Monday, May 4, 2009

The Hag's Bed Is More Comfortable Than You Might Think ...

Bank Holiday Monday here in Cork, weather overcast but warm, getting some writing done, one step forward two steps back. I never liked Bank Holidays...
Yesterday, feeling the need to be out somewhere doing or seeing something of value, I gave myself a history lesson, took myself off to the beautiful seclusion of Glanworth, one of north Cork's true hidden treasures. Take a left at Fermoy, follow the twists and turns for a few miles and there it is, home to the oldest public bridge in Ireland (and possibly in Europe), a place too picturesque even for postcards.
Every step you take in a place like Glanworth counts for something, whether you know it or not. Here you stand in one of the three ancient capitals of Munster, and the way to properly appreciate a town like this is to take it at a walk, to breathe and to feel and to stand in the very spots where the stories had played themselves out. Here was where Tommy Barry led an ambush on the Black and Tans back in the day, 1919. Two men down, identity parades, and small miracles. Or this bridge, standing since the mid-15th century, a magnificent structure spanning thirteen arches long and strong over the babbling River Funcheon: blown by "the boys" back in Civil War times, blown up, priest and all.
Of greatest interest to me, though, was The Hag's Bed, the Labbacallee Megalith, a 5000 year old wedge tomb of incredible size and proportion situated a mile or so out of town. Ancient almost beyond compare, older than the pyramids at Giza, as old as Stonehenge.
In Glanworth, if you are of a particular mind, you can feel the history everywhere on a quiet Sunday afternoon.
It was a pretty good day, actually,

Dylan's Together Through Life playing incessantly in the backround

No comments:

Post a Comment