Cottages in decay

Cottages in decay

Two tiny cottages sit on the quayside in Cape Clear’s North Harbour. You might have missed them when you arrived because they’re off in the opposite direction most people take.

I was quite taken with the contrast between both cottages. While both are obviously old and have seen better days, the left one has a new roof and a PVC door and window. I wonder if anyone lives there?

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 88mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/200s

New Age Folk in Bishop Lucey Park

New Age Folk in Bishop Lucey Park

The hippies were out in force in Bishop Lucey Park on Saturday as the new age folk made their presence felt at a “Peace in the Park” mini festival. I have to admit to being just a little cynical at events like these. Thankfully tarot readers or aura photographers were nowhere to be seen, although some guy was pontificating about what the “ordinary person didn’t know”, etc etc, and there was a Shell to Sea stall manned by a lonely girl clutching her baby. Even Frank was there and just as surprised as us by it. It wasn’t publicized at all.

Just behind the Onion Seller was a wigwam with people beating drums inside, and up at the other end near the fountain a stage was set up and music could be heard all over the park.

A comment on the Onion Seller post above makes the point that Bishop Lucey Park is not actually the same park as The Peace Park. I knew this park had been named after Bishop Lucey, but thought it was given the name, “Peace Park” as a nickname. This article clears things up. The Peace Park is on the Grand Parade, I presume down by the National Monument although there’s hardly any grass left there, if at all?

Ah, my wife Jacinta has the answer. It’s that patch of grass between South Mall and Grand Parade where there’s a monument to fallen soldiers (I think). It’s currently a building site which is why I had forgotten it.

Aperture ƒ/3.5
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 400
Shutter speed 1/100s

The cars of Cape Clear

The cars of Cape Clear

Cape Clear Island, or Oilean Chleire, is only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, but it’s only 40 minutes by ferry to the mainland so it’s fairly easy to bring out vehicles. In fact, I saw many more cars on the island than I did on my last trip.

As you may have guessed by the photo above, once the cars get here, they really don’t go anywhere else, and many of them are in a bad state of repair. On a previous trip, my father and I were driven up a very steep hill above the harbour in a multicoloured VW Beetle that was literally falling apart with rust. I’ll post a photo of the hill in a few days.

There also isn’t a police force on the island. I don’t think cars here are insured or taxed and you can forget the NCT ..

Apart from the two taxi vans sitting on the quay when we arrived, the newest car was a 1999 model. The oldest was a 1986 Renault. The taxis were had 2004 reg plates and in good condition.

I’d love to how or why the van in the far background got to the Island. It looks abandoned now.

Aperture ƒ/7.1
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 18mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s

Cape Clear North Harbour

Cape Clear North Harbour

The north harbour in Cape Clear is the main harbour on the island. There’s a south harbour as well but there’s only a small beach there, and a long quayside where the occasional small boat ties up.

To the left you can see the Club which is a small shop/cafe on the ground floor, while around the corner and upstairs is a pub. Last time I was in the pub was many years ago when I was at a book launch with my father. Up the hill is Cotter’s Bar. Never been in there, despite the fact we holidayed on the island so many times.
Finally, a new bungalow sits on a patch of land bordering the road. This wasn’t there the last time I stayed on the island for any length of time, about 15 years ago.

Aperture ƒ/9
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 48mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/160s

Speeding Boat

Speeding Boat

A speedboat, at speed, races past the more sedate Naomh Ciaran II on our way to Oilean Cleire, or Cape Clear. You can see the island itself in the background!

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 106mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/320s

Naomh Ciaran II

Naomh Ciaran II

Naomh Ciaran II, the Cape Clear Ferry for many a year is still going strong. Here she is tied up at the pier in Baltimore, Co Cork, Ireland. The last time I boarded her (probably 15 years ago) and travelled to Oilean Cleire she was painted green and white, but it seems she has had an eventful history since then.

Traditionally, for many years up to 2001, the provision of a ferry service to Cape Clear Island was handled directly by the State. The State (The Department of the Gaeltacht) owned the vessels that were in use – Oileán na nÉan and the Naomh Ciarán II. The service was managed by a committee that comprised representatives of Cape Clear Island and the Department of the Gaeltacht.
In 2001, a decision was made to transfer the service to a private company – Naomh Ciarán II Oileán Chléire Teo – that had been established by the skipper of the service. A contract was agreed with this company and, as part of that contract, it was agreed that the State (The Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands) would lease the vessel, the Naomh Ciarán II, to the company and pay an annual subsidy of €104,126 for a period of 5 years, from June 2001 to June 2006.
As part of that arrangement, and under the terms of the contract agreed, the State made redundancy payments of €190,691 to the four crew members who were employed by the company before the transfer.
Unfortunately, the new company’s principal, who was skipper of the ferry service, died suddenly during the term of the contract. Comharchumann Chlére bought the company and continued to run the ferry service under the contract that was in effect

Aperture ƒ/8
Camera Canon EOS 40D
Focal length 10mm
ISO 100
Shutter speed 1/125s