Beached, bothered and bewildered in Rush

Forget Brexit: why are Fingal Council combing our North Beach?


Yeah, I suppose I am a bit aghast  at the Brexit Leave result. And  mildly worked up for sure about the Donald Trump phenomenon and vaguely troubled by all sorts of global things when I am reminded. Or somebody posts something on my social media feeds. Or the News comes on.

But just now I am actually rooted in silent, bludgeoned dismay,  a marooned and lonely sea stack finally aware of its weathering disintegration, and the end of all things coming, when I see that Fingal Council tractor thing turning the sand yet again on the North Beach in Rush. Continue reading

An Irishman’s Diary: from a beach to Raglan Road

(THE IRISH TIMES, July 11th, 2013)

What would Patrick Kavanagh make of this suspended moment?


Raglan pic

It started as a walk on the North Beach in Rush, Co Dublin, but it became a walk on a beach. Somewhere, anywhere, everywhere. The soft give of the wet sand underfoot, the freshening wind caressing cheekbones and ruffling hair, the rising sw-o-o-o-o-o-sh and softly cascading wh-e-e-e-s-sh of the sea itself . . . one drawn out note in the distance, but closer in, a nuanced, undulating chorus of infinite variation and tone. Wind. Sand, Sea. See . . . strand, sky, sea, horizon. Hear . . . scrunch of foot on fragmented shells . . . plaintive circling shriek of seagull . . . distant bark of unleashed dog. Smell . . . moistening brine, pungent whiff of shifting breeze. Thinking. Feeling. Being.

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Sunrise on Rush

A moment of transcendence on the North Beach


The sun rises over Lambay Island. Photograph: Leo Bissett

Early morning on the North Beach in Rush. The sun rising slowly from behind Lambay Island is transmitting a vivid apricot light that pierces the low black clouds, and I am witnessing a moment of unfolding transfiguration.

A long triangular beam of light from the shimmering disc picks out a broken apricot pathway across the quietly swashing waters to the soft wet sand under my feet.  All is apricot as the familiar vista of cliffs, Martello tower, sea and lighthouse to my left and harbour cove and houses to my right is infused with an unearthly beauty.

The light is so strong I have to avert my eyes and hazy fragmenting images of sun, harbour and tower are tattooed briefly on the screen of sand before fading away. The sun is well clear of the island now and has dimmed to an unremarkable daylight.

It’s funny to be present at  moments such as this, at once natural and, dare I think it, supernatural. Heaven, the divine and creation continue to elude me, but yet what is this feeling that something might be shaping this moment that I could so easily have missed?

In that moment, the sun was like a huge lens that an invisible hand was directing at the shore in front of me, making me think of the magnifying glass I would hold up to the same sun when I was a boy and direct at a piece of paper to set fire to it.  I walk on.

— Enda Sheppard