A little story about Ireland

Many moons ago my friend invited me on a fishing trip to Ireland.  Now I  don’t fish and as the midges in Ireland are legendary for their ability to get into the most wrapped up places, the weather is generally misty with rain and the temperature  can rapidly drop to miserable, I was not keen.  However, tales of the spectacular scenery of Cork, the Ring of Kerry,  peat bogs, Guinnesss, soda bread, pochino (illegal potato Hooch)  and the hospitality of the Irish changed my mind.

I have a many stories about trekking over bogs, climbing mountains so steep that I crawled whilst sheep bounded past me, clouds whipping past me in high reaches, dolphins that came to investigate when you tapped two pebbles under water (didn’t happen) and spectacular food and alcoholic  revelry,  but this tale revolves around tradition.

On the shores of Eire there is a small village that retains the old tradition of story telling.   Here in smokey pubs, old and new gather to listen to songs and poems of the past accompanied by traditional music.     The wind howls, rain thunders and waves smash against the rocky shore,  but snug and cosy inside the village’s pubs people gather around fires, drink copious amounts of Guinness and through the flame crackling gloam listen in silence to modern-day bards telling stories of old.

Three pints into an eulogy came a man.  Dressed in a shooting jacket, dirty trousers tucked into Wellingtons, mud splashed liberally over his clothes and smelling more than a little of sheep, he joined the group.

“I’m off to the marriage festival ” he announced.  It turned out that the marriage market, held in Lisdoonvarna, is one of Ireland’s oldest traditional  where farmers come to town looking for a  wife.   After a few beers we helped him out to his landrover where a couple of sheep were staring out of the back window forlornly.

“Will you be changing your shoes. Patrick?” one of the locals asked as we watched the would  be suitor climb into a matching mud splattered vehicle

“What!” Patrick replied  ” I’ll win her over by charm alone”

I often wonder how he managed to Foxtrot in Wellington’s and if  he ever found true love.


40 thoughts on “A little story about Ireland

  1. Have lots of great memories and numerous photographs of a (part working) holiday in Ireland, Galway, the Ring of Kerry, Killarney and the Killarney National Park with its traditional houses. And those brightly painted pubs with flowers spilling everywhere.

  2. Great story. .It gives a good insight of the land and of of the people, how they socialize. I enjoyed it, partly because I’m Irish but may never make it there.

  3. Next time your on tour try Doolin in Co. Clare for music, storytelling and the craic. Pencil in a visit to Bunratty Castle and complete the night in Durty Nellies – bring plenty of money as we are on our uppers here.
    Must find A poem I wrote years back about one of my many visits to Killarney and its surroundings.

  4. That story was well told and had more than a tiny bit of the blarney stone in there, but “begorra” Sue I am now waiting for the sequel, did he find his fair colleen?…

  5. I love Ireland and have spent many happy times tucked away in various countryside pubs and galas. I did see the dolphins in Dingle so I can vouch that they exist. My only sadness is that I didn’t have my passion for photography all those years ago and must have missed a billion amazing photographs. Lovely story. Going back to the deep countryside of Ireland is very high up on my bucket list.

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