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Boyle Abbey, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

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Take a listen….

Whilst I was in Boyle, Boyle Abbey was on my must do list of places to go. The reason is quite simple. This time next year the full restoration of the abbey will have taken place and I don’t want to be looking at pictures of the great work the OPW did – past tense.

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More than that – it was free in. Eugene, the gentleman who works there was an absolute gentleman and gave me a lot of history on the place. Thanks Eugene. I went to the park as you recommended 😉

BTW when it re-opens the entry charge will return. I’m told it should be about 2 or 3 euro’s. I’ll gladly pay it based on what I saw existing, in progress and in drawings for the future.

View more images of Boyle Abbey

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Courtesy Wikipedia

The Cistercian abbey was founded in the 12th century under the patronage of the local ruling family, the MacDermotts and is one of the best preserved in Ireland. It was colonised from Mellifont in 1161. The building of the chancel and the transepts with their side-chapels probably began shortly after this date, though the lancet windows in the east gable were inserted in the 13th century. There is a combination of rounded and pointed arches in the transepts and crossing. The existing large square tower formed part of the church from the beginning, though it was raised in height at a later stage. The five eastern arches of the nave and their supporting pillars were built at the end of the 12th century, and have well-preserved capitals typical of the period. Although built at the same time, the arches of the northern side of the nave are different in type, and have differently shaped columns and capitals. The three westernmost arches in the south arcade which have leafed and figured capitals, were built after 1205, as was the west wall, before the church was finally consecrated in 1218. Nothing remains of the cloister, but on the eastern side there are two doorways of c.1200, now blocked up. On the west side there is a two-storey gatehouse, which acts as an interpretative centre. The rest of the buildings surrounding the cloister are largely 16th or 17th century. The Abbey was one of the most important in Connacht, and was invaded by Richard de Burgo, Maurice Fitzgerald, and Justiciar, in 1235. In 1659, the Cromwelliansoccupied the monastery and did a great deal of destruction. Though mutilated during the 17th and 18th centuries when it was used to accommodate a military garrison, Boyle Abbey is one of the best preserved structures of its type, and attracts many thousands of visitors per year. A restored gatehouse 16th/17th century vintage houses an exhibition. The Abbey is now a national monument in state care and admission is currently free while restoration work is being carried out. There is a Sile na Gig hidden above one of the central Romanesque arches in Boyle Abbey. It can be seen from ground level, just at the top of the column, where the arch begins.

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Battle of The Boyne Site Visit & The Garden Group

To those attending there is of course the original garden group guide post to this trip to the battle of the boyne site.

A note of thanks and deserved applause to Nick Reilly and Aisling Mc Mahon [OPW]  and also to you who decided to make this your Sunday day out.

Really looking forward to this. 🙂

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The Garden Group Visit The War Memorial Gardens

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I had reviewed The War Memorial Gardens last May. But today wasn’t about my view of the park.

It was about a group of people, a great group of people I should add, who took some time out of their Sunday, to enjoy a little of the great outdoors. On a slight side note it was also about making garden group[s] a little funky 😉

A note of very special thanks should go to the OPW and in particular Craig, from The War Memorial Gardens who gave a very enthusiastic guide to how the park works, its history, the design… put simply he proved just why The Irish Times ranked it number 5 in Irelands top ten hidden gems.

The weather was a little nippy. But on a positive, it didn’t rain 😉 Considering I work outdoors all week and I used to work in this park [some 16 years ago now albeit….] for me it was a really enjoyable afternoon, made partcularly amazing by people I spent it with. Thank you all. Sincerely.

Funny thing, I never ever thought the laughing point of Anthony and Nialls afternoon would involve a joke about pruning roses 😆 That really made me smile!

So the garden group got off the ground and it’s onwards and upwards… Next garden group outing will be announced the first week in March. Looking forward to it now.

More Pictures of the garden group gig over at Pix.ie

UPDATE:

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outdoor events and greeny gigs

Thanks to my good friend Joerg for some of these…. I’ve got a long list of free events all outdoors and green related that are on over the next coming days….. so go on get outside and enjoy yourselves 🙂

first up…

The Ballymun farmers market takes place on the first thursday of every month. I’ve never been to this one before, so if I can make it [fingers crossed I will] I’m really looking forward to it. If the weather is bad it takes place inside if the Civic Centre – thats the one directly opposite the Tesco shopping centre [scroll below the images……….. ]

phoenix-park-dublin walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-victorian walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-walled-garden- kitchen-garden-phoenix-park coultry-park-ballymun coultry-pk-ballymun

The Phoenix Park Summer/Autumn Programme is almost at it’s end. That said, they still have some really cool gigs still on the go. Get the calender out and mark these down…. here are my choices. If you’ve gotta bit of time to burn – a must is the €2 [adult] and €1 [child] bus journey aroud the entire park…..

For Children: 10.30am – 12.30pm a workshop for children [5+] parental supervision required

  • Sunday Aug 30th – medieval life including a visit to Ashtown Castle.
  • Sunday Sept 6th – birds in the park
  • Sunday September 13th – animals of the park

For all ages – from the visitor centre starting 3pm

September Sunday6th is a guided tour of the kitchen walled garden with Margaret Gormley and Declan Birmingham. I highly recommend this if you fancy a bit of grow your own.

Also note the gardeners of the Phoenix Park are in The Walled Garden on the first Saturday of every Month – The next is September 5th btw – from 10.30am to 5pm.  They are all really nice guys…. really 😉 You can go and ask any of the questions and also see how and why in person. I recommend going when the weather is really bad so you get a good one to one information session.

courtesy of the dublin event guide [email dublineventguide [at] gmail [dot] com to subscribe ]

on saturday 29 th august GUIDED HIKE – DUBLIN MOUNTAINS
A Guided Hike along the Dublin Mountains Way is taking place on Sat 29 Aug. A special Dublin Mountaineer bus service is departing at the Sandyford Luas stop at 11:30 and you will return in the 16:08 bus from Grange Road (Marlay Park) to the Sandyford Luas bus stop. The hiking is taking a route through Cruagh Wood and Tibradden Forest and Mountain, joining with the Wicklow Way back through Kilmashogue to Marlay Park. (Length: approx 12km (linear walk) and Duration: 4hr (strenuous walk)) You need to bring good hiking boots, rain gear, hat, water, lunch. Booking is essential. The guided tour is free and there is only a bus fare of EUR 5 to pay for the return trip. Contact karen.woods@coillte.ie or info@dublinmountains.ie
(Phone: 01-2011187) to book! http://www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/Events/SummerInDublin09

also on sunday IRISH GRAND PRIX – RADIO CONTROLLED CARS

The Radio Controlled Car Association of Ireland will run the Irish Grand Prix – a festival of r/c-racing at St Anne’s Park, Raheny, on Sunday 30 Aug. Racing will take place from 10:30-18:00. The event will feature participants from all over Ireland. All are welcome. For further details, phone 087-2512422 or visit www.orcaireland.ie

and…. also on sunday

the festival of world cultures are on in Dun Laoghaire is on with loads of free events and things on…. too many to mention http://festivalofworldcultures.com/ If you are going my good friends The Riptide Movement are playing the buskers corner [their playing on saturday!!!…] make sure and check them out…. free gig btw 😉 have a listen to theri newest song while your reading away…..

MUSIC IN THE GARDENS – FARMLEIGH HOUSE Sun 30 Aug from 14:00-16:00 the Ardee Concert Band will play in the garden of Farmleigh House. http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

TREE WALKING TOUR – FARMLEIGH HOUSE
On Sun 30 Aug two Tree Walking tours with guest speaker John Mc Loughlin from the Tree Council of Ireland will take place at 15:00 and at 16:00.
http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN ENTERTAINMENT
On Sun the entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green will be Mary McEvoy from 15:00-17:00 to celebrate Heritage Week. This event will conclude the Summer Entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green! http://www.phoenixpark.ie/media/St%20Stephen%27s%20Green%20Bandstand%20Summerfest%20August%202009.pdf

I really like this one…… on tuesday 1st September

GREEN DRINKS – SCIENCE GALLERY

Green Drinks is a simple idea that’s gone global. Once a month in 448 cities around the world, people with an interest in green issues get together to chat, share ideas and raise a glass to a brighter future. In Dublin this will take in September in the Science Gallery Café (Naughton Building, Trinity College) on the first Tuesday of the month and (with the exception of October when the event is on the 2nd Tuesday) every month after that. You are invited to a fun eco friendly evening with free admission, drinks and snacks. This event is organized by www.leafliving.com. At the event on 01 Sept (from 18:00) the discussion will be about recycling: Ever wondered what happens to our waste after we throw it away? How much is being recycled compared to the amount incinerated or shipped to the developing world? What’s the scale of the problem and what can we do about it? Robert O’Shea, Secretary of the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) will shed some light on the issue. http://www.greendrinks.org. The organisers ask you to confirm your attendance via their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Drinks-Dublin/73308564711

On thursday OPERA IN THE OPEN – CIVIC OFFICES, WOOD QUAY
“Opera in the Open”, the free lunchtime operas return to Dublin city. Now in its tenth year, ‘Opera in the Open’ returns with five free performances of well-known operas each Thursday at 13:00 from 06 Aug – 03 Sept. Do something different at lunchtime this summer and listen to opera in the informal and intimate setting of the grounds of Civic Offices on Wood Quay in the city centre. ‘Opera in the Open’ is an initiative of Dublin City Council Arts Office as part of its remit to make the best of art and culture accessible to all in the city.
03 September: ‘Idomeneo’ by Mozart
The performances feature Janyce Condon, Stephen Fennelly, Mary Flaherty, Victoria Massey, Simon Morgan, Niall Morris, Sandra Oman, Donna Gallagher and Liz Ryan. Musical direction is by David Wray, stage direction by Niall Morris and narration is by Ted Courtney. http://www.visitdublin.com/events/AllDublinEvents/Detail.aspx?id=237&mid=6152

on the way

WHAT IS LIGHT? – PUBLIC LECTURE
Albert White from www.LightPollution2009.eu alerted me to a lecture that is taking place in September but for which you need to book one of only approx. 120 tickets, so you better decide soon and book early. The lecture is part of the 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky and is entitled “What is Light?” Lecturer is Leo Enright. Leo Enright, a broadcaster on Space Exploration and Science, explores the history of Ireland’s sometimes tenuous connection with luminosity
– while naming and shaming some modern big wicks. He will focus on the importance of continuing public access to dark skies, especially during the present ‘Golden Age’ of astronomy, whilst noting that historically Ireland has sometimes been defined by the absence of light – why else would the Romans have called it Hibernia?
The event will take place on Wed 16 September 2009 at 19:00 in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Admission is free but places are limited. For booking please visit http://shop.ria.ie/shop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=22&cat=Event%2BRegistration

Whatever you do – enjoy your week outdoors 😉

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dubh linn garden

Nestled in behind Dublin Castle, just off Dame Street [palace st. to be exact] is one of the finest gardens I have ever entered in my life. You know when you just get that ‘feeling groovy’ kind of a nice feel….? That’s exactly what I got…

Only one problem…. there is little to zero information available on the **garden*** [Not the Castle…. the garden] to be found on the web….?

It drove me a little demented to be quite honest. Mainly as I was so impressed. But I was in luck on my day there. A very kind man on his lunch break who worked in the neighbouring Chester Beatty Library noticed my confusion and explained the cobbled lawns were ‘eels’; the fact that the glass balls are the eyes and that it was based on a celtic mythology design… 😉

It is also [he explained] where the river dodder and the river liffey met – this meeting is what created a black pool – traslated into Irish one gets Dubh Linn. And it is from this that Dublin got its original name. It is also the site upon which the garden sits today.

I didn’t stop my ‘research’ there, I rang the very helpful Margaret Gormley of the OPW. Margaret is an amazing lady that I know from spending too much time in the Phoenix Park making gardens;) Turns out the gardens were designed by a lady called Ana Dolan, who also works with the OPW [I did try to get in touch with Ana…].The plaques that are brimmed with names that I noticed on the walls…they’re the names of all of the people who took part in The Special Olympics; the sculpt being the emblem of. It is also believed that the gardens are approximately 15 years old. [Thank Margaret!]

On the 15th November 2004 the gardens received  The Best Landscaped Open Space Award by The Tidy Towns unit of The Dept of Environment, Heritage & Local Government….

The other amazing fact of note is that the lawn is best viewed from the State apartments or… a helicopter. The lawn doubles as a landing pad for those who can!

If you are planning to visit, The Chester Beatty Library is a must. The coffee shop, The Silk Road Café does ‘real’ really good coffee and cakes and personally I even like the gift shop. Do be careful on planning a day there and ring in advance if you must as it may be closed for official state business.

My 3 pin plug type frustrations aside, the garden is serenity at its finest. Go there. Enjoy! Absolutely amazing.

*if I do receive any further info I will update here

UPDATE 1st July ’09:

I received an email from Denis Mc Carthy of Dublin Castle with this information ‘copied from an OPW publication Dublin Castle Art by Róisín Kennedy.’

** I really do appreciate Denis getting back to me but – Once again it’s a pity it is not available online for the world [wide web] to see [and not in PDF format btw please ‘if’ it is]

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update #2 1st July ’09:

this update comes courtesy of Keith Nolan – as keith explained he eventually goes into that garden – that said the information is amazing. Thanks Keith 😉

Update 2nd July ’09:

and this beautiful overview of the lawns taken by Niamh. Thanks Niamh 😉

dubh-linn-garden courtesy niamh smith

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