Return from Ireland

Andrew and I have just returned from our trip to Galway, Ireland. I have more pictures and AV clips that I didn’t have time to sort and upload. If you want to just skip straight to the pictures, the album is on Picasweb. Click here.

Your Questions
Since we’ve been back, people have asked us the same basic questions:

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Aillwee Cave, Burren, Poulnabroun Dolmen Portal Tomb, Stone Fort

Pics ahead!

Click the link to view.

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Kilmacduagh Monastery

Returning from the Burren, we thought it would be nice to travel through a national park to get back to Galway. We thought the protected land might mean something in the way of lush natural scenery, but it just wasn’t happening. Andrew was growing tired of me flipping through classical music.

“What’s that over there?” Andrew said. I felt a little uneasy as a tower came into view.

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Reggae Reggae, Thank you!

Thanks to Michelle and Mark for introducing us to this terrific sauce. Red bonnet chili plus a killer blend of herbs = nom nom!

(I’ll be asking for that salad recipe later- the one with courgette, soy bean, lemon, and walnuts.)

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Roundstone, Chowder, Clifden, Sky Road, Kylemore Abbey… and Mel Gibson?

Andrew’s aunt told us that Mel Gibson was seen last week somewhere in Clifden. Andrew couldn’t pass up the opportunity to quip: “I think it’s safe for us to go. We’re not Jewish.”

Despite whatever menace Mel Gibson might have represented, the recommendations were to go to O’Dowd’s and have the bowl of cream that passes for seafood chowder. We were to also make our way out to Sky Road because it’s a lovely drive and conjures up nostalgic optimism about the Gateway to America.

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Wildes to Bierhaus, 2am Saturday

This is my ‘come over, red rover’ taunt. 
Shout out to Pia and Aiden who were indifferent to the concept of this post. 

Come over, come over
It’s sopping wet like
No better time
To break the fourth wall

Past is present

The Great Famine of 1841= hundreds of thousands dead, a million migrating to the New World, followed by the 1849 cholera outbreak resulting in an even higher death toll and another migration. This represents the greatest loss to Ireland in terms of people, over two million people in ten years. Now I know that I’m a novice in the study of history– I’m reading the Pocket History of Ireland for Chrissakes. However, I think it’s only right to point out this feeling I’ve had that there’s a living sadness here that is historical. My feeling is that the loss of loved ones from the Great Famine is still felt and quietly acted upon.

I’m not speaking entirely from the gut here since we had the honor of sitting with three very wise women last night who kept the rounds of beer coming and the conversation drenched in the most astute observation. I’ll offer just a couple of observations that might interest my readers.

Observation 29 of 112: Even in the coldest of weather, many Irishmen dress as if markets full of affordable warm weather gear didn’t exist. This stands in contrast with the colorful synthetics of the German tourist.

Observation 30 of 112: Many cultures have a depression-era type habit of not eating the last bite on the plate. The Irish have solved this socially awkward moment by sharing the last bite.

Here’s more history that I’d like to comment on. It will have to come later though. We’re headed out to the Burrens today!
The Aftermath of the Easter Rising

The aftermath of the rebellion should not have come as a surprise to anybody – arrested rebels were interned, around 200 had to face military tribunals. The sentence of death was passed ninety times for high treason. All this was in line with then current British practice. Actually the death sentence was quite popular with British military courts between 1914 and 1918, leading to more executions than the German Army saw during the same war.

But total idiocy struck when Maxwell insisted in a swift handling of the death sentences. In a rather hasty operation fourteen rebels were shot in Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol – Patrick Pearse, Thomas MacDonagh, Thomas Clarke, Edward Daly, William Pearse, Michael O’Hanrahan, Eamonn Ceannt, Joseph Plunkett, John MacBride, Sean Heuston, Con Colbert, Michael Maillin, Sean MacDermott and James Connolly. Thomas Kent was executed in Cork. Roger Casement was hanged in London later, after a lengthy trial. Seen by fellow Irishmen as deluded troublemakers at the time of their arrests, the sixteen were elevated to national martyrs mainly by Maxwell’s heavy-handed approach.