A brisk south-westerly lifted the menagerie of cartoon character kites over the crescent of Trawmore strand in Keel. Giant-sized, inflatable kites rising, trailing, bobbing and dancing in a colourful aerial carnival under a sun-warmed Achill island. Above the throngs, a dazzlingly blue and white sky of sun and cloud was dotted with vibrantly coloured […]
We had a magical start to our journey to the Inishkea Islands from Blacksod. Shortly after leaving the harbour, we were joined by a school of playful dolphins swimming alongside and in front of the boat escorting us into the broad waters of the bay. The dozen or so dolphins whizzed through the waves at […]
It’s early July and the tall and elegant foxgloves are in bloom along hedgerows and wild places all over Mayo. Its bright purple, bell-like flowers make the foxglove one of the most imposing and opulent of all our native wildflowers and its medicinal properties are used to treat heart failure. The foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) loves […]
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. When I first passed through the Doolough Valley […]
If there was a competition for the most beautiful wall in Mayo surely it would be hard to beat the dry stone wall at the entrance to Enniscoe House and Gardens nature trail when the fairy foxglove turns the structure into a vertical flower garden in early summer. The lengthy dry spell we have enjoyed […]
That lovely blue haze returned to Belleek Wood at Easter. The bluebells in bloom along the Fairy Trail burst into life at the first hint of spring warmth. A flood of native bluebells hazed the vista in a misty blue cloud along the winding forest trail; a scene that spoke of a timeless and magical […]
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 […]
When James Henry Casserly who was the first Station Master in Killala Railway Station was leaving in 1894, the people of Killala and Ballycastle came together to present him with a pocket watch as a token of the high esteem in which the community held the Galway native. Now 125 years later, the pocket watch, […]
March brings both the promise of summer and sharp reminders of winter. Icy cold north westerlies, not unexpected here in mid-March, brought snow to the mountain tops ahead of Storm Gareth. And so an unusually mild winter gave way to three days of mad March weather. Nephin, Ireland’s highest standalone mountain, is often a giant […]
It’s early March and Nephin is snow-capped once more. But just a few days ago February borrowed from early summer to present us with a delightful week of warm sunshine. Turlough Park looked magnificent – shafts of light streaming through the bare trees bringing a warm glow to the plentiful clumps of shaded snowdrops, daffodils […]
Hunched down, seeking shelter behind a tall boulder from the bitingly cold wind and rain, I watched the surfers, a few hundred metres off Kilcummin pier, bobbing up and down in a wild sea – their chase for the perfect wave had brought them to North Mayo. On this bone-chilling February afternoon, surfers waited in […]
The weather forecaster said changeable in the west with scattered showers and sunshine. Along Enniscrone promendade and coastal walk it was blowing a rain-laced gale. In a brief break from the squalls, the greyness cleared with a burst of sunlight in a blue sky. A magnificent rainbow appeared – a perfect multicoloured circular arc over […]
The Crescent moon hung over Ballina to the south sinking between Venus and Jupiter both planets bleached out in the creeping light of a new dawn. In those magical minutes between darkness and daylight, the sky on this frosty late January morning was that deep blue that heralds a new dawn. Completing the serene scene, […]
There’s nothing so exicting and unpredictable as the natural wonders that surround us. Like the energy and randomness of waves crashing onto the shore. Atlantic ocean waves can change very quickly from mere ripples into storm driven curling monster walls of water that break in an explosion of spray and foam over clifftops like Downpatrick […]
Cong Wood is one of Mayo’s temperate rainforests – typical of lush, green and mostly deciduous woodlands found along the wet and mild Atlantic coastal counties of Ireland and the UK. These beautiful native and ancient woodlands are commonly known as Celtic Rainforests where nature abounds.
As we approach the centenary Armistice Day commemoration here in Ballina, I am glad to report by the strangest of coincidences that we can shine some light on the fate of one of those young men whose name is inscribed on the Great War Remembrance Monument at Green Park, Ballina.