Ireland Off The Beaten Path Tips by sourbugger Top 5 Page for this destination
Ireland Off The Beaten Path: 310 reviews and 459 photos
John Wayne in the Quiet man
Ballyglunin stataion aka Castletown
The famous arrival scene of the John Wayne 1952 film 'The Quiet Man' was filmed in the village of Ballyglunin about 10 miles from Tuam (15 from Galway). I think the real name is much more evocative that what Hollywood named it, but I can't do much about that.
The place is being converted into a restaurant as a community project, but you can still wander onto the platform for photographs, at least for now.
If you then get a video of the film you can clearly see how little has changed apart from the sad fact the trains don't run at the momemt. The line may well re-open in a few year's time if the plans come to fruition.
Off the N63 Galway - Roscommon road
I am rather loathed to write about this place, as I would like it to remain a well kept secret. I therefore refuse to give any further directions beyond the fact it is called 'Costello's' and lies in County Galway.
The pub is a true 'local' with a varied choice on the pumps of Guinness, Guinness or Guinness. The main room of the pub features wooden floor, an assortment of seating and a grand collection of photographs of local characters and sporting teams. Each one haphazardly hung in it's own non-matching frame.
The cash till consists of a very high-tech device : a wooden drawer. All rounds of drinks seem to even out at 10, 20, or 30 euro. Change is therefore a simple affair.
The room to the front still has the appearance of a general shop, but much of it has been tied up since I last visited. I swear there were still items left on the shelves with a best before date in the 1950's.
What really makes the place (as all good Irish pubs are made) is the 'craic'. Bring along an instument and the singing and chat may well go onto the small hours.
A place left alone by the modern world, and the breweries, and time, and the Guarda !
The delights of horseleap
The little village of Horseleap in County Westmeath is on the Main N6 road (Dublin-Galway) is is unremarkable apart from it's local legend, which gave the village it's name.
Hugh de Lacy, a landowner in this area, when fleeing from his enemies by horseback, it is claimed, made an impossible leap over the moat surrounding his castle. His feat gave the name to the place but the castle and the de Lacy family are long gone.
I was originally told that the horse lept from one end the village to the other, thus defining it's limits. Obviously some tales become taller by the century.
There is also a rather nice statue to see of the event, which makes for a quick photo-stop on the trudge cross country on the N6.
one very remote sweetshop
This is not a wind up, you will find this sweet shop on tiny road between Boston and Kilnaboy, in deepest County Clare, where it is crossed by the long distance footpath.
We passed it several times whilst we were looking for Father Ted's house (see sperate tip) - but nobody seemed to be about.
Father Ted's house - recognise it ?
Sourbugger is a great fan of the TV comedy series 'Father Ted'. If you have never seen it before then please browse my other tip in this section.
The parochial house, which is central to the series can be found (eventually) in a remote part of County Clare. The house is now a private house, so all you can do is grab a quick photograph and just imagine Mrs Doyle on the roof, and Bishop Brennan spinning like a top on the water hydrant just inside the gate.
You can find the place on a tiny road between Boston and Kilnaboy. Your best bet is probably to ask for directions in the Post office in Boston.
The quiet man
In the town of Tuam in County Galway there is a small plaque on the side of a menswear shop. It states that in 1952, John Wayne came into the shop and bought a tweed hat - now... wasn't that exciting. I'm not telling you which shop, although it begins with 'G'.
It is the story of 'The Quiet man' Sean Thornton (played by John Wayne) a champion boxer who returns to Ireland from America after he kills a man in a boxing match.
If you have never seen it - do, you will also find related tip on it on my Monivea and Cong pages.
Bobbyjo in his prime
This beautiful thoroughbred won the Aintree English Grand National in 1999, the first Irish winner for over 20 years.
There is a statue of him in the village centre of Mountbellow, Co Galway. Only a few miles a way on a quiet country road lies his grave, with an impressive memorial stone to go with it. Only in Ireland would a horse have more spent on him in death than a man (with the possible exception of Wellington - see Phoenix park in Dublin).
Directions would be useless, but ask in Mountbellow, and keep asking - you will find it eventually.
Father Ted rides again
Exploring the film locations in County Clare and the Aran Islands for ' Father Ted '
If you are a fan of the surreal comedy series “Father Ted” then you will already have some kind of introduction to the area around County Clare. Although made by a British company, and for a while banned in Ireland, the series became hugely popular.
The use of the word ‘Feck’ was perhaps the shows most enduring legacy and the creation of the nightmare-priest character Father Jack. He spent his retirement in an armchair in the Craggy Island Parochial house saying very little apart from “Feck” “Girls” “Nuns” “Drink” “Gobshite” and in one memorable episode “That would be an ecumenical matter”.
If you can get hold of a video, do. If not, at least have a look at the website www.feck.com.
For afficionados of the series, use the website to find out where you can visit the filming locations. Craggy Island itself (with the arial shots at beginning of the show) is the smallest of the Aran islands., Inis oirr. Other locations include the Parochial house in Clare, along with the Ailwee caves ('the very very dark caves) and the cliffs of Mohar.
Irish potato famine
From the Dunshaughlin page :
At the Southern end of the village (Dublin direction) you will find a church on the main road.
The church has now been converted for use as the local Library, but outside the door stands a reminder of famine times.
A large iron cauldron is suspended on a kind of tripod. It dates from the late 1840's, as the mainstay of a soup kitchen which was set up to try and combat the effects of the potato famine at the time.
The picture I have used is from elsewhere, but shows what a 'soup kitchen ' would have looked like. Despite these limited efforts, it is worth remembering that somewhere between 750,000 and one million people died in those awful times.
The idea of this little tour is to help you pick up some of the more hidden delights of Galway. So many tourists see Eyre Square, walk down shop street and end up in a pub. The walking time for the trip is about and hour and a quarter in total. So plan on a nice afternoon if you want to take up this offer. I've purposely not included much historical information so you can discover it for yourselves.
1) Begin outside the Great Southern Hotel on Eyre Square, turn right to the bus and train station.
2) Walk through the Bus Station area, at the rear of the station you will find a footpath heading alongside the railway. Continue on this and onto the railway bridge for the view. This area is quite unusual at there are a number of wild (and perhaps tropical) flowers and plants in the secluded area near the old railway turntable.
3) Double back on the path going through the green metal gates facing away from the railway. Cross the piece of rough ground and the helicopter pad for the SAS Radisson hotel.
4) Turn right down the hill by the hotel and right again underneath the railway bridge.
5) On the right you will find Forthill Graveyard. There are some 300 Spanish sailors buried here , the remnants of the scattered Spanish Armarda. Read the whole story on a plaque just inside the graveyard.
6) Turn Right out of the graveyard and head into the port area. Bear left and follow the signs to the Galway Seafood Company. Here you can buy great seafood for an early snack.
7) Continue around the edge of the dock coming onto the dock road
(Note : you can nip across the entrance to the port over the storm gates - but at your own risk)
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