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The engineering super star – Bindon Blood Stoney

in Bridges/Dublin/Fresh/Lighthouses/Recent
Offaly Superstars - Lowry and Stoney

In 2019 Shane Lowry from Clara in County Offaly won the British Golf Open and underlined his international sporting superstar status. But Lowry was not the first bearded superstar from Offaly. Bindon Blood Stoney was born in County Offaly in 1828 and he would go on to be an engineering heavyweight – though without getting…

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Inspired by the Spire

in Dublin/Fresh/Monuments/Recent
Spire next to trees in Dublin

Monuments need to be reconsidered in order to see them in a fresh way.  But as we have seen from other articles here, they are very much part of their time, and often related to tourism. The Spire was installed in Dublin in 2003, and was hated by more people than it was loved. Now sixteen…

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Vartry Water Supply Scheme – Engineering Envy and a mention in Ulysses

in Dublin/Fresh/Recent/Science and Geography
Vartry water works

The Vartry Water Supply Scheme provides drinking water for a supply area stretching from Roundwood, through north Wicklow up to south Dublin and serves over 200,000 people. Not only was this an extraordinary feat of engineering, it also caught the imagination of James Joyce. 

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The dark side of a cliff – A sense of unfairness at Fair Head

in Featured/Fresh/Geology/Nature/Recent

On my last evening in Ballycastle, I made a desperate attempt to see Murlough Bay, Torr Head, and Fair Head – in that order.  The unexpected beauty of the first two had taken me by surprise, and delayed my arrival at Fair Head car park.  By then, the fading April light was quite dim, and…

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Creature from the Blue Light – Silver Strand in Malin Beag

in Atlantic Ocean/Beaches/Fresh/Recent

An evening at this beach brought an end to a week of driving on the north cast of Ireland.  The Silver Strand at night is a beautiful and mysterious place to be all alone. I had not prepared myself for an encounter with some other kind.

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Rathlin Island East Lighthouse and Robert the Bruce

in Fresh/Lighthouses/Recent
Rathlin Island East Lighthouse

The name of George Halpin seems to pop up everywhere in Ireland. And Rathlin Island did not evade his engineering pencil; he designed the lighthouse on the east end of Rathlin. Opened in 1856, it was unique by having two lights in order to improve its visibility in foggy conditions.

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Antrim coastal road, connections with Asia, and a Polar Bear

in Irish Sea/Mysterious Faces/Recent
Antrim coast road

The coastal road of Antrim was sublime and beautiful even though I arrived late to the area. With few cars, it brought me a constant murmur of delight; it had that perfect road-trip vibe.

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Ossian’s Grave, Cushendall – Reclaiming heroes

in Fresh/Prehistoric/Recent
Ossian's Grave - megalithic court cairn - Cushendall

The excellent voicesfromthedawn.com blog offers an interesting insight into a literary sensation of the 1760’s.  James Macpherson claimed that a series of books including “Fingal, a Poem in Six Books” were merely a translation of a third century poet called Ossian. But he was less forthcoming when asked to present these ancient manuscripts. 

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The monks who were engineers – Nendrum monastic site

in Buildings/Featured/Fresh/Irish Sea/Prehistoric/Recent
Nendrum monastic site - Sun Dial

There are some wonderful Ireland-focused blogs. Perhaps we need an official directory of high-standard personal blogs pertaining to the island. This one is a charm – rmchapple.blogspot.com by archaeologist Robert M Chapple, which contains a wide variety of engaging topics. I certainly will not be trying to compete with someone who keeps a catalogue of Radiocarbon…

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