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Irish homes and Irish hearts p4 – 1868

Freemans Journal 28th March, 1868 p11 (abridged)

The Burren Photo: EO'D

The Burren
Photo: EO’D

It is a long dreary drive of nineteen miles to Ennis, through an open limestone country, with low craggy hills. In all this part of Ireland the eye wearies for the pretty villages and comfortable farm-houses which give life and variety to the flat counties of England. The station at Ennis is a wretched one, the platform being of earth, and it was not improved by recent rain and trampling of a crowd of emigrants. Although this is the terminus of the Ennis and Limerick line, the train was in no hurry to start. Everybody took their time, and just half an hour after the one named in the time bills the train set out.

It progressed very slowly on its way, and I was not sorry, for it gave us the opportunity of an excellent view of Clare Abbey — close by which the line passes — one of the loveliest ruins I had ever seen, a graceful church in the form of a cross, with east window almost perfect, and a lofty tower, and the ivy twining round about the broken arches, and covering the walls with a rich green mantle.

On reaching Limerick, I implored a porter to get my luggage quickly, as I wanted to catch the next train for Charleville. “But sure she’s been gone this ten minutes. She was an hour after her time. Your train was so late she could wait no longer.” As I expressed my vexation he said in a tone of deep sympathy, “There’ll be a train tomorrow.” On making further inquiries at the station it turned out that the trains do not profess to fit in with each other. As one of the officials expressed it, “The great lines try to eat up the little ones.”

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