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‘Illancreeve’ – The Island Field


Loughros Beg Bay, Maghera Strand, Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland


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Loughros Beg Bay, Maghera Strand, Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland

I’ve mentioned before on several posts, my favourite movie of all time is ‘The Field’ by Jim Sheridan. I have grown up watching this masterpiece at least 100 times! It’s about a small field that was once barren rock but past generations of one man’s family worked their entire lives away on it. Through years of poverty they carried baskets of seaweed for miles each day to soil/fertilize the ground & finally break it into a green pasture amongst the surrounding rugged landscape. Their lush green field was then passed down to each son with pride on their accomplishment.

Over many years traveling Donegal, I have found a few of these isolated green pastures which seem to flourish against all odds of their natural barren surroundings. It is truly amazing to find these little green fields amongst jagged rocks, sand & seaweed! My mind tells me that this has to have a similar story to the actual movie. Only this field is not staged or set up solely for filming purposes. As you can see, it’s an actual real place with real history tied to it. I’m presuming its small patches of loved land like this throughout Ireland, which supplied the original inspiration to write the movie script.

? Movie Quote by the Bull McCabe: “It’s my field. It’s my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it! My only want is that green grass, that lovely green grass…..”

In the backdrop you can see Slievetooey Mountain on Maghera Beach. Along the base of this mountain can be found over 20 sea caves. These caves travel deep within this mountain & can only be accessed during low tide. There are ancient tales that one of these sea caves has a secret tunnel leading deep under this mountain ridge for many miles, all the way to the Slieve League cliffs!

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