Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Most Beautiful Spot in the Most Beautiful Country

Think of Ireland, and you will visualize green--the moniker Emerald Isle was coined for a reason.  Myriad shades of green manifest themselves in fields, shrubs and trees, crops, mountain slopes, and the surrounding ocean is a deep aquamarine. What a velvety gorgeous land.
 Dingle  Bay

Half my ancestry comes from Ireland, almost all of it from the Dingle Peninsula, which is the furthest west point in Europe. In the days of immigration the residents had a phrase, "next parish, America," meaning if you went any further west from Dingle, you'd end up in America.  And my ancestors did just that.  Unlike the Germans or Scandinavians who arrived on our shores with funds to buy land in the mid-west, the Irish were a defeated, starving people. They arrived penniless and "sold" themselves to New England railroads or the cotton, paper, and silk mills.

Minard Castle after the English got through with it.  My 3rd gr-grandmother, Nellie Wren, was born circa 1800 up on the mountain in the distance 

 The Irish went from this (above) to this:

 The mills of New England
The Dingle Peninsula would have been a hard place to leave behind.  It was and is a land of white sandy beaches, towering cliffs beat by frothy waves, emerald pastures dotted with sheep and cattle, whitewashed cottages, ancient stone ruins, and colorful pubs.  These are sights not to be forgotten. 


 ruins at Fahan




What heartache the Irish experienced as each cast a final glance at his or her beloved homeland, knowing they would never return to their lush Emerald Isle.  They found some solace in the US through association with others from their home villages. As the song goes: "I hear whisper of a country that lies far beyond the sea, where rich and poor stand equal in the light of freedom's day. . .where the cruel cross of England's thralldom never will be seen, and where thank God we'll live and die, still wearin' of the green!"  [from Wearin' of the Green]

NOTE: I am writing this while out of town for Thanksgiving.  I don't have access to my photographs, so all of the above (except the Lowell Mills) are borrowed from this website:
The Dingle Way website

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's sad to think of those who had to leave their homelands. I can see why they would miss beautiful Ireland. Thanks for sharing this. The pictures are great.