Today we ventured into Joyce Country, a remote and wonderful area, partly in County Galway, and south County Mayo. This region is not named after James Joyce but after the the Joyces, a Norman Clan who came into this region with the early arrival of the Normans. They settled in the Ashford Castle area near Cong in County Mayo before populating the areas further on, which later became known as Joyce Country. This is not an area known to tourists as the roads are hilly, winding and narrow, and definitely not for the bus tours. It is an area i personally love and am familiar with. Just another of the many reasons why having a native to take you around is not a bad idea.
A view of Lough Nafooey in the heart of Joyce Country today.
Well we had to stop off for a rest break and a coffee, and what a lovely place we picked to stop. The pub is the Larches and it is in Finny on the shores of Lough Nafooey.
Brid (pronounced Breege), the landlady, was all that a hostess should be, and really great company. For a pub in a remote region such as this you would imagine that they would never survive, but Brid was not long in letting us know that she had a thriving business with great local support and also visits from people touring who loved a chat and a good soup and sandwich. She also can prepare a meal for a visiting group and can cook up a great Irish stew when given advanced notice. Her web address is
and there is a contact form there.
Tell her Dave Hogan sent you. as i always say....it will not do any harm, and if you want to meet a genuine Irish lady full of all that real Irish hospitality is about, you could not find a better lady, or a nicer place.
Here we have Sue, Brid, and Liz behind the bar, with baby Jenny seated on the counter. It looks like the ladies got a job.
Now Liz has takes over the baby sitting with Jenny, looking quiet content.
After leaving Brid we headed off for Tourmakeady which is situated on the shores of Lough Mask. Here you see Liz, all wrapped up against the cool Autumn air with the lake in the background.
A beautiful display of roadside flowers in the village of Partry on our way to Ballintubber Abbey. Now you know why we feel lucky to have the rain we have.
Ballintubber Abbey dates back to the twelve hundreds and is still fully functional as a church. Just ask Pierce Brosnan (of James Bond fame), he was married here.
More pictures of the Abbey below.
The main altar inside the old church
The Crucifixion scene in the grounds of the Abbey
After spending time in the Abbey we ventured across the road to Corley's pub hoping that they might have a soup and sandwich. What a nice surprise to find that we were able to have a lovely home cooked meal. Sue and i had the lamb chops while Liz had roast chicken. On top of that we all had lovely mashed potatoes, peas, and the most beautiful turnip. The accompanying gravy was delicious and the helpings were more than generous. A meal for me is never complete without a dessert, and i went for the Sherry Trifle while Sue had the strawberry Pavlova. Liz abstained. How can someone do that? The coffee rounded it all off and i gave the cook ten out of ten.
Corley's is another unmissable place if you get to Ballintubber.
I must say that the expression "Good choice Dave"is one i hear many times over and over. My clients do like my choices of places to eat. I find it easy....i just love good food.
This was a really nice day today in the less travelled areas in north Galway and south Mayo. They deserve a lot more visitors and if unspoiled beauty is what you like then you will find it here.
If you want me for anything just drop me a line.
Oooohhhh.......and bye the way....baby Jenny is a doll.