Hore Abbey, Cashel

Hore Abbey, Cashel

Hore Abbey is literally overshadowed by theRock of Cashel. It is well worth taking the path down from the Rock to the considerably less touristed Abbey. There is a relative lack of interpretative material, to say the least, except for this interesting information, especially on what I suspect was a rather convenient dream:


The abbey is reached by paths via a field which was populated by cows (and cowpats) aplenty. One doubts a Royal Visit is imminent.
From above on the Rock it appears a somewhat slight structure, an impression quickly corrected closer to. An air of monumentality remains, all the more accentuated for the relative abandonment.

World Labyrinth Day 2017 – May 6th, 1 pm

From the Blog My Maze site:

Again you are invited from The Labyrinth Society to celebrate the World Labyrinth Day: Celebrate the eighth annual World Labyrinth Day (WLD) on Saturday, May 6, 2017! The Labyrinth Society invites you to ‘Walk as One at 1″ in the afternoon, joining others around the globe to create a wave of peaceful energy washing across the time […]

No doubt the labyrinth of Mr Price  will get a walking…. (and rebuilding):img_2421

Or perhaps the not terribly distant labyrinth of Glencomeragh:


Or that of the Rock of Cashel:
cashel labyrinth

Murphy Devitt Stained Glass from Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel.

Murphy Devitt Stained Glass from Franciscan Abbey, Clonmel.


Over recent months I have been blogging pictures of stained glass mainly (but not exclusively) from Tipperary churches. These photos are taken with my phone and I cannot claim to have cracked how best to do this, often they are taken in a somewhat rushed manner as I am a little self conscious about this at times. These churches are after all places of worship and I am loath to disturb or distract.

I started this meaning to record, as best I could, what is very much a neglected art form. Even the smallest Irish village will have a church, and often multiple churches, which will feature stained glass. Some of these images have struck me as exceptionally moving and beautiful, some aesthetically interesting, some culturally interesting (from instance the way the image of St Monica and St Augustine in the Augustinian Abbey in Fethard is based on a popular religious painting of the time)

There is also the sheer joy of discovery of, for instance, the stained glass in the Church of the Visitation, Cloneen, or of the fact that the stained glass in the stained glass in the Chapel of St Anthony in the Franciscan Abbey in Clonmel was from Murphy Devitt studios.

Since then I corresponded with Reiltin Murphy, daughter of John Murphy, and found out there are other examples of Murphy Devitt glass not only in Tipperary but in Clonmel. Indeed some is in the main body of the church in the very same Franciscan Abbey:


Stained glass from St Mary’s Church, Grangemockler, Tipperary

Stained glass from St Mary’s Church, Grangemockler, Tipperary

Grangemockler Church is most famous for its links to Michael Hogan, victim of the 1920 Bloody Sunday and namesake of the stand.
It has a selection of attractive stained glass, including images of a pelican  (believed to feed it’s own blood to its young, and therefore akin to Christ, more info here) St Patrick and the Crucifixion 

Many churches will have many panels of relatively plain stained glass, some indeed barely coloured at all. This glass is less striking than other pieces usually, but here is a good example of how light can illuminate  even a plain ish window into something more…. not that this photo adequately captured the effect:

Here is another panel, more elaborate but not represational as such, which I found striking.  

In Praise of Mulled Apple & Blackcurrant Juice from The Apple Farm of Tipperary

Spring has been here for some time. Indeed, before most people notice, the seasons shift subtly. And yet, the last few days have seen weather which makes it feel more truly spring, in the sense of spring as a herald of summer. March, once again, is that gateway month from spring–post-winter to spring-pre-summer.

With my usual timing, I am going to praise a very winter product. Indeed, despite the Springtime weather, the last few days I have had a heavy cold and this product has been a wonderful tonic.

The Apple Farm of Tipperary will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. As the website itself says :

The Apple Farm is located in county Tipperary in the south of Ireland. Apples have been grown in this area for hundreds of years, and since 1968 we have been planting more orchards to increase our supply. As well as apples, we grow pears, plums, sweet cherries, strawberries and raspberries. We also have a Camping and Caravan Park on the farm. And when we are not busy with this, you will find us making apple juice, and mixed juices from our other fruits; all done here on the farm. We even make a sparkling apple juice, and cider vinegar here too.
We have a farm shop from which our produce is available all year round.

The Apple Farm is a wonderful place to visit. Their product is always fantastic but nothing has impressed me more than their Mulled Apple & Blackcurrant drink. Gently heated, this gives a pleasing warming sensation, with a slight fruit kick.

Here’s a pic of the label (front and back), which is a beautifully clear design:

Really I recommend all the Apple Farm products that I have tried but especially this one.

Bird feeding in Mid March – Greenfinches

Continuing my occasional bird feeding notes – but this time with original pictures!

The wonderfully-shot Wild Ireland documentary inspired me to reconsider my childhood dream job – wildlife photographer/cameraman. Why did this ever fall off my radar? Partly the common adolescent/late teenage/early adulthood loss of interest in wildlife, partly a certain lack of confidence in my artistic ability in general.

Recently, of course, most of us carry a digital camera every where we go via our smartphones. I have tried taking photos of animals, but what in real life is a magnificent, clearly visible creature is a small dot in most photos I have taken.

This has changed somewhat with the advent of a bird feeder that sticks to the window. After some time birds seem fairly OK with feeding while I am there. One rather well-fed looking greenfinch in particular seems to be quite happy with my (relative) proximity: