One can only admire people who chose to lead a walk in the narrow window of hours between two named storms, Dudley & Eunice. Making the decision weeks in advance and not panicking as the forecasts darkened requires special qualities indeed. Well done, Mary O’Brien! Mary took 30 of us overseas to her native island and the sun shone in a special blessing.
Gathering at Cuskinny, the subdued giddiness spoke of lock-downs, shut-offs and Covid-related miseries cast aside. A walk that combines sun, local knowledge, sea, strand, woods and grub to follow is destined to be a winner, and light were our feet as we tramped on.
As an island people we seem to have a special affection for leaving our own and getting away to run off shore ones. It was great to see familiar faces from choir, line-dancing, coffee mornings etc. but meeting new members confirmed we have a lot to offer in RTAI. For those who like to build sand castles the stone-strewn beach offered other pleasures including a giant swing.
Later we saw where Daniel O’Donnell- oops! – O’Connell, The Liberator, was educated in one of Ireland’s first Catholic boarding schools. Next we entered the wood where one had reasonable expectation of crashing the Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Instead we had our snacks and reconnected with pals.
The last furlong brought us back to our cars and soon we were en route to Cóbh, the capital of Great Island, for lunch. Wearing masks until seated, we ate and recounted the walk.
A special word of thanks to all for making this outing possible.
Séan Ó Callanáin