Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brian Ború's ghost

This is Béal Ború or Brian Ború's Fort just outside Killaloe on the Scarriff road. We cycled there from the boat on the new jetty at Killaloe itself. The fort is right beside the river, although you can barely see the water through the many trees, mostly beech. Here's a peek of it from the opposite side of the fort to the above photo.

Precisely what Brian Ború had to do with this place isn't altogether clear - his main seat of operations was at the top of the hill in Killaloe itself where his palace of Kincora stood. What I find most interesting about the site, though, is its really ancient history. Hundreds of stone implements have been discovered here during various excavations - hammer stones, axes, perforated stone sinkers for lines and nets for fishing. Just beyond the trees seen in this photo is where the River Shannon narrows (boaters pass between two markers here) and becomes shallow - a natural crossing place for people and livestock. A place to defend - whoever controlled the ford had power.

In the centre of the fort is a big hollow. Stones had been arranged for bonfires in the middle. It must be tremendously atmospheric in the dark with the flames leppin and cracklin and all those ghosts milling around behind you. Spooky I'd say. You'd want company when going for a pee in the bushes.

We were in Killaloe to try out the new Tuscany Bistro - new to Killaloe that is, or, rather, Ballina. It's other incarnation is closer to Limerick in Annacotty, but they've now taken over the premises of the old River Run (Run River?) restaurant. They also look to be expanding into next door - their livery is painted over the two shops - but, according to the planning notice in the window,  they're waiting for change of use from retail to restaurant.

The exciting thing about Tuscany Bistro is that they do gluten-free. What joy when I saw the small print under the pastas. A whole new choice opened before me. The pasta dish was good, but the desserts were the best. Another time I'll go for a salad - they seem to have a dressing that people rave about. A nice evening, even though our food arrived at different times (not good). But they gave us a very big glass of wine each in recompense, so they were forgiven. I'll certainly go again.

Cycling round Killaloe I found a path I didn't know existed. I'd turned up past the petrol station on the way back from Béal Ború, leaving Joe to return to the boat. At the top of the hill, just before the centre of town, was a signed laneway to the left. 'Viewing Point' it said, so off I went to view. Here's what I saw.

Some view! And there was a boating person I knew in her back garden moving her leeks to give them more room. The pathway continued along towards the bridge so I too continued. Took this photo. And I've only just noticed when flagging these pics for inclusion in the blog that there's Joe cycling along the jetty.

What are the chances of catching that?

No comments:

Post a Comment