I am so often amazed and overjoyed and awed by the widths and depths and complexities of many of the stories which continue to make local headlines in the quieter reaches and airy spaces of the west.
The fangs of economic recession and the hard-edged pragmatics of Ireland's modernity should have slaughtered such stories long ago, but they have not. It is a fascinating reality which I have encountered so many times down the decades I have been privileged to ply my storytelling trade on the seaward side of the Shannon river.
The latest illustration of what I speak of occurs in the same month as the proud but impoverished Greeks struggle to cope with the ruin of their economy in their new Greek tragedy, in the same month as the mammoth Chinese stock market plunges into a fall which is costing them trillions never mind billions, in the same month as a fanatical madman in Tunisia slaughters innocent Irish and British tourists on a holiday beach in his country.
For that matter the event also happens at a time when the strange animal that is your Donald Trump impacts himself not just on the American election race for power but also on the shape of development in the Co. Clare in which I reside and in which this millionaire recently purchased a luxury golfing resort. More on that front later.
Amazingly, believe it or not, when these events were happening nationally and internationally, it is equally true that the local authority in Clare -- Clare County Council -- actually purchased a centuries old round tower, a half-dozen Celtic crosses and the ruins of at least that many very ancient old churches nearby plus several even older monastic cells.
But the council did not stop there. It also purchased the grave of a legendary matriarch named, I think. Cumman, said to have given birth to no less than 77 children in her time, many of them growing up to be powerful kings and princes and abbots of the ancient Celtic church! That is what the folklore says anyway, and who are we to disagree with such a powerful source?
Forgive me but, like so many storytellers around here, I am stretching a good story to its outer limits by teasing ye with such details. What I should have said in the beginning was that the council, in an imaginative act, has just purchased the 42-acre Holy Island in Lough Derg near Mountshannon village.
The fabled island, which dates away back to the seventh century and beyond, holds all the elements mentioned, including the 24 meter round tower, is still a cemetery for long established lakeside families, and also boasts a very holy well indeed which is capable of curing almost every ailment short of total death.
The council will work with local tourism development agencies to turn the already hugely venerated and beautiful island into an even more widely known attraction in the Banner County.
There is a very real and powerful tail to this yarn. The most famed saint to reside on Holy Island centuries ago was St. Caimin.
Poignantly, to this day, and only in this district, the saint's name is borne by many hundreds of men of all ages whose horizons along Lough Derg are illuminated by Holy Island, now for the first time ever, in public ownership.