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  A Fistfull of Acorns

A fist full of Acorns

I show some acorns recently given to me by my brother in law, James Lowrey from Mullingar. They are, he tells me, from the estate of the late JP Dunleavy, who he says, was a great writer and a very nice person.  Would it not be a good idea to grow these acorns into trees on Cape Clear Island?, he suggested.   

I couldn’t agree more.

It brought to mind the last person to give me with a fist full of acorns. It was a fine spring Saturday, a good many years ago and I was enjoying digging in my vegetable garden when I noticed someone coming up the driveway towards me and saw it was Harry Wolfe.

Harry, then an old man had been a frequent and very welcome visitor to the Island for many years and since the 1950’s had been an advocate for tree planting on the Cape Clear. Some copses had been planted with his encouragement and the man who paid most heed was of course Mack O’Donoghue of the Lake and together they established the successful pine plantation in that area.

Harry told me that Mack and himself did not provide any protection for the young trees from the cattle as they could not afford to louse so much grazing. Instead they studied the paths made by the cows through the fields very carefully and planted the trees in the areas where the cows did not tread. Both the trees and the cows thrived.

He then gave me a paper bag of acorns and said that he knew that I knew what should be done with them. And I planted all 20 or so.

Only three trees emerged and when I told Harry about this he said the others were was the mice’s share, they too like acorns.

Those 3 trees are still growing on Cape Clear and let’s hope that some of JP Dunleavy’s acorns will also survive to experience life on the Island for many years to come.


We show some of Macks and Harry's pine trees still flourishing by  Loch Ioral.

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