It is sunny, windy, and cold. We are traveling to Gowran (pronounced Goran) and I am slathered down with extract of green-lipped mussels. Don't ask me how or what they extract because I really don't want to know, however my back is thoroughly trashed from our ring fort climbing and this stuff seems to be providing some relief. By this morning I could barely walk down the stairs and down the path to the breakfast room but somehow I forced myself to make the effort :-)
We arrived at Father Donley's residence for our morning appointment and he showed us into the front room where he presented us with the computerized list of all the information that is recorded (actually it is only a brief summary and not complete) and then, he began bringing out these wonderful old, old record books. Without further ado he "leaves us to it" and here we are with priceless records and we're not even required to wear white cotton gloves much less warned to make no marks on the pages as previous researchers have done. We are bent over the books and half-blind when we find the one gem of the day: Catherine Muldowney,
John's great great grandmother, appears to have been born, raised, and buried in Dungarven, "just up the road" from Gowran. Gowran is where Catherine and Patrick were recorded as married, but until now that is all we knew about them. We do not know where John's great great grandfather, Catherine's husband, was buried, but reading the records, it would appear that he died before Catherine and that she went back to her family and was buried in the church yard there. Leaving a note of thanks for Father Donley, we head out with high hopes for Dungarven.
This is possibly one of the most beautiful village church and church yard I have yet seen in Ireland. It is very old and the graves, shrubs, and vines have not been well-tended giving it a feeling of eternal peace. Unfortunately, it also has no legible grave stones except for a few recent memorials erected to mark known sites of family grave plots. Unfortunately, there is no such memorial for Catherine or any of the Muldowneys. We leave Dungarven with no further information but knowing that John's great great grandmother was buried somewhere is this lovely old yard.
We switch gears
John's great great grandmother is buried somewhere in this yard.
to art journey and travel on to Kilkenny to the Design Center in search of Castle Arch Ceramics. It is nothing like the Thomastown Pottery Skills Center and we spend little time there. However, next to Castle Arch Ceramics is the Black Bird Gallery. What a wonderful gem--so wonderful that I seriously consider buying a painting that I have a total art crush on. John decides that it is time to feed me before I cash in my return plane ticket and do something really silly. We lunch in the Design Center cafeteria looking through round windows onto the courtyard. The food is not bad but the view is to die for.
Travelling back to Lawcus Farm we find that Ann-Marie has done the rest of our laundry-bless her! I wander down to the breakfast room to make a pot of tea, rub more green lipped mussel extract on my nether regions, and curl up with a murder mystery. John uses the time to take a long ramble through Lawcus Farms. We have early dinner reservations at Sol Bistro in Thomastown--I just love Thomastown and this will be our last chance to visit on this trip-- and find the
food just as good as it was our previous trip. It's a lovely drive through the country back to our B and B. The house is quiet and we are in bed early. Tomorrow is another day of searching in old record books; this time in Carrick-en-Suir, County Tipperary.
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