The Meehan Family
This article is written by Sheila Wells.
“The structure is a series of visual allusions to famous Irish and English homes that the Dunravens admired. It is replete with curious eccentricities such as the turreted entrance tower at one corner rather than in the centre, 52 chimneys to commemorate each week of the year, 75 fireplaces and 365 leaded glass windows. The lettered text carved into the front of the south parapet reads: “Except the Lord build the house, the labour is but lost that built it.” The elaborate decoration is a miracle of stonework – arches, gargoyles, chimneys and bay windows. The interior spaces are designed on a grand scale. One of the most renowned interior spaces is the Minstrel’s Gallery: 132 foot long, 26-1/2 foot high expanse inspired by the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles and lined on either side with 17th Century Flemish Choir Stalls. The private rooms hardly pale in comparison to the public rooms with elaborately decorated stone and wood craftsmanship and sweeping views of the river. “ the above is from Adare Manor. You can read more on their WEB Site.
Pro Am Golf Tournament
All this is due to one man JP McManus. JP – as he is known to everyone – world wide. He started his career as a bookmaker and went on to be a well known professional gambler. He actually had the winning horse in this years UK Grand National Horse Race. JP everyone organises a Pro Am Golf Tournament every 5 years. Every bit of money from this event is given to charity. The event takes place in a small country village called Adare. It’s held in Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Course. What a place. Here is a bit about the manor itself and where the tournament took place.
Adare Manor History
The 840 acre estate that surrounds the Manor House consists of sweeping parklands, cultivated gardens, formal French gardens, magnificent mature trees, and the Maigure, one of Irelands best trout rivers. PC Hardwick laid out the formal gardens in geometric box patterns in the 1850’s. The assortment of trees includes the magnificent cedar of Lebanon on the riverbank (approximately 350 years old), the 180-year old Beeches, Monkey Puzzles, Cork, Aspen and Flowering Cherry.
Among the trees southwest of the Manor are Ogham Stones that were imported from Kerry by Edwin, the Third Earl of Dunraven. Ogham Stones date from the early 5th century to the middle of the 7th century. They are mainly Christian in context and are usually associated withhold churches or early Christian burial sites. Ogham inscriptions are in an early form of Irish frequently followed by Latin inscriptions and often read from the bottom upwards. A pet cemetery is located close to the Ogham stones with carved memorials of the Dunraven pets. Lord Dunraven did not live to see his dream Manor completed in 1862, but his eldest son, the Third Early of Dunreaven, did. The home remained in the Dunraven family until 1982. In 1987, the Tom & Judy Kane of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida acquired the Manor. The delicate and detailed restoration was completed in 1988 transforming Adare Manor into a world-class home away from home. The Desmond Castle (1200 ad) is a magnificent backdrop to the 1st and 15th greens, while the ruins of the Franciscan Abbey (1464 ad) dominate the centre of the course.
The Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Golf Course opened in August 1995. Stretching 7,454 yards from the championship tees, Adare Golf Club encompassed 230 acres of lush countryside. The Riger Maigure meanders through the back nine creating a sense of beauty and challenge. I have been lucky enough to have visited the Manor on two occasions for afternoon tea. What a place. It’s just breathtaking and so beautiful. JP has never forgotten his roots and he organises this spectacular event in aid of local charities. Every single euro made from this Tournament will all go to local charities. Just listening to previous charities that he has supported has made me realise just how wonderful this man is. He is nothing more than a saint in the making. We were not living in Ireland when the last tournament was held – and boy we certainly know all about this one. The TV, Radio and newspaper coverage has just been phenomenal. For weeks all we have heard about is the JP McManus Gold Tournament.
JP has managed to raise over 55 million Euros since 1990 – I salute you JP for the wonderful things that you have done for so many worthwhile charities. JP has managed to entice numerous famous golfers to the tournament as well as many celebrities some being the 4 lads from Westliffe, Michael Douglas, Michael Flatley, Hugh Grant, Samuel J Jackson, Catherine Zeta Jones, AP McCoy, Kyle MacLachan, Martin O’Neill, Niall Quinn, Harry Rednapp and his son Jamie and Paul O’Connell. I don’t know a lot about golf but I do know Tiger Woods and Padriag Harrington together with a lot more golfers all attended.
The celebrities and golfers had a wonderful time – click onto the film below and see some of their interviews and how they loved the two day event. Michael Douglas went out to meet fans at 06.00 on the Monday morning – how great was that. And Shane from Westliffe it was his 31st Birthday on the Monday and was presented with a birthday cake in the evening by staff of the Manor.
On each of the two days there were an estimated 40,000 people turned up to watch the tournament. The “tickets” for the tournament came in the form of a “cap” – at a cost of 50.00 euros each. This 50.00 euros gave the holder of the cap entrance into the Manor for the 2 day event and parking. So not only did they get to go to the tournament everyone got to keep their cap as a memento. Children under 16 years of age got in free. A great family day out and supporting local charities too – how fantastic. The two day event was a everlasting memory for fans – for the celebrities and Golfers that took place but the people that it matters most to will be the Nemours people that will benefit from the money raised by this wonderful man.
Sheila Wells is an excellent writer. Her blogs are like a good book that will leave you wanting more. Sheila left an excellent profession as a manager in the GP Surgery (NHS) in the UK for the county life in Ireland. Sheila’s love of life shows in her writings. She is a Wife, Mum and Nanny with two beautiful daughters, one granddaughter and one very active Irish Red Sitter. She currently resides in County Limerick, Ireland and lives life with the belief that everyone should be treated with respect and consideration. With each blog Shelia shares a deep appreciation for the better things in life – family, friends and good health. Sheila stated “I moved from the UK to Ireland almost 3 years ago. I am living in County Limerick and life is very different. We live in a lovely house right in the heart of the countryside. Fields and farms all around us – a far cry from the town life we lived back in the UK. The Irish people are very friendly, but the Adare Pro Am Golf Tour opened my eyes to how wonderful people can be. What they do can mean so much to people and how it can mean life changing experiences.”
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The following is an Irish Blessing: