Today was a “moving day”, a drive to our next hotel destination to Galway, City of the Tribes in the West of Ireland. Upon request from some of our travelers, we added in a stop at Beal Na Blath, the Mouth of the Flowers, in North Cork where the famous Michael Collins met his death in an ambush by the Anti Treaty forces in 1922. Collins, who had survived the 1916 Easter Rising, almost a year in a prison camp in Wales, and returning to Ireland to lead a guerilla war against the British occupation, became the most wanted man in Ireland by the British Government. At the time of the Treaty signing in 1921, Collins believed and quoted that he had “signed his own death warrant” and true enough Ireland was torn in two by a Treaty that allowed six of the nine counties in Ulster in the North of Ireland to remain under British rule. Collins became a general in charge of the Free State forces and on that fateful day July 1922 lost his life due to a mysterious bullet shattering the back of his brain….was it a ricochet or fired by one of his own men….he will always be remembered as one of our greatest heroes.
We then drove to the mighty Cliffs of Moher in County Clare and the sun was splitting the rocks, a miracle of a day. We had lunch there and then drove up through the Burren and into Galway to our hotel for one night, The Imperial on Ayre Square. We arrived close to dinner hour and following a nice meal were regaled by a man from Sligo who told us all about the connection to Butte in the West of Ireland.
After this wonderful lesson in history, lots of the group took off down the street to listen to traditional Irish music. I’m still trying to get back to normal so I’m off to bed early and see if I can knock out this cold I’ve developed. Lot’s more adventures ahead….until then….