queenstown, at Cunard Wharf; or to



Great Western Railway of England.













Waterford and New Milford.

Under 5 Hours.




In connection with the Steamers are provided with

Central Corridors.
Lighted by Electricity.
Lavatory Accommodation.

Direct Communication with Guard.

REFRESHMENTS may be obtained in the trains by First, Second, and Third Class Passengers.

For further information as to train service, fares, &c., see the Company's time tables.

Full particulars will be supplied on application to Mr. H. J. Nicholls, Great Western Railway Company's Offices, Waterford; Mr. A. W. Perks, Adelphi Wharf, Waterford; Mr. E. Fogg, Railway Chambers, King Street, Cork; Mr. Alfred Dodd, Great Western Agent, Limerick Terminus; Messrs. Cook & Son, Main Street, Killarney; or to Mr. T. I. Allen, Superintendent of the Line, Paddington Station, London.

J. L. WILKINSON, General Manager.

July, 1902.[Pg 319]




Patronised by the Aristocracy, Tourists and Commercial Gentlemen.

Spacious Drawing,
Coffee, Commercial,
Billiard and Bath Rooms.
Smoking, Stock, and Rent Rooms.

Sanitation Certified. The Hotel has been recently enlarged, re-furnished, and decorated.


from 1.45 to 3.30 daily.

Table d'Hote at 7.30 daily.

Omnibus meets all Trains and Steamers.

Telephone, No. 22.Telegrams—"IMPERIAL," Waterford.

W. A. MURRAY, Proprietor.[Pg 320]

[Pg 321]


[1] Permission to visit Adare Manor may be obtained (on application) from the Head Steward, Adare.

[2] The other places of worship in Cork are as follows:—Roman Catholic: St. Mary's Cathedral, Clarence-street; SS. Peter and Paul's, Patrick-street (designed by Pugin); St. Patrick's, King-street (Military Mass); St. Finbarr's, Dunbar-street (here Hogan's masterpiece, "The Dead Christ," may be seen under High Altar); St. Joseph's, Mayfield; St. Finbarr's, West, Lough-road; St. Augustine's Priory (Augustinians), Great George-street; St. Mary's (Dominicans), Pope's-quay; St. Francis' (Franciscans), Liberty-street; Holy Trinity (Friars Minors Capuchins), Charlotte-quay; St. Vincent's (Congregation of the Mission), Sunday's Well; and Chapel of Convent of St. Mary's of the Isle, Fitton-street. Church of Ireland: Christ Church, South Main-street; St. Ann's, Church-street; St. Luke's, Summer Hill; St. Mary's, Shanakiel-road; St. Nicholas', Cove-street; St. Paul's, Paul-street; St. Peter's, North Main-street; Cork Episcopal Free Church, Langford-row; St. Michael's, Blackrock; and Frankfield Church. Other Denominations: Baptist Church, King-street; Congregational Church, George-street; Patrick-street Methodist Chapel; Society of Friends, Grattan-street; Presbyterian, Summer Hill; Plymouth Brethren, Prince's-street; and Cork Hebrews, 10, South Terrace.

[3] "Amber water." It recently passed from the representatives of the late Sir John Pope Hennessy into the possession of Sir Henry Blake. Permission to visit the house may be obtained on application to Mr. French, Land Agent, South Mall, Cork.

[4] To be seen in the National Gallery, Dublin.


Heights of the Principal Mountains, According to the Ordnance Survey.
Purple Mount,2,739"
Eagle's Nest,1,103"
Elevation of Loughs above the Sea.
Devil's Punch Bowl,2,206feet.
Black Lough,587"
Cush Valley,337"
Upper Lake,70"
Lower Lake,66"

87, 88, & 89, ABBEY STREET,

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John O'Mahony and R. Lloyd Praeger


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