Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Ten Of Our Most Haunted Places In Ireland

1.Glenuilin, Co. Derry.

It is said the first Vampire is buried here, he is supposed to be standing upright and upside down.

2.Cobh, Co. Cork

The renowned local White Witch reports that she and others have observed the mass funeral for the victims of the Lusitania as it moves from Cobh town to the Old Cemetery. Recently it was reported the footsteps of what sounded like hundreds of mourners were heard walking the road, when the gentleman who heard it, turned there was no one to be seen. 馃槻

3. Spooky Glendalough 馃懟馃懟馃懟.

Ever heard of the ghost of Kathleen at Glendalough? Kathleen is said to be the ghost of a woman in a Red Dress. It is said her ghostly form has appeared in photos taken in the area. The story has many forms as it dates back to the 500's, one of them says that St.Kevin whipped her with nettles and pushed her into a lake after she pursued him.

4. Biddy from Belfast.

Biddy's lover Luke left for fame in Dublin. Biddy pined after him and when Luke passed he left all his money to Biddy. It is said she drank herself to death in the hope of joining him. Unfortunately, it didn't work as planned as she is still seen roaming Smithfield Market looking for her beloved Luke.

5. Belvelly Castle, Co. Cork.

The castle is said to be haunted by Lady Margaret Hodnett, described as the faceless white lady. Lady Margaret was the fairest of the land and after refusing the hand of Clon Rockenby several times, he demanded she is taken to him forcibly. Her family held them off for three years and when they eventually surrendered, He meets her looking ashen faced and almost starved. Her brother killed Clon while he was nursing Lady Margaret and in his last words, he cursed her "Margaret, with my last breath I curse you. May you seek for mirrors forever, and never find them"

6. Kilmainham Gaol, Kilmainham, Co. Dublin.

There are lots of ghostly tales about Kilmainham Gaol. During its restoration, the caretaker Dan McGill reported lights mysteriously turning on and off in the prison chapel. Another man was decorating the 1916 memorial corridor when he heard heavy footsteps climbing the stone stairs and walking up behind him. When he turned, no one was in the corridor, despite the fact that the footsteps continued right past him. 

7. Ross Castle, Lough Sheelin, Co. Meath.

Legend has it that in 1536 Sabina met a young man named Orwin, son of an O’Reilly chieftain. The two fell in love, but they weren’t considered a good match, with Sabina being English and Orwin being Irish. they decided to elope and took a boat out onto Lough Sheelin,  Orwin meets his end in the lough and while Sabina survived she soon died of a broken heart. She still roams the castle looking for her love. 

8. Leap Castle in County Offaly.
Leap Castle is regarded as one of the most haunted places in Europe, a tour of its dark secrets reveals a deadly power struggle in the 1600s that resulted in a priest being slain by his brother as he said Mass in what is now known as the Bloody Chapel. In 1900 workers discovered a hidden sunken dungeon next to the chapel, its floor perforated with deliberately placed wooden spikes. Three cartloads of human bones were removed from the hellhole.

9. Grace Neill’s in Co. Down.

Originally built in 1611, Grace Neill ran the inn for many years until her death in 1918 a great age of 98. Neill was a woman with a big personality and enjoyed running her Inn but Grace hasn’t let her death stop her work. A ghost of an old woman in Victorian clothing has been seen around the Inn and her spirit can be seen at the front bar, straightening glasses and furniture and switching lights on and off.

10. Ballygally Castle, Antrim. 

Mediums who have stayed at the Castle have claimed there are as many ghosts as there are guests. 
One haunting concerns Lady Isobel Shaw, who, having given birth to a daughter, was locked in a tower by her husband because she couldn’t produce a male heir. Rather than starve, Isobel leapt to her death on the rocks below. Her ghostly figure can be seen wandering the corridors at night, knocking on guests’ doors crying for her daughter.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Galway (Ten Little Known Facts)

1. Galway is the best place to enjoy a good hooker.

The Galway Hooker is actually a traditional fishing boat used in Galway Bay! Of course there is now the Galway Hooker Beer so you can enjoy a "Galway Hooker" in every pub 馃槈. 

2. Lynching. 

Legend has it that the term Lynching comes from a hanging in 1493. The mayor of Galway city, James "Lynch" Fitzstephen hanged his own son for the murder of a young Spanish visitor. The mayor was both judge and executioner in the case as nobody else would dare carry out the execution of the Mayor's son.

3.❤Symbol of love❤

The Claddagh Ring is Galway’s own symbol of love and friendship, worn the world over.  

4. The Quiet Man.馃槸

In 1951, The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed in rural Co Galway, as well as nearby Cong.

5. The longest place name in Ireland? 

Galway is home to the longest place name in Ireland, Muckanaghederdauhaulia, which means “piggery between two briny places. Now say that backwards 馃榿.

6. Where did the White Star chairman Bruce Ismay take refuge? 

Ismay's reputation never recovered from the damage done to it by the Titanic disaster, and he kept a low profile afterwards. He took refuge at Costelloe Lodge, near Casla in Connemara.

7. Mandela & Galway.

On Friday, 20 June 2003, the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, was made an honorary graduate of NUIG (National University of Ireland Galway).

8. JFK Park.

The park at the centre of Eyre Square is officially called John F. Kennedy Park after the presidential visit of 1963 just five months before his assassination.

9. City of the Tribes.

Galway is nicknamed the City of the Tribes. Galway has named fourteen of their roundabouts after the fourteen tribes that founded the town.

10. Gailleamh, The Chiefs Daughter.

Once upon a time, there lived a chief and his daughter was called Gailleamh. One sad day she drowned in the river, the story goes that to mourn her death the chief founded a camp at the mouth of the river. This camp soon turned into a settlement and in honour of the chief’s daughter, it was named Gaillimh. Gaillimh is the Irish name for Galway. 

Friday, 14 September 2018

Dublin (Ten little known Facts)

 1. Dublin, "I am the one and only" 馃幎 Chesney Hawkes

Apparently not, there are twelve Dublins in the United States,  six in Australia and one in Canada. What can I say you know you are winning when you are being copied!

2. "Take me up to Monto, Monto, Monto"馃幎 George Hodnett

Monto was once the biggest red light district in Europe. The name is derived from Montgomery Street (now Foley Street). In its time from the 1860s - 1920s, there were up to 1,600 prostitutes working there at any one time. It was immortalised in the Nighttown chapter of Ulysses and by the folk song "Monto" written by George Hoddnet and later brilliantly sang by the Dubliners. 

3."I am not young enough to know everything" Oscar Wilde.

Dublin has the youngest population in all of Europe. Approximately 50% of the population is less than 25-years of age.

4.❤ Dublin is the capital city of love 

St Valentine, the saint for lovers all over the world is here in Dublin.

In 1836, Fr. John Spratt, an Irish priest, was given many tokens of esteem following a sermon in Rome. One gift from Pope Gregory XVI were the remains of St. Valentine and a small vessel tinged with his blood. The Reliquary was placed in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin. So if you are looking for love, leave a letter or light a candle at the shrine of St Valentine.

 5. The MGM lion Leo was born in Dublin.

The MGM lion was bred in Dublin Zoo. In fact, the first ever lion used in the original Goldwyn Pictures Corporation studio logo (1916–1928) was born in Dublin Zoo and his name was Slats. Slats didn't roar he preferred to people watch. The current roaring lion Leo used since 1957 in the MGM logo was also born in Dublin Zoo.

6. Confidence is always a good look!馃嵒

Arthur Guinness must have had a lot of confidence in his brewery when he took out the lease on St James’s Gate in 1759, as he took out a 9,000-year lease. Arthur was 100% right to believe in himself,  Guinness is the biggest selling stout in the world with 10 million glasses being sold every day in 150 countries.

7. O'Connell Bridge is wider than it is long. 

The only bridge in Europe that is wider than it is long. O'Connell Bridge measures approximately 45 metres long and 50 metres wide. It was originally opened in 1794 and named Carlisle Bridge.

8. Sir William Temple.

In 1599 Sir William Temple, a renowned teacher and philosopher, entered the service of the Lord Deputy of Ireland. In 1609, Sir Temple was made Provost of Trinity College, Dublin and moved to Ireland. He built his house and gardens on newly reclaimed land on the corner of Temple Lane and the street called Temple Bar.

9. Ireland’s National Treasure.

Ireland’s National Treasure is “The Book of Kells”, a sacred manuscript, which consists of the Four Gospels of the New Testament. It has long been associated with St Colum Cille (c 521-597 AD). The beautiful, gold book was made by Celtic Monks around 800 AD, and today lies in the Trinity College Library.

 10.Famous Alumni.

Trinity College, situated in the heart of Dublin city was originally set up at the request of Queen Elizabeth I. It has had some memorable graduates including Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and former Irish presidents such as Mary McAleese and Mary Robinson.

Bonus Fact.The St Patrick's Day Parade. 

Dublin stages the biggest and most colourful St. Patrick's Day Parade outside of New York. Half of Dublin's one million population plus more than a hundred thousand visitors from all over Ireland and abroad line the parade route and turn it into Ireland's largest street carnival.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Visiting Ireland

(Here's Our Top Tips)

Use Time Wisely

1. There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things. While Ireland is a relatively small country,  one of the biggest mistakes people make when planning their trip is underestimating how long it takes to travel around the country.
So choose the things you really would love to see and don't pack your itinerary to the top. There is something magical about exploring Ireland with a Driver/Guide and finding those hidden gems.

The Weather 

2.This lush green land is a result of lots of rain. Embrace this! The good news is it doesn’t have much in the way of extremes either way.  So the best way to be prepared is to bring lots of light layers, a good light rain coat, comfortable shoes and sunglasses to enjoy all the exploring.

Great Craic!

3.Ireland is famous for its C茅ad M铆le F谩ilte (100,000  welcomes), most Irish people love to talk with visitors. There is humour is almost everything you hear so relax, chat and listen you may find you make lots of friends.

The ‘Wrong’ Side Of The Road

4.We drive on the left-hand side of the road, Ireland is largely a rural country and rural traffic is our norm. Expect slow tractors, cows or sheep around every corner from March to October. Ireland is notorious for its long winding roads with breath taking scenery. So hire us at Butlers, sit back, relax and enjoy this beautiful country.

Never say No to a Cuppa

5. Go on, go on, go on! Sure a cuppa tea is good for you. We are a nation of tea drinkers and we believe we are expert tea makers. We believe all of life's woes can be remedied over a nice cup of tea.

Money Matters

6. We use the Euro in the Republic of Ireland and Sterling pounds in the North of Ireland.Travellers cheques/checks are not very convenient in Ireland as it can be hard to cash them so probably best to avoid them. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM/cash machines are common place.

Please note that $100.00 bills may not be accepted in many places including the banks.

We don’t all speak in Irish 

7. While most will have a "C煤pla focal" (a couple of words) it’s not necessary to be fluent in Irish before you arrive. English is our main language, not many people regularly speak in Irish in Ireland unless you’re wandering around in the Gaeltacht areas which may be well worth a visit. 


8. We have it all from luxury B&B's to 5 Star Hotels. A great tip from one of our guests is to stay in a B&B to experience Irish life and then book into a hotel on another stop on your tour to experience the excellent Irish Hotel hospitality also. 

Pack Your Smile 

9. We are but a small island with a big reputation! We have breathtaking landscapes, friendly people and steeped in fascinating history and folklore. One thing is certain you will not be disappointed!

T谩 s煤il againn a fheiceann t煤 go luath!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

 C贸bh, Co. Cork.

(Top Ten Interesting Facts) 

 2.5 Million Emigrated From Cobh.  

1. If you are of Irish descent, then there is a good chance that your ancestors left Ireland through the beautiful town of C贸bh (formerly Queenstown). C贸bh was the departure point for over 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to America between 1848 and 1950. 

First Person Processed Through Ellis Island.

2. Annie Moore was the first immigrant to the United States to pass through the Ellis Island facility in New York Harbour. She departed from C贸bh accompanied by her brothers Phillip and Anthony, aboard the steamship Nevada on the 1st of January 1892.

Picture credit Ireland's content pool. 

2nd Largest Naturally Protected Harbour.

3. C贸bh is situated on Great Island in Cork Harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world second only to Sydney Harbour.

A stunning view of Cork Harbour from The Promenade in C贸bh . Picture taken by Sarah Butler .  

Jack Doyle Was Born In C贸bh. 

4. Jack Doyle was know as a boxer, singer, actor, lover and a drinker. Jack was born on the 31st of August 1,913 in C贸bh. He knocked out Clarke Gable in a fight over actress Carole Lombard and he married the beautiful actress Movita, but it ended, like that of so many prizefighters of his time, in poverty.

Jack Doyle and his wife Movita

1st Steam Ship Transatlantic Crossing.

5. The paddle steamer ‘Sirius’ became the first ever ship to cross the Atlantic from this Harbour to New York without the aid of sail in 1838. Sirius left Cork from C贸bh, on 4 April and arrived in New York after a voyage of 18 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes .

St Coleman's Cathedral Took 47 Years To Complete.

6. Construction began in 1867 and was not completed until almost half a century later due to increases in costs and revisions of the original plans. The cathedral was finally consecrated in 1915.

Picture credit Ireland's content pool.

You've Heard Of U-Boats But Have You Heard Of Q-Ships? 

7In World War 1 the local dock yard on Hauwlbowline converted merchant ships into decoy vessels. These so-called Q-ships were designed to act as bait for the German submarine commanders. A Q-ship would appear to be an easy target, but it actually carried hidden arms. A typical Q-ship might resemble a Tramp steamer sailing in an area where a U-boat was reported to be. A Q-ship hoped to encourage the U-boat captain to make a surface attack. This was one of the closest kept secrets of WW1.

Picture of a typical U boat.

C贸bh People Supported 100's Of Lusitania Victims.  

8. 1,198 people perished on the 7th of May 1915 when the Lusitania was sunk off the Cork coast by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat. The people of C贸bh witnessed first-hand the trauma and heartbreak as the dead, injured and bereaved were brought to C贸bh and a makeshift morgue was set in up in the Voyager Pub in Casement square. Of the 289 bodies that were recovered, 169 were buried in the Old Church Cemetery just outside the town in 3 mass graves and 20 individual plots.

The coffins being taken up Harbour Hill, C贸bh .Picture Credit to John O'Flynn of Cobh Tour and Spike Island.

C贸bh Is The Most Populated Island in Ireland.

9. C贸bh or the Island the town C贸bh is on (Great Island) is by far the most populated island in Ireland. It is 5 times more populated than the 2nd largest Achill.

Picture credit Ireland's content pool.

Titanic's last port of Call.

10. The ill fated RMS Titanic undertook her first and only voyage in April 1912. The Titanic was the biggest and most luxurious liner of it's time as well as being deemed to be one of the safest ships afloat. C贸bh was her last port of call.