Saturday, July 22, 2006

Passed through Ballyporeen

This morning I caught the bus from Kilkenny to Cork City. The countryside at one point was gently rolling with lots of trees and very green - very attractive. Suddenly I saw a sign saying "Ballyporeen". Then I saw another sign about Ronald Reagan. I had not realised it was going to happen, but I passed through the village that my great-great grandmother, Catherine Henneberry, and her parents David and Mary, were from. (Ronald Reagan had ancestors from the very same village!) It was a brief view through bus windows and I grabbed a few quick photos but I guess it was better than nothing.

It was a bit of a climb to the hostel I am staying in in Shandon but it gives a view over the city - if you ignore the sight of the unkempt, graffitied cemetery right outside the window. Have just started exploring Cork and it looks like it has lots of interesting wee streets to explore.

As we drove here today I passed more shops and pubs with surnames of those I have known at school, work or as friends. So far in Ireland I have seen O'Donnell's, Ryan's, zillions of Murphy's, an O'Riordan bar and a J.Lalor pub. Yesterday I saw the tomb of a Dullany (pronounced Delany) who was founding abbot of Jerpoint. Butler House was prominent in Kilkenny. You name the surname of someone I know from NZ and chances are I have already seen a building with their name on it! I have seen two doubles of my friend Caroline and several young women who have reminded me of Erin. You all have doubles all you people of Irish ancestry in New Zealand!!!!

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