Offshore Mullet Peninsula, County Mayo, Ireland
Finding a place in Ireland or even internationally in this day & age that remains almost totally unchanged in the past century can be like “trying to find a needle in a haystack”. Yet on the western coast of County Mayo, that elusive place has been hiding in plain sight.
A few miles off shore Belmullet lies the stunning forgotten Inishkea Islands. Sadly now uninhabited due to the final 10 male islanders drowning during a freak storm in 1927, God rest their souls. The remaining women & children held on for a while but due to harsh times & the loss of their husbands they were forced to re-home on the mainland in 1934 just to survive. The earliest evidence of settlement on Inishkea goes back at least 5,000 years and the island has numerous archaeological sites from the Neolithic to Early Christian Monastic sites.
This stunning village was basically built on the very edge of this sandy beach overlooking the mainland. It’s close proximity to the shore certainly had scenic perks but not without its problems. On my visit I was told that during terrible storms, the waves would crash against the front of these houses so furiously that sea water would flood under the front door soaking everything within. Sometimes during strong enough storms folk were actually forced to open both their front & rear doors to allow the waves to travel straight through & escape in hope of relieving the crashing pressure to help save their homes from collapse!
Not meaning to come across as morbid as I know it may not be everyone’s “cup of tea” to puzzle over but I personally love the grave stone in this photo seated between these cottages. On the mainland we are accustomed to believe that all burials must be in graveyards. Although on small islands scattered across our shores there are sometimes no cemetery’s so loved ones were buried near homes or maybe on a favourite spot of theirs. Nowadays its fascinating yet somewhat romantic to see how folk dealt differently when laying loved ones to rest. All in great cause of honouring their last wishes