The Wild Atlantic Way – A Spring Walk in Mullaghduff

“Walking is a man’s best medicine.”


A Spring Walk in Mullaghduff

As I walk along ancient tracks well travelled in my childhood, I pass this stream which 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

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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.

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.








































Categories: Walks

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  1. Gorgeous. How sad your father had to sell his dear Prince. It is difficult to speak of things we have loved and lost. Lovely post Brigid. xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Through all your travels, your great journey through life, this place was always waiting for you. My heart sings that you returned to this place that is so rooted in yours and I love reading your reminiscences and sharing your beautiful walks. My sadness sits with the young perpetually having to move away. We have made a smaller world but we have complicated something fundamental in doing so, I believe.

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  3. Always beautiful and soulful. Your photography reflects your love and passions of where you live and brings it to life in our worlds. So sad to have said goodbye to a trusted friend heartbreaking departure. You have recaptured the soul’s perfect place for you. Blessings

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  4. This is a really lovely post, thank you for sharing with us.
    I’m completely preoccupied by how supposedly transient things like waterways, grasses, tracks in the ground can have such a gut-felt power for us if they’ve been a part of emotional landscapes – I don’t think there’s word for it, but there should be. Haunted by landscape, or something like that.
    Whatever the sense, it’s important to remember things and people, like your father and Prince. It keeps the trackways alive and indelible.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are so blessed (I know you know that) to walk the past paths of loved ones and memories while living in the present.
    The photos/video are a perfect addition to help me see your home as you do. Thank-you for the glimpse.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely sensitive reminiscence, beautifully recalled, Brigid. I felt privileged to share it with you. I think it does us good to revisit our past sometimes, It makes the landscape feel part of who we are and us part if what it is. PX

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  7. Hello Daisies.
    The photographs showed views of breathtaking beauty, and your words told he story of your younger life.
    How I wish that your father could have stayed where he loved. His land. His home. His Prince. The selling of his much loved horse must have been such a wrench and his heart must have ached forever more.

    Your photographs and story were a treasured gift to us. Thank you for sharing this tender, beautiful part of your life, my lovely friend. You are one of my blessings. Like a richly coloured gemstone which doesn’t vie for attention but instead sits quietly and beautifully amongst all the other gems (blessings) in which it sits.
    I’m so glad I was led to you.
    Sending much love ~ Cobs. xxx

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  8. You’ve made me long to return to my childhood home, Brigid. It is about 3.5 hours north of where I live now and I still have family there. I always travel around to the places that meant so much to me and to my parents when I go there. How lovely that you live there and can walk the same roads you walked as a child, remembering the past and connecting with your loved ones who are gone. Your spring weather is also appealing since a huge storm is headed to Maine for the next 24 hours. The poor crocuses and robins will be freaking out!

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      • I have learned to slow down a lot Jennifer. I just have to listen to my body and cool the beans! Exercise helps so much but knowing when to stop is the key… In winter I am unable to walk much as the cold air disagrees with my lungs. I was thrilled to get out on that walk. Yoga sees me through the winter. It is a continual balancing act and sometimes I get it wrong. 🌼

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      • I agree Brigid, I stretch each day & try to go for a walk by the water here each week (I live around the corner from the water) but it’s listening to our bodies each day & it Is such a fine balancing act! I too get it wrong often…

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  9. Dearest Brigid, this is both a beautiful and moving post. I feel so sad reading how your father had to sell his beloved Prince and could never speak of him again, or even rode again. Such hardships felt by your parents to cause them to emigrate and sad to learn that there is still no work for young people in the area. I have travelled extensively in Ireland, fell in love with its people and landscape but often heard about the difficult times for rural communities. I’m happy you’ve been able to return. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life story and also of the beautiful nature – I particularly like the triptych of the bay – wonderful! Wishing you a very special day today and all days! 😃❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Annika. We are getting a boost from The Wild Atlantic Way initiative but it is early days. Our little corner is coming into its own at last. My hope is that anyone who wishes will have a job here and emigration is no longer a last resort. 🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It looks a beautiful, unspoilt area. The pull of home is strong in some people, we moved away when we got married, but when the opportunity to return to Worcestershire my heart probably overruled my head. It has though worked out for the better in the end.

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  11. Home sweet home. I am happy you get to walk in these paths were you made memories together with your family. Your dad was a nice looking tall man😊 man from what I see in the photo. I just love it.

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  12. Beautiful post, Brigid. You write so beautifully. I enjoyed the pictures and videos. It’s my dream to visit Ireland someday. It’s sad when you have to leave your home, especially since your dad had to sell his beloved, Prince. I’m glad you enjoyed Scotland while you were there and that you’re back home and happy. ❤ xx

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  13. Your childhood neighborhood gives off a feeling of wistfulness and peace. I imagine it must’ve been really heartwarming walking around knowing all the stories behind it. 🙂

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  14. I almost missed this beautiful post, Brigid…your photos and videos are haunting…it must be wonderful to be able to see your parents beginnings right in front of you, I could not look away from the beauty of the land you captured with your camera and words! I just saw the Riverdance show for the first time…the notes of the very first haunting ballad brought tears to my eyes as the story of the Irish people unfolded through song and dance. My Mom (who was adopted and did not know her true ancestry) recently sent in her Ancestry DNA kit and I’m proud to know I have Irish ancestry on both sides!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Brigid,
    Nice to meet you here. What an impressive blog containing so many topics close to my heart.
    I saw your blog in a reply to someone’s blog (think it was Janet Thomas). The yellow daisies caught my eye, yellow being a favourite colour of mine.
    When I visited your site I was overwhelmed really.
    First, my late mother’s mother’s maiden name was Gallagher and secondly both my parents (father died 1975 & mum 2015) hailed from Donegal. Mum came from Pettigo and dad from Laghey.
    My parents married in Ireland in 1954 & came to Lancashire. I was born on 12 July 1955 & my brother Ray 5th July 1959.
    Small world Brigid.
    Only just developing my blog & will visit yours again to look at the book.
    Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Margaret. Welcome to WordPress. I live in The Rosses but I have visited Pettigo in the past. I moved here in 1999 but my heart has always been here. I noticed you have spent time in The Gambia. I sponsored two boys through school with Friends of the Gambia many moons ago. 1955 was a good year! I was born on 8 March 1955. 😉

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  16. I love the quote by Hippocrates. I strongly believe that walking is good for me – but I hadn’t realized before reading this post that Hippocrates had a quote about walking.

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  17. Such beautiful views. I’ve been enjoying spring here in Kansas. It’s beautiful here too. What’s the weather like? Here this week it has been as high as 82 and as low as 65.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You’ve really told us a story here, Brigid. I didn’t know about unemployment in that part of Ireland and the young having to emigrate. It’s so sad to leave a place that beautiful, not to mention having to leave your home and family. Loved the story of your dad and his Prince, and so sorry he had to sell him. Also, it’s so special your parents were born and raised on adjoining lakes like that. I loved seeing the pictures, and that their childhood homes are still standing so you can see them. Beautiful post, my friend. 🌺

    Liked by 1 person

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