S: IRELAND - 2012
FC: IRELAND 2012
1: On Friday, May 18th, 2012, my brother, Jim, & I left on our much anticipated trip over home to the "auld sod"---Ireland! We departed from Pearson International Airport, Toronto, with a layover in Newark, NJ, finally landing in Belfast. There we picked up our wee Nissan--- the car that took us everywhere we wanted to go. Jim became a very skilled "wrong side" driver, manipulating tight corners & narrow country lanes, edged with stone fences, with nary a dent! During our 13 days we visited almost every County in Ireland & we had a weekend trip to the Argyle district of Scotland, from which our McKane Scots line emigrated. We met several of our distant McKane cousins, some of whom retain a different spelling than we. We were treated royally as they took time from their own busy lives to take us on detailed tours of their specific area of their homeland----& ours, as well. This book is my first attempt at transferring a written travel journal into pictorial form. It proved to be quite a challenge for me (partly, I'm sure, owing to the number of photos I took & couldn't seem to cull to a more workable number). I hope that the completed album will serve to provide a lasting memoir of "the trip of a lifetime". Carolyn McKane Brampton, ON, Canada 2013
2: Rhododendrons in Paddy Campbell's garden, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal
3: We arrived in Belfast May 20th, a cloudy day & we picked up our little Nissan. Off to Ballymena to meet Dr. William Roulston, Heather, Harry & baby Sarah. Our relationship to William likely dates to the 1600's. He gave us a grand tour of this part of Co. Antrim..... Galgorm Castle (1630)... Slemish Mountain in the Brae of Bally where St. Patrick grazed sheep as a boy & Scottish speaking people still live... | Grace Hill (note the lovely Japanese maple). built by the Moravians in the 1700's... Broughshane & Houston's Mill (1888) in the early days of the Irish linen industry...AND finally to Randalstown with marvelous churches & ice cream for all.
4: Our second day started in Belfast. There we visited the Protestant (Shankhill Parade) & Catholic (Falls Road) areas where "the troubles" have been most serious for decades. We viewed murals painted on walls/buildings; of great significance was the Remember/Respect/Resolution memorial in the Protestant area. Downtown, we were attracted to the magnificent Presbyterian Church in Ireland Church House & Assembly Hall (1905) & the Opera House (as well as a little Tim Horton's vending machine). Then, on we went to Cave Hill to visit Belfast Castle (1870).
6: In Crossgar, we met Bobby Forrest (with Margaret & Niles). He adeptly toured us through a great deal of Co. Down. From Strangford (ie. strong tide) we went across the Loch to Portaferry, where I enjoyed my first Guiness! From here we looked toward the Irish Sea. Vikings (9th C) & Normans (12th C) were the early inhabitants. The grave of St. Patrick at the magnificent Down Cathedral was our next stop.
7: Dundrum Castle was built in 1180 by John de Courcy, a Norman from France. It was "one of a string of coastal castles by which the Anglo-Norman invaders established their hold on north-east Ulster from 1777 onwards". It gave easy access into east Co. Down from the south via a natural harbour. I didn't know that castles had toilets---Dundrum actually had a "2-holer", each seat a different size!! The Maghera Church graveyard has tombstones dating back to the 1700's. The photos show the new church and a view from the ruins of the old church towards the new.
8: From Co. Down through Co. Tyrone---where the fields seemed larger & farms more prosperous with bigger flocks of sheep & herds of cattle (mostly Holsteins) & hedgerows for fences. Bright golden yellow patches of whins & feathery white-flowered cow parsley (aka Queen Ann's lace) both invasive weeds, were everywhere. An Interesting (to us) road sign & then the An Fhinn (R. Finn) with its interesting "wavy edged" bridge...... AND we're in Co. Donegal !
9: Our dear Co. Donegal guides, Ivan & Letitia Knox, at their beach house near the Atlantic Ocean. We walked on the sand at low tide---with a view of Blue Bank Ridge & Ben Bomay.
10: Co. Donegal has a varied geography. We left the low lying area, where Ivan named one McKane site after the other....our favourite - McKane's Corner! The road climbed more than 2000' up Sliabh Liag (Slieve League) with a very different terrain than any we'd seen thus far. The little thatched roof cottage has been well maintained for over a century. The view from the top was.....AWESOME! On the left, do you see the Giant's chair & table?
11: An educational "field trip": At the turf fields, we saw first hand how the turf is cut, laid out & then finishes drying in "stooks". The final product is quite dense & amazingly light in weight. Oh, what a beautiful sight!! --- Glen Gesh (ie. the deepest of valleys).
12: Hall Green Farm, Longvale House (1611) the home of our distant cousins, Mervyn & Jean McKean in Co. Donegal. We were overnight guests in the B&B, but were treated like family. We met, & lunched with, their son, James & his little girls, Julia & Karen, & their son-in-law, Rev. Roderick Mulholland. Mervyn took us to St. Johnston to visit the Presbyterian Church & the cemeteries. There were a number of tombstones of various McKean's. The Hamilton/McKean memorial was of interest owing to our lineage. Looking across the River Foyle, which is a tidal river, to Donagheady in Co. Tyrone.
13: Mervyn took us to meet his cousin, William McKean, "the collector". He has an amazing display of tractors & other implements, metal seats, bicycles, bottles & assorted objects, including a very old wooden caravan (RV), and several fowl. The P O'Kane, Londonderry bottle & the Massey Ferguson, Toronto, Canada piece caught my eye.
14: Thanks to Rev. Rod we were able to visit Donagheady Presbyterian Church. Donagheady is in Co. Tyrone. Its beautiful wooden pews & large pipe organ (which I'd have loved to have heard) contrasted the rather modest stone exterior. The stone wall of the original church is still in place; First & Second Presbyterian congregations united in 1935. We scanned available Church records seeking McKane & Lyons ancestors, but located only a few of the latter. How surprised I was, however, to see the baptism record from 1862 of my children's paternal greatgrandfather, John James Faulkner!
15: Mongavlin Castle Ruins, Co. Donegal, overlooking th R Foyle, Stronghold of the O'Donnells, Lord of Tyrconnell (pron. tear-connell; also a whiskey). McKanes were listed on the Muster Rolls in the 1600's.
16: The round-about in Lifford, the county town of Co. Donegal. Strabane in Co. Tyrone shares "The Tinnies" with all who drive by.
19: Londonderry/Derry City was built in the early 17th C by City of London Companies in exchange for land in King James I's new plantation. It was Ireland's most complete walled town with its "roaring cannon" & the first Post-Reformation cathedral in the British Isles, St. Columb's (built 1628-1633)
20: ...in Co. Derry with views of the Binevenagh Mtns. | We located & walked the Mountsandel site --- "the earliest settlement dates to 7700 - 7400 BC.....during the Mesolithic period (Middle Stone Age)....thought to be a base camp for an extended family of about ten hunter-gatherers.......the steep hill down to the River Bann provided a defensive position". NB: The walkway down from the top of the hill. It is thought "...there was a fort here in the Iron Age".
21: Flowers in the Mountsandel Wood
22: May 24th (after another huge "full" Irish breakfast) began with cemetery visits. We went to Ballyrashane Presbyterian Church (1657) & St. John the Baptist, Church of Ireland, Ballyrashane Parish. The parish is in both Co. Londonderry & Co. Antrim. We were only able to find some McDonald stones at the first; however, at the latter we located two very old stones : (A) William McKain (d.1820) & (B) James McCain (d.1859). The lettering on both was barely discernible--how I wished I'd carried charcoal pencils & light paper for rubbings! | A | B
23: THE RUINS OF DUNSEVERICK CASTLE This Dun (fort).....may have been a royal stronghold in the Iron Age (around 500 BC. ) St. Patrick reputedly visited Dunseverick in the 5th C.
24: Dunseverick Harbour | Co. Antrim
25: Barra McCain (May 2004) wrote: Templastragh.....certainly the most significant & mysterious McCain location in Ireland.....a small but amazing place...... The Church ruin dates back to the mid-1500's, but was built on the site of a much earlier (5th C) church. Templastragh means the flaming church/Church of the Flame. The McCain headstone is inside the church walls.
26: White Park Bay area, Co. Antrim. A typical Irish pub (with the best potato-leek soup I've ever tasted) -- Fullerton Arms, Ballintoy, Co. Antrim More of N. Ireland's coastal scenes
27: CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE 100' above the sea We walked across, all over the big rock & back again. This area was famous for years for salmon fishing.
29: THE GIANT''S CAUSEWAY | ...an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns--the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1986. Jim climbed up to the top; I stayed at the bottom, knowing the coming down was harder than the going up!
30: Dunluce Castle
34: Ballycastle, Co. Antrim | From here we took the Kintyre Express across the North Channel to Scotland. Ballycastle was an early leader of Ireland's industrial revolution with considerable exports of coal, wine bottles, salt, linen & other commodities. shipped from the harbour.. We enjoyed a traditional fish & chips lunch at Morton's. The sculpture "Leap of Faith" certainly caught our eyes ,as did the huge rock.
35: We crossed the channel with a view of the Mull of Kintyre, a peninsula in Western Scotland (made famous by Paul McCartney's song)------landing in Campbeltown, Scotland., we were met by cousin Dr. Joe McKane, of Glasgow, who became our tour guide for the weekend, along with his wife, Julie, & daughter, Keira.
36: Crinan, by Lochgilphead, Argyll, Scotland
37: Kilmichael Glassary | Cousins, Dr. Joe (Glasgow), & Jim McKane (Wiarton, ON,) Joe's wife, Julie & daughter, Keira, & Carolyn McKane all admire the stone of our ancestor, Duncan Mor MacEain c.1540, which we found at the Church of Scotland in Kilmartin.
38: Line drawing (thanks to Barra McCain) of Donnchadh Mor's (Duncan Mor M'Eain) stone. This was done by the 1875 survey & shows details no longer visible.
39: BARMOLLOCK (1572) The original McKane homestead, Kilmartin Glen, Argyll, Scotland. It is currently owned by Helen (centre in photo) & Stewart Wright.
41: "Main Street", Kilmartin. We lunched in the Kilmartin Museum deli. Outside we saw a model of the ancient BEEHIVE HUTS. Originally used in both religious & secular rites, they were constructed by "corbelling" -- layering circular courses of stones on top of each other, each course slightly smaller. They were water & wind tight structures. | Dunchraigraig, Kilmartin Glen These ancient monuments were built 4000 to 5000 years ago. This henge is the only example in Western Scotland. The monkey pod tree, native to Chile & Argentina, grows in this area, as well.
42: DUNADD FORT, overlooking the R. Add Dunadd was the heart of the Dalriada kingdom---the name given to the Irish & Scottish Kingdom 1500 years ago that included Argyll, Scotland & Co. Antrim, Ireland. It was the seat of the kings in the 7th C and the centre of a network of communications. Traders brought minerals, tin, dyes, spices, fine glass beakers & wine from other countries.
43: Campbeltown, Scotland | Sunday, May 27th we had "quiet, free" time in Campbeltown, as we waited for the Kintyre Express back to Ballycastle. We had time to admire local architecture & found the grand monument built as a tribute to all those who lost their lives in World War I & II. The smaller monument shown here was a memorial to a former Rector of a local Parish, erected by his son, also a Rector, in about 1500.
44: THE BOYNE RIVER BRIDGE -- the border between Co. Meath & Co. Louth
45: NEWGRANGE Co. Meath, Boyne Valley This Neolithic (New Stone Age) passage tomb is about 5000 years old--- older than Stonehenge & The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It is famous for the Winter Solstice illumination which lights up the passage & the chamber.. Excavation was done between 1962 & 1975 by Prof. Michael J. Kelly, who discovered the roof box through which the mid-winter sun penetrates into the chamber. While there we were covered with about 200 tons of earth & stone.. This World Heritage Site was fascinating!
46: DUBLIN, Co. Dublin | "Tradition has it that (in the 5th C) St. Patrick baptized the first Irish Christians in a well, situated in St. Patrick's Park, with water from the R. Poddle, which still flows underground. A small wooden church was erected here to commemorate the event". Today's massive St. Patrick's Cathedral grew from that beginning.
47: POWERSCOURT WATERFALL Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow | Narrow, hilly, twisting roads led us through a beautiful area to the highest waterfall in Ireland -- 397' high Powerscourt Waterfall on the R. Dargle. The enormous, old beech, fir & redwood trees were quite a sight!
49: Kilkenny Castle | Co. Kilkenny Built by the one of the Earls of Pembroke in the early 12th C to control a fording point of the R. Nore.
50: Views of the castle from other angles , the stables & coach houses (now renovated into shops) .
51: The water feature & formal garden at Kilkenny & two of the roses. The statue is a copy of one at the Vatican. The tree is an evergreen oak, very similar to the live oaks in LaBelle, FL.
52: WATERFORD | Co. Waterford | The bridge over the R. Suir, near Waterford, is another fine example of a modern, high-tech cable-stayed bridge. Waterford Crystal's retail shop was an interesting spot! NB the crystal globe----more money than we had to spend.
53: DUNGARVAN | ---a view of the harbour in this little seaside resort in Co. Waterford
54: /MIDLETON, Co. Cork | Since both Jim & I enjoy the occasional sip of Scotch or Irish Whiskey, a visit to the JAMESON MIDLETON DISTILLERY was of interest. This is a completely intact, beautifully preserved distillery, which operated from 1825 - 1975. The tour is a journey through the making of Irish Whiskey -- old kilns, mills, maltings, the water wheel, still house, distiller's cottage, cooperage & warehouses are all included. We were very fortunate to be 2 of a small group selected to participate in a comparative whiskey tasting at the conclusion of the tour. We then visited the shop & chose a 6 mini-bottle set to bring back home to Canada.
56: BLARNEY CASTLE, | Blarney, Co. Cork
58: Co. Kerry | The Dingle Peninsula protrudes 10 mi. wide for 40 mi. from Tralee to Slea Head & is the part of Ireland closest to North America. It has been described as "the most beautiful place on earth". | mountains west of Killarney | inch Beach | scenes nearing dingle & the small fishing village itself
59: conor pass | As children, Jim & I learned from our Father that, given the option, you try never to go somewhere & return by the same route! So, on the morning of May 30th, we chose the road through Conor (Connor's) Pass--Ireland's highest mountain pass---going from Dingle to Castlegregory. The first miles were covered in fog, which eventually cleared. | We admired the old row houses in Tralee & the stone old stone fences near Rathkaele
60: Adare, Co. Limerick | One of Ireland's prettiest villages, Adare has been designated a Heritage Town by the Irish Government. At one time there were three monasteries in the town. The churches we visited, dating back to the 13th C, have been maintained--with the interior of the Holy Trinity Abbey being particularly magnificent. The thatched cottages & neat streets provide a lovely setting for the numerous tourists visiting each year. | Adare Augustinian Friary Founded 1232
61: Ballina, Co. Mayo | We went to Ballina to locate a relative--& we found her--Dorothy McKane, 3rd generation pharmacist at McKane's Pharmacy. Ballina is a town of just over 10,00, the second largest town in Co. Mayo. It lies on the west side of the Co. Mayo/Co. Sligo border. It is called "The Salmon Capital of Ireland".
62: Killala, Co. Mayo | Killala has been described as "a veritable museum of archaeological treasure...." (likely dating back to the 2nd C A.D.). Of particular interest still are St. Patrick's Cathedral (1680), & the Round Tower (built in the latter 12th to early 13th C) which is made from oolithic limestone & stands about 26 metres tall.
63: Ceide Fields Neolithic Site, Co. Mayo | Our visit to the archaeological & interpretive centre for Ceide Fields was a most educational experience. The Ceide walls pre-date 3000 BC & are the oldest known stone-walled fields in the world. The pine stump (above) has been radiocarbon dated to about 2900 BC in the Stone age. The drive to the centre gave us a panorama of marvelous views out over the Atlantic Ocean.
64: Co. Sligo | Ox Mountains | Dartry Mountains | Sligo Bay
65: Our last touring day continued........on through Co. Leitram, Co. Cavan, Co. Fermanagh, Co. Tyrone, Co. Armagh &, finally, Co. Antrim, reaching our destination, Ballyrobin, where we spent the night.
66: At Blarney Castle
67: Flowers along the sidewalk in Ballina