|Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne|
Saturday, September 13, 2014
village of Cong is as charming as its Abbey is beautiful. It's full of quaint cottages and interesting shops. The village name in Gaelic is Cunga Fheichin which means 'St. Feicin's narrows.' The village is built on a narrow limestone strip of land between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. The village's other claim to fame (besides its lovely Abbey)is that it was the home of Sir William and Lady Wilde, parents of Oscar Wilde. Although Oscar was born in Dublin, he returned frequently to his parental home just outside Cong saying 'it is every way magnificent.'
But what about Cong's American connection? You'll find it right here on the corner of main street. Cong was the site of John Ford's 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond, and Barry Fitzgerald. As you can see, Cong is very proud of that! Not only is there this life-size bronze statue, but you can also visit The Quiet Man museum which is located 'round the corner in the very cottage that was used as Mary-Kate and Sean Thornton's home in the movie. Of course, I had to buy the DVD when I found it in a Galway bookstore. It's your typical boy-meets-girl movie. True love is thwarted by Mary-Kate's nasty brother and a old Irish tradition regarding her dowry. But in the end, Sean beats up the brother, secures the dowry, and they all live happily ever after. You won't be watching this film for its plot! But do watch it for the stunning scenery (filmed on location in and around Cong) and its thrilling horse race.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Co. Mayo, Ireland
|Monks Fishing House|
There's more to see at Cong Abbey....but that's for next time.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014
After climbing over rock stiles and passing a small herd of curious cows, we came to this sacred hazel tree which stands guard at the entrance to Colman's domain....
Christine explained the tree's significance, and we each blessed it and asked for its blessing in return before continuing into the woods....
Here the path grew a little steeper and muddier. Pilgrims must endure, tho, so on we went....
until we came to the ruins of St. Colman's tiny oratory
and his holy well.
There is often a 'rag tree' standing beside a holy well. This is the one at St. Colman's well. The pilgrim ties a piece of rag or a ribbon on the tree asking in prayer for a special blessing. You can see this tree is well visited!
Then the pilgrim walks around the well three times going in the direction of the sun (clockwise) to complete the prayer. Some of our group also scrambled up a steep trail to have a look at St. Colman's cave in the cliffside.
Again in silence our pilgrim group walked back to our waiting van after another deeply meaningful day on the pilgrimage path in Ireland.
Friday, September 5, 2014
|Celia Griffin Memorial Park|
If you zoom in on the monument, you will see that it is a newspaper re-print of the official inquest report of Celia Griffin's death. She and her family had come into Galway seeking charitable relief from their starving condition. While Celia and her sister did receive one hot meal a day, it was not enough to improve her already extreme condition and she died. The park was established to honor all the Irish children who succumbed during this tragic time.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
|Galway shop fronts|