Duhallow – A Very Special Place

While up in the loft recently I found a copy of Seanchas Duthalla the Duhallow magazine from 1993. Not something that would usually grab my attention but while in the bathroom I was in need of some reading material and with nothing else at hand I opened the pages. There were many images of the area from times past as well as articles of local interest.

One article that really caught my eye was entitled ‘A Very Special Place’ by Katie Brown and I want to share a small part of it with you.

The variety and colour of the Duhallow landscape is something that we have inherited and we should do our upmost not to destroy our beautiful countryside in the name of progress. Let us hold on to the ditches and hedges that divide our fields and all the colourful and interesting plants and animal life that they hide. Europe is awash with mountains and lakes of all kinds of food and drink, and a beautiful landscape was destroyed to produce something nobody wanted. Do we realise that we owe so much to the wise obstinacy of some of our more enlightened and traditional farmers for preserving the lovely old hedges and long standing ditches and little patches of wilderness amidst the cultivation, destruction and progress of modern farming.

Can we do anything to increase the number of broad leaf trees? Why not collect some chestnuts and plant them, the same with acorns to be found under the large oak trees and the beech nuts, some of the popular and easily grown trees and try to save us from that invasion of conifers that seem to spread like a blight through the countryside. Our native trees are like our native music, they bring colour and form to a landscape and pleasure and warmth to the soul and mind. Give our birds some place to perch and build their nests and sing their songs in a freedom, safety and beauty of an individual tree, not the over run confines of a mass plantation. Give our ditches a chance to grow some trees that change their leaves and colour with the seasons and encourage the growth of the bird, plant and animal life that change with them.

I wonder what Katie would think 16 years on, were her wise words heard or would she have felt the destruction has continued. I wonder how much support she
received at the time or whether she was seem odd not to accept progress. I wonder if Katie Brown still lives in Duhallow and so my task is to find her and see what her views are of Duhallow in 2009.

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