Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin

5 January 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hotels Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Jean Housen/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Jean Housen/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Shelbourne Hotel is a historic hotel in Dublin, Ireland, situated in a landmark building on the north side of St Stephen’s Green. Currently owned by Kennedy Wilson and operated by Marriott International, the hotel has 265 rooms in total and reopened in March 2007 after undergoing an eighteen-month refurbishment.   read more…

Spike Island in Cork Harbour

12 July 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Guliolopez/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Guliolopez/cc-by-sa-3.0

Spike Island (Irish: Inis Píc) is an island of 103 acres (42 ha) in Cork Harbour, Ireland. Originally the site of a monastic settlement, the island is dominated by an 18th-century bastion fort now named Fort Mitchel.   read more…

Theme Week County Mayo – Ballina

31 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Pearse Street © Milesoneill/cc-by-sa-3.0

Pearse Street © Milesoneill/cc-by-sa-3.0

Ballina (Irish: Béal an Átha, meaning ‘mouth of the ford’) is a town in north County Mayo, Ireland. It lies at the mouth of the River Moy near Killala Bay, in the Moy valley and Parish of Kilmoremoy, with the Ox Mountains to the east and the Nephin Beg mountains to the west. The town occupies two baronies; Tirawley on the west bank of the Moy River, and Tireragh, a barony within the County of Sligo, on its east banks. As of 2016, the population of Ballina was 10,171.   read more…

Theme Week County Mayo – Killala

30 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Street scene © geograph.org.uk - Liz McCabe/cc-by-sa-2.0

Street scene © geograph.org.uk – Liz McCabe/cc-by-sa-2.0

Killala (Irish: Cill Ala, meaning ‘the mottled church’) is a village in County Mayo in Ireland, north of Ballina. The railway line from Dublin to Ballina once extended to Killala. To the west of Killala is a Townsplots West (known locally as Enagh Beg), which contains a number of ancient forts. By the end of the 18th century, Killala had established a small sea port, where fishing was the primary activity. The town also produced coarse linens and woolen products.   read more…

Theme Week County Mayo – Foxford

29 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

OLYMPUS Church of Ireland church © geograph.org.uk - Liz McCabe/cc-by-sa-2.0

Church of Ireland church © geograph.org.uk – Liz McCabe/cc-by-sa-2.0

Foxford (Irish: Béal Easa, meaning ‘mouth of the waterfall’) is a village 16 km south of Ballina in County Mayo, Ireland. It stands on the N26 national primary route from Swinford to Ballina and has a railway station served by trains between Manulla Junction and Ballina.   read more…

Theme Week County Mayo – Balla

28 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Balla Round Tower © Bangers/cc-by-sa-3.0

Balla Round Tower © Bangers/cc-by-sa-3.0

Balla is a village in County Mayo, Ireland on the N60 National secondary road, the main road between Castlebar and Claremorris. The economy of the village survives mainly on passing trade, from the busy N60 which carries over 7,000 vehicles through the village every day. It is notable for its round tower. It used to be a significant shop and market centre. It fell into decline and lost its railway station, but has enjoyed something of a revival as a residential area for people working in Castlebar.   read more…

Portrait: Oscar Wilde, Irish poet and playwright

28 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  8 minutes

Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture in Merrion Square, Dublin © flickr.com - Stéphane Moussie/cc-by-2.0

Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture in Merrion Square, Dublin © flickr.com – Stéphane Moussie/cc-by-2.0

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in London in the early 1890s. He is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and the circumstances of his criminal conviction for gross indecency for consensual homosexual acts in “one of the first celebrity trials”, imprisonment, and early death from meningitis at age 46.   read more…

Theme Week County Mayo – Knock

27 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

The Apparition Chapel © KnockShrine/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Apparition Chapel © KnockShrine/cc-by-sa-4.0

Knock is a large village in County Mayo, Ireland. Its notability is derived from the Knock Shrine, a Catholic shrine and place of pilgrimage where, according to Catholic beliefs, that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist may have appeared on 21 August 1879. There is much international skepticism on this event due to the age of the witnesses and lack of evidence supporting the event. In the 20th century, Knock became one of Europe’s major Catholic Marian shrines, alongside Lourdes and Fátima. It was one of the focusses of Irish peace pilgrimage during the Second World War, when the Catholic Irish prayed for peace and to prevent the spread of war to the island. One and a half million pilgrims visit Knock Shrine annually. Pope John Paul II, a supporter of devotion to the Virgin Mary, visited Knock in 1979 to commemorate the centenary of the apparition. Knock is also a civil parish in the ancient barony of Costello. On 26 August 2018 Pope Francis visited the shrine at Knock as part of a visit to Ireland for the 9th World Meeting of Families.   read more…

Theme Week County Mayo

26 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  13 minutes

Burrishoole Bridge © MickReynolds/cc-by-sa-4.0

Burrishoole Bridge © MickReynolds/cc-by-sa-4.0

County Mayo (Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning “Plain of the yew trees“) is a county in Ireland. In the West of Ireland, in the province of Connacht, it is named after the village of Mayo, now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority. The population was 137,231 at the 2022 census. The boundaries of the county, which was formed in 1585, reflect the Mac William Íochtar lordship at that time.   read more…

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