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Kissing gate on Cape Clear aims to set hearts a-fluttering

September 4th, 2021 10:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Author Anne Griffin gives her husband James Lowry a smooch at the new kissing gate on Cape Clear Island, while being serenaded by Fiachra Ó Tóirne.

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BEST-SELLING author Anne Griffin took a passionate approach to the launch of a new kissing gate on Cape Clear Island.

Anne – who has been visiting relatives on the island for more than a quarter of a century – is always happy to promote Cape Clear.

The kissing gate – so-called because the last person through is supposed to demand a kiss from the person following behind – has recently been added to the island’s red loop walk.

The gate is actually designed to allow people, but not livestock, to pass through, but Anne took the opportunity to plant a smacker on the lips of her husband James Lowry.

The couple were happily serenaded by musician Fiachra Ó Tóirne and they took the time too to enjoy a cocktail made from Cape Clear Gin. There are two extremely popular walking trails on Cape Clear, the 4km red loop, which is set well back from the cliffs on the southern side of the island, and a 3km green loop that goes through the centre of the island.

They start and finish at the tourist office in the north harbour so most walkers find themselves naturally drawn to complete them both.

The original term ‘kissing gate’ is not as romantic as one would assume. Research shows it is actually a technical, engineering term.

It refers to the hanging of gates in such a way that they would always close of their own accord when you passed through.

The idea is that the central gate would touch the surrounding bars or fence, hence the ‘kiss.’

Technical or not, it could start a whole new tradition on Cape Clear Island.

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