Posts Tagged ‘leitrim’

Ireland’s First Mushroom Festival.

In Foraging., Off the beaten track. on September 26, 2011 at 11:28 am

Weatherwise yesterday was a horrible day, however that did’nt put us off attending Ireland’s 1st Mushroom Festival at Killegar Estate, near Carrigallen, Co Leitrim. This event was,  part of the Save Killegar Campaign which the current owner Sue, Lady Kilbracken, organised as a way of raising awareness and hopefully some funds to save this beautiful old house. Completed in 1813, Killegar is in dire need of reburfishment. Sue and her son Sean live in just a couple of downstairs rooms. The rest of the house is not habitable.

A good crowd turned out for the event which was well organised. We went in groups with knowledgeable Mycologists through the grounds of the estate. We walked about 3 miles and found a range of fungi, edible and poisonous. Ireland has about 2,500 different Mushrooms. A fact I found amazing as we tend to concertrate our focus on 3 or 4 varieties. Can’t remember the name of the ones above but they were edible. However about 20% of the population have a severe allergic reaction to them so they are no longer on the edible list. Apparently they are popular in Italy.

 This bracket fungus on a Beech tree drew many people’s attention. It is unfortunately inedible and is a sign that the tree has started to die.

This person had an innovative way of carrying their bounty! Like it!

There were many other attractions too. This man was giving rides on his Donkey and cart. There were also food stalls, craft  demonstrations, art exhibition plus lectures and information stalls.

At the end of the day all the Mushrooms were identified by the experts and displayed. About 70 varieties were found. A great day out despite the weather!

If you wish to find out more info about Killegar or the Save Killegar Campaign go to . Sue, Lady Kilbracken describes Killegar as “a jewel in the heart of Leitrim”. You won’t find many disagreeing with her. Hopefully in the coming years Killegar will be restored to its former glory.

Ireland’s Taj Mahal!

In Off the beaten track. on August 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

This little limestone chapel is on the main street in the town of Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. It was built by Edward Costello as a tribute and a final resting place for his wife who died at the age of 46.

Mary Josephine Costello died in 1877. After her death she was embalmed, put to rest in an oak coffin lined with metal and left in the care of a local convent. Her widower set about building the church which was dedicated in April 1879.

After the consecration ceremony Mrs. Costello’s coffin was placed in a sunken space to the left of the entrance. It was covered with a specially made sheet of very thick glass which is still there, undamaged, and through which the plaque on the coffin lid and the aged wooden coffin are still visible.

Edward Costello died in 1891, his body was placed in a coffin similar to his beloved and placed to the right of the entrance.

Over the years more buildings have gone up around the little church. The natural light that would once have shone through this beautiful stained glass window is no more.

The recently cleaned tiles commerate the Stations of the Cross on the floor of this church which is the smallest in Europe. It is 16ft long, 12ft wide and 30ft high.  The building is known as The Costello Memorial Chapel. A little gem in the heart of lovely Leitrim.