Time to raise the bar on the quality of rural life
The malaise that has pervaded our remote communities needs dealing with, writes Maeve Sheehan
IT is after six at O'Connell's pub on a hill atop the village of Skryne, near the Hill of Tara. Half-a-dozen punters enjoy a drink in the iconic rickety, low-ceilinged bar.
A couple sits on a bench outside basking in the last of the sun. Cows push and jostle through the gate in an adjoining field as a farmer herds them on to the dusty road to the milking parlour.
Inside, Mrs O'Connell sits in her own parlour behind the bar, the door open to hear the comings and goings. The television is tuned to the Punchestown races because a horse owned by a group of local men is running in the 6.05pm. Mrs O'Connell reflects on how times have changed in the pub that has been in her late husband's family since the 19th century.