Adare Spring Run: 21st April 2024

John Brady, our newly elected president stood by David and Marian Cuddy as they welcomed members and friends to the 20th annual spring run based at Adare Machinery where patrons were invited to morning teas/coffees, at the drivers’ briefing. 

A printed itinerary was circulated to each driver detailing our route of about 50 miles real Irish countryside;  big bonus warm weather and bluer skies.  11:15 am saw the cavalcade of 30 Model T Ford cars of all years and descriptions. 

Brass radiator cars herald from 1909 to 1916 and there was a plenty-full array of these exquisite motor cars for everyone to admire and enjoy.  Well done to the owners for presenting these historical beauties.

First stop at Ivertus Café at Ballysteen V94 F622

Ballysteen (Irish: Baile Stiabhna) is a small village and townland in County Limerick and is located in the civil parish of Iveruss and the historical barony of Kenry.  Evidence of ancient settlement in the area includes a number of ringfort, enclosure and tower house sites in the townlands of Ballysteen, Beagh, Ballinvoher and Issane. 

Beagh Castle, an outpost fortification built in the 13th century by the FitzGerald family, is located close to Ballysteen village. Having parked up, we were free to enjoy mid day refreshments at Ivertus Café. 

The noon sunshine and warmth was a bonus.  As one gazes across the River Shannon, standing on the pier at the shore line, it was interesting to see the large aeroplanes taking off across the big pond to USA. 

What a contrast, turbo fuelled jets powering their way into the blue sky while we sit in serenity with friends in vehicles,  115 years apart from one another.  Truly amazing how far personal transport has developed in such a relative short span of time.

We were off again, refreshed, taking pleasure and enjoyment from our cars that are running well on smooth roads with notable traffic free conditions where the beech hedging along the wayside is just about to show their light green bloom leaves, pushing aside the aged curled brown leaves of last year.  Nature is truly wonderful, how the seasonal cycle repeats itself without human intervention.  Ringmoylan Pier is a really good stop for trips like the one we were on.  Plenty of room to stop and chat and take in the warm fresh onshore breeze. 

This concrete structure was built in the 1830s and was used to discharge turf from boats originating across the estuary in Co. Clare. Local people escaping poverty and hunger were taken from here in small skiffs to ships waiting in the estuary, bound for the U.S.A and Canada.

On the other side of the Shannon estuary, you can see Shannon Airport, Cratloe Village and Bunratty Castle.

Ringmoylan is linked to Wild Atlantic Way

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.

Our homeward route took in the village of Pallaskenry where shortly after we entered into Curraghchase National Park passing by Stonehall Wildlife Park.  here 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.  For the nature lover, there are a number of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC’s) in the park, largely due to the presence of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros).

The hawfinch, a rare bird on Irish soils has frequently been seen at Curragh Chase, this bird appreciates the many hornbeam trees to be found within the Park. Coillte is currently involved in restoring native woodlands within important pockets in the park, including a native Yew woodland. Ducks and an array of waterfowl live and waddle in the area on and around the lake.

Our Sunday Lunch stop was at Fitzgerald’s Woodland House and Spa where we all dined in superius surroundings to a three course lunch followed by tea/coffee. 

Our secretary reminded members of the next few events, being Mallow on 19th May, Balinadee on 16th June and our 35th Annual Rally in Louth / Moran on 7th July. 

Our President John Brady thanked our members for their safe and courteous driving at our event which was made the more safe and enjoyable thanks to the motor cycle outrunners.  He paid tribute to former president emeritus Paul Murphy for handing over a one marque Edwardian Motor Club in such fine condition. 

Our President  was pleased with the quality of service and the meal provided by the hotel staff.  He welcomed new members present on their first event with us and hope they will support other events lined up this year. 

He was appreciative of David and Marian Cuddy for hosting the event again this year, 20 years of continuous organising.  

Notable that the Hotel and Adare Machinery are celebrating their 40th Anniversary in service to patrons. 

David, on behalf of his family responded.  They were delighted to be part of a long term association with the Irish Model T Ford Club and expected that a trip to Adare would form part of the annual calendar.  

At this juncture, in wrapping up the proceedings our President John Brady presented David, Marian and Kathryn with an ash turned bowl as a memento of the occasion with thanks from the membership, who all enjoyed their Sunday Spring run in Adare.

In all, it was a good outing.  The weather being so good put a smile on every one’s face. 

The cars ran like clockwork, no breakdowns, just silent running in scenic countryside and warm on shore winds from the Shannon Estuary. 

Highly recommended.  20 years on the trot speaks for itself. 

Thank you William and Kathryn for your hard work and detailed planning.  We will return.

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