Our first real excursion out into the Irish countryside as we started traveling west from Dublin came on our second day in the nation. We'd spend tonight in Galway, all the way on the other side of the country. But we had some stops to make in between.
We'd seen an example of the super highways on the loop around Dublin. But what we were traveling today were more typical of the roads we'd see all the rest of our tour. We'd call these quaint lanes back home. But this is one of the National Highways in Ireland.
Our destination today was built at the crossroads of two very ancient travel ways. At the place where glacial eskers, or gravel ridges intersected with the Shannon River, longest river in Ireland. People walked east west on the eskers because they were dry and were lifted up above the surrounding bogs, and boated north and south on the Shannon, and met here where they intersected. And a monastery named Clonmacnoise was begun at this site by St. Ciaran in the mid 500s A.D.
St. Ciaran recognized the logistics of the crossroads and started a church here to take advantage of the masses of people who passed along one way or another at this spot. But monasteries were popular targets for plunder in those ages. And Clonmacnoise had its share, being plundered some 30 times before the 1100's.
And yet the arts and literature flourished here. And Irish royalty came to the rescue. King Flann endowed royal patronage to Clonmacnoise in its halcyon years, the 900s, about the time the Cross of the Scriptures was carved. This Celtic cross wasn't a grave marker, but a teaching tool with illustrations of Bible events: the crucifixion and Roman Soldiers gamboling for Jesus' clothes for example, carved in relief on its faces.
The ruins of the buildings at Clonmacnoise are too numerous and span too great a period of time to go into in any great detail about. But the towers were built in the 1100s and the last structures here was erected in the early 1700s. Now that was the last buildings built at Clonmacnoise. By contrast, the Krebs House in Pascagoula, the oldest house in, not only Mississippi, but the Mississippi valley, was built about 1725. So, in other words, about the time we were just starting, Clonmacnoise was wrapping up.
Later that day, we had tea at a sheep farm and had our pictures taken beside a peat fire burning in the fireplace of an Irish farmhouse with a thatched roof and then ambled on into Galway for the night. But memories of the old monastery we'd seen would flit through our minds as we dozed off that evening, mindful of how old this place is, and how young we felt in comparison.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:55 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:55:17 GMT
The votes are in, and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee. With 100% of precincts reporting, Lumumba claims the electionMore >>
The votes are in and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:21:59 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
James Hutto, accused of capital murder in the beating death of 81-year-old Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, expressed anger over certain evidence in court Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:35:19 GMT
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue, IRS security of conservative groups like the tea party. We found some 20-25More >>
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue is IRS security of conservative groups like the Tea Party. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:15 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:15:20 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
A weaker version of the storms that hit Oklahoma is now slowly working its way through Mississippi, but not with as much punch.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 15:04:51 GMT
A Tylertown man is charged with animal cruelty in connection to that suspected puppy mill in Walthall Co. More than 100 of the rescued animals are now at the Humane Society of South MS.More >>
A Tylertown man is charged with animal cruelty in connection to that suspected puppy mill in Walthall County. Sheriff's officials say James Thornhill, 72, turned himself in Tuesday and was released on his own recognizance. Meanwhile, 102 of the animals rescued Monday are now getting a lot of TLC at the Humane Society of South Mississippi.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:50 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:50:30 GMT
Oklahoma Meteorologists say a killer tornado dwarfs the power of the Hiroshima bomb. To survive a tornado, a tornado shelter can come in handy.T.J. Halford has had a tornado shelter since 2006. He is anMore >>
Oklahoma Meteorologists say a killer tornado dwarfs the power of the Hiroshima bomb. To survive a tornado, a tornado shelter can come in handy.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201