A heartbreaking story…15 years ago…Favorite photos have begun…Eight days and counting…

Fishing is big business in this village.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland 

“Argentina’s Navy was founded by an Irishman. The Irish have made their way to the far corners of the world in the past, and Admiral William Brown is a great example of Irish accomplishments abroad. Brown was the creator and first admiral of the Argentine Navy and is today hailed as a hero in Argentina for his attempts to protect Argentina from the Spanish invaders successfully.”
In some parts of the world, equipment such as this couldn’t be left in plain view. But, here in Glinsk, crime rates are meager.

Shortly after we arrived in Glinsk (also spelled “Glinsce” in the Irish language), we had an opportunity to chat with our property owner, Eileen, a lovely woman who’s lived in this area all of her life.

Eileen is a beautiful artist, and numerous sea paintings line the walls in this unique property. She’s spent the past 15 years without her beloved husband Josie, who perished at sea in 2004.  

She shared the heartbreaking story of Josie and three of his buddies who drowned in a storm when they were attempting to relocate a 20 meter, 65-foot boat to another area.

Fishing gear on the dock.

Numerous articles were written about the tragedy including the following story we chose to share from the Irish Times.  (See the story here). Although the article is dated December 2004, the tragedy occurred on September 17, 2004. Please see below:

“Drowning inquest told vessel struck rocks in gale
One of four men who lost their lives when a fishing vessel sank off Connemara three months ago only joined the boat at the last minute, an inquest heard yesterday.
The channel at the boat launch in Glinsk.

Boatyard owner Mr. Josie Connolly, of Leitir Ard, had told his wife, Ms. Eileen Noonan Connolly, that he would not have fancied going out in the St. Oliver on the night in question as the weather was terrible.

However, Ms. Noonan Connolly saw her husband boarding the 65-ft vessel later that evening, September 17th, and when she ran outside to ask him what he was doing, she was told by a local man that he was assisting the delivery of the vessel back to Rossaveal.

She said she spoke to her husband by phone and he asked her to pray that he did not get seasick.

Fishing using this equipment is hard work, hardly compares to the ease of using a fishing pole with bait.

Mr. Connolly, who was in his 60s and from Glinsk, Connemara, lost his life along with fellow crew Mr. John Dirrane, the vessel’s skipper, Mr. Michael Faherty, and Mr. Michael Mullin, when St. Oliver hit rocks off Duck Island (Inishlacken) south of Mweenish island off Carna, in a gale on September 17th.

Mr. Dirrane and Mr. Faherty, who were in their early 40s, were lifelong friends from the Aran islands and both had moved into Inverin. Mr. Dirrane’s wife, Una, had recently given birth to their fourth child. Mr. Faherty’s wife, Carmel, was expecting their first child when the accident occurred.

The inquest in Galway yesterday heard how the youngest of the four, Mr. Mullin (18), of Moyard, had sent a mobile phone text message to a friend, Ms. Regina King, before the sinking.

At the Glinsk pier…

The message said: “Was in Carna all week. I just finished today. We were steaming towards Rossaveal. Rough as f***. Our two computers f***ed. Hardly know where the f*** we’re going. Will give you a buzz later.”

The text message was sent at 8.23 p.m., but Ms. King did not receive it until 9.30 p.m.

Mr. Eamon Torpay, search and rescue operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard, said the emergency radio beacon (EPIRB) on the St. Oliver was activated at 9.03 p.m, and the satellite signal was relayed from Scotland to the Irish emergency services.
Some of the old boats could have been on the Glinsk dock for decades.

The Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter from Shannon, the Naval Service patrol ship LE Ciara and lifeboats were dispatched to the scene in very bad weather conditions.

The bodies of three of the men were recovered off the Carna coast within 24 hours of the sinking. Mr. Dirrane’s body was found near the wreckage a week later.

The skipper’s widow, Ms. Una Dirrane, told the inquest that her husband had been working on St Oliver, which was in dry dock at Mr. Connolly’s yard at Leitir Ard, at the time.
The beaches in this area are rocky and not suitable for swimming. Also, the windy and cool summer weather may keep beach-lovers away.
On September 17th, he phoned her to say he was taking the vessel back to Rossaveal. She had called him at 8.30 p.m. that night, and he said the weather was “messy.”

Mr. Faherty’s widow, Ms. Carmel Faherty, said her husband had been in good form when she drove him to Carna. The weather appeared to be okay. She phoned him on the vessel at 8.10 p.m. that night, and he told her that Mr. Josie Connolly was on board.

She asked him to call her when they reached Rossaveal, but at 10.30 p.m. Ms. Dirrane had phoned her to say that the vessel was in trouble.
Expansive view of Bertraghboy Bay as seen from Glinsk.

Medical evidence showed that three of the men died from asphyxia due to sea-water drowning, while Mr. Dirrane died from fractures and other severe internal injuries which were consistent with having been in a boating accident.

The coroner for West Galway, Dr. Ciarán McLoughlin, expressed his sympathy to all those who had been touched by the loss of the four men.”
Ruins by the sea in Glinsk.
In the years after the loss of Josie, Eileen set about to finish this house that she and Josie had started together. She worked hard to get it completed in a manner that would appeal to holidaymakers who visit from all corners of the world.

Her handling of our rental has been impeccable and we truly appreciate her kindness and efforts to create a peaceful environment for us during our three-month stay.  

Fluffy white calf over overlooking the sea in Glinsk.

Eileen has bravely made a life for herself and we commend her on her determination and courage after losing the man she so dearly loved for decades.  It gives us pause to think about how fortunate we are to have one another and to be able to experience this period of time in this house in which we can feel the love.

When life is hard, it often takes hearing the stories of others to fully embrace what we have, not what we have lost.

Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2018:
This morning we opened the door to find 19 kudus in the garden, breaking our prior record of 17 at once.  The one closest to the veranda is the girl that constantly licks my toes.  She is identifiable by an oval notch in her right ear.  For more photos, please click here.