Gathabawn

 

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Gathabawn is a small rural, scenic and tranquil Co Kilkenny village and community; nested in North West Kilkenny at the foot of the Spa and Binnena Hills, Co Kilkenny and Cullohill Mountain Co. Laois. Gathabawn covers the area from Ballybrophy Junction on the Freshford – Johnstown road (R693) to Beggerscross and Glashare on the Main Cork/Dublin road (R639) to the top of Spahill, Knockmannon, Cullohill Mountain and all areas inclusive.

Gathabawn Rural Area is unique from a geological and topographical characteristic in that it is an out Parish of Lisdowney and part Parish of  Freshford, Johnstown, Galmoy and Cullohill and its location in North West Kilkenny, being easterly located to the Laois border and westerly towards the Tipperary border, all pointing to the remote rural tranquillity of Gathabawn. Gathabawn aims to build on its Heritage, Flora and Fauna to promote its unique benefits; being a (NHA) National Heritage Area (SAC) Special Areas of Conservation is recalled here in verse…

Gathabawn: February 28th 1928:  

Last night as I lay waking beneath a Texan Sky
I had a pleasant vision of the days when I was a boy
Traversed the lanes at twilight or early in the dawn
Amid the groves and hills I love near dear old Gathabawn
 
I seemed to hear the pleasant notes I heard in days of yore
Of blackbird and of linnet or lark that skyward soared
I seemed to hear the cooling doves that ever in the lawn
Awoke the evening echo mid the hills of Gathabawn
 
I roamed the glens and woodlands and many a quite nook
The haunt of quest and herin and piping thrush and rook
I picked the wild flowers blooming in every bog and bawn
That decked the fields in springtime near lovely Gathabawn
 
I heard the din in Carey’s Forge down by the shining brook
That oft I heard long, long ago when I with line and hook
Sat by the Foyle Bridge river where salmon loved to spawn
When evening bells tolled softly in dear old Gathabawn
 
I walked the road to Creenkill and saw the ancient school
I heard once more the master’s voice impressing many a rule
I heard my breath, as oft as I did, and would not dare to yawn
As many a truth I did imbibe in the school near Gathabawn
 
The summer’s breezes crooning among the shady leaves
The dancing patter of the rain drops down from all the eaves
The music of the rippling rill, the low of the dear and fawn
Were all a dreamy melody for me near Gathabawn
 
Those pleasant days of summer, with sweets of every kind
Those singing brooks, those leafy nooks, the music of the wind
The humming of the noontide bees, the lark’s shrill note at dawn
To me bring sad memories of beloved Gathabawn
 
For tho’ I’m here in Texas my heart is still at home
I love those scenes of childhood from which I needs must roam
But walking or a-sleeping, at evening or at dawn
My soul will ever linger in lovely Gathabawn.