Day 75: Donkey Show

Terryglass is a village near Lough Derg, one of the three lakes on the River Shannon and the third largest lake in Ireland. It was the site of a monastery founded by Columba of Terryglass. This St. Columba is not to be confused with the Irish monk who founded the monastery on Iona. There are at least fifteen Irish Saints with that name.

The village of Terryglass has two historic wells, the Eye Well and the Headache Well. The water from these wells is believed to have medicinal properties. Laetitia and her group stopped at Terryglass to see the two ancient wells and the ruin of the monastery that was burned by the Vikings in 1164. All that remains of the monastery is one wall that has now been incorporated into a pub. Laetitia and her group decided to see the wall from the inside while having a pint of Murphy’s Stout.

That afternoon they went to the Nenagh Agricultural Fair. Nenagh is a market town that serves the agricultural areas surrounding it. The fair featured Irish dancing, vintage cars and tractors, a best dressed lady contest, a boxing exhibition, modern farm machinery, and wild boars on display. Its most popular feature was the Annual Donkey Derby. This was ostensibly a race, but was mostly a contest to see who could stay seated on the donkey until the end of the racecourse. Once a mainstay of Irish farming, the donkey has now mainly been displaced by the tractor, but the animals remain popular and there were several on exhibit or for sale.

Laetitia talked to a young woman from Terryglass, who was upset because she thought the noisy behavior of her donkey might reduce its chance of being sold for a good price. The conversation inspired the limerick of the day.

A fine lass from the town Terryglass
Went to Nenagh to market her ass
Which she proudly displayed
Until loudly it brayed
Unbefitting an ass of high class.