The Leenane Hotel sits shyly in a nook by the road that winds circumspectly along the edge of Killary harbour. I passed it with an unsatisfied curiosity for decades. Finally I came to stay.
Inside a hallowed afternoon quiet was broken only by the tinkle of silver plated spoons stirring china tea cups. It was 4 o’clock. Outside a wind raged, clouds scudded and the fjord corralled its white horses where hills fell steeply to the water’s edge.
After check in I climbed the stairs in both directions and wandered off towards the Field Bar.
”… a hallowed afternoon… it was 4 o’clock. Outside a wind raged, clouds scudded and the fjord corralled its white horses…”
As I return to the hotel night falls and the silence lifts. A group of ‘locals’ joins visitors in the hotel bar – wining, dining, drinking craft beer and strong porter. The generations mingle, hours run fast.
Next morning the West sleeps. Under my tiny balcony the fjord lies becalmed. The wind is nowhere to be heard. Quiet, warm sunshine stirs a passion for the unfolding day. Memories form.
The Leenane hotel may not be a place you visit often but in many ways it is a place you never leave.