Wind On My Face

The sight of Dun Laoghaire in the morning

Ship approaching through undulating sea

Fresh wind on our faces in that dawning

Ireland gives welcome now to me


Quiet harbour open arms to greet us

Ireland still rising from its bed

Bacon egg toast and tea to feed us

Sugar Loaf Mountain showing us its head


Another world is this we see each summer

Like rising from the dead on Easter Day

Old Holyhead in the dark we did a runner

And slept till dawn and the brightness of the bay


Another land another place entirely

Behind us now the mills of Lancashire

Ahead a train that travels ever westward

To mammy’s land and boxty by the fire


Will heaven be like this I often wonder

A land so very different yet the same

A place of sunny days and ocean breezes

And battleships – shall we play the game?


Brian Fahy

1 June 2022


+ I crossed the Irish Sea every year for most of my life. Childhood holiday crossings were made from Holyhead in Wales to Dun Laoghaire harbour, south of Dublin. The ship sailed at 3.30am to arrive in Ireland around 8 in the morning. We boarded and left in darkness and arrived in the light of morning into a totally different world. For a child such an experience was magical. Going to Ireland, travelling west, going home to my mother’s place has been a foundational factor in my life.

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