Sea Life

The year must have been about 1954 or 55. We had spent the day at the seaside – Summercove, outside Kinsale. It was a fairly typical family outing: mother, father, grandmother and two small boys, the younger a baby. I was the elder, about four years old. The day had passed in the usual way

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Abhann na Laoi

Rugadh agus tógadh  mé ar bhruach abhann na Laoi, an abhainn is deise in Eirinn.  Eirionn an abhainn seo i nGouganbarra agus imíonn sí uaithi trí gleann álainn na Laoi, áit ina   bhfuil   cultúr agus ceol na nGael   láidir fós.   Fá dheireadh shroiseann sí  Cuan breá Chorcaí.  Ach is le héirí na habhann i nGougánbarra a bhaineann mo scéal -se Fadó, fadó,  bhí péist (dragón) ana mhór ina chónaí sa loch  i n Gougánbarra. Lá amháin tháinig Naomh Fionnbarra go dti an loch chun mainistéir a bhunú ann.    Ach bhi an ollphéist ag cur isteach  ar phaidreacha na manaigh agus ag magadh fúthu.  ‘Téir amach as an loch and Imigh leat as seo, a Phéist’ , arsa Naomh Fionnbarra. Ni  Imóinn,’  arsa an phéist  in árd a chinn is a ghutha.  Bhí ceann mór ar an ollphéist and lasracha ag teacht amach as a bhéal. ‘Imigh leat, in ainm Dé’  arsa Naomh Fionnbarra go ciún socair,  mar fear cróga ab ea é i gconaí. ‘Nilim chun imeacht’, arsa an phéist gránna agus é ag screadaigh go fíochmhar. D’oscail sé a bhéal chun Naomh Fionnbarra a shlogadh siar   A Dhia, tar ar cabhair chugham’ ,  sin an paidir a dúirt Naomh Fionnbarra. Thug Dia neart seachtar fear don Naomh .  Rug an Naomh  ar an ollphéist agus tharraing sé  amach as an loch é .Chaith sé ar an talamh é. Thug se cic don dragón. Theith an ollphéist ón naomh a bhí lán de ghrásta Dé. Rinne an phéist poll doimhin sa talamh agus é ag sleamhnú ón naomh.  Nior stop an phéist ag síleadh an uisce go dti gur shrois sé an fharraige ag cuan Chorcaí. Léim sé isteach sa mhuir agus bádh é. Creid nó  ná creid é, sin a mar deireann an sean-scéal .  Ach is dócha gurbh é an Phágántacht ata i gceist i ndáiríre.   Seasann an pheist don Phágántacht, mar  chuir Naomh Fionnbarra ruaig ar an bPágántacht timpeall an ama sin.  Bhi sé ag múineadh na Chríostaíochts don chos -mhuintir. Diaidh ar ndiadh tháinig deireadh le ré na Págantachta in Eirinn. Sin an sean scéat ar aon Nos . creid Nó ná creid, ach is Docha gurbh e an phagantach fein ata i gceist agus conas a chuir ANaaomh ruaig ar an bpagantacht .

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Beaver Lodge

Through alder trunks and fresh willow whips, the pool surface is pale in the gathering dusk. The evening sky reflects like a mirror. Birdsong is rich and clear. Every small animal waiting for dusk has woken; thinking about a night of foraging ahead. A kingfisher flashes past. From the bog at Shanagarry comes the plaintive

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Constable Lake

Constable Lake is a lake near my house in County Cork. It is called Constable Lake because when England used to rule Ireland, there used to be policemen around the place. Back then the policemen were called constables. One day a constable got thrown in, so it was named Constable Lake after that. When my

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Crosshaven Roulade

Quiet early morning finds me where the sweetest waters flow. I am where I always wanted to be, in Crosshaven, a place much loved by my parents, Donal and Imelda. Back in the days when I was a boy we holidayed up in Fennell’s Bay and watched the great ships sail out to sea. We

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Currabinny

At the back of the house where I grew up there was a wet ditch, draining some good agricultural land. As I child I would go there most days with my net and bucket. Down through the shoulder high wheat, the dog ahead of me, jumping occasionally to find his bearings. I can still feel

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Dipping in the Dissour

As a young boy growing up in 1970’s Ireland, at lot of my youth was spend splashing and dipping our toes in the local river that passes through the village of Killeagh in East Cork. The rivers name ‘Dissour’ means ‘twice wetted’, which supposedly meant it had better bleaching qualities than other rivers in earlier

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Fording the River Lee

Sunday morning I went to deliver a magazine to my friend who wanted it. Eight am and the sun was already three fingers above the trees. Quiet…well, quiet from human noise. The birds were fully awake. After slipping it through her mail-slot I turned towards the river and enjoyed the crunch of gravel under my

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Fior Uisce

Beyond Gallows Green in Cork city is a great lough, where people once skated in winter-time. At the bottom are buildings and gardens, more beautiful than anything seen today. The tops and towers are visible to those who look into the lough with perfect eyesight. These buildings come from the time of King Core, whose

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First Carlow Friend

I would walk along the Barrow and let all my grief go with the river. You see the river flowed right behind my shared apartment and in that complicated first year away from home I would walk with it. Walk with it when angry, when lonely, when worried, or sometimes when just bored. The Barrow

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Gone Fishing

If you want to be deft with language, you can travel from anywhere in the world to a village in the south of Ireland, hang upside down in the ramparts of an old castle, with your ankles held by a pleasant gentleman, lay your lips on the Blarney stone, then words are supposed to flow

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Grandad’s Gift

My Grandad had a boat; a small ifshing punt with an outboard engine. Unfortunately, I never knew Grandad Dick, as he died suddenly atfer an ouitng in the boat with my dad. As a child, the madcap stories I heard of family escapades along the Irish coast, in this boat, letf me longing for adventures

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