‘I have seen no deed like that in France’ – The Mall Goes all Out for RÁS Mumhan

Scoil Mhuire, Knocknagoshel care-taker, Johnny Morrissey on the quiet street of the village on Tuesday. It will be far from quiet on this Good Friday afternoon.  ©Photograph: John Reidy
Recycling in earnest: Old bikes repurposed and put out there in welcome for An Dornan RÁS Mumhan at Scoil Mhuire in Knocknagoshel. ©Photograph: John Reidy
A whole-hearted welcome for the RÁS Mumhan from all the ‘spokes’ people at Scoil Mhuire in Knocknagoshel. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Knocknagoshel and Good Friday have been inextricably and unavoidably linked with the wit and wisdom of the late Con Houlihan ever since a famous Sunday in Croke Park in September 1975.

Then, John Egan scored an earth and Dub shattering goal against the reigning All-Ireland Senior Football Champions, and Con wrote: “Hill 16 was as quiet as Knocknagoshel on a Good Friday.”

And it stayed quiet for the rest of that memorable hour of pure Kerry magic in the rain. I know because I was there.

Knocknagoshel won’t be quiet on this Good Friday and it’s showing all the signs of being different this year.

Finest Temporary Monument

Take the local national school in the heart of the village. There you’ll find the finest temporary monument to what will be different about The Mall on this Good Friday.

Fellow photographer, Eamon Fleming and myself have fallen into the habit of taking a day out each month and visiting places like Knocknagoshel and taking photographs.

On Tuesday we wound up in The Mall via Tooreenard and we met school caretaker Johnny Morrissey on the quiet street.

Artistic and Striking Effort

I remarked on the artistic and striking effort the school has gone to in acknowledging and welcoming the Dornan RÁS Mumhan to the village.

“That’s Kate McSweeney for you,” said Johnny getting his spoke in – and that said everything. Currow native, Kate is the most recently appointed principal of the school.

You won’t find a finer monument to the cycle race in any of the other towns or villages it will pass through or stop on its course this week.

You might see something like it during the Tour de France.

Like another famous man said on another notable occasion: “I have seen no deed like that in France!

The finish time in Knocknagoshel is expected to be around 5.30pm where the riders will have covered 71km on this stage.

Keep the dogs inside the gate on Good Friday !

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