016 Achill Island History and Things to Do – with Patricia Byrne

Welcome to Episode 16 of the Thin Places Travel Podcast. In this episode, we’ll be focusing on Achill Island History and things to do on the Island. Our guest is the writer, Patricia Byrne who is from County Mayo and has written extensively about Achill Island including two non-fiction books on Achill Islands recent history and most captivating historical characters. 

Patricia Byrne discusses Achill Island
Writer, Patricia Byrne discusses Achill Island

 

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THIN PLACES TRAVEL PODCAST
#016 Achill Island History and Things to Do 
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guests – Patricia Byrne – Writer from County Mayo
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Achill Island History and Things to Do

This episode is focused on the largest of Ireland’s islands – Achill Island. It lies off the coast of County Mayo and can be accessed by a bridge. It’s an island of stories, of sorrow, of powerful women, and it has some of the most beautiful scenery is all of Ireland with sheer cliffs, amazing mountains, bogland, sandy beaches, and historic villages.  Achill Island  – as my friend Ruth O’Hagan says, “… is one big, fat, giant amethyst sitting in the Atlantic Ocean. And it’s true that amethysts were mined here, and one can still see the veins of purple in the gray rock cliff faces.

Achill is old landscape. Inhabitants of the island are said to go back 5000 years.  The Belfast born painter, Paul Henry visited Achill Island with the intent of staying a few weeks but found that he couldn’t leave. He said of Achill Island, “Achill … called to me as no other place had ever done.” He ended us staying for years.

Patricia Byrne is a writer who currently lives in Limerick, but is from County Mayo and has Achill Island ancestors. The stories of Achill Island and her ancestors captured her imagination so strongly that she has spent years researching and writing narrative non-fiction about the island’s history and people.   She is a graduate of the NUI Galway writer program. Her most recently historical non fiction books are:

The Preach and the Prelate: The Achill Mission Colony and the Battle for Souls in Famine Ireland  

And

The Veiled Woman of Achill: Island Outrage and a Playboy Drama

In our conversation today, Patricia and I talk about the stories in her books, but also about Achill Island itself and many opportunities for travelers to the island.

Continue reading “016 Achill Island History and Things to Do – with Patricia Byrne”

Carrowkeel and Sligo Thin Places – with Martin Byrne

Welcome to Episode 11 of the Thin Places Travel Podcast. In this episode, we’ll be talking to the sacred Ireland expert, tour guide, and musician, Martin Byrne from County Sligo. Martin will talk about Carrowkeel, the megalithic passage tomb complex in south Sligo and several other major thin places in Sligo that are a part of a chain of thin places that stretch straight across Ireland from eastern border to the west. 

Martin Byrne plays his banjo at Drumcliffe
Martin Byrne plays his banjo at Drumcliffe

 

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THIN PLACES TRAVEL PODCAST
#011 Carrowkeel and Sligo Thin Places with Martin Byrne
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guest – Martin Byrne – Historian, Tour Guide and Musician
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Martin Byrne, sacred Ireland expert, tour guide and musician brings us Carrowkeel in South Sligo

Martin Byrne lives in Cliffony in north County Sligo, but he spent many years living at Carrowkeel, close to the shores of Lough Arrow.  Carrowkeel is a 5000-year-old megalithic complex of ancient buildings that served as tombs scattered across the summits of the  Bricklieve Mountains.  This area is in the close company of other megalithic sites that include Kesh Corran also known as the caves of kesh, the Heapstown Cairn, Creevykeel Court Tomb, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Knocknarea – the sacred mountain with the large cairn on top. 

Continue reading “Carrowkeel and Sligo Thin Places – with Martin Byrne”

007 Aran Islands and Places of Resurrection with Dara Molloy

Welcome to Episode 7 of the Thin Places Travel Podcast. In this episode, we’ll travel to the Aran Islands and talk with Celtic priest and druid, Dara Molloy about Places of Resurrection. 

Dara Molloy - Celtic Priest from the Aran Islands
Dara Molloy – Celtic Priest from the Aran Islands

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THIN PLACES TRAVEL PODCAST
#007 Aran Islands and Places of Resurrection with Dara Molloy
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guests – Dara Molloy – Celtic Priest and Pilgrimage Guide
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Dara Molloy Talks about Aran Islands
and Places of Resurrection

Highlights from the Dara Molloy interview

ON PLACES OF RESURRECTION

The term Places of Resurrection came from the Celtic monks. The Celtic monks, I think they were very creative and imaginative in the way that they understood scripture. And particularly I think they were interested in images and parables and stories and metaphors because that’s the approach to spirituality that the Celtic monks have always taken. It’s not logical. It’s not analytical. They never became theologians. They more became poets.
Continue reading “007 Aran Islands and Places of Resurrection with Dara Molloy”

EP 006 Joanie Madden and the Irish Workhouse Center, Portumna

Welcome to episode 6 of the Thin Places Travel Podcast. Today we have Irish American musician, Joanie Madden from the band, Cherish the Ladies as a guest. And we’ll be featuring the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway as a thin places travel destination.

Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies
Joanie Madden (second from left). Photo courtesy of Cherish the Ladies

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THIN PLACES TRAVEL PODCAST
#006  Joanie Madden and the Irish Workhouse Center, Portumna
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guests – Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies
Steve Dolan of the Irish Workhouse Centre in Portumna 
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Joanie Madden, Irish American Musician

 

In our last episode, we talked about a connection to the landscape fueling a person’s creativity and passion artistic outlets. We discussed the concept that where you are can have an effect on artistic productivity. It seems that Ireland is full of artists – performing artists, literary artists, visual artists, musicians. Perhaps there is something in the land that stirs the creative soul.

This week as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we were fortunate to be able to chat with Joanie Madden, one of the founders of the all-woman Irish music band, Cherish the Ladies. The group has been actively performing for 33 years, has been nominated for a Grammy and has recorded and released seventeen albums. Their newest album Heart of the Home has just been released this month and it features several tunes written by Joanie Madden. Continue reading “EP 006 Joanie Madden and the Irish Workhouse Center, Portumna”

EP 004 Burial Grounds, Death and the Ancients

Thin Places Podcast -ep004 - Burial Grounds, Death and the Ancients

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THIN PLACES TRAVEL PODCAST
#004 Burial Grounds, Death and the Ancients
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guest – Michael Moylan, Archaeologist and tour guide for Michael Gibbons Archaeological Tours
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Segment 1- Mindie –
BURIAL GROUNDS – DEATH AND THE ANCIENTS

Death is the ultimate connection to the landscape.

Experiencing Death and birth.   Both are beginnings and ends of life cycles

It seems the ancient people of Western Europe may have articulated this concept in their passage tombs. Sometimes they resemble a womb with the earth as the mother.

Thin places are places where we mark beginning and ends. These are sacred times. Fitting to be remembered and memorialized in sacred spaces.

In this next segment, Archaeologist Michael Moylan takes us to a burial ground in Connemara long forgotten. He uncovers a few graves and talks a little about the burial process in that region. Continue reading “EP 004 Burial Grounds, Death and the Ancients”

EP 003 – Rathcroghan and the People of the Mounds

Rathcroghan - County Roscommon Ireland


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THIN PLACES TRAVEL PODCAST
#003 Rathcroghan and the People of the Mounds
Host – Mindie Burgoyne
Guest – Mike Croghan
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Mindie on Rathcroghan

Rathcroghan is a complex of 240 archaeological sites that includes 60 national monuments that are spread out in a tract of land that is about 4 square miles. The sites range from Neolithic (5-7000 BC) to Medieval periods 5th 15th centuries).  On the site, there are burial mounds, ring forts, enclosures, linear earthworks (roads / trails) and very special cave.

Rathcroghan is located near the village of Tulsk in County Roscommon.  Its known to be a royal site the ancient capital of the province of Connaught.

We talked a little bit about royal sites in the last podcast. These would have been sites of ritual and gathering. sites of massive deposits of human emotion and energy. That human energy connected to the natural elemental energy of the land becomes something greater than the sum of its parts. Continue reading “EP 003 – Rathcroghan and the People of the Mounds”