Happy Thanksgiving from Boston, County Clare, Ireland – no zip code required!


Boston in north County Clare. The Irish name means the little meadow or little bog of the skulls!

So, there’s a snowstorm about to hit the north eastern states, including the city of Boston (the one in Massachusetts, that is). Well, one Boston that won’t be getting a snowstorm on 27th November 2014 is the one in Ireland! Now we all know that Boston, Massachusetts, USA, is named for Boston in Lincolnshire, England. Indeed if you just Google ‘Boston’ you get the name popping up all over the place, from England to South Africa, to Suriname (!) and the Philippines (understandable, I guess!). And it seems that we have THREE (yes, THREE!) Bostons here in Ireland! One is a townland (remember those?) in the middle of the country in County Laois. There is apparently another spot near Cratloe in south-east County Clare (on the way from Shannon Airport to Limerick City). And there is the little village of Boston at the edge of the Burren in the north of County Clare (close to Gort in County Galway!) On the map it is located just north of Lough Bunny (yes, really!). In fact I’m not quite sure if the word village should be applied to it – it’s a straggle of houses beside a country road, with a post office, school and church. Somehow, I don’t think they’ll be doing a big dig there anytime soon. Oh, and the weather on Thanksgiving Day will be a mite warmer than the in Massachusetts! The Irish name of the place is interesting – the little bog of the skulls! Presumably someone dragged out some prehistoric skulls near there in years gone by.

You know, I can’t help feeling that Clare County Council missed a trick when they didn’t exploit this fact to make American tourists feel more at home here! Imagine flying from Logan Airport, Boston MA, and landing in Shannon Airport to be confronted with a four-fingered signpost indicating Boston MA (2,900 miles), Boston, Cratloe, County Clare (10 miles), Boston, County Laois (50 miles or so) and Boston, County Clare (35 miles – or thereabouts!). Or maybe we should just scratch the thought – it’s enough to induce one to buy an immediate return ticket to the States! Or maybe the adventure is too much to resist!

Ballyvaughan sign

Are you STILL LOST? The famous over informative signpost in Ballyvaughan, near Boston, County Clare – as it was up to 2011. A national treasure!


Ballyvaughan replacement

The cleaned up replacement. Frankly I prefer the original – it was hilarious!

I’ve attached a youtube link just to amuse you while digesting the turkey!

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tODFC4lwfTY

To find Boston, take the road north from Shannon to Galway and turn west near Tubber in County Clare:

BostonTubber map

Tubber is marked on the map – you turn off west there for Boston, naturally!

To all my American followers, Happy Thanksgiving from Ireland!  Now don’t get lost, y’all hear?