I haven’t wrote a blog post in a while so I thought that I would share my weekend experience that I spent in the Glens of Antrim.
The Glens are beautiful part of the county and is full of scenes of natural beauty. It was Roger Casements final wish to be buried in Murlough Bay just outside of Ballycastle. Casement spent several years of his youth living in the Glens. Casement was granted a British knighthood for his contribution to human rights but he was also a freedom loving patriot, an Irish language enthusiast, a politician and a solider. Casement was captured smuggling guns from Germany to Ireland in 1916 of the coast of Cork. He was tried and convicted of treason, sabotage and espionage against the British Crown. Casement was hanged in London. Casements final wish of being laid to rest in Murlough Bay was never granted as he was buried in a quicklime grave following his hanging in Pentonville Prison. He was repatriated to Ireland in 1965 where he rests in his current burial place at Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin.
I stayed in a cottage just outside of Cushendall. I have been to Cushenall several times but this has been the first time that I have stayed overnight. It is a lovely traditional Irish town and is very traditional in terms of Irish culture. The town boasts a proud sporting history with local GAA club Ruairí Ógs being one of the most successful local hurling teams in Co. Antrim. There are a couple of nice pubs to settle down to a pint and listen to a traditional music session.
In the center of the town there is a very distinctive castle like tower known as ‘the curfew tower’. The tower was built in the 1800s by the towns landlord and served as a garrison and to detain riotous locals. As can be seen throughout towns, villages and citys across the country the tower is a stark reminder of the occupation of our country and the exploitation at the hands of the ruling class.
The scenery in the Glens make for brilliant long walks but it is also a good place to source a good bottle of poitín. It is usual to find poitín in rural areas in Ireland because it was easier to go undetected making the outlawed drink in the countryside.
I spent Sunday with people I know living in Glenariff. Glenariff is higher up in the Glen and overlooks the cost at Waterfoot. I had a great meal and everything that was made and drank was grown by my friends or sourced locally. My friends have allotments, chickens, pigs and sheep and are members of a local farming collective. I thought that the collective was great and demonstrates that growing and sourcing our own food is affordable and the benefits of sharing our surplus food collectively. I know that there is several examples of collective allotments in Belfast but community’s should pull together for the collectively buying or growing of food as it does work out cheaper and it may help ourselves and our neighbours out who are struggling in a capitalist environment.
The food tastes a lot nicer when it is home grown. I had pork with turnips, potatoes and cabbage all grown on the land (and the land isn’t a farm or large) and I washed it down with elder flower that was hand made also. I know that we have constraints in the city but I think if we even collectively sourced and bought food that it will be a lot better on the pocket and we could even source better quality food than the major supermarkets.
I will definitely be staying in Cushendall again and hopefully some time soon.