My Favourite Waterway

The River Moy is my Favourite Waterway in Ireland. I have been to Lakes, Rivers, Streams and all of the Seaside Resorts around Ireland but I love the Moy best. I was born in the mid – forties in a Hillside Farm Cottage overlooking the River Moy. The Moy flowed gracefully at the bottom of our Meadow field. As you walked towards it, on the right hand side was the farm owned by my uncle and on the left hand side stood the old Rustic Bridge that spanned The River Moy. Our field known as “Galley Bawn” was right next to the bridge. That’s where we kept our Cows overnight in the summer from May to September.
My mind wanders back, to my first walk to the bridge, over the River Moy at Cloonacanna as a little girl. It was a lovely Sunny day. My Dad took my hand and said “Anna would you like to come for a walk with me to the bridge, and look at the river”. “Yes Dad” Off we went through the meadow field – which was fondly called The Garden- and still is to this day
I loved these walks to the river because Dad always told me a story of by gone days. That day he told me a story about my Grandfather. He looked towards the bridge and said “Anna years ago before this bridge was erected in 1889 the people had to walk everywhere, as there were no cars, or tractors, or bicycles. When they had business in town they had to walk to the foot-bridge which is two miles along the river, to cross it. Your Grandfather bought a Boat, learned to row it, and he used to take the people across the Moy at Cloonancanna Bridge. He collected them and took them back on their way home. They called it “The River Moy taxi Service”.
We walked to the bottom of the field up the Path, out the “Gap” and on to the road. Dad held my hand tightly as he said. “We must be very careful here, as this is a dangerous bend”. We stood for a moment to take in the view of the bridge. It was a spectacular sight with its two big Bows one on either side spanning the River Moy. We stood for a moment to gaze up at this magnificent structure. We then walked along the bridge to look into the water. Dad held me up so that I could see the river as it flowed gently, in the sunshine winding its way to the footbridge passing by all the farms in Cloonlumney.
The river Moy was also a Swimming Pool for me. My dad was a good swimmer. He had learned to swim in the Moy many years ago as a young boy. When I was about ten years old Dad agreed to teach me to swim. One sunny June afternoon we headed off to start my swimming lessons. We walked along the river bank until we came to the Stepping Stones where the river was shallow. Dad proceeded to cut some bull rushes, tied them together at both ends. Now here is your float said Dad, try it out. It fitted snugly under my arms and out we went into deeper water. Dad held my chin and I used my float and I soon realised I could lift my feet off the ground. Yippee I felt I was taking off. By August I could swim across the Moy.
Remembering Happy Days by The River Moy.