On a frosty, early February morning with snow in the mountains, I set out on my walk along the banks of the River Moy in Ballina from the Salmon Weir Bridge to the Quay, passing along my route reminders of an unfinished canal that Georgian-era visionaries dreamed would link the town to Lough Conn. It […]
Like the Dead Sea parting for Moses, the ocean had obligingly receded so we could scramble down the cliff and over the steep stairways of shell encrusted sea ledges to the cathedral cave beneath Downpatrick Head that frames one of the most exciting vistas in Ireland. I was about to say it’s a view to […]
Below me Portacloy’s golden strand, from where I had set out on my trek over Benwee Head (An Bhinn Bhuí), sparkled under a September sun and all around stretched the epic landscape of the North Mayo cliffs; the dizzying heights, at once, an awe-inspiring and terrifying experience. On this beautiful morning, there was no better […]
A sunny day this summer is as rare as a winter swallow. So a sapphire sky, sprinkled with puffy white clouds, sailing over Ballina, was a call to motor west to the wilds of Ballycroy to once more recharge the batteries along the Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail, a sliver of Mayo blanket bog between mountain […]
Nature is taking advantage of the absence of human activity during Lockdown; left unchecked by the hand of man there is an explosion of wildness even in urban areas like Ballina.
An early morning walk took me into a foggy, mysterious world of curious shapes, faint silhouettes and a monochrome, wintry landscape not yet warmed by the rising sun.
Only the lyrical words of a poet could give meaning to the sad origins of Bunlahinch Clapper Bridge by the coast near Killeen, south of Louisburgh, a unique relic among Irish bridges and a reminder of a sad episode in Mayo’s tragic past.
The words hauntingly beautiful perfectly describe the Doolough Valley, evoking the natural wonder of this remote glacial scene of towering mountains and brooding lake that is forever scarred by the memory of the men, women and children who were left to die there during the Great Famine.
We miss so much that past generations loved – the walk along a quiet country road or boreen. Following the green line as I like to call it – that mossy band of worn grass flecked with cheerful daisies unfolding down the centre of the quiet byway inviting the walker to stroll further into the […]
Ballycastle, the gateway village to the wild wilderness that is North Mayo, has one of the most scenic looped walks in Ireland.