Disciples of the ‘Green Shoot’ mentality would have taken great heart if they visited Castleisland over the weekend. The place was the proverbial hive of activity from early on Friday.
On Friday evening the luxurious motor-homes began to arrive with their built in doggie flats/ pads and all the canine comforts a dog could bark for.
The grounds of An Riocht Athletic Club was practically covered with tents of every colour under the accommodating sun.
It was Tralee & District Canine Club day in Castleisland. It is referred to locally as The Dog Show and it is all that.
Apart from the dogs on show, the weather was universally admired and appreciated. The canine club backroom team members were out early – 4-30am kind of early – as they had to lay out the green tents for the various judges throughout the grounds within the track.
They were on duty all day long with barrows and brushes keeping the place spick and span.
Keen eyed, Lixnaw native, Castleisland resident, Moss Reidy was on show grounds duty when he spotted Tipperary hurling star, Lar Corbett in the jumble of the crowds and had a photograph taken with him.
Many of the visitors rambled down town after arriving on Friday evening and they spoke of having a great night in several of the pubs here.
One group of English visitors were obviously in Browne’s Bar as they spoke of being impressed by the music and the brush dancing they had enjoyed there.
On Saturday evening, Leo Suijkerbuijk and Maggie Prendiville added their own brand of colour to the streets as they launched their acknowledgement of National Heritage Week in conjunction with Browne’s Bar. Leo was sporting a tall, flower bedecked basket-woven style hat of his own making and he was conducting a heritage week look at old Irish cottage and farmhouse furniture in the room at the back of Browne’s .
As the sun went down behind the Market House and darkness fell, there were birthday parties in the Shoe-Makers Inn and at the River Island. Sean Lane’s 21st in the former and Peggy Flynn’s landmark was celebrated in the latter.
The Main Street was populated by people who seemed to have regained a little of the strut that accompanied the good times.
The Green Shoots people would have made more of the cut of the night that I’d dare to. We can but hope.