The Old Desolate Cottage

The Old Desolate Cottage.... one of my very earliest memories of really noticing the world around me.

Growing up in Ballymena, our family would travel this way often to the Glens and the North Antrim seaside towns of Cushendall, Waterfoot and Carnlough.

The old cottage sat alone as I passed by, but when I returned after many years away, a companion had grown beside it.

This is one of my favourite shots which personally really moves me. I find I love the solitude of this place.  The area is bleak and barren.

What must have happened in this old house so many years ago?  How did it become barren and desolate?

I processed this shot with that sense of "time passing by" in my mind... I wanted to capture something of the ageless and timeless nature of the place.



Bad Eddie's Boat

Just as we arrived at Bunbeg to photograph Bad Eddie's Boat we were overrun by a bunch of visiting teenagers who managed to get to the boat before us.  I thought to myself... this might be a wasted trip.

But no sooner did the teens start messing about the boat, but the heaviest hailstorm started.  By that time we had retreated to our car to wait for the area to clear.  A few stayed around the boat stubbornly but eventually they left and we were able to proceed with our exploration of the boat.  I've a set of images which document the details of the boat well.  I'll perhaps share those when I get the time.

So my inspiration for the treatment of this image was that I wanted to capture the heavy atmosphere of the moment... the storm having just passed... and in the distance what looked like another one heading our way.



The Banshee of Dunluce Castle

There are many tales of ghosts that roam the dark brooding fortress of Dunluce Castle (Gaelic – Dún Libhse). This famous Celtic Dunluce Castle stands on a rocky crag on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland in County Antrim. Parts of the castle, which was the headquarters of the Clan MacDonnell, date back to the fourteenth century.

One such story is that of Maeve Roe, thought to be the only daughter of Lord MacQuillan. Defying his wishes to become betrothed to Richard Oge, MacQuillan had her held in the north eastern turret of the castle. Maeve had given her heart to another, Reginald O’Cahan and every day and night she looked out of her prison in the hope that he would come for her.

It was a dark and stormy night when Reginald O’Cahan did eventually come to the castle to rescue his love. With the wind whistling through the battlements of Dunluce Castle and beating against the thick stone walls the couple secretly fled the fortress. Into the cold night air they descended to a large cave that opened in the rocks below Dunluce.

Their spirits high the two lovers set out in a small boat to cross the turbulent seas towards the seaside settlement of Portrush (Gaelic-Port Rois). Fighting against the white topped waves the small boat was tossed mercilessly by the cruel sea. Pushed in all directions, this way and then that, the little vessel eventually succumbed and wasthrown against the rocks. Maeve Roe and Reginald O’Cahan clung together as they sank down into the cold salty depths.

It is said that the body of Maeve was never recovered from her watery grave. Although her earthly remains have gone forever, the story of the love of Maeve Roe can never be forgotten. For her spirit haunts the dark wind swept ruins of Dunluce Castle. On dark stormy nights visitors to the castle come back with strange stories of disturbing heart rending wails and screams coming from the Northeast Tower also known as MacQuillan’s Tower.

Those that know the history of Dunluce Castle will be able to tell them exactly the source of these frighteningly sad cries. Lamenting her lost life and love, it is the ‘Banshee of Dunluce Castle’; Maeve’s sad and troubled soul forever looking out across the sea from her prison tower in a haunted Celtic Dunluce Castle, searching for a rescue that will never come.

You can


Bury Me by the Sea



Storm Clouds over Mussenden




The Dark Hedges - Impending Doom

I have always thought of the Dark Hedges as the perfect location for a photograph of the Headless Horseman....  There's an eeriness about the Dark Hedges and that's why it's so often used now in movies.  I love it, but its hard to get a moment when there aren't tourists about, such is it popularity!



Doolough Valley



Layd Church

Layd Church

On the outskirts of Cushendall, nestled along a coastal path, is the abandoned ruin of Layd Church. As with many graveyards there's an eerie calm that settles over the site.



Abandoned Cottage, Connemara Loup