Dungourney June 2013

If anyone wants to check up the weather forecast on the internet, just log on to www.yr.no. Do not expect a surprise. We did! The weather prediction for Sunday was not good – grey skies, wind and rain. And so it was but it really did not matter.

We were welcomed home by Michael & Joan Rigney in the morning for fresh scones and coffee. The line up of almost 40 cars and commercials was very pleasing to neigbours and friends who popped in for a look returning from Sunday Mass, to be told for certain to call again in the afternoon on our return run.

After the usual drivers’ briefing we set off on a 16 mile journey for Cobh. We were greeted by members of Cobh Vintage & Classic Car Club who guided us into the Millenium Peoples’ Park where we parked up reversing alongside the railings that bound the seafront to Cork Harbour.

We boarded the MV Bryan J Cork which took us safely on the 10 minute journey to Spike Island a place that occupies a key location in lower Cork Harbour, the second largest natural harbour in the world. The multi-cultural island has hosted a monestary, a fortress and a prison within its 104 acres, all of which have left their mark.

Tom O’Neill, manager, welcomed our group of 75 people and spoke of the varied and interesting history from the 12th century.  Tom hopes that it will develop as a vehicle for retelling the story of 1,400 years of history and the Irish diaspora and that it will help build on the existing tourism and heritage infrastructure in Cork Harbour and Cobh.

Our homeward journey continued on the theme of secondary country roads, free of traffic and remeniscent of days gone by where one could be sure that cars, just like the ones we were enjoying, had just passed along, even if it were almost 100 years ago. Some things do not change – thank goodness for that.

We arrived back at base, the homestead of the Rigney Family. Grainne had prepared Sunday lunch for us all. We were greeted with fresh food beautifully prepared and presented – and delicious too. The garage alongside the home had been cleared, swept and cleaned and set out in trestles for tables and benches for chairs. What more could rain sodden travellers want only shelter and warm food. Be sure they were not disappointed.

What is more, taking up the morning’s invitation, neighbours and friends called in to admire our Ts and beckoned in the way of Grainne and her helpers were handed plates and were soon participating and making a really summer party of the occasion. One passerby commented that it seemed to be a re-enactment of the biblical parable of the loaves and fishes!

President of The Irish Model T Ford Club Michael Rigney said how pleased he and his family were that so many friends had taken up their invitation to join in with them on this special day.

He paid tribute to John Hayes and his team of stewards for marshalling the junctions and making our return journey pleasant and safe. He thanked his family and their friends for the helping hand for making the field and yard tidy and serviceable for the occasion.

He wished members, especially those who had journeyed a good distance, safe home.

An announcement that special birthday greetings be extended to Eleanor and Eamon to the delight of the audience.

After Sunday lunch, the gathering of old friends and new acquaintances got under way and with self brew entertainment of music, song and dance, every one was happy, and despite the poor weather, all were smiling – and that is the way it should be!

Birthday wishes to Eleanor & Eamon.

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