The Irish Homecoming - Enjoying the brief glorious summer and reconnecting with the family


Kids pulled shovels and spades out of their mommy’s oversized totes and teenagers congregated in groups flirting with each other in various spots on the glowing sand.

And then one by one people braved the cold waters – later reporting “it really wasn’t that bad.” Kids, accompanied by parents, older siblings and babysitters, dipped their toes.

The bigger ones and the teenagers showed off splashing around in deeper waters and older folks swam lengths of the Atlantic Ocean, possibly inspired by the Olympic swimming they were watching on the TV that morning. John took Colum down to the water as I stayed put on the sand with Sadie in the shade.

It happened that some of John’s cousins were in Kilkee on holidays for the week, so we met up with them on the beach and had some fun in the sun for the afternoon.

Although the sun kept shining loudly in the sky, people quickly began to gather up their things and make their way back to their homes or the places they were staying late afternoon.  Katie Taylor’s fight for her gold medal was on at 4:45 p.m. and no one was going to miss it.

We gathered in a house John’s aunt and uncle rented up the hill from the beach. There were about 12 of us gathered in a modest living room shouting at the television for the short fight.

The elation in the room when Katie won the gold was something I had never experienced. It was a moment that will be etched in our history. It was absolutely fantastic. 

In the past weeks we’ve taken another trip to Lahinch, a few to Tralee (my hometown), and Colum experienced his first Kerry match when they played Clare.  This turned out to be their last game of the season after losing to Donegal two weekends ago.

But Colum still runs around the house shouting “Up Kerry,” much to the dismay of his Limerick born father. I’m not sure how long this allegiance will last though.

And now our little adventures continue. Wednesday we take the children to Fota Wildlife Park for a fun filled family mini-vacation. Colum is fascinated with animals so we’re hoping he will enjoy it. Sadie will just smile and be happy anywhere.

Ireland is abuzz with things to do and places to visit in the summer. The Rose of Tralee International Festival takes place this coming Friday to the following Wednesday. I hope to make to make it down home for a day or two with the little ones. 

I hope all my friends in New York are enjoying their summer, and I’d like to wish our good friend Pete Coyle a very special Happy Birthday for Friday, August 17.