Mountain Panorama & Munster Football Finals


– and skipping to ‘Courting in the kitchen

On Sunday it was possible to pick out every detail of the huge mountain panorama from the Paps, across Crohane, Mangerton, Torc and the Purple mountain ridge to three of our highest mountains Carrantuohill, Beenkeragh and Caher. In the warm sunshine the mountains were a bright blue.


The expectation was that the weather would just about stay fine. If we were lucky there would be little or no rain. I brought the rain gear, just in case. We were not prepared for the intense heat and brightness all afternoon. My forehead burned.

All of that and minor and senior Munster Championship gaelic football finals. We were standing on the terraces in Killarney’s Fitzgerald Stadium. It says something of the indifference of the Tipperaray supporters and the confidence of their Kerry opponents that there were only 22,000 in the 33,000 capacity stadium. We were able to sit down during the breaks. Standing for all of the four hours would have been hard.

Having Kerry dominate both games was the jam. There were flashes of excitement – especially when goals were scored – but a little more skill, especially in Kerry back lines, would have been welcome and wear and tear on some Kerry veterans did not bode well for the rest of the All Ireland Championship.

When there was a lapse in the football looking out on the mountains it was possible to imagine … The graphic shape of the Paps and the goddess of fertility after whom they are named. The turbulence of the Killarney volcanic region centred on Crohane. To see why Mangerton was named the deceiver. How many wild pigs there must have been to name a mountain and an area after them. The lake encircled Purple ridge. The precipitous spine between Carrantuohill and Beenkeragh.


On Saturday Sarah took me for a walk. Up the road with the dogs. Over an extensive growth of bog cotton across the Mangerton commonage. Through conifer woods, along the way picnicing on the bank of a hidden pond surrounded by blooming foxgloves.



All the way singing songs. On the last stretch skipping to the rhythmic air of ‘Come listen belle and beau/and to me pay attention‘ or some such.
After three hours three and a half year old legs showed no sign of tiredness but those of a few years more were happy to rest.



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