A Reflective Place

What a horrible day at work, I think to myself, as I drive home rather slowly. Two new born babies we tested for Covid 19 await results. We helped two very frightened mothers put on personal protective equipment to see their beautiful babes in incubators. It’s just so unnatural. Restricted visiting meant no partners to

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A Stroll Along The Frolic Road

I walked, heading South West, on the little road that ran along the edge of Bunduff lake in North Sligo. It is one of those lanes with a spine of grass running down the middle. Locally, the road is called “The Frolic”. No one knows why it is called that. Perhaps a hark back to

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Deepwater Dock Sligo

Maria stood outside the Harbour House. Her childhood home! When her father (a Clare man) got transferred from Leitrim to Sligo with the Department of Agriculture in 1962, he bought the Harbour House from the Harbour commission for around 800 pounds. Happy memories came flooding back; Daddy coming home from work and the two ducks

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Cool Clear Water

I was born a townie at Pound/Connolly Street, Sligo, in a three storey street house with a cold tap inside and a flush toilet outside. When I was about ten my two sisters and I spent a week with my dad’s parents on their farm at Rossmore, Riverstown. It was Eastertime. We were sent out

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For the Well

I listen to the stove, rumble, growl A black bear caged in the chimney breast. My mind steps back I see Grandmother boiling water for the morning tea, The black kettle over the fire. I hear her imperious voice. ” Marty, we need water from the Well”. We walk down the fields to the bottom

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Magical Island

“Okay Michael, let’s go” said my father picking up an old hessian sack and heading out the back door. I followed. We were heading to the Bunduff rocks, on the edge of the Atlantic ocean, near Mullaghmore in North Sligo. We were heading to do some fishing for Ballan. Conditions were ideal, dull but not

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My First Salmon

The Duff River in County Sligo was one of my favourite places to spend many leisurely hours. Its blackened water results in great measure from the prevalence of this boggy land. My father and our neighbour Tom Gallagher would come here often to fly fish for trout, or if lucky perhaps a salmon. Tom always

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Our River

We were inland children; we knew nothing of the tides or the ocean. The river running through our land is woven into our lives and we learn with our scrutiny, the depth of our experience outweighing the lack of width. We know our river is connected to an intricate pattern of lakes and bigger rivers

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The Legend of Lough Talt

Lough Talt is a beautiful lake located about 12km west of Tubbercurry. The lake is used for the town’s water supply and over the past few years has become embroiled in a battle between the water supply need’s of the town and the habitat needs of a small snail which inhabits the lake’s shoreline. The

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The River of the Town of the Waterfall of the Oak Trees

Sligo is the Shelly Place, on the Little Rough River that runs, short and fast, from the Bright Lake to the shining sea where Eva Gore-Booth’s ‘little waves of Breffni’ lap gently on the shore. Sligo is ‘the holy mountain (Ben Bulben) whose mighty heart gathers into it all the coloured days’ of Seamus O’Sullivan’s

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A River Runs Through The Ages

“Don’t go beyond the river.” My grandmother called as she sat by the cosy fireside. Her rural West of Ireland lilt soon to be lost to her generation. The words were echoing through the walls of the cottage as we bundled out the front door. The house sat perched at the edge of the earth

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