Friday, 10 May 2013

The Solitary Mountain

It's Charm and Mystery

In a contribution to Romantic Slievenamon, J.J. Halpin writes an account of how himself, and two companions, cycled from Clonmel one Sunday morning for the purpose of climbing Slievenamon. He describes arriving in good time "in the hamlet of Ballypatrick, a little beyond which we deposited our bicycles in a shady garden beside a friendly farmer's house. Having walked to Kilcash, where we were fortunate in securing as guide a genial, companionable soul, one thoroughly acquainted  with the mountain".

Having suffered the pangs of travelling through a long line of furze bushes chest high, and with tired bodies and aching limbs, they eventually reached the summit. There they consumed the contents of a large basket of food which they had taken with them. Then they rested for a long period. He described the view as a "wonderful panorama that brings within it's scope the greater part of a province and a large part of an adjoining one".

In the final chapter of a four page contribution he writes:
The Kickham Country 
To Tipperary folk this solitary mountain is of all others the most beloved. Tipperary without Slievenamon would be unthinkable. And Tipperary men—and Irishmen in general for that matter—can scarcely think of or look at Slievenamon without associating it with that most beautiful, most tender, most realistic story of Irish rural life by our own Kickham-Knocknagow. Slievenamon, it is upon whose slopes and around whose foot are grouped those "Homes of Tipperary" with their wonderful human epitome of gaiety and pathos, of laughter and tears. Down in the valley, in the quiet church-yard of his beloved Mullinahone, Charles Kickham lies at rest. Monuments have been carved by the sculptor's hand to commemorate him, but no monument will be more enduring than the mountain that looks down on the spot where he lies sleeping, and that will be associated with his stainless name until he hearkens to the last clarion call.

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