Saturday 3 December 2016

Magical moments on trip to Ireland

Published 11/09/2011 | 05:00

Sir -- I was surprised to read Pierre Benitot's letter (Sunday Independent, September 4, 2011) giving a rather dismal view of his holiday in Ireland. The south of France has much to recommend it and Ireland has its charms as well.

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Some "magical" moments from this past month's visit in Ireland: walking down the street and smelling peat/turf burning in a fireplace -- bringing me back to 1969 when I first encountered its sweet smell; experiencing the sounds of buskers and the buzz of shoppers on busy Grafton Street; enjoying a quiet read in the beauty of St Stephen's Green; stumbling on a church that reaches out to Poles living in Dublin, and realising that my parish curate back in Chicago, Fr Marcin Bulinski, could speak with more people in Dublin than I could -- he speaks both English and Polish, I speak only English; visiting historic Kilmainham Jail, which has the feel of a real prison -- no "Disneyland" there; visiting Croke Park, a place of national pride and patriotic history; attending the Gaelic football semi-final between Kerry and Mayo, where "the Kingdom" won; a drive around the scenic coast near Dublin (Malahide and Howth) with a cousin; seeing a first cousin's son play with his band in a Temple Bar pub and making that in-spot very uncool just by my walking in and then seeing a first cousin's daughter play classical music with a group in Beaulieu House outside Drogheda; watching a Gaelic football semi-final on television with my cousins and listening to the commentary in Irish; driving through Ireland and listening to RTE Lyric FM; attending the Royal Meath Agricultural Fair and marvelling at the Home Industry tent; learning the card game of "25"; waking up to an "Irish alarm clock" -- the smell of rashers and sausages being fried. Ireland can be amazing.

Rev William T Corcoran, PhD, Chicago, Illinois, USA,

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