10 January 2018

Dreaming dreams on
a stroll by the banks
of the River Deel

A stroll along a quiet lane near Askeaton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Patrick Comerford

Although the weather is still cold and the skies are grey and overcast, this is good weather for wrapping up well and going for a walk.

I had a number of pastoral visits this morning, and before returning to the Rectory to put the finishing touches to Sunday’s sermons and service preparations and to my monthly column for church magazines, I went for a walk along the country lanes near Askeaton, and by the River Deel, as far as the slipway used by the Desmond Rowing Club at a turn on the river upstream from the point where it flows into the estuary of the River Shannon.

By the banks of the River Deel below Askeaton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018; click on image for full-screen view)

Some of the old small cottages on the west bank of the river, behind the swimming pool, are tumbling down, but patches of thatch remain on their roofs and the flaking paintwork on the walls add the scenic quality of the lanes.

Across the river, the ruins of the former Franciscan Abbey are majestic. But beside them, the ruins of the old creamery and a nursing home are a sad reminder of economic decline in past decades.

At one time, a visionary plan saw their potential for a restaurant, hotel and other facilities that would enhance the tourist potential of this town and this part of Limerick.

Hopefully, someone will return to these dreams soon and bring them back to life.

The Franciscan ruins on the banks of the River Deel in Askeaton (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018; click on image for full-screen view)

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