The Sinn Féin shop in Dublin is one of many places in Ireland celebrating the centenary of the 1916 Easter Uprising, and eventual independence from Great Britain in 1922. You can get your 100th Anniversary T Shirt, or 101 Songs of Irish Rebellion – the 5CD Set, or 100th Anniversary mug.
The 1916 Proclamation is also on sale, and is to be seen in many shops around Ireland.The one above is not for sale, being one of the few originals that survive. It is on display not far from the Book of Kells in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
A small hilly road, with sheep eating the grass in the middle, in places, took us to Inchaquin Park. The waterfall could be seen along the way.
Our walk started at the foot of the waterfall, and followed a rocky trail to an upland lake that feeds the waterfall, then back down through more sheep, and beside a shady woodland river.
We visited Castletownbere, a 19th Century port built for the Allihais copper mines across the peninsular. There were large fishing boats on the wharf being prepared for their next voyage, and a ferry to Bere Island. We caught the ferry at 1:30. A dozen or so people touring on bikes, and pedestrians, got on first. Many of the pedestrians had loads of shopping from the nearby Supervalu supermarket. Their cars were waiting on the other side. Next a man drove up with a fork lift to unload a large empty rectangular cage. He then maneuvered a cherry picker off the ferry. That gave enough room for 4 cars to reverse onto the ferry. It was a tight squeeze with passengers directing the cars.
We were welcomed to the Cliffs of Moher by a small building with a door at the side. Inside there was a large bowl full of pebbles with a trickling fountain of water. You are encouraged to use this space to meditate. It is provided by the Samaritans.
Further on are shops, and a visitor centre built into the hillside. The visitor centre was state of art with interactive displays and an exciting animated film of life on the cliff face.
The cliffs round the visitor centre are well protected so you cannot easily get too close to the edge of the cliffs.
Further up there are more signs by the Samaritans, and then a gap in the fence. ‘Need to Talk? Samaritans‘.
Beyond this point a lot of tourists were taking daring photographs on a zig zag rocky ledge. It has to be said that portions of the rock face can collapse without warning. According to one local we spoke with, the life boat comes this way two or three times a week to search the bottom of the cliffs.
We got here a few decades too late for the Lisdoonvana Folk Festival where many of our old favourites performed: Van Morrison, John Martin, Loudon Wainright III… Back in the late 70s and early 80s festivals were free and easy. But after a group of young people died swimming in the sea this particular festival came to an end.
There is still a big festival in Lisdoonvana in September. It is where traditionally people would come to be matched by a professional matchmaker. Today, the only true Matchmaker left is Willie Daly, who writes details of hopeful couples in a book, and gets the passion going by getting couples dancing together. There is a lot of dancing at the Matchmaking Festival. We just got here too early for the dancing as it starts in September.