An Mhór Chuaird agus Áilleacht an Reachta

Go deo na ndeor bhí a fhios ag an saol faoi áilleacht an reachta agus tuairiscítear é go forleathan i ngar is i gcéin. Dar ndóigh bíonn cuma álainn ar gach áit i dtreimhsí fíor gréine ach ní haon aibhéil é sin a rá, ní fhéadfá tíre níos dathúla a aimsiú ná ár dtíre dúchais agus go háraithe an chúinne in iardheisceart na tíre. Mar fear brodúil as Uíbh Fhailí, is oth liom a rá b’fheidir fiú amháin níos deise ná an ceantar i lár na tíre!

Le deanaí bhí sé de phribléid dom, trí lá a chaitheamh i gContae Chiarraí. Lonnaithe san ionad campála i “Fossa Parks” ní rabhamar ach cúpla mhíle lasmuigh den bhaile Chill Airne agus bhí na háiseanna go léir againn. Cuirt leadóige, ionad súgradh do na leanaí, cithfholcadáin, seomraí feistis, seomra thriomú, leitreachas má bhí sé ag teastáil uait, leithris agus cistin. Fuaireamar aire den chéad scoth agus mholfainn d’éinne in a bhfuil suim acu i laethanta saoire campála, fanacht ann.

An mhaidin dár gcionn, shochraíomar slí an mhóir chuaird a leanúint. D’fhagamar Fossa go luath agus mar thoradh bhí an trácht eadrom ar fad agus níos compordaí a bheith ag tiomáint chun na radharcanna deasa a aimsiú. Ba í Cill Orglan ár gcéad gceann scribe agus ag druidim an bhaile bhí an dealbh cailiúil “An Pucán Gabhar” le feiscint ar taobh amháin den droichead. Bíonn féasta mór acu ar an deichiú lá, an t-aonú lá déag, agus an an dara lá dhéag i mí Lúnasa gach bliain agus b’aoibhinn liom a bheith i láthair. Stopamar le haghaidh cupán tae i “Bunkers caife agus teach tábhairne”. Ag feachaint timpeall na háite, bhí na ballaí go leir maisithe le grianghraif agus dar ndóigh formhór dóibh, pictiúir de na foirne peile stairiúil as Ciarraí (fiú amháin 1982!)

pic 3

Ar ais linn ar an mbóthar ach ní raibh sé ach cúpla noiméad eile, bhí orainn stop arís i nGlenbeigh-Glencar agus go hiondúil an pháirc peile. Cumann an iar-chaptaein, Darran Ó Súilleabháin is ea é ach bhí an radharc go hiontach leis an bhfharraige díreach taobh thiar di. Chun na fírinne a rá b’eigean dúinn stopadh go minic chun na radharcanna dochreidte a thogáil isteach.

Tríd na sráideanna chaolta i gCathair Saidhbhín, an áit in a rugadh Daniel O’ Connell. I rith ár dturas b’aoibhinn liom an bád a fháil agus cuairt a thabhairt ar na Scealaga ach ní raibh sé eagraithe againn faraor ach beimíd ar ais le cúnamh Dé. Ina dhiaidh sin, chaitheamar seal in an Coireán, baile an fhear Ciarraí is cailiúla ar fud na tíre b’fheidir. Mar is ghnách, go leor rudaí le feiscint mar shampla an trá agus an cheardlann ar imeall an bhaile. Is aoibhinn leo a ndealbha i gCiarraí agus bhí dhá cheann suite ar an bpromanáid. Go hiondúil an laoch Chairraí Mick O Dwyer agus Charlie Chaplin! Tá an chuma ar an scéal gurb í an Coireán agus an óstán “Butler Arms” dáiríre, a chaith siad a laethanta saoire gach earrach agus samhradh ar feadh scór bliain. Gach bliain bíonn féile greann acu ina onóir.

pic 2

Ag an bpointe sin bhí an teocht thar cúig chéim is fiche agus shochraíomar stop fiúntach eile a dhéanamh  i gCathair Dónall. Trá den chéad scoth agus anuas ar sin teach Daniel O’ Connell d’arb ainm “Derrynane House”. Mar a luaigh mé níos luaithe, tá áit suntasach ag Daniel i stair na hÉireann. Baisteadh “An Fuascailteoir” air mar gheall a fheachtas rathúil, cearta comhionanna a bhaint amach do gnáthmhuintir na hÉireann.  D’úsáid sé a chumhacht agus chumas mar dlíodóir ‘is duine inspioráideach agus thug sé creideamh agus misneach do na daoine a chuireadh ar an leibhéal is ísle sa tsochaí. Creidimse go beacht, ba é Daniel, cheann de na fir is tabhachtaí in ár stair fhada ‘is casta.

pic 4      pic 5

Deirtear go minic go gcaithfidh tú dul go Ciarraí chun an bhia is fearr sa tír a fháil. Tá neart eolais ag na cócairí faoi gach sórt béile agus seasann sé amach in a n-aonar do bhia mara. Nuair a shroicheamar An Neidín, bhíos stiúgtha leis an ocras agus isteach linn sa bhialann “Packie’s”. Iasc ag an mbeirt againn agus níos mó ná sásta leis an gcaighdeán a bhí ar fáil. Maith sibh go léir.

Agus ba é ár lá ar an mhór Cuaird. D’fhilleamar ar ais ó Neidín go dtí Cill Airne tríd Páirc Naisiúnta Chill Airne agus arís, is annamh go bhfeictear na radharcanna chomh deasa. D’imigh an turas go léir i bhfaideadh na súl ach bheinn níos mó ná toillteanach é a dhéanamh gach samhradh.

Bhí sé ar intinn agam dúl go dtí Chorca Dhuibhne an lá ina dhiaidh sin. D’ainneoin an droch aimsir bhí fonn láidir agam le blianta beaga anuas, tréimhse a chaitheamh san áit iargúlta ach fíor stairiúil. Thaistilíomar trí “Inch”, rófhliuch chun dul ag snámh, agus stopamar in Abhainn an scáil agus an teach tábhairne cailiúil a bhí ag an taiscéalaí, Tom Crean “The South Pole Inn”. Muna bhfuil na scealta cloiste agat, ba chóir duit, do thaighde a dhéanamh chomh tapa agus is feidir leat! Tabharfaidh mé leargas duit anois go sciopaigh. I míle naoi gcéad is a dó dhéag tharraing é féin agus William Lashly, an captaen Teddy Evans, níos faide ná céad míle ar sórt gléas sleamhnáin nuair a thit an captaen tinn. D’ainneoin ordaithe an chaptaein é a fhágáil, shiúil sé triocha cúig mhíle eile in a aonar chun fios a chur ar an tseirbhís éigeandála agus an triúr acu a shabháil! Ar aon nós bhí seans againn sult a bhaint as a theach tábhairne agus scrudú a dhéanamh ar na geatsaí ar na ballaí.

Chun deireadh a chur le mo scéal, bhí cuairt go dtí An Ceann Trá ag teastáil go géar uaim ach bhí an aimsir ródhona chun sásamh a bhaint as. D’itheamar in Daingean Uí Chúis agus d’fhilleamar le croíthe troma, ar ais go dtí lár na tíre. Gan dabht ar bith mholfainn d’éinne, nuair a fhaightear an chéad deis, dul go dtí Ciarraí agus beidh tú faoi dhraíocht tríd agus tríd. Is í Ciarraí an Ríocht gan dabht ar bith.

pic

“The Ring of Kerry” and the beauty of the Kingdom

Forever and ever the whole world has known of the beauty of “The Kingdom” and it is widely reported from near and from far. Obviously, everywhere is beautiful in periods of marvellous sunshine but it is no exaggeration to say, you could not find a more beautiful country than our own native land and especially our south west corner. As a proud Offaly man I regret to say, possibly even nicer than the midlands!

Recently it was my privilege to spend three days in county Kerry.  Based in the camping site at “Fossa Parks” we were all but a few miles outside the town of Killarney with all the facilities at our disposal. A tennis court, play area for the children, showers, changing rooms, a drying room, electricity if required, toilets and a kitchen. We received care of the highest standard and I would advise anyone who holds an interest in camping holidays to stay there.

The following morning we decided to follow the “Ring of Kerry”. We left Fossa early and as a result the traffic was light which made it more comfortable to view the magnificent sites while driving. Killorglin was our first destination and approaching the town the famous statue of the Puck Goat was very visible on one side of the bridge. On the 10th, 11th and 12th of August each year a huge celebration takes place which I would love to be present for. We stopped for a cup of tea in Bunkers café and pub. Taking it all in, the walls were decorated with photographs and obviously most of them including pictures of the famous Kerry football teams (even 1982!)

We hit the road again but within minutes we were compelled to stop in Glenbeigh Glencar and typically the football pitch! It is the club of former captain Darran O’ Sullivan and the view was splendid with the sea directly behind it. Truth be told, we had to stop regularly to take in the unbelievable sites.

We negotiated our way through the slender streets in Cahersiveen, the birthplace of Daniel O’ Connell. During the course of our travels, I would have loved to have gotten the boat and taken a trip to the Skellig islands but unfortunately this was not part of our itinerary and we will be back with the help of God. After that we spent a short time in Waterville, home of possibly the most famous Kerryman in all the land. As is usual there was plenty to see, the beach and the workshop on the outskirts of the town to name but a few. They love their statues in Kerry and there were two such ones situated on the promenade. Typically the Kerry champion Mick O’ Dwyer and Charlie Chaplin to keep him company. The story goes, that it was Waterville, and the “Butler Arms Hotel” in particular, in which his family spent their holidays each spring and summer for twenty years. Each year a comedy festival is held in his honour.

At that point the temperature was in excess of twenty five degrees and we decided to make another worthwhile stop in Caherdaniel. A beautiful beach and on top of that the home of Daniel O’ Connell, “Derrynane House”. As I referred to earlier, Daniel O’ Connell holds a significant place in Irish History. He was named “The Liberator” because of his successful campaign for equal rights for the “ordinary” Irish population. He used his power and ability as an inspirational person and lawyer and gave belief and courage to the people who occupied the bottom rung of society. I strongly believe, Daniel was one of the most important men in our long and complicated history.

It is often said that you have to go to Kerry to immerse yourself in the finest food the country has to offer. The chefs there have a tremendous knowedge of all foods but it is their expertise of seafood which ensures it is in a league of its own. By the time we reached Kenmare, I was starving with the hunger and headed straight for “Packie’s” restaurant. We both had fish and could not have been happier with the standard that was on offer. Well done to one and all.

And that was our day on “The Ring of Kerry”. We returned from Kenmare to Killarney through Killarney National Park and again, it is all too rare that views so splendid are seen. The entire journey was over in the blink of an eye but I would be more than willing to do it every summer.

It was my intention to explore the Dingle Peninsula the following day. In spite of the bad weather I have had a strong desire in recent years, to spend some time in the remote but very famous setting.  We travelled through Inch, too wet and miserable to go swimming, but stopped in Annascaul and the famous pub of the explorer, Tom Crean, “The South Pole Inn. If you have not heard the stories of his exploits you should begin researching as quick as you can! I will give you a quick insight. In 1912 both he and William Lashly pulled the ship’s captain, more than 100 miles on a make-shift sled when the captain fell ill. Inspite of the captain’s orders to leave him there, he walked a further 30 miles on his own to alert the emergency services and ultimately save their lives. In any case, we had a chance to enjoy the pub and investigate all the resources hanging on the walls.

To end my story, I wanted to continue on our way and visit Ventry but the weather was too miserable to enjoy it in it’s entirety. We dined in Dingle and returned with heavy hearts to the midlands. Without hesitation I would advise anyone, when the first chance is presented, get yourself to Kerry and it wont be long until your under it’s spell. Kerry is undoubtedly “the Kingdom”.

Written by briandarbymedia1

Leargais agus tuairimí faoi mo shaol agus breise. Spórt, eachtraí polaitiúla agus an nuacht is deanaí sa bhaile agus thar lear. B'aoibhinn liom do thuairimí phearsanta féin a chloisteail agus iad a phlé. "Bíonn dhá insint ar gach scéal" :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s