Adare Run April 2023

Dear friends and fellow enthusiasts, we are thrilled to have you back here in Limerick for another year of celebrating this iconic car and its rich history.  As hosts of the event, Marian and I are honoured to welcome you all once again to County Limerick.  We hope that you have a safe and enjoyable drive as you explore the beautiful countryside and take part in the activities that we have planned for you.  This is a time to reconnect with olds friends, make new ones and share in the joy of driving these wonderful cars, Sincerely, David & Marian Cuddy”. 

This the welcoming note that was expressed to all of the 23 drivers and crews, and for passing on to the seven members who sent their apologies in advance.  We assembled in warm spring weather at Adare Machinery for refreshments.  Noteworthy was the large lemon cake cut up into decent squares like a chess board, freshly baked by Aileen Ryan, which was soon gobbled up by the appreciating audience.  With cars parked up in line, John Quinn acting as flagman, hoisted up the Ford flag that waved in the warm breeze.  President Paul Murphy called the group to order at 11:15 am, welcomed everyone to the 19th Annual Adare run and introduced David for the drivers’ briefing. 

A six-page itinerary with directions was circulated where we were to enjoy two pier stops on the banks of Ireland’s longest River, the River Shannon.  He advised that safety was paramount and the motor cycle volunteers would man junctions to make matters easier and enjoyable.  Our scenic rural roads were enjoyed.  For the most part the hedges had been trimmed over the winter leaving us to admire real countryside where farmers get involved in mixed husbandry.  Young cattle in abundance enjoying strip grazing of luscious fresh green grass whilst other fields were recently planted out with a variety of crops just sprouting in time for our visit.  The rural roads were quiet and the smiling householders were out in their gardens waiving us on with encouragement. 

Our first stop was Beagh Castle V94F 622 situated in the community of Ballysteen near Askeaton. Beagh castle is right on the banks of the Shannon Estuary Way.  Beagh Castle itself has a chequered history and is believed to have been built on the site of a Viking Settlement. According to the legend, a Viking prince returned to this point on the shore following his conversion to Christianity and built a chapel here in the 820s. The castle itself was built by the the FitzGeralds of Desmond as an outpost fortification around 1200 so is at least 800 years old! A Battery used by the soldiers was built onto the west side during the Napoleonic wars as a defensive measure. 

There is a delightful resting spot alongside.  It is Iverus Café where teas and coffee were soon the right ingredient for a sit down and chat with old friends and the opportunity to meet with new T’ers.    Here there are five holiday cottages looking out at the castle and pier.  The 300 year old cottage were originally lived in by soldiers and later became Coastguard cottages.  They have all been lovingly restored and still have the feel of a place like you have travelled back in time.  We wish Anne Kellett of The Iverus Café well and every success, we thank her for her hospitality and service and will make a recommendation to friends to call by if in the area.

With the flag lowered, we were off again travelling alongside the River Shannon heading in the direction of Pallaskenry and Ring Moylan pier.  The pier is a concrete structure that was built in the 1830s and was used to discharge turf from boats originating across the estuary into Co. Clare.  Local people escaping poverty and hunger were taken from here in small skiffs to ships waiting in the estuary, bound for USA and Canada.  On the other side of the estuary you can see Shannon Airport, Cratloe Village and Bunratty Castle.  Ringmoylan Pier has a long maritime tradition, which includes usage of Gandelows for transporting people across the Shannon, salmon fishing, reed cutting and for lighthouse keeping. 

A plaque was recently erected at Ringmoylan to explain the pier’s maritime tradition and the usage of Gandelows for transporting people across the Shannon, salmon fishing, reed cutting, and for lighthouse keeping. It’s a great location for fishing and swimming.  Ringmoylan is linked to the Wild Atlantic Way.  After chatting and photographing, it was time to complete our circuit of west Limerick but beforehand taking a magnificent drive through Curraghchase National Park.  There are over 300 hectares of rolling parkland, trails, mixed woodland, lakes and an arboretum at Curragh Chase. This planned landscape was the former home of the de Vere family, the most notable being Sir Aubrey de Vere who was a poet and an author.

The façade of the former grand house sits proud on the hill overlooking the main car park and man-made lake. There are many wonderful features of the de Vere estate dotted around the Park for you to find, including; the impressive arboretum, a pet cemetery and a memorial cross.  Maybe next time we will stop awhile.

We duly arrived at Woodlands Hotel, parked our fleet in the extra car park that was available for us and proceeded to a dining room that was filled to capacity just for ourselves.  A delicious hot meal was served followed up by a medley of desserts and tea/coffee. 

At the appropriate moment President Paul Murphy welcomed all, thanked them for their support and expressed his appreciation to David & Marian for hosting the event, which turned out to be enjoyable and sociable, as always.  As a reminder, he called for support for our trip to Virginia on14th May as well as the hosting of a stand at the Classic Fest on 2nd July at Galway racecourse.  He wished to draw attention to those who organise events, saying that their reward will be a wood turned bowl.  It is notable that Eamon Dunne ran an event in his home County of Wicklow a few years ago but unfortunately this predated the bowl gifts. 

However, as there is a special birthday coming up very shortly he decided to make amends in retrospect.  He presented Eamon Dunne with a hand turned bowl made from spalted beech, the product of Storm Ophelia of a few years ago with our best wishes and congratulations.  He reminded his audience that our event of this day was the 19th one in succession and by hosted by Marian and David.  For nineteen years they have welcomed us to Adare, produced home baking products for us to enjoy and provided nice places to visit without ever any duplication of routes within the itineraries, thus proving that Limerick is a great place, one that he and Sandra hold with affection and pride. 

He presented David with a Chestnut bowl, hollowed out by his brother Christopher and finished off by his other brother William, a unique family piece that he hopes they will enjoy.  David responded to the gathering.  He thanked them for attending and visiting.  He also thanked those who were unable to come along for one reason or another.  Maybe next year, we may have a bumper crop of fellow T’ers to come and visit for our 20th annual Adare day run.

Our honorary secretary mentioned that thanks to Flivver Online in Belfast we now have a website that is second to none.  Michael is planning an upgrade that will include a drop-down facility for the payment of annual subscriptions and the rally fees as they arise for events.  Anything to cut down on administration and the bother of cash collections!  Our President asked that we convey our thanks to Michael with appreciation from us all.

President Paul brought the event to a close.  He wished all a safe journey home and looked forward to meeting up again at one or more of the planned events of 2023.  In summary, it was a great day.  Lots of member support.  Cars in great condition, no breakdowns or even trivial mishaps.  Weather great.  Scenery even better. Roads entirely suitable for 100 year old cars.  Superb friendly company.  Easy to figure out that we have a fabulous club with great members.  We will return next year for the 20th tour.

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