Visit to Camden Fort Meagher

On Tuesday, 11th September 2018, forty four RTAI members & friends enjoyed a thoroughly memorable visit to Camden Fort Meagher.

The fort is situated on 45 acres, 65% of which is underground.  Camden Fort Meagher was occupied by British Forces until 11/7/1938 when it was handed over to the Irish Defence Forces. In 1989 it was handed over to Cork County Council and for over 2 decades it remained closed and fell into disrepair.  Members of Crosshaven community formed a “Rescue Camden” group and, as a result of trojan work, the fort opened to the public in September 2010.  Extensive restoration works are ongoing.

As we experienced for ourselves, Camden Fort Meagher’s location is spectacular.  Situated at the mouth of Cork Harbour it overlooks, for example, Roches Point Lighthouse, Fort Carlisle/Davis, Spike Island and Fort Mitchel, Whitegate Oil Refinery, the Great Island of Cobh and St. Coleman’s Cathedral.  

Some of the highlights of our visit included:

The magazine, with vaulted ceiling, which stored munitions and gunpowderIMG_0148 (Medium)

The hand-cut granite spiral stairway which offered soldiers rapid access to the adjacent magazine2018-09-15 13.19.12

The majestic Monterey Cypress planted by British soldiers prior to their departure to fight in the Crimean War (1853)

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The exhibition rooms, packed with memorabilia and information

 

 

 

 

The knowledge and enthusiasm of our four amazing guides/volunteers which was truly inspiring.

 

 

 

We retreated to the tea rooms where we were treated royally.  To cap it all, the sun shone and we enjoyed tea/coffee and dessert on the outdoor decking while enjoying panoramic views of Cork Harbour.

 

 

 

What a day!

Míle buíochas to the RTAI for subsidising the day’s outing. Thanks to James Doolan and Elizabeth O’Connell for the selection of photos. And special thanks to Seán McCarthy for his help on the day.   P.C.

Meán Fómhair 2018

Cuirimid fáilte roimh na baill nua, agus fáilte ar ais roimh ár gcairde go léir ag an tráth seo den bhliain. Seo hiad na himeachtaí a bheidh againn i mí Mheán Fómhair:

4th & 5th Tues/Wed, Amble and Hillwalk in Glenbeigh.

4th Tues, Drama group resumes.

6th Thurs, Camera group planning meeting. SMA, 2 p.m.

7th Fri, Coffee morning, Clayton Silversprings Hotel, 11 a.m.

10th Mon, Choir practice resumes.t

 11th Tues, Guided tour of Fort Camden, 11 a.m.

12th Wed, Camera group outing to Ballycotton.

13th Thurs, Amble in Castlemartyr Woods. 11.30 a.m.

21st Friday, Line dancing resumes.

27th Thurs, Camera group meeting, SMA, 2 p.m.

For more information on any of the ongoing activities; choir, drama, photography, please ask any committee member, or email rtaicorkblog@gmail.com.

To have your name added to the email list for notifications of hillwalking, please email rtaicorkblog@gmail.com

Notification of coffee mornings and individual events will be sent by text message. If you wish to amend your preferences for text messages please contact any committee member, or email rtaicorkblog@gmail.com

 

Our Visit to Historic Adare

 

A small but select group travelled to Adare on 31st May to take a closer look at the famed historic village in County Limerick. Starting with some sustenance in the form of coffee and scones at the village’s Heritage Centre, our group set off on a village walk in brilliant sunshine, led by Pat Naughton from Ballincollig, himself an Adareman by birth. All remarked on the bustling activity of the place, as busloads of tourists from many countries thronged the Centre.

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Pat welcomes the group to Adare.

The 13th century Trinitarian Abbey was the first site visited. This Catholic church has a long history, involving centuries of worship, attacks by English forces, a massacre of monks in 1539, reduction to ruins in the dissolution of the monasteries, and eventual restoration in the 1800s as a place of prayer. Many of the building’s original stone features continue to impress some 800 years later. Pat talked about the huge contribution the Earls of Dunraven have made to the development of the village over the past 200 years, including restoring the churches, planning the village’s streets and providing employment through the years. Their original seat, Adare Manor, is now a high-prestige hotel and golf resort.

The terraces of thatched cottages remain the iconic image of Adare that most people recognise. Pat talked of their history (built in 1826) but lamented that almost all are now commercial premises rather than family dwellings. Along the street, we viewed the attractive town park, the washing pool, the courthouse and interesting shopfronts. Our attention was drawn to the plaque outside the Garda station commemorating Garda Jerry McCabe, killed on the village street in 1996. Further on our walk we saw the old blacksmith’s forge, the former RIC barracks, and the former Christian Brothers’ primary school from 1830. Last point of interest was the plaque in memory of Seán Ó Riada, who grew up in Adare in the 1930s and ‘40s.

It was time for lunch and we ate and were satisfied – Adare has plenty choices for those with an appetite! Our final visit was to the Augustinian Abbey (Church of Ireland) dating from the early 1300s, where we were treated to a most interesting tour of the buildings by local man John Bradley. For most of us the day was rounded off by a short riverbank walk by the River Maigue, while a few lingered to explore some of the village’s varied shops.

I expect most who were there will return before too long to savour some more of this unique village’s attractions and charms. All in all, a most enjoyable day in Adare.

With thanks to Elizabeth O’Connell for the photographs.

Doneraile Park Visit

Enjoying Our Doneraile Park May 10th   by Seán Ó Callanáin
Visiting places of high regard is often coloured by the reports of those who have gone before. Poet Pat O Kelly’s review of his 1808 visit was less than five star praise:-
“Alas how dismal is my tale,
I lost my watch in Doneraile ___
May curses wholesale and retail
Pour with full force on Doneraile “

Thankfully the 30 plus RTAI walkers who visited Doneraile Park, came open-minded. Our visit was rewarded with a memorable walk, sunny weather and the best of company. All praise to Mary Fitzgerald for organising our outing and sourcing our guide —Michael O Sullivan. He wore his depth of knowledge lightly as he opened our eyes to an attraction that half a million visitors enjoyed last year.Like a latter day shepherd— staff in hand— he joined for us  dots of today’s Doneraile, to its elaborate mini – Versailles past.The ambition shown in diverting the river, creating a waterfall and terracing the main view from the house ,showed a flight of imagination and investment that is perhaps beyond todays best efforts.
The preparation for a visit by King George IV were well beyond a “ a lick of paint” proportions and must have lightened the pockets of the St. Leger family. That he failed to arrive must have tempted them to republicanism. The Kings “ Gabh mo leithscéal” note was nowhere in sight. Our guide had the happy knack of leading us to viewing spots that coupled with his words, illuminated the estates past and ambitious future. With Government support and local enthusiasm, we the people of Ireland-have a treasure in Doneraile of great worth.
The uplift of the outing ensured sharpened appetite to which the “ Tea Rooms” ensured a happy ending. The soup, light meals and desserts were top class and worthy of many stars.

As we left we felt rather like poet Pat O Reilly when the Lady of the Big House presented him with a new watch.
“May all from Belfast to Kinsale ,be half as good as Doneraile —-
May every wish and prayer avail, to crown the peace of Doneraile “