An Gorta Mor

The Great Famine

Hunger and desperation forced thousands into the overcrowded workhouses and put enormous pressure on relief schemes which attempted to alleviate the distress. Over three quarters of a million people died during the Famine, mainly from diseases such as cholera. Between 1845 and 1851 over 1,500,000 people emigrated from Ireland. ~from poster “The Famine” Cobh Heritage Center, May 2014.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Irish Emigrant Experiences

Cobh Heritage Center

Continuing from the “Queenstown Glamor” of the SS Servia these are exhibits of what it was like to emigrate from Ireland in the 19th century.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Loughan Bay Ruins, County Antrim

Deserted Cottages above the Irish Sea

We pulled off the side of Torr Road for this fine view on the way to Torr Head to take in this view of the Irish Sea.  The steeply rising distant headland is the Mull of Kintyre. Loughan an Lochan, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Michael Wills – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

We parked on a turnout above the Loughan Cottages, near this farmer’s sheep pen.  He drove up in a huge tractor and conversed with Pam while I was below shooting the cottages. He made a good impression.

Loughan Bay Farmer – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

Roofless walls of a cottage more substantial than the other deserted ruins above Loughan Bay, with two fireplaces a walled porch with a view. A number of outbuilding foundations lay around. The integrity of the walls, chimneys and gables speaks to the quality of construction. A freighter in the North Channel of the Irish Sea is visible in the distance above the upper ridge. Beyond is the island of Islay, Scotland, about 30 miles distant. Loughan an Lochan, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

I am happy to report a series of thirteen (13) photographs of these ruins were accepted for publication by Getty.  You can click any of the photographs in this posting for my Getty portfolio.

Loughan Cottages Ruins above Crockan Point – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

The land slopes steeply to a rocky beach.

Ruin Above Loughan Bay – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

A thick growth of ferns, grass on the gable was once a home with a view of Scotland’s Mull of Kintyre 13 miles across the North Channel of the Irish Sea.  The Isle of Sanda just visible on the right of the far gable.  A landform named Alisa Crag is just visible in the distance, to the left of the nearest gable. 

Single Room Loughan Bay Cottage – CLICK ME for my Getty Portfolio.

Please browse my reasonably priced stock photography. License a photograph, download and use it for your website or blog. Click this link to browse all my Getty IStock Photography offerings.

Or click this link or any photograph or this link to select a print with custom framing from my “Ireland” Fine Art Gallery.

Interested in learning more about this site?  I have a series of postings on Loughan Bay.  Click for the first posting in this series.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills, All Rights Reserved.

Queenstown Glamor

Cobh Heritage Center

Nothing so grand as the SS (or HMS) Servia carried my ancestors from Ireland to America. This ship model, created for the 1992 film “Far and Away” is on display within Cobh Heritage Center. Said by some to be the first true transatlantic ocean liner. Launched in 1881 as luxury transportation by the Cunard Line of today’s Queen Mary. Last year, we enjoyed the arrival of Cunard’s Queen Victoria to Cape Canaveral. (Click the link for my blog of the event, one of the last cruise ships to sale during the pandemic of 2020).

It is notable the model played a small role in the film, yet is an incredible accomplishment. By the way, from 1849 to 1920 Cobh was known as “Queenstown” in honor of a visit by Queen Victoria. The Irish Free State returned the name to the original.

References

SS Servia – Wikipedia

Far and Away – Wikipedia

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Blessing of the Bonnets

Christina Henri, 25,566 bonnets, convict women Australia bound

January 1, 1835 the “convict” ship “Neva” departed from Cobh harbor for Sydney, Australia. The 241 people on board included 150 female “convicts”, their 33 children, 9 “free” women (probably the wives of convicts) and their 22 children, 27 crew. During the passage three persons died, one child was born. About 5 a.m. on May 13, 1835 the Neva hit a reef northwest of King Island in Bass Strait and broke apart rapidly. Twenty two survivors drifted ashore on two rafts formed by the fore and aft decks of the wrecked ship. Seven women died of exposure the first night ashore. Fifteen, six women and nine crew, were later rescued. No children survived.

Between 1791 and 1853 approximately 26,500 Irish people were forcefully transported to New South Wales. The 25,566 bonnets crafted for this project represent lives of female “convicts”. The slide show are photographs of the exhibit, Cobh Heritage Center, County Cork, Republic of Ireland.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Queenstown personal connection

Cobh Heritage Center

The Irish Free State was four months old when my then 35 year old Grandfather and Grandmother boarded the S.S. Montnairn out of Belfast. My mother, two months short of three years of age, accompanied them on this voyage to a new life as Canadian citizens. This slideshow is a mix of images from the Cobh Heritage center and my personal genealogy materials.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Coolcreen View Six

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day 2021 “No Snakes”

Number six of six from the Kerry County side on the descent Healy Pass, R574. Here we move away from, say goodbye (hopefully, for now) to these marvelous views, our first sight of County Kerry.

Two more strange, conical hills come into view, repeating those in the distance. These have a long story.

Beara Peninsula, Coolcreen townland, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland.

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Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Coolcreen View Three prime

Coolcreen Townland

Number three of six from the Kerry County side on the descent Healy Pass, R574. I enhanced view three to level the horizon. A side by side comparison is provided, below.

It is possible to just make out several lake houses. Click me for more information about who live here during the early twentieth century.

Click me to learn more about the name of the lake.

Beara Peninsula, Coolcreen townland, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland.

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Visible from this point on R574, Healy Pass, is Glenmore Lake, the Rivers Drunminboy, Glanstrasna flowing into a sheltered inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1911, the Irish National Census lists nineteen (19) persons of five (5) families listed with the names O’Sullivan, Sullivan and Shea. From this view this is a puzzle until the map is examined. The land transitions from this rock to a steep, then leveling slope down to Glanmere Lake and a stream running from the heights with plenty of reasonably level, fertile acreage. There is a glimpse of a lake. Like many of the Irish place names, Glenmore Lake has a connection to the Irish Language name, Loch an Ghleanna Mhóir. Roughly translated the name means Large Lake of the Glen. The names in use today, in English, are derived from the sounds of the Irish. It happens the Irish Ghleanna sounds link Glen (or in another version, Glan, roughly the same). Beara Peninsula, Coolcreen townland, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland.

Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Coolcreen View Five

horizontal

Number five of six from the Kerry County side on the descent Healy Pass, R574. Less sky and more land in this horizontal aspect.

Lavender hedgerows drawn the eye to that conical distant hill. In the lower left the new rhododendron leaves are flower-like.

Beara Peninsula, Coolcreen townland, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland.

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Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved

Coolcreen View Four

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Number four of six from the Kerry County side on the descent Healy Pass, R574. Here I turn the camera on the Manfrotto studio tripod with hydrostatic ball head to the original view, a little less lit with a better leveling of the horizon.

A first glance, the rhododendrons in bloom are beautiful along the hedgerows and the foreground. Click me for our first encounter with this flowering plant. Later, during out stay at Ashford Castle, County Mayo, during kayaking on Lough Corrib, I remembered this scene and described it to my guide. He filled me in the rhododendron is a notorious invasive species. Click me for an interesting article with all the details.

Here is story of visitors LOST in a rhododendron forest.

Beara Peninsula, Coolcreen townland, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland.

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Copyright 2021 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved