View this site:
As Gaeilge
In English
Sailing Update
Ship Position
Cape Clear Island
Fastnet Tours
Customer Charter
School Tours
Packaged Tours
Cartoon History
Our History
Photo Gallery
Island Map
All Ferry Services
Schull Ferry
  A Christmas Saturday on a West Cork Island

Last Saturday on a crisp wintery evening on the West Cork Island of Cape Clear a crowd started to gather as dusk gave way to darkness. Some made for the Club too see a last minute recital by the Islands’ young musicians and singers and others directly to the Grotto area where our new manger has recently appeared. The crowd waited in anticipation until the friendly bobbing lights of the incoming ferry emerged in the night and soon they were joined by travellers to the Island. As I meandered from group to group it was quite incredible to see so many friendly faces, officially the Island has a population of only 135, if so, then it seemed the great majority had gathered for this moment.

Soon from around the pier wall we heard muffled voices and  a small procession, led by toddlers, struggling to carry the Infant Jesus and followed by children, teenagers and musicians. As the Infant was placed in the home made manger the clear night air resounded with carols and music followed by a few short words of remembrance and thanks to all who had made this event possible. In a candle lit corner also, a large branch of an  alder tree, festooned with red ribbons in remembrance of loved ones not present. With some prayers from the Island’s Priest the event was concluded and the children were free to make their way to the Club for Santy’s pre Christmas visit.

Lots of people greatly appreciated these happenings for many different reasons at different levels. There was the simplicity of Christmas as it should be, remembrance of people and times past, a community space decorated for all and of course the incredible effort involved by so many different people. Not for Cape Clear an expensive show of factory made decorations, crib and figures  and garish glowing Santy’s and lights but rather wooden figures, made and painted locally, festooned with our own ivy and greenery, including the straw left over from last year’s Wren costumes, put to good use to thatch the crib. Baby Jesus, a child’s doll, wrapped in a christening shawl, the twinkling lighting appropriate but not overdone.

And it struck me, Cape Clear Island has punched above its weight again !.


Nollaig shona daoibh go léir.

email:   telephone: 028 41923