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When I was home over the weekend down the country, I went to visit a beautiful small town called Loughmore in County Tipperary. I have recently been interested in a local story there and I’ve been writing a song about it also, so I wanted to see the place to get in to the story a little more. There is an old mill there that is a prominent place from the story so I got a chance to see it. I drove along with my father and pulled up beside it and peered over the wall, as the old mill is attached to someones house. As we leaned against the wall and gazed at the mill, the owner was in the garden and he said hello in a calm kind of way. I briefly explained why I was there and he immediately invited us in to have a look without hesitation. He showed us around the old mill which was built during the late 1700s and early 1800s. The mill wheel was in restoration as the wooden panels had obviously aged a bit from dipping in and out of the water but in general was still in very good shape. The staircases were all intact and the wooden beams holding the structure together were thick and robust. Large grinding stones were still there also in beautiful condition. There were even carved names on the walls from over a hundred years ago which was very interesting. As we walked through the building the owner was very informative but I also thought him a small thing or two from my studies of the story which I was shamefully and secretly proud of. He was a very nice man however, he said that he owns the mill but only on paper, “It belongs to everyone” he says. That was great to hear. He realises he has a significant piece of history on his property and would never stop anyone from getting a closer look. We talked for nearly two hours and we left very happy. I visited Loughmore just to get a glimpse of the mill and surrounding area but instead I got a close up private tour of the building with stories and all. The true Irish welcome is still alive and well in rural Ireland.

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