Lugnasad sunset from Sheriff’s Mountain

The most bewildering aspect about alignments seems to be the problem of how to establish with some certainty, if a possible alignment was an intended or unintended one. Having been able to see the sun setting behind the monument for two months by simply walking with the sun, a display, that in it’s full length …

Still on Minkey Hill

What was first thought of as a summer solstice alignment has now stretched to at least a Beltaine/Lugnasad one, marking the beginning and end of summer. On July 16, I was standing close to the masts, a couple of hundred meters away from my location on June 15, with a nearly equal distance left on …

Minkey Hill, solstice sunset take 2

The sun was seen setting for the second time behind the monument ten days later on June 15. Arriving early to inspect the hill closer and in particular the visibility towards the Grianán from its southern extremity, I discovered to my great relief that I will be still left with ridge to spare at the time …

Minkey Hill, solstice sunset take 1

After last years tribulations, involving several test runs and too many clouds, only to find myself standing on the wrong hill in the end, a promising clear sky on the evening of June 5, was not to be snubbed at to undertake the first attempt to see the sun setting behind the Grianán at the …

Beltane 2014

Beltane came and went but no sun rose from the sea. On May 6 the sun broke through but too late and in a piercing winter wind, chasing low flying clouds across the hills. I am still hoping for a clear morning in the next few days, just to see how far the sun has …

Sunset Easter Monday 2014

Often, it seems, we remain unaware of a certain beauty, particularly the kind which is familiar, close and just here. It applies to the people, who surround us, as well as places, leaving us unwitting as to their necessity for our very being and poorer for it. But sometimes we are fortunate to receive a …

Here we go again

The year, now past, will be a peculiar one to remember, mainly for being at odds with itself and everything in it, seemingly leaving events disconnect without a flow but being in a rush to pass nevertheless. An appreciation develops, as a result, of the ancient urge to be in command of time, which seems …

The solstice of discontent

In my mind I could see the sun approaching Grianán in a high arch from above, as if someone fired a glowing canon ball towards it, only to gently settle right behind the monument, leaving its black silhouette burning for a few short moments on the disappearing disc. The radiant red smoulder of the aftermath …

As the sun rose from the sea – Beltane 2013

Although somewhat expected, it still caused considerable excitement, as I saw suddenly a faint orange crescent rising, seemingly out of the water, from the eastern shore of the mouth of Lough Foyle on the morning of April 30. And if the skies would have been clear enough some days later, then this sun would have …

Spring Equinox 2013

A hazy sun rose this morning but a sun nevertheless. And although having seen the marvel of this alignment already twice, it still creates amazement, as if it may not appear on this occasion. Even so, a longer then usual winter, artic winds and seemingly eternal grey skies, made this break a very fortunate one, …

The case of the illusive sun at Grianán

Perhaps one should keep more earnestly in mind, when expecting with a reasonable likelihood the rising and setting of the sun on specific dates in the calendar, visible from the monument, that the literally translation of the name grianan signifies little sun and very little indeed was to be seen of it during the winter …

Near the end of this year

This year, so close now to its completion, has been a restless one, perhaps just perceived but nevertheless quite convincing, as if nothing touched could lead to a conclusion. Started projects scattered everywhere and traces of progress so frightfully thin. But apart from such unfamiliar commotion and running its course even faster then before, it …

Moments of a monument – summer solstice 2012

Very early, Tuesday morning, June 19 Fine veils of mist floated across the road between Buncrana and Burnfoot. An unpromising thick fog covered the low lying shortcut to Burt, reaching its extent just below the summit, from where I was offered to view beauty unseen in quite motion. Mist rolled over the hills of the …

Ta mo hall

Ta mo hall – This is my hall. The National monument, known as the Grianán of Aileach, has become over the last few years, more and more, a case of mistaken identity on the part of George Petrie, who in 1834 determined, as part of the Ordnance Survey, that the newly found ruin on Greenan …

Belated summer solstice

It came quite close, of this year being the first without a visit to the hill within two days either way of the summer solstice for lack of sun. At the end of June 20, some people set their alarm clock for a disturbingly early hour in the morning of the following day. As far …

“Wonderful tonight”

The night from 15th to 16th June. No moon eclipse was to be seen from our position because of the cloud cover. But a marvelous sunset, the full moon also stood over Greenan for a couple of hours. The people  who came, belonged to this place. “Wonderful tonight” – Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler  

The missing link

Text removed.  Since the problem, I tried to address, very much remains an integral part of the fabric of this community, I would have preferred to leave this post but it attracted a few visitors with no interest in Greenan, research or any of my findings so far. This is met with no appreciation and …

A christmas that almost did not happened

with politicians and bankers doing the Robin Hood in reverse, stealing from the poor and giving it to the rich, and the most severe weather for at least a generation. The great beauty of sunlight over white dusted fairytale landscapes seems to have gone nearly unnoticed, leaving only the harshness of the cold and collapsing …

Making a wish

  It is the one time of the year, when one can indulge after all. Stubbornly hoping for the light to shine upon an area, much deserved and missing for so long, although, is not just for christmas.

Budget 2009

The morning after the budget is a very dark one indeed. Living in a council estate – everyone will be badly affected around me. Although our houses were finished in 2002, they have only one fireplace for heat and warm water, the insulation is just above non-existing, the state of doors, windows, the amount of gaps …

Sunsets at Grianán

Even after closer examination women don’t seem to have played a significant role in the history of Grianán of Aileach. Yet nine names, three queens and six goddesses, representing the land, sovereignty, fertility, war, death and great influence, are found surrounding events at the time of the legendary Tuatha De Dannan near Ulster and Aileach. …

Take a picture while you can

The devouring grasp of a from dust to diamond in ten years people is closing in, unquestioned, with not a thought to spare and for good. What would have been worth keeping, what would have been essential to keep, to maintain at least some of the illusion that pieces of the chronicle of the Irish …