May 29

Foley’s Bar Inch, Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry

May 29

I’m going to sum up the last three days. We’ve been very busy taking Peg to some of our favorite spots along the Dingle peninsula and in Dingle Town. This part of the trip is and has been the least session centric part of the trip, we simply love the area, if we get a chance to play with some local players that’s great, but if not we’re not bothered by it. The weather held the entire time, we got sun and heat, the locals shaking their heads at this marvel of nature. The temperature held in the high 70’s F. unlike any other trip to Ireland we’ve taken. We drove out to the end of the Dingle peninsula to Blasket Center and gazed across at the Islands. The Blasket islanders were a hardy group of less than 200 people. It was never an easy life and they got what they could from the sea and what they could wrest from the land. Irish gaelic had been systematically eradicated by the British. It was an act of defiance to speak it, punishable with prison. Due to their isolation, the people of Blasket spoke the pure Irish language. When linguists learned of this they went and studied with the Blasket people, cataloged the language and thankfully it was saved. Before the Uprising it was taught in secret and after the Free State was established taught openly. You can hear it spoken all over Ireland now. The problem for the people of Blasket was that contact with the mainlanders and immigration to America slowly depopulated the Islands. The children saw the possibilities of an easier and less isolated life so life on the Islands became more untenable. In 1953 the last of the Blasket people were moved to the mainland and a unique culture and way of life ended. We explored different sections of the Dingle area, drove up over the Conor pass, which is an incredible sight, dipped our toes in the sea, had a great picnic next to a little inlet and went into Dingle and heard Eoin Duignan and Tommy O’Sullivan play, in other words we allowed ourselves to be tourists.

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