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Ireland: Day 6

Today we trekked south to Kilkenny, primarily to see Kilkenny Castle, but I was also keen to check out the Design Centre and Butler Gallery of Contemporary Art. Unfortunately the gallery was closed while they assembled an installation. the Castle and Design Centre were open, however, and worth a visit.

I’ll say that Kilkenny Castle was my least favorite of the castles we’ve seen over the last week, mostly because its restoration was so thorough as to transport you back to that time, not so much to impress upon ou just how antiquated the structure is. This might not have been a problem had the restoration focused on an earlier period in the castle’s history, but the excess and overstatement of Victorian style has never much appealed to me. Still, the tour guide (it was not possible to see the castle interior except via guided tour, and no pictures were allowed) was very charming, witty and knowledgeable, which added a lot to the tour. Oh, and I got to walk on a rug designed by William Morris himself.

The Kilkenny Design Centre was comprised of a number of craft workshops, some shops, and the National Craft Gallery. The gallery had a really awesome show up of work from a Dublin collective of five women called 595 Textiles. Very nice work, mostly fibers and weavings.

Once my mother and sister had their fill of the shops, we headed downtown to the relatively unremarkable St. Canice Cathedral. I spent most of my time there staring at a tall detached tower, trying to decipher its purpose.

Back up to Roscrea, and down some skinny country roads off the beaten path to see the ruins of Monaincha Abbey. This place was the least hyped of everything we’ve seen; I was pleased to find it deserted except for the cows. Pretty much another old stone structure, but I don’t seem to tire of these things.

We headed into the center of town at Roscrea for dinner at the White House Bar. We befriended a very inebriated chap by the name of Pat who insisted on buying us all pints. My father and I happily obliged him, despite our general inability to understand what he was saying. I liked Pat.

Stuck in my head: Q-Feel – “Dancing In Heaven (Orbital BeBop)”