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LikePlace Blog

Who watches the Neighbourhood Watchers?

Does anyone else keep seeing these signs all over Ireland. I remember it as an initiative in the early 90s.
I wonder is it still underway.
Are locals organised into vigilante Neighbourhood Watch possies? Do goughers really think twice about thieving when they see them? Be interesting to find out.

New VIDEO - A cycle thru Croghan in Co.Roscommon

Croghan is a tiny village in the heart of the rolling hills of north Roscommon.
I said before that I love Roscommon. It is little places like this (plus the surrounding countryside) that explain why.
(PS - the chap on the bike is Ronan.)

From Aldi to Árainn Mhór, Orangemen to Otters - Heritage Week '09

Heritage week logo
It's Heritage Week this week (you probably saw the TV ads).
A good idea.
To my mind, Heritage is about it ALL - everything that makes up Ireland.
What we inherit, what we retain, what we create & what we pass on. From Aldi to Árainn Mhór, from Orangemen to Otters.
No gaps. It's all there - because it's all here.
(Alt.universe newspaper headline: "Orangeman on Árainn Mhór savaged by Otter in Aldi Car park")

NEW LikePlace website for Britain - Rate great places to live on

Do you - or did you ever - live in Great Britain?
If so, now is your chance to let rip on places you know on the new LikePlace website for England, Scotland & Wales:
Over 60,000 locations are logged in the database - from John o' Groats to Lands End, Kilburn town to Cricklewood.
As a past-residents ourselves, myself and Ronan have rated a few places already. We lived in Stevenage (Hertfordshire) for a time. A grand spot, if a little 1950s new-town style.
Finally, remember that you can also rate great places to live in the USA on LikePlace America.
PS - To help you tell the 3 sites for Ireland, America and Britain apart, we have added cute little flags to the logo on each.

New VIDEO of production units ... I mean animals ... down on Newgrange Farm, Co.Meath

As a kid I thought a typical farm would have a few cattle, the odd sheep, a couple of ducks, a few hens, a goat, a pig or two - and maybe a donkey for good measure.
Growing up I realised there are actually just open air factories where production units (animals or crops) are created for eventual packaging.
Don't get me wrong. I am not an animal rights militant, a vegan or some such. It is just that the gap between the fairytale image of a farm and the actual industrial reality is so wide.
The only place in Europe where such 'traditional' farms still exist is deep in the east (Rumania, Ukraine) - or on an Irish show farm.
The attached video shows Newgrange Farm.
Located beside Newgrange megalithic tomb, it is actually quite fun to visit. It has all the cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, etc.
Of course, it is not a 'real' farm in the modern sense. But still a good way to see some happy production units ... I mean, farm animals up close.

2 nifty new features for the LikePlace website

  1. Instead of just 1 recent comment appearing on the homepage - multiple comments now appear. Oh yes. Plus, they fade in and out so as not to distract you. Subtle to the MAX!
  2. For everywhere that is rated we are adding an extra page that contains Links, Video, Photos & anything else interesting. The first one has been done for Ardee. More to follow.
Permanent Beta? You better believe it!

New VIDEO - Cabra, the High Chapparal for suburban horses

Dublin has something of a reputation for its suburban horses.
Cabra could be the High Chapparal.
In this video, I recorded 2 of them, but on my cycle there I saw at least 2 more.
They seem in good form. In fact, I am advised that the horse grazing in the front garden is a mare in foal.

New VIDEO - Mud & magic inside the spectacular Caves of Kesh in Co.Sligo

In a previous video, I showed the cave of Uaigh na gCat in Roscommon. You might recall its entrance as being little more than a hole in the ground.
The Caves of Kesh (aka Keash) - near Ballinafad, Co.Sligo - couldn't be more different.
13 or 14 grand arched entrances fill one entire side of a prominent hill. They really are quite spectacular, both to look at and a vantage point from which to view the surrounding landscape.
A few narrow and confined passages run about 40 to 50 metres inside the mountain. I crawled in as far as I could and got truely smothered in mud. But it was worth it. There are some nice caverns inside.
These caves do have one thing in common with Uaigh na gCat. They were also held by our ancestors to be a gateway to the underworld.
There is a legend that Fionn MacCumhaill had to come here to rescue some damsel or other from various old hags. All good fun, I am sure.

SCOOP - Video of new FREE BIKES for Dublin, as seen this morning

On the way to work this morning, I spied the bikes being set up for a press photo shoot on Dame Street. I stopped and grabbed some video.
The bikes look sturdy, with pneumatic tyres and a blue coloured mud guard at back, containing the Bikes for Dublin logo.
Overall pretty good. Look forward to trying them.
The website as it appears on the van is

NEW VIDEO - a stroll around Ardee (Co.Louth), battle place from An Táin Bó Cúailnge

Several years ago I read the Thomas Kinsella edition of the (translated) An Táin Bó Cúailnge.
It is actually a wonderful read. Full of war, sex, wine, passion, oversized female egos and overwhelming masculine posturing.
The great thing is that the route of An Táin - from Rathcroghan in Roscommon (see video below), to Cooley in Louth - can still be accurately traced. All the places associated with the key events still exist.
Ardee is a great example.
"Baile Átha Fhirdhia" is where the hero Cúchulainn defeated his lifelong friend (& foster brother) Ferdia following a 3 day battle.
Cúchulainn's grief at slaying his buddy was immense (though it didn't stop him slaughtering several thousand other warriors).
Fast forward 2,000 years and today Ardee is a busy town. A bit too busy actually, with lots of thru traffic on the main Dublin-Derry road.
Nevertheless, it contains a wonderful statue of Cúchulainn holding the slain Ferdia down by the river, where the battle took place.
It also has 2 late medieval castles on the main street, adding more historical credo to the place.
Worth a stop if you are passing thru.

The best school in Ireland is ... The High & Diocesan School, Rathgar

The top 25 schools are shown below.
  1. The High And Diocesan School, Zion Rd, Rathgar, Dublin 6
  2. St Andrew’s College, Booterstown Ave, Blackrock, Co Dublin
  3. Coláiste Fhlannain, Inis, Co An Chláir
  4. St Louis High School, Rathmines, Dublin 6
  5. Gonzaga College, Sandford Road, Dublin 6
  6. St Mac Dara’s Community College, Templeogue, Dublin 6 W
  7. Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin 6
  8. Loreto College, St Stephens Green, Dublin 2
  9. St Michael’s College, Ailesbury Road, Dublin 4
  10. Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
  11. Dominican Convent, Muckross Park College, Donnybrook
  12. Terenure College, Terenure, Dublin 6W
  13. St Mary’s College, Rathmines, Dublin 6
  14. Our Lady’s School, Templeogue Rd, Terenure, Dublin 6 W
  15. Rathmines College, Town Hall, Rathmines, Dublin 6
  16. Templeogue College, Templeogue, Dublin 6W
  17. Wesley College, Ballinteer, Dublin 16
  18. Gorey Community School, Gorey, Co Wexford
  19. Christian Brothers College, Monkstown Park, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin
  20. Catholic University School, 89 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
  21. St Benildus College, Upper Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Blackrock
  22. Castletroy Community College, Castletroy, Co Limerick
  23. Newpark Comprehensive School, Blackrock, Co Dublin
  24. St Conleth’s College, Clyde Road, Dublin 4, Ballsbridge
  25. Coláiste Eoin, Br Stigh Lorgan, Baile An Bhóthair, An Charraig Dhubh
Interesting footnote ... of all the categories on LikePlace schools are rated least often. I suspect the reasons is that our submitters are 'in betweeners'. That is, too old to feel they can reliably rate their old school, and too young to have kids of their own.

Moving to Ireland? Confused by counties? We can help!

It's not always easy to know where counties are located. Right?
I mean - Laois, Offaly? Even I get confused which is which.
To help you orient yourself, we have added a clickable map that shows all counties in Ireland. So far, it is just a simple click-n-go job, but better pop-up naming will be added soon.

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