Amid the Noise and Haste


Ireland is in a whirl of activity at the moment as we prepare for a host of high key national events over the next couple of months:

The General Election ~ February 26th

St. Patrick’s Day ~ March 17th

Centenary of The Easter Rising 1916 ~ March 27th especially

Census of Population ~ April 24th

The fact that there is so much going on all around the same time has the effect of diluting each specific event under what feels like huge blanket of Irishness of various shades and emphases.

And, all the while, each person living in Ireland has his/her own personal events going on.

It’s hard to take it all in at times and while I am intensely interested in things social and political, one has to step back from it all from time to time and draw breath.

My everyday Ireland of this week has been bursting with beauty. Here’s a little glimpse of how it’s been here in Co. Waterford:


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Colouring Tramore

Whenever I see a rainbow over Tramore Bay, I just drop everything and whizz down to the seafront. I glimpsed a big, bright one out of the corner of my eye as I was in the throes of getting supper ready yesterday and took off to chase my dreams.

Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford
Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford

What more could anyone want than the sheer beauty of rainbowed sea and sand, especially here in Tramore?

Contrasts, in all walks life, can be stunning and the sight that met me as I turned when the rainbow had finally faded was one that will linger in my mind for a long time. There was Tramore in silhouette, as if highlighting the magic of black and white.

Tramore from The Promenade.
Tramore from The Promenade.

The Preciousness of Tramore

Tramore towards The Metal Man, Co. Waterford
Tramore towards The Metal Man, Co. Waterford

I don’t think I have ever felt as deeply in love with my home town, Tramore, as I did this evening as the sun was setting. The intensity of the feeling is very difficult to describe but it was undoubtedly fuelled by the fact I knew that my best friend from Tramore was on her way home from far away to attend her father’s funeral.

We had messaged each other a few times during the day and she wrote at one point that she was doing okay but she wasn’t so sure how she would be when she got to Tramore. It seemed as if this lovely seaside town was doing everything it possibly could to ease her homecoming and soften the sadness of death.

Tramore towards Brownstowns Town Head, Co. Waterford
Tramore towards Brownstowns Town Head, Co. Waterford

By October each year, Tramore is pretty much back to itself after the hectic tourist season which swells the population, especially in July and August. The town is small enough that most people are at least nodding acquaintances with each other and there is a very strong sense of community, especially at times of sadness and joy.

As I was standing on the historic Promenade, with the waves splashing through the distinctive railings, I realised that this is the place in the world where I feel totally at home.

The arms of Tramore Bay have a special embrace and the sound of the sea is the sweetest I know, especially when it whispers beneath the full moon, just like it’s doing now with midnight approaching under the fullest of full moons.





Happy Hour ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 227

It was a spur of the moment decision; pile into the car with son and a black and white flurry of dogs.  I had been deep in thought about ‘opposite sides of the same coin’ ( of all the crazy things)  so I suppose it shouldn’t have come as any great surprise that we ended up at the far side of Tramore Bay ~ the Brownstown Head side ~ looking right along the beach and sand dunes, getting a whole new perspective on ‘our place.’

There was a sunny haze and a lovely warm breeze blowing gently into our faces.  Just one man fishing a long way down. Were we disturbing his peace or he ours?

Fishing at Saleens, Co. Waterford

It seemed like we had reached an impasse when faced with huge rocks but we were bursting to see what was round the corner. Having clambered up onto what seemed like a cliff path, we were stunned to see three ladies totally engaged in collecting something.

The Gatherers near Brownstown Head
The Gatherers near Brownstown Head

As we drew close, we saw that they were picking mushrooms, and suddenly it all came back to me ~ this week in 1974, searching for mushrooms in the very same sort of August heat out near Mellifont Abbey a few miles from Drogheda, Co. Louth.

It was only then it dawned on me that we had obviously strayed onto private land but I just had to see that basket of mushrooms.  The women were as friendly as could be and could obviously see that we were as happy as they were.  All was forgiven that we were walking on their land as they drew close to let me take a photograph of the fruit of their happiness.