The Owenea River

Flowing out of Lough Ea in Edeninfagh through the moss and heather it makes it’s way slowly down until it comes to Edeninfagh church and graveyard. The graveyard slopes down to the River. The seepings from all the bodies buried there join the River. Those of our people and our people’s people. On we go where the pig farm was – that was a sad story for the River. But still it runs on until we come to Peter Campbell’s house. The River often heard the sound of fiddle players.
At the bridge is the Glen Tavern, formerly McDevitt’s Bar. Home of the Quinn’s. Haunt of fiddle players, singers, raconteurs etc. Patrick MacGill drank here and wrote a poem about it.
As children we loved throwing in leaves – just to see how far they would go. Past Cornelius Boyle’s and the Post Office. We are now in more fertile ground. The holmes stretching out from the river. Here we turned hay, made laps, made tramcocks and sometimes watched them flow down that same Owenea River. When the floods came in August nobody cried, it was only hay. We lived above the wee holm. There more hay was saved. When the hay was saved we boil washed all the white clothes – even those kept in the linen chest were washed. We spread the clothes out on the grass to whiten and then starched and ironed them. The blankets were washed on the bank of the river where there was plenty of rinsing water.
We played by the side of the river and watched the otters sliding in and out. We waved over to the McCabe’s who were out making hay as well. The McLoone’s were often out too. Making hay was an outing then and getting tea to the workers on our holm was a great treat.
When all the hay was cut and all the cleaning done we played camogie on the wee holm. We didn’t all have a camogie stick. Sometimes it was a bit of hazel from “ Coy’s Wood “ with a good knob on the end of it. By then the great Glen team of the late 30’s and 40’s had left, emigrated or married. We were re-enacting the play of former years.