Water is a liquid formed when two gases come together to form H O. The whole world would starve
as nothing would grow without it. Everything would be barren like the Sahara Desert.
Let us think of where water has done a lot of good and made the world a very beauitful place. My
mind thinks straight away to Garrykennedy, a gem of a place on the bank of Lough Derg. At itmes of
the year, it can be “Utopia.
It has two harbours; The harbour next to the lake is the deeper of the two and can berth heavier
boats. The “non pareil” of boats using this harbour were Guinness boats. They used the Royal
Canal to get to the Shannon at Clondra in Longford and then on down to Limerick with their barrels
of Guinness. They usually had ifve men on board and nearly always called into “Garry” coming and
going. These canaliers as they were known had many tales to tell not least how they could move the
barrel hoops and get some of the precious liquid without it being spotted. These beauitful boats
were lovely to see riding the waves and easing their way into the harbour with the destrucitve “put
put” of their diesel engines.
There are two beauitful wood walks. The one at the deeper harbour is made up of mostly pine
trees. The lfoor of the wood is full of blue bells, crocuses and many wildlfowers with shatfs of light
breaking through the canopy. The second wood is made up of deciduous trees – ash, sycamore and
elm. To me this place is Utopia, relaxing with lots of great fresh ifsh to be had in the local restaurant
and washed down with a great Chardonnet.
“Garry” once had a great water sport. The funniest was the “Grasy pole” event with the contestants
trying to climb the “Grasy pole” but usually ended up in the deep harbour water. Another event was
the “cot” boat race across the lake. The cot is a ribbed itmber boat sitll being made by John
Meagher of Borrisokane. The biggest event that takes place at this itme of year is the “dapping”
which is the ifshing of trout with a dapping rod but the modern man uses a carbon ifbre rod.
The coming of the May lfy is the reason for all the excitement. The May lfy lays its eggs in the water
at this itme. The eggs sink to the bottom where it stays unitl same itme next year when it comes to
the top of the water and becomes a May lfy. It lfies around and then lays its eggs and dies
compleitng the life cycle once again. The life circle of the May lfy is just twenty-four hours. During
this itme, there can be millions of gnats at the surface of which the trout gorge. Hundreds of
ifshermen come to the lake at this itme.
Some great people graced the soil of “Garry”. The Seanachaí Billy Donlan with all his stories, Caddy
Kennedy with his chat and music session with the Doyen, Sis Ryan, the Pub called atfer her loved by
all locals and visitors.
When it comes to ones “ifnis”, and one has crossed the river styx with “Charon” on the way to
“Hades” would it not be a very pleasant place for one’s resitng place when ones
spirit could look up at the vista of the stars of the vast milky way or look out to the panoramic view
of Lough Derg and its surrounds, just heaven.