A visit to Nenagh

Sunday morning December 3rd was very much a chill-out morning after the previous rather uncomfortable night. Nellie had gone to morning mass so I made myself some coffee and toast and took it back to bed to relax with my book for a while, only getting up when she came back in. Even though I said I’d already had breakfast she insisted on making me another one and did me some more of her divine scrambled eggs – I don’t know how she does them but they really are delicious.
Although the day had started off dull it brightened up by late morning so I decided to take myself off to Nenagh, a half-hour coach ride away from Roscrea ; Nellie had told me that although the town centre wasn’t a big place there was a nice church and a castle there so it would be worth going to take a look. As the coach got further west the day brightened up even more until I arrived at Nenagh in bright sunshine with blue sky – that would do for me.
Nellie had told me that if I turned right when I got off the coach I would find most things of interest close by so that’s what I did. The first thing I came to was the Courthouse, designed and built in 1843, and in the very pleasant grounds were the bronze sculptures of three Olympic gold medallists with links to Nenagh. Next was the gatehouse to the old prison which now has only one cell block left intact and with its unique octagonal governor’s residence is classed as a historic monument.
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Nenagh Courthouse
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L-R Matt McGrath (weight thrower) Johnny Hayes (athlete) Bob Tisdall (athlete)
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Old prison gatehouse
Further along the road I came to St. Mary’s of the Rosary Catholic Church, a neo-gothic church built in 1895 – and this must be the most spectacularly ornate church I’ve ever been in so far. The whole place was truly beautiful and it was hard to know what to look at first – if I’d been using 35mm film I would have used up more than one roll. As it was, with limited time if I didn’t want to fall foul of the odd bus times back to Roscrea, I stuck to just over a dozen photos but that’s one place I will definitely return to at a later date to get some more shots.
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St. Mary’s of the Rosary Church
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Out in the grounds, and adjacent to this church, was the smaller St. Mary’s Church of Ireland, built in 1862 and seemingly a much simpler building than its more ornate next door neighbour. Any intention of looking inside though was forgotten about when I saw that the castle keep was right next door, separated from the church grounds by a tall wrought iron fence and gate. Unfortunately the gate was locked so I took a shot of the keep through the bars then went off in search of another way in.
I was destined to be disappointed however, as when I did find the official entrance that gate was locked too and a notice informed me that the castle isn’t open on Sundays, so I had to be content with a couple of shots from a nearby car park down a narrow side street. Also down the side street was the back yard wall of a pub which fronted onto the main street, and set into the wall was a very colourful mosaic picture – pubs and alcohol don’t interest me but the picture was worth a photo.
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St. Mary’s Church of Ireland
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Nenagh castle
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Mosaic picture set in a wall
From there I made my way round to the main street to have a look at the shops. The town centre was a bit bigger than Roscrea but it didn’t take long to look round ; I only went into two shops though I didn’t buy anything from either of them, and just two hours after arriving in Nenagh I was back on the coach to Roscrea. I hadn’t been in the house long when Nellie said dinner was ready ; it was a lovely meal and I couldn’t have eaten another thing afterwards. As soon as it had gone properly dark I nipped out to take a shot of the Christmas display in the garden of a house a few doors away then I settled indoors for the rest of the evening.
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There’s more but it wouldn’t all fit in the shot!
Nellie told me that the people who live there add one extra thing every year – it certainly looks pretty and it brightens the street but I wouldn’t like to get their electricity bill afterwards!




2 thoughts on “A visit to Nenagh

  1. That is a magnificent church, I do like looking at stained glass windows myself. It’s a shame the castle wasn’t open for you to explore. The house across the road to me used to be lit up like that at Christmas but unfortunately P developed dementia and there were no lights last year as he is now being cared for in a home. I miss seeing them to be honest as they were like the ones in your photo, very colourful and festive.


  2. The inside of the church was really beautiful and deserved more time spent in there than I could allow. One of the (presumably) church members started telling me the history of it, and though it was lovely of him to tell me it rather distracted me from the photos I wanted to take. He did tell me his name though – ‘angel Gerry’ – and said if I went to the cafe round the corner and mentioned his name I would get a discount. I didn’t quite believe him on that though and I didn’t have time to test it out, but I’ll definitely go back to that church in the future so I’ll try it then 🙂

    I love to see Christmas displays outside people’s houses but I’m afraid I don’t have the time or patience do one of my own. Whoever lives near Nellie certainly goes to a lot of trouble with that one, even the see-saw went up and down 🙂


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