Archive for the ‘Limerick’ Category

Dun Bleisce Towns Gets Back Her Illustrious Name

Years of efforts by Doon, Limerick, Ireland residents to bring back the name of their town, taken away from them in 2003, have paid off. The people have spoken and are triumphant!

Their town has been called Dun Bleisce since at least 774 AD, which is as far back as anyone can remember.  The problem?  The town’s name translates to “Fort of the Harlot.”  This was not cool with the Irish Placenames Commission.  This grand body decided that nice, little towns should not be named after harlots, and they renamed the town An Dun.  That seemed safe since it really has no meaning. Or at least not much.

On came the heated debate.  Residents and irate Irish around County Limerick said that the original name actually translated to, “The stronghold of immoral women.”  Others claimed it meant, “Stronghold of Strong Women,”  because only strong women would have a fort.  Still others claimed the original meaning of the word “harlot” is “powerful women.”  (This is the kind of jam you get into when you mess with history.)

800+ locals signed a petition that was presented to the Great and Illustrious Commission.  They decided it wasn’t worth the trouble, and an order was handed down from on high to rename the town Dun Bleisce.

When in the west of Ireland, stop by.  It truly is a nice town with a juicy name that has withstood history!

Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins


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Adare Manor, a Rare Calendar House Complete with Gargoyles

Mysterious Adare Manor is a rare example of a Calendar House, with 365 stained-glass windows and 52 chimneys. There are also gargoyles and carvings throughout that are quite extraordinary. (And a little spooky.)

Background?  The Quins were one of the few families of true Gaelic origin in the Irish peerage. Thady Quin, born in 1645, first settled in Adare.  In 1720, Valentine Quin built the first Adare Manor by the River Maigue.

In 1832, with Ireland ravaged by the potato famine, the family went to work, turning their home into a huge Tudor manor. Their work provided labor for all the surrounding villagers. The new house was built around the existing one, which was taken down when the present manor reached its final stage.

Set on 840 acres of formal gardens and rolling grasses, Adare Manor was voted the Number One European Resort by the Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards.

But the true story of Adare is its unique presence among all other places to stay in Ireland. Situated in the heart of lovely Adare Village in County Limerick, Adare Manor is steeped in history and surrounded by medieval ruins. It is the best combination of mystery, history and comfort.

Meander through stonewalled gardens and winding woodland paths. Discover the colorful history of Adare Manor and the centuries of stories throbbing in her walls.

There is no better place to celebrate life than in Ireland.  Adare Manor is one of those remarkable places that embraces you with cozy warmth.  Watch the moonlight skim off the river as you wind down the halls.  Voices?  Oh, yes, you may hear them–all of them friendly.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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Surprises in Ireland are Everywhere

Have you ever wondered about riding a zebra?  They’re beautiful.  They are so much like a horse.  They are dapper and bold.

The Limerick Post told us about one local man who not only wondered, he went out and made it happen.

Johnny Cross, a local horse trainer, has since been turning heads around the city by strolling around with his new zebra.  Where did he get it?  Johnny bought the zebra in Holland to see if he could break it and turn it into a respectable horse.  This is supposedly a near-impossibility.

How have efforts gone to train his magnificent animal?  Well, let’s just say that Johnny isn’t planning on racing him.  With typical Irish wit and understatement, Johnny summed up his experience by saying, “He’s as good as you could expect for a zebra.”  But he added that the beautiful animal makes a very nice pet.  Who knew?

If you’d like a more traditional four-legged ride, we suggest several horse-back riding experiences that are…well, they don’t involve a zebra, but they are amazing!

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Lola Montez, The Irish faux Spanish Beauty

Elizabeth Gilbert, daughter of 15-year-old Eliza Oliver from County Limerick, was born in 1821.  Her mother, who married an English officer, went off with family in tow to India when Elizabeth was just two years old.

Oh, dear, like a tragic opera, her father died of cholera and her mother was married again.  (Her mother must have been quite glamorous, too.)

Surprise, Surprise!  Elizabeth was described as a spirited girl, a handful, and was sent to family in Scotland so she could learn to behave llike a lady.  It didn’t take.

Hot-tempered and gorgeous, Elizabeth scooted in and out of schools, and ran off with a soldier.  Surprise, surprise!  The marriage didn’t take, either and Elizabeth reinvented herself as Lola Montez, Spanish dancer.

Wealthy lovers funded her tours through Europe, and she even took over a country from a besotted King, becoming empress!

The rest of the story, and there is a lot more, about this amazing woman andher adventures will follow… Stay tuned!

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