Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo


One of my favourite places on the planet.

This is the sea stack, known as Dun Briste. Photo taken by iDJ last summer, a much brighter day. It’s also my background on my iPad.

Two weeks ago.

It was warm, and not too windy, so I got closer to the edge than I ever did before. I think all the ladders at work have helped me get over my fear of heights.





All taken lying on my stomach, looking over. I felt pretty safe.

A man fishing over the edge! That takes talent. Even on a not-so-windy day, it has to be hard to cast out so far into the Atlantic from a huge cliff. We saw him reel up something that looked an awful lot like a shark, too. But hard to say from such a distance.

I was rather worried when I heard that the Council is ‘developing’ the site. It’s wild and natural and I didn’t like the idea of anyone screwing with it. They have started already.

Walking up: that wasn’t there before. They have raised an earthen rampart around the blowhole.


It has a viewing platform now. Do you see all the foam in the blowhole? That will be important later.

View of the overlook and blowhole from further up the hill.

Yeah, heavily fenced off. Well, the blowhole was fenced off before – just not as prettily. Still, I fail to see the point of fencing off a hole when there are miles of cliff-face all around with a raging Atlantic right there. I’m really hoping they don’t fence all that off, too: like they did with the Cliffs of Moher.

Me! That’s where I took most of my over-the-edge pics from. In no danger, unless a huge collapse happened.
Which, of course, it might. And then some lawyer-happy-jackoff will sue the County. But… will the leeches be more likely to sue before they put up fences or after? Right now the place is still wild – and you damn well know it. If you fall off, it’s your own damn fault. Once there are fences: well then, the government didn’t protect you enough so you deserve money for being stupid. You can see they are placing fence-posts there, well behind where I’m lying.

That’s also me. I scared my friend by walking there – but it was entirely stable and clearly the sheep fed there quite often. What’s that on my shoe? Awwww, dammit.

My view of the same area as above. See? Perfectly safe. Because it wasn’t windy and I’m not a goddamned idiot.

Ah, the foam! Even on such a calm day, the ocean coming in under the cliff and the way the tide was flowing meant there was a good amount of sea-foam being thrown into the air. I really wish I could have videoed it!

20 responses »

  1. This place is mesmerizing- totally smashingly wonderful. I do hope they don’t mess it all up. Wild places need to be left wild to remind us….it’s not Disneyland. They will have more trouble/people hurt with fences.
    Awesome place

  2. I love Ireland. I love your pictures. I hate that wild places need to be tamed because of idiots. Please keep taking pictures. Sligo is where my great grandmother came from. I visited there in 197l and was entranced by the deep greens and rough sea and the wonderful people.

    • My goodness. I was busy being born in 1971. You would find some changes here now, a bust, a boom and a bust have all come and gone (still a bit burst at the moment). Sligo is a good neighbour to Mayo, not like those Dublin or Kerry counties. :) Glad you liked my photos, I don’t get out too much but I always seem to find something lovely when I do.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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