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           Ireland "a round trip" August 2000

Twice in one year, it's just like the old days! the second trip to Ireland this year, came about because of the Wilton Vaugh memorial window. Toomna church in County Roscommon, where it has resided for nearly seventy three years has sadly fallen into a sorry state of repair. This is entirely due to a lack of funds to maintain it's structure. The window had been removed to a place of safe keeping in Boyle County Roscommon and it was taken from there and installed in it's present location at a Church in Riverstown County Sligo.

The story started with a phone call many months ago telling me that the window had been removed from Toomna for safe keeping due in part to the state of the church building. This information both saddened and delighted me. I felt sad at it's removal and delighted that it was to be saved from the fate of the rest of the church fittings. What had not been stolen was rapidly deteriorating due to the rather large hole in the roof.

Moves had been made by a church in Sligo to obtain the window and have it installed in a much safer location. This move was agreed to and after much planning and hard work by many people the stained glass window found a new home in Riverstown.

So let's get back to the trip, we that is my father Wilton (really Cecil Wilton) Hugh my brother and Matthew my son all set off from England very early on the 11th of August. We drove off the hover-speed ferry at around eleven o'clock the same morning. The first point of call was outside Enfield in County Meath. We were greeted by Colin and his son Cian and treated to a delightful lunch and much chat. The time to leave came all to soon and we departed leaving my jacket behind.

Our journey north west took us past many places of interest and finally after a short impromptu stop in Carrick on Shannon we arrived at Rushfield, just south of Boyle Co Roscommon, where we intended to stay until Saturday morning. After a huge breakfast we spent the rest of the day touring various sites of significance to my family history, taking a photographic record as well. The evening was spent with one of my third cousins in the north Leitrim area. Friday started, like they do, with another pile of food and a slow trip to County Fermanagh and our next resting place, Lettermoney House outside Irvinestown. What was left of Saturday was spent creating a web site for a good friend of mine and then tucking into the feast of salmon he had prepared for us.

Sunday was one of those special days that come along every now and again, this for me was the highlight of the trip and the reason we had come across in the first place. We drove back to Riverstown in County Sligo and parked outside the local church. It was here at twelve o'clock that the dedication service started. The old stained glass window at Toomna County Roscommon, the service was performed by The Right Reverend Michael Mayes Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh ably assisted by the Reverend Noel Reagan

Sunday was finished off by a long session on the web site I created on Saturday and then onto a well deserved rest at Lettermony house. Monday was to be a hectic day with lots of traveling, we journeyed down through Co Cavan calling in at various locations along the way, Kilmore Cathederal being but one. We stopped once again with Colin and family, collected my jacket, before making for Dublin and the ferry.

            Doug Vaugh, England 17 August 2000                                     Mail me Doug Vaugh