In Grandpa’s footsteps on the shores of Carlingford Lough, Ireland

Hannah Louise Summers uses a new ferry service – a lake crossing on which her grandfather once worked – to explore both sides of Carlingford Lough, which straddles the Irish border

Every school holiday was the same. For hours we’d trundle south from Belfast in my grandpa’s battered blue minibus – a journey dotted with punctures, Werther’s Originals and mugs of tea. We’d cross the border, stop for a loaf of bread and a scratchcard, and finally pull into Omeath, the small village on Carlingford Lough where my grandpa grew up.

Here, on a hill overlooking the water, granny and grandpa had a pea-green static caravan. Trapped in the claustrophobic web of its net curtains, I’d make the most of my holiday, playing shop with anyone who’d pop in. Sometimes I’d wander down to the shore, lose my hard-hustled coppers to a tiny room of slot machines, or throw some pebbles in the lough – the lough where Grandpa first wooed Granny when she was here on her holidays; the lough where Grandpa worked as a ferryman.

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