Ireland day 0061. Sunday 28 November 2021- Tymon

Ireland day 0061. Sunday 28 November 2021- Tymon
Today’s summary Took the train and bus to to south west Dublin for short afternoon walk through Tymon Park.   Got off train at Portmarnock on way back and walked home via the Velvet Strand
Today’s weather Cold and dry.   Light cloud.   Slight breeze.  No rain.  About 6C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click top button below to download GPX of the Tymon Park walk – in black on map –  and the bottom button for the evening Sluice marsh walk – in red):

Something that has surprised me since coming to Ireland is just how linked Ireland’s history is to that of the UK – and in particular to England.   Not just the historic linkages (not all of which have been happy or successful, it has to be said) which go back at least as far as the Vikings – but also the more recent connections too.

I went out on a short exploration of Tymon Park with a group from the Dublin Walking Club this afternoon and the point really came home to me when one of the walkers told me about her childhood in County Roscommon.   She said there were twenty one children in her street when she was growing up, and every single one of them (herself included) had left as soon as they could and moved to England to find work.   She only came back later in life, once she had saved enough to to buy somewhere to live over here, and once the economy started to improve so it became possible to find a job.   But many stayed in England, or moved on further, mostly to the United States.

In fact I don’t think I have met anyone at all in Ireland who didn’t have a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, son or daughter who was currently living, or had recently lived, in England.  Most people here seem to find a way of watching the BBC and in fact seem more knowledgeable about British politics than must UK citizens are.   It puts we Brits’ paltry knowledge the other way to shame.   So given these close ties yet the asymmetrical nature of the mutual understanding, I don’t think it would be harmful for more of us from Britain – and for politicians in particular – to try and understand a bit better how Ireland works.   The repercussions of decisions taken in London are felt by a much wider constituency than just the hallowed voters in the Home Counties and in the Red Wall.

Anyway, coming back to earth, our tour of Tymon Park was short but very enjoyable.   It’s always nice to meet people for a chat and learn what’s what, as well as to see a new part of Ireland.   Tymon Park is on the south wast of Dublin and it’s pretty new – only about 30 years old, according to the plaque on the gate.   As such, it feels a bit “raw” – the trees are very young and the grasslands haven’t yet had the chance to mellow with age.   But it’s a great outdoor space and is a valuable pressure-release valve for the thousands of young families living in the new housing estates which surround the area.   The M50 motorway runs right through it – there are a couple of metal-arched bridges over it – so the noise of traffic is never far away.   But there are tantalising glimpses further afield to the Dublin mountains (which are really just the northern flanks of the Wicklow Hills) to the south.  There’s so much more to explore here, and I can’t wait to get going!

After the walk back, I took the bus back to Dublin and then jumped on the Drogheda train at Connolly station.   On the spur of the minute, as it was still light, I decided to get off the train a stop early – i.e. at Portmarnock rather than Malahide – and walk the last few km home.   I managed to find a series of paths and tracks which led all the way from the station, through the Sluice River marshes and then the sand dunes, to the middle of the Velvet Strand.   Night was falling when I got there, and I had the whole of this vast beach to myself.   It was exhilarating walking with the sea on my right and the arch of stars overhead and I was almost sorry when I reached the end of the beach near the Martello tower on the coast road.

A quick trot along the promenade, and I has back at the flat by just after six – in time to have another go at rehearsing my Spanish speech (“Buenas noches, mi llamo Adam..” etc. etc.) and prepare Val’s dinner.   It’s been another chilly evening – though thankfully the biting wind has eased now – so I’ve taken the precaution of turning up the radiators to max and uncorking the wine as well as getting the roast beef sandwiches and chocolate biscuits on standby for her return from work.

And now I need to start thinking about Monday’s explorations.  I do have an idea, actually, but of course that can only be revealed tomorrow.   Come back in 24 hours time to find out more!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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The Grand Canal glimpsed from the upper deck of the no. 15 bus.   It is the southern of Dublin’s two main canals (the other is the Royal), and runs 130km / 80 mi from the Liffey in Dublin to the Shannon in county Offaly Tymon Park is large but also relatively new – opened in 1989, according to the plaque
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It’s well laid out with plenty of play areas for families and children.   It feels modern still, as if it hasn’t had time to develop the patina of age One of a number of streams that runs through the park.   It’s also bisected by the M50 motorway, so the roar of the traffic is a constant companion
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Heading through the Sluice River marshlands on the way to the beach from portmarnock station this evening Boardwalk to the beach – it was almost pitch dark when I took this, so I am amazed that the camera actually managed to see anything at all
The official boundary for the town of Portmarnock is some way from the station.   In other words I don’t think Portmarnock station is actually in Portmarnock.
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