The Road South from Greencastle

We stayed at an Air B&B in Moville, three miles south of Greencastle.  Moville is half again bigger than Greencastle, with several bars and restaurants, and is a good place for traditional sessions.  With the kids it was hard for us to get away at night, but the best sessions, we were told, was in the back of a grocery store.

The B&B was on the beach with lots of bedrooms, and glassed in dining and living rooms. 

View from the Dining Room at our B&B

There was a trampoline in the backyard, to the delight of the grandkids, swings and other playground equipment.  It was a nice starting point for walks along the water.

The road from Moville to Greencastle is a modern paved road with shoulders, not guaranteed in Ireland.  But those shoulders probably cost the area one of its folk landmarks.   

My grandfather told me the story of one of his uncles from the Morrison clan who sailed to America out of Moville and came back with his fortune to the port of Cobh, or Queenstown as it was then called.  The ship he sailed home on was over 700 feet long, unheard-of in Lough Foyle, although Harland and Wolfe over in Belfast were already putting together the plans that would become Olympic, and her sister ship, Titanic, at over 800 feet.

This particular uncle was so impressed with the ship that he erected two cairns of stones along the road to Moville.  One marked the bow, the other the stern.  He insisted on walking each visitor who came to Greencastle the entire length of the ship. Every Sunday, as folks walked the three miles from Greencastle to Moville to get a drink (see previous post) he had them pace off the distance between the cairns.  He had the kids from Mr. Swanzee’s school drill their math as they walked along with their parents.  Each one calculating the length of their pace against the known (based on Morrison’s pacing) length.  How many lengths of the ship did it take to make the three miles from Greencastle to Moville?  (Seven and a half.)  After several weeks even the dullest math students knew the answer.  People put up with the cairns and the repeated story of the great big ship.  He was rich after all, and often stood the drinks.

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