Letter from the coordinator – July 2015

The sun is shining in London and on our last two trips to Donegal and Waterford the same good weather followed us across the Irish Sea. This is true almost always on Aisling trips that we are generally blessed with the weather when we are in Ireland. Everyone knows that the weather in the south-east of England is always that bit sunnier and warmer than other parts of Britain and this is true of Ireland too with Wexford and Waterford often referred to as the sunny south-east or even the Irish Costa. But everyone also knows that generally Ireland gets the worst of the weather hereabouts stuck as it is in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Gulf Stream once was a source of mild weather or at least lukewarm rain washing up on the shores of Cork and Kerry but the shift of the Jet Stream in recent years may have scuppered that. Global warming is a curse that the industrialised world has brought the earth to the brink of extinction but why should Ireland bear the brunt of this as we’ve never even entered the industrial age unless you count industrial levels of corruption. We may have contributed to warming another way though as the great clouds of methane escaping from cow’s arses from Mayo to the plains of Meath head all the way up to the ozone layer.

We have run into severe weather on trips before like a few years back when we crossed over on the ferry only to slide out the other side onto a sheet of ice that covered the country for a whole week. We skated to Mulranny that year but amazingly the sun shone for the whole week looking glorious as a white blanket covered the country which remained pristine and beautiful throughout as divil a snow plough was seen in action for the whole seven days.

Timing of course has a lot to do with it and the weather can be predictable to some extent. For instance you will often get a week or so of brilliant weather early in May when we go to Donegal where we have always beaten the odds. Once in Killybegs one of the locals commented on the weather saying that we had brought the good stuff with us but that things were improving generally in Donegal as last year there were only 300 days of rain recorded. This year in Donegal we were guests of Pat Logue from the Sheephaven Bay pub in Camden in his family home in Downings and the sun shone the whole week and we spent time on the beach and hung out outside Pat’s house looking out across the sea to Fanad Head with rolled up sleeves and maybe even a pair of shorts.

We are also very fortunate on our regular ‘dry’ trip which is usually to Dunmore East in Waterford where we have experienced heat waves for the week in June we have gone for the last 2 years. A good barometer of this is the tan on the manager of the holiday village, which this year was the colour of mahogany. Our next trip is in September which will be to the west. We haven’t decided on a destination yet but we are almost sure of decent weather as the middle of September almost always is pretty good.

So it may not be scientific but it is based on 21 years of experience and I would suggest to any Irish people in Britain that, not only is it your patriotic duty but also in your own best interest to consider a holiday in Ireland either early in May or June or in the middle of September. Not only will you get the best of the weather you will also be travelling off-peak and cheaper and you will benefit from the excellent exchange rate for the euro. Alternatively you can go to Greece at any time and guarantee good weather. You will also help them in their principled stand against the dreaded Troika.

Alex McDonnell