Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

We visited the Aillwee Caves which contain some of the rare bones of the extinct Cave Bear.

When we arrived at the Cliffs of Moher large black clouds gathered and it rain and thundered!

Steve and I both are the most impressed by the ancient stone sites of Ireland. This is the famous rocky Burren.

These photos were taken on the Burren of the Poulnabrone. This dolmen was excavated and the remains of 14 men,women and children were found and a gold garment clasp. This dates to 2000 BC.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Steve searching for his Roots

Pictured is the town square of Dunmore. While waiting for Patrick McWalter to meet us we were entertained by some comical and genial fellows at the corner pub.

Pat McWalter's mother Kathleen's grandmother was Anne Treacy who was James Joseph Treacy's sister. Steve can supply you with the chart if you need it. Uncle Bill met this family in the 80's when he visited here and they remembered him fondly and asked about him. Steve and Pat are double third cousins because a Treacy and Boyle married each other's siblings!

In these photos you'll see Steve leaning on the ruins of possibly Joe Treacy's home not a relative. There's a cemetery that probably has some unmarked Treacy graves and group photos of Pat, Kathleen, Thomas and Steve. Pat is a primary school teacher and Thomas is a police officer in Dublin. Kathleen served us tea and salmon salad sandwiches. We had a very gracious visit.

Below are third cousins Steve and Pat.

Above is a photo of Steve and I standing in front of the location where Grandfather James Treacy's family home once stood. The spot is just to the viewer's left of the big clump of trees behind Ann's head.

Kathleen lived in the Treacy home as a child and described it to us. She said it had two bedrooms plus a loft bed accessible by a ladder. There was a large kitchen with an open fire place for cooking. There were three front windows with a table and chairs in front of one to sit and see people coming to visit. They dug peat in the bog at the back of the house to burn in the fire. She said that there is a cottage replica at Bunratty just like it. We saw it there and will include it in the next blog. It was wonderful to hear her talk about it!

Challenge: Can you Step?

A lot of the streets off of Eyre Square are closed to vehicle traffic and street performers were everywhere. We witnessed this challenge to the dance on Shop St. which is the main street. The woman in the black coat was stepping joyously to the music and invited the young women to the challenge. They took turns showing their stuff!

A little "trad" in Galway

There was a party every night in Galway due to the festival and summer season. The Galway Races start next week and I'm disappointed that we'll miss it...apparently a big formal deal like the Kentucky Derby...hats required!!
The photo that follows includes a fellow playing the Uillean pipes an original Irish instrument.

I wish I had a better photo of the young man that "danced the broom". His foot work was phenomenal! These dancers and musicians were all recent grads of Galway University and just stayed on for the summer to work in the pub. The "older fellow" that jammed with them on the video had traveled around the world with a trad group to NYC and Chicago. We sat with the musicians and wife. "Twas brilliant" as they say!

Galway Arts Festival Parade

The excitement started after dark as people followed the parade up and down street stopping at pubs and pressing a lot of flesh.