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Monday, 16 March 2015

A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!

In honour of the fact that tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would pay tribute to the wonderful character of the Irish. During our visit (almost three years ago – wow!), the people we met certainly lived up to their reputation of being friendly and welcoming.

Many of them, from cab drivers to bartenders, can give you dates and details from their long and varied, but sadly often tragic, history. And they have a sense of humour that can be dry and slightly sarcastic, but is ever present.

I think it is from this combination of history and humour that their eccentricity also comes. We found much evidence of it throughout the country, some steeped in folklore and some just plain funny!



Dublin, a truly beautiful city, has dotted its streets with statues of historical figures, giving visitors a peek not only at history, but its cultural and literary heritage as well. These statues have been nicknamed by the locals, usually something catchy and rhyming, though slightly derogatory.

 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
Molly Malone statue, Dublin   (c) Menopause Moi
 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
James Joyce statue, Dublin   (c) Menopause Moi









The Molly Malone statue, centrally located, has several nicknames, among them ‘The Tart with the Cart’ or ‘The Trollop with the Scallops’. 

James Joyce is affectionately known as ‘The Pr**k with the Stick’!










 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
Trolls under the bridges, River Liffey, Dublin   (c) Menopause Moi

This picture just plain-ol’ made me laugh. The words were painted at the crosswalk onto the Queen’s Street Bridge, near where we stayed, and were painted in both directions! Too funny!




 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
St. Patrick's Cross, Rock of Cashel
(c) Menopause Moi

Our first stop outside of Dublin was at the Rock of Cashel, a cathedral on a hill, high above the Plains of Tipperary. In front of the cathedral building is the remnant of St. Patrick’s Cross. Legend has it that those who can wrap their arms around it completely will never need to worry about dental work ever again.

 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
Hubby assures himself of no more dentists!
(c) Menopause Moi

No-one could tell us why exactly, though we suspect alcohol might have been involved. My Hubby (Monkey Man!) managed it easily, so no more cavities for him!



 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
King Puck, Killorglin   (c) Menopause Moi

This fellow is King Puck, famous in the town of Killorglin. As you see below, a goat becomes king for the duration of Puck Fair, a weekend of revelry by all accounts, that we unfortunately (?) missed. They claim the origins of this tradition are lost in the mists of time, but I would definitely say it was more like an alcoholic fog in this case!

 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
Legend lost in the mists of something!
(c) Menopause Moi



 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
"No Mama, let me go..."!   (c) Menopause Moi
A warning sign at the Cliffs of Moher proves that nothing is sacred from the comedians in Ireland.




 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
Me, kissing the Blarney Stone - the world's most unflattering photo!
(c) Menopause Moi
And finally the grand-daddy of all Irish eccentricities – kissing the Blarney Stone. Legend here has it that if you kiss the stone you will receive ‘the gift of the gab’. It was a challenge for me, given that I'm only five feet tall, and it’s quite terrifying as you dangle upside-down at the top of a ruin with a complete stranger manhandling you! And after all that, I don’t think it even worked!


 A Love Letter to Irish Eccentricity!
The view from Blarney Castle  (c) Menopause Moi

 This is the view from the top of Blarney Castle though – incredibly beautiful. I have to say, I loved almost every minute of my time in Ireland. The people, the scenery and the traditions all gave me reason to be proud of my heritage.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!


6 comments:

  1. I absolutely loved this! I've been dreaming of going to Ireland and plan to one of these days, but this was a very nice substitute for the time being!

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    1. Thanks, Rena! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It was fun to write, bringing back some great memories. If you ever do get the chance to go to Ireland, I highly recommend it - beautiful place!

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  2. Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've been thinking about my trip to Ireland today, too!

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    1. And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you too, Joy. A trip to Ireland is one I'd certainly do again. Lovely people,lovely place!

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  3. Lovely lovely pictures and stories! And fun to find out where the name Puck Fair came from - there's a very nice pub near where I work that's named Puck Fair (and their sign features a goat), and I never thought to to investigate where the curious name came from, but here you have it, goat and all!

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie! I'd love to know where that pub is!! I wouldn't have thought too many people outside of Killorglin would know about Puck Fair - but that's just me! And as you say, they even have the goat - wonderful!

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