Saturday 9th February 2019
Day 11 Newmarket Johns bridge Liscarroll Churchtown
Track, Easy and a few steep climbs.
Stamp. Casey's quickpick at St Johns bridge.
Follsins amber filling station and Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarrol
Yesterday turned out to be an enforced day off from walking due to weather conditions. Storm Eric arrived during the night and hadn't let up enough for safe road walking. Memories of last year's episode on the Calzada Romana on the Camino Frances.when I was blown off my feet from the road and into the drain, luckily this road is only used by a few farmers.
As this stage of our route is on roads and there are two Schools that we know of, it was too risky with sudden gusts and rain making driving conditions difficult. Our heads found it difficult not to walk today, but we knew it was the best thing to do. We used the time to rest and housekeep.
We set off from Millstreet before 7 as we were awoken at 5 a.m by a gathering of people traveling by coach which finally moved away at 6 am. We drove both cars to Newmarket,left the panda, then drove on to Liscarroll. We can the walk about 8am..
The morning was so beautiful that we had walked the 8k to St. Johns bridge in a jiffy. Here we crossed the bridge over the river Allow where O'Sullivan's men fought off a small party of forty footsoldiers and 8 on horseback. They had been sent by Captain Cuffe from Liscarroll Castle to stop O'Sullivan from crossing Bellaghan Ford, where St Johns bridge is now. Four of O'Sullivan's family died here and there were heavy casualities. The wounded were left behind and with the aid of the local s made a full recovery, some stayed on and married into the locality, where their descendants still live today, and are known as The Beres.
The Casey's in the shop here at St. John's Bridge gave us a great welcome, and pointed out the location of the attack and where the soldiers were buried.
From here we walked uphill to Lismire stopping off to visit Kilmacow cemetary, where Sankey a local landlord who was so good to the people here that permission was given for him to be buried among them. It is said that the Kilmacow drum can be heard to beat from his grave when a local person is about to die, but not everyone can hear it.
As we were leaving four large dogs gave us a right fright before the owner arrived to reassure us. We were glad to part company with them.
In Lismire we took a few minutes for food on a brightly coloured seat, and stopped at the crossroads to read the information signs including the commerative plaque to O'Sullivan who passed this way.
Down into the valley of priory woods we discovered some beautiful mushrooms. The descent and rise are so steep we are walking at a 45 degree angle almost touching our toes. On uphill a little more before descending into Newmarket where we picked up penny. We drove back out to Liscarroll. We viewed the Castle in Liscarrol l the third largest Norman Castle in Ireland it is still in a good state of repair. As it is still early in the day and the weather was good we decided to walk a little more.we left penny in Churchtown and walked back to the Castle stopping off at the Donkey Sanctuary to have the passport stamped on our return. The woman here was so interested in our walk, she had trouble locating the stamp but was as pleased as we were when it 9 eventually found.
On our return to Churchtown we saw the horse trainer Vincent O'Brien's statue in the town centre, and were encouraged to visit the English actor Oliver Reid's grave.
We had the passport stamped in O'Brien's bar before partaking in a fish and chip and settling into jack the lad for the night.