Wisdom on Clare Island

An old man on Clare Island years ago

Spoke of his relation with the land

He lived on a small holding

He knew the plants he grew

He knew his dogs and donkey

They were all his crew

And books he had a-plenty

To teach him history

And isolation taught him

Compassion and charity


And here are we in foolishness

Once again at war

Careless of our neighbours

Putin has gone too far

But all of us have roles to play

And not the blaming game

Put an end to fighting

Let’s begin again


On the night before he died

A final lesson greet

Jesus with a towel

Washes disciples’ feet

Drives it home with words so clear

Do you see what I have done

Give each other service now

Greet the rising sun


Brian Fahy

14 April 2022


+ On the RTE website today I came across an archive clip of Michael Joe O’Malley (1914-1988) and his life on Clare Island. He spoke about how a small farmer lives in relationship with his land, and has relationship with plants and animals: something that cannot happen when large farms are set us as businesses. He also spoke about how the quiet and silence can help us discover compassion and real charity.

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