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2007 Honeymoon in Ireland Trip Journal by Christian Willis.

February 17, 2007 is a date I will never forget: I was married to a very wonderful woman, Maggi. We decided to visit Ireland for our honeymoon, as it was a place that neither of us had been to before but that both of us very much wanted to see.

On February 18th we flew to Dublin, and from there we picked up a rental car to start our 2-week self-drive tour of Ireland. Driving on the left side of the road was a challenge, but as it turned out it would be to our advantage...

On Day 4 of our trip, we were leaving Ashford, where we had spent the night in our first B&B. As we began driving down the road, we noticed old poles beside the road up on the left embankment. Each pole had 1 crossarm with 4 insulators on them. The insulators were a straight-skirted insulator with a double groove near the top and were a tan/beige in color. We were talking about how cool it would be to find a downed pole, when all of a sudden we passed one!

I stopped abruptly and threw the car into reverse, stopping right next to the pole. Luckily the small, two-lane road had very little traffic on it, since there was no shoulder for me to pull over on, so I had to stay there in the road with my hazard lights on. I clambered up the side of the hill and quickly began unscrewing the insulators. Three of them were mint and the fourth one had a single chip on the wire groove. I handed them to my wife in the car, and within 30 seconds we were back on the road. The cool thing is we were videotaping at the time and so we have the whole thing caught on tape!

A couple days later as we were driving around near Coolderry trying to find Leap Castle, I pulled over to the left side of the road to check our road atlas. To my astonishment, right next to us on the side of the road laid another pole with four different insulators on them! Two of the insulators were dead-end spool types which I was unable to remove from their metal brackets, but the other two were white ceramic pieces on J-hook metal pins. They wouldn't unscrew from the pins (they appeared to be cemented), so I simply unscrewed the pin itself from the pole. Score two more insulators!

Throughout the trip, I noticed many high voltage lines throughout Ireland that used large clear glass multipart insulators. I thought how cool it would be to get one of those, but knew my chances were slim to none to find any of those not in service, let alone reachable from the ground.

Well, as fate would have it, on a back road on our way to our B&B near Lough Eske and Donegal, we passed by a power company supply yard with piles of power poles and transformers. The yard appeared to be occupied so we kept driving, but I vowed to return there later, as I knew that's exactly the kind of place where you find insulators lying around.

A few hours later, as we left our B&B to get dinner in the town of Donegal, we passed by the yard again, and I did a double-take: there lying next to a building on the left side of the road was a 3-piece glass multipart! We pulled over, dropped it in the back, and took off. It was simply too easy! The piece turned out to be manufactured by Sediver, a French insulator manufacturer.

Throughout the trip we found dozens of other abandoned poles, and identified at least a dozen different insulator styles, but we would find no more downed poles. Oh well—I was ecstatic to return with the pieces that we had found! It added just one more memorable aspect to a very memorable honeymoon!

My first Irish insulator! There were no wires attached.

This pole was so covered in ivy it had fallen over.

A downed pole near Coolderry with 4 insulators

Hmm... where did the J-hooks go??

The power company yard where the Sediver multipart was found by the roadside.

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