Monday, November 23, 2009

Markree Castle

Just back after a busy few days. A family get together in Markree Castle Hotel, Collooney, Co Sligo at the week-end. We drove through rain and wind and some flooding to get there on Friday and returned Sunday morning. One of the historic landlord's houses of County Sligo, still owned by the same family who got the estate in Cromwell's time. The house has been renovated and is a most interesting place. Certainly not destroyed by renovation it retains much of it character. Lots of information and pictures on the website. Short history of the Coopers and Markree Castle here. A most enjoyable stay there though surely the Full Irish Breakfast does not include beans. That's the full English Breakfast!

Picture above: the impressive wooden stairs with animal head and some artwork from an exhibition Shifting Fields by the North West Artists Group which is on at the Hotel at the moment. The North West Artists Group was founded in May 2009 and includes artists from all over the North West of Ireland.

Picture below: More mounted animal heads at the front entrance hall, presumably brought back from African safaris.

One of the most famous of the Cooper family was Bryan Cooper, politician. He was one of the few Unionist MPs who became TDs in the new Dáil after the War of Independence. He sat as an independent and later as a Cumann na nGael TD for the constituency of South Dublin until he died in 1930.

Then there was the Cup Final on Sunday afternoon. More rain, wind, cold, elation followed by disappointment. Supporters of Sligo sports teams are used to disappointment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that it's a real castle with all the idiosyncrasies of an aristocratic old plantation family. The chef should take on board the fact that a full Irish breakfast shouldn't include baked beans, horrible hash browns and spiced sausages. Some Irish soda bread or potato bread would be preferable. Also an offering of vegetables would certainly compliment the main dinner. The food is otherwise of a good standard.
It certainly is a relaxing peaceful retreat and I would recommend it as long as you request a room with a view.