Time with Family – Both Old and Present

Ardgillan Castle

Dad being silly at a sundial in the gardens of the Ardgillan Castle.

Things didn’t slow down for us here in Dublin at the start of the work week. Unfortunately, Matt needed to return to work, so we were on our own for entertainment. My Mom really wanted to explore her heritage and see where her ancestors came from, so Sunday evening we did a little research. I had been told that Saint Oliver Plunkett hailed from Drogheda, so we hopped online and discovered that his remains are preserved in a church in the city. I mapped out a plan for us to see Mom’s history, followed by lunch in the seaside town of Skerries.

We started our travel north to Drogheda early Monday morning. Drogheda is a town I had yet to see, so it was a treat for me too. The city was surprisingly large; I hadn’t expected to find a bustling city with churches on every corner. We had to stop for directions once, but parking was easy and next thing we knew we were standing in front of St. Peter’s Church. Situated in between smaller storefronts, the enormous church seemed to be the heart of the city. Inside, soft music was playing and a few people were praying. My Mom said she thought it was more beautiful inside than Christ Church Cathedral, with it’s tall ceilings, gothic architecture, and a shrine to Oliver Plunkett.

St. Peter's Church

The shrine to Saint Oliver Plunkett. His head is in there! Out of respect, though, I will not be posting the up close and personal shot.

This is where things get cool. Saint Oliver Plunkett’s head has been preserved and is encased in a golden shrine for viewing. It was incredible to see that even his teeth are still intact! Now, Saint Oliver Plunkett is a distant ancestor in my Mom’s family. Hailing from Ireland in the 1600’s, Oliver Plunkett was a martyr for Roman Catholics; he was eventually arrested and tried for treason in London. Oliver Plunkett was hanged, drawn, and quartered and became the last Roman Catholic martyr to die in England. At the church, a shrine has been erected in his honor, holding even the door that imprisoned him while he was waiting for his execution. Needless to say, we were all in awe, especially my Mom.

From Drogheda we backtracked south to have lunch in Skerries. I took my parents to the Stoop Your Head Pub, where Matt and I ate on our visit, and enjoyed probably the best meal we’d had yet. My dad and I devoured Seafood Chowder, my mom, French Onion Soup, and then we all shared the buttery crab claws. Mmmmmmm. The weather was beautiful, so we took a post-lunch stroll on the coast, followed by a look at the Ardgillan Castle. It was even more impressive to see this time around, because the sun was shining and I could see the ocean from the grounds.

Drogheda

Among the town there are all kinds of relics like this. Pretty cool.

That evening we cooked dinner at home and sat around visiting. Matt and Dad had a cigar while my Mom and I visited. Yesterday was a “lounge” day, because we needed a little R&R with time to just visit. We read books, chatted, and watch as the Airfield started bringing animals back in (yea!). That evening, we got all dressed up and met Matt at Cafe in Seine for a pre-dinner cocktail. Matt and I then took them to The Port House, since it’s our favorite, and it turned out to be a fantastic choice for the evening. We had a great time sitting under all of the candles, enjoying nice wine and tapas! We ordered enough food to feed 12, but enjoyed it all nonetheless. On our way home, we stopped in the Hairy Lemon, made some Irish friends, and listened to our own music picks on the jukebox. All in all, it was a fantastic evening and we all had a great time! 2 more days down with great Irish adventure!

The Port House

We knew they'd love The Port House just as much as we do!

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Categories: Musings, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Time with Family – Both Old and Present

  1. We’re having a wonderful time!

  2. "aunt" Gina

    looks like it! so glad they are visiting!

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