Easter on the Shannon

 Posted by on April 24, 2011  Add comments
Apr 242011
 

Limerick, as you know, has the magnificent River Shannon flowing through it, and the river has always been at its heart.  While not quite a seafaring people, we are a riverine species, and why wouldn’t we be when we have such splendour and beauty on our doorstep?

Little more than twenty minutes from Limerick, we have the magnificent Lough Derg, a place we all love, and the scene of many a night’s carousing.

As usual, we all blundered up the lake for the annual blasphemous Good Friday booze-up and singing-thing.  This is a very special custom, for it upsets the fervent and the observant.  It annoys and discombobulates the True Believers, especially the wolfing down of bloody steaks on this blackest of black fast days.

This year, we were spoilt for choice, with the possibility of parties in three different places, and I felt my only option was to attend all three, but I didn’t plan on being waylaid within seconds of my shoe-leather striking the pier, when some friends shouted at me from the plushly-appointed cruiser on which they were slugging back large amounts of foreign beer.

Oi, Bock!  C’mere and have a bottle!

Is there grub? I shouted back.

Sure is, they chortled.

Meanwhile, another crowd of bowsies were shouting good-natured abuse from inside a camper van, but the promise of grub won the day.  Grub and beer.  I am Homer Simpson, and so I boarded the fine vessel and tucked into some fine Czech beer from Budejowicke, a town I once visited solely because it contained that excellent brewery.  (It has little else to recommend it).

Singing drifted across the water from a boat.  Singing, fine musicianship and a little cloud of smoke.  More singing wafted from the camper van.  The smell of steak searing on the bbq filled the magnificent vessel on which I was a guest.  The sun filled the sky and for a little while it was possible to forget what our government and the ECB had been up to.

That was when a gigantic converted barge hove into view and damn me, but I knew those people as well.  This Easter weekend begins to show more promise than I could have hoped for, which is saying a great deal, for these weekends on the Shannon are always first class.

And so it was that the following day, I found myself chugging up the Shannon at three knots, driven by a sweet-sounding 59-horsepower Lister diesel, enjoying the experience of not-very-much happening.

I have to get back, I told my host.

Sorry, he replied.  You’re booked in here tonight.

Right.  I surrendered.  Go with the flow.

It was lovely to note the absence of Celtic-tiger guffaws from illiterate nouveau-riche fools drinking over-priced wine on giant over-priced plastic power-boats they didn’t know how to drive.

As my host remarked, They’re all gone and we’re still here.

You see, in spite of all the economic misery, the gloom, the despondency and the negativity, there are times when you have to look around you and realise that we live in one of the best places in the world.  Therefore, rather than bore you with a tedious account of my savage journey to the heart of Good Friday night, why not just glance over a few pictures and enjoy the wonderful amenity we have on our doorstep?

 

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  9 Responses to “Easter on the Shannon”

Comments (9)
  1.  

    Superb photos there Bock.
    “there are times when you have to look around you and realise that we live in one of the best places in the world.”. You couldn’t disagree with that.

    Drinking and eating meat of a good Friday though?!
    Sounds like a satanic cult. :)

    That dog looks happy out, up in his high chair.

  2.  

    Ireland in general is one of the nicest places I have ever seen. It is your country to enjoy. Looking around the world as I have done makes you wonder what Ireland could have become if managed in a right manner. Still its beauty can be enjoyed despite the ECB and the IMF and Banksters. There are qualities of life in Ireland not so easily found else where. Be aware of that.

  3.  

    Nice.

  4.  

    Thats a grand pike, Hope it lived to fight another day ! ?
    I love Lough Derg, It has a life a culture a civilisation, a history, a daily conundrum of interweaving of life every day.
    I too was on the banks of the Derg this eve, When my two grandsons and meself spotted an extremly over inebriated young man wavering dangerously at the edge, I ventured close and said ” Hoi step back from the edge you clown ! ” to which he responded ” Ahwelljegjhjky ddfebhj serbhi dcrxdty ” or something such as and with all the deftness of a total drunkarse with the inbuilt survival of a lake dweller made his stumbling way for the nearest public house, Such are the many wonders of the Derg !……………..On an Easter week end, Glorious pics.

  5.  

    The two lads were English, and therefore the fish went back. Brits are great for respecting the wildlife. If they had been from any other country, the pike might have ended up in a freezer.

  6.  

    Glad the pike went back, As you said correctly, the Brit fishermen have great regard for wildlife, i have heard of some nationalities taking pike home in suitcases, fairly gross suitcases or freezers.
    There is a thriving little fishing industry on Lough Derg from competitiveness and the display of local versus European fishing skill but the key of course is respect and regard to its sustainability and continuance.
    Anyway hope you enjoyed all the Lake and its shores had on offer, locals felt it was unusually quite for a holiday week end, the mighty mayfly is yet to come.

  7.  

    The locals seem to be mistaken. Mayfly were everywhere.

  8.  

    Really ? of course April has been like May in 2011 Temp wise, But by ” quite ” i meant people wise re local businness’s usually the Lake would be choca with hired and private cruisers etc but not so this week end, did note this evening though a lot of French people about ,don’t know if they are there for the fishing, don’t suppose the Mayfly carries a calender in their filofax.

  9.  

    Wonderful pictures Mr. Bock, and a timely reminder of the amazing country that we have here, despite everything that’s broken. Given time, effort, and imagination we can fix the broken stuff; the glass is more than half-full in the meantime.

    We’re still right up there in the top 10 of this planet:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/147167/High-Wellbeing-Eludes-Masses-Countries-Worldwide.aspx

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