The Day Was All About Water – and oh How Freely it Flowed

If there was ever a day made to scatter a crowd it was Saturday. If there was ever a day made to gather a crowd it was Saturday. And it was all about water.

We were all talking about it, ducking from it or marching for our rights to it.

It was the day of the much anticipated horse fair in Castleisland and locals hoped against hope that we’d get a repeat of last year. Huge crowds turned out here.

It was the day of the second march against water charges in Tralee in the space of a week and an estimated crowd of 2,500 turned out there.

On the fair day here, it feels much easier now to dwell on the memories of that beautiful day this time last year than to deal with the colour-drained day which ebbed away long before its time.

Friday night’s forecast put the first bad hand on it all. Gales veering south-westerly and southerly we knew would bring nothing good. And they didn’t when they came.

Crowds were on par with last year’s remarkable turnout. There are people who would dispute this I know and they did.

Last year’s crowded streets were a joy to behold as people flitted and strolled and traipsed hither and tither at will in their gaily coloured garments.

This year they were packed even stuck in every available doorway and overhang along both sides of the street.

There was no meeting and greeting only dashing and running with the head down and bent on getting to the next available shelter.

These would be the people who’d never dream of darkening the door of a public house. They provided quite a street spectacle for those who do and did.

The pubs lapped up the early rain as the boys used to darkening their doors kept darkening away at every opportunity.

There were several bad bursts of rain in the course of the shortened fair.

The early arrivals got the best of the day. By mid-day the sky was sullen and in anything but an obliging mood.

After a couple of more heavy showers at about 1-30pm and 2pm and a continuous down-pour from 3pm on – the show was over. People were packing it in from there on.

Harping back to last year again: Then,  people stayed at their flitting and traipsing up to the Angelus and the pubs were lifting and the singing was spilling onto the bone dry streets.

The only good news that I have to infuse is that retired oil man, Anthony Cronin won the Castleisland Races Committee prize of a trailer of winter fuel. Solid Fuel – you understand. Don’t you just love the ironies of life – even on such a colourless day. Or, is there any such thing? I suppose not.

It was a day that was all about water. And oh how freely it flowed. Now there’s a case waiting for the prolific songwriting pen of Mickey MacConnell !

Next year might be fine again. Go mbeirimid beo ar an am seo arís!