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Move Over Fungie?

Goat on Conor Pass The sun has been blazing down in Dingle. Well, sort of. The weather has been stupendous up until today, and that means that farmers have been burning gorse to clear pasture up on the hills before the seasonal ban comes into effect. According to a friend, there were more than 100 fires in the Dingle area yesterday.

Dingle in smokeDingle in smokeThe smoke, oddly enough, had no intention of rising and floating away. Instead, it meandered down into town, where it settled in and made itself at home. The photo on the right was taken in the middle of the afternoon, and it sure was murky.

So what do you do if you want to take a stroll? We drove up to the fresh mountain air at the top of Conor Pass.

There, in the parking lot, we were greeted by a goat. Yes, indeed, she (I think it was a she, even though she had a beard) trotted up to the car and bleated for attention. She looked to be feral (Dingle used to be known for wild goats) and seemed somewhat arthritic, which is perhaps why she was hanging around looking for handouts. I sadly didn’t have any ice cream on me, but an apple core, tossed from a passing car, interested her greatly.

Goat on hillShe didn’t much like to be petted, perhaps because one horn appeared to be damaged and was wrapped close to her head, so we left her and headed up the hill. She bleated a few times and then followed.

We walked, and she trotted along behind for the first 500 meters or so, before she became distracted by an especially tasty patch of grass. She raised her head and bleated out an invitation for us to join in the grazing, but we politely declined and kept walking.

GoatWhen we returned, she was back in the parking lot, scaring a car-full of tourists who were put off by her over-eager approach. I tried to pet her again. She butted away my hand, maybe offended that we had spurned her grazing invitation.

If she sticks around, she could become a permanent fixture on the Conor Pass like Fungie in Dingle Bay. I’d say she would take some getting used to, however, to judge by the haste with which the tourists drove off and by my slightly sore hand. Maybe those folks in Killorglin know what they are doing, sticking their goat high up on a pedestal, but I don’t know. A goat up close and personal is kind of fun.

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7 Responses to “Move Over Fungie?”

  1. February 16th, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Rachel@fairycakeheaven says:

    Goats are terrifying! It’s those marble like eyes they have going on!!! Give me fungi or even a sheep any day!

  2. February 18th, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Sarah says:

    A friend of mine has a pet goat called Hillary. She’s an eating machine and they have a nice “natural lawn” thanks to her. Funny out!!!

  3. February 18th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Kieran says:

    Maybe I should talk to this one and see if she’d be willing to come off the mountain now and then to do a little work. I hate mowing the lawn!

  4. February 18th, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Willie says:

    That sure looks like a beautiful walk.

  5. February 19th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Sarah says:

    I’m sure she wouldn’t protest too much if offered a chocolaty treat at the end of each working day. Sounds like a win win situation to me…

  6. February 19th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    TACE says:

    I like the look of this goat, she has an honest face.

  7. February 23rd, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Rebecca (Sallygardens Smallholding - living sustainably in rural Ireland) says:

    I think she looks like a beut. With those markings she could have a little domestic goat in her make up … toggenberg.

    We have 3 goats and they are the most beautiful creatures, loyal like dogs, very affectionate. If you get the right goat they are a real asset to the smallholder … think about all that healthy easy digestible milk she could offer you for the healthy option goats milk ice cream!!!

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Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Murphys Ice Cream

Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).