A visit to the neighbours

YOU never know your neighbours quite as well as you might think. You’ve been in the kitchen and the living room and maybe even the “good room” on a special occasion, but unless you are on very intimate terms indeed there are nooks and corners you have never seen.

That’s how we felt about Mayo on our sojourn there last week. We’ve all been to Claremorris, perhaps even stopped off in Ballindine on the way.

Castlebar has its attractions, mostly commercial, and the jewel in Mayo’s crown is Westport, one of the country’s, never mind the county’s, top visitor attractions.

Then there are the people who have relatives or in-laws in places like Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Swinford and Foxford — and everyone has at some stage made a pilgrimage, from spiritual intent or secular curiosity, to Knock.

So for the purposes of this, the third in our series on Irish counties, it seemed like a good idea to more or less ignore the foregoing and look at a few less familiar corners of that great county to our north.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online here