Dunfanagh, Doolough, and Clifden – August 22, 2012 – By Lancelot

On the road to Dunfanagh.  When we arrive we purchase muffins at a shop called  “Muffin.”.   Time to see the  horn head scenic loop.

Stopping the car at one of the pull offs, we climb over the railings for a little better view.   it’s a sheer drop right in to the rocky  ocean with sudden strong wind gushes.  I can hear my Mom saying,” Get back here!.”

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We get back in the car and finish the loop.   After we finish the amazing horn head loop we decide to get on the road to Westport .

 

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Upon arriving we go to the National Famine Memorial which is a large coffin ship.  The Irish Catholics would build ships to travel to America because the Protestant English land lords, with the help of  redcoats, took over all the farming land and livestock.  It is said that the Irish were left with a bunch of potatoes. The English began exporting the food out of Ireland and enjoying the profit from the Irish farm land and live stock.  Eventually the potato crops went bad.  The Irish could not grow anything else on the rocky soil left to them.  All of the good farmland had been taken by the English.  Countless Irish people died,  others tried to build ships to  journey to America.  Many of the people who tried to go to American also died of sickness and starvation while trying to cross the ocean.

 

After the memorial we drive through the Doolough Valley where we find another famine memorial.

The history of the above Memorial starts with two officials of the Westport Law Union coming to Louisburgh to inspect the people to verify whether they should continue to receive outdoor relief. The officials decided it would be more fun to go to Delpfi Lodge, a hunting lodge 12 miles south from where they were supposed  to meet the local Irish people. The locals who had gathered for the inspection were  told to appear at Delphi Lodge at 7 am the following morning if they wished to continue receiving relief.  For much of the people, who were already in extremely poor condition, traveling 12 miles, given their existing state of debilitation, was an extremely fatiguing journey, in very bad weather.  Two hundred locals who attempted to make the journey died on the way to the Delpfi Lodge and others, who were denied the aid they were requesting,  died on the way back.

On the road to Clifden.

We drive by the remains of an old ruined church that is now a cemetery.

The church had been part of the residence of a community of friars.   The community of friars was forced to leave due to  Henry VII’s policy of dissolving the monasteries.  The building and lands of the friary were granted to Sir Richard Bourke in 1570.  But Franciscan friars remained in the vicinity for two centuries later,  occasionally re-occupying their old church.

After a long day of travel we get to a nice pub  and get some shepherds pie which is almost as good as the one my mom makes.

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