Kerin Quest, kind of

After our cursory Killarney visit there was plenty of time left to get to Dingle, so we made a slight detour through Castleisland parish, whence a couple of my grandmother’s grandparents came. I have mixed feelings about the Irish “heritage tourism” industry — I can understand visiting former homes of family members you actually know, but seeking out the birthplace of ancestors you’ve never met seems awfully abstract. However, it was almost on the way, so we made a quick stop to behold the glories of downtown Castleisland, chief among them the Livestock Mart:

Life in those apartments next to the Cattle Intake driveway must be exciting on market day.

Then it was on to Scartaglen, another Kerin-connected locale. The town consists of three pubs, a small newish church, and a Texaco station. The view past the Texaco is not unattractive:

We didn’t attempt to chat up any of the locals and ask them about the notorious Kerin family, because (a) people in Castleisland seemed busy in a not particularly friendly way, (b) people in Scartaglen seemed not to exist, and (c) I am reluctant to talk to people unless I know they want to talk to me, and often I avoid it even then.

(On the other hand, a couple of days later we visited a Kerin’s Bar in the pleasant town of Ennis; there were no Kerins around, but we were drawn into a lively chat with a non-Kerin who was a big fan of the Clare hurling team, Ian McEwan, and Al Pacino, not necessarily in that order.)

Nearby Castlemaine was marked with a huge highway sign declaring it “Home of the Original Wild Colonial Boy.” Beyond that there were few sights of note until we got to Inch Strand, the beachiest beach we encountered in Ireland and one of the locations for Ryan’s Daughter. Like the movie and this blog, it seemed to go on and on.


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