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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Friday, August 24 2001

Quentessential Ireland

Killarney, 11 p.m., August 23—Today could be called our "quintessential Ireland" day, with two highlights that capture much of what Ireland's about, at least for tourists and history buffs. Leaving Galway this morning, we next stopped near Limerick (the small city made famous again three years ago by the best-selling memoir mostly set there, Angela's Ashes, by Frank McCort), to tour Bunratty Castle and Irish Heritage Center. A theme park consisting of buildings from Ireland's past, many of which have been relocated here near the castle to demonstrate medieval Ireland in the O'Brien family castle, a 20th century Irish village that looks like many that still exist, a manor house of the type (though of less grandeur) in the film Far and Away, and farm houses of varying prosperity representing the generation that's now in its sunset years. The accompanying photo of son Mike in the the doorway of one of the poorer farm cottages with thatched roof captures the look and feel of Bunratty Heritage Park. (And yes, thatched roofs are still seen widely in both Ireland and England.)

Next we drove on to Killarney, the quintessential Irish tourist town. Though small in size and permanent population, it is swelled by tourists in the season, with tour busses squeezing into the main square to fill the major hotels, cars and other vehicles including horse-drawn tour carriages glutting the streets and highways. The stores are open late to squeeze as many tourist pounds as possible into the economy. It's the gateway to a major national park and two spectacular peninsulas, the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. We took in as much as possible after arriving around 5 p.m., and only regret time is running out for some of the other major attractions....

So, tomorrow, Lord Willing, it's on to Blarney Castle and Dublin, "fair city where the lasses are so pretty."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things I wish I'd known before going out into the real world

If you tell a lie, don't believe it deceives only the other person.

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God Himself does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you and I?

—Samuel Johnson

Sent by Carole Levinson Stuart

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