Donegal Tweed

In county Donegal one can still find the traditional old process of weaving on a loom. Most such products today (including Edinburgh Woolen Mill stuff in various cases) are not made where they were traditionally made, and are not hand made any more. Indeed, much of it is made in China! Not so the stuff from Triona. We went to a demonstration of the traditional craft by master weaver Dennis Traherne. You will notice as well they have included the original Traherne cottage in the shop, to show … [Read more...]

Donegal Again

So we've shown you some of Donegal castle, the castle of the O'Donnells, and like many lords and ladies, they collected fine things, including important manuscripts, in this case, an early book of Psalms in Gaelic.There are some fine views from in the castle of the surrounding area...There are some nice churches in Donegal, a proper Anglican church, and a Methodist church.These churches were either shut, or empty, but if you are looking for people and the life of the town … [Read more...]

Bonny Donegal One

There are many things to like about Donegal (pronounced Donny gul or gaal). It is a quaint town with an interesting castle and much more. It will take a couple of posts to do it justice. Let's look at the castle first. The lady checking her pictures while we wait to go in the castle, is my Ann.Actually, most of these castles are fortified manor houses, as this picture will attest.There are some ornate features to the tracery of this castle.If you're wondering about the … [Read more...]

Oh the Londonderry Air

Derry, (officially name Londonderry thanks to the Brits etc.) is the second largest city in Northern Ireland after Belfast. We were there on a quite soggy day, but nonetheless got to see a few things. We had a walking tour, that unfortunately didn't bother to take us into St. Columb's cathedral, the pictures of which, on the interior, are beautiful. So, I can only show you the outside.Derry is a walled city.. as the following will attestFrom the walls, you can get a glimpse of the … [Read more...]

Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway

One of the major natural tourist attraction is the Giant's Causeway, in the northern part of Northern Ireland. This is about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns on the north coast, and it is well worth seeing. It has the name it does due to the myth about Finn McCool. Here's the Wiki summary of the myth--- "The story goes that the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted … [Read more...]

Irish Valleys and Animals

On our tour we spent time with a couple of Kiwis (no not the fruit, the people from New Zealand!). They kept remarking on how similar some aspects of Ireland were to New Zealand. Yes.... and no. Both places are very green due to plenty of precipitation, and Yes, there are a lot of sheep. In New Zealand the running joke is 3 million people and 30 million sheep. In Ireland the ratio is a little less daunting, but nonetheless, there's plenty of sheep to see in the fields of Ireland as the above … [Read more...]

More Irish Blessings— Dark Hedges

Ann and I saw many things whilst traveling all over Ireland, and certainly one of the most memorable things is simply seeing the beautiful landscape, remarkable coastlines and the like. Ireland is where much of Game of Thrones is filmed and one can readily see why. When they are not in a giant studio in Belfast (directly behind the Titanic museum, but more on that later), they are all over the island shooting scenes. For example, this remarkable stand of trees, called dark hedges, divided by a … [Read more...]

Fred Barrett’s Thought for the Day– God’s Patience

St. Francis has an exquisite saying, “God is always courteous and does not invade the privacy of the human soul.” That is the truth expressed in the text. He knocks and asks admission. The Divine wants the human. Everything depends on the faithful “if.” As Holman Hunt said of his picture, “The latch is on the inside.” God knocks and pleads, but does not invade. He is a wooer, but not a house breaker. He would have us, not His puppets and pawns, but His children, subject to His persuasion a … [Read more...]

Thought of the Day from Fred Barrett– Patience is a Virtue

The patience of the New Testament is much more than passive acquiescence. It is positive, the patient endurance which springs from self-control and strength. It is the virtue which inspires bearing up and pressing on in the path and duty even when the burden is heavy and the road rough and steep and long. The patient spirit is the real kingly spirit. Majesty lies not in fiery haste or arrogant banter. That man is a slave whatever his social position who cannot control his impatient and … [Read more...]