Category Archives: Blog

Feile na cGloch 2018

Stonewall Building, Carving, Letter Carving Workshops & On Location Sketch Outs – Exploring Inis Oírr

Dates: Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th September 2018

Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, County Galway

Schedule D – On Location Sketch Outs Exploring Inis Oírr

  • Spend three days exploring Inishsheer through sketching. Capture the magic scenery and culture of the smallest of the Aran Islands in your artists’s notebook. Experience this intimate island through drawing her castles, shipwrecks, churches, seascapes and iconic drystone walls.
  • Through on location sketch outs you will discover the rugged beauty of this jewel in the Atlantic. Enjoy the creative camaraderie and be part of the exhibition of work done over the weekend.
  • This long weekend is for the self-motivated sketcher who wants to enjoy a fun and sociable time drawing on location in an ancient landscape. All levels of experience welcome.
  • Join a sketch out to capture the creation of a dry stone wall.
  • Lectures on Friday and Saturday evening be stone masons, stone carvers and artists enchance your experience and understanding of the island and the festival.
  • Each sketch out starts with a 30 minute workshop with tips and inspiration from experienced sketchers. Your lunch will be delivered to you each day.
  • Leave the island with a sketchbook full of memories.

D  – Time Schedule – Sketch Outs

Thursday 3pm – 5pm

 If you are arriving early, there will be an extra sketch out.

4.30pm – 7.00pm Welcome to the island and discussion of workshops, sketch outs and other activities over the weekend. Talks relating to stonewalling, carving, letter carving and sketching.

Friday 10am – 4pm

On location sketch outs with your allocated group at locations including the Wreck of the Plassey, O’Brien’s  Castle, the lighthouse, half buried and ruined churches, the harbour, lakes and beaches, limestone fieldscapes, stonewalls, stunning skies and dramatic seascapes.

5-7pm talks

Saturday 10am – 4pm

10am – 2pm – On location sketch outs with your allocated group at locations across the Island as above.

2pm – 4pm – Join a sketch out to capture the creation of a dry stone wall.

5 – 7pm talks

Sunday 17th September 10am – 1pm

On location sketch outs with your allocated group at locations across the Island as above.

What to bring

Definitely sketchbooks, drawing pencils, pens, pencil sharpener, eraser. Perhaps loose leaf pages, watercolours, paint brushes, easel, colour pencils, oil pastels, or which ever medium / mediums you like to draw with.

This is an outdoor event. Irish weather is famous for offering 4 seasons in one day. Make sure to bring warm clothes, sturdy shoes and good rain gear. Inis Oirr has a lovely beach, so pack your bathers if you want to take the plunge.

Payment

Payment must be received in Euro.

Cheques should be made payable to:

‘Galway County Council – Stone Wall Workshop’’

Cancellation

A refund of fees (less €20 administration charge) will be

given, provided that notice of cancellation is received

in writing on or before 7th September 2018

No refunds given after this date.

Enquiries

Ms. Marie Mannion,

Heritage Officer,

Forward Planning,

Áras an Chontae,

Galway County Council,

Prospect Hill, Galway

Tel: 00353 91 509198

E-mail: mmannion@galwaycoco.ie

Or

Gráinne Smyth/ Martina Creaven

Forward Planning,

Áras an Chontae,

Galway County Council,

Prospect Hill, Galway.

Tel: 00353 91 509121/509017

Email: gsmyth@galwaycoco.ie or mcreavan@galwaycoco.ie

Website: www.galway.ie

An action of Galway County Heritage Plan

Transport to Inis Oírr

Workshop participants must book their own travel to Inis Oírr.

There are ferry services operating from Rossaveel, Co Galway and Doolin in Co Clare.

Ferries

The following are their contact details:

Aran Island ferries, Rossaveel: Tel: +353(0)91 568903        www.aranislandferries.com

Doolin Ferry :   Tel: +353(0) 65 707 5555 +353 (0) 65 707 1710    www.doolinferry.com

After Hours : Liam @ 087 958 1465                                        Email: info@doolinferry.com

Doolin 2 Aran Ferry:  Tel: +353 65 7075949                         www.doolin2aranferries.com                                             

Mob: +353 87 2453239                                                     Email: info@doolin2aranferries.ie

Air Travel

Flights are available to the Aer Aran Islands, from Inverin, Connemara, Co. Galway.

Aer Arann islands – Tel :  +353(0)91 593034                                                http://www.aerarannislands.ie

Accommodation

Please note: It is recommended that you book your own accommodation and transport prior to booking this course. Please see list of accommodation and transport providers.

Please also make your own arrangements for evening meals.

Leaba & Bricfeasta in Inis Oírr/Bed & Breakfast in Inis Oírr

Baile an Fhormna / Formna Village

Caitríona Uí Chatháin         Phone: +353 (0)99 75090  Fáilte Ireland Approved

Máire Ní Fhlatharta              Phone: +353 (0)99 75083

Baile Thiar / West Village

South Aran House              Phone: +353 (0)99 75073  Fáilte Ireland Approved

Ostán Inis Oírr                     Phone: +353 (0)99 75020  Fáilte Ireland Approved

Brú/Hostel                             Phone: +353 (0)99 75024  Fáilte Ireland Approved

Máire Searraigh                   Phone: +353 (0)99 75024

Máire Foley                           Phone: +353 (0)99 75037

Barbara Uí Chonghaile      Phone: +353 (0)99 75025

Baile an Chaisleáin / Castle Village

Bríd Póil                                 Phone: +353 (0)99 75019

Áine Uí Ghríofa                    Phone: +353 (0)99 75983

Baile an tSéipéil / Chapel Village

Bernie Uí Dhonncha                       Phone: +353 (0)99 75088

Pádraig Ó Donncha                        Phone: +353 (0)99 75000

Baile an Lurgain / Lurgan Village

Tigh Ruairí Ó Conghaile (Rory’s B&B):      Phone: +353 (0)99 75002      www.tighruairi.com

Bríd Brennan            Phone: +353 (0)99 75125

Self Catering

For a full listing of self catering can be found on the following link:

http://discoverinisoirr.com/accommodation/selfcatering/

Evening Meals

Evening Meals can be booked at the following:

Tigh Ruairí:        Phone: +353 (0) 99 75002                                     www.tighruairi.com

South Aran House (bookings only) Phone: +353 (0) 99 75073   www.southaran.com

Ostán Inis Oírr:  Phone: +353 (0)99 75020                                     www.hotelinisoirr.com

Information of Inis Oírr and its services

Contact: Comhar Caomhán Teo, Inis Oírr, Árainn, Co. na Gaillimhe.

Phone: Phone: +353 (0)99 75008; Fax: Phone: +353 (0)99 75071

Web: www.discoverinisoirr.com

Registration Form

Please complete in BLOCK CAPITALS and return with your payment to:

Stone Workshop 2017, c/o Ms. Gráinne Smyth, Forward Planning, Áras an Chontae,

Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, Galway, Ireland. Tel: +353(0) 91 509121

Email: gsmyth@galwaycoco.ie

We suggest that you photocopy this form for your records.

Title: ___     Surname:____________________ First Name:______________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

Tel:  ____________________   Email: ________________________________________

Registration Fee: ________________________________________

Workshop D – On Location Sketch Outs –  Exploring Inis Oírr

All lectures, organised sketch outs, tea/coffee,and lunches included Friday to Sunday

NB: Limited number of places for this workshop

No partial Workshop Fee available  – Full Workshop Fee: €75

Payment

I enclose a cheque/bank draft for €—— (Euros) payable to ‘Galway County Council –Stone

Workshop 2018′ and send to Stone Workshop, C/o Ms. Gráinne Smyth, Forward Planning,

Áras an Chontae, Galway County Council, Prospect Hill, Galway, Ireland.

Signed: ___________________________________             

Date: _______/_________/_________

How did you hear about this conference? Mailing /Advert /Internet Other

Your particular interest in attending:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Women.

Women. This place is a matriarchy says Seán Keating, but how does one recognize that aspect of it? The women stay indoors and the girls… This absence of women is important enough. Only occasionally does one see a red skirt, that of an elderly woman, when the steamer comes in on Wednesday or Saturday. Occasionally a few girls of about 15 or 17 sit on the strand but only when a boat is due. A few young girls normally wander about the strand, from 5 to 7 or 10, and an odd woman may bring down an ass for turf to the pier, but the bulk of women are absent save at Mass on Sunday – August 1955.

Sean Keating

Words: Nobody’s Business – the Aran Diaries of Ernie O’Malley. Image: Sean Keating.

The first flush toilets

The iconic Plassey shipwreck is known all over the world.  On the island for the past 50 years, this blow-in has become an integral part of the community on Inis Oírr. She features in the opening credits of the popular comedy series Father Ted.

The first flush toilets

The Plassey was carrying cargo of whiskey, stained glass, and yarn when she was caught in a severe storm and struck Finnis Rock on Inis Oírr in March 1960. The crew was rescued from the ship by the Inisheer Rocket Crew. Two weeks later a second storm tossed the ship onto the rocky beach. The day the ship washed ashore was like Christmas on the island- all cargo that was salvageable was claimed. Is it true that the first flush toilets on the island were salvaged from the ship?

Mike Tobin of the Plassey crew was back as the Guest of Honour on Inis Oírr for a special night in Aras Éanna in 2010 – the 50th anniversary of the shipwreck. Mike was pleased to see some of his rescue team, including Ruairi O’Conghaile from Tigh Ruairi’s pub and guesthouse.

“About 1954 was my first time on her,” recalled Mike. “It’s kind of sad to be inside in her like this, though.  I was very found of the ‘oul Plassey, because at that stage of my young career at sea, she went to very exotic places. She was in Italy; she was in the Canary Islands, Greece, Iceland, Angora and South Africa. She went from Helsinki over to Leningrad – at that time, its St Petersburg now. We never thought she’d end up in Inis Oírr of all places… but she’s there now…”

Mike brought the Plassey to life with his stories from the night she went down.  “I remember the 8th of March, 1960 like it was yesterday”, said Mike. “We were too far to the north of our course, and closer to the island than we should have been, but we didn’t realise it in the bad night and the wind. We hit the Finnish Rock initially at 10 past 5 in the morning.”

The Plassey’s flare lit up the sky and the islanders were alerted to the danger and immediately ran to the scene with the rescue equipment.

“The first we saw of people on the island was around a quarter to 8 – daybreak, we were very happy to see them!  They had only 3 rockets [to launch the ropes for the Breeches Buoy], they fired the first 2 but the wind was so bad it took them away, and when they fired the next rocket it stuck!  Only for that, that would have went as well, because of the way the wind was blowing.”

Thanks to the islanders’ courage and bravery, the entire crew was brought to shore safely using Breeches Buoy to hoist them in, one man at a time.

“Later, at the tail end of some hurricane, the Plassey was lifted bodily from the position she was in, and shoved up there beyond the hide tide in one fell swoop,” Mike continued. “To think that she was lifted from over there, and she full of water, and pushed up there, it would tell you the force of the seas that was around here at the time.”

Mike was asked to demonstrate how to use the Breeches Buoy.  He had to step into the leggings part which is attached to a lifebuoy. “Well I tell ya, the wind was up me! You had to go over the side of the ship, at the bow, and you went straight down into the water, and you were being turned this way and that way, and then your legs were hitting close to the rocks and then you were going over and under… but that’s how we got out!”

“Were you frightened, Mike?” someone asked.  “Yes”, said Mike.  “I don’t think anyone had to wash shorts after that, I think they were all thrown away.”

Words: irelandfamilyvacations.com and www.doolin2aranferries.com. Image: JesseJames.

Inis Oírr – A Reflection, Ivan McMahon

The Aran Islands have been a source of inspiration to artists for generations. One of the first people to photograph them was John Millington Synge whose images, made around the turn of the 20th century, centred on the islanders and their daily lives. More recently, in 2007, Irish painter Sean Scully produced his exhibition and book Walls of Aran, which focused on the iconic and timeless dry stone walls that criss-cross the islands.

 Film-maker and photographer Ivan McMahon has created a series of photograph which comprise striking black and white landscapes of Inis Oírr. McMahon’s photographs are closer to the work of Scully than Synge but have their own potent and distinctive visual stamp. They might more accurately be described as rockscapes rather than landscapes as McMahon explores the tones and textures of rock formations that have been shaped and sculpted for millennia by sea, weather, and time.

McMahon has titled all his images after deities and figures from Irish mythology.  He is interested in natural, rather than man-made, structures though ‘Na Sídh’ presents a dramatic interplay between the two as hulking, fissured slabs of cliff are sandwiched between low rocky walls at the top and bottom of the image. Elsewhere, natural forms seem to echo man made ones as in ‘Dagda’ which suggests ancient castellated battlements, or perhaps the prow of a mighty stone ship projecting outward toward the sea.

The catalogue carries two resonant quotations about the work; from The Iliad there is ‘Gods are hard for mortals to recognise’ and from renowned French photographer Robert Doisneau there is ‘To suggest is to create; to describe is to destroy’.

InisOirrNaSiedhIvanMcMahon

 Inis Oírr – A Reflection (Ivan McMahon photographs) exhibition runs at the Town Hall Theatre bar in Galway throughout January 2018.

I am watching you – are you watching yourself in me?

JesseJames Inis Oirr Inisheer Zibaldone Napolenic Look Out TowerLR

It is a pity indeed to travel and not get this essential sense of landscape values. You do not need a sixth sense for it. It is there if you just close your eyes and breathe softly through your nose; you will hear the whispered message, for all landscapes ask the same question in the same whisper. I am watching you – are you watching yourself in me?

Words: Lawrence Durrell, Spirit Of Place: Letters And Essays On Travel. Image: JesseJames.

The Aran Islands are all awash

From Connemara, or the Moher clifftop,

Where the land ends with a sheer drop,

You can see three stepping stones out of Europe.

Anchored like hulls at the dim horizon

Against the winds’ and the waves’s explosion.

That Aran Islands are all awash.

Coastline’s furled in the foam’s white sash.

The clouds melt over them like slush.

And on Galway Bay, between shore and pier,

The ferry plunges to Inis Oírr.

Elizabeth Rivers Stranger in Aran

Words: Seamus Heaney The Evening Land (adapted). Image: Elizabeth Rivers, Stranger in Aran (1946).

 

 

A new stock of porter

A new stock of porter was brought in this morning to the little public house underneath my room and I could hear in the intervals of our talk that a number of men had come in to treat some neighbours from the middle island, and singing many songs, some of them in English of the kind I have given, but most of them in Irish. A little later when the party broke downstairs, my old men got nervous about the fairies – they live some distance away – and set off across the sand hills – JM Synge, The Aran Islands (1906).