Saturday 25 February 2017

Magical moments on trip to Ireland

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.

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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