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. Reply
    Flickr: Traces in the Sand December 21, 2006

    Traces in the Sand has posted a comment:

    Wonderful brooding view. 🙂

    An Fear Marbh

  2. Reply
    Kieran December 21, 2006

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

  3. Reply
    Donal December 21, 2006

    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. Reply

    […] In light of the day that’s in it, I have a nice picture of An Fear Marbh off the Kerry coast at sunset on my photoblog. Feel free to wonder why a man is lying on his back in the Atlantic and how that relates to the above.. […]

  5. Reply
    Donncha December 21, 2006

    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!

  6. Reply
    DaveP December 21, 2006

    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.

  7. Reply
    photoDude December 21, 2006

    awesome photo dude. really good.

    have a great Christmas!

  8. Reply
    Donncha December 21, 2006

    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!

  9. Reply
    .. December 22, 2006

    […] An Fear Marbh […]

  10. Reply
    DaveP December 22, 2006

    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.

  11. Reply
    John December 24, 2006

    Great shot.

    Happy Christmas !


  12. Reply
    Haladdin Lomak October 12, 2007

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

  13. Reply
    CALree March 4, 2008

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

  14. Reply
    Michael March 18, 2008

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

  15. Reply
    An Fear Marbh san uisce April 25, 2008

    […] Fear Marbh, or “The Dead Man” in English lies off the coast of Co. Kerry. I posted another photo of the island taken on the same night as this one here, but it was such a beautiful evening I took […]

  16. Reply
    Flickr: An Gobán Saor August 25, 2008

    Great shot Donncha. Foreground works well too….

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