City Tribune 8th March, 1985 (abridged)
The unique visit of Crown Prince Akihito and Princess Michito of Japan to Kinvara on Sunday was characterised by expressions of genuine goodwill, and the large crowds greeting them were thrilled by the friendliness of this august couple from the Far East.
Kinvara was en fete with buntings and banners demonstrating the festive spirit which even the discouraging rains could not dampen. The Royal couple were met by the chairman of the Community Council, Mr. Tommy Corless. He accompanied them on their tour, explaining buildings and local heritage and pointing out landmarks. They drove around by the Quays, which had been constructed in the 19th Century with stones from Rath Durlas, seat of King Guaire. They passed Delamaine Lodge, the old smugglers residence and drove along the Green Road to Thornville house, the former home of the Nally family. From there the cavalcade moved onwards to Bothar na Mias, the Road of the Dishes and Mr. Corless recounted the legend associated with this road.
At Kinvara’s Faiche Phadraig Pitch there was a juvenile hurling match in progress and the party drove in there to see it. The Royal Couple met with Toddie Byrne, who was in charge of the game, and the two teams. The Prince asked questions about the posts, the colours of the jerseys and the half-time break. The Princess was concerned lest the boys would get wet.
The Royal Couple went to “The Auld Plaid Shawl” where they sampled an Irish Coffee and met with proprietors, Mr. John Griffin and Mrs Denise Griffin as well as Mrs Florence Corless, Mrs Patricia Moylan, Mr John Joe Conneely, Mr James Conole, Mrs Bridie Corless, Mr Patrick J. Griffin and all three young Griffin children.
From there they went to Seamount Convent and were introduced to Reverend Mother Gertrude. In the reception room were the Japanese Ambassador to Ireland, the Irish Ambassador to Japan, dignitaries of State, Sister Laurence, (Principal of Seamount College) and a delegation from the Kinvara Community, namely Very Rev. Canon Michael O’Connor P.P, President of the Community Council and Mr. Tommy Corless, Chairman, Mrs Mary O’Shaughnessy (Kinvara town), Mrs Anne Kavanagh (Roo), Mrs Mary McInerney (Shanclogh) and Mr. Kieran Moylan.
Presentations were made to the Royal Couple including an Aran Sweater, a white crocheted shawl, doyleys crocheted by Sr. Sacred Heart, a blackthorn stick, a St. Brigid’s cross, copies of ‘Tracht’, the Centenary magazine of Seamount by Sr. de Lourdes Fahy, ‘The Journey of the Queen’ by Dr. Brian O’Rourke of Galway Regional Technical College, and an inscribed hurley.
The pupils of Seamount College formed a guard of honour for the Royal Couple on their way from the reception room to the Seamount College hall where they viewed performances of step-dancing by local members of the Celine Hession Dancers, accompanied by Chris Droney; the Kilkishen (Co. Clare) Mummers; the Ballinderreen set dancers, accompanied by the Oranmore Ceili Band; a sean nós song by Sorcha Grealish of Muchinach, Connemara, and a single dance by Seamus Devane of Connemara.
The Royal Couple were highly complimentary of all they’d seen and thanked the people for their welcome. They departed for a brief visit to Thoor Ballylee and Coole Park and within another hour they had left South Galway again for Dromoland Castle, County Clare.