Formerly the boundary betweent the kingdoms of Osraige (Ossory) and Eóganacht Chaisal (Cashel), the Linguan is a Suir tributary that for much of its course marks the Kilkenny -Tipperary county boundary. In its vicinity stand the High Crosses of Ahenny, Kilamery and Kilkieran, as well as Knockroe Passage tomb.
At Grangemockler, I made my way through a small stile to a path by the river. I hadn’t reviewed the legal position of access to rivers in Ireland, beyond recalling the song title “only our rivers run free.” Wearing hiking boots rather than wellies, because I don’t have wellies, off I went.
The first challenge was getting under the bridge above, which marks the N76. As the walk progressed my feet and legs became more and more wet but at the outset a certain daintiness led me to crawl along a ledge at the side of the bridge passage in the first photo at top.
I was probably only ambling along in the river for a couple of hundred metres at most, yet was struck by the range of appearances. In sections it was a real brook, rapidly burbling, shallow and stoney. In other deeper pools formed, and tree cover disrupted the flow. In one section the bed was of a sand I sank into – here I walked along the bank for a little:
In other places the bed was muddy and my steps created puffy underwater clouds.
Most of my walk was downstream but on returning upstream I went a little further along from starting point. Here is where I found the above depth gauge. The going was easier in this direction also.
Clod-hopping as I was and generating plenty of splashing as I went, most wildlife was well warned of my advent. I saw a heron and a little egret wheeling away a little in the distance. Once again the little egret seemed exotic, even more so in the Tipperary countryside than in a coastal setting. Caddis larvae were abundant – for some reason I havent a photo of one in its case but some of the larva itself as above.
My downstream walk ended at the above structure. A wire ran across the river a couple of feet after it as can be seen in the photo. I thought the wire was most likely to protect the cows in the neighbouring field from tramping into the stream and the straw weir. The thought of making my way under the weir and another a little further on came to mind. But I had promises to keep and began the wet trudge back.