Sitting on a grassy bank in Glan Gap drinking crystal clear water
and reviving memories of bygone years.
Replaying my dreams when pedalling from Breffni or St. Tiernagh’s Park
Where the blue and white shone brightly on Ulster’s famous fields
Or returning from Tonlagee where Pat Feehan’s hospitality was such that liquid
sustenance was required.
Marvelling at the peaks of Scalp and Bealbally against the skyline.
Then standing on a bridge watching the stream flow by.
As the water glistens and shines, I hold fast this scenic setting.
Recalling the course of the stream to the Owenmore which should have been
the source of the Shannon.
Some pretentious fellow citizens closer to the Ancient Pale have regarded
this area as the ‘back of beyond’.
In the Twentieth Century, Glan Hall was a mecca for dancers from neighbouring
Corlough, Templeport, Swanlinbar who crossed the gap in all weathers, many
on pedal cycles, others motorised.
They set out to enjoy the atmosphere with a view to propositioning the local
talent, who were never easily persuaded.
Former friends and generations, thereafter took the road through the gap en-route
to foreign lands, looking back on the valley one last time. Courageous and
resourceful they established themselves earning credit for their homeland, whilst
never forgetting their roots.
As their span of life winds down, their spirits return to gaze once more on their
now derelict homesteads.
The chimney breast shrouded in undergrowth remains erect as once being the
hearth of the home.
On special night ghostly fiddle music can be heart till the early dawn.
As I admired the Shannon’s pleasant waters, Cuilcaghs rugged grandeur
with its mantle of purple heather, I felt that those departed were close by.
With the Grace of God we may all meet again in the great hospitality suites
in the sky.