Blarney Castle, Cobh, Cork, Killarney #Ireland #goaheadtours

21 November 2014
Following a full Irish breakfast, we boldly tried the Black and White Pudding for the first time. It tasted like a grainy sausage. We grabbed our rain gear and headed over to Blarney Castle.

Jay and I DID NOT kiss the Blarney Stone-umm YUK. But I did take a picture of it.

Blarney Castle (Irish: Caisle├ín na Blarnan) is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, and the River Martin. Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty, a cadet branch of the Kings of Desmond, and dates from 1446. The noted Blarney Stone is found at the top of some very narrow winding stars.

Blarney House a Scottish baronial-style mansion that was built on the grounds in 1874 was closed for the season sadly.

We drove back to Cork then headed toward Cobh, the last stop for Titanic before crossing the Atlantic.
Cobh is on the south side of Great Island in Cork Harbor and is home to Ireland's only dedicated cruise terminal. Tourism in the area draws on the maritime and emigration legacy of the town - including its association with the RMS Titanic.

RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner launched by the Cunard Line in 1906, at a time of fierce competition for the North Atlantic trade. In 1915 she was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat, causing the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew.

When she left New York for Liverpool on what would be her final voyage on 1 May 1915, submarine warfare was intensifying in the Atlantic. Germany had declared the seas around the United Kingdom to be a war-zone, and the German embassy in the United States had placed a newspaper advertisement warning people not to sail on Lusitania. On the afternoon of 7 May, Lusitania was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, 11 mi (18 km) off the southern coast of Ireland and inside the declared "zone of war". A second internal explosion sent her to the bottom in 18 minutes.

In firing on a non-military ship without warning, the Germans had breached the international laws known as the Cruiser Rules. Although the Germans had reasons for treating Lusitania as a naval vessel, including that the ship was carrying war munitions and that the British had also been breaching the Cruiser Rules, the sinking caused a storm of protest in the United States, as 128 Americans were among the dead. It also influenced the decision by the US to declare war in 1917.

There is a bronze stature to Annie Moore and her brothers (see above). Annie became the first immigrant to land on the newly-opened Ellis Island on January 1st, 1892. Now, over 100 years later, a statue of Annie and her brothers stands on Ellis Island (which is now a museum). A similar statue can be found here in Cobh, where they began their voyage. Since then, over 17 million people have entered the United States through Ellis Island.

Again we headed toward Cork to make our way south to Kilarney. Along the way Cathal told us about a book called Abandoned Ireland and Jermey Irons restoration of a castle west of Cork.

Made our way to Kilarney and walked around a bit before checking in to our hotel just outside the city.

More images of
Blarney Castle:

We checked in to the Travel Inn Killarney and had a wonderful group dinner.
I met Mik, Danny and Noel and they convinced me to try Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey-it was very smooth.
Mik and Danny
Next up The Ring of Kerry!

Traditions of Ireland
Go Ahead Tours
November 16-26, 2014
Copyright © Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
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