Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 6: The 1848 War House and the Rock of Cashel

Today we got up earlier than on any other—on the bus by 7am. Or was it 6:30? Too bloody early to remember for sure. There was a method to the madness, of course. We were driving from Enniscorthy to Cork City for a massive hurling match between long-time rival squads Cork and Tipperary. Before the match, though, we had a couple of stops.

First off, we stopped at the 1848 War House—otherwise known as the Widow McCormack's Cabbage Patch, site of short-lived 1848 uprising. In a nutshell, a handful of rebels from a group called the Young Irelanders launched a rising in the middle of the Potato Famine, hoping to overthrow the British government. They found themselves at McCormack's place and were defeated within a few minutes by a small number of policemen.

You'd think that such a failure would be quickly forgotten. Far from it. The next nationalist group to come along, the Fenian Brotherhood, depended on memory of 1848 to inspire and recruit (hence the sign they placed on the old McCormack place).

The 1848 rebels were sentenced to transportation across the seas and some of them took part in another uprising in Australia some years later. It went little better. What did work out was that one of the men, Terence Bellew McManus, died in San Francisco. A crummy, if inevitable, way to go you say? Well, the Fenians promptly loaded him on a slow moving train and sent the body back to Ireland, stopping in stations all across America. Mass was held in New York and Dublin. The funeral was huge. People came out of the woodwork to join the Fenians. Another wave of rebellion was born.

But I get ahead of myself. As we made our way across country, progress was slowed by a run-in with some especially stupid cows that were simply standing in the road.

Eventually a farmer arrived to move them along, but the cows were little interested.

More standing around.

Finally the bloody things started to move. Rather quickly, as it happens... straight at me. I jumped back in the bus!

Freed from cattle gridlock, it was on to the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland's coolest sites/sights. I focused on taking photos of details, graves, and so on—but also caught one of Hoar Abbey just below.

Believe it or not, there's still medieval paint in one chapel.

Sadly, it was raining during the hurling match. Never very hard, mind, but steady enough that I was worried about using my camera. Thus, no photos. Suffice to say that it was a BRILLIANT match. Cork was much the underdog, but they pulled off a brilliant victory and there was much celebrating.

Two last photos. The first is of our ride: a Mercedes. Don't get too excited. It is electronically limited to 80kph. My calls for hitting the chip with a hammer have been roundly rejected.

Finally, this is a flying rat. Kinda pretty, actually. (I love my camera!)

1 comment:

  1. Dasn't blame the bleedin' cows! I mean, what side of the stinkin' road is a bloke sposed to amble on, mate?