The week before last, I shed the cobwebs of winter, as I walked along ancient tracks well traveled in my childhood.
This stream connects two adjacent lakes. My mother’s childhood home sits at the top of Mullaghderg Lake seen in the background of this photograph:
I walked these tracks on many occasions with my late mother and my sisters, as we headed to the beach for a refreshing swim in the Atlantic Ocean.
I love the view across the adjoining lake towards my father’s childhood home – the long yellow house to the right in this photograph:
Dad and his beloved Clydesdale horse Prince transported peat, groceries and other utilities around the Rosses area of Donegal. Life was tough. Sadly unemployment has always been high in the northwest of Ireland, and emigration was the norm for many young people.
In the early 1950s, my parents were forced into emigration to Scotland, and Prince was sold. I believe Dad was heartbroken selling his beloved horse, for he never spoke of Prince to us children. Indeed, I never saw him ride a horse.
This is the only photograph I possess of Dad and Prince:
Reaching the highest point on my walk, I admired the view across the village where my father was born. It is now part of a tourism initiative called The Wild Atlantic Way.
Sadly, the village is missing many of its young people, as history keeps repeating itself, and a new generation is forced to find jobs abroad.
I feel very blessed to enjoy life in the land that I love.
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Brigid P. Gallagher