The cool of the old cottage at Meenasillagh was a welcome retreat from the midday sun. Looking out, the window frames views of the mountain behind. A three kilometre hike across the mountains leads to Glenlough, a valley that can only be reached by foot. While staying there we entranced by the stories we heard about this almost mythical place.
In the valley there are the ruins of three cottages. We can only imagine the brutally harsh lives of the families that once lived there. One local person told me that the quickest way back to their homes would have been by boat to Port and from there a three hour steep mountain hike along Slievetooey.
At the mouth of the valley is the breathtakingly beautiful Glenlough Bay. It is one of the most remote and inaccessible locations on mainland Ireland, on the edge of Ireland’s last great wilderness. The bay stretches two kilometres and is one of the countries largest raised shingle storm beaches guarded by steep sided 250 metre high slopes of scree and cliffs and huge sea stacks. The only way down to the beach is with climbing ropes.
Glenlough has had some famous visitors over the years. The Poet Dylan Thomas and US artist Rockwell Kent both looking for isolation, spend time there in the 20's and 30's. Almost 200 years before, Bonnie Prince Charlie, spent "twelve-month and a day" there with a servant, waiting for a boat to France.
We did try once to reach the glen but we left it too late in the day and the climb was much steeper than we imagined and we had to turn back. So for now Glenlough is only a dream, but we vowed to come back and make it all the way another time.
Original collage, watercolour and mixed media.
Unframed with a soft white mount. 39cm x 31 cm
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