The West's Awakeby Cormac MacConnell
- Bishop Eamon Casey served us well, and deserves our prayers
- A lovely tale of island life in the paradise of West Clare
- The Boarding Out orphan was a wonderful pick
- How do the Irish regard their American visitors? With pride
- Absolutely no relation to US Republican politician Mitch McConnell
Through the iron garden gate across the street you could see the crimson blooming fuchsia bushes around the spring well where a dreadful bogeyman lived.
If you went to the edge of the well he could reach up through the cold water, grab you by the ankle and drag you down into some dark place where he would devour every last bit of you, even the skull itself.
I'M in a cafe in Shannon Town having a quick coffee. A little boy with his mother at the next table has a chocolate Easter egg in his hand. Together they open it, unfoiling the silvery skin. The little boy taps the egg on the table.It cracks and a bright yellow babuska-shaped container is within. The mother opens it. There is a plastic package inside.
The boy watches with starred eyes as she puts the pieces together to form a jaunty giraffe maybe two inches tall and brightly colored. Magic! I'm enthralled myself by the ingenuity of it.
A flitting halo of lissome beauty over the emerging spring, I saw them on the second day of April where I always see them first. It is high over my neighbor Jimmy White's house across the road.
There were seven of them and, as I watched joyfully, I reflected I have been here in Carhue now for long enough to say with authority that not alone did I know their grandparents but also, given the unerring homing instincts of swallows, I also bred several of them in the sheds behind the cottage.
I'm not a sentimental man, but this sight, which I faithfully record for ye every year, always means something very special to me. I invariably manage to produce one salty tear from the corner of my left eye!