Day 8 – Wednesday Aug. 23, 2006
We checked out of the Cuillen House B&B after breakfast. I called the phone number of a Michael McGrath of Farney Bridge I had found on my list of McGrath phone numbers I had gathered off the Internet several years ago. Cyril Cullen, of Farney Castle, had said that a McGrath had been a gardener at Farney Castle and lived just up the road from the Castle. The person who answered the phone wasn’t really interested in pursuing the possibility. I called Father Cunningham at Upperchurch and finally reached him. Tentatively I set up a visit for 4 PM that day knowing that we would probably never make it back to Upperchurch by that time. I called him again, later that day, from Cahir, to cancel and told him I would send him a few names of interest after I got back to the states.
We drove into Thurles to look for the new location of the Local Studies Center. They are located on Cathedral Street just across the river from the tower at the east end of the town square. They were located on the second floor of a new building that was built on the location of a former car park. This was their first day at the new location and they opened at 10 AM. We were there by 10:30 – almost the first customers. [Bought a 2-hr parking disk.]
I had the chance to finally meet Mary Darmody and she was very helpful with the 1840-41 Ordnance Survey maps. I took some digital photos of the map areas of interest to me: Upperchurch, Moyaliff and the northern part of Clogher parish. After a short delay Mary got the on line map database working. I thought it was going to be the Griffith maps with the parcel numbering that correlates with the Griffith’s Valuation. I was disappointed to see it was only a digital copy of the maps I had just photographed. You could select an area to be printed but it was restricted to a small rectangular area. The resolution could have been better. I got better resolution with most of my digital camera shots and I’m sure I could have improved that with a little more practice and experimentation with the exposure settings.
Our time in Thurles was up so we headed southwest toward Cahir and were looking for a couple more graveyards on the way. We took the road via Holycross to go through Clogher in Clonoulty parish. We went through Clogher twice but we still couldn’t see any trace of a cemetery or either of the two castles that were on the Discovery map in the town of Clogher. Clogher had been a long shot anyway so we moved onto Tipperary town that was filled with traffic. After leaving Tipperary we approached Cahir from the north and went to the car park next to Cahir Castle.
We decided to wander through Cahir Castle and found a couple rooms that we hadn’t seen the previous two times we had toured the castle. One room had pictures and diagrams of many of the castles and tower houses in the area around Cahir. Another room was dedicated to the 1599 taking of Cahir Castle, by the Earl of Essex. The walls were covered with a series of posters that described the siege of Cahir, over 400 years ago. In the middle of the room was a very well made diorama that recreated the Cahir of 400 years ago.
I called Father Cunningham from the castle and told him I was not going to be able to make our 4 PM appointment. I told him that I would send him a few names after I got back to the states and he was fine with that.
After finishing at the castle we walked around the town of Cahir itself looking for a place to eat that evening and did a little shopping. Still looking for Terry’s Twilight Mints, and of course we didn’t find any. That night we ate at Galileo’s Café – had pizza – it was small.
Around the corner from the restaurant we found another old church and of course another graveyard. We wandered around the old Cahir medieval church and took some pictures. On the way back to the car we found a Chinese restaurant that had won a recent award for “best restaurant.” So, we put it on the short list of future dinner locations.
That night (Wednesday) we stayed at the Currigeen Castle B&B and again on Thursday night. It was closer than we thought because we could actually see the top of it from Cahir Castle.