Monday, 17 April 2017



I was coming out of the church on Friday evening having performed my Easter duties, when I was approached by an individual from across the river, whom I knew slightly.
Is there any place open?” he whispered, looking furtively around for fear someone might be listening.
It was obvious he was referring to the effects of our licensing laws that bars must remain closed on Good Friday. I immediately informed him that the publicans of Abbeyfeale were a bunch of law-abiding citizens who would never serve drink out of hours.
Well, blasht it!” he said. “I do normally go to Mass in Duagh, but I was told that there was always plenty porter to be got in Abbeyfeale.”
You were told wrong.” I replied. “This place is as dry as the Sahara Desert today.”
Ah, for feic's sake! There must be some place open.”
Not a one.” I assured him. “All the landlords have gone golfing.”
'Tis far away from the golf they were reared.” he sniffed.
You could try one of the hotels,” I continued “but you would probably have to order a meal as well.”
Yerra, 'tis dry I am, not hungry!” he was getting desperate now.
You should have bought a few cans yesterday and drank them at home.” I tried to be helpful.
It isn't so much the drink as the company.” he answered. “I have no company at home, only the wife, and sure she's no company at all.”
He thought for a moment. “Do you know,” he said “I think I''ll hit for Mountcollins. I'll surely get drink there. They are a daycent crowd. They won't let a lad die with the drought.”
Good luck with that.” I said as he disappeared out the church gate.
A minute later he was back. “I have no car,” he said. “Any chance you might give me a lift?”
About as much chance as you getting a drink in Mountcollins!” I left him standing and headed off down the street thinking it could only ever happen in Abbeyfeale.
However, if he reads this, I have good news for him. There should be plenty of porter to be got in Abbeyfeale and every other town in Ireland from next Good Friday on – a parting gift from Enda Kenny?

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