We wake to clouds and very light rain. We are planning a few stops today so get away mid morning.
Curracloe Strand is our first stop, used to film the Omaha Beach D-day landing sequence in Saving Private Ryan. It’s a beautiful beach, sandy, wide and long even on a damp day. Hardly a pebble in sight and looking nothing like in the movie obviously.
Onto Kilmuckridge next. This is the location of Tony’s fondly remembered holidays at Rath’s Farm just up from Morriscastle beach. Liverpool to Dublin ferry, train to Gorey and then picked up by Mr Rath and all six McVeys squeezed into his car along with the luggage. Fond memories of the farm, a duck pond, the village and the beach have featured in many a family tale but it’s over sixty years ago now.
Our first stop in Kilmuckridge is Morriscastle beach and another beautiful one it is too.
In the carpark T asks a local about the location of Rath’s Farm. The lady can’t help, but mentions it to someone else in the carpark who wanders over. He then rings a friend for info! Honestly the Irish are so friendly and helpful and we now have a location just up the road. T knocks on the neighbours door, Mary Murphy who has only lived there for fifty years, but walks him in the right direction. There’s a new house built on the front of the property but the old farmhouse is still standing but now derelict and empty and the duckpond is no more. Photos taken though and happy memories relived.
Onto St Mary’s church visited on Sunday’s for holiday mass. It’s lovely inside and candles are lit.
We wander around the cemetery next to the church looking for the Rath family but we don’t find them. However we do find graves again with people’s addresses on them for the second time on this trip.
Back now to Blackwater, about 10km up the road and to Walsh’s Field, the closest place we could find to pitch for the night. It really is a field on a slight slope so we get the ramps out for only the second time this trip. It’s a nice spot with cows and horses as neighbours.
Around 7pm we wander into Blackwater, about five minutes down the road. The Aughanall and Blackwater rivers run into the village and join up and run under the main road.
We decide to try Corrigan’s pub first. As we walk in we are hit with a wall of noise. The place is packed with people enjoying the bank holiday weekend. We manage to find the last tiny table. Another couple ask to join us on the the other side of it. They are from Dublin and are here most weekends visiting family. They tell us that the pub is full of lots of holiday makers from Dublin as it’s less than a couple of hours away and there’s a huge static caravan park in the village and a great beach. The pub has a gun and machine gun hanging from the ceiling over the bar, we discover that they are props from the film Saving Private Ryan, filmed up the road.
After a couple of drinks we leave to find food. Originally we were going to eat in a restaurant in the village but the two places that did food have closed down. The Chipper is open with a 2.9 Google score! We go there and buy chicken and chips and eat standing up. Guess what the reviewers were correct, the chips are undercooked!
Onto the second pub in the village, Whelan’s. It’s smaller and less busy and we stay for just one drink.
Back to Corrigan’s where the music has started. Well karaoke has started and painful caterwauling is happening. We find ourselves a good spot to sit and thankfully the singers improve.
It’s been a good day and a wonderful walk down memory lane for Tony.