Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday 17th; Clear Island

Built late in the C19th n the site of an earlier beacon, the Baltimore Beacon marks the one of the hidden entrances to Baltimore Harbour; the other is marked by the lighthouse on Sherkin Island.
On this first dry, still and sunny morning since arriving here in Ireland almost a week ago I took a ferry to Clear Island.  Later in the year, when the sea is warmer than its present 7° there will be whales in these waters; today I saw only birds.  Clear island, Ireland's most southerly inhabited island, lies 13 kms off the mainland coast.

On the island I visited Ed Harper at his remote goat farm.  An engaging character, Ed came to Clear Island over thirty years ago from his native Manchester to establish his goat farm.  A master of caprine husbandry of which he is a willing teacher, Ed is passionate about goats.  He is also a collector and performer of folk songs.  Since he was three years old, Ed has been totally blind which, for me, makes his story extraordinary.
Ed Harper

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