Yesterday, while reading an article written by my wonderful mate Andy, I started to think about my home town, Ennistymon.
Must people associate me with Galway city. Over here, few people have heard of anything other than Dublin (and strangely Sligo) so it is easier to just reference the city opposite Dublin as where I lived for the last ten years. While I love Galway and will always gave a place for it in my heart, I am in fact a Clare woman also known as a Banner Woman and Ennistymon will always be the place where I grew up and proud to be from.
One image always associated with my town is that of the cascades.
As a child I loved walking down along the glen that followed the bank. The Glen was always a 'cool' place to hang out, and for me it is immortalised in a song by the Stunning "My Town". It can be found on this album, which is to be honest a favourite of mine. I love it. You should listen to it.
The first two houses ever built in Ennistymon were these two
Situated quite awkwardly in the centre of the town, these two houses create a corner which for motorists can only result in nightmares. For me however, these houses will always remind me of Blakes Sweet shop. Mary Blake had the Ennistymon version of Willy Wonka's factory. It was the kind of place where you could pick up sweeties with a street value of 50p for about 15p. This was an attractive transaction for any child. I think the children of Ennistymon probably went through a period of mourning when the shop closed down. It had served us all so well, for so long.
Ennistymon is also well know for it's shop fronts. It is a very quaint town to walk through.
It also has a mural on one of it's walls that I love. In fact I have a framed still of it here in Edinburgh. I will however admit I have always found the woman a little creepy.
For a town as small as it is, plenty of things have come from Ennistymon.
This video from the TV show Father Ted is set in the Glen that I mentioned earlier
The famous Irish poet Brian Merriman was born in Ennistymon in 1749. One of his most famous works is Cúirt an Mhéan Oiche. To celebrate his work every year the Merriman festival is celebrated in Ennistymon and encourages Irish born/resident writers to contribute their work. I guess the hope is to continue our fine literary traditions.
The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas also spent a lot of time in Ennistymon as he was married to Caitlin MacNamara, whose father owned the a large house in the centre of the town, now known as the Falls Hotel.
I think my family have held more or less every special occasion on the grounds of this hotel. It really is an important part of the town and is the setting for the Ennistymon Agricultural Show every year.
We have had a local woman run in two Olympic games.
It hosts a lot of conventions and gatherings,
Ennistymon also features in a song. Listen!
Are you right there Michael are you right, Percy French 1902
I love my little town. I may not see it often but it is a place that fills me with pride. I am sure I have forgotten lots of interesting facts. Either way,I hope you enjoyed my tour of my town and if you get the chance, you should go visit. It won't disappoint.