Pat Shingleton: "Turf Cutting and Beast Watching"
In Ireland, "if you see the mountains, it's about to rain, if you can't-it's raining." As noted in a previous column, many "cut the turf," setting it aside to dry in the warm sun as the peat is later used as a heat source. Placed in the fireplace, the "clamp of turf" has a pleasant aroma. On this date in 1968, in Connemara, Steven Coyne, with his family of seven, was collecting peat and noticed a 12-foot long beast with a long, slender neck, no eyes, two snail like antennae, black skin and two humps on its back with a flat tail. In 1954, a Connemara librarian, Belinda Finnegan, sister of local dignitary, Thomas "Junior" Finnegan, saw a similar creature while fishing with Kevin Kimble and Tim O'Brien.