07 May 2018

Summer sunshine arrives
on Sunday in Ballybunion

The south beach in Ballybunion on a sunny Sunday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018; click on image for full-screen view)

Patrick Comerford

I once knew a holiday apartment block in Crete that was known to Irish holidaymakers and to local hoteliers alike as ‘Ballymun in the Sun.’ The place is closed now, but I thought at the time it was an unfair description and said a lot about Irish expressions of snobbery but also how Greeks understood it.

But yesterday I spent a glorious afternoon in Ballybunion in the Sun.

After a harsh winter and an exceptionally wet spring, this is the first real bank holiday that gives people the opportunity this year to enjoy sunshine and the sea.

I have only started to get to know Ballybunion properly in recent months, long after I came to this group of parishes. It is part of my parish, but previous ventures into this part of the parish on Sunday afternoons have been outside weekends like this. So, it was a delight to see how popular Ballybunion is with people from throughout Limerick and Kerry.

Seen on the beach in Ballybunion on Sunday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

The beaches were crowded with families, with surfboarders and kiteflyers, with swimmers, and with toddlers enjoying their first steps into the waves and the water.

There were bouncy castles, crepe stalls, ice cream outlets, beach balls, candy floss, and all the traditional ephemera of seaside resorts that I wish could have survived from the 1960s and 1970s in more places than this.

Signs that summer has arrived in Ballybunion (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Children of all ages were showing their ambitions as potential and promise as budding architects as they busied away at building sandcastles.

Two of us walked on south beach before having lunch at a table by the window in Daroka, and then went for a walk on the north beach before venturing on for a cliff walk.

With blue skies, golden sands and sea breezes, it seemed summer has arrived.

Looking down on the north beach from the cliff walk in Ballybunion (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

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