Dunfanaghy Dispatch

Time for an update from the last three days. We have been busy. On Friday we spent our last day at Rock-a-Doon at a county park on Loch Key near our house. We photographed ruins, walked lovely wooded trails, and enjoyed a sunlit day outside. One highlight was to photograph a marvelous sculpture on the road…The Celtic Warrior. Public art is quite common in Ireland and quite beautiful.

On Saturday we drove north to Donegal. On the way to Dunfanaghy we stopped at Glebe House and Gallery, the home of the late artist Derek Hill. This out of the way place is well worth finding. The grounds are 25 acres of parkland on a small lough. The house is simple Georgian. However, Hill’s eclectic tastes decorated and furnished the inside with art, china, nicknacks, and furniture from all over the world. One American neighbor commented that the Tiffany lamp was grotesque, but seemed to fit with the rest of the decor. I haven’t included pictures from there, but Jean has some. Artists in the collection include Picasso, Jack Yeats, and Renoir.

We arrived in Dunfanaghy in late afternoon and checked into Carrigan House, a B&B recommended by Jean’s counsin Frank. He had also been here researching their ancestors. Their grandfather’s family came from here. That evening after dinner we drove up to Horn Head, the location of the Stewart House where the Hay/HaysHayes family reportedly lived before immmigrating to America. Horn head is a large cape that protects Dunfanaghy from the direct onslaught of the Atlantic. I have included some pictures from there. Today we’re going to drive into the Stewart House property. It’s marked Private, but what the hell?

Yesterday we took a boat to Tory Island, home of a group of naive artists developed by Derek Hill. It lies about 8 miles offshore. The weather was grey, foggy, and misty. We lost sight of the mainland before reaching the island. The King of Tory Island, Patsy Dan Rodgers, met us at the dock and later showed us some of his paintings in the island’s social hall that acts as their pub. We hiked around the north end of the island to see and photograph the cliffs and scenery. It is ruggedly beautiful with a small community of hardy soles living out there on the edge of Europe. As on Horn Head and elsewhere, the moors are covered with small flowers that hug the ground and rocks for warmth.

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About Paul

I'm retired, but working at painting, photography, and song writing. We like to travel and paint plein air in new places. Of course that's also where photography comes into the picture, so to speak. Sometimes I get inspired to write songs about the people and places we visit.
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