This morning, we all traveled in Diarmuid Begley’s people mover to the Dunquin Pier via the Clasach (the small pass between Ventry and Dunquin), in anticipation of our boat ride out to the Great Blasket Island where Martin Kearney was born. Students loved the ride – the narrow, one-track lane, the hedgerows sporting small red fuchsia plants and nearly ready for the mid-June blooming of yellow broom and orange montbretia, and the gorgeous views on all sides.
This the the breathtakingly gorgeous view from atop the steep Dunquin Pier, looking out to the Great Blasket Island. The island (along the southwest coast of Co. Kerry) was inhabited until 1953 and had a rich, cultural life. Many islanders immigrated to the Hungry Hill area of Springfield, MA, some settled in other US cities, and still others set up new lives in the UK and Australia. The slip on the island was (and still can be) quite treacherous — approachable from Dunquin and the mainland 3 miles out across the Blasket Sound. I took this photo on a calm day — on a different kind of day, the winds can be so fierce that you could easily be swept away and out to sea.