Tis the Season
Formerly living in an urban setting, you can easily be under the misconception that seasons no longer exist in Ireland. When surrounded by nature’s true beauty in the Curragh you quickly realise that each season has very unique characteristics.
From mid-February you quickly notice that the evenings are getting longer allowing slightly later dog walks and jogs. As spring progresses you quickly see trees come to life and fur bushes explode with beautiful yellow golden flowers. But the most striking sign of spring is the birth of many Curragh lambs and their playful prancing becomes a feature of every day life on the plains.
Spring becomes summer and with it further colour, with wild flowers dominating sides of roads and walkways. Days become longer and the now busy local horse racing calendar means that trotting horses and jockeys become a familiar sight. So many take advantages, with couples and families availing of the many walking routes. In the morning or late evening, lucky walkers might see fox cubs playing in the long grass.
As summer falls into Autumn the many deciduous trees turn a wonderful shade of almost luminous gold. You can easily get lost in the visual spectacle when strolling through the warmth of colour. Days start to get shorter, and an aura of magic surrounds the many wooded areas as squirrels can be seen foraging for acorns for their winter stock.
As Autumn becomes winter an air of peace descends on the Curragh. Now bare trees sway in the wind and spectacular winter sunsets can be witnessed. Many walkers and joggers continue to avail of what nature offers. Days are short and the sheep gather in groups for shelter.
Memories of Braveheart
We found that different locations around the Curragh offer contrasting scenes in different seasons. One of my personal favourites is a small, forested area on top of what is locally known as Braveheart hill. Many scenes from the famous Mel Gibson movie were shot in this area……. we all remember the guy in the movie who thought he owned Ireland………… Walking through this wooded area in the middle of a calm winter’s day is as close to total serenity as you can get. Magical sunsets can be seen through the trees as you look down over the Curragh camp. On a clear winter’s day, this has become my walk of choice when out with my Ridgeback.
History and some facts
Stretching to almost 5000 acres…a lot of dog walking……the Curragh is now owned by the Department of Defence. Many farmers hold rights to graze the commonage and these rights date back to 1870. The Curragh Camp is an army base and military college located in the centre of the Curragh and is the main training centre for the Irish Defence Forces holding up to 2000 military personnel.
The name "Curragh" comes from the Irish word Cuirreach, meaning "place of the running horse". The first recorded race on the plain took place in 1727, but it was used for races before then. The first Derby was held in 1866, and in 1868 the Curragh was officially declared a horse racing and training facility by act of parliament. The Curragh is of course now home to the state of the art Curragh Racecourse and is one of Ireland’s most important thoroughbred meets hosting numerous group 1,2 & 3 races.
The Curragh golf club was founded in 1858 and is notable for being the oldest golf club in Ireland.
Dan Donnelly…When prize fights were first introduced, it was the Fancy who tended to the boxers. The Fancy were aristocrats who followed the sport in the 18th and 19th centuries. They organized the training, the matches, and the finance. Donnelly's first big fight under the patronage of Captain Kelly, was staged at the Curragh on 14 September 1814. The spot was known at the time as Belcher's Hollow, a natural amphitheatre that was regularly used for big prize fights. Donnelly's opponent was a prominent English fighter, Tom Hall, who was touring Ireland, giving sparring exhibitions and boxing instruction. By one o'clock when the bout was due to start, an estimated 20,000 people packed onto the sides of the hollow, at the base of which a 22-foot (6.71 m) square had been roped off.
2020 of course was a year like no other. During the first lockdown in March, we were blessed with good weather. During these testing times, having the vast Curragh on our doorstep made our lives so much easier. We spent numerous hours during that first lockdown, as a family, out exploring in the Curragh. Our inventive son had created a summer house among furze bushes, and we would visit on a daily basis. On many occasions we would eat out and on occasion barbeque at our new found home. Oskar was also able to invite a friend to meet him at his summer house and what better place to practice social distancing than in the middle of the open countryside.
Our values and our surroundings
The Curragh and its surroundings inspire our creative side and this we feel is reflected in what we do at Pure Oskar. The environment and its sustainability are very important to us and this is reflected in our conscious driven product range.
I hope you enjoyed our insight into our life in the Curragh and we hope to see you out on the plains someday enjoying all the Curragh has to offer.