Still fighting a sore throat and sinus junk and coughing so thought I would not struggle to find a T to write about.
My first thought with T was to write about the Trainors, but we have already been down that road. I love that in the last 15 years we have connected with some really fun cousins from that side of the tree and that I have new friends now with a common interest. And family to visit if and when I go back to Colorado.
So then I thought about Togher. Lovely name isn’t it? Togher is a tiny little place over a mountain in Cork from the town of Dunmanway. One of the best times we had was when we went to visit near there. Dunmanway was like all of Ireland a very friendly place. They have a very tiny little history office where one can look at records and if you are lucky they get on the phone and call someone up to come down and meet a possible relative. I found out there are still some Ronan’s and O’Connors around there from the early families. But I did not get to meet them and had not enough time to do so.
But on a lovely day my cousin from Wales Hamish and his wife Mary traveled with us over the mountain to Togher. On the way over there is a Holy Well which we stopped at but found out it was full of garbage. Guess no one takes care of it. But we got some pictures up there and of the lovely views. Then we proceeded down into the valley and to see Togher. There was no “town center’ to be found. We did locate the school and maybe a church. But the big find of the day was the Castle.
The family story is that the O’Connor family lived in the shadow of the Castle at Togher. We drove into this farmers property and it appeared no one way home or they were ignoring the people starring at the Castle. We could not get over to it because it was protected by an electric fence to keep the cows in and the tourists out. But we got some lovely pictures of the dear old building. I would love to get closer and intend to on my next trip.
The four of us were staying in a rental house and as we returned from an outing one day there were a ton of people in the road right in front of our door. We thought right away there must have been a terrible accident to bring all those people out. So out of the car we got and went over to see what all the excitement was about.
No accident at all, it was the 18 and under girls Road Bowling Championships. Okay, I know, What is road bowling? You ask. They use a steel ball about the size of a tennis ball. The goal is to throw it down the road with the proper spin so it won’t go off the road but will go around corners etc. There is a marked off distance of maybe a quarter mile or so and the first one to get the ball to the finish in the fewest number of throws wins.
At the end of the event there was a winner – a young lady from none other than Togher. Everyone headed for the pub across the road and we joined them. It was a blast. I brought over my family tree but it appears there are no O’Connor’s or Ronan’s living in Togher any more. We spent the evening with this lovely group of people and I ordered a sweatshirt of my very own of the Togher Road Bowling organization, which I wear proudly from time to time.
Such a great memory of nice people and a grand place. And just knowing that area is exactly where Daniel, Charles, Owen, Patrick and MIchael O’Connor traveled from to North America was the best – just having stood on that ground near the castle helped me to feel more connected.