During the secondary school years , I had the fortune and yes I say fortune not misfortune to study the autobiography of PEIG SAYERS. Peig was born in Co Kerry in 1873. She is probably one of Irelands leading female Seanachai's....(storyteller). Most students, who remember this book being on the curriculum for the LEAVING CERTIFICATE, will probably roll their eyes. It was written in Irish. Therefore, we studied,discussed and wrote in Irish. All you eye rollers out there......halt. The great William Burke said " People will not look forward to posterity who ,never look backward to their ancestors" I believe also that we need to know and understand where we are coming from to know where we are going.
Peig lived a hard life. She was born in Dun Chaoin,Co Kerry (Dunquin). She married a fisherman and moved to the formidable Blasket Islands. A harsh existence. Her autobiography depicts tales of rural hardship. Devout catholics,still reeling from the aftermath of the GREAT FAMINE of 1845,and still recovering from penal laws. What can you expect? Her story is rife with tales of tragedy.
Life on the Blasket Islands was so tough that eventually it became uninhabitated and she moved back to the main land where she later died in 1958.
Fast Forward to today. 2009. I wonder what Peig would think of the progression to the infamous "CELTIC TIGER" economy and along with it comes politically correct beliefs . So much so, that her beloved Dingle coastline is now host to one of Irelands NATURIST beaches !
INCH BEACH in Co Kerry,is one of the best beaches in Ireland. If you go to http://www.irishnaturist.org/ , this is the description....
"It is one of the best in Ireland. It is more than 2 miles long and is backed by sand dunes. Walk for about a half a mile until you are past the textile bathers" !!!!!!!!!! I love that. TEXTILE BATHERS.
I used to walk for miles along the beaches with family on Sunday afternoons, rain or shine. I'm just picturing the walk today with the very same family members !! Namely Auntie Nora, Auntie Madge, Auntie Mary (Sr Mary that is) Gran, Mum ...........!!!! I'm sure Peig might find it somewhat of a shock to the system when mooring your boat after coming in from the Blaskets!
What an eyeful...is this what William Burke had in mind?!........