TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING – The Schoolhouse from the Ryan’s Daughter Movie.

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Sometimes I enjoy taking photos that show how things change over time. The schoolhouse from the Ryan’s Daughter movie is one such subject that has caught my attention.

On this wonderful awe inspiring peninsula in 1968 a film crew from MGM descended to make a movie, directed by David Lean, which, though not immediately popular with the critics, became a huge box office success. Many local people were extras in the movie, or worked in some capacity for the film company and still have many memories and stories of the events of that time. Imagine how exciting it was to the people in an area which, at that time, in spite of its exceptional natural beauty was economically struggling. The exposure of this marvellous place to a wider world contributed greatly to the increase in visitors the Dingle Peninsula has enjoyed over the years since then.

Most of the set built for the story was destroyed when filming was finished, but the schoolhouse still remains, in an increasingly ruinous state, perched on the coast of Dunquin and with marvellous views of the Blasket Islands. Most visitors don’t even know it’s there. The name Kirrary National School still to be seen there means nothing to most people. (Kirrary was a fictitious place.) There has been talk of restoring the building. That could be interesting.

Since I started to prepare this blog I discovered that there is another wordpress blogger who has written on this topic. For more in depth information and images of the schoolhouse from the time of filming, see  SMcP Blogfeast’s very interesting blog:

https://blogfeast.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/saving-ryans-daughter/

You can check out this on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan%27s_Daughter

Also to see more images from the Dunquin area of the Dingle Peninsula please visit my website:

http://helene-brennan.com/tag/dunquin

Here are some photos taken in October this year (2015) as well as some taken in September 2013. As you can see the timbers have now been ripped from the roof with the storms that have raged since.

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VIEW FROM MOUNT EAGLE

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On the path coming down Mount Eagle, the views are stunning. Here you can see Dunquin and the Island of Inis Tuaisceart, (The Sleeping Giant) one of the islands of the Blasket group, off the coast of the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland.

Please check out my other Dunquin photos on http://helene-brennan.com/tag/dunquin

DUNQUIN FROM MOUNT EAGLE

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There are stunning views of Dunquin to be seen from the path up Mount Eagle. Please do check out my other images of Dunquin on this tag http://helene-brennan.com/tag/dunquin

Book Cover Photo

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I was very honoured to be asked for my photo of the  Fields of Dunquin from Mount Eagle to be displayed on the front cover of a book of selected poems by Máire Mhac an tSaoi, who is a well renowned poet. This is a beautiful book, all the poems are in English and well as Irish, and well worth a read.

The photo is available on my website http://helene-brennan.com/dunquin-fields-from-mount-eagle512

The Gathering Ireland 2013 (Part 2)

So if you come visiting Ireland this year – what can you expect? There will be so much for you to enjoy. You will, of course, merrily connect with your cousins, who will give you a tremendously warm Irish welcome. You will observe their features and mannerisms, and it will seem like you already knew them, they look so much like your sister, your uncle – or your cousin May back home. So that’s where you got your nose from, and now you see the genetic pool from where Barack Obama got his ears. Well – have you ever seen a true African with those ears?

You make a trip to see the old homestead – or what’s left of it. There’s no roof, and not a lot left of the tumbling stone walls either. But you walk inside, just to feel what it’s like in there, amongst the nettles. There’s not much to see, no possessions left here – but wait – what’s that bit of broken crockery there wedged between the stones? You pull it out and reflect. Did this once belong to your great, great, great grandmother? Was this a treasured bowl, that took pride of place on the modest kitchen table? Is this what she used for the beautiful homemade bread or scones that she made in the pot oven over the peat fire.  You reflect on the lives and activities of your ancestors here in this very room, their joys and sorrows. You feel the presence of these people, you feel welcome, connected – it’s a wonderful warm feeling.

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Looking through the open door of an old cottage on Great Blasket Island, County Kerry, Ireland.

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View from Castlegregory Golf Club, County Kerry, Ireland

You have a superb choice of entertainment of all kinds – music, dancing, singing, theatre, and countless other events. You learn the meaning of ‘ceol agus craic’ (music and fun). There are many interesting tours. How can you find the time? Your cousins all want to share their knowledge and make suggestions. You are just overwhelmed by the hospitality, the generosity, the fabulous food, the vibrant and talented people, the characters – and that I’ve come home feeling!

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A young couple play hurling on the beach at Couminole, Dunquin, County Kerry.

You experience the rewards of fair and foul Irish weather too!  You discover the beauty in the drama of the deep purple clouds, luminous sunlit fields, ferocious winds, hazy hills, rain, rain and high soaring seas. You are joyful for this opportunity, and euphoric on those beautiful soothing sunny days when you are able to walk up the heathery hills and along the long scenic sandy beaches. You are in raptures as you behold the sights of those breathtakingly brilliant West of Ireland sunsets. Such a privilege! You want to stay here – forever!

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A dramatic view on Curracloe Beach, County Wexford

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Patches of glowing sunlight on the fields of Dunquin, County Kerry

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A beautiful sunset on Banna Beach, County Kerry.