Sunday 19th September 2021

‘The Wild Atlantic Way’ is Ireland’s great secret… <click to enlarge>

“Another beautiful day greeted us as we journeyed towards Ballymackean in Co Cork, remaining flexible on our quests to chance encounters, we stopped awhile at this peaceful spot to enjoy the views and investigate. Killbrittain Castle is one of the oldest inhabited castles in Ireland and is well known with a very interesting and chequerd history. It was wonderful to encounter this peaceful spot, but as not part of our quests, each individual can check it out…”

Killbrittain Castle, so peaceful…. <click to enlarge>

The Lusitania Museum & Old Head Signal Tower: Ballymackean, Co Cork: The musem looked beautiful in the sunshine, as we arrived. It has been very thoughfully set out with a garden of remembrance so all can enjoy it. A very poignant place to visit, especially for our Karl whom has realatives on board the ship, which was probably sunk by a submarine. One can take photos of a ‘see through’ installation, that when viewed at the right angle, is positioned over the sea in the same position the oroginal vessel would have been. We took our time there, and let it all sink in, the sadness of it all, and Karl found his conection there too. The museum is very well set out with lots to see and an interesting, albeit sad story to tell. It is in a beautiful spot, yet no one knew all those years ago what would eventually be on thos spot. Another point on The Wild Atlantic Way and good to see so mant visitor there who we re interested and engaged.

The Old Signal Head with views from the top <click to enlarge>

The R.M.S. Lusitania: The Royal Mail Steamship, RMS Lusitania, was built following an agreement, signed in 1903, between the Cunard Line and the British Admiralty. The British Government provided a loan of £2.6 million and an increase in mail subsidies to allow Cunard to build two new ships, Lusitania and Mauretania, which would be able to compete with their German transatlantic competitor. She was officially launched, on Thursday, 7th June 1906. On May 1st 1915, Captain Turner left Pier 54, in New York harbour, sailing to Liverpool with 1959 passengers and crew on board (including Karl’s own ancestors). On the morning of Friday 7th May, as Captain Turner brought Lusitania out of a heavy fog west of the Fastnet Lighthouse and entered the war-zone around the British Isles, he began receiving a series of vague signals from the British Admiralty based in Queenstown. One such Admiralty instruction was to maintain at least ten miles between his ship and the south coast of Ireland.  Just before 2.10 pm, Lusitania was struck by a single torpedo, fired by the German U-boat, U-20. The torpedo strike, at a point somewhere in the vicinity of the Bridge, was followed, almost instantly, by a second massive explosion which caused the bow of the ship to immediately list to starboard at an alarming rate. At the instant of impact Lusitania was fourteen miles off the Old Head of Kinsale. Captain Turner put the helm to land immediately. Lusitania travelled a further two and three-quarter miles before finally disappearing beneath the waves in a terror-inducing 18 minutes. To this very day, many mysteries still surround why this happened and no satisfactory explanation has ever been offered as to why the Juno, out of Queenstown, was withdrawn as an escort for the Lusitania, and no satisfactory explanation as to why the Juno was recalled from Roches point when she was on her way to the rescue of any possible survivors. Some even say that the Lusitania was not as ‘innocent’ as believed and that there is much more to all of this and why she was targeted than meets the eye and probably we shall never ever  know….


Images of the ill-fated Lusitania <click to view>

The Memorial Garden:  is peaceful and well thought out with a very poingnat ‘wave’ sculptor that depicts the whole sad story and contains all the names of those onboard. Here we can see Karl, in a contemplative moments as he  discovers his relatives names……


Time for contemplation in the memorial gardens…. <click to view>

The museum within the tower is very interesting with lots of photos, newspaper clippings and artifacacts. Just a small selection here:

Grail Bloodline Connection:

Died in the sinking of Lusitania 7th  May 1915 (sinking probably by a submarine)

  • Albert Charles Neville (2nd x G Uncle) 1874-1915 (41yrs). Along with children, but Mabel Neville, hus wife survived and is buried in Watford Cemetry, UK.


The Martello Tower: Ringaskiddy: The tower here lies in an out of the way field on the Ringaskiddy peninsula, east of the village of the same name, in County Cork in Ireland. Today looking rather like a building site or reclaimed land.

Martello towers are small defensive forts that were built across the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the French Revolutionary Wars onwards. They stand up to 12 meters high (with 2 floors) and typically had a garrison of one officer and 15 to 25 men. Their round structure and thick walls of solid masonry made them resistant to cannon fire, while their height made them an ideal platform for a single heavy artillery piece, mounted on the flat roof. They were used during the first half of the 19th century, but became obsolete with the introduction of powerful rifled artillery. Ringaskiddy Martello Tower is one of 5 Martello towers built in Cork Harbour. The Ringaskiddy tower is the most southern one. It never saw action.

At present the site is closed off but you can walk around it, but the day we arrived to see it the entrance drive was restricted with a warning sign at the entrance. We did try and drive around the area but no other entrance exisited. Also a mysterious figure whom appeared to be some kind of ‘guardian of the gate’ was hovering very near to the entrance, trying to engage with us, but something did not make sense as he was not there a few minutes before hand. He was apparently waiting for a lift, yet this was a very out of the way place, a very strange place to wait for a lift… And as mysteriously as he had appeared, a few minutes later he was gone. Read about it all in the video account below. We managed to squeeze through a small gap in the fence where the track took us to the area of the tower, something that many local dog walkers appeared to have done. As we saw the tower in the distance, the heavens totally opened up upon us and we were drenched in a matter of seconds, it was a very local occurence and it almost seemed as we were not meant to be there. We hot-footed it back to the warmth of the car and needless to say our ‘visitor’ was nowhere to be seen… Not an unusual occurence at al for us on these quests – and i seemed to have picked up a visitor of my own!

Lusitania is at 31:48 in and The Martello Tower is at 39:47 in:

Quest 33 ‘Eire the Great’ Round Up Video!



…..and the heavens opened! Plus i seem to have ‘passenger’ on board! <click to view>

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • Lord Robert De Neville (21st x GGF) 1237-1271

Monday 20th September: Day Nine: Tintern Abbey, Saltmills, New Ross: Co Wexford: Located on what as known as the ‘Hook Penisular’ near where we were staying, this Cistercian monastery, set in the heart of  beautiful countryside, was founded c. 1200 by William, Earl Marshal on lands held through his marriage to the Irish heiress, Isabella de Clare. This abbey, founded as a daughter-house of Tintern Major in Wales is often referred to as Tintern de Voto. It is wonderful to see so much of the abbey still standing, and we were able to go inside despite covid. The abbey was colonised by monks from the  Cistercian abbey at Tintern, Wales, of which Marshal was also patron. To distinguish the two, the mother house in Wales was sometimes known as “Tintern Major” and the abbey in Ireland as “Tintern de Voto” (Tintern of the vow).

Well preserved with beautiful views <click to view>

The nave, chancel, tower, chapel and cloister still stand. In the 16th century the old abbey was granted to the Colclough family and soon after the church was partly converted into living quarters and further adapted over the centuries. The Colcloughs occupied the abbey from the sixteenth century until the mid-twentieth. Conservation works have included special measures to protect the local bat colonies. The abbey is set in a special area of conservation and is surrounded by woodland within which are walking trails. Not to be missed is the restored Colclough Walled Garden situated within the old estate, and what a delight they were, as said set in a natural wooded area, quiet away from the main abbey area, but we were given kind permission to drive there.,_County_Wexford

This is exactly what a walled garden should look like; an absolute delight! <click to view>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lord Robert De Neville (21st GGF) 1237-1271


The beautiful area of Saltmills on the way to Fethard Castle <click to view>

Fethard Castle, Fethard, Co Wexford: We were pleasantly suprised when we arrived at Fethard Castle, as for all intents and purposes (according to our print out) the castle was closed, as in a state of total disrepair. So what a treat to see that the castle is now under going intensive renovations. One still cannot go inside but the surrounding gardens have all been made beautiful for pilgrims and visitors alike. The castle is part of the Norman Way, pligrims and leisure walk. Fethard (Irish: Fiodh Ard, meaning “high wood”) is a town in the barony of Middle Third, South Tipperary in Ireland. It is also a parish in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly. It is located 10 miles east of Cashel on the Clashawley River. The town is remarkable for having been heavily fortified and completely surrounded by town walls as part of Edward I’s policy of establishing fortified market towns. The town walls rise to a height of 25 feet and can still be seen today. Most of the circuit survives, making Fethard the most complete medieval circuit in Ireland.

Under renovation but lots more to come! <click to view>

The castle was built by Christ Church Canterbury after they had been granted the borough of Fethard by Hervey de Montmorency. However, it had belonged to the Bishop of Ferns before the Norman conquest of 1169, and he successfully reclaimed it. The stone castle here at Fethard was built in several phases during the 14th and 15th centuries. The earliest part of the castle is a gatehouse located on the eastern side of the building. The castle was probably built by the Bishop of Ferns as a summer residence and the crenellated circular tower was topped by a bellcote. In the later medieval period several bishops resided at Fethard to avoid the attacks of the native Irish in north Wexford. In the 17th century Fethard Castle became the property of the Loftus family whose grand residence at Loftus Hall is another site along the Norman Way. It was inhabited until 1922.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Lord Robert De Neville (21st GGF) 1237-1271


“And so with this wonderful Irish quest heading towards its conclusion, we still have a lovely full and fascinating day in Waterford to look forward too, where you may see the ‘queen of Waterford on her throne!



‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ February 2022