At the end of a wonderful sunny day, the consensus of the thirty-three IGRS members and friends who participated.in the Ireland Branch 2015 Summer Outing was that it was a very successful and most enjoyable event. Thankfully, Saturday, 21st June proved to be glorious – blue sky, warm sun and pleasant breeze.
The first stop was at Emo Court, Co. Laois, where the party had had morning coffee and hot scones with cream. Afterwards, the Office of Public Works’ guide gave us a tour of the house. Emo Court was designed by James Gandon (1742-1823) for the 1st Earl of Portarlington, John Dawson. In the early 1970s the house was bought from the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) by Major Cholmeley Dering Cholmeley Harrison, who had it extensively restored. In 1995 he presented the house, its contents and grounds to the Irish Nation. After the tour a little time was spent walking and resting in the lovely grounds.
Lunch was enjoyed in the village of Horse and Jockey, Co. Tipperary, after which the party travelled the short distance to Cashel to be given a guided visit of the Rock of Cashel and Cormac’s Chapel. The next stop was again a short distance away – Holy Cross Abbey – a 12th century Cistercian foundation, extended and remodelled in the 15th century.
As usual, the day was rounded-off with a delicious and refreshing afternoon tea of assorted sandwiches, cake and tea or coffee, this year enjoyed in nearby Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, before the party made the return coach journey home to Dublin.
All of the group was very keen that their thanks be extended to Ireland Branch committee member Cat Delaney who organised the day’s programme and undertook an initial recce of the locations, venues and eating places. As usual, the event provided a convivial social setting for members to meet and share their genealogy experiences and research tips, especially in such lovely surroundings and over delicious food.