[Hand of J. O'Donovan:]

October 29th 1838

Dear Sir,

Last Friday O'Keeffe and I went on the Car to Ballinasloe, and from thence in the canal boat to Shannon Harbour, whence we walked to Banagher where we stopped that night. On Saturday we went to Clonfert, after examining the localities of which, we walked to the little town of Eyre Court, {three miles from Clonfert} where we remained on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, leaving O'Keeffe to shift for himself in the neighbourhood of Eyrecourt, I set out for Portumna, and in the course of the day, leaving modern churches to the pious people of Siol Anmchadha, I visited the parishes and old churches of Fahy, Tir an eiscreach, & Kilnamonoge, and the old Castle of Longford, from which Siol Anmchadha received its modern baronial name.


Having delayed a long time to meditate in the church yards on the nature of the palaces (skulls) of souls, the night closed round me before I came within 2 miles of the town (of Portumna), and I went astray in a flooded bog, out of which I was happily guided by Will wi' the wisp, who shewed me the road to Portumna because he thought that I was going in the opposite direction. The rain fell incessantly, not in heavy, but in truly wetting (light) drops, and I had the good fortune to make my way into Port Omna before 7 o'Clock PM., wet not only to the skin but to the very centre of the heart, and to the surface of the soul where it unites with the Oxygen of the blood. I got my head in to the head Inn where I dried my clothes without taking them off, and drank some beer and aqua mortis. I slept in a very damp bed, the sheets on which I took off and slept between the blankets which absorbed all the oxygen or vis vitae from my body. I awoke in the morning at 6½ in a fever; hoarse, tired, sneezing, and in very good humour. Got up, and took breakfast, determined


that neither fever, rain, nor storm should prevent me from going on with my business, and walked through the parish of Lic Molaise imploring St. Molaise to stop the rain, but in consequence of the weakness of my faith, he suffered a shower to fall before I reached his old church. However I was not to be frightened, for though the clouds were (murky, lurid &) saturated with rain, and the roads six inches deep I made my way to Killimor ({6 miles}), and after being puzzled there about the old church, and some obsolete names of townlands, I proceeded to Abbey Gormigan, and thence westwards to Loughrea where I arrived wet to the centre of the soul and benumbed with cold, after having walked twenty miles through the slobbery roads and flooded bogs of Siol Anmchadha. My blood is now saturated with water, which makes me believe that this fair world is a hell, and that I would be happier as a wild bushman or a bear living in a forest, than the sort of rambler which I have latterly become.

O'Keeffe will either be knocked up or he won't stir out.

Your obedient Servant, John O'Donovan