Stained Glass from the Church of the Assumption, Ballingarry, Tipperary. Part 2.

Stained Glass from the Church of the Assumption, Ballingarry, Tipperary. Part 2.

Following my prior post, here are more traditional (albeit quite interesting and in one case quite intriguing) panels from the rest of the Church. Firstly St John and Mary Magdalen:

Then Peter and Paul. What is the story with Peter’s face?

The Sacred Heart appearing to St Margaret Mary:

The Immaculate Conception and St Michael The Archangel:

The Holy Family:

Two-thirds of the Patrons of Ireland:

I am intrigued by Peter’s face. It is radically different from the rest of these panels. Did something happen to it? Is it based on another image?

I always seem to be lamenting my poor skills in photographing pieces above altars – this is no exception. The ones I deleted were worse….


Every gravestone tells a story: from Drangan, Co Tipperary

Every gravestone tells a story: from Drangan, Co Tipperary

Graveyards are full of stories. Thomas Grey’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard captured this decisively in poetic form – so much so that any subsequent poem seems a pale shadow.

In Drangan, Co Tipperary, in the Slieveardagh area -a village which like Cloneen has no Wikipedia presence –  I came across this:

It is irresistably poignant to read of this man whose parents died within days of each other in 1919 (?of the Influenza Pandemic) when he was one or less. And he himself died on the 71st anniversary of his mother.

There are other stones with stories there. I am wary of intruding on grief … but here is one with a rather jollier story to tell:

Choctaw artist/writer Waylon Gary White Deer to lead Tipperary Famine Walk 28th July 2018

Choctaw artist Waylon Gary White Deer  to lead Tipperary Famine Walk in Ballingarry on 28th July. From the Ballingarry Facebook Page:


You are invited to this year’s Famine 1848 Walk which takes place in Ballingarry from the Young Ireland and National Flag Monument in the village of The Commons to Famine Warhouse 1848, the OPW national heritage Museum on Saturday, 28 July at 3pm.

The Walk will be led by Waylon Gary White Deer from the Choctaw Nation in the United States. The Walk will recall the extraordinary act of kindness of the Choctaws to the starving Irish during the Great Famine

Organised by the Ballingarry 1848 Society.

Waylon Gary White Deer’s website describes him as a “Choctaw Indian Painter and Author based in Co. Donegal, Ireland”. This profile pictures him in front of Muckish and describes him as living in the “Donegal Gaeltacht”

The Commons claims to be first place the tricolour was flown as an Irish national flag.

Tipperary’s Pyramid


Kilcooley Abbey, near Gortnahoe in Tipperary is part of the Kilcooley Estate. One of the most striking features of the estate is tthe pyramid shaped mausoleum of the Barker family:

This pyramid shaped mausoleum is a very significant monument and measures 12ft by 12ft at its base. We understand it contains 7 coffins of the Barker family – original owners of the Kilcooley Abbey Estate . It was sealed up some years ago, as evidenced in photo, after it was vandalised.

There are other pyramids in Ireland – this page has a comprehensive list (including the Met Eireann Office in Dublin).  David Winpenny’s “Up To A Point” claims to be the only book on British and Irish pyramids. There is lots of information on the estate at David Hicks’ blog here. As well as the Village Magazine article linked to above, the conclusion of Hicks’ post gives a grim view of how Ireland treats its heritage:

When the house appeared on the market in 2003 it had been in the same family since 1770. Locals had hoped that the estate would be purchased by the State but they were to be disappointed. The house was purchased in 2008 but was back on the market again in 2011 with an asking price of €2.75 million which included the eighteenth century mansion, five staff houses, outbuildings 313 acres together with 950 acres on lease to Coilte. Over the years a number of items from Kilcooley have appeared at auction in England and Ireland. In September 2013 a number of portraits from the collection that Sir William, the fourth Baronet had started at Kilcooley Abbey appeared for auction in Christies in London. Today the house and its grounds have become neglected and down at heel with mobile towers of security cameras providing protection. It was recently revealed that Kilcooley has been sold, so one hopes that this great house will now be restored and saved. However as of October 2015, Kilcooley is back on the market once more with the estate lands inflated to 1,200 acres through purchases of the current owner. Despite the expense incurred on the estate lands, the house and stable yard remain in a perilous state of decay. The Kilcooley estate now has a price tag of €8 million.



“Sibhse ghabhas tríomsa, cuiridh uaibh gach dóchas” – Dante’s Divine Comedy as Gaeilge

“Sibhse ghabhas tríomsa, cuiridh uaibh gach dóchas” – Dante’s Divine Comedy as Gaeilge

Recently I acquired a copy of Padráig de Brún’s translation into Irish of “Inferno”. de Brún translated the whole Divine Comedy. The fly jacket of my copy states that “it is hoped to publish the remaining two volumes … in the future”

My thanks to Seán Mac Labhrai for getting me this book. de Brún was one of those polymathic clergymen who are now oft-forgotten. Born in Grangemockler, Co Tipperary, near the Kilkenny border and a place I drive through every day on the way to work, de Brún also wrote the well known poem “Tháinig long ó Valparaiso” (or rather translated Oliver St John Gogarty’s “The Ship”, a translation which improved on the original), known to to generations of Irish school children. Or at least it was known.

Anyhow, while had I world enough and time typing out Monsignor de Brún’s translation canto by canto would be a pleasure, it may not be possible. So I will give a taster which includes the best known line of the Inferno, if not the whole Comedy – abandon all hope ye who enter here.

This comes at the beginning of Canto 3 – a sort of invocation inscribed on the entrance to the “città dolente” of the underworld. In the original, the lines are :

Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.

Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore;
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapïenza e ’l primo amore.

Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterno duro.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate’.

de Brún:

“Is tríom a trialltar ar an gcathair mhairgneach
Is tríom a trialltar ar an dólás síoraí
Is tríom a trialltar ar an gcine damanta.

An Ceart a chuir mo Dhúileamh tréan ag gníomhú;
Do rinne an tAthair mór lena uile-chomhact mé
‘S an Eagna is aoirde réim is toil an Phríomh-ghrá.

Éinní dár cruthaíodh riamh ní raibh ann romhamsa
Ach rudaí síorai; is buan go síoraíocht siar mé:
Síbhse ghabgas tríoma, cuiridh uaibh gach dóchas”

From the Columbia Digital Dante page linked to above, here are the English translations, firstly of Mandelbaum:




and of Longfellow:

THROUGH me the way is to the city dolent;
Through me the way is to eternal dole;
Through me the way among the people lost.

Justice incited my sublime Creator;
Created me divine Omnipotence,
The highest Wisdom and the primal Love.

Before me there were no created things,’03
Only eterne, and I eternal last.
All hope abandon, ye who enter in !”

Rather poignantly, my copy is ex libris St Malachy’s College Library, 36 Antrim Road, Belfast and seems never to have been taken out :

Finally an amusing aside from this 2016 review by Tim Parks of a life of Dante
. After the article proper, we have these two letters:

Vol. 38 No. 15 · 28 July 2016

Tim Parks begins his piece on Dante by asking how the Divine Comedy would have fared these days, when if you ‘put real people in a work of fiction … you immediately face libel and privacy issues’ (LRB, 14 July). That reminded me of the time when in a pleasant Chester-le-Street bookshop (no longer in existence) I was offered a paperback translation of Inferno which assured me that it was a work of fiction containing no reference to actual persons living or dead. Some time later I bought Ciaran Carson’s translation of Inferno on the basis of a killer sales pitch that it was ‘the first ever version by an Irish poet’.

George Schlesinger

Vol. 38 No. 17 · 8 September 2016

George Schlesinger fell for an over enthusiastic sales pitch (Letters, 28 July). Ciaran Carson’s translation of Dante’s Inferno wasn’t ‘the first ever version by an Irish poet’. The Irish cleric and poet Henry Boyd published his version in 1785 (and then added the Purgatorio and the Paradiso some years later).

Peter Jackson

Of course, between Boyd and Carson, there was de Brún.

No green to be seen 2: “Dead From the Neck Down” in Wales

In September 2016 I posted “No green to be seen: a biodiversity desert on Slievenamon” about the void that was a conifer plantation on Slievenamon. David Elias, at his blog Dispatches from the Undergrowth,  has an evocative, sobering piece on a similar experience. I was particularly struck at how he, too, had experienced this at an affective level as disturbing, indeed unbearable.

“A culture is no better than its woods” indeed.

It is 8.30 on a peerless sunny morning in late April, the sort of morning I had waiting for all through a long cold winter here in North Wales. I am sitting in a conifer plantation that looks like a Bridget Riley painting in brown (an unlikely thought). The trees are forty foot […]

via Dead from the Neck Down — dispatches from the undergrowth

Multum In Parvo – Newport’s Newsagents, Fethard, Tipperary

A particularly charming sign – like many Latin tags, multum in parvo doesn’t go that easily into English – “much in a little” or “much in a small place” is a possible translation. Very suitable for a bookshop or newsagent.

However, Newport’s now offers kinesiology and such:

Here’s a view of the sign from the other side.