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The Powerscourt Blog

Magical Theatre in the Magical Surroundings of Powerscourt

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 7, 2017 9:55:43 AM

 

Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company in the magical surroundings of Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow as they present Peter Pan in one of Ireland’s most stunning open-air venues. Enjoy an afternoon in Neverland on 25th of June at 1.30pm as J.M.Barrie’s timeless classic is brought to life in a brand new adaptation by award winning writer Laura Turner, with beautifully designed costumes, music and songs.

 

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Little ones will enjoy experiencing Wendy, Michael and John Darling on their adventures with Peter on the far away on the magical island of Neverland. There they encounter the enchanting mermaids, magical fairies and the cruelest pirate of them all, Captain Hook.

 

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Performed in Powerscourt’s period Walled Gardens this promises to be one of the most splendid afternoons of the open-air theatre season. Bring along a picnic and soak up the views while you relax in one of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens. Ticket prices are from €16.00 and include entry to Powerscourt Gardens. To book visit www.powerscourt.com/events.

Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.

 

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Topics: Events

Foraging Fun along the Powerscourt River Walk

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Oct 3, 2016 3:29:36 PM

 

 

I didn’t really know what I had signed up for when I accepted the invitation to come along to the 'Foraging in the Wild Walk', a couple of weeks ago. In my usual, slapdash manner I signed myself, my husband and three children ranging in ages from four to nine up for what I thought would be a guided stroll along the lovely River Walk at Powerscourt.

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So it was quite a surprise to myself and my family when we realised that Mary and Robert from Blackstairs Eco Trails were bringing us out on a foraging jaunt! Whilst I was trying to nonchalantly shush the complaints from my seven year old that he was not actually going on a walk, my eldest started munching on dandelion leaves while exploring where the wild strawberries grow!

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Next thing the 'complainer' was chowing down on some hogweed seeds, fascinated, as Robert showed us how to grab handfuls of nettles without stinging ourselves..and like that Mary and Robert had us under their spell.

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                                                                         Robert White

They were so enthusiastic, bantering between themselves and leaping from one indistinct shrub to another, handing out hazelnuts, wild mushrooms and fun along the way. Once we had finished exploring the endless possibilities from deep-fried elderberry flowers to plaintain on toast, we were whisked back to Powerscourt Garden Pavillion for an informative session on home pickling, alexander seed (used as black pepper by the more inventive chef) and wild sorrel which tastes more ‘lemony’ than lemons!!

Forage Ireland                                                                             Mary White

Their enthusiasm for foraging and living off the plentiful land around us was so infectious that by the time we were leaving I was pretty sure I would never need to darken another supermarket or doctor’s door again, although my self-belief may have been enhanced by the delicious swig of their homemade sloe gin I had helped myself to.

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Reality has set back in now but with another fabulous trip to Powerscourt under my belt and with my new found foraging knowledge, I did spot a hazel tree and some wild hazelnuts on my daily walk which the children were only delighted to gobble up!

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Aisling posts about our family events throughout the year. Aisling runs a parenting blog which you can follow here.

Bio: My name is Aisling Lyons, stay at home mother of three, and sometime radio pundit ;).I have over 20 years experience in the childcare sector, starting out as nursery nurse before moving into nannying, and then returning to work in creches for over 14 years, twelve of which were in creche management. I managed a private creche "Johnstown Kiddiecare" in Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow, and then moved into Dublin to manage the nursery on-site in Trinity College Dublin. I finally left that position to open my own creche "Aisling Childcare", which I ran for seven years. I closed the creche when baby number three was imminent as I really wanted to focus on motherhood. I am passionate about children being given the very best opportunities to allow them to grow up to be happy and confident. I set up a blog to help any parents struggling with the little and large problems that parenting young children can bring! I really hope that some ideas I bring will help families thrive and forge ahead!: )

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt River Walk, Events

Four Wheeled Wonders at Powerscourt Gardens

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Aug 2, 2016 3:45:57 PM

Step back in time and admire various vintage vehicles at Powerscourt, part of Ireland’s ancient east. The Irish Veteran and Vintage Car Club is back for its 39th year at Powerscourt to celebrate the most beautiful period cars in Ireland and share their members’ collections with you. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the display in the historic setting of Powerscourt’s walled gardens on the 1,000 acre estate in County Wicklow on Sunday 21st of August from 2 to 4.30pm. Vehicles of all eras and styles will be in attendance, alongside their owners, who are always delighted to tell visitors about their beloved classics.

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FIVA, the international federation of historic vehicles, has named 2016 as World Motoring Heritage Year – both in recognition of motoring history, and to celebrate a new dawn for the historic vehicle movement throughout the world. There will be over 125 historic vehicles covering a vast array of motoring history at the event in Powerscourt.

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Everyone is welcome to come dressed to impress in their best vintage clothes! The event costs €25 for a family of 5 and includes entry to Powerscourt Gardens. For tickets and more information visit www.powerscourt.com/events

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Wicklow

Heavenly Herbaceous Border Garden Walk and Talk at Powerscourt Gardens

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jul 26, 2016 2:19:12 PM

Blog and photos by Kerry Gordon

Alex Slazenger, Head Gardener at Powerscourt Gardens, is a passionate gardener and horticultural innovator with a wealth of knowledge. It was with great fortune that I joined his guided walk and talk set in the vibrant herbaceous border within the walled garden in Powerscourt Gardens. It was to be two wonderful hours learning, enjoying and chatting about the wonder of this border created many years ago and now being nurtured by Alex and his team.

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The restored Venetian Gates where Alex played as a child

At the entrance to the herbaceous border Alex showed us the stunning Venetian Gates which have been painstakingly restored to their optimum beauty. They are magnificent and perfectly frame the beauty of the plants inside and the renovation of the gates has opened up the garden which truly emphasises that this is the biggest herbaceous border in Ireland. With a twinkle in his eyes Alex told us how as child, for his family have owned Powerscourt House and Estate for many years now, he used to climb inside the gates. It was a delightful glimpse into what it must be like to grow up as a child with one of the world’s most famous gardens as your playground.

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Great questions and chats

The stunning herbaceous border within the walled garden is 120 metres long with over 700 varieties of plants, many introduced from around the world in the late 19th century. There is a strong theme of purple within the border which is balanced with underlying yellow bursts of colour and a rainbow of plants of all colours, shapes and sizes that creates a beautiful and soothing environment. In the time of the Viscounts it would have been predominately a kitchen garden with many of the flowers cut to be displayed in Powerscourt House. The border naturally flourishes throughout March to September but with clever techniques Alex and his team are able to extend the seasons.  Many of these plants thrive due to the Irish climate creating this stunning herbaceous border.

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Eryngium

Alex was a passionate guide and explained how gardens evolve, learning by your mistakes and the process of planning your garden. His advice was invaluable and his willingness to answer every question asked was very charming. He is a great advocate of biophillia and talked passionately about the benefits of feeling the soil and earth in your hands.  here is clearly a great passion amongst Alex and his five permanent staff who cultivate and maintain this historic part of our heritage that is truly one of the world’s greatest gardens.

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Vibrant colours along the border

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Heavenly herbaceous border

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Alex, Head Gardener at Powerscourt

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A Eucomis, more commonly known as a pineapple plant or flowers

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Alstroemeria are often used for cut flower displays in the house as they are a long lasting flower

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Meet Roger as Alex and the team call their Rodgersia!

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Rosemary who is usually found hard at work nurturing the border

About Kerry Gordon:

Kerry Gordon lives by the sea in Co. Wicklow, Ireland with her daughter Molly and greyhound Lola. She is a long term blogger for Powerscourt Estate and Gardens and enjoys nothing more than visiting Powerscourt Waterfall, walking in Powerscourt Gardens, followed by a tasty scone and pot of tea in Avoca at Powerscourt House. Kerry can be reached at kerry.gordon@gmail.com or @kerrymgordon on Twitter.

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Topics: Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Gardening, Wicklow

Sense and Sensibility at Powerscourt Gardens

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jul 4, 2016 10:25:49 AM

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Last Sunday, despite the fact that there was an important (by now unmentionable) football match on and also despite the fact that there was intermittent torrential rain, my sister Cáit and I took ourselves off to Powerscourt Gardens to enjoy a bit of 'culture'. We joined Chapterhouse Theatre Company for an afternoon of watching Elinor and Marianne Dashwood make their first forays into the exquisite world of eighteenth-century society, in an open-air theatre adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

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Performed in Powerscourt’s beautiful Walled Garden, it promised to be a most splendid afternoon. What could be better than spending a Summer's afternoon in one of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens while being entertained by one of my favourite stories being brought to life? Well, I'll tell you! 

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Although Cáit and I initially thought we were very clever bringing a picnic blanket and stopping into the Avoca café for coffee and cookies beforehand, it was only when we settled into our spot and looked around us we realised how woefully under-prepared we were.  This open-air theatre lark is exceptionally civilised. All around us, there were people sitting on lovely lawn chairs, with mouthwatering picnics set about them. There were even those who had thought to bring little tables along, to put their bottles of wine and real glass wine-glasses on. The air was filled with the sound of popping champagne corks and all of a sudden we felt quite sad about our (absolutely delicious but somehow inadequate) chocolate chip cookies.

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Despite the absence of wine and fancy picnic food, however, the afternoon was, indeed,  as splendid as promised. The weather held for most of the afternoon. The play was entertaining and well acted and I absolutely commend the actors for not running for cover when the heavens did finally open towards the end - although the rain actually added a great touch of realism to the 'storm' scene, I thought! 

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Cáit and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and have decided that we're going again next time. And, in a bid to make up for a slightly missed opportunity of living it up on a Sunday afternoon, we've already decided that there will definitely be wine. And chairs. And the fanciest of fancy picnic food.
 
Won't you join us?
 
Sadhbh Devlin
 
 
See Powerscourt's full programme of events for more things to do over the coming year.

Disclosure: We were invited by Powerscourt Estate to attend Sense and Sensibility for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own, however, and I was not paid to give them.

About Sadhbh:

Hello! My name is Sadhbh.
 
(My name looks tricky to pronounce, but it sounds like the number five... if the number five started with an S - 'Sive') -
I am mama to little twin girls, Lile and Sábha (more tricky names - Lilla & Saw-va!). They are the apples of my eyes.
I am married to Devo, my very lovely and very tall husband.
I love to write, craft, create, hang around in nature, bake, read other people's blogs and as many books as possible, listen to music, learn about and experience as many new things as I can in my one precious life.
This blog is where I write about seasonal celebrations, simple craft projects and the adventures I have with my girls. I also mention fairies and unicorns a fair bit...

You can check out Sadhbh's blog here: http://www.wherewishescomefrom.com/ 

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Topics: Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Wicklow

Inspiration for Gardeners along Ireland’s longest herbaceous border

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 27, 2016 4:56:49 PM

When visiting the gardens of the great houses of Ireland you will often stumble across magnificent, colourful plants climbing their classical walls, waiting to be admired. This summer, be inspired by Ireland’s longest herbaceous border in the third best garden in the world at Powerscourt Gardens (National Geographic). The original selection of plants and shrubs along the herbaceous border were chosen by Lady Powerscourt, the wife of the 7th Lord Powerscourt. Her husband once said “The planting of the choice plants and shrubs, and seeing them increase year by year in size and beauty has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life.”

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Join the horticulturalists of Powerscourt Garden Pavilion who will be giving a free talk to help you create a miniature version of their famous herbaceous border in your own garden at home. Popular from the Victorian era onwards, herbaceous plants were carefully chosen and arranged, not for their rarity, but for the beautiful sight they created when placed together. Get ideas from the Powerscourt team about which herbaceous plants to grow together, conditions, plant care and climate, and unusual annuals and specimens to try.  The talk takes place on 12th of July at 11am in Powerscourt Garden Pavilion.

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Now that you have the know-how come back and join Head Gardener Alex Slazenger for a lovely morning exploring the herbaceous border at Powerscourt Gardens on the 15th of July at 11am. Featuring over 700 varieties of plants and shrubs, this spectacular border boasts an amazing array of foliage at varying heights during the summer months. Alex will give visitors behind the scenes advice on how he creates this display each year and how to produce a well-stocked border. Tickets to Powerscourt Gardens must be bought for the tour which is free for annual members of Powerscourt. For more information and to book tickets, visit the Powerscourt Estate website www.powerscourt.com/events

About Powerscourt Gardens: Set in the wild Wicklow countrywide in Ireland, overlooking the Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt enjoys a breath-taking panorama. The Gardens stretch over 47 acres and offer visitors a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. www.powerscourt.com

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Gardening

Spread your wings at FairyLAND in Powerscourt Gardens!

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 27, 2016 2:49:16 PM

If you are looking for a magical day out with your family this weekend, join the Imaginosity team and their enchanted realm of fairies at Powerscourt Gardens in beautiful County Wicklow. Creating an enchanted atmosphere, this event will be filled with fairy dust, magical pathways, fairy games and activities. Children will follow a secret fairy trail, find hidden messages, experience the magic of the woodlands and meet and greet real live fairies! Dress up is encouraged for all magical folk who attend, including mammies and daddies!

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The event takes place on the 10th of July from 12.30pm onwards and is suitable for children aged 3-10. Included in the ticket price is entry to the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens. With over 47 acres to explore, children will love playing and walking along the winding pathways and rambling walks of Powerscourt. Advance booking is essential; you can book online through the Powerscourt Website: www.powerscourt.com/events.

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Wicklow

The most scenic yoga class you’ll ever take at Powerscourt Gardens

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on Jun 27, 2016 12:54:38 PM

If you’re the kind of person who loves getting outside, taking in the fresh air and blue skies around you and don't mind getting a bit of grass on your mat, outdoor yoga may be for you!

Reap the benefits of practicing yoga outdoors in a beautiful setting and head to Powerscourt Gardens where teacher Eike Treanor will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated with a weekly class which runs from July 9th to 30th each Saturday at 11am.

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Rebalance and restore your body with this Vinyasa based class under the sky in Powerscourt’s Walled Gardens. Vinyasa yoga links breath to movement and builds endurance, flexibility and concentration. The class is suitable for all levels, both for beginners and those with experience. Open your senses and get closer to nature as you relax in the fresh air and natural light.

Teacher Eike has been studying yoga for over fifteen years and teaching for over ten years. Eike brings her unique style to each class and will bring you closer to your yoga goal. Book your place now on www.powerscourt.com/events and find inner peace in the great outdoors.

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Wicklow

Sense & Sensibility at Powerscourt Gardens

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on May 25, 2016 10:13:37 AM

 

Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company in the magical surroundings of Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow as they present Sense & Sensibility in one of Ireland’s most stunning open-air venues. Enjoy an afternoon of Regency wonderment on 26th of June at 2.30pm as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood make their first forays into the fascinating world of eighteenth-century society.

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Picnic with family and friends as you follow the sisters while they find their path and lose their hearts under a beautiful summer sky in their quest to find the perfect balance of sense and sensibility. Performed in Powerscourt’s period Walled Garden this promises to be one of the most splendid afternoons of the open-air theatre season.

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Bring along a picnic and soak up the views while you relax in one of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens. Ticket prices are from €16.50 and include entry to Powerscourt Gardens.  To book visit www.powerscourt.com/events.

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Topics: Powerscourt Estate, Powerscourt Gardens, Events, Wicklow

Sensory Nature Trail at Powerscourt Waterfall Review

Posted by Aoife O'Driscoll on May 24, 2016 10:01:10 AM

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Many thanks to our wonderful new blogger Sadhbh for this fantastic review of our sensory nature trail at Powerscourt Waterfall last weekend! Check out Sadhbh's blog here:  http://www.wherewishescomefrom.com/ 

"Yesterday, we had the very good fortune to be invited to visit Powerscourt Waterfall to attend their 'Sensory Nature Trail' event, which was hosted by Imaginosity (Dublin's Children's Museum). As a family, we are very interested in and inspired by the natural world so it sounded like a great way for us to spend a Sunday afternoon. However, visiting the highest waterfall in Ireland is never a bad idea and it's a must-see if you're in the Wicklow area

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The sun shone as we made our way down the winding avenue towards the waterfall and we easily spotted the Imaginosity team sitting on picnic blankets waiting for the children to arrive. They had lots of interesting things laid out for us to explore. Shells, model insects and leaves which could be inspected by magnifying glass. There were also some beautiful books about nature, from which we learned about the life-cycle of the butterfly. 

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When everyone had gathered together we practiced listening, looking, feeling and smelling in preparation for our sensory walk. We were also offered the chance to make some 'nature bracelets' which I thought was a simple-but-brilliant idea. (Clearly evidenced by the fact that I was the only parent that accepted the offer...) One of the team wrapped wide tape around our wrists, so that the sticky side faced up, and we collected little flowers, moss, grass, seeds, leaves, etc and stuck them to it as we walked. We all ended up with rather fetching bracelets by the end of the day! 

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The pace of the trail was perfect. There was no rush at all and there was enough time at each 'station' for each child to fully engage with the task. Throughout, the Imaginosity team always took the time to pay attention to the little discoveries the children made along the way and to share them with the group. They really made each child feel included and the atmosphere in the group was friendly and relaxed. 

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Along the trail we had a chance to talk about trees and to take rubbings from the bark of a Giant Redwood. We also had a chance to fly like butterflies and to climb like spiders in a giant 'spiderweb'. We met a frog in the grass, smelled dried lavender, felt (and tasted!) fresh pine needles. We made a wish at the wishing bridge, painted with mud (!) by the river, visited a fairy tree filled with glitter and found sparkling stones in the river, before finally making our way up to the beautiful waterfall. It truly was a feast for the senses.

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Moments after this picture was taken the frog leapt from captivity and 'kissed' Sábha on the face

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And after all that, the team somehow still had the energy to play some games with us! We played with a huge colourful parachute and had some sack-races - which were hilarious. Especially when the parents took part...

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My girls were reluctant to leave the place at the end of the event and have been talking about it non-stop since. They were excited to tell their teacher all about it this morning - which is the highest of compliments from them these days! It was a great event and a really lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon.
 
Powerscourt Estate have a wonderful programme of events lined up for the year ahead and I highly recommend checking them out. You're bound to find something suitable for your family. Or for yourself!

Disclosure: We were invited by Powerscourt Estate to attend the Sensory Nature Trail for the purposes of review. All opinions are my own, however, and I was not paid to give them. 

About Sadhbh:

Hello! My name is Sadhbh.
 
(My name looks tricky to pronounce, but it sounds like the number five... if the number five started with an S - 'Sive') -
I am mama to little twin girls, Lile and Sábha (more tricky names - Lilla & Saw-va!). They are the apples of my eyes.
I am married to Devo, my very lovely and very tall husband.
I love to write, craft, create, hang around in nature, bake, read other people's blogs and as many books as possible, listen to music, learn about and experience as many new things as I can in my one precious life.
This blog is where I write about seasonal celebrations, simple craft projects and the adventures I have with my girls. I also mention fairies and unicorns a fair bit...

You can check out Sadhbh's blog here: http://www.wherewishescomefrom.com/ 

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Topics: Events, Powerscourt Waterfall, Wicklow