Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Garda Station that should have been built in India/High Drama in Ballyduff

Ballyduff. Another lovely village located along the River Blackwater. 
    On the way to Cork a couple of days ago I took a more scenic route than usual as I had some time to spare. One of the places that I passed through was the lovely village of Ballyduff. It`s a small village of only a few hundred people but is known nationwide for some of its artistic endeavours. At this time, its yearly drama festival is well underway and this year between 6th March and 15th March there are ten different plays being acted out by ten different amateur drama groups from around the country. This festival first took place in 1981 and attracts followers from all over Ireland every year. West Waterford Drama Festival 
        Another yearly artistic happening in Ballyduff is the show known as "The Booley House". This is an annual show of Irish traditional music, singing, dancing and storytelling. It is on the go since 1991 for the months of July and August and is very highly recommended.  The Booley house
       Being situated on the bank of the River Blackwater you can be assured that the river has an important place in the lives of the local people. Some of the best salmon fishing on the whole river is to be found around Ballyduff and one of the best known places to organise this fishing is "The Blackwater Lodge". This fishing lodge is owned by Mr. Ian Powell and has 14 miles of private fishing to let on the river. The Blackwater Lodge has its own blog page which gives reports on the the current fishing and prospects for the fishing in the days ahead. Something else on the blog which is nice is the graphs showing the rise and fall of the water levels on the river. 
 Blackwater Lodge Fishery 

     Something a lot older, but nonetheless interesting to be found in Ballyduff is the old Garda station. Now closed down it is a formidable looking building located across the bridge, looking back at the village to where it was to keep law and order. Originally built in 1869 as an RIC barracks it was taken over by the Gardai in 1926 and was in use as a Garda station up until 2013 when it was closed down along with many rural Garda stations throughout the country.
The story goes that the building was to be built in India but that the plans got mixed up and it was built in Ballyduff instead and the Ballyduff one was buit in India.
    An interesting little  village Ballyduff. Don`t you think?

    The impressive Garda station in Ballyduff.

 A view from below looking up at one of the two towers situated at opposite corners of the building which were designed so as to be able to defend the building from attack by firing from the slit windows with reduced risk of injury to those inside.

 The original water pump still outside the door of the station to which many a junior garda would have been sent to fetch water for the sergeants tea.

 The view from the old Garda Station looking back across the river to the village of Ballyduff.

These are some of the many swans (Whooper swans I think) that are grazing in the stil partially flooded  farmland  of the Blackwater valley between Lismore and Fermoy. Hopefully before they go back up north for their summer I will be able to get a bit closer for some better shots.

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