I have returned from the land of the gentle rain. I have so much to tell that it is hard to know where to begin. I shall just jump right in with the most magical parts.
My mother asked that I travel to O'callaghansmill in County Clare. This is the home of her mother's people, the McGraths. She told me that on the wall of the pub was a photo of her Uncle Thom. He was a member of the Hurling team that was the national champion in 1913. She wondered if is still was there.
We somehow found O'callaghansmill. It was not easy. Far off the main road, in the middle of the most beautiful country side imaginable. We stopped in a pub called Danny's in Broadford Sunday afternoon. Not realizing there was a major soccer match being played that afternoon, the entire focus of the pub was on the match. We found two kind souls who took interest in the Americans who would venture into a dark pub miles and miles off the tourist path. We were pointed in the right direction and after a shared pint, we were off again.
Another half hour of harrowing driving on the left side of the road on the most narrow of narrow country roads, we stumbled upon a pub atop a hill, Mill Tavern. This was it!
We entered and found another group, this one much smaller, watching the same important soccer match (Ireland vrs. England?). The bar maid was very kind and intervened for us by gently asking one of the men about the McGraths.
He knew of the family, my family who left so long ago. He gave her directions for us to find the old family farm house. Then on second thought he had another plan for us.............