Thursday 28 July 2011

14 - 'For 6 months Fermanagh is in Lough Erne'

December 16, 2009

We've jumped all over the place in recent shows, but I thought we'd get back to the aul' sod for today. County Fermanagh has been in the news a bit recently - because of floods - and I was thinkin' about my own experiences of County Fermanagh.
They're very laid back down there in Fermanagh - talk kind of sloow and deliberate, like - and they have a sayin' that 'for six months of the year Lough Erne is in Co. Fermanagh, and the other six months, Fermanagh is in Lough Erne!' That's been especially true this year, with areas of the county turning into islands, only accessible by tractor, or boat!
When Gerry and I got married we went to a hotel beside Lough Erne for our wedding night. Needless to say, it was raining - and they offered us a room overlooking the bins and the car park - though it did have a double bed in it. We asked for one with a better view and the response we got was, 'Well now, I'm only the night watchman, now, the manager's away home.'
Eventually, with the barman's help they offered us a room overlooking the lake, but with two single beds in it. I explained that it was our honeymoon and that my wife and I were gonna go for a walk down by the lake and that by the time we got back they could have a double bed moved into the room. 'Aye, I suppose we could, now,' was the answer! And they did!
Another incident I can remember about Fermanagh - well the Fermanagh/Co. Cavan border, really. In that part of the world it can be quite difficult to know which side of the border yer on. Y'see, when they created the border around 1925, they tried to put people on the side they wanted to be on - with the result that the border meanders all over the place and the main road to Clones, Co. Cavan crosses the border about 4 times. In the days of border posts and customs they couldn't really have 4 sets of border crossings, so they just had one set and called these 'Concession Roads'.,

Anyway, I was travelling back to my family - on holiday in Co. Wexford, way down in the SE of Ireland, from a festival called, 'Summer Madness', near Lough Erne, in Fermanagh. I left in the very early hours of the morning, 'cause I'd been yarnin' to a few people till late.

Suddenly, the road seemed to be full of tall, skinny old men - probably in their eighties - and a tractor! These men would seem to have consumed a fair wee bit of alcohol, 'For God's sake give us a lift', one said, as they piled into my car, all bony legs everywhere, 'That fella in the tractor is gonna have us all kilt!' I deposited them in various locations down the road, the last one up a remote country lane, which, my friend assured me, led back to the main road to Cavan and Dublin - and, eventually, it did!

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