Featured

10 Of Our Favourite Things To Do On The Aran Islands

For an authentic Irish experience, visiting the Aran Islands is a must. The Irish language is still very much alive, sheep and cows dot the countryside, cars are rarely seen and traditional Irish music and food are found in abundance. The Aran Islands are brilliant for getting off the beaten path and glimpsing real Gaelic…

Featured

Return of the Swans

At long last the swans have returned to the lower lake after being gone since the disastrous storm of 2013. Gliding beautifully like the Children of Lir  on their way to freedom. This part of Aran is worth exploring for it’s hypnotic quality. The diversity of bird life, flora and fauna makes it a worthwhile…

Featured

Mapping Aran Irish: A 25-Year Job!

Over 25 years ago, the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies asked me to document the spoken Irish of Inis Mór in the Aran Islands. No serious study of Inis Mór Irish had been done there since the Danish scholar Holger Pedersen and the German scholar Franz Nikolaus Finck had investigated the dialect in the years…

Featured

Renewel

It is that time of the year after the storms when the local farmers start to collect the seaweed for their fields . Looking at this abundant resource that nature provides one is constantly amazed by the painterly richness, color, tones, and textures. Through the decades Aran has inspired many visual artists to create a…

Featured

Flying into a new dawn

The first days of the new year have bought a reprieve from storms Eva , Desmond, and Frank which battered the western shores with a ferocity few of us can remember.   Having enjoyed a glorious October and November when the island reigned supremely in the beautiful light and unseasonable temperatures we are now paying…

Featured

The Island’s Voice

Another Summer is on the wane.  Though wetter than usual this summer has been a very good one, for I have spent many happy days on each of the Aran Islands.   They have become my special place to roam, to bird-watch, and to daydream.  Each visit brings a new awareness of, and an appreciation…

Featured

5 Things You Must See When You Visit The Aran Islands

Located just off the coast of Galway are the Aran Islands, one of Ireland’s most famous and treasured places. These unspoiled islands attract thousands of tourists each year in search of the Ireland that many thought was lost long ago. Despite their small size, there is so much to see and do on the Aran…

Featured

Ferragosto on Aran

At present we are inundated with Italian and French visitors coming to enjoy the peace, calm, and cool weather we have been having this summer as opposed to the inferno, heat and humidity that they have been experiencing on the continent. I am reminded of an anecdote that a middle eastern guest told us. In…

Featured

Remembering Aran

In Germany, when I sleep in my highrise apartment in the city centre, I dream of Inis Mór. She comes to me in the mind’s eye, approaching me over the horizon, as if I am skimming the Atlantic ocean in flight. She looms before me in Galway bay, the sea foam exploding on her southern flank, while the white…

Featured

Pátrún Festival – Currach Men and Modern Men

I remember years ago reading a story written by the Great Island Author, Liam O Flaherty in which he described the feelings of a newly wedded young man who was going to dig his potatoe ridges for the first time as a married man. He described a really beautiful and urgent picture of this young…

Featured

If Aran was a man ……

Good Morning, At the very heart of this unique and beautiful island is community and the essence of community, is family. If Aran was a man ……

After the move

I certainly do miss it. Farther away than a breath from centuries old fort my former cottage dwelling hardly was. A lovely and quiet spot and just below the top terrace which provides an all-round view over the island too. Dún Chonchúir When one comes, and visit Inis Meáin for a day trip or a…

Lá na ceapaire or the day of the sandwich, New Years’ Day

Even the thrush did not give his early morning concert. Walking under a deep blue sky with some stars still shining brightly from above and a sea with glittering foam caps beside me the strong wind was my only companion. Rough weather It seemed as if there were even more winds involved for whatever direction…

Early November

Embedded in a pale blue sky the few clouds are shaped like feathers of a seabird. Pointed southwards they are strongly driven by the wind coming from the north and blowing over Inis Meáin. It is cold this early morning but it is dry and that is the main thing. A fair day may lie…

Bewildered

On a fair day you can spot her coming, even from far way out. She, banríon na farraige or queen of the sea. Well, a queen she definitely is but in her own right, I would say. The way for example she presents herself, every morning and every evening, is endearing; with a straightened back…

Polar Circle

It is only with hesitation that I close the curtains to let her go. A glorious day it was So it was The day has been a glorious one. Like a souvenir the various shades in the still colouring sky are reflected on the surface of the sea. In a calm and serene mood, the…

Smoothly into Fall

Although the light is still bleak in her appearance, she has already overcome the darkness of the worn night. DAY IS BREAKING One of pureness is the atmosphere, open to embrace the day to come. ATMOSPHERE OF PURENESS EMBRACING THE DAY TO COME From above, the sea looks calm and flat and every inch in…

Unexpected present

Having drunk in the last words I heard myself saying: please, encore. I enjoyed every second of it and I felt eagerly to be in it once more. It was at the art festival in Galway that ‘Waiting for Godot’, written in the sixties of the last century by Samuel Becket, an Irish playwright, was…

Summer holidays

It was only shortly after we celebrated the festival of Saint John. Until then, before Midsummer, the rising of the sun seemed boundless. Merely a few hours of darkness filled the night. Merely a few hours of darkness Then there was this sudden dropdown of light. The light was dimmed within a fraction of time.…

Oíche agus Lá Fhéil’ tSin Seáin

In tense anticipation we are, every year anew. Will the weather be with us? Will it be possible to have the celebration of the Tine Chnámh , literarily the fire of the bone or bonfire at Saint Johns’ Eve, the way it is loved to be celebrated? Please let it be. Midsummer And of course…

The glory of summer on Inis Meáin

Heavy of the seeds which are fulfilled, the grasses bend for the refrigerant wind. Audible is the humming of insects. Fulfilled Beyond measure I reckon the sky above me. Saturated of a deep blue colour without any trace of white she exposes herself. Saturated The more I watch the sky the more I take interest…

Summer has come

I love the moments of day- and night break. Sunrise and sunset, both of them are dramatic events in which a status quo or a point of balance, an equilibrium is touched. Often these moments represent an atmosphere of peace in which the world seems to stand still. Sunrise Sunset At night the cattle have…

Celebrations on the island

Spells of heavy rainfall after dramatic rainbows like the one low above the Atlantic, ceased suddenly. It is raining at sea Only partly rain will touch the island A lovely day of sunshine followed with an even more wonderful celebration of the birthday of one of four oldest ladies on the island. It was only…

Imeacht spraíúil an lae (sportive event of the day)

Like some sort of patience we all need to have at this time of year. Eagerly we are waiting for the sun to come out. And although sunshine is felt, the air is still cold. Looking through the window the weather outside looks beautiful full of promise like a summer‘s day which has only started.…

February

Pure silence. Even the birds seemed to be asleep still. The road was wet through condensation after a cold night. Colouring The sky coloured pink red with the rising of the sun. From the overall atmosphere a lovely day of spring was promised to lie ahead of us. As it presumably was in the donkey’s…

This is real Ireland. Aran Islands.

Thanks for stopping by! I’m currently sitting on the floor nearly falling asleep after my first jog in about a year (yes I’m trying to get rid of my laziness) and I thought I’d write a blog for you before the day kicks off. Last weekend my parents and my sister and I headed off…

All good things go in three

Wild Usually some days before (exceptions excluded), a paper is laid down on the table in the portal, accompanied by a pen. Only the image already brings back memories from years ago. It feels good. It means there is a garland, growing longer and longer with the years passing and every bit out of it…

Anois Teacht an Earraigh: Spring is Coming

Despite all the storms raging on our Atlantic coasts, the latest season of scrub cutting work is well under way on the islands. Views of fields that were once covered in scrub are now green again, boreens choked up with briars are now clean allowing access to fields and broken rain catchers have been repaired…