05 August 2017

An hour in the afternoon
rowing on the River Deel

Rowing under the bridge at Askeaton on Friday afternoon

Patrick Comerford

A few days ago, I blogged about trying to find a rowing club near Askeaton and my walk on Thursday afternoon down to the slipway at Gort on the banks of the River Deel.

I returned to the slipway at Gort yesterday afternoon (Friday 4 August 2017) and found one man was out on the river in his boat.

Hospitality is unbounded in this part of Limerick, and as two of us stood on the slipway Dan Moran immediately invited us to join us in his boat.

Not only did he invite us to join him, as he had half an hour to spare as he waited for friends to join him, but we rowed up-river, through the wide bend on the Deel, by the ruins of the Franciscan Friary and the old creamery, under the bridge and up to the island on which the Desmond Castle stands.

Dan was a good tutor, and in half an hour I was in to the rhythm of rowing.

We returned back down the river, and continued on just a little further towards the Shannon Estuary to catch a glimpse of three swans who live on this stretch of the Deel.

Walking along the Backs in Cambridge year after year, I have often regretted that I went to Cambridge too late to learn to row. But on Friday afternoon I was told gently that I am never too old to learn.

Back at the slipway at Gort after about an hour on the river I was signed up for the recently-formed Desmond Rowing Club.

I have promised to be back on Monday evening.

On the River Deel at Gort, near Askeaton, on Friday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

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