A Country Lane in Ireland


Sometimes the best trips are to what some might think of as nowhere. No famous buildings, no historic spots, no famous former denizens or kings. And that's what today's piece is about: a kilometer or so of walking down a country lane in Ireland.

P1090271Of course, it's not really nowhere: No place is nowhere to those who live there, even if they don't think much about it. It is a piece of ordinary experience, the plain stuff of life that makes the unusual so extraordinary by comparison. In that sense, where we are is everywhere, somewhere and nowhere all in one.

And, Professor Abe, George G and Lisa Sheets all sorted where it was!


We came to the lane by a string of circumstances. As we often do, we had scheduled a food walking tour in Dublin early in our trip; one of the stops was at a Dublin outlet for a country cheesemaker, Sheridan's. The shop had a poster advertising a Farm Food Fair near their headquarters, an hour or so from Dublin. And we had a free Sunday.

P1090266P1090268And that's how we happened to be dropped off at a bus stop officially labeled "White Gate Cross (opp Filling Station)," which was right at the head of the lane. That's an Irish Setter on the bus, by the way, not a greyhound! Our first stop, of course, was to have a look at the shop and use its facilities and top up a water bottle.

P1090270It's the only shop for quite a ways around, and meets many needs, including what I'd never seen before: bricks of peat to burn for heat. We later passed a cottage where they were being burned; I now know what it's like and could not imagine living in a small room full of its not-unpleasant but thick aroma.


If I seem to repeat pictures along the walk, it's not that I can't tell them apart; it's that I can, and each has something to say, better than I can and perhaps beyond the ability of the image as well. As we walked (the map told us later) from County Cavan into County Meath) I found my nose as well as my eyes directing my attention; I really believe countryside smells vary more than I notice in cities.


And the roadside vegetation kept shifting, now Queen Anne's lace or wild carrots, then dandelions, and other shrubs and flowers.


And occasional clusters of cows, some of whom could be bothered to notice us, and some who didn't care. A few sheep also, but mainly cows.


A longer vista opened before us, occasionally, and also signs of current and past business. In the case of this building, I'm not sure which!P1090285

Occasionally, also, signs of a wealthier lifestyle along the road, but not many.


And a spectacular mushroom, not known to us.



More cows and open fields...and a dense bank of white flowers.


A bit past the half-way mark (though we didn't know it was) we came to a small bridge across a small river. I know their names now, from Google Maps; this is where the Edenburt Road crosses O'Daly's bridge, with the River Blackwater flowing beneath.


I'd almost be willing to bet that locally, the road crosses the river on the bridge; so singular as to need no names up close. A bit further along, we came to a roadside shrine, with an inscription in Gaelic uncial characters.


And finally, the end of the road, or at least the turn; Sheridan's, and the fair, were only a short way to the right. And by then, we were ready for food and drink. More than ready!P1090321


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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Exactly the sort of travel I enjoy; no sights, except what you notice yourself, and once you start looking differently, you become attuned to your surroundings.  

While the mighty and proud of old may disport themselves and their wealth and power, this is what makes the world go round 😁😎

I love this blog!  My grandfather lived at O’Daly’s Bridge as a youngster!  The Bridge home which is on the Meath side of the river is my ancestral home!  The large building on the property was part of a mill that my great great grandfather ran... he built that building in 1842. The Bridge was built in 1762!  The shrine on the property bears an inscription in Gaelic which basically asks Jesus to bless the souls of the O’Daly’s and the Plunkett’s.   the Sheridan Cheesemongers are in the old Virginia Road railway station, which used to be a part of the O’Daly property until it was sold.  It is such a beautiful property!  Most definitely this is not nowhere!  It is a property very rich in history with ties to St Oliver Plunkett as well as Joseph Mary Plunkett, the youngest of the seven Signatories of the 1916 Easter Rising...  here are some photos of the home which you walked by just after crossing the bridge!



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Debbie, thank you so much!

You've taken me back to a wonderful morning, and made my day as well, because for me, traveling is as much about touching and understanding life around us as it is to connect to what came before.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

So glad you enjoyed!  This place is just so close to my heart!  It made my day to stumble upon your pictures which were so familiar to me... and reading your blog made me so happy to know that someone noticed how special this place is!  Hoping to make it back to Ireland in 2020. We were there last in spring of 2017.  😊

Debbie O’Daly Czernek posted:

So glad you enjoyed!  This place is just so close to my heart!  It made my day to stumble upon your pictures which were so familiar to me... and reading your blog made me so happy to know that someone noticed how special this place is!  Hoping to make it back to Ireland in 2020. We were there last in spring of 2017.  😊

Wow, cant believe I found this blog about Bridge House.  Just happened to be out for a drive with my husband and daughter yesterday Sunday 14th July 2019 and we stumbled upon O'Daly's Bridge, such a beautiful area, parked our car and spent some time looking our the bridge at the river to enjoy its beauty.  Out of nowhere this wonderful elegant lady appears and as we returned to our car she asked us if we were here her visitors I think from America (whom she was expecting this very day and had thought maybe they had difficulty finding her home).  Sadly we were not her visitors but we did express how lovely this area was and wow she invited us in to explore her wonderful home and gardens, stepped in history and so very interesting, intrigued to know more about this wonderful place.  Our visit was short and very unplanned but thoroughly enjoyable and it definitely made our day.  What a lovely lady and so welcoming, didn't get her name? would love to write and say thank you.

That is sooo awesome!  That had to be Pauline!  Was she an older woman?  Pauline lives at the old home, having bought it years ago with her husband who had a veterinary practice there.  She raised her family there.  My great great grandfather John O’Daly built the large building behind the home in the mid 1800s. My grandfather lived at the home as a youngster into young adulthood.   He was sent to boarding school at Blackrock college near Dublin but hopped a train 2x to try to return.  He would get off at the Virginia Road Station  and walk home only to be sent back again.  I have so many stories of the home and it’s history.  Pauline is a gracious host to all of us O’Daly’s who visit from America.  As my great great aunt Dilly said, “There must always be an O’Daly living at the bridge”, it was not to be as she was the last O’Daly To live there.  She sold it to a Plunkett... then an American bought it and lived there awhile... then Pauline.  Pauline has loved that home as much as an O’Daly and I am so happy she ended up there.   I love her lots and all that she has done for us O’Daly’s who have come over to visit our ancestral home.   If you would like to connect my email address is debbieodaly@gmail.com.  Maybe I can help you send a thank you to Pauline...  ❤️❤️❤️