Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Co. Sligo – The Breífne Project

Carboniferous fossils at Streedagh Point

Arriving in Dublin on Bloomsday, in the middle of June, and having a week to familiarise myself with my new surroundings and get to know new friends and colleagues, my first trip out of Dublin with the GSI soon came with a trip to Co. Sligo. As part of the Breífne Project, an innovative tourism venture, representatives of the various organisations convened at Mullaghmore. 

Glencar Waterfalls
Driving right across the central midlands of Ireland, a great swathe of Carboniferous limestone, I was amazed at how green the landscape is. In England, I had seen the bleak uplands of the Peak District and North Yorkshire National Parks but, here, it is a lowland area that is often thickly covered in bogs.

At the boundary of Co. Leitrim and Co. Sligo, the Dartry Mountains, comprising Carboniferous limestone and shale, loom into view, and stopping at Glencar Lough, we had a quick look at the waterfalls before arriving at our destination.

Booking in to the Beach Hotel, it seemed like it had already been a long day but I was soon revived by one of the very best meals that I have ever had – at Eithnas Restaurant. I can’t remember what I ate, but the wine and conversation flowed and retiring back to the hotel, fully fed, we continued into the night. 

Waking up on a sunny morning, a hearty breakfast set us up the rest of the day and we started off with a visit to Streedagh Point to look at the assemblage of fossils and to take in the views of Benbulben and across Donegal Bay towards Slieve League.

With time moving on, we only briefly visited the Creevykeel megalith, before we made our way back to Dublin by a different route. Taking the wheel myself, my impression was the same as the day before - that Ireland is so green.

A view across Glencar Lough