Shall I abandon, O King of mysteries, the soft comforts of home? Shall I turn my back on my native land, and turn my face towards the sea?
Shall I then suffer every kind of wound that the sea can inflict? Shall I take my tiny boat across the wide sparkling ocean? O King of the Glorious Heaven, shall I go of my own choice upon the sea? O Christ, will You help me on the wild waves?”
Saint Brendan's Prayer
I asked a young woman with a child in her arms how far it might be to Dunquin. 'It might be six miles now,' she said, 'but it's a long time since I've been as far myself.'”
As the sun disappears briefly behind a cloud, then reappears, there is a dazzling display of light on water. Great Blasket Island seems to come in and out of focus, as twinkling sunbeams bounce off the waves, surrounding it with shimmering haloes. It's so clear that, way off to the sourth, the Skelligs are visible, shimmering on the horizon like an illusion. As I stand at the cliff's edge, a spontansous, non-specific wave of emotion surges up inside me. I don't know where's it's directed or why it's happening, only that it feels unconditional. A tear wells up in my eye.”
Pete McCarthy, McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland, 2000
Major Randolph Doryan: [after O'Leary has been arrested] Is there
anything you want?
Tim O'Leary: Cigarette.
[Corporal gives him a cigarette]
Major Randolph Doryan: Anything else?
Tim O'Leary: Yes.
[drags on cigarette]
Tim O'Leary: GET OUT OF MY COUNTRY!"
"Ryan's Daughter", 1970, directed by David Lean
Almost forty years after the Paris flight, Lindbergh flew to Ireland and made his way for the first time down the coast from Shannon Airport to Dingle Bay, his point of landfall. He met an old shepherd out on the hills above the bay. 'Wasn't this where Lindbergh flew over?' he asked him. 'Aye,' said the shepherd. 'And did you happen to see him?' Lindbergh asked. The shepherd gave him a crestfallen look; after all the years, it was evidently still a sore point with him. 'Do you know, I didn't? 'Twas all fog on the hills that day. But I heard him go over. I did that, now. I stood here listening.' Lindbergh never told the shepherd who he was.”
Brendan Gill, Lindbergh Alone, 1977