Irony is not lost on me, as I follow on from my last post with one from the entire other end of the spectrum – but such is life. Over the last five days, Inis Oirr has been hit with a storm. Not any old storm, but one that coincided with extraordinarily high tides and howling gale force winds. A storm of which the likes has not been seen on this island in twenty years. The islanders have discussed this among themselves, as I’ve no doubt they will do for a long time to come, as they’ve stood together watching what could only be described as utter destruction as the sea thundered her way onto the island! The Plassy was pounded so hard that her bow as good as caved under the pressure.Stone monuments were swept away. Roads were no longer roads, but heaps of boulders and rocks, and strewn with an awful amount of rubbish and plenty of lobster pots. The lake spread herself into adjoining fields, a lone metal shed moved across the road, pushed by an invisible force, stone walls were knocked and the ground looked like it had been bulldozed! It was indeed a sight to behold. It was beautiful, it was scary, and it was sad.
Over the following days everyone seemed to converge in the hotspots that had been affected by the storm. The beach, the Plassy, the Lighthouse – whose own back walls were also knocked and the doors and windows of the two little old houses that stood beside it were also smashed in. Some folk took photographs of the surging waters, some discussed the twenty year milestone, and others just stood there, watching, thinking.
The second part of the storm – which had by then been named ‘Christine’, was due on Sunday night. Some tried to rebuild walls while others used sandbags in order to try and contain it. And then she came.
The fallout from that visit didn’t seem to be as shocking even though almost all the walls had been got at by that stage, the road ploughed up and the beach looked completely destroyed. The high tide Monday morning was a sight to behold with the pier submerged under huge crashing waves carried by a heaving swell. I watched from a distance. I was in awe.
Whilst out on my walk this morning I came across a neighbour standing in his garden, all the walls down around him, no doubt wondering where exactly to start.
On asking him how he was getting on after the last few days, he replied, without a second thought –
“Sure what can you do, She’s the Boss, and whatever she decides, goes”
How very true. Maybe more people should start to realise that its best not to mess with Mother Nature!
I hope you enjoy the pictures of what happened this last weekend on Inis Oirr.