Bars to keep them in and bars to keep them out!

We visited two places today. One had bars on the windows to keep the prisoners inside the 18th century city gaol in Cork. What a bleak place it is and a horrible reminder of the treatment that was meted out to so many for such little crimes. When these became full, of course they started shipping them off to Aussie. One of the more famous residents was a Frank O’Connor, (coincidently my grandfathers name) who became a well known writer. He described the conditions there, which don’t make for pleasant reading. No pic it was altogether too sad.

The other place was very enjoyable. The Jameson distillery, started in 1870 and makes the finest Irish whiskey. I can vouch for that with my limited experience of whiskey. It was smooth, clear and sweet, which will all be down to the malting, heating and triple distillation which is quite different to both the American and the Scottish methods. Definitely I can see that now!
And so the bars to keep them out while the whiskey ages beautifully in their oak barrels.


We also went back to Blarney castle for a quick snoop through the Baronets house/castle/mansion. You see, the castle fell into disrepair after a couple of warring factions kicked out the old, so a new residence was built onto the keep of the original 12th century tower in about the 16th century when a new guy took over…however after a big banquet in the hall a fire started as often did in those days, and damage sustained meant a new residence was built. Not quite so grand but with all the mod cons of the day being around the 1880s. Please don’t quote me as the centuries are getting hazy and internet is not giving me the answers quick enough, so I’m going on my memory, and after a couple of whiskeys anything could happen!


Seventeen generations or so later the same family own it. The lady showing us through the rooms said the castle was like a money pig getting fat and the house was like a money pit with its list of required repairs. Current owners nip out for coffee for a few hours while the peasants traipse thru for some sticky beak. We lunched here in the manicured gardens and wandered down to the poisons garden. In castle times gardens were kept with all manner of plants that could be used for cure, or failing that death, which often happened. This garden has great beds of wolfsbane and foxglove to name a couple. I found the garden very interesting.

I have little kiwi with us and he is being photographed all around for the kids blog I’m doing. I mention him as Anne, who we are staying with, has never heard of a kiwi. Has never heard of NZ’rs being referenced as kiwis and was amazed. Here he is on our little red car which we could name pepe/pepi, if we were so inclined. We are happily zipping around everywhere on it and just for the record Lindy, I think this is bigger than than the one we have booked in Croatia. So forget the term ‘leg room’


Tomorrow we head to Kilarney.

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