CONNEMARA...continued

From Irish Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil Richard Lovett

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A visit to Clare Island enables the visitor to appreciate the fine scenery of the bay, and also to see the ruins of the castle where the famous Amazon Grace O'Malley is said to have resided in Queen Elizabeth's day.

Catching Salmon with a Seine
Catching Salmon with a Seine

The road from Westport to Newport affords fine views of Clew Bay along the eight miles separating the two places. Here another excursion, much more elaborate and needing more time, for which Newport is a good starting-point, is the trip to Achill Island. To do this with any comfort, three or four days are necessary. The rapid tourist might do much in two days or two and a half. Achill is the largest island off the Irish coast, having a shore line of some 80 miles, and containing 46,000 acres. A long drive from Newport leads to the ferry at Achill Sound, and a further run of nine miles to Dugort, the best centre for exploration. Hence excursions may be planned according to the time and strength of the traveller. Slievemore, 2,217 feet high, overhangs Dugort. At the hamlets of Keel, Dooagh and Keem, a good idea can be obtained of aboriginal life. The people live in round cabins, looking at a distance like corn ricks; they use the curragh, and are simple and primitive in habit. Here may be seen to perfection fishing for salmon with a seine. The salmon on their way to the rivers travel round the bays. A man perched on the crags, who, by reason of the clearness of the water and the whiteness of the bottom, can see every movement of the fish, directs the men when and where to haul the seine so as to enclose the greatest number of fish. This method is followed in other parts of Connaught, and we are able to give an illustrative engraving of the process.

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