A Journey of a Different Kind ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 177

Today is the day I should have been heading off to New York for ten days to further my writing career. I’ve had to defer for various reasons and so will have to wait another while before soaking myself in a city that has long appealed to me, really since first seeing Woody Allen’s Manhattan.

I’ve been wanting to start looking through my late father’s massive collection of photographs ~ which span the years from the 1940s to the early 2000s ~ and somehow today seemed like the right day to begin that journey.

Having just looked through a few boxes, I feel as if I’ve been to the four corners of Ireland and also back and forth in both family and social history.

Father was from Co. Clare and always had a love of currachs ~ a special kind of rowing boat. John O’Donohue, the well-known Co.Clare poet referred to a currach in his beautiful poem Beannacht:

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to find many photographs of currachs among Father’s photographs and the images strike me as being very far-removed from the New York that would have greeted me today.

Photo: Frank Tubridy
Currachs at Farmhouse
Photo: Frank Tubridy
Chatting by the Currachs Photo: Frank Tubridy
Chatting by the Currachs
Photo: Frank Tubridy
All Aboard!
Photo: Frank Tubridy
Currach at the Harbour Photo: Frank Tubridy
Currach at the Harbour
Photo: Frank Tubridy

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

20 thoughts on “A Journey of a Different Kind ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 177”

    1. Thanks Jean! I’m glad you like the photographs. I’m not sure when exactly I’ll be going to New York now, but the more I hear the more I feel there is a real treat in store.

  1. Great photos, Jean. Thanks for sharing them. If you were here now, you’d be melting. Unbelievably hot & humid in the Big Apple today!

    1. Hi Joanne, lovely to hear from you and delighted you like the photos. Hot and especially ‘humid’ would be a bit of a shock to the system alright or should I say a ‘major’ shock!

  2. I hope you get to post from New York. Have never been but know I must some day. Lovely to have all those pics from your father.I especially love the first one as it`s so typically west of Ireland.

    1. Hi RH, I’ve been at the airport in NY before, that’s all, so looking forward to exploring it.
      Interesting that you like the first photo best. Father was always drawn to West of Ireland type places, even when we lived in the Pale!

  3. Look forward to more pics Jean – maybe there’s an illustrated book or two in them? Love the reminders of the days of sheer hard, uncomplicated work before unemployment became a lifestyle choice 🙂

    1. Thanks Roy!
      You’re a divil for lobbing in a controversial comment every so often. I don’t think there’s too many here in Ireland that see unemployment as a ‘lifestyle choice’ these days. You’ll have me out with a questionnaire wearing my sociologist’s garb any minute now.

      1. We have socially housed people here that pick up their dole cheque on a Thursday and happily take it straight down to the pub. It’s no different in Ireland Jean. But controversy aside what I really meant to emphasise was that, times passed, people worked hard or starved. Unfortunates relied on family or charity. Hard, physical work was for everyone, even women until such time as they married.

  4. Hi Jean, Maire here ,
    The Kerry Woman who has the Currach Irish Pub on a remote island off the coast of New Zealand…the things we do to follow a man! Loved your father’s collection. Hard to believe this but recently I said to my husband that I would love those words as a mural in the pub and then you quote it…..its got to happen now! Three Dingle lads came to NZ 13 years ago and built a Currach which is outside the pub. Sadly the NZ sun has wrecked the canvas so must learn how to fix it. We are selling the oub so if you know anyone who would like to live in paradise, do tell them!

    1. Well Hello Marie! It’s just great to hear from you and to have come full circle re the Currach Irish Pub in NZ ~ or rather in a remote island off the coast of New Zealand. Little did I think when I was writing the post based in Dad’s photos that I’d find myself at the other side world.
      What a wonderful story and yes the words from John O’Donohue must be hung for all to appreciate.
      I’m sure there’s lots of people who would love to live on your paradise island. Sorry to hear you are selling. May I ask if you plan to stay that side of the world?

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