first visited Ireland in 1947 – inspired by that King of travel writers,
H.V.Morton and his ‘In Search of Ireland’. In numerous visits since, I have
been struck by the changing face of the country, splintered by the formation
of the six counties to become part of the UK.
The book tells of a country in desperate poverty, resurgence into
prosperity, via the European Community, the fight for independence, the
violence of the IRA and the Black and Tans. It tells of the eternal
haemorrhaging of its people through emigration and a history bound up so
tightly with our own.
The book is a personal account of the tours. It is more than a mere
travelogue; it is a personal observation and evaluation of the traumatic
phases of the country and its history – seen in past, present and future.
am bewitched by the sheer beauty of Glengariff, see Cushenden and I’m
reminded of Clough Elliss and Port Merion. See Donegal – now and in
H.V.Morton’s time. Visit Knock and its commercialism. Visit Cong where the
film’ The Quiet Man’ lives on. Attend Mass in Galway. Visit the Claddagh.
Cobh – the saddest place in Ireland. Here the great liners waited for the
emigrants – the haemorrhaging of her best and youngest blood. I kiss the
Blarney Stone, discover drisheen, visit Mount Melleray, tour Bronte land.
Take the rocky road to Dublin. Inform a lady in Drogheda that Cromwell is
dead. Dublin and St Michans, shake hands with a Crusader, search for Uncle
Barney, visit Guinness Brewery- the GPO and 1916 uprising – back to Larne
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