The West's Awakeby Cormac MacConnell
- An open letter to President Obama - some handy local tips for his visit to Ireland
- Some wonderful discoveries - relishing Irish trad session, The Gathering visitors and more
- The swallows return, beard competition, historic crimes and other musings
- A new taste of spring in Ireland- Tayto crisp’s cheese and onion chocolate bar
- Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth and the two Marys - Now it the time for a woman Prime Minister in Ireland
I was enjoying the Clare sunshine of a mighty spring afternoon when brother Sean telephoned from Dublin to tantalize me totally for the rest of the day with news of a unique country pub he discovered in the county Cork over the previous weekend. The trouble was that he refused to tell me the name of the pub or exactly where it trades.
All families have their special frequencies for good or ill. It betrays a lot about the weakness (or strength?) of the senior MacConnell clan members that we share discoveries of the sadly dwindling numbers of special country pubs of music, song and craic that we still discover in the rich nooks and crannies of Hidden Ireland and, via brother Cathal, in Scotland as well.
I met an interesting young lady last week. She is clearly of the tomboy species and it was a real pleasure to be in her company for a while because, in plain man's language, she was great craic altogether.
She's into equine sports, works in a riding stable in the Midlands, grew up in the middle of a family of brothers, uses a big motorcycle to get to work and, though christened Patricia, is universally known as Paddy.
I hope you have a bottle of good strong Irish whiskey stashed away already to fortify you for the St. Patrick's Day parade and for the ritual drowning of the shamrock through the big day.
If so, then my advice to you is to take a good shot from the bottle here and now before you read the rest of this quite shocking story. You will need it. Okay?
Somewhere out there, maybe most likely in Boston, New York or Chicago, the traditional Irish American heartlands, there quietly still dwells the last of your Seventh Sons, those mighty ancient healers and possessors of curative gifts and lores the modern world knows little about.
The apple tree grew sturdily in the front garden just a few yards from the farmhouse front door. It was a special tree because it bore a good crop of Sheepsnout apples every autumn.