Castlerea boasts a rather fine town park that a town ten times it size would be proud of. It's got a series of nice little walks winding around a small river and associated streams dotted with little humpback stome bridges.
What I can't fathom is it's point. In a large town a public park brings in a little (allbe it heavily sanitised) bit of the countryside to provide a 'green lung' where inhabitents can reaffirm their physcological link to the trees flowers of our collective unconscious. But what do we see beyond the boundary walls of the park in Castlerea ? - the open countryside. Seems to somewhat negate the point of having a park - the real thing.
Nice place, nonetheless.
a railway engine in the bar. The claim is on a small sign of the bar and museum that goes by the name of "Hell's Kitchen". Quite why it is called this I have no idea. The engine in question is an 'A' class diesel from 1955. It originally cost the equilvalent of 2 million or so pounds but after 40 years service it was only worth 1600 quid for scrap. Sean, the hero of our story here, became the owner who in time put a lifetime of anoracking to good use by opening his bar and Museum.
The bar itself operates as a normal pub, and is a good a place as any for a quiet pint in the town, but sticking out of one end of the pub is the cab of the aforementioned engine. The charge is a measly five euro to enter the cab and wander through where the 'gubbins' of the engine would have been. The room beyond houses a great little collection of items associated with Irish railways. I especially like the collection of the 'thingies' (I wont admit to knowing the proper name because that would make me an anorack) they have. 'Thingies' are the metal item that a traindriver holds onto when going over a single line section - to ensure that no other train is on the line.
Castlerea is directly connected to Dublin via rail. If you develop a deep and abiding love for Castlrea then it is an easy journey of about 2 and half hours. I suspect that the stop at Castlerea is more likely to be utilised by the friends and family of some very deeply unplesant characters. The High security prison (we are talking IRA terrorists here) entrance is placed handily just across the tracks from the station.