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Toonacarra Cottage, Connemara, County Galway



Located in the beautiful Twelve Bens (mountains) region of Connemara, this was our home for 2 weeks. It was the perfect base for day trips to points of interest in the area, including Ireland's only fjord, The Killary, beaches, and Joyce Country. After leaving the cottage we had another week to work our way across the country to Dublin for the flight home.

Kent at Toonacara Cottage

Steffie

Our landlady's dogs came to play every day. This one is a Lab.

Rosca

And the Springer Spaniel.

Connemara Views











Glassilaun Beach




This was the beach near our cottage. The horse race scene in The Quiet Man was filmed here.

Black Faced Mountain Sheep










Lots and lots of sheep! And they rule the road.

Graceland

Grainne (Grace) O'Malley also known as The Pirate Queen of Connaught was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and operated off the west coast of Ireland. Born into a family of pirates she improved the family business by introducing a protection racket. She was saved on the brink of hanging by The Crown, possibly because she was keeping an eye on the Spanish Armada for the English. It is believed she met with Elizabeth I and since she knew no English and the queen knew no Irish, they conversed in Latin. She built castles on Clare Island and the Renvyle coast. Here are two of Grainne's castles we visited. As it turns out she is an ancestor...no wonder I always dressed up as a pirate on Halloween.



Renvyle Point

Clare Island



Shrines

Shrines and Holy Wells abound in Ireland, particularly in the West of Ireland. In the 19th century it was estimated there were three thousand, the highest number in Europe. The first three images were made at St. Brigid's Holy Well in Liscannor, County Clare. The other images are from various shrines we found as we traveled about. The roots of these shrines and wells are in the pre-Christian pagan era but some of these holy sites continue to be part of the religious life of Christian Ireland, particularly in the month of May.











More Irish Shrines

Curraghmore, County Waterford

An unusual white pheasant amidst the bluebells on the Curraghmore estate

Sheep on the move being herded by tractors and border collie

Banks of the River Clodagh



The name Clodagh is the Irish version of Claudia...nice to have one's very own river.