Cattle, swimming

When I lived on Inishturbot in the 1970s, I saw cattle swimming to the mainland so they could be taken to Clifden to the cattle fair. It was always very dramatic — men on the shore urging the animals into the water and a black currach pulling them across to the mainland, someone in the currach holding the rope that was attached to the halters. Dogs were involved, and children. And somehow, this morning, I found this short film online and was transported back to that island. Here, the cattle swim from the mainland — I think it’s Eyrephort Strand — to Inishturbot, probably for the summer grazing. No one lives permanently on the Island any longer but the small fields still exist and it would be paradise to spent a few months there, among the soft grass and fuschias, if you were a cow, and maybe even if you were, like me then, a young girl hoping to be a poet.