An Fear Marbh

An Fear Marbh, an island off the coast of Co. Kerry, Ireland, with the setting sun lighting up the cloud over the Atlantic.

“An Fear Marbh” translates as “the dead man” and is so named because of the obvious shape of the island – that of a man lying on his back.
This was taken last September but because today is the Winter Solstice, and the shortest day of the year, I thought it was the perfect image for the day. Days will get longer now, little by little each day.

On the day this was taken we had dinner in Dingle. I watched the sun set and the light travel down the mountains near the Conor Pass. After eating, we quickly drove west to the coast to watch the sunset. Driving down a small road we spotted a car pulled over and someone standing outside watching the sunset so we stopped and got out. Turns out it was another photographer shooting the setting sun! We stayed there chatting for a few minutes before heading off. A few moments later the road turned a corner and this beautiful scene presented itself. I had to stop and shoot a few dozen shots.

Last night we called to the crib in Ballyvolane. Fr. James McSweeney has put together a wonderful crib with chickens, pigs, calves, goats, sheep, lammas, a pony, 2 donkeys and 4 young puppies. I’ll post a photo or two tomorrow, and the crib is definitely worth a visit if you live in Cork.
Visitors are asked to give a donation, and this year money raised will go to the St Patrick’s Church renovation fund. The crib is located 200 metres from St Oliver’s Church in Ballyvolane on Kilmorna Heights.
Fr. James has a photography site at Today is my gift to where he posts a new photo every day. I’ll be converting it to a WordPress blog in January when things quieten down again!


  1. Flickr: Traces in the Sand Reply
  2. Kieran Reply

    Lovely! I should be heading over for a look myself (if I can ever wrap up these christmas orders!)

  3. Donal Reply

    Nice shot Donn. Mairead’s digging out a few old photos from years ago for a collage and there’s a similar enough one of us with a background like that.

  4. Donncha Reply

    Kieran – I hope you get the light for it. There’s beautiful countryside around there!

    Donal – I think I know that one! Looking forward to seeing that, hopefully she’ll have it done before Christmas Day!

  5. DaveP Reply

    While the days are getting longer beginning tomorrow (the solstice falls on the 22nd this year), the first day they’re noticeably longer (for example by pounding a stick in the ground and measuring the length of the noontime shadow) isn’t until Christmas day.

  6. photoDude Reply

    awesome photo dude. really good.

    have a great Christmas!

  7. Donncha Reply

    DaveP – so all those people who gathered in the cold had the wrong day this year? Hehe.

    John – thanks! I’m very happy with it too, it was worth the half hour scramble through dark roads from Dingle methinks!

  8. Pingback : ..
  9. DaveP Reply

    Yeah, they did. At least in everywhere from England through the easter hemisphere to the date-line. According to the solstice was at 00:22 UTC on 22. December, 2006. It was the evening of the 21st here in the New World, which I found amusing, because my calendar listed it as the 22nd which was what caused me to look into it in the first place.

    In any case, it’s passed now.

  10. John Reply

    Great shot.

    Happy Christmas !


  11. Haladdin Lomak Reply

    Superb Shot… I’ve been in Cork but I missed An Fear Marbh. What a pity!

  12. CALree Reply

    RE:Haladdin Lomak
    It’s actually in Kerry not Cork so I’m not surprised you missed it…

  13. Michael Reply

    Phenomenal shot. I’ve never heard of An Fear Marbh before, but now I’m intrigued!

  14. Flickr: An Gobán Saor Reply

    Great shot Donncha. Foreground works well too….

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: