Part 2…Irish history…Connemara Heritage and History Centre…Marconi and the first telegraph station…

From this site: “In 1896, Marconi, just 21, left Italy for England, where he hoped to drum up interest in a contraption he had invented: a box that could send Morse code signals across a room without any connecting wires. This was, quite simply, the first transmission of information by radio waves. Marconi called it “wireless telegraphy” — an improvement on the dominant technology of the day, the telegraph.”

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
“Irish
weddings are elegant and large celebrations. Grooms dress in kilts that signify
their family’s clan, while brides dress in white to signify their purity.
Family members travel far and wide to attend weddings, and the receptions are
always massive celebrations involving beer and music.”

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Today, we’ve included a number of photos of historical items we discovered at the Connemara Heritage and History Centre.  The rich history of Ireland will continue during our remaining time on the island.  Yes, Ireland is an island.  At times we can imagine it is connected to other European countries: “Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic with Just under 4.8 million living in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

The small theatre at the Connemara Heritage and History Centre where we watched a movie about Connemara.

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are two distinct countries:  “Ireland or the Republic of Ireland as it is officially named is now a completely separate country and has no longer any formal bond to the UK. Northern Ireland, on the other hand, is still a part of the UK (the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), together with England, Scotland and Wales.”

Items used in distilling.

Ireland became part of the United Kingdom in 1801. … The British government was forced to partition the six most north-eastern counties of the new Irish state to form Northern Ireland, in fear that Protestant civil unrest in Ulster would otherwise turn into a civil war against the new state.

These two glass cases contained a variety of items used in daily life in Ireland, many from centuries ago.

Ninety years ago Ireland was split in two after people living there went to war against their British rulers. The south became a separate state, now called the Republic of Ireland. But the break-up led to decades of unrest and violence in Northern Ireland, which remained part of the UK.


We are currently living in the Republic of Ireland, not Northern Ireland as shown in the map below:

Map of Ireland
I must admit I was ignorant of some of these facts.  Having no Irish heritage I paid little attention to its history, battles, and lifestyle.  Now, living here I’ve taken an interest in learning as much as I can, as often is the case as we travel from country to country.
Ireland has quite a history of uprisings beginning in 1534 as listed at this link.
Tom, on the other hand, is a wealth of information based on his interests in history and Irish ancestry.  After taking a DNA test a few years ago, it was determined he was nearly 100% Irish which is more than many who’ve lived their lives on the island.

Fortunately, I can readily ask him questions that arise in our day-to-day lives and gather more detailed information through online research.  We both share our curiosity and desire to learn something new each day we are here.
A variety of pots, trunks, and utensils used in Irelands over the centuries. 
With only 76 days remaining in our time here, we hope to get out more and more as I continue to heal.  Several of our devoted readers, including loyal reader Adele, whom we met with her husband, Wally in May 21013 at a hotel in Barcelona as we all waited for an upcoming cruise to the Middle East, wrote to me last night inquiring as to how I am doing.
Connemara marble is described as follows from this site: “Connemara is bounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and encompasses a wide variety of natural and semi-natural habitats, reflecting its great geomorphologic and geological complexity. It also has diverse economic resources. Among the more unusual are extensive deposits of soapstone and veins of green marble and vivid white quartz. In Neolithic times, the green marble was traded as far away as Lough Gur, County Limerick, and possibly to the Boyne Valley. ‘Connemara Marble’ is a serpentine-rich rock, popular since ancient times as a decorative facing stone. With its ‘forty shades of green’ and its wild patterns, it represents perfectly the landscapes of the Emerald Isle. Connemara Marble inspired artists, architects, and artisans throughout the world. Jewelry and other small objects such as key rings, coasters, and crosses are also made with this unique stone.”
I hadn’t mentioned anything for several days assuming our readers were tired of reading about my health.  I’m tired of my health as well! For an update…we continue to treat the remaining open wound on my left leg every two days.  It is healing albeit slowly.  As mentioned earlier, it could be a few months until it fully heals.
The first commercial telegraph station was in Ireland.
In the interim, I am feeling relatively well, continuing to walk daily but have yet to reach my goal of 10,000 steps in one day.  A few days ago, I made it to 9500 steps but the next day, my legs felt heavy and weak.
Various tools used in fishing and farming.
When we visited the Connemara Heritage and History Centre, we ended up walking up a few steep hills.  I paid dearly for that, not with my heart racing which handled it fine but with my legs.  After all, it was only 56 days ago, I had the second surgery on both of my legs.  

Generally, one is expected to be ambulatory after any surgery within eight weeks.  I hope by continuing improving by walking which will aid in escalating the healing process.
An old sewing machine and statue of an Irish woman.
Many have commented I’m pushing it too hard this early on.  But, forcing oneself to exercise regularly requires discipline and determination and pushing ahead, works best for me.  I’m not hurting anything in doing so, just occasionally having to step it back a little.

I am now able to cook and perform most household tasks.  I no longer have to rely on Tom to do everything for me other than help with the continuing treatment on my left leg every other day.  
Note the date of this poster, June 15, 1728, offering a reward for the capture of two “highwaymen,” robbers who stole from travelers.
Tom carries items upstairs to leave my hands free to maneuver the steep spiral staircase when going up and down.  Of course, he helps with meals, does all the dishes and participates in a variety of household tasks.

Hopefully, soon we’ll get out more often.  For now, I am pacing myself as I continue to recover.

Thanks, Adele and all of our other readers who’ve inquired and continue to read my endless descriptions of this difficult and challenging healing process. We’ll stay in today.  The wind is blowing fiercely and its raining. 

Have a fantastic day and above all, be well. 

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Photo from one year ago today, May 27, 2018:

Frank and Mrs. Frank had been busy working at building a nest in the bush in our yard.  But, they never had a single chick while we were there.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…Irish history…Connemara Heritage and History Centre…

The entrance to the Connemara Heritage and History Centre located near Clifden.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
When
children are little, each birthday it is traditional to pick up the child, turn
them over and bump their head gently on their birthday cake. The child’s head
is bumped once for each year they have lived. It is believed that partaking in
this tradition brings good luck and good fortune to the child.”

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Yesterday, upon arrival at the Connemara Heritage and History Centre, we took photos of the exterior.  It was a rainy and misty day prompting up to visit an indoor venue but we weren’t disappointed when we entered the gardens which we had no idea were so lovely and worthy of photos, rain or shine.

Beautiful flowers lined the parking area.


A sunny day would have ideal for many of the photos we’ll share here over the next few days. But, we decided we won’t keep the weather from preventing us from getting out and about unless it’s raining heavily.  The narrow winding roads are dangerous enough on sunny days.

A tractor pulling a trolley car is used for tours to the centre.


Once we paid the senior discounted entrance fee of Euro 7.5, US $8.40, and walked through the shops we were escorted to a small movie theatre where we watched a 20-minute video on the history of Connemara including the sorrowful story of Dan O’Hara, a local man, and his family who’s life story is heartbreaking.

There are numerous streams running through the scenic grounds of the centre.


Many farmers and families enjoyed a good life, although not easy, in Connemara up until the Great Famine as described below from this site:


“The Great Famine, or the Great Hunger, was a period in Ireland between 1845 and 1849 of mass starvation, disease, and emigration. Wikipedia
Start date: September 13, 1845
End date1849
Impact on demographics: Population fell by 20–25% due to mortality and emigration
Did you know: Great Irish Famine is the second-deadliest disaster in Great Britain and Ireland by death toll (1,000,000 to 1,500,000).”
Overlooking a stream.

In part, the video we watched focused on the Dan O’Hara family, the history of which must have been passed down over the generations.  The Connemara Heritage and History Centre dedicated the facility to his and his family’s memory with grace and dignity.


The centre is located within a 20-minute uphill walk on a rocky road to the remainder of the homestead and barn of Dan O’Hara.  Fortunately, we were able to drive to the historic home and grounds.

Once indoors, we paid the entrance fee of Euro 7.5, US $8.40, the senior rate.


Over the years private and well-known public figures from around the world have dedicated the planting of a tree to the grounds as stated here from the centre’s website:


“Plant Your Roots in Ireland

Dan O’ Hara’s Homestead, the award-winning Connemara Heritage & History Centre has been welcoming visitors from all over the world for many years. Situated in the Gaeltacht and dedicated to the memory of the immortalized Dan O’ Hara who along with his wife and seven children was evicted from this homestead by his landlord in 1845. Along with so many more people from Connemara and Ireland during this era, he was forced to immigrate on the coffin ships to the US.”
The restaurant was quiet at 10:30 am.  Surely during tours, this facility would have been busy.

“Unfortunately, his wife and 3 of his children did not survive the journey and needless to say he arrived in New York a very broken man. Dan O’ Hara’s homestead offers a very unique insight into the life and times of Connemara during the 19th Century along with the history of the region not to mention a verse of the renowned Ballad Dan O’ Hara.


As part of our commitment to the continued and sensitive development of the Connemara Heritage & History Centre and to Dan O’ Hara’s memory and those of the many Irish who were forced to leave their homesteads for America we have developed “A Roots from Ireland Park.”

The Irish wear sweaters, flannel shirts, and fleece-lined jackets to stay warm in the cool summer months and snowy winters.  We have sufficient warm clothing with us and didn’t make a purchase.

“Here we will plant indigenous Irish Trees, Ash, Alder, Hawthorn and Sycamore Trees which can be dedicated to your ancestors, a family member or a good friend. A personalized plaque at the foot of the tree will accompany each tree planted and the person for whom it is chosen will receive a Certificate of Ownership for their home or office wall.”


Ironically, the above-mentioned song, Dan O’Hara, was sung by Finbar Furey at the Minnesota Irish Fair on August 8th, 2015.  The link for the song may be found here at this link.

More in the gift shop, filled with Irish memorabilia and trinkets of high quality.

Both of us were touched by this sad story and when we left the centre’s main building and gardens to visit Dan O’Hara’s home and grounds, it all had a special meaning, especially to Tom.  


As we’ve mentioned in the past, Tom’s ancestors are from Ireland, many from nearby counties and many who immigrated to the US from the 1830s to the 1850s as they escaped the devastating famine and sailed across the sea after considerable loss of loved ones and a life of hard work on the land.
These 30 breeds of sheep may be found in Ireland.  We’ve already encountered several.


Tomorrow, we’ll return with more photos and history of the life of the people of Connemara.  It is indeed special to learn about the island of Ireland and its rich history and determined people.


For our loved ones and friends in the USA, have a safe and meaningful Memorial Day weekend.  For our friends throughout the world enjoy the weekend and holidays in your countries at this time.

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Photo from one year ago today, May 25, 2018:

A face of a cape buffalo only a mother could love spotted in Kruger National Park.  For more photos, please click here.