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NSC lisdoonvarna (7) RE: lisdoonvarna 12 Aug 99


Spinyjohn.

Lisdoonvarna as correctly outlined above is a famous Spa Town in Co. Clare, Ireland where there has been a tradition of the farming community to visit and partake of the natural sulphur waters flowing from a spring in the town. The Spa Baths were built in the 19th century or possibly sooner and farmers and workers bathe in the waters to soothe various aches and pains.

The visits normally take place during September when most of the summer farm work is completed.

Daughters of farmers and other female farm workers also attend and some bright spark decided to start a match making agency which still thrives. I actually met my wife there in 1972 though I hasten to add that it was not through the match makers.

In 1975 or 1976 Jim Shannon started a Music Festival and Christy Moore was one of the first guests. After a number of years the song was written. I think he wrote it himself but I am not sure. The song features numerous artists who were invited to perform as well as many of the local hostelries particularly in the famous nearby Doolin townland, birth place of the Russell family and the three brothers, Pakie, Micho and Gussie. Gussie is the only surviving brother although there are two sisters still living.

The area immediately north of Lisdoonvarna is called the Burren and is like a moonscape with acre upon acre of limestone rock. Tropical plants grow in the crevices and it is well worth a visit if you happen to be in this glorious country.

Regards George Henderson


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