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éire I focal agus íomhá


Ireland In Word and Image Photographs by

J ay B e n A d l e r s b e r g text Editing by

Samantha Bowser

W e l c o m e

B o o k s


N e w

Y o r k

Page 1: The sheela na gig nestled in the ruins of Malahide Abbey is demure by most standards. These “grotesques” are found throughout Ireland in religious architecture, always seemingly out of place. The origin and function of the sheela na gig is hotly debated in the scholarly world; some argue that she is a holdover from a pagan past, while others contend that she warns of the dangers of lust. Many agree that her presence was meant to ward off evil, earning her a home in ecclesiastical buildings all over the country. Pages 2–3: The view of Dunmore Head from the Slea Head scenic drive is breathtaking. The outcrop of Dunmore into the Atlantic Ocean serves as the most westerly point of mainland Ireland and thus all of Europe. Page 4: Ogham stones are found throughout Ireland and Great Britain. The older, or orthodox, stones are often found upright and feature an alphabet of notches mostly used to write Old Irish. While it is agreed that many of the stones are carved with personal names and titles, scholars are still debating the origins of these fourth- and fifth-century monuments. Opposite: A typical Irish rainbow appears after a heavy shower, climbing across the sky and out of Lough Leane in County Kerry.

Ireland In Word and Image Photographs by Jay Ben Adlersberg Published in 2013 by Welcome Books® An imprint of Welcome Enterprises, Inc. 6 West 18th Street, New York,NY 10011 Tel: 212-989-3200; Fax: 212-989-3205 Publisher: Lena Tabori President: Hiro Clark Wakabayashi Project Directors: Alice Wong and Alisa Koyrakh Managing Editor: Natasha Tabori Fried Designer: Gregory Wakabayashi

Copyright © 2013 Welcome Enterprises, Inc. Photographs copyright © 2013 Jay Ben Adlersberg All rights reserved. No parts of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. ISBN: 978-1-59962-125-8 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file

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C r e d i t s : 18: Excerpt from “The Earth Shapers,” retold by Ella Young. / 21: Excerpt from “Speech at Tara” by Daniel O’Connell. / 25: “Prelude” by J. M. Synge. / 28: Excerpt from “The Piper and the Puca” by Douglas Hyde. / 33: “The Song of Wandering Aengus” from The Wind Among the Reeds by William Butler Yeats. / 34: Excerpt from “Beyond the Pale” from Beyond the Pale and Other Stories by William Trevor. Copyright © 1981 by William Trevor. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. / 36: “The Dance Half Done” from The Coil of the Skin by Mary Ann Larkin. Copyright © 1982 by Mary Ann Larkin. Reprinted by permission of Mary Ann Larkin. / 41: “Windharp” by John Montague from John Montague: Collected Poems. Copyright © 2012 by John Montague. Reprinted by permission of Wake Forest University Press. / 41: “Windharp” from New Collected Poems by John Montague. Copyright © 2012 by John Montague. By kind permission of the author and The Gallery Press. Loughcrew, Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland. / 44: Excerpt from “The Hawk” from Selected Stories by Liam O’Flaherty. Reprinted by permission of Peters Fraser & Dunlop ( on behalf of the Estate of Liam O’Flaherty. / 74: “A Man is Only as Good…” from New and Selected Poems by Pat Boran. Copyright © 2007 by Pat Boran. www. / 77: Excerpt from The Irish Sketchbook by William Makepeace Thackeray. / 80: Excerpt from “Marbhan’s Hymn of Content” from A Book of Saints and Wonders by Lady Augusta Gregory. / 86: Excerpt from “Floodtide” from Road To Brightcity by Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders. / 91: “I Am of Ireland” by Anonymous. / 96: “The Little Girl’s Riddle” by Eva Gore-Booth. / 99: “Enchanted Woods” from The Celtic Twilight by William Butler Yeats; 124: Excerpt from “Joy” from A Munster Twilight by Daniel Corkery. / 127: “Holy Thursday” from Why Brownlee Left by Paul Muldoon. Copyright © 1981 by Paul Muldoon. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. / 127: “Holy Thursday” from Selected Poems by Paul Muldoon. Reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd. / 130: Reprinted with the permission of Scribner Publishing Group, a part of Simon & Schuster, Inc., from The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín. Copyright © 1999 by Colm Tóibín. All rights reserved. / 130: Excerpt from The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín. Copyright © 1999 by Colm Tóibín. Reprinted by permission of Picador London. / 130: Excerpt from The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín. Copyright © 1999 by Colm Tóibín. Reprinted by permission of McKlellan & Stewart. / 140: “Home Sickness” from The Untilled Field by George Moore. / 145: “The Green Glens of Antrim” by Anonymous. / 152: Excerpt from Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Copyright © 1996 by Frank McCourt. Reprinted with the permission of Scribner Publishing Group. All rights reserved. / 152: Excerpt from Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Copyright © 1996 by Frank McCourt. Reprinted with the permission of The Friedrich Agency LLC. / 156: Excerpt from “The Reaping Race” from Short Stories by Liam O’Flaherty. Reprinted by permission of Peters Fraser & Dunlop (www. on behalf of the Estate of Liam O’Flaherty. / 161: “The Ram’s Horn” by John Hewitt from The Selected Poems of John Hewitt, ed. Michael Longley & Frank Ormsby (Blackstaff Press, 2007). Reproduced by permission of Blackstaff Press on behalf of the Estate of John Hewitt. / 164: “The Cow” from The Adventures of Seumas Beg by James Stephens. / 166: Excerpt from The Matter with Ireland by Bernard Shaw. Copyright © 1962 by Bernard Shaw. Printed by permission of The Society of Authors, on behalf of the Bernard Shaw Estate. / 174: Excerpt from “Going Home” by Brian Moore. Copyright © 1999 by Brian Moore. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd. / 177: Excerpt from The Gathering, copyright © 2007 by Anne Enright. Used by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited. / 177: Excerpt from The Gathering by Anne Enright, published by Jonathan Cape. Reprinted by permission of The Random House Group Limited. / 180: Excerpt from “An Encounter” from Dubliners by James Joyce. / 194: “Digging” from Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966–1996 by Seamus Heaney. Copyright © 1998 by Seamus Heaney. Reprinted by Permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. / 194: “Digging” taken from Death of a Naturalist by Seamus Heaney. Copyright © 1966 by Seamus Heaney and reprinted by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd. / 203: Excerpt from “Lament of the Irish Emigrant” by Helen Seline, Lady Dufferin. / 216: Excerpt from The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien. / 221: From The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen, copyright 1929, 1952 by Elizabeth Bowen. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited. Interested parties must apply directly to Random House, Inc. for permission. / 221: From The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen. Reproduced with permission of Curtis Brown Group Ltd, London on behalf of The Estate of Elizabeth Bowen. Copyright © Elizabeth Bowen 1929, 1952. / 226: Excerpt from “Guests of the Nation” from The Collected Stories of Frank O’Connor by Frank O’Connor. Copyright © 1931 by Frank O’Connor. Reprinted by permission of Writers House LLC on behalf of the Estate of Frank O’Connor. / 226: Excerpt from “Guests of the Nation,” from The Collected Stories of Frank O’Connor by Frank O’Connor, copyright © 1981 by Harriet O’Donovan Sheehy, Executrix of the Estate of Frank O’Connor. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited. Interested parties must apply directly to Random House, Inc. for permission. / 233: Excerpt from “First Love” from The Complete Short Prose 1929–1989, English translation copyright © 1995 by the Estate of Samuel Beckett. Used by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. Any third party use of this material, outside of this publication, is prohibited. / 233: Excerpt from “First Love” from The Expelled/The Calmative/The End with First Love by Samuel Beckett. Used by permission of Faber and Faber Ltd. / 234: “Epic” by Patrick Kavanagh is reprinted from Collected Poems, edited by Antoinette Quinn (Allen Lane, 2004), by kind permission of the Trustees of the Estate of the late Katherine B. Kavanagh, through the Jonathan Williams Literary Agency. / 240: Excerpt from A Fanatic Heart by Edna O’Brien. Copyright © 1984 by Edna O’Brien. Reprinted by kind permission of Edna O’Brien. / 240: Excerpt from A Fanatic Heart by Edna O’Brien. Copyright © 1984 by Edna O’Brien. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. / 248: “Rocks” by Tim Goulding. Copyright © 1996 by Tim Goulding. Reprinted by permission of Tim Goulding. / 254: Excerpt from “The Giant’s Causeway” by William Hamilton Drummond. / 263: “The Paps of Dana” from The Adventures of Seumas Beg by James Stephens. / 264: “The Shadow House of Lugh” by Anonymous. / 266: Excerpt from “Homes on the Mountain” by Benedict Kiely from The Collected Stories of Benedict Kiely. Copyright © 2001 by Benedict Kiely. Reprinted by permission of AP Watt at United Agents LLP. / 266: Excerpt from Collected Stories by Benedict Kiely by Benedict Kiely. Reprinted by permission of David R. Godine, Publisher, Inc. Copyright © 1963–2001 by Benedict Kiely. / 272: Excerpt from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.

For Zoe, Uma, and Marilyn


The Loop Head Lighthouse in Kilbaha sits at the tip of the peninsula where the River Shannon and the Atlantic Ocean meet. The site’s first lighthouse dates back to the 1670s; its cottage still makes up the base of the structure alongside the 75-foot tower built in 1854. The lighthouse was converted to electricity in 1871 and manned until 1991, when it became automated.

The Reaping Race


Introduction Jay Ben Adlersberg



The Earth-Shapers


The Ram’s Horn


Speech at Tara


The Cow




The Matter with Ireland


The Piper and the Púca


Going Home


The Song of Wandering Aengus


The Gathering


Beyond the Pale


An Encounter


The Dance Half Done






Lament of the Irish Emigrant


The Hawk


The Third Policeman


A Man Is Only As Good . . .


The Last September


The Irish Sketchbook


Guests of the Nation


Marbhan’s Hymn of Content


First Love






I Am of Ireland


A Fanatic Heart


The Little Girl’s Riddle




Enchanted Woods


The Giant’s Causeway




The Paps of Dana


Holy Thursday


The Shadow House of Lugh


The Blackwater Lightship


Homes on the Mountain


Home Sickness


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man


The Green Glens of Antrim




Angela’s Ashes

Retold by Ella Young Daniel O’Connell J. M. Synge Douglas Hyde

William Butler Yeats William Trevor

Mary Ann Larkin John Montague Liam O’Flaherty Pat Boran

William Makepeace Thackeray Lady Gregory Augusta Máirtín Ó Cadhain Anonymous

Eva Gore-Booth

William Butler Yeats Daniel Corkery Paul Muldoon Colm Tóibín

George Moore

Traditional Song

Frank McCourt

Liam O’Flaherty John Hewitt

James Stephens George Bernard Shaw Brian Moore

Anne Enright James Joyce

Seamus Heaney Helen Selina, Lady Dufferin Flann O’Brien

Elizabeth Bowen Frank O’Connor Samuel Beckett

Patrick Kavanagh Edna O’Brien

Tim Goulding William Hamilton Drummond James Stephens Anonymous

Benedict Kiely James Joyce


Introduction Jay Ben Adlersberg


f photography is about light and color,

I got that it was not a joke. Fortunately, nothing happened.

then Ireland is a prism between the sun and the

However, Jerry insisted that I have my picture taken in that

Irish Sea. The North Atlantic Drift from the Gulf

getup so he could show the other drivers at Pro Bus and

Stream brings warm air to meet a variable jet

Car, to illustrate what he said was his best story ever.

stream, and the result is four seasons of weather in

Jeremiah Ginnifer reminded me of Ireland’s tradition

one Irish day. Want flat light? You’ve got it. Want a golden

of storytelling. Jerry was a raconteur. He was a storyteller

sunset? That, too. Rain and fog over slieve and glen? Bring

in the tradition of Ireland’s four Nobel Prize winners in

a slicker.

Literature (no other country matches that renown: Yeats,

That wasn’t the view I had of Ireland at the outset.

Bernard Shaw, Beckett, and Heaney). As a young Corkman

Green and Guinness, red hair, freckles, and civil war were

in the South, he had worked the country’s forests and sailed

what came to mind when I thought about the weeks I

its seas. For the last few decades, he had driven its roads

would spend there. I wasn’t at all sure that I was going to

professionally. He knew Ireland.

have a rich experience. I was wrong.

He regaled us with the tales of an Irish upbringing in

Indeed there was a lot of green, the green of the fields

a tight-knit home of fourteen children raised in a small

and sea, the amber-green of crops and falling leaves, the

house in County Cork. Jerry’s chronicles of that upbringing

green-gray of hillsides shawled in mist and fog. This is an

helped pass the time like a breeze across a loch as we drove

agrarian economy, and while light industry has come and

for a month between landmarks and vistas.

gone, the green fields begin smack up against city lines and intertwine with villages and towns. The changeable weather guarantees an almost daily rainfall. The result is the richness and depth of color on the land, greens interspersed with a rainbow of crops, plants, and flowers. The red hair, the freckles, and the Guinness need no further mention. The politics, however, do. My eyes were first opened when we pulled up at the old fort of Carrick Fergus in Northern Ireland, which is still a part of Great Britain. I got out of the car and dressed to take photos, putting on a floppy-brimmed jungle hat and a black photo harness and belt with a bunch of black lens pouches hanging from it. I was hefting a big, black DSLR and lens in my hand, completely obscured by a plastic rain sleeve in the bad weather. The effect made our driver, Jerry, visibly upset. He thought that I might be taken as a bomb-vested terrorist brandishing a concealed .45 Colt 1911. He was very serious;

Opposite: The mystical moss-covered trees in Cloghereen, County Kerry, are a result of the high humidity created by a nearby waterfall.


My favorite story was of Jerry one night in a pub as a wild young man who countered a drunkard’s taunt with a barbed retort. Before things fell to fisticuffs, an older, wiser friend drew an agitated Jerry aside, and told him a fishing tale, of his failure time after time, year after year, to catch a

wily old trout. He asked Jerry if he knew the reason for the poor luck. Jerry shook his head. The man said, “It was because he kept his bloody mouth shut!” As funny as that was, woven into Jerry’s stories was his detailed, intense recollection of the fighting between the North and the Republic in the South: “us and them,” as Jerry put it. The Troubles, the insurrection of the Republicans against the Loyalists in Northern Ireland, have raged over the last half-century. The 1998 Good Friday peace accord is a veneer, and to this day, the wood underneath is gnarled with enmity, distrust, and violence. Jerry showed us every landmark of insurrection, every mural-splashed wall, every monument to the struggle of his people against the British, who had, in the minds of many, occupied his country for nine hundred years. I was not prepared for the politics of Ireland, but I did anticipate the vistas, which were breathtaking. There were mountains that tumbled into vast areas of forest and farmland, all of it rolling down to the sea. Grinding down to the West Coast was a moonscape of stone and grass, the Burren Hills, or simply the Burren, a glacier-dump of stone from prehistory, scarring the otherwise fertile fields surrounding it. Nearby were the coastal crags of the Cliffs of Mohr. But to my surprise, there were beaches, deep stretches of sand scalloped around the edges of the island, and a number of beautiful coves where the cliffs seemed to disintegrate into

The indispensable Jerry Ginnifer


pebbles and silica that ran to the sea. There were actually

Lough Eske translates to “Lake of the Fish” from the Gaelic. The serene Lough is situated near the town of Donegal and is unsurprisingly known for its fishing, drawing to its shores Irish anglers from around the country, hoping to catch a spring salmon, sea trout, or char.

bathers in the chilly water, surfers as well … red-haired surf-

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

er girls, with freckles.

And mortal life shall cease,

From the beach, we drove up into the fog and mist hanging on the hills and blowing softly through the glens.

I shall possess within the veil, A life of joy and peace.

It had a spiritual quality and gave me goose bumps. There is much said about “magical, mystical Ireland,” but you don’t

The caring of a whole town of people for those they

feel it until you step out of a fog bank into a still, eerie for-

had never known is just one example of Irish warmth and

est black-green with moss-coated trees, and edge over to a

hospitality. One time, we pulled over near a tractor mov-

stream white with foam and red with iron from the soil. I

ing bales of hay. Jerry told the young driver that I was tak-

didn’t see a banshee or leprechaun, but I felt I was standing

ing photos for a book and wanted to shoot him laboring

on their home turf.

away (he was a college student working the family farm for

The sense of spirituality extended to the graveyards

the summer). He pointed to a hard metal edge in the one-

that dot the landscape like freckles on a lass’s face. The final

person tractor cab and said “Hop in!” I did, and, scrunched

resting places of these Irish were not foreboding; they were

in by the cab door and sitting painfully on the steel support,

almost welcoming, the stones marking lives spent lovingly

I spent an hour taking shots of the young man as we drove

and conjuring families richer for them.

from field to field.

There was an old graveyard on the grounds of a beauti-

Another time, I asked Jerry to stop after we overtook

ful hotel where we stayed outside the town of Kerry. One

a restored 1920 Austin so I could shoot it driving past. A

early evening, I heard the strains of “Amazing Grace.” I

while later we were stopped behind it at a light. I jumped

looked out the window to find dozens of cars parked on

out and ran over to the driver, explaining that I wanted

the wide hotel lawn and hundreds of locals gathered in

some more photos of his gorgeous two-seater convertible.

the graveyard for a mass. I later learned that this gathering

He said, “Hop in!” I did, and we drove ten miles together to

happened once a year, when the townspeople came to pay

an antique car show in Galway town for a grand afternoon.

their respects to some of the dead who had no one else to

Several days later, we stopped in the rain at a peat bog

mourn them.

to watch a man gather wet pieces of peat to dry for winter




Right: Clochán, known colloquially as beehive huts, can be found in spades on the Dingle Peninsula. The dry-stone edifices are corbeled, meaning that each consecutive tier of stones was tightly laid at an inward tilt rather than stepped, resulting in a smooth slope that casts off rainwater. Originally, hermitlike monks inhabited the Clochán, and in later years, local farmers used them as shelter for their sheep or as extra storage space. Today they serve as tourist attractions. Gatefold: A serene valley on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry presents a mystical view.

fires. He said burning dried peat to heat his house cost him only about $250 a year. When I told him I wanted some photos, he pointed to his tractor, got in the front seat, and said “Hop on!” This hopping thing was now wearing thin as I tried to balance on the back of the open bin behind the tractor, one hand on a wet and slippery roll bar and the other snapping images with a heavy, rain-slickered camera as we bounced

them, perhaps as reminders of their dependence on the

along, tracking though the wet mud of the ancient bog.

land, perhaps to remember their loved ones who passed, or

While we’re talking of peat, I visited the Fields of Ceide, essentially acres of rolling peat bog, where archeologists

who fled death for life in lands far away.

and settled to the bottom. Over millenia, the compressed


organic matter displaced the water and, with the growth of

by just about every nation in Northern Europe. But the

sphagnum moss, formed a peat bog.

Irish have survived as a people, with the genetics of hope,

have found ruins going back thousands of years to the original immigrants. Thousands of years before that, glacial ice melted to create lakes into which standing vegetation fell

on’t go to Ireland with preconceptions. Keep an open mind. Beyond the green land and the auburn hair, there is a rich history dating back

nine thousand years, including the influences of invasions

The smell of burning peat is unique, by the way—in-

the scent of peat in the air, and the richness of tale-telling.

tense and musty. It’s a pleasurable aroma, much earthier

Yes, Ireland’s writers helped their people survive.

than the smell of a wood fire. Even the ancient Irish were

Though this book project started with photographs, it grew

aware of the value of peat, and the archeological digs show

to include the literature that chronicled the country’s his-

a history of its use even earlier than the Viking invasions of

tory and the writers who were inspired by the places pic-

the 900s (the source of the red hair and the blue-eye genes,

tured here. Read Daniel O’Connell’s embrace of his home-

and maybe the freckles).

land next to a country landscape; Pat Boran’s ode to man’s

There’s a sad side to Ireland. The country is pock-

best friend, adjoining (what else?) two Irish setters; Samual

marked with the homes of people who suffered through

Beckett’s terse epitaph bordering a graveyard he could be

the Potato Famine of the mid-nineteenth century. Potatoes

describing. The combination of the visual and the word will

and a little buttermilk for protein had kept the poor alive

draw out your emotions as quickly as any moving picture.

to till the land. But in 1845, when a blight killed the potato

Speaking of moving pictures, there’s a line in a movie

crop, Irish families died—a million people. Another mil-

about the Troubles, where an Irish-American asks an IRA

lion scraped money together for sea passage abroad. They

man visiting the U.S. how he could have gotten involved in

were the lucky ones. Both the living and the dead left their

the mayhem and bloodshed of the conflict. He replies, “It’s

homes behind.

an Irish thing.”

These houses stand to this day. The roofs are gone

Ireland, the entire country, is an Irish thing, a unique

now—just the skeletons of the walls remain. These so-

realm of landscape, culture, and politics. Only by being

called “famine cottages” are the only visual testament to

there, even for just a while, will you be able to understand

the near death of an entire nation. The Irish have preserved

and revel in the country and its people.


The Earth-Shapers Retold by Ella Young


he slow wave fell back into the sea, and Brigit lifted her mantle like a silver mist. The De Danaans saw everything clearly. They saw that they were in an island covered with green grass and full of heights and strange scooped-out hollows and winding ways. They saw too that the grass was full of flowers—blue and purple and yellow and white and red.

“Let us stay here,” they said to each other, “and make beautiful things so that the Earth may

be glad.”

Brigit took the Stone of Destiny in her hands: it shone white like a crystal between her hands. “I will lay the Stone in this place,” she said, “that ye may have empire.” She laid the Stone on the green grass and it sank into the earth: a music rose about it as it sank, and suddenly all the scooped-out hollows and deep winding ways were filled with water— rivers of water that leaped and shone; lakes and deep pools of water trembling into stillness. “It is the laughter of the Earth!” said Ogma the Wise. Angus dipped his fingers into the water. “I would like to see the blue and silver fishes that swim in Connla’s Well swimming here,” he said, “and trees growing in this land like those trees with blossomed branches that grow in the Land of the Silver Fleece.” “It is an idle wish, Angus the Young,” said Ogma. “The fishes in Connla’s Well are too bright for these waters and the blossoms that grow on silver branches would wither here. We must wait and learn the secret of the Earth, and slowly fashion dark strange trees, and fishes that are not like the fishes in Connla’s Well.” “Yea,” said Nuada, “we will fashion other trees, and under their branches shall go hounds that are not like the hound Failinis and deer that have not horns of gold. We will make ourselves the smiths and artificers of the world and beat the strange life out yonder into other shapes. We will make for ourselves islands to the north of this and islands to the west, and round them shall go also the three waves of Mananaun for we will fashion and re-fashion all things till there is nothing unbeautiful left in the whole earth. “It is good work,” cried all the De Danaans, “we will stay and do it, but Brigit must go to Moy Mell and Tir-na-Moe and Tir-nan-Oge and Tir-fo-Tonn, and all the other worlds, for she is the Flame of Delight in every one of them.” “Yes, I must go,” said Brigit. “O Brigit!” said Ogma, “before you go, tie a knot of remembrance in the fringe of your mantle so that you may always remember this place—and tell us, too, by what name we shall call this place.” “Ye shall call it the White Island,” said Brigit, “and its other name shall be the Island of Destiny; and its other name shall be Ireland.”

Inishtooskert translated from Irish means “Northern Island,” a testament to its position as the northernmost island of the Blaskets. The profile of Inishtooskert has led to a few secondary names, such as the Bishop, the Sleeping Giant, and more grimly, An Fear Marbh, or the “Dead Man.” The island is home to a handful of seabird colonies and some ancient stone ruins.




The Song of Wandering Aengus William Butler Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood, Because a fire was in my head, And cut and peeled a hazel wand, And hooked a berry to a thread; And when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream And caught a little silver trout. When I had laid it on the floor I went to blow the fire a-flame, But something rustled on the floor, And someone called me by my name: It had become a glimmering girl With apple blossom in her hair Who called me by my name and ran And faded through the brightening air. Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

Left: Nestled in the Killarney National Park in County Kerry, the Owengarriff River culminates in the Torc Waterfall, dropping sixty feet and spilling into Muckross Lake below. Pages 34–35: The CÊide Fields were discovered by accident in the 1930s by a local schoolteacher out to cut some turf from the bog. The neatly arranged stones under the blanket bog were later excavated by his son and found to be 5,000 years old. Study of the unique Neolithic landscape has unearthed a great deal about the Stone Age ancestors who lived there, including their access to cereals from the Fertile Crescent, meaning that a trade route had been established between the Middle East and Ireland more than five millennia ago.


Joy Daniel Corkery


xcited, he turned to retrace the way he had come. He felt he needed to rest; he had had too many impressions in too short a time. He would

sit quietly by the hearth and take out his beads. That would be best. He drew

swiftly as he could towards the farmyard. But again he was perplexed. And he began to fear for himself. There, too, were merry voices, seemingly a host of

them—not in the farmyard, the farmyard was deserted. Through it he went. A door opened: he heard a ringing voice giving out fine words and phrases: “To the Gaelic race the riches of the air above it, the soil within it, the seas around it!” He could hear no more for the shout of approval. “Rooted in the soil for ever, as the love of Ireland in our hearts!” was the next phrase he caught up. He hastened on. In other years he had heard such phrases, only instead of ringing with the pride of victories gained, they had rung with the hatred of a dispossessed people. “Who shall rule us but ourselves—who is fit for it?” His heart gave a leap; he made to enter the house. It was crowded with men. He then went around to the front. On the roadway, mounted on a car which had been roughly decked with green boughs, was the orator—a man with a shining forehead, and eyes full of the pride of race. Everywhere were green boughs; everywhere, too, green flags with inscriptions in red gold upon them. He saw a crowd of golden instruments. And all the time the high-hearted phrases were ringing in his ears—the myriad love-names of Ireland were invoked. Each had its own associations—The Little Dark Rose, the Sean Bhean Bhocht, the Silk of the Kine, Innisfail, the Plain of Conn, Fodhla, Banbha—they were as so many stops of an organ. Not one of them but set old songs of the Gael stirring in his memory. He trembled with excitement. Only his anxiety to hear everything, to understand everything, kept him alive, he felt. And his thought renewed to him the priests walking in the avenue, the brightly-clad figures on the green, the suntipped windows. And the rich underfoliage, the great boles, the wide branches. He clutched his forehead: his name had been put into the discourse, he heard the words “His fight at Carrignadoura!” He was being seized and dragged forward—but his daughter Margaret and his daughter Nora were near him, and his son John was helping him—and all the faces about him were those of men who had fought and won. As if by an afterthought, somebody took the hat from his head: there was a deafening outburst of cheering, it was more like a roar—his locks were unexpectedly white. It was as if the people thought of those grey locks as spoil from that distant battle field. The roar redoubled; it would never end. There was confusion too. His thoughts were going astray. A young man stood before him: he was speaking in Irish: he had never seen a young man look so handsome, so proud. He looked like a king’s son. The old man wouldn’t dare to reply; his limbs were quivering, he turned away, he drew down his daughter’s head: “What is it?” she said. “Are there Kings in Tara?” he whispered, in an excited voice, breathy, warm, husky.

A busker plays a traditional bodhrán on a street corner in Galway.



Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt


randma warns me to take the

cabbage hanging on your gansey? Did the dog lick you wit

dinner can directly and not be meander-

his cabbagey gob? Go home and tell your grandmother

ing, looking this way and that, kicking

you ate me whole dinner and I’m falling down with the

canisters and ruining the toes of my

hunger here in this lime kiln.

shoes. This dinner is hot and that’s the

way Bill Galvin wants it. There’s a lovely smell from the dinner can, boiled

She’ll kill me. Tell her don’t kill you till she sends me some class of a dinner and if you don’t go to her now and get me a dinner

bacon and cabbage and two big floury white potatoes.

I’ll kill you and throw your body into the lime there and

Surely he won’t notice if I try half a potato. He won’t com-

there won’t be much left for your mother to moan over.

plain to Grandma because he hardly ever talks outside of a snuffle or two. It’s better if I eat the other half potato so that he won’t be asking why he got a half. I might as well try the bacon and cabbage too and if I eat the other potato he’ll surely think she didn’t send one at all. The second potato melts in my mouth and I’ll have

Grandma says, What are you doin’ back with that can? He could bring that back by himself. He wants more dinner. What do you mean more dinner? Jesus above, is it a hole he has in his leg? He’s falling down with the hunger below in the lime kiln.

to try another bit of cabbage, another morsel of bacon.

Is it coddin’ me you are?

There isn’t much left now and he’ll be very suspicious so I

He says send him any class of a dinner.

might as well finish off the rest.

I will not. I sent him his dinner.

What am I going to do now? Grandma will destroy

He didn’t get it.

me, Mam will keep me in for a year. Bill Galvin will bury

He didn’t? Why not?

me in lime. I’ll tell him I was attacked by a dog on the

I ate it.

Dock Road and he ate the whole dinner and I’m lucky I


escaped without being eaten myself.

I was hungry and I tasted it and I couldn’t stop.

Oh, is that so? says Bill Galvin. And what’s that bit of

Jesus, Mary and holy St. Joseph.

Flowers bloom on the banks of the River Vartry in Mount Usher Gardens. Once the site of a working mill, the area began to take shape as a Robinsonian Garden when a Dublin businessman took over the lease for the land in 1868. Avoca has run the award-winning gardens since 2007, operating a café and bakery in the courtyard to serve the steady stream of visitors, who come to call from all over the globe.







Admhálacha [ A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s ]

I had great fun for a month, walking through the pastoral and city beauty of Ireland, taking picture after picture. Creating a book from all of that enthusiasm depended on a number of people whom I would like to thank. Samantha Bowser was an intrepid guide, researching history and plotting an efficient course through the entire country to find the smallest details of visual interest. She not only found the trees in the forest, but the leaves on the trees and the bugs on the leaves. She was with me the entire time abroad, and kept me focused on subject matter as my eye roved over the multitude of items to photograph. Her beautiful crafting of English to create captions and then select the Irish text adds information and emotion to the pictures. Logan McCoy took on the responsibility of translating Gaelic into English, no mean feat given that I couldn’t make any sense of the language’s spelling or pronunciation. Gregory Wakabayashi spent months sifting through more than a thousand photos to create a layout that aids the reader in gaining a sense of the country and the culture of Ireland. I was amazed that Greg found a way to fit all of my favorite shots into the pages. It was the artistic fusion of words and images. Lena Tabori is the book’s publisher, and originally had the idea for a work to combine the beauty of the country with its amazingly rich trove of writing. Natasha Tabori Fried and Alisa Koyrakh at Welcome Books were invaluable in communicating with all involved in the logistics of writing and travel, and in keeping me on course with meetings and deadlines for photos and writing.

Traveling the country and opening its doors were the bailiwick of professionals. Robin Prastien stands out as our longtime travel advisor and consultant. I never hit a pillow I didn’t like, and she was in almost daily communication with airlines, hotels, and drivers, to make connections throughout the trip virtually seamless and free of concern for me. Jerry Ginnifer was our guide and driver throughout the adventure. He was instrumental in keeping us on schedule and offering shooting opportunities, one after the other, as we drove roads and trails through fields and peat. He worked every day beyond the time schedule expected of him so that we could be at places on time for when the sun was right, and he was always on time. He has my fondest gratitude. I want to thank Pro Bus and Car for providing him to us and for the beautiful vehicles that made long trips comfortable, and that easily transported the camera equipment and luggage of three people, with even a bit of room to spare. Tourism Ireland was invaluable in gaining us entry to multiple attractions at the times we needed. They were instrumental in contacting the people at those venues who allowed us the time needed to represent their sites photographically, and to allow us access to places not available to other visitors. My wife, Marilyn, deserves special loving thanks for her encouragement and sage counsel throughout the two years that germinated and grew this book to fruition. — J. B. A.

This piece of masonry adorning the exterior of Adare Manor bears a rendering of the Dunraven and Mount Earl family crest.


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