I am getting increasingly anxious about the turn of sad events which are turning my angling report into an obituary column.
I am well aware that the Kenmare Trout Anglers clubs members age profile is very high, and that statistically speaking we have a greater chance of losing someone or other to the Grim Reaper, but one still cannot expect him to come calling to us so often. It is just a short time ago I wondered if some sort of curse was on us all, it does not seem to matter if you are Catholic or Protestant or indeed have no religious bent at all, the same fate awaits you. You may say what is up with me now, and I will tell you that the sudden death of the Colonel has shocked me to my very roots. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Joseph Harrington RET., to give him his full title, was out enjoying our great Summer weather in the garden strimming shrubs and grass on the Thursday and the following morning, Friday, was deceased. The suddenness of it all is what shocked us, his family doubly so.
I have known the Colonel for many years. even as a young lad. I remember his marriage to Peggy, he was then a young lieutenant, and we were fascinated by the line of officers outside the church in Kenmare with drawn swords forming an arch of honour for the two of them. Who can believe that was 63 years ago?
As the years passed by I got to know him better, first in the FCA (local defence force) and then in the salmon and trout fishing. He was the man whose efforts resulted in the purchase of Orpens salmon fishery at Ardtully Castle, and was company secretary and treasurer up to last year., and was also Chairman of Kenmare Trout Anglers club for a long period. He loved beagle hunting and drag hunts and kept a pair of dogs in Shelbourne Street for a time.
As a regular officer in the Irish Army he served in the United Nations peacekeeping force all over the world including ‘hairy times’ in the Belgian Congo and the Lebanon. Places where we lost several of our brave soldiers.
He prided himself on the fact that he was a teetotaller. I think it was in the Lebanon that the troops from Fiji Islands put on a barbecue for the colonies troops and he was telling me about the great night and food.
‘We had a coconut drink called Kara, it was delicious and I drink a lot of it,’ he said.
‘Did it affect you?’ I asked.
‘No he said, ‘Why?’
‘Because I think that drink is alcoholic,’ I said to see if I could rise him, but no luck!
I am proud to have known him so well, he was always a gentleman, honest and straight as a die. He hated subterfuge and black guardism of any type and was not afraid to tell the culprits what he thought of their actions.
I will miss calling to see him, we would chat about the fish, rivers, lakes, the company and club and local scandals as well. I can’t believe I am writing this, I always felt he would see the lot of us out.
To his wife Peggy, son Dennis and daughter and their extended families, the company and club send their condolences.
May he rest in peace
What fantastic weather we are having, no one could complain though I hear the odd grunt from people.
I remember 1995 a few of us were up for fishing on the Corrib in this sort of weather staying in the Anglers Rest Hotel in Headford. Heading for the lake one morning in blazing sun the owner came to the door with us and said, ‘Ye will have a wonderful day out on the lake today lads.’ One of our number, Timmy, said ‘Are you mad we will catch no fish in the sunshine.’ To which a man replied, ‘Did I mention anything about fish?’
I would suggest if you are going trout fishing to go early morning or late evening when the water temperature comes down. Fish are cold blooded and hot water burns them so they avoid the surface during the day and stay lurking in the depths until they feel it is safe to come up to the top. Salmon and sea trout are really up against it with rivers so low and temperatures so high. What can we do to protect them? Even the forces of nature are killing them off. It will be a sad, sad day if they disappear for ever.
Mackerel and pollock fishing is very much improving, not huge numbers but enough to keep people happy.
That’s all for this month. Tight lines.