When I Get Home: Sandycove, Killiney and Achill

November 21st, 2011

In a post from May of this year I mentioned that, of all the things I miss about being away from home, nothing is more craved than the sea. One of the first things I did on this brief visit home was take a dip in the Forty Foot. Yes, it’s cold. Yes, you may think it’s crazy; but it is a creature comfort that I yearned for all year. This post is a tribute to where I am from and where I spend a lot of time: Sandycove, Dalkey and Killiney, Co. Dublin and Achill, Co. Mayo. Of all the places I have been in my life, I am yet to find one that can be quite as beautiful as Ireland. Some of the images were taken by my friend Ed Kavanagh, some were taken by myself, and some were taken by others.


Sunset from Sandycove strand. On cloudless evenings like this the sun illuminates the east pier and Scotsman’s bay. You can see three swimmers with their heads bobbing on the water.

The Forty Foot. I must have climbed those steps a thousand times.

More Forty Foot. You can see all the way across Dublin Bay to Howth on the far side.

Sandycove and Dalkey from the east pier in Dun Laoghaire.

Some birds found lunch in Sandycove.


More lunch.

A seal spies a wee birdy in Sandycove.

Rainbow over Dublin Bay, taken from Sandycove.

From Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape

Dalkey Island from Coliemore Harbour. The water isn’t normally this calm!

Sunset over Dalkey Island. I once sailed from Dun Laoghaire to the island and camped for the night. We had a wind and the current on the way over, but the journey back was hell. We had to row and I was about 14 with arms like toothpicks.

Killiney Bay taken from Killiney Hill.

Gorse bush on Killiney Hill in November.

Early morning dew on Killiney Hill.

Ed took this one of the Obelisk on Killiney Hill. It is probably my favourite image of all in this post.

The Obelisk with the Dublin mountains in the background.

Time to head west. This is Keem Bay near the westernmost point of Achill. I have been to countless beaches across three continents, yet none has ever been as magnificently beautiful as Keem. Have a few more . . .

Keem Bay is just one stunning place in Achill. Here are a few more . . .

One of the many dolphins off the west coast of Ireland.

Some horses watching a Mayo sunset.

Surfing at sunset on Keel strand.

The next few images are from the Curraun penninsula, just off Achill Island.

This is Clew Bay, Co. Mayo. Scores of little islands (‘drumlins’) dot the bay.