Tuesday, October 18th, saw us “back on the road again” after a COVID winter of interminable and dreary length. There was an understandable giddiness about us amblers as we waited for the “off”. Indeed so keen we’re we to chat to pals not encountered for so long that only the wit and deep knowledge of Mags McCarthy and Joe Lane enticed us to listen. We learned that where we walked is presently known as “Murphy’s Farm”, but this name conceals a public space of great history and multiple leisure facilities. We were walking in the grounds of what was once the residence of the Bishop of Cork and his family, the very place that gives Bishopstown its name.
The bishop’s house, now adapted to present needs, is surrounded by the remains of elaborate water features and extensive gardens. Muddy ground did not allow us to visit the much admired shell house. The stream, however, still provides soothing mood music. The drab drizzling weather might have dampened spirits on another day, but the buzz of the group was a potion against all negativity. With punctured upper arms and sensible protocols in place our organisers helped make the most of a simple pleasure – and turned it to joy. Great credit is due to Mags McCarthy and Joe Lane for leading all 28 us on our first (& most interesting) amble post lockdown.
Three boos for COVID 19- three cheers for our go-ahead RTAI members!
(Seán Ó Callanáin)