If an islander's name alone is enough to distinguish him it is used
by itself, and I know one man who is spoken of as Eamonn. There may
be other Edmunds on the island, but if so they have probably good
nicknames or epithets of their own.
In other countries where the names are in a somewhat similar
condition, as in modern Greece, the man's calling is usually one of
the most common means of distinguishing him, but in this place,
where all have the same calling, this means is not available.
Late this evening I saw a three-oared curagh with two old women in
her besides the rowers, landing at the slip through a heavy roll.
They were coming from Inishere, and they rowed up quickly enough
till they were within a few yards of the surf-line, where they spun
round and waited with the prow towards the sea, while wave after
wave passed underneath them and broke on the remains of the slip.
Five minutes passed; ten minutes; and still they waited with the
oars just paddling in the water, and their heads turned over their
I was beginning to think that they would have to give up and row
round to the lee side of the island, when the curagh seemed suddenly
to turn into a living thing.