meeting kind new friends, Paddy & Angela Fitzpatrick

Downpatrick Travel Blog

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Saint Patrick's 12th century grave by Cathedral of the Holly Trinity Down

Continuing south to Downpatrick, my first stop was the cemetery around Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Down to honor the 12th century grave of Saint Patrick.  His tomb is covered with a small area of coble stones around a large hunk of granite etched on the surface with a Celtic cross above his name.  I browsed more of the cemetery, reading some markers and taking in the hilltop views, before turning back to find a accommodations for the night.


Heading for my car, I spotted an older couple getting out of theirs and went over to ask directions to the local hostel.

Cathedral of the Holly Trinity Down
  Paddy and Angela Fitzpatrick, who were on their way out to celebrate their 31st wedding anniversary, were the nicest couple.  They did not know of any hostels in town, so our conversation deviating into a half-hour conversation about The Troubles and Irish history, and tails of Downpatrick.  The kind couple then invited me to join them for dinner.  At first, I declined to allow them privacy on their special occasion, but they assured me it would be no intrusion, so I graciously accepted.


We walked down English Street to Justines Restaurant where I enjoyed a delectable grouper dinner and more stimulating conversation.  I also sampled some of Angela’s duck, which to me closely resembled steak.  For desert; I had a “Rough & Tumble;” I do not remember what it was exactly, but I know it was good.

cemetery behind the Cathedral of the Holly Trinity Down
  Paddy generously insisted on picking up the tab as we asked the wait staff about hostels in the area.  The restaurant employees knew of none in town and suggested the nearest might be in Dublin.  At that point, my charitable hosts invited me to their home to stay in one of the spare rooms.  It was too much to ask, I said, but again they insisted and Paddy urged, “Do not look a gift horse in the mouth.”


After our fine meal, we went back to the cars and I followed Paddy and Angela to their local hangout for a couple of pints.  The roads to and from the bar were pitch black in the moonless night and I relied on their taillights like a duckling behind its mother goose.  With white walls, dark curtains, and sparse decorations, the public house had a fell like that of an Elks Club.  Aside from the staff, I had to have been the youngest person in there by 30 years, but it was still fun to sit and gab with my new friends and watch them dance.

Paddy & Angela Fitzpatrick dancing at their local hangout
  It was a joy to see the couple so happy on their anniversary.


Through the course of the evening, I had had the most enjoyable time with new friends.  Retiring at last to the Fitzpatrick homestead in Loughineland village (on Annadoran Road), my hospitable and generous hosts showed me around their lovely house and entertained my inquiry about the magnificent marble fireplace, which Paddy had salvaged from an old castle.  We were all winding down as the hour drew late, so Angela showed me to my room.  For the first time in a week, I would sleep in a real bed.  Except for a slight sore throat, which had recently developed, I slept comfortably throughout the night.
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Saint Patricks 12th century grave…
Saint Patrick's 12th century grav…
Cathedral of the Holly Trinity Down
Cathedral of the Holly Trinity Down
cemetery behind the Cathedral of t…
cemetery behind the Cathedral of …
Paddy & Angela Fitzpatrick dancing…
Paddy & Angela Fitzpatrick dancin…
Evans by the Fitzpatricks marble …
Evans by the Fitzpatrick's marble…
photo by: aelder2259