Evenings with Dad

Kilfarassy Beach, which is about four miles from Tramore, always evokes thoughts of Dad. He first came to love it in the early 1940s when he came to Waterford as a young bank official. Having grown up by the sea in rugged Co. Clare, he had an instinctual need to see tall cliffs and sunsets.

Golden Light

It was the place where he brought us for swims and picnics when we were kids and it was the place where he and I used to go for our evening outings when he was nearing the end of his life. We’d go for a tiny walk, linking arms, and then sit in the car and watch the sunset. Sometimes, we would just sit in companionable silence; other times, we’d chat about his memories, our shared memories or about things that we wanted to discuss in absolute private.

Beach of Dreams

Kilfarassy’s cliffs light up magnificently at sunset but our eyes and talk was always about that spot down at the end of the beach by the jaggedy rocks which was ‘ours.’ That’s where we once sat as a family ~ buckets and spaces, deck chairs, togs, towels and the leaky thermos flask wrapped in an old tea towel.

The Eye of the Cliff

Both of us had a fascination with the eye of the cliff right out at the edge. We called it ‘the eye’ but there were times when we thought it was more like a big arm enfolding or maybe a heart.

Waves of Emotion

The chance to have all those shared hours with Dad, especially in his last years, is something I treasure beyond description. Sometimes, he would nod off to sleep in the car on the way home but never once did he nod off when we were watching the sunset and waiting to soak up the afterglow.



The Copper Coast at Sunset

The Copper Coast here in Co. Waterford is beyond special to me. It brings incredible peace but there are also haunting echoes of times past when there was a vast mining community based there.

Here’s how it looked yesterday evening as the sun was setting ~ I think of it as the glow and the after-glow.


The Golden Apples of the Sun ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 79

“And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.”

W.B. Yeats

There was a chill wind up at Tankardstown, here in Co. Waterford,  last evening but there was an overriding warmth being spread to all corners of the world by the soft sunbeams of the setting sun.

Sunset at Tankardstown, Co. Waterford
Sunset at Tankardstown, Co. Waterford

Tankardstown is a place which was at the heart of a thriving mining industry in the 19th century.  As I looked at the golden path in the ocean, my thoughts drifted to the miners who emigrated to places like Montana in the US when the mines closed.  This story is far from over and I am very much looking forward to meeting with a man and his family who are travelling to Ireland from Butte, Montana around St. Patrick’s Day in the hope of seeing where their ancestors grew up and worked  almost 150 years ago.

It felt, yesterday, as if the March welcome was already alight on this hauntingly beautiful part of the Copper Coast.