It seems that in Ireland, every second day is good. We have storms one day and beautiful wintery sunshine the next. Then storms again.
Maybe that’s just on the East coast – it rains more on the West coast – and they certainly bear the brunt of the Atlantic storms over there. But they have their compensations.
The islands – the rocky, windswept Aran Islands, the majestic Achill Island, the remote and craggy stronghold of Tory, the birdwatchers’ outpost of Cape Clear, the artists’ retreat of Inishlacken, the ethereal Sceilig Mhichíl… na Blascaoidí, Árainn Mhór, Inis Tuirc, Inis Treabhair, Oileán Mhic Dara, ó nár dheas an rud é…
Ach is glas iad na cnoic i bhfad uainn, is dócha.
Anyway we have one special island on the East coast – Ireland’s Eye, just north of Howth harbour and east of Portmarnock’s Velvet Strand. The Vikings had the word Ey for island – so that’s where the present name comes from but it was originally called: Inis Mac Neasáin and there’s a little church on the island that was built by the resident saint: Mac Neasáin
I took the photo above a couple of days ago. Today as I write, there are squalls howling over it, and the seagulls are flying backwards (as Dave tells me). But isn’t there something special about these islands, something enchanting?
Is it our yearning to be free? To be safe? To be separate? To be alone?
Is glas iad na cnoic i bhfad uainn. The faraway hills are green, I suppose. Maybe the islanders are wishing right now – that they were safe and dry on the mainland. I was on Inis Oírr a couple of years ago and saw the damage that had been wrought there by the sea…
And of course, the good ship Plassey is the proof (if you needed it) of the awesome power of the sea. In 1960, she was thrun up on the rocks like an empty crate and she lies there dejectedly to this day.
There must be a moral to this story but, for the life of me, I can’t think of one. I’d welcome your suggestions – down below in the Comments section. And forgive me – I should’ve started with “Happy New Year” and thanks for dropping by!
Beir Beannacht agus Bua !