Life

Saturday 10 December 2016

Memories of an Irish summer - our favourite people reveal theirs

Published 13/06/2016 | 02:30

Memories of Irish summers recall long, hot, sultry days.
Memories of Irish summers recall long, hot, sultry days.
Gay Byrne recalls a memorable steam engine trip to Greystones, 70 years later. Photo: Kip Carroll.
Francis Brennan
Declan Lynch.
Model Thalia Heffernan

Is it lazy days at the beach? Naughty nights with friends? The arrival of hurdy-gurdies? A teenage crush? Watching Wimbledon? The whole family being together as they never would be again? Liadan Hynes and Elle Gordon asked some of our favourite people for their most precious memories of those seemingly long, hot, sultry days.

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Gay Byrne

Broadcaster

My parents were from the Bray area, so we tended to go there a lot. From the South Circular Road to Harcourt Street Station, and out to Bray. My best holiday ever was when I was about 10. We stayed for a week with very distant relatives on the Meath Road. They had a big house - it's still there - and I presume we were paying guests.

The adults tended to hang around the Prom and the Esplanade, and I took off on my own to the station. To hang on the railway gates. All day. Every day. Quick breakfast, down Albert Walk, on to the gates.

The railway gates nowadays raise; when I was 10, they swung. And me with them. I cannot recall anyone warning me off or any official telling me about health and safety.

I was just a kid, swinging on the gates, minding my own business. And then, one of the relatives, Johnny Murphy, who worked for CIE at the Inchicore Works, used his influence one day and got me onto the flat plate of steam loco 436 (did I mention that we're talking steam engines here?) and we went to Greystones and back.

And I helped to stack the fire and handle the throttle and I blew the whistle! You cannot possibly imagine what that experience meant to a 10-year-old at that time.

I almost exploded with excitement, and here I am, 70-odd years later, and I have no trouble remembering the loco number. And the noise and the heat and the red-hot fire and the black faces of the driver and fireman. And I knew, even then, that this was a very special privilege indeed.

And then, it was back to the gates, with a very proprietorial attitude to 436 whenever she passed inbound or outbound. At odd moments during each day, I would report back to Meath Road for sustenance, and then return to gate duty once more.

No one was concerned about me, because they knew where I was.

Francis Brennan

Hotelier, author, presenter

Best summer memory is that of days in the hayfield in Sligo with my granddad and uncle Jim.

In those days, the catering was handled by my aunt Anna, and I would hare off on a bike loaded down with Lucozade bottles of hot tea wrapped in newspaper, sandwiches galore and often a treat of a fruitcake to finish. Speed was essential, as tea goes cold, so no dilly-dallies en route.

You would be warmly welcomed by the working party, provided all was in order, or if you forgot the milk there would be wigs on the green. I write this in the 47°C heat of India, where they have had to close the schools for safety. Wasn't I lucky to have been born in Ireland and not Rajasthan!!! A bike ride in 47°C? No, thank you.

Adele King

Entertainer

My favourite memories are of my children growing up and all the children’s birthday parties during the summer. That was just the number-one treasure.

If I were to look back in my own lifetime as a child I think that the best memories were when my parents used to take me on the train, which was so exciting. You’d your bags packed from Harcourt Street to Bray. I mean it sounds bizarre when you think of it in modern times, but this was such an outing on the train to Bray.

We used to stay in a beautiful old Victorian terrace house in Bray. It was run by two elderly sisters called the ‘Miss Kenny’s if you don’t mind’. You had to refer to each of them as Miss Kenny, and their elder brother John.

And it was like an absolutely exquisite Fawlty Towers, in that the two old dears did all the cooking and they were like those chefs, the Two Fat Ladies. The meals were out this world, served in this old Victorian dining room on a massive big table with the lace. They had the old-fashioned urn with the potatoes in it; the food was exquisite. And they grew all their own vegetables and fruit out in their massive back garden, and the oul’ brother John tended to the whole garden, so everything was fresh out of the ground to your table. They made their own butter and ice-cream as well.

They were really relics of decency, gentry ladies who had fallen on harder times and started running their house for bed and dinner.

It was magnificent. We would leave in the morning and we would go down to the beach and those bloody pebbles that would take the arse and the feet off you. My mother would smother me in Nivea because those were the days you could actually get sunburnt in summer in Ireland. I’d be in playing in the water and playing with any old mutt I could find on the beach. My dad would be in the water with me. We’d go up to the baths in Bray and I learned to dive on progressively higher boards.

Then we’d go back up to the house and we’d have a beautiful dinner from them and then we would walk down Putland Hill. God almighty, no wonder people were thin in those days — you walked everywhere. We walked down this massive hill, this bloody steep hill and the laugh about it is coming back was even better.

We’d walk down the hill and some nights we’d go and see McFadden’s roadshow.

It’s was a terrific old set-up of comedy and music and dance and drama in a tent. I was enchanted with it. Or we’d go up to the dodgems in Bray and you could ride the ‘merry-go-round’. Sometimes we’d have climbed up to the cross in Bray Head so we’d be too knackered to do anything. But on the more energetic nights we’d be down playing the dodgems, and the laughing policemen and all the old wooden games that were just artistry and magic. You wouldn’t see the likes of them now. It was a magnificent display.

Then we would go into the old shop on the corner which was the only shop that sold British comics like ‘Jack and Jill’ and that kind of thing, at the time. My Father would always buy me a comic and a little bag of penny goodies.

We’d get a bag of chips in the walkway that had all the little kiosks and shops buzzing about. Eating the chips we’d walk back up that bloody hill. God it was like the Camino. Kilimanjaro was less of a challenge eating the bag of chips. But you didn’t even think about it, young and fit.

We walked back up to the house and [one of the sisters] would always say, ‘Eh, Ms King, would you like a nice pot of tea now for bed?’.

The poor divil would be waiting up to make you a pot of scalding tea and home-made scones with clotted cream. And you after stuffing the face off yourself with chips.

Then we would get into the beds, which were brass beds with beautiful ornate brass tops on them. The bed linen — you could cut paper with it. It was starched linen, beautiful Egyptian cotton and lovely lace pillows. There was a wash stand and basin in the room — that was your sole means of washing. There was a little bathroom. It was Victorian and quaint and we would sleep there for the night, my little sunburnt body in the cold, crisp white sheets. You’d drift off into a perfectly calm sleep and face another day’s adventure the next day.

It was exhilarating times when I look back now. The innocence of it and the purity, in comparison to the demands there is now when you’re out. Mobile phones have replaced human contact and conversation. There was no mobile phones back then so everybody talked  to each other when they were with  each other.

They were glorious summers and I think, looking back into my own past, overall my memory of those trips to Bray is that they were outstanding and have been the bar by which I measure a good time in the summer.

Amanda Brunker

Journalist

I was very lonely as a child, but had a blessed childhood nonetheless. My sister and brother were a lot older than me so I felt like an only child.

My family always had a boat on the Shannon, so I have many happy memories of being on or in the water. Being close to nature and sticking my toes in a lake always generates those happy, content, calm feelings. I subsequently always crave being close to water. It must be a family thing. My dad now lives on a boat in France.

Anton Savage

Managing director, Communications Clinic and Today FM broadcaster

My favourite summer memory was a week spent with an American friend of mine doing the tourist thing around Ireland. It was one of those glorious (and rare) instances where the sun turns Ireland into a green Jamaica, and my mate’s presence allowed me to indulge in all the touristy stuff you’d normally avoid like the plague. The absolute highpoint was sitting in the Blasket Island Interpretive Centre’s cinema. Being American, my pal was unaware of the reverence with which we are legally required to treat Peig, so instead of respectfully viewing the video history of the islands, he heckled. And delivered my favourite interpretation of the island exodus — ‘I’ll tell you why they left — they all said, “Screw you Peig, I’m outta here!”’ Maybe not historically accurate, but entirely reasonable.

Caroline Morahan

Actress

I was 17 and just learning to drive. My mom wanted to instil driving confidence in me, so she announced a road trip. She, I and my cousin piled into the car and I drove us all to Kerry. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was.

Cecelia Ahern

Author

I’ve spent my summer holidays in Co Kerry ever since I was born and have continued the tradition with my children.

Memories are of staying in Balliferriter village, swimming in Coumeenoole and Clogher strand, no matter what the weather, lunch in Dun Chaoin Pottery cafe, and late nights and sing-songs in Paidi O’Se’s pub in Ventry.

Celia Holman Lee

Model agent

My favourite memory would have to be in Tramore. That’s outside Waterford. It’s a beautiful place and my earliest memory is being with my mother Kathleen, my aunty Teresa and my aunty Betty and in those mobile homes.

We all stayed there for a week and I remember going picking periwinkles and looking around with my mother. That stays; why it stays, I don’t know, but that stays in my mind. I’d say I was six or seven. It was fabulous and Tramore, the beach, has always stayed in my mind. We had other holidays; my mother’s family,  the Meehans,  loved Lahinch as well. We’d go down there and stay in this big old house and we used to go down there for a week every summer.

Then you have the photograph that is accompanying this piece. My mum and I used to go on these mystery tour trips. She loved that. They were out years ago; people would just go to the station, pay their money get on a train.

They wouldn’t know where they were going, they were called mystery tours and she used to love going on those and I’d go with her.

The one that you see in the photo must have been one of them but I don’t, of course, remember — I’m only one-and-a-half or two and that’s in Bray. It’s me and my mother on a day out and it just brings back some sort of a vision or a memory to me that I was there.

I hadn’t been back to Bray since; I’ve passed on the borders but was never actually into Bray where the sea is until about a year and a half ago with Oxendales doing a competition with Simply Be.

We were on the beach and whatever it was, I got this feeling over me and I looked back at the hill and I said, ‘I was here before’.

Ciara Kelly

Radio and TV presenter, doctor, columnist

I grew up in Greystones so we were always messing around on the beach, swimming in the sea and clambering on the rocks — totally unsupervised from about the age of eight or nine. As we grew up and became teens, the activities slightly changed, but we were always on the beach! One of my favourite memories was when I became a parent myself, sitting in the sunshine on the beach at the old harbour,  seeing my own kids paddling in between the boats.

Clodagh McKenna

Chef and food writer

My favourite Irish summer memory would have to be in Lahinch,  Co Clare. My dad played there every year in the South of Ireland golf championship.

One evening he came back with a bag of wild mussels, which he taught me how to prepare. They were the sweetest mussels I’ve ever eaten. And the trips my mum would take us on into the farmers’ market in Ennistymon, just a few miles from Lahinch. It was my first taste experience of farmhouse cheeses.

I can still remember the smells. The beginning of my love affair  with food.

Daniella Moyles

Model and blogger

My favourite memory of an Irish summer is having home-made picnics at Glendalough with my family. We’d pack a basket of fresh rolls, fizzy drinks, crisps and treats, drive to our favourite spot along the river in Glendalough and I’d spend the evening jumping across the rocks with my brother.

Declan Lynch

Author

Since most contributions to this will be about outdoor activities, I thought I’d take us indoors for a moment, where some of the most exciting events of the Irish summer would take place — at least for those of us who had the BBC.

The Wimbledon fortnight was a quintessential thing of summer, back when there wasn’t so much sport on television, and you could immerse yourself deeply in whatever was happening on the lawns of the All England Club — which would be so green and pristine when John McEnroe first walked onto them, so bare and brown whenever he or Bjorn Borg would walk off at the end with the trophy.

Part of the joy was the unfamiliarity of it, the fact that you were getting  involved in something that generally played no part in your life, but now seemed crucial, fuelled by the Robinson’s Barley Water laid out for the players on the umpire’s chair, which looked so inviting and even healthy.

This would set you up nicely for the four days of the British Open golf, if anything an even more overpowering event, because it was concentrated into just four days of television, this great tournament which went on all day long and didn’t finish until . . . well, until they were finished. 

Many an Irish homestead which looked so tranquil on the outside, had people inside who were sitting mesmerised by this seemingly endless TV event, all the way through from Thursday morning  until late Sunday afternoon. With no ads. And this year, for the first time, the BBC has scandalously relinquished this last great symbol of its commitment to the finest traditions of public service broadcasting. Symbol of the summer.

Declan Lynch’s latest novel ‘The Ponzi Man’ is published by Hachette Ireland

Gavin Friday

Musician

If I was to pick a favourite summer it was 1977, affectionately known as the “Summer of Hate”.

For me, a bored 17-year-old Dublin Northsider, punk rock took over the dull and grey suburban skies of Cedarwood Road.

And the boy never looked back . . .

Georgia Salpa

Model

Queuing for 30 minutes for a Teddy’s ice cream (best ice-cream ever!) Strolling around Stephen’s Green park, on a really sunny day and actually being able to wear a dress and bare legs. Ha! One summer myself and the other models had so much fun; we did everything together. I’d have a photocall, Brown Thomas fashion show or some kind of modelling job each day, then we would all drive around — go out to eat, hang out at my house, and go to an open-air bar/club on the weekends. I always remember hanging out on South William Street, sitting outside at a cafe having lunch and gossiping with the girls. Ireland is so lovely in the summertime.

Gerald Kean

Solicitor

I have many great memories of Irish summers.  As a child I always enjoyed my walks along the banks of the River Lee with my parents Gerald and Patricia (RIP) and the treat of an ice cream every time I agreed to go with them!!!

Later in life I enjoyed my trips to various tennis tournaments, around Ireland, again with my parents, particularly the events in Moate,

Co Westmeath, Dundalk Tennis Club, Rushbrook in Cobh and the bank holiday visits to Wexford Tennis Club.

In later years my summer memories revolved around my beautiful daughter Kirsten and the times we spent on holidays in Portugal and Miami and also attending Fossett’s Circus in Dublin and visiting the Zoo on a regular basis.

Grainne Seoige

Presenter and journalist

Well I remember when we actually had summers. Heading out on the Cailin Baire, a speedboat that operated from Rossaveal to Inis Meain. Spending days with our Daideo, moving cattle, swimming in rock pools and eating berries.

Holly Carpenter

Model and columnist

When I was growing up, my family and I would spend the summer in our mobile home in Tara Cove, Wexford. I have lots of happy memories of Mum and Dad doing big BBQs for the endless stream of family and friends that would come down and stay with us.

I had a summer job working in the Orphan Girl pub and did a lot of babysitting so I used to feel like I was rich every September. I have a big group of friends down there and we’d have fun days spent eating chips and 99s in Courtown harbour and nights spent sitting by a bonfire.

Joanne Hynes

Fashion designer

I remember exciting day trips to Salthill. A fine day guaranteed a trip in the car. I can still smell the sea, the suntan lotion, ice cream, tomato-and-cheese sandwiches with tea on the beach. At the end of the day struggling and hiding behind a beach towel to change out of wet swimming togs!

Joseph O’Connor

Author

Summer in Salthill, 1978.

Angel of the sweet shop.

Dispenser of joys.

Seventeen that summer.

In the eyes of us boys

She was luscious as a wine gum.

Hands on her hips.

Sweet-cigarette

Between her cherry bomb lips.

Love-hearts on the counter.

Chocolate on the shelf.

She asked me what I wanted

And I nearly gulped ‘Yourself’.

But at fifteen, I couldn’t,

For my tongue got tied.

So I lied and said ‘a Twix Bar’

And ate it outside.

Postcards in the window

Of donkeys and bogs.

A seaside town in summertime.

Lost, trotting dogs.

Glancing through the glass

At the girl of my dreams

And she laughing with a Garda,

Sharing lemon ice creams.

Wished I was her fellah.

Wished I was her prince.

Wished I could be sharing

Fox’s Glacier Mints

With the sweetest girl in Galway

And we kissing on the beach

Where her lips would taste of liquorice

And apple-drops and peach.

Gob-stopping beauty, Curly-wurly locks.

Cute among the KitKats

And the souvenir rocks.

‘I visited Salthill’ was the message inside.

But written on my heart was ‘Helen McBride’.

Lisa Murphy

Entrepreneur

My favourite memory was actually quite positive, sun, sun and more sun, not like recently. Every year myself and my family and my special brother who I lost, went to Crossmolina in Co Mayo, to our friends, Mick and Bridget O’Hara, and their beautiful children. Mick and Bridget were two of the very special people who entertained my beautiful brother — he absolutely adored them. I remember going to a closed swimming pool to play with one of their daughters and she said she was going for a shift — I had no idea what she was talking about, which I do know now, a little kiss — how cute when I look back.

Lorraine Keane

Broadcaster, designer

As a family we used to go with my best friend Ali’s family to a private beach near Brittas Bay. We would bring a picnic, and because it was private, it felt like we had our own beach, all to ourselves. Unless you knew the exact hole in the fence where you could fit a car through, you would never find it. We would park just inside the fence on a dirt track, and all of us would carry down the food, towels, chairs, and bags. It was owned by the nuns, and there was always a sense of ‘Will we get caught?’ As we got older, other families started to discover it, which was great for us kids.

Madeline Mulqueen

Model

When I think of a perfect Irish summer, I think of getting up early and driving to the west coast, stopping at a beautiful coastal town and getting pub grub and some drinks on the beach. Getting in the sunset tops the whole day!

Mary O’Rourke

Retired politician and author

My favourite memory was the summer of 2000. [My late husband] Enda and I had been going for a few years to Valentia Island in Co Kerry for two weeks every July/August. We have friends who are natives there, and even though they now live in Dublin, they have kept up a house on Valentia. We always went there either to be with them or to stay in The Moorings, a lovely restaurant, bar and small hotel in Portmagee.

The restaurant in The Moorings is famous for wonderful fresh fish. It comes in off the boat to the pier opposite the restaurant and is brought up squirming in the buckets.  It is on the plate within an hour. I have ever yet to taste anything like the freshness of the many varieties of fish I got in Portmagee.

It is a small fishing village with a lovely circle of brightly painted houses and with the Atlantic Ocean right up at the doors. At night, when you had your lovely fish meal in the restaurant, there was great liveliness in the bar where there was usually singing, Irish dancing, Irish music and a lovely ambience. It was all under the roof of The Moorings. Into the restaurant, into the bar, up to your lovely bedroom. One morning I woke very early to find myself alone in the bed. I sat up in alarm and there at the window was Enda sitting in a chair gazing out at the ocean. I joined him and he said he was determined to see the fishing boats go off on their journey.  

We sat together looking out on that very calm Atlantic. That was the last holiday I had with Enda O’Rourke. He died the following January 30, 2001. Each year the Kennedys ask me to come and visit them. I have been back once. But I have never gone for a holiday. It is because deep in my heart I know that I can never replace the memory of that wonderful last holiday with Enda. 

Mary Kennedy

TV presenter

For me as a child, summer meant wearing white ankle socks and home made summer dresses; being allowed to go out to play after tea til it got dark; games of tennis on the road; (you’d  get a whole game in before having to move to the kerb to let a car pass in those days); sliding down the dunes on Portmarnock Strand and eating gritty banana sandwiches on the beach; cousins coming to visit from Canada; topping and tailing blackcurrants at the kitchen table following a visit to the relations’ farm in Carlow. Long, happy, carefree days. It’s so lovely  to remember them.

Miriam O’Callaghan

Radio and television broadcaster

One of my favourite summer memories is Dingle in 1976, the year I got my Leaving results. Being in Dingle with my family.  I was lucky enough to do well. My [late] sister Anne was there . . . being in Dingle with my whole family.

Nadia Forde

Model

My favourite Irish summer memories are from when I was in my early teens. I was part of a dance group that used to travel to Trabolgan in Cork for dance competitions.

We would have the best time, all my best friends going away for a few days. We were doing what we loved; having the sleepovers every night, practising our routines, making our own costumes, meeting other kids from across Ireland.

We would prepare for these competitions for months, so there was a huge sense of achievement afterwards.

The bus trips were always  the best part!

Norah Casey

Broadcaster and publisher

Growing up in the Phoenix Park meant we never had to leave the city. Long summer days were spent exploring my own secret hideaways, resentful of the day visitors who invaded. Until one day we were transported to a magical place a million light years away — at least that’s what it felt like. We took a bus and then a train and then a bus and arrived in Portrane in north County Dublin. We were wild with excitement and within moments had upended bags leaving a trail of clothes from the caravan to the beach. Hours later, faces shiny and red from the sun and saltwater, my dad walked us along the shore to collect cockles and periwinkles. At night there was a fun fair and the chippers. For us, landlocked forest dwellers, Portrane was the Maldives, Las Vegas and the world’s best restaurant.

Oliver Callan

Satirist

My summers are forever about trips in our brown Ford Cortina, car of choice for Middle Ireland in the 80s. The rear seat could hold 17 children without the seatbelts. On the trip to Dundalk, its ancient 1.6L engine burned more fuel than an Iraqi oil well. You knew it was summer when you forgot you were wearing the shorts and scorched your bare quads on the sun-heated faux leather. The car could be started in just half an hour during the harsh Irish winter season between August and June.

Pauline Bewick

Artist

We lived in Killeagh, near Kenmare, in County Kerry , and my mother Harry made a platform for us to sleep on, under the stars.

It was beside a stream by an ash tree, there was a meadow over the stream, full of wild flowers. We would tuck ourselves up all cosy, listening to the corncrake, craking. After talking of the stars, Orion’s Belt and the Plough, we’d fall asleep, fresh air sharp in our noses.

When the sun rose in the morning, it dried the dew off our bed. The corncrake was still craking. When the full sun had risen above the ash tree, one could extend an arm and then a leg out of the bedding, lying there loving the sun’s heat. Then, taking the bedding, we’d carry it into the house and have breakfast of porridge and our own hens’ eggs. We’d then go down to the pebbly sea for a swim and to collect stones, the shape of dogs’ heads or cars, which we’d paint as gifts for our neighbours.

Nowadays, in a heatwave, I sometimes sleep out with my two grandsons; however, we’re often driven back indoors by midges. Strange, in old age, I notice midges, yet have no memory of anything negative about sleeping out when a child.

Pauline’s bestseller ‘80: a Memoir’ is available from paulinebewick.ie

Rita Ann Higgins

Poet

I’d have to call back to a  sun-smacked July childhood for that memory.

We lived in one of the 12 cottages across from the entrance gate to the Galway Racecourse at Ballybrit.

Every year, we, (some of my siblings and I) would find the best vantage point to spy the big trucks that housed the hurdy-gurdies that were en route to Ballybrit Racecourse.

The trucks wore a dirty green flapping canvas.

Although it was tied down, it allowed the slightest glimpse of a brashly painted carousel horse. You could make out two horses, legs bent at the knees.

At this point you were half way to dangerville, half way to heaven. 

You might be lucky enough to glimpse the tub of one of the swingboats. That same swingboat that would rattle the guts out of you a few days later.

We waited hours for that first sighting of the trucks.

We would all shout, ‘Up Lawler’s’ (I have no idea why), as the trucks blasted through the racecourse gates.

It was all over in a few seconds. In the child’s slow-motion reel it lasted much longer, over 50 years, give or take.

Rita Ann Higgins’ latest collection of poetry ‘Tongulish’ is published by Bloodaxe Books

Rosanna Davison

Nutritional therapist and food blogger

My favourite memory of an Irish summer is the summer of 1995, one of the warmest on record. I spent the entire summer staying at my grandmother’s house in Wexford, along with my cousins of a similar age. I spent each day riding my pony through the fields, and brought her to various local show-jumping events. I have the happiest memories of that hot summer, spent with my family in the countryside, eating delicious home-cooked meals and my granny’s famous coffee cakes and apple tarts. We went to the beach almost every day, too, and I spent the entire time in sundresses, shorts and T-shirts. Total freedom and no responsibilities. It was bliss.

Shane MacGowan

Musician

I remember the beautiful sunsets in Carney Commons, they were spectacular, bloodshot, we were warm and I would stay up until it got dark, which was very late and there were always bumblebees.

Sile Seoige

Television presenter and journalist

The smell of freshly cut grass, sand pouring through my fingers, splashing in the sea, the taste of a 99 and the return of the farmer’s tan!

Terry Prone

Director, Communications Clinic

The fathers came at the weekends, but the families settled into the thin-walled wooden cottages in Laytown at the beginning of August and stayed for the month. The Gallaghers had a veranda on their house and in the evenings, the older kids would gather there with guitars and sing. We youngsters would lie in bed, resentfully listening to the distant music, determined to stay awake for hours just to punish our parents and then — suddenly it was morning. Morning with tea made from water so hard it turned the milk ballistic and the taste unrepeatably delicious. Morning with the promise of buckets and spades and walking out for a swim over the hard sand runnels, fascinated by the rounded, nasty wormcasts.

Afternoons of sandcastles and tunnels and running to the sea to bring back water to create moats that lasted a full minute-and-a-half before draining away. Me inventing a method of building with sodden molten sand that created Gaudi cathedrals before I ever heard of Gaudi.

And the evening I ran away from home with a boy from two doors down. We were four years of age, and it was race night: one of those long-shadowed evenings when racehorses thundered along the beach. The two of us snuck off and sat in the dunes, the hoofbeat reverberations thundering up through our tiny bare feet, our heartbeats in mad synchrony with them. My sister found us both and dragged us back home with a mixture of fury and relief that impressed us more than any punishment could have.

Laytown’s my madeleine. Name it and the whole glory of sunny summertime floods back.

Thalia Heffernan

Model

It’s so hard to pick only one memory of Ireland in the summer. In my opinion, summertime in Ireland is the absolute best. The most beautiful place in the sun, but I guess I’m biased.

I’d have to say as a kid around four or five years old, my family and close family friends used to go down to Ballymaloe in east Cork. It was such a beautiful place, so authentic and naturally mesmerising. I remember fondly feeding the chickens, collecting the eggs.

And then walking through all the flowers and the beautiful courtyard. And not to mention the amazing Ballymaloe Cookery School, where we’d gorge on the delicious freshly baked cookies.

Virginia Macari

Designer

My favourite memory goes back to my school days in Cork when I was 15. We  were having a big heatwave that May.

Me and five other girls ran out of our school, Christ the King Secondary in Douglas, and we took the bus to Rochestown where one of my friends sneakily took her mum’s car keys out of her bag. A few of us pulled the handbrake of the car and quietly pushed it down the driveway, while the rest of us waited behind the bushes.

The six of us girls squashed ourselves into the Rover Mini and drove down to a little beach cove in Crosshaven. I remember The Cranberries’ Linger was blaring on the radio and we sang and laughed. Every time I hear that song I remember that day.

We took turns guarding our uniforms on the rocks while we swam in the sunshine and ate ice cream and talked about boys. It was such an innocent and happy time.

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