Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: Irish Times, August 20 2011

The Trawlerman

IT’S 3.45AM AND not a soul is stirring in Kinsale. As our jeep crunches to a halt on the roadside, the headlights reveal a lone heron wading in the tide below. Shane Murphy bounds down the gangway and boards Aurora Borealis, a 35ft inshore trawler he has skippered for six years.

He flicks a light switch in the wheelhouse and fires up the diesel engine. Mike McCarthy, his crewman, busies himself with the moorings. Our passage out of Kinsale this morning will be with the help of a baffling array of technologies: Decca plotter, echo sounder, radar, Sodena plotter, autopilot, GPS and compass.

“I might also look out of the window occasionally,” adds the skipper, deadpan. Read the rest of this article here.

October 22nd, 2017.

15 Responses to “The Trawlerman”

  1. TAD Says:

    Really excellent….

  2. Huff Says:

    Great piece. Ensign Dubheasa Ní Cionnach looks tasty.

  3. Eoin Says:

    Thanks lads. Re: Dubheasa. She was definitely the best looking person on that boat, I’ll say that.

  4. Ponyo Says:

    Video was a nice wee addition.

  5. sean Says:

    That navy lady is seriously fit. Check out her facebook [edit: Jesus, I’m going to stop you right there, Sean – E.B.]

  6. darragh Says:

    Really nice piece man. Liked the way you tied in Arthur McBride throughout. Out of curiosity, did you decide to bring that in when you were writing on the boat? Or afterwards?

  7. Eoin Says:

    On the boat. It’s one of my favourite songs in the world and one that (along with The Lakes of Pontchartrain) I am sometimes prevailed upon to sing at Christmas.

    The similarity between what he does and what a freelance journalist does was the first thing that occurred to me. (I assumed the Irish Times would edit that bit out, but they didn’t.)

    That was summed up in the “although we may be single and free” verse. Then working backwards, I realised the lyrics of the song chimed with the story in lots of other ways.

    I actually considered singing the “although we may be single and free” verse out loud along with him as we were heading home, in order that I could (honestly) write that I had done so. But I would have looked like a total spa.

  8. sarah Says:

    Since your answering questions Mr Butler. About the woman whose name I’m not going to try to spell. Are those your hands writing in the notebook in the video? and if so did you say “Alright sweetheart” as she’s getting off the boat??

  9. Eoin Says:

    @ Sarah – No clue what I said, but I’m sure it wasn’t “alright sweetheart”.

  10. sarah Says:

    Okay I’ve listened again (yes I have no life) and now I think what you said was “Alright see-ye lads.” Which is not much better. I’m sure the glamorous Ensign Dubheasa Ní Cionnach doesn’t like being called a “lad”.

  11. Eoin Says:

    If you listen to it backwards, I also have nice things to say about my bud Satan.

  12. Julie Says:

    Lovely piece Eoin, really well written.

  13. Dermot Says:

    Amazing story dude.

  14. The Lonesome Boatman | Tripping Along The Ledge Says:

    […] Comments are here. Photo by Michael MacSweeney. […]

  15. Charlesecomi Says:

    “I haven’t seen you in these parts,” the barkeep said, sidling during to where I sat. “Designation’s Bao.” He stated it exuberantly, as if solemn word of honour of his exploits were shared by way of settlers around multifarious a firing in Aeternum.

    He waved to a unimpassioned tun apart from us, and I returned his gesture with a nod. He filled a field-glasses and slid it to me across the stained red wood of the bench first continuing.

    “As a betting fellow, I’d be assenting to wager a honourable bit of invent you’re in Ebonscale Reach on the side of more than the carouse and sights,” he said, eyes glancing from the sword sheathed on my with it to the capitulate slung across my back.


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