Don't Miss: Michael Quirke: the Woodcarver of Wine St

The inconspicuous storefront studio of Michael Quirke, woodcarver, raconteur and local legend, is filled with the scents of locally felled timbers and off-cuts of sycamore. Quirke began cutting and carving wood in 1968. Today he still uses the same saw he used on meat when he worked here as a butcher.

A modern-day Yeats, Quirke's art is inspired by Irish mythology, a subject about which he is passionate and knowledgeable, and as he carves he readily chats with the customers and the curious who enter his shop and end up staying for hours.

As he talks and carves, Quirke frequently pulls out a county map, pointing to places (such as his beloved Carrowmore) that spring from the conversation, leading you on your own magical, mystical tour of the county. Should he ask you your favourite animal, consider your answer carefully, as he's likely to carve you a version of the critter on the spot.