Asbury Park’s Trio of Treasures

first_imgBy Mary Ann BourbeauASBURY PARK – Grand Central Station, with its glorious main concourse and Beaux-arts façade, may be getting a lot of attention in 2013 as it celebrates its 100th year. But there is a trio of treasures in Asbury Park that was designed by the same architectural firm.Warren and Wetmore brought its vision to the historic shore resort when they built the Paramount Theatre, Grand Arcade and Convention Hall.Workers restore the rosette ceiling of the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park.Hopefully, those buildings will continue to draw tourists for another 100 years, but right now their future is uncertain. In 2007 Madison Marquette, a real estate investment firm, signed on to bring back the original splendor of the complex. While many structural and aesthetic improvements have been made, the 2011 deadline to install a state-mandated sprinkler system has long passed. Madison Marquette now says the cost, in excess of $1 million, is prohibitive, especially after Super Storm Sandy caused more than $1 million in damage. An agreement reached with the city allows the firm to forego installing sprinklers and close the building if continued operation of the complex is not economically feasible.“We are engaged in conversations with city officials on this issue, and are hopeful that we can find a way to modify how the building is currently used, comply with all code requirements and continue to keep some or most of this great building open to the public,” said Anselm Fusco, senior vice president of Madison Marquette.Pending the outcome of these conversations, no events have been scheduled in the complex after May 1.Since signing on to rebuild Asbury Park’s waterfront, Madison Marquette took on the daunting task of bringing the Paramount back to the splendor that Warren and Wetmore designed. The company made significant restorations to the historical details both inside and out. The crumbling plaster was repaired and the leaky domed ceiling was brought back to its original grandeur. Ripped seating was replaced, technical and mechanical systems were brought up to date and ornamentation was refurbished. Upgrades were made to the plumbing and air conditioning in Convention Hall, and portions of its architectural glory were restored.“When you walk through these buildings, you are taken aback by their beauty,” Fusco said. “There are even design details in areas not seen by the public, and that speaks volumes to the craftsmanship that went into these iconic buildings.”The design started with Whitney Warren, a cousin of the Vanderbilts, who studied architecture in Paris and loved the city so much he lived there for 10 years. When he returned to New York in 1896, he partnered with Harvard graduate Charles Wetmore to form the Warren and Wetmore architectural firm. They first gained prominence when they designed the New York Yacht Club in 1900.Their first high-profile commission was Grand Central Station, which opened in 1913. Their vision brought about the Steinway, Helmsley and Crown buildings; Chelsea Piers; St. James Theater; and the Biltmore, Ritz-Carlton and Vanderbilt hotels in New York.They also designed Michi­gan Central Railroad, the Ritz-Carlton in Atlantic City and the Louvain Library in Belgium, which was destroyed by the Germans during World War I, according to New York Architecture’s website.The inside of the 1,600-seat Paramount Theatre including the balcony and projection area.Meanwhile, back in Asbury Park, a group of local businessmen, hotel owners and city officials toyed with the idea of building a 5,000-seat structure along the boardwalk, but the $500,000 price tag proved too costly. According to the National Register of Historic Places, 10 years passed before any further action was taken and by then, building estimates had quadrupled. By the time Warren and Wetmore submitted their bid in 1927, the cost was more than $3 million, according to the National Register of Historic Places. But the plan was approved in the hopes it would help to draw even more tourists to the tony shore resort.“Asbury Park was the upper echelon of the social circle, so I’m sure they were used to the best,” said Angie Sugrim, promotion specialist for Madison Marquette. The complex, which was completed in 1930, was designed in Italian and French themes with an emphasis on nautical motifs.In the 1,600-seat Para­mount Theatre, one can’t help but notice the sea serpents, mermaids and shell designs in the ironwork, on the seats and on the painted dome ceiling. The outside brickwork features scallop shells and other nautical artwork. Several large copper schoon­ers and lanterns are positioned high up on the balconies. Many of the molds that were used for the plaster work are still in the theater, readily available for use in future renovations.“A lot of care went into designing this place,” said Brandon Vaught, maintenance supervisor for the complex. “I like how every day I find something new in the details.”High up in the rafters is the projection area, where five original film projectors, each 6-feet tall by 6-feet long, sit dusty and untouched. Graffiti signatures fill the concrete walls, some from recent acts that have graced the stage, including the Bouncing Souls and Blue October, and others that date back to the 1930s. Musicians must love the acoustics that Warren and Wetmore included in the domed theater because even today, it provides superior sound for the artists. Sugrim said that during a performance a few years ago, Tony Bennett demonstrated this by singing a song to the audience without a microphone.“The Paramount was built with the idea that the room had to amplify itself,” she said.Rumors run rampant that the buildings are haunted. Some say the ghosts are victims of the S.S. Morro Castle, a cruise ship that once sailed between New York and Havana. On Sept. 8, 1934, the ship caught fire and came to rest on a sandbar in front of Convention Hall. Many of the 137 victims were brought inside the auditorium. Others think the hauntings could be the spirits of two cabaret showgirls who died in a dressing room fire in the Paramount Theatre many years ago. Dressing room No. 8, down at the end of a long, narrow hallway, remains in its burned-out state and the door is always kept locked.“The buildings are definitely haunted,” Sugrim said. “We all hear things, and some of us see things.”The Grand Arcade features restaurants and shops that sell shore decorations, jewelry and Asbury Park memorabilia. It connects The Paramount Theatre, which faces Ocean Avenue, and Convention Hall, located on the beach side.The lobby of the Paramount Theatre.The grandeur of the Paramount design is missing from Convention Hall, but it still has a personality of its own. It was once home to a 700-pipe Kilgen organ, which was used to provide accompaniment for silent movies. Winged seahorse designs can be seen when entering the auditorium, which holds 3,600 people and hosts various events such as concerts, sporting events, tattoo festivals, fishing flea markets and roller derbies.“It’s nice to have a big room like this and make it into whatever you want,” Sugrim said.The nautical theme runs throughout Convention Hall, with two long paintings on either side of the stage featuring striped bass and jellyfish in an ocean scene. Though the water in the paintings is not real, the water that flowed in from Super Storm Sandy was. The basements of all three buildings, where all of the electrical panels are located, were completely flooded and about a foot of water covered the ground floors. The roof and arcade doors sustained damage, beachside stairs separated and sand was piled 5 feet high in the Grand Arcade.“Relatively speaking, we had a lot less damage than the rest of the shore,” Sugrim said.last_img read more

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WOLPNET: ‘FGM, Early Marriage Unacceptable’

first_imgThe Women of Liberia Peace Network (WOLPNET) has described the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Liberia, as unacceptable and should be abolished.In a press release yesterday, WOLPNET described the practice as a violation of human rights.The local women’s rights group’s assertion followed its recent engagements with Liberians in Bomi, Lofa and Grand Cape Mount Counties on the way forward to end female genital mutilation and early marriage.“These practices contravene international laws like the African Union (AU) Protocol and CEDAW, to which Liberia is a signatory,” the organization said.Quoting young women in said counties, who were directly affected by these cultural practices, WOLPNET said, “Most of them were taken to the ‘Sande’ Bush as children and went through the process against their will.”WOLPNET also said the women explained they, “learned some good things while they were admitted into the traditional school.”“While we bitterly frowned on FGM, we also recognize some positive things that come out of the traditional school, such as training in household care, respect for elders, dancing, singing and other morals,” said WOLPNET’s Acting Executive Director, Marian Gonyor,The release quoted her as saying, “The key unacceptable issue is the unhealthy condition under which the girls and women stay in while admitted in the bush.”The group said it has begun rolling out plans to partner with relevant civil society organizations and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to develop an implementable plan-of-action tool to abolish FGM and early marriage.WOLPNET, meanwhile called on the Liberian government to intervene and modify the aspect of the Liberian culture that has to do with cutting women, many of whom are often forcefully initiated into the Sande’ bush and given out for marriage when they should be in school.The group said the elimination of the practice of FGM is a campaign that every Liberian must join and urged Liberians to wake up to the reality of modernization and save our future generation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Farmers Meet, Strategize ‘Critical’ Agriculture Issues

first_imgFarmers posed with other stakeholders at the end of the meeting.Since 2004, Liberia became a signatory to the Maputo declaration on food security which states that ten percent of each country’s budget be given for agriculture, Liberia is yet to align itself to the agreement.Therefore, Liberian farmers have begun strategizing ways on how they can engage government to commit itself to the Maputo agreement, as well as other critical issues affecting farmers which, when addressed, they believe, will accelerate growth in the agricultural sector.It is based this that over the weekend, more than 100 farmers from Bong, Nimba and Margibi Counties convened their first town hall meeting in Gbarnga, Bong County to find a way forward in presenting their concerns to the legislature to enact the needed policy.Other issues identified besides the “Maputo Agreement” included, duty free reduction on taxes on agriculture inputs, access to agricultural loan for farmers at affordable rate and adequate time as well as the need for government to promote local produce at all public gatherings.“There is a need that we engage our lawmakers at the county level on these critical issues that affect us. If there is no favorable response, than farmers can carry out a sit-in-action. We elected these people as our leaders, so they need to prioritize agriculture,” says Conscience Juah, a farmer from Margibi County.“It is important that government demonstrates commitment to the Maputo Agreement, because it will help to increase farmers’ production and improve their lives. We must engage our lawmakers to implement the agreement,” Korto Mulbah from Bong County added.Meanwhile, one of the facilitators told journalists that his organization believed strongly that these issues identified by the farmers, when presented to lawmakers and translated into possible policies, can greatly move the agriculture sector forward.He said that the organization is driving the process on the issues by creating awareness through the mass media to increase understanding of the public and the government.“We are advocating so that government can allot 10 percent annually in to the budget for agriculture to improve food security,” Bass said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Cariboo Cougars with Fort St. John players win BC Hockey Major Midget League Championship

first_imgPRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Fort St. John’s Curtis Hammond, Johnny Herrington and Brophy Dunne helped the Cariboo Cougars win the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League Championship.For the second straight season, the Cariboo Cougars and Fraser Valley Thunderbirds faced off in the BC Hockey Major Midget League (MML) Championship. This season, the Cougars avenged last season’s loss and won the best-of-three (3) series two (2) games to none in Abbotsford, BC. For Cariboo, it was their second league championship in the least three (3) years.In game one (1) of the championship series, Cougars were back-stopped by netminder Xavier Cannon (Quesnel) who had the shutout in the 3-0 win. Curtis Hammond (Fort St. John) led the way offensively with a goal and an assist.- Advertisement -In game two (2), Cariboo exploded offensively taking a decisive 8-2 victory to take home the Cromie Memorial Cup. The Cougars were led by Jaxon Danilec (Prince George) and Fischer O’Brien (Prince George) with three (3) points each in the game.Cariboo will now face the Calgary Buffaloes, the Alberta Midget Hockey League (AMHL) champions, at the Pacific Regional Championship, April 5-7, 2019 in Calgary. The winner of that series will earn a berth in the TELUS Cup, Canada’s National Midget Championship, being held April 22-28, 2019, in Thunder Bay, Ontario.last_img read more

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Students get hands-on experience at NLC

first_imgMore than 350 grade 8-10 students in School Districts 60 and 81 gained hands-on experience in Dual Credit programming available at Northern Lights College through YES-2-IT events. YES-2-IT (Youth Exploring Skills to Industry Training) is a joint initiative of the Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the Ministry of Education. At NLC, YES-2-IT events provide students with the opportunity to learn about Dual Credit programs available on campus or through distributed delivery.  “YES-2-IT events provide the opportunity for students to experience potential education and job opportunities in a hands-on environment. The students get the chance to see the options available to them in their own backyard, and to begin envisioning what their career paths might look like,” said NLC’s recruitment manager Kristina Van De Walle.  A unique aspect of YES-2-IT is its focus on hands-on involvement, as students are encouraged to try out aspects of their selected programs through activities that are developed and overseen by participating program instructors.Dual Credit programming allows secondary school students to enrol in certain College programs, and earn credits at both levels while still in secondary school. – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Silver lining of shootings

first_imgBy Shelly Leachman STAFF WRITER A teacher’s frantic 911 call. A SWAT team surrounding a high school. Kids fleeing their campus, screaming, gunfire ringing out inside. It’s been more than eight years since the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, but the images and sounds of the tragedy are forever disturbing. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityEventually, though, some positive messages emerged from that horrific day: the importance of tolerance and compassion. And those lessons have spawned an inspiring school program that just arrived in Torrance. Named for Columbine victim Rachel Scott, whose many journals and other writings form the basis of the program, Rachel’s Challenge aims to curb school violence by promoting kindness. Just weeks before she was the first student killed on campus April 20, 1999, Rachel wrote in an essay, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then they will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness will go.” She added that her theory “may seem like a fantasy that can never be reached,” but, she urged, “test them for yourself.” Rachel was among 12 students and a teacher killed by fellow students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris that day. Another 24 were wounded. The killers had been bullied by other kids and left behind evidence that they targeted anyone who slighted them at the school. Rachel’s call to action hit Torrance High School on Tuesday, when Rachel’s Challenge was made to students and adults alike in four separate sessions with Scott family friend Andy McClure. Now the largest school- assembly program in the country, Rachel’s Challenge was started by the Scott family about a year after her death. The primary message? The tiniest gestures can have the biggest impact. “You don’t need to cure a disease. You don’t need to cross the Grand Canyon for someone else,” McClure told the students. “You just need to do the little things.” “It was very touching,” ninth-grader Michele Coughlin, 15, said later of the somber presentation, which mixed news footage of the Columbine shootings and Rachel Scott’s funeral with audio of desperate 911 calls from that day and voice-over readings from Rachel’s diaries. “I think it’s a great idea,” she added of the challenge. “I think more people should do it, and maybe we wouldn’t have such a big problem with everybody judging other people.” Choosing positive influences. Keeping a journal of one’s own dreams and goals. Practicing small acts of kindness. Telling people that they are loved. Embracing differences instead of judging them. Those are the five tenets of Rachel’s Challenge and, by Tuesday afternoon, several hundred students had signed a massive banner, pledging to try to observe them all. Stepping back after inking her own name, ninth-grader Kiana Sagun, 13, said what resonated most with her was the idea of tolerance. “You shouldn’t judge people by looking at them,” she said. “It’s better to love than to hate people. You should have a positive attitude.” Hoping to spread that attitude across the school district, the Torrance Council of PTAs is working on expanding the program into every Torrance Unified high school by early next year. “Columbine is no different than Torrance ? and that kind of tragedy could happen anywhere,” said council President Tish Carney, who saw a Rachel’s Challenge presentation at a summer convention and was determined to bring it home. “Kids need to remember, to stop thinking that anyone is of less value than they are. No one is of less value than anyone.” Words to live by, said McClure, especially for Rachel Scott, who was a unifying figure on her campus – and has become a nationwide symbol since her death. “She believed in compassion and kindness, and that’s why we’re doing this,” he explained following the first of his four Torrance sessions Tuesday. “We’re into changing cultures, not just the climate. The whole issue is to effect change.” shelly.leachman@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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PICTURE SPECIAL FROM THE LIFFORD AC 5K

first_imgMORE than 350 runners took part in Wednesday evening’s Lifford AC 5k.NorthWestNewsPix was there…  PICTURE SPECIAL FROM THE LIFFORD AC 5K was last modified: July 16th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2015Lifford AC 5kpicture speciallast_img

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IT’S HOT OUT THERE – SO WELCOME TO ‘EL PASO’ (DONEGAL)

first_imgIT’S hot out there today – temperatures heading for 24C this afternoon.But visitors to west Donegal might just have mistaken it for El Paso.At least that’s what the sign says…..on the Glen Road between Loughanure and Annagry! Picture by Danny O’Donnell. IT’S HOT OUT THERE – SO WELCOME TO ‘EL PASO’ (DONEGAL) was last modified: June 18th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Annagrydonegal weatherEl PasoLoughanuresunshinelast_img read more

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Donegal Death Notices – Rest in Peace

first_imgDonegal death notices for today, Saturday, January 6.Tony MCDONAGHThe death has occurred of Tony McDonagh, Main Street, Dunkineely, Donegal Funeral Mass today Saturday at 10am at Church of St. Joseph and Conal, Bruckless. Burial afterwards in the adjoining churchyard.Bill GILLThe death has occurred of Bill Gill, Annagh, Clonmany, Donegal.Removal from his late residence on Saturday at 11am to St Mary’s Church, Clonmany for 11.30am Requiem Mass. Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu, if desired, to Carndonagh Community Hospital Patients Comfort Fund c/o any family member. Family time, please, from 11pm to 11am. House Strictly private for family only on the morning of the funeral. Michael F. DESMONDThe death has taken place in the Donegal Hospice of Michael Desmond, Sessiagh, Dunfanaghy Co. Donegal formerly Macroom, Co. Cork.Removal from the Donegal Hospice Letterkenny on Saturday January 6th at 3pm, going to his late residence in Dunfanaghy. Funeral mass in Holy Cross Church, Dunfanaghy on Monday January 8th at 12 noon, with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. Family time please from 11pm until 10am and on the morning of the funeral. Family flowers only please, donations in lieu if desired to the Donegal Hospice c/o any family member.Christy DEEHANThe sudden death has taken place of Christy Deehan, Shore Front, Buncrana. Husband of Teresa and dear father of Mark.Removal from Murphy’s Funeral Home took place yesterday evening going to his home. Funeral Sunday 7th January leaving at 12 noon going to St Mary’s Oratory, Buncrana for Requiem Mass at 12.30pm. Interment immediately afterwards in Cockhill Cemetery. Family time please from 11.00pm – 10.00am.Bernadette CONLON (née Mc Manus)The death has occurred of Bernadette Conlon (née Mc Manus), Donegal Road, Ballybofey, peacefully at Letterkenny University Hospital, surrounded by her loving family. Beloved wife of the late John Conlon and much loved mother of Francis, Mary, John, Veronica, Clare and Maeve. Dearly loved sister of Monica, Bridie, Carmel and Francis and the late Mary,(Brazil), Felix and Fr. Michael. Deeply regretted by her sons, daughters, sisters, brother, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, extended family and friends.Remains reposing at her home on Saturday Jan 6th from 6pm until rosary at 10pm. House Private on Sunday Jan 7th, with removal from her home at 6pm to the Church of Mary Immaculate, Stranorlar, to repose overnight. Funeral Mass on Monday Jan 8th at 11 am, with interment afterwards in Drumboe Cemetery. Donations in lieu of flowrers if so desired, to the Donegal Hospice, Letterkenny, care of any family member.Martha BEGLEYThe death has occurred of Martha Begley, Drogheda, Sean O’Hare Unit, Stranorlar, Donegal / Raphoe, Donegal, peacefully at Letterkenny University Hospital, surrounded by her loving family and under the continued tender care of the staff of the Sean O’Hare Unit and Letterkenny University Hospital staff. Formerly of Figart, Raphoe. Loving mother to her sons Andrew, Colm and Peter, grandsons Michael, Ryan and Craig, brother Leslie (Alex) and predeceased by her brothers Robert and Willie John. Sadly missed by her her sons, grandsons, brother, staff of the Drogheda Ward, relatives, neighbours and friends. Remains reposing at Drogheda Ward, Sean O’Hare Unit (St. Joseph’s Hospital) on Saturday and Sunday from 4 pm to 8 pm. Service of thanksgiving for Martha’s Life will take place in the Church at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Monday 8th January at 2 pm, burial immediately afterwards in the family plot in Raphoe Presbyterian Churchyard. Flowers welcome, donations in lieu of flowers if so desired to the Patients Comfort Fund, Drogheda Ward, Sean O’Hare Unit, Stranorlar c/o Martin McGowan, McGowan’s Funeral Home, Drumboe Avenue, Stranorlar or any family member. Eircode for Wake F93 FCR6.Michael HARKINThe death has occurred of Michael Harkin, 133 Ard Colgan, Carndonagh, Donegal at Carndonagh Community Hospital.Funeral from his late residence today, Saturday at 10.30am, to The Church of the Sacred Heart, Carndonagh, for Requiem Mass at 11am, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.Donegal Death Notices – Rest in Peace was last modified: January 6th, 2018 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:obituarieslast_img read more

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Two Donegal hotels named amongst Ireland’s top small hotels

first_imgTwo Donegal hotels have been named in the Top 25 list of Ireland’s Best Small Hotels.The Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards for 2018 have named Ballyliffin TownHouse, Inishowen, and Castle Grove Country House Hotel, Letterkenny, as two of the best small hotels in the country.Coming in at number 7 on the list, Ballyliffin TownHouse has a top score on the travel website, with hundreds of outstanding reviews being left by guests. Ballyliffin TownHouseOne guest remarked: “Beautiful, comfortable hotel ideal for families. The staff were friendly and very helpful. The food was also very good. Very impressed with this hotel. Couldn’t fault it!” Another guest summed it up by calling the hotel “an absolute gem.”A spokesperson for Ballyliffin TownHouse shared the good news on their Facebook page, saying “this is fabulous news and we would like to thank each of you for all your great reviews. We are only one of 2 hotels in Donegal in this category. As always, a special thanks to all the team here who work with such passion each day. A huge congratulations to all the Donegal Hotels on their 2018 awards.”The stunning Castle Grove Country House Hotel placed number 24 on the list, with their friendly staff and delicious food being just some of the elements that made guests’ stay at the hotel extra special.Castle Grove Country House HotelOne guest left a review saying the Letterkenny lodge is “like an oasis”, with another saying “it was exactly what we were hoping it would be and more.” Guests noted the exquisite furnishings and breathtaking artwork, along with the cosy glow that radiated from the charming fireplaces.Topping the list is the lavish Ballyfin Demesne in County Laois, with the title of the World’s Top Small Hotel going to the ornate Hotel Mume in Kyoto, Japan.Two Donegal hotels named amongst Ireland’s top small hotels was last modified: February 4th, 2018 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ballyliffin townhousecastle grove country house hoteldonegalIreland’s top small hotelslast_img read more

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