Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Summer sun shines
on the harbour and
the beaches in Skerries

Summer sunshine at the harbour in Skerries this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

After a busy weekend, and another busy round facing me this week, I took a day off in Dublin today [23 July 2019], and went for a walk on the beaches and along the harbour in Skerries in north Co Dublin.

For many years, while in I was living in Dublin and working in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Skerries was one of my favourite places for a walk on the beach at the weekend, along with Bray, Greystones and Kilcoole in Co Wicklow , Bettystown and Laytown in Co Meath, and Donabate, Portrane, Rush and Loughshinny in north Co Dublin.

It was almost seven months (29 December 2018) since I had been on a walk on the beaches in Skerries, and even that visit came after an absence of two years (December 2016).

There was a strong breeze, but the temperatures were in the high 20s, and there was a holiday atmosphere in Skerries, with families taking shelter on the grassy areas above the sand, children picking their way through the rockpools, teenagers hiring kayaks at the harbour, long queues for ice cream outside ‘Storm in a Teacup,’ and all available space taken or booked in the cafés, bars and restaurants lining the harbour.

The North Beach and summer sunshine at the Harbour in Skerries this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

On the walk around the headland, there were clear views of the Skerries rocks and the islands, and the Mourne Mountains in the distance, sweeping down to the sea.

I could hardly visit Skerries and not stop in Gerry’s for the newspapers and a bottle of wine – I have long extolled the taste of the wine buyers in Gerry’s.

The pleasure of summer wine during a late lunch in the Olive Café in South Strand Street, Skerries (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Later, two of us lingered over lunch and summer wine in the summer sunshine in the garden at the back of the Olive Café on Strand Street.

All around us, people were talking about the election of Boris Johnson in tones that showed they were somewhere between being aghast and disgusted.

But at least the summer sunshine is a promise that life goes on, and it brings too the hope that he may wither away by winter.

We returned through Loughshinny and Rush, with clear views of Lambay Island in the distance, and passed the cricket club at Kenure, recalling with pride how Eoin Morgan embodies so many of the positive gifts Ireland has to offer England.

The sun shines on the beach in Skerries this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

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