Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Finnebrogue Soirée

Having just returned from glorious Rathlin Island, I donned the glad rags last night for a charity soirée at FINNEBROGUE HOUSE, a mere hop, skip, and jump from Downpatrick, county town of County Down.

Actually I killed two birds with one stone, as it were.

When I visited Ballydugan and HOLLYMOUNT a few months ago, Margaret Ferguson of the Lakeside Inn had left a note on my windscreen to apprise me that she had information for me pertaining to Hollymount House and its history.

Whereas Finnebrogue is a few miles north-west of Downpatrick, Ballydugan is a couple of miles to the south-west.

Close Enough with Guests (Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

My visit to Finnebrogue House was for a charity concert in aid of Hope For Youth Northern Ireland.

Close Enough barbershop quartet entertained us all in the entrance hall of the house.

(Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

When I sat down I could hardly believe who was seated beside me - Philip Shirley, of LOUGH FEA, County Monaghan, whom I'd met during a visit to his stately home in County Monaghan.

He told me that they were driving back to Lough Fea that evening.

(Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

During the interval I met quite a few interesting guests including, of course, our terrific host, Noel Lamb; Danny Kinahan, LORD & LADY ERNE, JOHNNY ANDREWS; the Armstrongs (of DEAN'S HILL, Armagh); the Montgomerys (of GREY ABBEY). I also saw the HON SHANE O'NEILL, General Sir Mike Jackson; the FITZGERALDS (Randox); and ninety others!

General Sir Michael Jackson GCB CBE DSO (Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

We were served tasty little canapés comprising smoked salmon, and cocktail sausages on sticks.

Noel Lamb DL presenting a cheque (Image: © Declan Roughan Photography, 2021)

The show concluded about eight-thirty, so I thanked Noel for his kind hospitality, bade him farewell, and slipped off in the car, in a south-westerly direction for Ballydugan.

The car-park of the Lakeside Inn is beside an utterly delightful, picturesque lake - Ballydugan Lake.

Inside the inn a cheery fire greeted me, radiating heat.

This inn is no ordinary pub: it's homely and cosy, delightfully and unashamedly old-fashioned. I love it.

Margaret Ferguson, the proprietor, welcomed me cordially and introduced me to a pal of hers seated near the fire.

She had a copy of the history of Hollymount, an old and historic estate beside Ballydugan, long associated with the Price family (now Perceval-Price of SAINTFIELD HOUSE).

We all discussed the subject, the families in the district, including the TORRENS-SPENCES who used to live at Drumcullen House, Hollymount.

When I got up to leave I remarked that I wished Margaret's lovely inn were only a bit closer to me!

1 comment :

Handelian said...

Lord Belmont’s blog is Ireland’s answer to James Lees-Milne’s diaries in England.