County Westmeath, Thursday, 28th July 2022…
‘Place of the ford of Luan’
Athlone on the Shannon.
It did not always look like this!
For one thing,
it used to be a lot greyer.
But gradually, along with the boats,
colour started to seep into the area.
If only, for a long time,
a sort of mucky brown.
Athlone castle is already present in this picture,
and probably had been for quite some time.
It is just visible on the left.
At some point a garrison was stationed there,
whose efforts, so the story goes,
finally brought to an end the endeavours at Clonmacnois,
and it would still not be inappropriate to regard the building as a fort,
and a very formidable looking fort at that.
However, it is now a museum and there were rumours
that a couple of Sheela-na-Gigs are now housed there.
Or at least, they once were,
the tourist guide made no mention of them,
and instead extolled the virtues of the very latest
The museum, though, for all its hype,
still has the air of the sort of place
that once entered might be very difficult to exit.
Apart from the foreboding cast
of the new museum
Athlone, is a very pleasant,
and suitable hole-up in which
to enjoy a well earned rest-day…
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