Tag Archives: Morissey’s

Heritage tour in Laois. Kidnapped!

Kidnap Day!!

Heritage Tour in Laois

I’m calling this a Heritage Tour in Laois because for the most part, it was a Heritage tour and we did things that our friends might not have managed to do by themselves.  They definitely would not have had the company of people who know the area.

My friend Sue McDonald Welles along with her friend Mary Connelly Pereira and Mary’s brother Philip were over here in Ireland on holiday, they were going to spend 3 days in Laois because Sue’s family are from Raheen.  This was the second time in the last few years that Sue and Mary have been over and I spent a few days with them the last time as well.

My friend Dorene Allen is this incredible cook so I asked Dorene if she would cook dinner for my friends and we’d have it in her house (which was my childhood family home).  Dorene agreed to this, then it dawned on me “Jane, these are Americans and Americans go around Ireland wondering where they will get ‘Irish’ food.  Why don’t you cook an Irish stew for them”  I asked Sue if they’d like Irish stew or Bacon & cabbage, the reply came back that they would like the stew.  When I told my brother this he informed me that Dorene and her children do not like Irish stew so, I found another recipe which had lamb cooked in a red wine and tomato sauce.

In the meantime, Dorene and I are talking about my American friends and their few days here and Dorene says “Why don’t we kidnap them on Wednesday and show them all kinds of stuff they’d never get to see on their own? – A Heritage Tour” To which I replied, great idea and asked Sue to keep Wed free because we were going to kidnap them.

The Heritage Tour kidnapping day went like this:

1. We collected the three – Sues, Mary and Phil

2. We took them to the kennels for the hunt ‘hounds’ – I was calling them dogs!!

3. We went to Morrissey’s Pub in Abbeyleix for a cup of coffee

4. After that off to see the hunt people gathering and taking off from Abbeyleix Manor Hotel

5. Followed by Alissa Blundells shop ‘Horse n Riders’ in Abbeyleix

6. Then to Bramleys or the Gallic Kitchen in Abbeyleix (Titanic Carpets had been produced

7. Church of Ireland, Abbeyleix

8. Lord’s Walk beside Church of Ireland

9. Down to Durrow and Bowe’s Foodhall for lunch

10 Up to the Castle Arms Hotel Durrow – Castle

11. Off to Donaghmore Workhouse which is now a Museum

12 back to Sandymount house their Bed and breakfast for an hour break

13 Back to my family home in Rathdowney for dinner & a surprise.


I have no photos for the Gallic kitchen visit – at that point I was wrecked and just stayed in

Philip Sheppard was coming to dinner as well so I had asked him if he wanted to come earlyfor the surprise – he said yes.

We all got back to Rathdowney at 6.30p.m. where Dorene had everyone roll up their sleeves and she taught Sue, Mary, Phil, Philip & myself how to make brown bread.

Brown bread was supposed to go with dinner

Dinner consisted of Irish stew and a casserole of lamb cooked in red wine and tomatoes and
then a spinage lasagne which I had prepared for our vegetarian. Dorene did starter and dessert – she is an incredible cook.   As it turned out the American trio had a bit of both meat dishes.  The vegetarian stuck with the lasagne

They had an incredible day – I had an incredible day, Dorene and my brother Matthew had an incredible day

Almost forgot – over the course of the evening, Dorene and the children sang them songs

I am not going to load all the photos taken that day  to this page.  Most of the Hounds & Hunt went to a page created just with hounds and hunt.  Some of the photos taken there are not on that page so I include them here.  Most of the Donaghmore Workhouse photos will go to a Donaghmore Workhouse page.

Those pages will be linked to from this page.

From here – for the rest of this page, it is just going to be photos!

I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed our day overall.  My American friends have thanked us for a most incredible day and evening.  Philip has said similar as regards his evening out with us all.

Lead photo at top of page preparing to leave and go on Heritage tour not having a clue where they were going!!

The Hounds

Hunt gathering & leaving

If you are interested in seeing the rest of the Hounds & First Hunt Laois 2016 photos taken that day then please click the link.

Before the actual Hunt took off from the hotel we went to Mossirrey’s pub in Abbeyleix, a very famous place in it’s own right.  Years ago, and I am talking very many years ago this pub was only one story high.  There are photographs of it as a one story building in Heritage House Abbeyleix, although I don’t know if those photographs are available for public viewing or not.

Morrissey’s Pub, Abbeyleix

Out the door to the Hunt and then back onto Main street to

Horse N Riders

Church of Ireland, Abbeyleix & The Lord’s Walk (beside it)

Bowe’s Food Hall, Durrow 

and yes, I only have one photo from that day of the floor in the new bathroom of their extension.  A 2 cent floor!



Castle Arms Hotel, Durrow 

You can find photographs of the Castle everywhere but not of the trees.  Isn’t the colour beautiful?

The final venue of the day, the saddest place we were at.  I’ m only giving you a few photos here as the Workhouse (Museum) is going to get itself a full web page

 Donaghmore Workhouse

Everyone was exhausted at this time, it was about 5pm when we left the Workhouse.  I

dropped my American friends back to Sandymount House in Abbeyleix for an hours rest and
then got them back to our house in Rathdowney where we met Philip at the gate waiting to
go in (3 dogs in garden).  We got into the kitchen and Dorene had everyone roll up their
sleeves because she had a big bowl waiting – she taught us how to make brown bread to go

with our dinner!

Evening :)

While the bread was baking we had music

Finally the Dinner table

Our guests left at 11.30 that night and I can only say that a wonderful day was had by all.

At the end of it all, I have to say that the Americans and everyone except our vegetarian all had portions of both the Irish stew and the wine stew AND the children ate every single bit!  It was great.