The Waterford / Deise Greenway
The Amazing new Deise Greenway is almost completed and for anyone who has not heard about this new public cycle and walking path in county Waterford Ireland, here is some basic information !
The History of the Greenway – A Railway history
Waterford to Dungarvan
The Railway Line from Dungarvan to Waterford was constructed during the 1870’s and was officially opened on the 12th August 1878 with the first train departing Waterford at 10.10 and arriving at Durrow just over an hour later.
The building of the Railway was a remarkable project in that it had to be contructed over very harsh terrain. From the Dungarvan side, two causeways had to be contructed, one over the Colligan estuary and one through the sea at Barnawee, a very impressive viaduct has to be built at Ballyvoile and an even more impressive tunnel, 480 yards long, fully lined was constructed just a little further down the line. Another viaduct at Kilminnion and an almost 100 feet high curved viaduct at Kilmacthomas to name just a few. It headed down towards the lovely station at Kilmeaden and then on the riverbank of the River Suir below Mount Congreve into Waterford City.
The Railway line was not just of national importance, it was also our line with the UK with many Irish people emigrating there but many used it to come over and back. In March 1967, the last passenger train left Dungarvan station for Rosslare. But it reopened again with the opening of the Magnesite ore processing plant at Ballinacourty but this plant closed in 1982. Engineers ran occasional locomotives on the line up until 1990.
CIE own the line but Waterford County Council acquired a license from them at the start of this century to make it into a pedestrian walkway/cycle path for tourism and leisure.
It has impressive history, a history we can not neglect by not taking an interest in the line, we need to preserve it for the people as an amenity for the people.
Rebirth of the rail line – The Deise Greenway
The Deise Greenway is almost complete so last weekend we took a walk along the section from Ballyvoyle brick-lined tunnel down to Dungarvan Bay. This section of the route is just fantastic to walk as it induces the Ballyvoyal tunnel and viaduct and then the wonderful views of the waterford coastline above the town of Dungarvan.
Below are some of the pictures I took on Sunday ……
By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
The Path down to the Beach at BallyQuin, Brandon, County Kerry Ireland
Sunset’s Ghost – Poem by Richard George
Lilac clouds, a wash of green
At daylight’s end:
When west is dark, to northward
A heat-haze aurora
Silhouettes our roof-slopes.
Beautiful, but it chills me:
We have made her burn with fever,
The sky, our mother.
Poem By : Richard George
This showy plant graces many country lanes from July to September with a wonderful display of spikes of bright reddish-orange flowers. A familiar sight in the west of Ireland particularly, it is taken by many to be one of our native plants, along with Fuchsia. However, like Fuchsia, this is an introduction to our shores and is a hybrid between two South African species.
Nevertheless it is a very attractive sight and seems to blend in to our landscape, particularly in places where it grows alongside our native Purple Loosetrife. The flowers (25-55mm) are in a one-sided loose panicle and have a corolla which is tubed with six lobes. The three stamens protrude. The grass-like leaves are long and narrow. This plant belongs to the family Iridaceae.
This plant was named after Coquebert de Montbret (1780-1801) who was a French botanist who accompanied Napoleon when he invaded Egypt in 1798 and who died there at the age of 20. However, horticulturists also refer to this plant as ‘Crocosmia’ which comes from the Greek ‘krokos’ – saffron – and ‘osme’ – smell. I am told that they smell of saffron when placed in water but honestly I cannot confirm that this is so.
rides the foothills
beneath gray waters
the warming sea
in constant current
with ripened need
she lives to die
An Old Man on the River Bank
By George Seferis
And yet we should consider how we go forward.
To feel is not enough, nor to think, nor to move
nor to put your body in danger in front of an old loophole
when scalding oil and molten lead furrow the walls.
And yet we should consider towards what we go forward,
not as our pain would have it, and our hungry children
and the chasm between us and the companions calling from the opposite shore;
nor as the bluish light whispers it in an improvised hospital,
the pharmaceutic glimmer on the pillow of the youth operated on at noon;
but it should be in some other way, I would say like
the long river that emerges from the great lakes enclosed deep in Africa,
that was once a god and then became a road and a benefactor, a judge and a delta;
that is never the same, as the ancient wise men taught,
and yet always remains the same body, the same bed, and the same Sign,
the same orientation.
I want nothing more than to speak simply, to be granted that grace.
Because we’ve loaded even our song with so much music that it’s slowly sinking
and we’ve decorated our art so much that its features have been eaten away by gold
and it’s time to say our few words because tomorrow our soul sets sail.
If pain is human we are not human beings merely to suffer pain;
that’s why I think so much these days about the great river,
this meaning that moves forward among herbs and greenery
and beasts that graze and drink, men who sow and harvest,
great tombs even and small habitations of the dead.
This current that goes its way and that is not so different from the blood of men,
from the eyes of men when they look straight ahead without fear in their hearts,
without the daily tremor for trivialities or even for important things;
when they look straight ahead like the traveller who is used to gauging his way by the stars,
not like us, the other day, gazing at the enclosed garden of a sleepy Arab house,
behind the lattices the cool garden changing shape, growing larger and smaller,
we too changing, as we gazed, the shape of our desire and our hearts,
at noon’s precipitation, we the patient dough of a world that throws us out and kneads us,
caught in the embroidered nets of a life that was as it should be and then became dust and sank into the sands
leaving behind it only that vague dizzying sway of a tall palm tree.
The Whiskey mash
A mechanical metal stirring unit with a central bevel gear, installed to make stirring easier. That way the sugar could not only be extracted faster but also more efficiently. Less sugar was left in the husks of the grain, and the whisky became more affordable.
The mash has to be stirred for some time to extract the malt sugar from the grist. In earlier times, a lot of water used to evaporate during this process, and with the water steam the temperature fell constantly, which further impaired the extraction process. Only in the last century, when energy costs rose, nearly all mash tuns were equipped with a lid made of sheet metal (e.g. copper) in order to limit the loss of energy.
The Valley And The Mountain Top
Though standing in this valley
with yet the mountain top in view,
I will indulge my aspiration
to see the sights from that point too!
This will be my challenge,
to get from here to there!
I’ll see the view from the mountain top,
and breath the mountain top air!
This is quite the challenge I chose
but I must make it to the top!
If the attempt determines
the success or failure,
“No way now can I stop!!!”
There it is! I can see the top!
Mere feet am I away from my goal!
This challenge has pushed the limits,
I believe of my heart, mind, body and soul!
Though standing on this mountain top
with the view of the valley below,
I indulged my aspiration,
from my indulgement
this I do know!
As wonderful as the view is from here
to as far as the eye can see,
I must never forget where this started from,
with the view standing in the valley!