Posted by: scrabblequeen | July 18, 2008

Day Eight

July 18

Our first stop today was Hennigan’s Heritage Centre in Killasser, Swinford, County Mayo. Our guide was non other thanTom Hennigan himself. His family has lived on this farm for a very long time, but when he realized the way of life would be lost soon, he turned the property into a working museum. We were shown through the thatched house which was built in 1870, and which he lived in until 1971, when he moved into the “new” house built nearby. The cottage has 3 rooms total; 2 bedrooms and a living space which included the “kitchen bed” his folks slept in. All cooking was done in the big, open fireplace, all six children shared one room, and they only had electricity the last few years they lived there. (a single light bulb is all I saw).

After the house, we went into the other building, which used to be a barn of sorts, to go through the rest of the museum. Fascinating stuff, especially with a guide to tell true stories of the times, locations, and beliefs of the folks whose stuff we were seeing. I got a kick out of the still hidden behind the peat pile. (just like old times)

After the tour we were treated to tea and scones in the dining room, then Margaret came in with her accordian to give us a few lively tunes and dancing broke out. First, it was Tom doing a fancy Irish Jig with a stick, then he grabbed a gal and another couple formed up, and off they went to a reel!

When the last tune was played and the final song sung, we wandered about the property on our own for a while. I love this purple flower…

And this flock of ducks followed us around quite a bit, even going to the bus when we were ready to leave. 🙂

Next stop was Charlestown, James’s home town. We were again treated to food (I hope I fit the airplane seat on the way home) this time sandwiches, tea, and apple pie at The Dew Drop Inn.

James’ mother came in to visit as she lives only a short hop down the road. We got to meet his father this evening, as they drove to Westport to join us for dinner and music.

John Hoban visited again, and even consented to play a tune or two with “the lads”.

I have to go pack up…we’re shifting towns again tomorrow. Back to Shannon, via Ennis, where we’ll finish the musical part of the tour with a BANG tomorrow night. Internet is not the greatest there, so it’s likely I’ll not be posting again until either Sunday evening from DC, or perhaps not until we’re home again, sometime Monday, or more likely Tuesday.



  1. What a remarkable adventure you’re having! Thanks so much for taking the time to share it – and the incredible photos – with us. Safe travels back home!

  2. Isn’t it amazing that some places only had electricity in the 60’s and 70’s!

    These pictures are just gorgeous!

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