A glimpse of sun a powerful morale boost for Ireland -- Doom and gloom of wet summer suddenly swept away



The "Old Sol" shining on Dingle in County Kerry (Photo:EmeraldIslePhotos)

Well reader I took a drive from Dublin to Dingle, about 180 miles, on a glorious Sunday after the Notre Dame/Navy match and all was well with the world.

I'm not a particularly lucky person but over the years for some reason, whenever I go to Ireland the weather is usually good -- no matter the time of year.

The millions worldwide watching the Notre Dame game the previous day would have surmised that we were all living in sunny Spain.

The hot sun beaming across the Aviva stadium and reflecting back on the TV cameras made it seem like a Florida beach day more than an early September one in Dublin's fair city.

Rare is the sun over here this summer.

So rare that for a joke the other day I sent our Irish correspondent Patrick Counihan a picture of the yellow orb, otherwise known as Old Sol or the sun, just so he would recognize it if he ever saw it again. His reply was unprintable.

They have had the worst summer in decades but as I made my merry way through counties Kildare, Laois, Tipperary, Limerick, and Kerry, the sun split the rocks and kids and parents in shorts and T shirts were hell bent on making it to a beach someplace.

The Irish landscape in the hot sun is a summer Eden, there are few countries on earth that blossom so much in great weather and look so dull and dank in bad.

I stopped in a little pub somewhere between Tralee and Dingle to watch the All Ireland football semi final between Mayo and Dublin. Dublin were the overwhelming favorites and to everyone's utter shock Mayo gave them a footballing lesson. The locals in the pub, Kerrymen all, the most knowledgeable people on earth about Gaelic football, were plainly shell shocked

It was glorious to see as the unfancied Westerners showed the famous Dubs how it was done , racing to a ten point lead early in the second half.

They were so far ahead that I decided to drive on to Dingle, content that Mayo would get a crack at their first All Ireland win since 1951, when they faced Donegal in the final on the third Sunday in September.

The glorious uncertainty of sport is reflected in that pairing. You would have got 50/1 on that pair meeting in the All Ireland final at the start of the year.

Little did I know, right after I settled back in the car, happy as Larry, the radio commentary revealed a slight hitch in proceedings.

Between Tralee and Dingle it was white knuckle stuff as Dublin launched what would have been an incredible comeback that fortunately for Mayo just fell short as I drove into Dingle.

Dingle was its incredible self. My sister was waiting when I got to her house seven miles west in Ballydavid, a little village that looks out on the broad Atlantic and the grand sweeping vistas that make this one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Later that night a massive harvest moon overhung our little village and the quay was thronged with revelers and kids enjoying the Indian summer.

The local pub, Tig TPs, was doing a roaring trade, and the hot weather is set to continue this week.

As I said, all is well with the world.


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