Archive for beara peninsula

Margaret Downey Harrington – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

Margaret Downey Harrington – Castletownbere, West Cork.

I’ve been involved in the fishing industry all my life, my father was a fisherman and my grandfather and great grandfather were fishermen. I’ve always had a deep connection with the sea.

A cherished memory from childhood is a practice that fishermen call ‘shading’ and if I close my eyes now I can visualize it as if it were yesterday. A whole lot of things must come together at the right time for it to happen, like getting all the ingredients together to bake a Christmas cake. Firstly, on a low tide, you need a lovely quite, still, peaceful morning, usually in May, with no wind, not even a puff of a baby’s breath,  just stillness. With the particular crystal clear light the water is very clear and you can see right through it, and see the scallops on the sea bed. Fishermen used a tool not unlike a shrimp net to catch them.

I can remember times being out in a boat with my father, the stillness and peacefulness was like time standing still, I couldn’t even talk, I had to be perfectly still and not make a sound. The ‘shading’ could last only half an hour, a slight gentle breeze could come up and the moment would be gone. Its so fickle, so delicate, a moment in time when everything aligns. you would only get a handful of those days in a year, it either happens or it doesn’t, that’s it. Once the breeze comes up the moment is gone.

Coming home with a bag of scallops and cooking them in their shell with a knob of butter on an open fire was the perfect way to end the perfect day.’

 

Teddy Black – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

Teddy Black – Castletownbere, West Cork.

The thing I love doing most of all is story telling because its an escape from reality but it is also very entertaining for people. I’ve been telling stories since childhood. My grandmother had a restaurant and boarding house. People from all over Ireland stayed there, including lighthouse keepers and fishermen and it was from listening to their stories that I developed an interest in story telling.

Beara has a great tradition of story telling and is a great source for stories. I tell stories about the everyday, funny characters, local history, tragedies at sea and ancient mythology. International visitors are fascinated by Irish mythology, as far back as Cú Chulainn and stories of what Ireland was like in the past and the changes that have happened.

Story telling is a way of preserving an oral history, a way of connecting to the past and bringing to life events that would otherwise be forgotten, such as tragic events that took place on the Calf Rock, off Dursey Island in the mid 1800’s when the locals on Dursey thought they saw a distress signal from the Calf Lighthouse during a storm. Seven men set out in an open boat, a huge wave capsized the boat and all seven were drowned.’

 

 

 

Peadar Lowney – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

Peadar Lowney – Castletownbere, West Cork.

My perfect day would start with a walk from the castle at Dunboy, up into the woods to the harbour mouth to where you can sit on a rock looking out across to the Ardnakinna Lighthouse on Bere Island, watching gulls, seals and ships passing in and out. Further south you can see Mizen and Sheep’s Head and on a fine evening the Fastnet Lighthouse comes into view. To the south west are the Piper Rocks and the Black Ball Headland.

After that the day can’t go wrong as I head home for breakfast. Later I might stroll along the pier watching the fishermen mending their nets. Lunch could be in one of the local restaurants followed by a few pints in O Shea’s.

In summer I’d travel further afield, heading out to Allihies or on to Ardgroom to walk from the village up to Glenbeg lake, the sister lake to Glanmore lake on the Healy Pass. Time passes and I’m still discovering new places to visit on the peninsula.’

 

Brid Hanley – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

Brid Hanley – Castletownbere, West Cork.

Summer holidays are my favourite memories from childhood. I was born on a farm near Kealkill. On sunny days we would go swimming in the river with our friends and not come home till evening, we had the run of the place, free to do as we pleased. At other times we would have to help out on the farm, milking cows and odd jobs. On the weekends we would go to local festivals and funfairs. I loved Irish dancing and would enter compititions in the local area, winning a few tropies and medals.

Another favourite memory was when my daughter was born, seeing her for the first time I felt ecstatic, and when she smiled up at me, that was it, I was hooked on this bundle of joy in my arms.

I love living out here on the Beara Peninsula, surrounded by the sea and the rugged beauty of the landscape, striking seascapes and big skies draw you further out along the peninsula to discover more of its secrets, its a magical place to live.’

 

Sandra O’Shea – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

Sandra O’Shea – Castletownbere, West Cork.

My favourite view on the Beara is coming home along the road from Ardrigole with the peninsula stretched out ahead of me. The sea on my left with Bere Island in the distance, the formidable Hungry Hill on my right with its great barren rock buttresses.

This is home and these are my people, a people full of warmth and kindness, no matter how many tragedies, everybody pulls together and are there to help, nobody is forgotten about.

My favourite quote is – Love and kindness are never wasted, they always make a difference, they bless the one who receives them and they also bless the giver. Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness, every act creates a ripple with no logical end.’ 

 

Sheila O’Driscoll – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project – 

Sheila O’Driscoll – Castletownbere, West Cork.

One of my favourite memories is of the first RNLI lifeboat coming into Castletownbere. It took a lot of work for it to happen and it was a very emotional time as my daughter who had helped enormously to make it happen was dying of cancer, she survived until the following March.

In time my son became the Cox of the lifeboat and at one time I had 3 grandchildren on the crew. The whole family has had a great connection with the RNLI. My husband had been a Cox in Baltimore before we came to live in Castletownbere and my brother in law was honorary secretary of the first lifeboat’.

 

Lizzie Reid – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

Lizzie Reid – Castletownbere, West Cork.

What inspires me is kindness and gratitude in other people . I notice that if you are helpful and friendly to others it brightens up their lifes . People treat you as you treat them, empathy and compassion are powerful and very important emotions.

It gives me belief in future generations to see it develop in my own children, if I can instil in them to give gratitude and be grateful, and to seek goodness in others.

There’s always someone worse off, be thankful for what we have today, for tomorrow it might be gone.’

 

Siobhán Murphy – Castletownbere, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way – 

Siobhán Murphy – Castletownbere, West Cork.

If I had a day off, my perfect day would be to take the coast road on a sunny day from Allihies to Eyeries, taking a detour to visit the sea arches, a hidden gem that most people don’t know about. Its like heaven on earth and so peaceful looking out on the ocean, with Scariff and Deenish Islands and the Skelligs in the distance. The north shore of Beara is probably one of the most spectacular, breathtaking drives in the world. Other beautiful places to visit are Kilcatherine Point, Glenbeg Lough, Hungry Hill and the Mares Tail Waterfall.

I’m third generation working in Murphy’s Restaurant in the town and these are the places, when I have time, to escape to and reconnect with nature in these quite corners of the peninsula, out in the middle of nowhere, far from the hustle and bustle of the town. Perfect.’

 

Pat Murphy – Castletownbere, West Cork.

~INVITATION ~ PEOPLE OF CASTLETOWNBERE PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION.

The wonderful people of Castletownbere would like to invite everybody to the exhibition launch of portrait photograph’s of local people tomorrow night, Sat, 24th at 7pm in St, Peter’s Churchyard in the centre of the town.

I would like to thank everybody from Castletownbere for all their help and assistance during my time in the town, especially those that took part in the exhibition and Castletownbere Development Ass, for organising the photo shoots and for putting the exhibition together. I would also like to thank SuperValu and Celtic Sea Minerals for their very kind sponsorship of the exhibition, It is greatly appreciated.

The photograph is of Pat Murphy, the oldest fisherman in Castletownbere, an amazing man and a real legend in the town. This is his story – 

Pat Murphy – 

I started fishing at 13 years of age in open boats with a crew of three. We fished winter and summer in all kinds of weather. From October to March we fished for scallops, two rowing the boat and the third man looking after the dredge, by God you had muscles from pulling oars for six months. The scallops were bagged and shipped to Billingsgate Market in London. In summer we would fish for lobsters and crabs. To make the pots we would go to the mountains to cut hazel and sally rods. I use to make four pots a day.

Besides the fishing we all had a bit of land to grow our own vegetables and potatoes. Come September, those of us who had a pig or a cow would slaughter them, butcher and salt the pieces and put them in a barrel, there they would be left for 6/8 weeks, they would then be hard dried or smoked, we would also salt fish.

The best life advice I could give anybody is to be able to negotiate with people, to work together, not against each other. That is the secret to success. My university was living in the real world – the university of life. I was born in 1928, I’m now 88 and still go out fishing.

Some people when they make money, they get greedy and they never have enough, and I can never get an answer to know – how much is enough. Enough is never enough to some people, greed is a terrible thing.’

 

Gerard Murphy, Dursey Island, Co, Cork.

People Of The Wild Atlantic Way – Gerard Murphy, Dursey Island, Co, Cork.

 

 

 

Glengarriff Bay, West Cork –

Click photo to enlarge - Glengarriff Bay, West Cork -  'Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly..................' This shot was taken at dawn just as the sun came up over the horizon and lit up the whole bay ...
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Exhibition – Organico Restaurant, Bantry.

Click photo to enlarge -  Exhibition at Organico Restaurant, Bantry A big thank you to Hannah & Rachel for staging a mini exhibition of 6 of my landscape photographs at their beautiful restaurant in Bantry. I would also like to thank Catherine Weld for curating the exhibition. If you are ...
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Gougane Barra, West Cork.

St, Finbarr's Oratory, Gougane Barra, West Cork -  As part of the People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project I have started to include landscape photographs of signature locations found along the West Coast of Ireland and the 2,500km route of the Wild Atlantic Way. I hope that you ...
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Trinny Phillips – Schull, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project -  Trinny Phillips - Schull, West Cork. 'Enjoy the little things in life for one day you'll look back and realise they were the big things.'  This is a saying my mom once told me, and I think it took me leaving ...
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John Paul Carroll – Schull, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project -  John Paul Carroll - Schull, West Cork. 'You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water' ...
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Caitlin Frances Hurley – Schull, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project -  Caitlin Frances Hurley - Schull, West Cork. 'You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.' ...
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Jim Carrig – Schull, West Cork

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project -  Jim Carrig - Schull, West Cork. 'May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours where ever you may roam.' ...
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David Beale – Ballydehob, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project -  David Beale - Ballydehob, West Cork. A poem by author unknown inspired me..... 'I suppose you could say there was a distinctive kind of spirit in this home. Yes, I'm sure there was. It was the spirit of kindness, patience, loveliness, ...
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Jodi Thomas – Schull, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project - Jodi Thomas - Schull, West Cork. 'Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; Forget them as soon as you can, Tomorrow is a new day; Begin ...
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John Murray – Schull, West Cork.

People of the Wild Atlantic Way Photography Project -  John Murray - Schull, West Cork. 'I am at my most happiest when I am grateful. Unfortunately this does not happen enough as I know I have much to be grateful for. It is always the difficult life events that make ...
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