Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Pleasant stop at Farran's Wunderkaffee. An hour or two of coffee and a taste of local history

 Pleasant stop at Farran's Wunderkaffee

An hour or two of coffee and a taste of local history

For quite a few months now, I have been meaning to visit the Wunderkaffee in Farran. For much longer, it has been my intention to visit the nearby Kilcrea Abbey ruins. I got both done (and more) one sunny day, perhaps the only sunny one, last week.

The cafe stands on a rural road just (a minute) off the main Cork-Macroom Road. You park by the side of the road and walk in. It is open from Tuesday to Saturday and serves coffee, teas, and hot chocolates and lots of sweet treats and has indicated it is considering doing lunches in the future.

There are strong links between the Farran café and the two Filter Coffee outlets in Cork City, so you feel confident the coffee will be good here. And it is, very good indeed. We tried a selection of good things including a lovely croissant. Then onto a superb Rhubarb Crumble studded with blackberries. But the best of all, I thought, was the Flapjack, packed full of flavour thanks to the fruit, the nuts and an injection or two of chocolate.

There is much more there, hence the “Wunder” bit! You may choose plants from quite a selection. There is a large display of wine, much of it organic and from the Mary Pawle portfolio. Local crafts are supported including silverware, lampshades and more. And do look out for local honey and chutneys. If you are hunting for a last-minute gift, just call in; you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

There is a lively buzz here, a neighbourhood buzz, though I’m sure quite a few passersby also call. Service is friendly and efficient, very helpful. They don't rush you and indeed look out for you.


Just a few minutes’ drive from the café, is Kilcrea Friary, built in 1465 by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy who is buried here. We called to see the extensive ruin. Buried here also is Áirt Úi Laoghaire, a young Irishman shot dead in May 1773 because an English planter wanted to put him in his place and could so do because of the brutal Penal Laws.

That year, a horse owned by 26-year-old Áirt won a race, beating a horse owned by the planter. Because of the penal laws, a Catholic was not allowed to own a horse with a value of over five pounds, so the Englishman sought to take advantage by offering Áirt that amount for the horse. The Irishman refused and was declared an outlaw and was later shot dead.

Áirt's tomb

The first indication that his wife received of the tragedy was the arrival of the mare without her rider. And that is recalled in Caoineadh (keening) Áirt Úi Laoghaire, the love poem, one of Ireland’s greatest, that his wife Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill composed as she keened.

is níor chreideas riamh dod mharbh

gur tháinig chúgham do chapall

is a srianta léi go talamh,

is fuil do chroí ar a leacain

Here is the translation by Thomas Kinsella

I didn’t credit your death

till your horse came home

and her reins on the ground,

your heart’s blood on her back

You may read the full poem in Irish here.   The Kinsella translation is also available online.

The founder remembered

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