Wednesday, 15 March 2017

To “A Road Across The Sea”

Last Sunday saw our first day trip of 2017. 
As usual the pull of the West and the sea took us to the coast. Now the weather forecast was not good and the temperature was in single figures, 8 deg C. It was overcast with fine rain, however experience has taught me that in Ireland forecasts are not that accurate because of the various factors involved, so we went off regardless. 
When we left the wind was blowing from the North-east and by the time we were half way it was from the South.

Our first stop was Portumna Forest Park where Toby (dog) and Mrs H stretched their legs and I opened up the picnic box for brunch and a cup of coffee. 
It was here that my eyes fell upon this delightful Silver Birch which seemed to glow in the sunlight.

The second stop was to photograph the flooded fields that lie in front of Lydacan Castle - Carnmore, Co. Galway.
Lydacan was an O'Heynes fortress in South Galway from the 14th century and Lydacan or Lydican Castle was the residence of the Lynch family in the 1770s. The Ordnance Survey records that the building was the “substantial residence of Mr. Gunning" in the 1830s. Lydacan Castle was purchased by Martin O'Flaherty in the mid-19th century and was subsequently sold by him to James Greated. It was burnt in 1922 and left in ruins. 

Our final destination, Traught Strand near Kinvara, in Co. Galway was reached and a chill wind blew strongly under a clear blue sky. After a brisk walk to watch the waves it felt good to be sitting in a wind proof vehicle, hot coffee in hand, looking out on the ever changing views of distant Connemara, Barna and Salthill.

The notice board reads:
“A Road Across The Sea”
Young St. Ciarán studied under St. Enda on the Aran Islands. 
Once ready to establish his own monastery, he and his monks travelled along a miraculous road which opened up on the seabed to Traught Beach.
Ciarán later travelled inland to the banks of the river Shannon in what is now County Offaly and founded Clonmacnoise, which became one of Irelands’ most famous seats of learning.

In the past pilgrims spent the eve of Garland Sunday praying besides St. Cairáns Bed behind the beach. In the morning the crawled on hands and knees to wash themselves in the sea before enjoying music, dancing, singing and boat racing.”

Here he is that bold young lad
St. Ciarán

On the horizon is Connemara

I love the ever changing colours of the sea.

Three brave and daring wind surfers entertained us oldies as we watched from the warmth and safety of our cars!

Finally before signing off I wish to draw your attention to 
Rescue 116 helicopter tragedy that took place off shore of Co Mayo
in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, and her crew Mark Duffy, Ciarán Smith
and Paul Ormsby.
Were lost.
Please hold them and their families in your thoughts.


  1. A beautiful set of photographs, but an awful accident

    1. Thanks for the compliment and yes terrible for all concerned.

  2. Tragic accident. Will hold the families close in thought and prayer.

  3. Hi Mel - I heard about the tragic accident ... especially as they were out to rescue people - desperately sad for them and their families.

    Love the story line here - the road across the sea ... for you the road to the sea - Ireland is stunning ... great to see the photos - cheers Hilary

  4. Thank you for your concern Hilary.

    Am glad that you enjoyed the photos of our day trip.

  5. I can easily understand why this island appealed to you, Melvyn!! Another fantastic road trip and more fascinating and also deeply sad stories of people long gone and people very recently gone. They know the risks they take, but they do it anyway!!! Brave and loving. Unselfish. I hope their families will get the support they need!! Poor people.....but the world turns to the better every time a person goes beyond themselves for another, sad end, never the less!! So many, so young.
    Thank you for sharing this, Melvyn, all of it!!

    1. Yes FT I would expect you to see a connection between the two posts and you did. Just one detail wrong: for where we were was a beach on a peninsula and not an island.
      I just hope that the bodies of the three missing crew members are retrieved so that a proper closure can be made.

    2. I hope so too, Mel, Sweden still have the wounds to heal after the sinking of Estonia, 900 lives were lost and the ship was never salvaged. This was 1994, the actual spot is today a sanctuary, but many of the bodies are still in the boat and that has caused much pain for people.
      The beach of the peninsula, yes, I can see that now. But I was actually thinking of your love for Ireland, the island of islands!!!

  6. Lovely photos and legends to go with them, Mel. I too can see why you love it there and the colours of the sea are beautiful! I'm so very sorry to hear of the tragic accident. What an awful irony that they were going to rescue others sad!

    1. The country is shocked by this accident - thanks for your comments Val

  7. I have read this and the news of the helicopter crash leaves me too sad to say anything more.

  8. Your sea pictures are beautiful and I too love just watching the sea, but the picture of the Silver Birch is stunning, almost ethereal. The terrible accident of the rescue crew was widely reported on here. We watched with such sadness as it the full tragedy unfolded. Such brave and good people.

  9. And it would appear the sun indeed made an appearance!

    1. It did and does from time to time in between the showers of rain :-) ! !


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