Ballybunion by the sea

We drove around to see the area. Coolard where one great great grandmother, Elizabeth McElligott was born. Also Gunsborough because it was written in his obituary that her brother was from there – Coolard is a “townland” of farms and Gunsborough was a town and even had a jail (per a man we met from there) but now nothing remains except the jail which is on a farmer’s land. There are still McElligotts there but that name was fairly common here and we have not had a chance to meet them.

We found this curious sign in the vicinity of Gunsborough.

Ballybunion is a pretty town on the Atlantic with its own cliffs and beaches and a world renowned golf course – oh, and a statue of Bill Clinton as you enter town! Guess he came to play golf?

And, of course, an old castle ruin

The blue and white building is the Sea and Cliff Rescue

We saw a helicopter hovering and wondered if the coast guard was actually doing a rescue but it appeared they were practicing but not sure. A person when up and down a couple of times and they hovered there quite awhile.

Kids in the surfing school doing some sort of game/exercise before getting instructions on their boards and taking off for the water.

The houses along the beach reminded us of the “long walk” in Galway. And really remind you of an older time. I can more picture women in very modest “swim clothes” instead of bikinis.

Back in the town of Ballybunion we walked down to look at the old library and talked with Tom. He was a retired banker who told us he was not originally from Ballybunion but had lived there more than 30 years but was still called a “blow-in”, someone from out of town who moved there.  He actually knew a lot about many people in the town and told us quite a bit of information on our possible relative’s family. We also found out this stone library building had been moved from another town into Ballybunion. They took it apart and labeled every stone and put it back the way it was!

Tom told us one story that stuck with us as international visitors. He had recently been talking to two young men from New Jersey who asked him how to drive to England from Ireland. He told them you can’t do that. They responded with “why not?” and he told them “Ireland is an island” (as is England) and they did not even know that.

A view of the golf course – actually there were much more scenic areas of it that we drove by but didn’t get pictures. I can see why its popular, its beautiful

We had lunch in Ballybunion. As it was Sunday, not everything was open but we found a place and got some bangers and mash – Bill has been wanting to try that.


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