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Friday, 26 August 2011

My round trip August 2011-part 2-Rosslare Ireland

I've enjoyed my extended weekend in County Cavan and Fermanagh but I need to get down to Rosslare since I'm boarding the boat at 8am.
In my 44 year association with Ireland the roads have improved out of all recognition.
And also in that time there have been many humorous incidents (although,possibly not while they were happening).I think this could be the time to relate possibly the funniest.

It was the late 70's and we'd flown over on this occasion from Leeds/Bradford airport.Our four daughters were aged between 4 or 5 and 11 or 12.
It was our last night in Glangevlin and a lift had been arranged to take us to Dublin Airport in the morning.
A certain brother in law was going to visit a cousin and he persuaded me to go along.The drink literally flowed.We got home at 2am in the morning after I'd pebble dashed the side of his car.

With the mother of all hangovers we waited for our lift,another cousin was taking us.Also going to the airport in the same transport was another cousin who happened to be a nun.
Cutting it a bit late the transport arrived.It was a Bedford van and the seating was a three piece suite.The nun was already in one of the chairs.

Our driver was Peter,he won't mind me naming him since he's already had quite a few glasses of porter on the tale.The only way to describe Peter's appearance is 'wild'.A long red beard sprouting in all directions and hair to match.There was only room for the driver in the front and some of the luggage.

My wife,the kids and the nun took up the suite while I,still very badly hung over sat on a stool in the corner.
It was a bone-shaking drive and I had my head in my hands for most of it.

Disaster struck around Swords, north of Dublin,we got a puncture.........
Peter popped his head in the back and said he'd be as quick as he could,we should still make our flights.

It was about this time a Guarda (police) van came along.Seeing a wild looking red haired man in an old Bedford van changing a puncture the guard got suspicious and stopped.
Now what I've neglected to tell you about Peter is the way he talked in those days.As well as the occasional stutter his words came out like a machine gun,staccato style.This made the guard even more suspicious and demanded Peter open the back of the van to see what he was carrying.

I can still see the expression on the guards face to this day as the back door of the van opened.A nun and a family wide eyed sitting on a three piece suite and me with the look of death and my eyes pleading with him to help me die.
When the guard had recovered from the shock of the situation and had received some goodly words from the Sister he rolled his sleeves up and helped mend the puncture.
His good deed hadn't quite finished yet though.Once he realised how little time we had to get to the airport,on came the blue light and we now had a police escort.The madcap rush that followed (I'm sure we were on two wheels at every corner) soon had me sober and we made our plane with just minutes to spare.The nun going on to New York also made her flight.
That's the story as I remember it.Peter, when he tells the story, has a few embellishments.

This although a long drive was very uneventful. I decide to go down the scenic route via Lough Allen,Leitrim and Carrick on Shannon.It's not long before I'm on the N4 at Longford.Then comes the motorways the M4 and the Dublin circular M50 leading onto the E1-N11 to Wexford.

Arriving at Rosslare Harbour my first task was to find accommodation for the night.I somehow didn't fancy the Hotel Rosslare,so I turned round and went back about half a mile to where I'd seen a B & B.

Thirty euros seemed very reasonable so I booked myself in.
St Ruanes is a big rambling 18th century house where the delightful Marie Ruane Doyle and her husband are the owners.
Every wall in the passageways,dining room and lounges has some historic artefact or historical references in pictures and press releases.It's almost a museum that you'd be pleased to pay to look around.
With free Wi-Fi as well I was well pleased and I'm happy to recommend it.Here's another link.
 St Ruanes

Settled in I can take a look around Rosslare Harbour.(Rosslare Harbour is quite a distance away from the village of Rosslare,but is just about a town itself with lots of facilities)

Like most ports in Ireland there's a statue of 'Our Lady' looking out for the seafarers.

It's a nice enough afternoon at the waters edge.I zoom in for a look at the brave man swimming with the shipping.Maybe he'll see this sometime.It's a bit cheeky to post his picture,but I'll leave it up for the lady viewers titillation .

An RNLI station built 1938.
The lifeboats have been at Rosslare Harbour for 160 years.

It's colourful along the clifftop walk.

And has a tropical look about it.

Now here's a modern looking railway train.

This anchor must've been off a big ship.

I've a feeling the cannons are reproductions,but maybe I'm wrong.

This is the Norman Voyager ready for it's weekly voyage to Le Havre in France.

After a great nights sleep at St Ruanes I'm down at the check in in plenty time.
Irish Ferries are heading for Pembroke.

Having once been a stevedore myself,I watch with interest our casting off.

It's a much bigger ferry than the Stranraer to Belfast,but apparently when Stena move up to Cairnryan they'll be bigger again.

The riots in the English cities are still happening and there's a lot of youths on this boat...makes me wonder...I shouldn't be so suspicious.
They did consume a lot of alcohol on the crossing mind you.
Three and a half hours later I'm driving off at Fishguard.


  1. You tell a good story!

    Greetings from Minneapolis,


    p.s. Wasn't expecting the palm trees. Surprising!

  2. Thanks Pearl from Minneapolis,that's the way it happened.Looking through a few of your posts it seems you too tall a good tale.

  3. The story about your journey in the van is worthy of an after dinner speech. Perhaps you could re-invent yourself as an artist of some renoun. PS Not a p---s artist though you might get hangover.

  4. Hi Gordon,c'mere...there's more !
    ha ha.
    I've been meaning to put down in writing some of the more amusing moments and the 'Craic' from my visits to the Emerald Isle.Maybe this is the start.What next....a bra steeping...sorry...shteeping in the bath or 'get out o' that phone box before ye get fec*in shot'.
    Maybe I'll write that book.

  5. Aw dad, what an amazing story and very well told. hilarious... wish I could remember it.

  6. All sounds very Irish.Place I,ve always wanted to visit and
    explore over a couple of weeks travel.Dont know why I,ve not been yet as its not that far away.
    Enjoyed the post.


Thanks for all your comments. I may not get to reply to them all, but you may be sure they'll be appreciated.

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