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Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Bolton, United...
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Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

FRIDAY 29th

Weather wet, cold and very windy. 100km/winds

We decided to go to LISSADELL house because it was inside. We arrived early and were the first to take the tour at 1030am with our charming guide Joanne.

We learned so much from this delightful young woman about the house and it's history and also about Irish history. Well worth the E6 entry fee.

The house belonged to the Anglo-Irish, Gore-Booth family who lost alot of their fortune giving famine relief and passage to Canada to the farmers during the middle of the 1800's. It was the childhood home of Constance Markieviez and her sister Eva Gore-Booth who were both talented artists and Eva was a poet and the house is filled with their art and also poetry and art of others envolved with the family.

The sisters were both republican and politically active and Constance was one of the leaders of the ill fated 1916 uprising against British rule in Dublin.

The house is being restored by two Dublin barristers who are trying very hard to make this a very attractive place to visit.

Despite the freezing cold we had a wonderful and interesting visit to Lassadell house, we didn't walk around the gardens too much because of the weather but it must be beautiful in summer. Of course we had a pot of tea in the teashop and a tasty home made cake. The teashop is also decorated with lots of documents telling the story of the Gore-Booth family and again I learned alot. There is also a new exhibition hall with more memorabilia of constance Markieviez and the 1916 Easter rising.

Taking in the wildness and ruggedness of this coastine we then drove back to the N17 and because the weather was so bad we decided to drive up the coast to see a coastal town, with Benbuben on our right and the coast on our left we drove north to Bundoran.

The roads seem excellent and well maintained and there was only light traffic by UK standards. It may be heavier in the summer. They have the very good idea of a "slow lane" on the inside where you can move over to let people pass if you are taking your time, as we were, or for the heavy vehicles.

I didn't experience any impatience or road rage, and nobody tailgated me. Every time someone passed they blinked thier indicators to say thank you.

BUNDORAN was dissapointing. There is nothing more bleak than an out of season holiday resort on a cold wet windy day. Our hope of a walk along the front were dashed because the sand was blowing up in our eyes.

The only saving grace was a cup of hot chocolate in a smart little CAFE in CENTRAL ST down by the side of the Grand Central Hotel. Also my husband got to have a bet in the bookies!

So we made our way back in awful weather to Sligo calling at YEATS GRAVE in the church at DRUMCLIFFE. There is a visitor centre where we had tea and scones and sells memorabillia and an art gallery.

Near the Clarion Hotel we called breifly at the Famine Graveyard which we had passed every day and it intrigued me. This had been the mass grave for the victims of the famine in 1845-1847 and is now a sort of memorial garden. There is a very sriking statue of a tree as you enter the garden and for me it was a place to contemplate the hisory of the area and all the people who left. There is also a statue of people saying goodbye on the Quay car park known as the famine memorial, this is where thousands of people boarded ships to escape the famine.

At the Clarion lots of people were arriving for weekend conferences and still the rain came down!

In the evening we went out to a resturant that had been recommended to us called LAURAS in Carney on the way to Lassadell house. We were not dissapointed. Lauras looks like a typical village bar from ouside but inside you are taken to an extension at the back and treated to a great dining experience. They do specialise in fish but also sell organic chicken and other meat dishes.

We had Moules marinier to share, warm soda bread with chutney.Fillets of lemon sole wrapped around crabmeat, and saffron sauce. Hake in prawn sauce both accompanied by creamed potatoes and a plate of fresh veg, parsnip, cabbage, carrots, rattatoe. We were so full we passed on the puds but they looked delicious on the next table. With tea (no problem with tap water here they brought it without asking) the bill was E58 VERY good value for that quality of food and service. There was a good ambiance and very efficient and friendly staff. This was the best dining experience of the trip.

Back to the hotel to pack as we were leaving to drive back to the airport at 7am.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We flew with BMI baby from Manchester to Knock west of Ireland airport and paid £97(pounds) including airport taxes for two return flights.

You have to pay a E10 "development fee" each to the airport when you are flying out of Knock.

We stayed at The Clarion Hotel (4 star) and paid £67(pounds) per night room only.We had breakfast in the hotel one day which cost E18.We were given a suite which was lovely and the double rooms also looked just as nice only smaller and they also had big beds.

Car hire.Booked through Argus rentacar.com in association with cartrawler. We were quoted £73.25pounds for a type 2 car for 5 days. It did say on the confirmation that "this does not include any optional rental extras"BEWARE this sentance!

We hired the car from Irish Car Rentals and when we picked it up we were asked if we wanted to insure the E1200 excess on the insurance, Because I was so ill I agreed to this at E15 per day (E1200 seemed alot if we had a crash). We have also been charged E6.60 road tax, E25 LOC surcharge (whatever that is)and VAT and so the total bill is nearer to E200 or £170 pounds. I'm not happy about this and will complain to the company as it is not clear what extra charges will be made.

Petrol was E1.18 per litre.

BEST THING ABOUT MY TRIP. Meeting the Irish people. Everywhere we went we found VERY friendly and helpful people who would go out of thier way for you.

I think Lassadell house was also a highlight because I learned so much.

THING I WOULD CHANGE. Perhaps go in a different season and the flu seriously hampered our ability to go walking which we had planned. There lots of places I didn't see so I will have to go back. I think a visit to Bundoran should be made in the summer.

THANKS to everyone who posted advice to me on this forum the information came in very useful.

If you have read all this trip report I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for any spelling and grammar mistakes.

Knocknarea
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Rosses Point
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1. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Hallo grndma

I have enjoyed reading about your visit to co. Sligo so much!

You have a vivid writing style; I could picture so many of the places you mentioned :-).

What a shame you weren't feeling 100% - well, I guess that means you'll just have to go back again - and that's not a bad thing, is it?

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your visit to Sligo with us :-)

Maryland
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2. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

"We have also been charged E6.60 road tax, E25 LOC surcharge (whatever that is)and VAT and so the total bill is nearer to E200 or £170 pounds. I'm not happy about this and will complain to the company as it is not clear what extra charges will be made."

The "LOC" surcharge is a rip-off fee charged for picking up the car at an aiport. I think the "LOC" just means "Location" but I'm open to correction.

I've made my own acronym for it but it's not suited for a public forum lol.

I don't know why the car hire companies don't just fess up and put these fees on the initial quote. There's always a "surprise" when you show up to pick up the car. Autoeurope is one exception to this, they always disclose all the details in their quote.

Thanks again for your report!

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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3. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

"We have also been charged E6.60 road tax, E25 LOC surcharge (whatever that is)and VAT and so the total bill is nearer to E200 or £170 pounds. I'm not happy about this and will complain to the company as it is not clear what extra charges will be made."

The "LOC" surcharge is a rip-off fee charged for picking up the car at an aiport. I think the "LOC" just means "Location" but I'm open to correction.

I've made my own acronym for it but it's not suited for a public forum lol.

I don't know why the car hire companies don't just fess up and put these fees on the initial quote. There's always a "surprise" when you show up to pick up the car. Autoeurope is one exception to this, they always disclose all the details in their quote.

Thanks again for your report!

usa
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4. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Thank you for a beautifully written report grndma! We are headed over in April and my children and I will spend a day in Sligo while my husband plays at Rosses Point. Looking forward to seeing some of the sights that you did and wishing I had the writing gift that you do to provide an interesting report when I return!

Hope you are feeling better!

2and2

Cavan
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5. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

To say that Constance Markievicz and her sister were both Republican is a little misleading. They were first and foremost Socialists in the mould of Scotsman James Connolly seeking better conditions for the working classes in Dublin and voting rights for women. Constance involvement in the Citizens Army was to motivate people including youth into a single voice. Events that followed 1916 might today be looked upon as Republicanism but then it was seeking the right to self government dominion status within the framework of a British commonwealth. The Gore-Booth's were an Anglican family and it is noted that Constance changed to Catholicism only a short time before she died most likely because her childern from the marriage to Count Markievicz were Catholic from birth.

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6. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Cavan, Grnma was making a very intelligent effort at passing on what she remembered of a visit to a tourist site. She wasn't doing a doctorate in Irish history. It doesn't really matter that it may not have been entirely accurate, interested tourists will get information for themselves, and anyone who is otherwise interested will research further. Sorry if this comes across a bit abrupt, but I think you were being a bit picky. :-)

Bolton, United...
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7. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Thanks for your clarification Cavan007.

Before I went to Ireland, like many English people I knew very little about Irish history. What I did know was probably influenced by "anti-terorist propaganda" during the troubles. I now have a much more balanced view of Irish history.

"Republican" to me just means someone who supported the Irish ruling themselves instead of being ruled by the British govornment. My apologies if there were any other connotations.

I found Constance and Eva fascinating characters and had great admiration for them sticking to their political principles. I believe Eva died on hunger strike for her ideals in Manchester and Constance was sentenced to death, which was later commuted.

I got the impression that the Gore-Booth family although Anglo-English landlords and Protestant were not exploitative, like alot of other English landlords who let their people starve. The Gore-Booths seemed to have a family culture of care about people and basically were not afraid to literally put thier money where their mouth was.

As the next poster said I have come home and researched more Irish history as my visit has now stimulated an interest.

Dublin, Ireland
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8. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Well said, Doneraile.

Grndma - I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and I enjoyed reading your reports. Constance Markievicz is widely regarded in Ireland as a republican. In fact she was elected to the British Parliament for Sinn Fein representing Dublin South in 1923 but never took her seat as her party had an abstentionist police (so while she was the first woman to be elected to Westminster, Nancy Astor became the first woman to actually take her seat). CM was also a socialist and a trade unionist, as was James Connolly, who founded the Irish Socialist Republican Party. Connolly and Markievicz both believed that national and economic freedom for Ireland were indivisible - you could not have one without the other. During this period the republican, trade union and suffrage movements were strongly linked and many figures such as CM and James Connolly were involved in all three. Both were also strong supporters of women's emancipation. Not sure what Cavan 007's point is about CM being Anglican - a number of prominent republicans in Irish history were Protestant, including Theobald Wolfe Tone and Thomas Davis. Wolfe Tone, widely regarded as the father of Irish republicanism,was like CM a member of the privileged Protestant Ascendancy.

I agree with you about the general lack of awareness in the UK around Irish history. I lived there for a number of years and was continually surprised by this, even among people who regarded themselves as well educated in terms of history. My English husband says he learned no Irish history at all at school, and this seems to have been the experience of all of my English friends. English friends who have come to visit me here have been really fired up by finding out certain aspects of Irish history and have decided to find out more. If you would like to read up more about Constance and Lissadell, I enjoyed the following books which you should be able to get on Amazon. If not, the Irish bookstore Easons has an online shop which I used regularly to source Irish related material when I was living in the UK.

- "Constance Markievicz: An Independent Life", by Anne Haverty

- "The Gore-Booths of Lisadell", by James Dermot

Happy reading.

Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

OOOOOOPS! Sinn Fein had an "abstentionist policy", not "an absentionist police"!

Napa Valley
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10. Re: Trip report Sligo, February 2008 (long) part three

Because history is written by the victor. My English grandmother, during her US citizen test interview, when asked what she could relate about 1812 answered, "What does Napoleon's invasion of Moscow have to do with American history?" She passed.

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