River Poems

Lax Weir and Castle. Painting by Rosaleen Bolger.

THE ABBEY RIVER AND HER FISHERMEN

The silver Abbey river
Round St. Mary's does a tour;
How oft she gave her bounty
To the labours of the poor!

She leaves her mother Shannon
By turning left "above",
And steady flows by Sandy
Down past the Sally Grove.

She flows on by Athlunkard,
'Fort of the little ships',
And mirrors Bishop O'Dwyer Bridge
As underneath she slips.

Here I sometimes think, she pauses,
Maybe, it's my own whim -
I think she checks in homage -
To the Abbey Fishermen.

For here they lived in humble homes
The Old Sandmall beside,
And made their brocauns agile
To ride both fall and tide.

The Hayes's and the Clancy's,
And the McNamara's too,
And many others out of Park,
I mention but a few.

Here they shaped the pole and paddle,
And made snap-nets 'their way',
To snare the silver salmon,
In waters where they lay.

With silent skill their paddles dipped
In pools beside the Fuzee
As they trolled by swaying sallies
To the flats at Corbally.

With hopeful hearts they pulled their oar
In fair weather and foul.
And passed quickly by Lax Weir,
To the heights o'er Kilquane fall.

To Gabbett's Grove and the Pike Bridge
Their prows into the wind,
And on then to the Shannon Fields,
With the Devil's Path behind.

By Lanahrone to Plassey,
At late the early hour,
To fish the 'draws' at Lugshinnell,
Craglarack and Tannyvour.

Ah, Annaghbeg, that lovely place
And pleasant to this hour,
How sagely you accorded,
Your loveings to the poor.

Sylvan singing water place,
None fairer can we get,
Your silvery stocks depleted,
Dear stream you glisten yet.

Now a long and bitter struggle,
Changing times and harsher laws,
Caused these strong men to relinquish
The above-mentioned draws.

Let me salute in passing,
And reflect upon their fate -
The rush of 'progress' crushes,
So many, soon or late.

But returning to our river,
Which we left at the Sandmall,
She turns right and quickly shoots
Down past the Old Canal.

And here she does not linger
For she hears a low, sweet call,
Her mother's calling softly,
From a nearby surging fall.

So on towards Mathew Bridge she runs,
Thus to complete her tour,
And rejoin her parent water,
At storied Curraghgower.

 

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16.06 | 17:57

Brilliant footage James, I never even saw one in reality, you could have patted him, he came so close to you.

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16.06 | 17:04

Check out my close encounter with a badger in St Munchins today.....Watch how close he comes to me at the end...https://youtu.be/VUxHmx-69cA

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29.05 | 20:59

Be glad to help David, if I can, sent you an email.

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29.05 | 12:57

Hello Ann,
Could you drop me a mail when you get a chance,interested in information on Kellys now Meadowbrook. Love the site, frequent visitor

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