By Chris O’Donovan
Last Thursday was supposed to be a day of celebration in France and many other parts of the world; it was of course Bastille Day. The city of Nice witnessed a horrific day of death and injury to its people, a day that will be remembered by all forever.
On Friday morning I was planning to bring some young anglers fishing on board the wheelyboat, one of whom was a French national that lived only a short distance from Nice. The young man’s name was Benoit Grosjean.
We took off up river and I knew the young man’s hearth was deeply saddened but I could not express my condolences as I do not speak French.
Our day went well and he caught a large perch and he was delighted and wanted to go again next morning. Next morning I had a friend with me who is fluent in French so the young man was delighted.
The day went well with some good fishing and wonderful conversation. I expressed my condolences to the French people and in particular the good people of Nice on behalf of the good people of Fermoy.
I learnt that Benoits’ mother would have brought him to the festival in Nice if he was at home and the reason he was upset the day before was he was trying to contact his family and friends to see if they where all okay and thankfully, they were. He said it was the best fishing and most beautiful river he was ever on and he vowed to come back again.
On our return to the town we took him to the bridge and showed him the salmon jumping and failing to clear the broken weir. That explained to him why there were no salmon to be seen up river. He was pleased to see the French flag in the square. He returned to Nice the next day.
Apologies Benoit if I spelt your name wrong and I know the people of France love liberty and freedom, so it was good and appropriate that you were on board a boat called ‘the spirit of freedom’.
Thank you from Chris, Kipper the Skipper.