From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Frank Cawley
Sunday Morning Footpath
By Frank Cawley
12, Oct 2010 - 08:56


The Castlebar Christian Fellowship. This is the first Christian place of worship that I passed on a recent Sunday morning stroll through Castlebar. I passed many other tabernacles of worship, aka taverns of worship. Places where one can pray seven days a week. Open 363 days of the year apart from the 2 holiest days of the Christian calendar. Places of refuge for sinners the tormented and one or two of the blessed.  Would you believe that John Wesley himself laid the foundation stone on May 2nd, 1785.



Castlebar's showpiece the Mall.

The Mall gets its name from the double row of trees that go from Holy Trinity Church to the Convent gates.  These were the gates into the Lucan crib many years past. The Mall was donated to the people of the town in 1888 by the 4th Earl of Lucan. It was nice of him, to rob it from the locals, then shape it, and plant it, and then hand it back. The present trees surrounding this fine park were planted around 1870, and as soon as they were strong enough for a rope, they were hanging men off them to beat the band. I'm sure I would have been swinging if I was heard talking scruff talk about the Lucans.


Grace O Malley belting two sea horses through the Mall heading for the cop shop. They removed the water long go, now shes planted in turf.



The Holy Trinity Church. It was first built in 1739. In the early 1950's My grandmother made a trip to visit a friend of hers who had been admitted to the county hospital. She made the trecherous journey from Aughleam to Castlebar, and as soon as she arrived she was eager to say a prayer. Not sure if it was for the infirmed or for a the state of the potholes between Ballacorick and Glenisland. Any way she said her prayer in the holy Trinity Church, completely unaware that it wasn't a Roman church. In them days the priests would tell you that God would strike you down if you ever entered an Anglican house of worship. When she got up to the hospital she told her aged friend "I said a prayer for you on the way up" "what church did you go to ? "The one accross from the post office" "Oh lord Jesus I'll be blast fiered in the furnaces of hell, thats the devils Church" The Grandmother had to get a priest to give her an emergency confession, he was one of the good padres. He told them it didn't matter a damn where you pray, its the one God, and he'll listen to you no matter where you are.



One of my favorite things about the Mall is the history. Especially the history of conflict. Conflict between the Irish and the British opressor. Accross from the church there is a monument to the men who died fighting in the 1798 rebellion. John Moore the first president of peoples republic of Connaught was re-buried beside the monument in 1961. I'm not sure but I think hes the only person to be officially buried in the Mall. I know that there are one or two dogs burried there but that's another story.



Travellers Friend Hotel looking well in the crisp October sunlight.



This is where the majority of the deceased Castlebararians are planted. People were dying to get into this graveyard for years now, and it's full to the gills.  People say you can hear ghosts talking at night, mostly wondering if Enda Kenny will ever be Taoiseach.




I passed down through the graveyard towords St Gerald's College. It will be great if they ever build the footbridge across Lough Lannagh and then people will be able to do a loop of the lake. Maybe then someone will invent a race around the loop, see who can run it the fastest. It will be handy for the teenage bush drinkers too they will be able to jog around in a circle avoiding the 5 0.



Under the bridge. This looks bleek dangerous and desolate, but this my frends is an unlicensed tavern for the teenage bush drinker. This is what keeps our younger citizens sheltered from the November rain while they quaff back demi litres of tin pot hooch, before moving on to the disco, where they inevitably spend the majority of the evening wrapped around a bowl. There has to be some better way.


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