01 Nov Midlands of Ireland
The area broadly known as the Midlands of Ireland encompasses the former Ulster counties of Cavan and Monaghan, plus Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly and Laois (the latter pronounced ‘leash’).
The northern part of this region is also known as Ireland’s Lakeland, and is dotted with many loughs which are popular with anglers and also boasts the source of the mighty River Shannon, which flows South and West from Cuilcagh in County Cavan to the Atlantic Ocean West of Limerick.
The seven counties of the Republic of Ireland Midlands have a common literary thread which binds them – Patrick Kavanagh, the celebrated poet (1904 – 1967), who lived and farmed at Iniskeen in the ‘hungry hills’ of County Monaghan.
They are also linked by an atmosphere almost of melancholy – their openness and languid waters instilling feelings quite unlike those experienced elsewhere in Ireland.
Bogs are common in this country, sources of the peat fuel which still warms as many an Irish toe in Winter. You will smell the distinct aroma on tours of Ireland.
In fact bogs cover about one-sixth of Ireland, constituting the island’s principal natural fuel resource. It is buried in power stations as well as homes, but the problem is that the supply is expected to run out in about 100 years, such is the rate that it is nowadays consumed.