The famous arrival scene of the John Wayne 1952 film 'The Quiet Man' was filmed here. I think the real name is much more evocative that what Hollywood named it, but I can't do much about that.I understand the station is currently being converted into a restaurant run as a community project. If you then get a video of the film you can clearly see...more
This really is something of a hidden gem. Follow the brown tourist signs to Monivea woods and you will hit on some delightful woods that have been recently developed with paths and signage.Apart from a good woodland walk they also contain two points of interest. The Monivea Mausoleum is the main draw. Built in 1896 by a devoted daughter, this...more
The village (or is it small town ?) has developed a number of walks through the surrounding woods. A short circular walk begins by the bridge and extends alongside the riverbank over a number of small bridges (all of which have trolls living under them according to my son). It is a very pretty walk, especially in the autumnal sunshine - it almost...more
A 'Tur lough' is a rather unusual feature of the landscape of Ireland west of the Shannon. They are quite common around this area of county Galway. So, what is it ? Well, its a lake that won't appear on any maps. This is because it is a seasonal phenomena, whereby the exposed limestone creates a shallow lake during the winter months. To be fair,...more
This tip does not refer in any way to the dog's of the same name.The most striking natural feature of the landscape around here is Knockroe Hill. There is a far more famous one elsewhere in Ireland, but a walk up this one is still very worthwhile.The view from the top is quite impressive, and you will also find a number of small shrines and a well...more
A wonderful ruined abbey. I had my wedding photos take there. If you want the history find it on a website as i'm not going to type it all out for a place that is so small you can't find it on the VT search system. So this recommendaion goes down as the first ever tip for Monivea.more
I'm facing a moral dilemma at this point...this new chipper (chip shop to you and me) is bound to be run by someone I'm related to by marriage, and If i write a bad review....It maybe Abbeyknockmoy's best food outlet, but then again it's Abbeyknockmoys ONLY outlet.I'm surprised that considering the name and the names they gave to the various fried...more
This little business is situated in Mountbellow, on what is called 'The Square'. Odd really, when it is quite clearly a triangle. But that aside, this place is great. It operates as a cake shop (cakes 2 go) during the day - i especially recommend the scones. After a couple of hours break it re-opens in the evening as pizza-2-go. The pizzas are well...more
The owner of the restaurant also owned the house we rented. We ate there on our first night. They squeezed our group of 15 in early because they had a group coming in later. That was very kind of them. The restaurant was upstairs and the walls were stone and the room was dark, it was kind of midieval looking. It was very, very nice! Everyone had...more
I am rather loathed to write about this place, as I would like it to remain a well kept secret. I therefore refuse to give any further directions to the said establishment.The pub is a true 'local' with a varied choice on the pumps of Guinness, Guinness or Guinness. The main room of the pub features wooden floor, an assortment of seating and a...more
I celebrated the new year of 2004/2005 in this unholy cesspit. Don't ask why, it's quite complicated story and involves mythical Brazilian lap-dancers.This pub, if situated in London would probably be referred to a 'designer dingy', but here it's just a crap pub. The toliets in particular have to be smelt to be believed. Tiling in a pissoir like...more
The table quiz is held regularly - I think on a thursday night.Don't expect it to be a level playing field though. Some friends of mine claim that they were doing very well one night until they were stumped by this question :"What is the number plate of the Priest's new Car?" .What you might call something of a parochial question ! Most tables got...more
Right in the middle of the village stands the aluminium monstrosity of the new SPAR store and petrol station.
I much prefered the tiny petrol station and local shop stuck in the back of the pub (opposite), but 'times they are 'a changing' even in Abbeyknockmoy and the local Richard Branson - Sean Donoghue has added to his retail empire. Progess eh ?
What to buy: The well stock shop has everything you expect, and all of course at sky-high Irish prices.
It is somwhat refreshing in this day and age not to have put up with skilled sales patter and smiles that are painted on my management decree.
You certainly won't get that in the menswear shop in Mountbellow. When I last went in, I was greated with just the word 'Miserable'. I'm not sure if the shop owner meant it as a question, or if he was referring to himself, me, or just the weather.
He didn't get a sale, but I will be back - if only to see what randon word I will be greated with next time.
I recently came across a report of a UFO sighting in Abbeyknockmoy (although it was supposed to happen over 10 years ago).
I don't at all suspect that copious amounts of Guinness consumed in the Derreen inn (see tip on the Worst Pub in Ireland) had anything to do with it :
Anyway the website said this :
The most interesting event to have occurred in the last several years in Galway took place in mid-December 1991, and was deemed important enough to receive a half-page of coverage in the same paper. The report referred to a UFO that was seen by at least three people in the area of Abbeyknockmoy. Their observation lasted several minutes, and the object looked moon- shaped and was a glowing orange colour. It lit up several fields on what was a very dark night, and was totally silent. When it vanished, one witness said there was "a very definite wispy trail of smoke" left in its place, but all witnesses were very adamant that a flare was NOT to blame
I came across a road the other day that extends up from Abbeyknockmoy in the Monivea direction for about half a mile. At the far end there is a stone that says 'heritage award winner' or something similar. I can't find any record of it anywhere on the internet.The road is a narrow little affair with grass down the middle and high hedges on each...more
Kelly's bar in Mountbellow retains the name of Captain Thomas Kelly who was born here. To say that he led an eventful life is something of an understatement. He rose in the ranks on the US army - hence the title. He was also involved in what the plaque on the outside wall of the pub rather euphemistically calls the 'organisation' - namely military...more
This beautiful thoroughbred won the Aintree English Grand National in 1999, the first Irish winner for over 20 years.There is a statue of him in the village centre of Mountbellow, Co Galway. Only a few miles a way on a quiet country road lies his grave, with an impressive memorial stone to go with it. Only in Ireland would a horse have more spent...more
The Encyclopedia of Ireland has been a massive undertaking over the past few years - and it has indeed resulted in the production of a massive book.The very first entry in this tome is 'Abbeyknockmoy Abbey'. (see other must see tips). This may well inspire many more people to visit the place - I've already seen a couple of example of this : see the...more
The following line of though could only happen in rural ireland :A lady was talking to the shop assistent whilst SB was waiting patiently. She was telling her about her Sunday in a local pub."It was bucketing with rain last night, as you know.It was cold inside, something wrong with the heating. The price of Guinness has gone up, which annoyed my...more
Just opened in Abbeyknockmoy is a rather nice little beauty parlour, situated in an atmospheric position above the local chip shop.(see tip on Abbeymacs)Although this is rural Ireland, they offer all the up to date treatments. These includes ladies haircuts in the, how should I put this politely, area that is not your head, if you see what I...more