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.

Day 74: Trumpet Technique

Templemore is a North Tipperary town of about 2,300 inhabitants. Its name in Gaelic, An Teampall Mor, translates as “the big church.” Indeed, a large abbey was built there in the twelfth century. Laetitia and her group toured the ruined abbey and the ruin of the Black Castle, which was built in 1450 by the Butler family and abandoned after a fire in the nineteenth century.

The limerick of the day was based on gossip from the pub about a young woman who disliked trumpet lessons, but then came to enjoy them.

Young Cate from the town Templemore
Thought her trumpet instructor a bore
‘Til a duet that they
Played the triple-tongue way
Made her shriek and request an encore.

Day 73: Jabberwocky

Horse and Jockey is a village in Tipperary. The town name comes from an Inn of that name that at one time stood where the town is now located. Though a small place, the village is located at a crossroads and has a four-star hotel that features a spa. Since most of those that joined Laetitia’s tour today had done so for the spa, Laetitia made the necessary arrangements and then had some time to herself.

Somehow the village’s odd name reminded her of Lewis Carroll’s poem of nonsense verse, Jabberwocky, which appeared in Through the Looking Glass. The poem inspired the day’s limerick.

To some it may seem jabberwocky
Verse writ ‘bout that place, “Horse and Jockey”
But if you go to see
It in Tipperary
Please do be polite and not gawky.

Day 69: Al Fresco Fiasco

Clonmel is the county town of South Tipperary and home to about 15,000 people. Its Gaelic name, Clauin Meala, translates to “honey meadow.” The town is on the banks of the River Suir. Laetitia took her group on the Clonmel Heritage Trail and visited some ring fort remains in the area. Then, they visited Carey’s Castle before stopping at a Clonmel pub. The gossip in the pub about a local pair provided the limerick of the day.

In Clonmel, a young couple, O’Keefe
Who went out to make love on the heath
Found it prickled the hide
So they could not decide
Which of them would lie down underneath.