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01st May 2018

PICS: ‘There’s Only Two Places I Want To Be When The Sun Is Shining In Ireland’

Darragh Berry


That’s the only word to describe how I was feeling last week when I was working and all my friends were heading to ‘The Barge’ in Dublin to soak up the sunshine while scoffing on some cans.

Thursday evening was blazin’ and on Friday, I was heading in the opposite direction for the weekend, across west to Galway to see herself and have a night out with a few mates.

As I suffered a torturous bus journey in the blistering heat (the only time I choose not to drive down, I have nobody to blame but myself), I began to think in hope.

‘Please let it be sunny again tomorrow because – feck The Barge, there’s only two places I want to be when the sun is shining in Ireland’.

For two and a half hours, I concocted my ultimate summer playlist, starting strongly with ‘Sun Is Shining’ the remix of the Bob Marley classic, rocking out the middle bit with ‘Here Comes The Summer’ by The Undertones, before finishing off with ‘Waterfall’ by The Stone Roses.

Before I had hit Athlone, my stupid phone was dead so I decided to spend the remainder of the journey thinking about all the red-hot summers we had in Ireland.

That took me all of 30 seconds so instead I just fell asleep. 

I love an auld lie-in on a weekend morning but that wasn’t the case this Saturday. Up at 10 O’Clock, a quick omelette was thrown into the belly and we packed a Frisbee and some sandwiches and headed for Salthill. 

Once you walk past the leisure centre and the two hotels and watch the cars scramble through the car park looking for a space, you can understand why the place is so busy.

It’s literally heaven on earth on a place like today. It’s a cheaper tourist version of Dingle. A place filled with queues for Ed Sheeran when he recorded Galway Girl.

Speaking of songs named Galway Girl, much like you can’t go to mass without blessing yourself, you cannot the a stroll down the Salthill Prom without kicking the wall at the end. 

And it’s this extremely noticeable beauty on this sunny day that makes it even tens time harder to believe that something so stunning can be so scary at another time of the year.

If you don’t believe us, ask Teresa Mannion. 

We sunbathed for a while in between watching people run in and out of the sea and young ones building sandcastles and crying about getting an ice-cream (or not).

The Frisbee was a fecking disaster, my aim was so terrible that you’d think I’d have had a few pints already.

So we scrapped that idea and went up town to get a beach ball. But on the way we couldn’t resist stopping into The Creamery Cafe for a scoop.

Their ice-cream is the business. Scrap the cone, a big oreo scoop in a tub with a spoon, job done.

We felt bad getting anymore because we had just had breakfast and had sandwiches packed for a picnic. 

But, deep down, we were both waiting for just one of us to say ‘fancy another?’

We decided to set up camp on the green during our kick-about and after a quick game of ‘penalties’, we were back sunbathing again.

Then, we got the call. 

‘Spanish Arch, grab cans’.

We had started walking before the phone call ended.

We used to come to these two places so often when we were in college that we became lazy, we wouldn’t even pronounce the full name. You’d get texts saying ‘Shill?’, ‘Sparch?’, ‘We go Sparching’ (the last one may or may not have a question mark at the end, depending on what time of the year it was and how busy everyone was).

There’s always plenty of room at Spanish Arch. The more the merrier, just clean up after yourself and maybe bring some bread in case any creatures float by and they start eyeing up your cans. 

Spanish Arch is the heart of Galway for me. You’re close to town and the hustle and bustle of Shop Street. You’re surrounded by great places to eat and you’re not too far gone if you want to head back down in the Dominick Street or Salthill direction. 

The day flew by. We had the craic, drank a few tasty cans, passed around the ball, joked about how ‘you’d need factor 50 in this heat’ before realising that our necks and noses were starting to turn the colour of the sun. 

We only decided to head when we felt the chill on our shoulders, it was time to find the nearest beer garden then to continue our day out which was now turning into a night out which we were leaving unplanned for the moment. 

The only way to spend an Irish summer’s day.

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