I drove through County Clare to the Atlantic Coast. I saw the countryside to the Atlantic, through Ennistymon, Lahinch and Liscannor.
I was driving on the M18 motorway, which was brand new. It wasn’t in the GPS yet, so it thought I was driving across fields. It kept telling me to return to the road. But, the arrival time kept getting sooner, so I knew I was heading in the correct direction.
It felt so strange to be driving in the left side of what looked like an Interstate.
When the GPS arrival time started getting later, I got off the highway and onto an older road that the GPS knew existed. I drove and drove on little roads with walls on both sides.
I passed an old graveyard. Some of the graves had stone walls filled with glass chips. I looked this up. “For easy maintenance and to keep your grave site smart and attractive, use glass stone chips, an aesthetically pleasing alternative to weeding and planting. They were in a variety of colors. The graves surrounded the remains of a church.
This is some sort of canal, but I don’t know where I was.
A kid came zipping past me on a pedal cart with his little brother on the back.
I drove past more farms. Some were beautifully maintained. Others…
I passed more ruins. There are ruins just everywhere! There was a fence over the door of the tower.
The sky was really beautiful. Photos just don’t show it. It was all puffy white white clouds with turquoise blue sky showing through.
I was recently on Pinterest and saw a photo of Lahinch.
Beer and Baking spent a day in Lahinch >
Dough Castle was built in 1306 by the O’Connors. It was built to control traffic coming up the Inagh River and traffic fording the river. Although the castle was spared during the wars, it was built on sand. It began to collapse in the early 1800s.
In 1471, the O’Connor chieftain was murdered in Dough Castle by his nephews. The town of Lahinch I had just driven through settled at the site of his cairn. Lahinch, in Gaelic Leacht Ui Chonchuir, means O’Connor’s Cairn.
Look closely. Those little figures are playing golf. There is a golf course all around the castle.
I followed farm machinery along R478. I drove past a monument by St. Brigid’s Well in Liscannor. It is O’Brien’s Monument. “The O’Brien Monument, a Doric column topped by an urn, was built during his lifetime, paid for by compulsory subscriptions of his tenants.” Wikipedia. In various places it is also called Been’s Pillar or Corney’s Column. It was erected in the 1850s to honor Cornelius O’Brien. This is the same Cornelius O’Brien who built the tower on the Cliffs of Moher.
This is a photo from the Thomas H. Mason Collection in the National Library of Ireland on The Commons. It is labeled “Been’s Pillar, Liscannor, with figures.” The photo notes say; “O’Brien’s Pillar by Bridget’s Well near Liscannor, County Clare. Built in the 1850s, it is a memorial to Cornelius O’Brien (1782-1857), who – amongst other things – had a hand in the tourism development of the nearby Cliffs of Moher. For example, the also eponymous O’Brien’s viewing tower at the cliffs.”