14 August 2015

A stroll in evening sunshine
on the West Pier in Howth

Evening lights above Sutton seen from the end of the West Pier in Howth this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Patrick Comerford

I think Howth is the most unpronounceable place name for many English speakers … a bit like people from Dublin find it difficult when they are in Wexford to pronounce the names of places such as Taghmon, Oulart and the Faythe.

But, not having these problems, I suppose I have to explain why I have often neglected Howth. Perhaps it is because I imagine its beaches are less accessible than those nearer home. Or maybe it’s because Howth is a little off the M50 when thinking of weekend walks on the beach.

However, I was there recently for a reception after a baptism, and there last year for a visit that ended up with a trip to the small island of Ireland’s Eye.

At the end of a busy working week, two of us went out to Howth late this afternoon [14 August 2015] for a late lunch, and it took almost an hour to get there … we could have been in Wexford by then, but it was worth it.

We joined friends and extended family for a late lunch in Beschoff’s on the West Pier, and probably lingered for a little too long. As a vegetarian, I would never have thought of lunch in Beschoff’s, but I was pleasantly surprised by my chickpea and aubergine salad with feta cheese, accompanied by a glass of Pinot Grigio, and followed (of course) with a double espresso.

Strolling along the West Pier in Howth this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015)

Earlier, the West Pier was full of groups of tourists, who sounded preponderantly like Italians. But by the time we had finished our late lunch, the pier was quiet, evening lights were beginning to change the colours in the sky, and the sun was preparing to set behind Sutton and Portmarnock to the west.

After a grey, overcast day, it was delightful to find a glow of warmth in the evening sun as we looked out to Sutton and Portmarnock and north across the seemingly stretch of water separating Howth and tiny Ireland’s Eye.

Looking across to Ireland’s Eye from the West Pier in Howth this evening (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2015

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