National Geographic : 1951 May
663 Young Adventurers in a Rowboat Explore the Maritime World in Cork Harbor Cork's name derives from corcaigh, Gaelic for "marsh." Thousands of emigrants pass through the city on their way to America-bound liners at near-by Cobh. Here Irish Cedar, part of the Republic's expanding merchant marine, discharges cargo beside a grain elevator. Innisfallen plies between Ireland and England. Late Stone Age pottery, saddle querns, stone hammers, and flints of the Bronze Age were discovered in this district. Most interesting find was a pair of small bronze tweezers excavated in 1945. Were plucked eyebrows modern 1,300 years ago? Ireland offers archeologists a field day, from its Ogham stones, those early grave markers with their strange inscriptions, to bogs yielding perfectly preserved skeletons and implements. Other groups like the Fer moy Field Club can be found on the island. Out of the treasures in his shop, Paddy O'Shea picked me a hazel thumb-stick to walk with. Once, he said, saints used them; now they're carried by the drovers-those cattle and sheep men I saw at fairs or herding their stock up and down the roads of Ireland. Some of the Irish still believe that hazel, like thorn, carries a charmlike power, though to a less extent. Here in the rich grasslands, large dairy herds have grown up. Creameries and cheese factories are "wearin' the beef men away" because dairy products are more profitable. Unlike the less-than-10-acre farms on Bere peninsula, almost one-third of the farms in these Cork valleys and uplands cover more than 100 acres each. Many employ laborers outside the family. Land Changes Men's Lives In Ireland good land and poor land often lie side by side. Paddy O'Shea told me of the 15-mile area in County Cork near Mac room, in the Sullane River Valley, where I could find the old and new in farming, the difficult and the easy.