Go west young man, go west!

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Where: Unnamed Road, Ballinlena, Co. Mayo, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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Killala Bay, Kilcummin, Co. Mayo looking pristine with a sharp horizon line is todays offering from the Lawrence Collection. Given the size of Killala Bay this could be looking North, South, East or West and we could still have such an horizon but no doubt the cartographers among you will have the shot properly oriented in jig time?

Today's contributors point-out that the main difference between this image and the modern StreetView is that Kilcummin's stone pier/breakwater has not yet been built. There is evidence that this may have been constructed after c.1893, and likely before c.1898 - when a plaque commemorating a French landing in 1798 was seemingly unveiled. This event was (somewhat unusually) marked on the historic OSI maps, along with a label identifying these cottages as part of the local coastguard station. The eagle-eyed amongst our Flickroonies also note that some of the men pictured are wearing coastguard uniforms. By the late 19th century these men were likely more on the lookout for troubled fishingboats than for French invaders.....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue c.1865-1914. Perhaps before c.1890s (pier built)

NLI Ref: L_ROY_06091

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 6314
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland killala bay kilcummin comayo ireland boats cottages horizon people wall beach strand rocks creels coastguardcottages coastguard uniforms yawls countymayo generalhumbert

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  • profile

    domenico milella

    • 01/May/2018 06:54:58

    Congratulation for your beautiful Album.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 07:29:35

    The OSI 25" map has the unusual annotation French landed here in 1798.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 07:31:30

    Streetview shows the coastguard cottages are still there, but a lot of work on piers and jetties has happened since todays image.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 07:33:19

    NIAH lets us down today.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 01/May/2018 07:48:36

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] It's wrong, well. He landed there between ca. 1865-1914.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 08:00:36

    Har har!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/May/2018 08:22:07

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/May/2018 09:06:20

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] The boats seem to have pointy bits (technical term) at both ends?

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:14:08

    In L_CAB_07295 it is clearer that the seaweed beyond the beached boats is being collected in heaps. I think i see a pitchfork handle. I think the lads in the boats are collecting more (there are baskets of it in the boats and on the shore). Makes more sense than practicing their gondolier act, anyhow.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/May/2018 09:23:03

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] I think I see the name Langan on one of the beached boats, I know Langan is a comminish name in Mayo.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:29:11

    The boats are yawls, still to be seen on Achill.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:30:13

    It’s a very old boat”, he begins. “They reckon it’s based on the Viking longboat, as the original Yawls were pointed at both ends, and built in the carvel (Northern European) style. The sails were made of calico; the women used to lay out the fabric on the floor of the meeting hall in South Achill and sew them together. The outside of the boat is very smooth, and like the Currach, tar was used to seal the gaps. It glided through the water more easily, and at 17 / 18 ft long, was light enough to be pulled into the shore by a couple of men.” Yawls still remain an integral part of the Achill community, culture and language. “At one time, every house in Saula (north Achill) had a Yawl”, says Jerry. “In fact, ‘Saula’ is a variant of ‘sail’ in Irish, so really the village is named after this way of life!”

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:32:39

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I think it says Langer!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:36:54

    In 1901, the census shows 2 Langans and a Lungan in Ballinlena. Only Mary Langan, 48, left in 1911.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/May/2018 09:46:20

    Flickr is sometimes amazing! In 2011 via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/kilfeathersnaps/] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/kilfeathersnaps/5556667978/] There is a stone breakwater there now, not evident in the French photo - when did the pier appear? Amazing that not much else has changed in 100+ years ...

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:46:47

    5 Coastguard chaps here in 1901. Would they wear sailor type uniforms? I see two men in uniform with small children in front of the cottages. Edit: Yes, those two are in Coastguard uniforms.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 09:50:07

    One of the boats nearest the wall at right (3rd prow from right) seems to have a long name beginning with M on it. There are are several boatloads of Munnellys in the census, including some possibles for the children by the wall.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/May/2018 10:10:37

    From the memorial now plonked where the photo was taken - goo.gl/maps/MpcfmS2XtZB2 - Voici l'endroit où le Général Humbert a débarqué avec ses soldats francais le 22 Août 1798 This is the place where General Humbert landed with his French soldiers on August 22, 1798 [thanks google translate] Brief details - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Rebellion_of_1798#French_inte...

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/May/2018 10:36:32

    Coastguardsofyesteryear says the station is from 1820-21. It appears on the 6" map from the 1830s, so that is consistent.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/May/2018 12:07:14

    Here we go - the photo must be before c. 1893 according to this - "Kilcummin / Kilcommin (Cill Chuimín / Cill Chummín / Cilcummin – “church of Saint Cuimín”), a sparsely populated district south of Lacken Bay,is ironically probably best known for its picturesque Pier, built c.1893 as part of the development of congested areas of the west brought in by Arthur Balfour." from irelandbyways.com/ireland-routes/byroute-1-coastal/byrout...

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 01/May/2018 13:34:48

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] You'd expect the pier to be on the 25" in that case. It was surveyed in 1896. Maybe it's mistakenly identifying Rathlackan pier (maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V2,518593,838594,11,9) which seems to have been built sometime in the 19th century.

  • profile

    mcginley2012

    • 01/May/2018 15:37:59

    I'm told by a Killala man that the camera is looking NE.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/May/2018 21:40:33

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Hmm - another red herring? Something fishy going on ...

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 01/May/2018 22:09:04

    More history - in 1898 Maud Gonne visited ...

    ... On 22 August, Gonne visited the village of Kilcummin and unveiled a plaque at the pier "in order to commemorate the landing of my countrymen here one hundred years ago," which explicitly associating[sic] her with the French soldiers of 1798. Forty years later a pupil from the area of Kilcummin who wrote an account of the landing based on family tradition mentioned Gonne's visit. By then, her French connections had achieved legendary proportions, and she was described as Humbert's granddaughter.
    From books.google.com.au/books?id=I2LqGAIj8VQC&pg=PA254&am...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/May/2018 23:29:28

    Thanks all. In particular to [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] and [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] for the input on the pier and potential help in dating! I have added a brief summary to the description and updated the map/etc. Someone keep an eye-open for invading French generals - at least until tomorrow morning's post :)

  • profile

    Oretani Wildlife (Mike Grimes)

    • 02/May/2018 08:35:49

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Hmmm, the carvel form of boat building came from Iberia and could hold bigger sailing rigs. The clinker form was more suited to the North Atlantic and used by the Vikings due to it's lighter weight, greater flexibility in big seas and has less displacement. I think Jerry Cowley is a bit confused.

  • profile

    nokadoe

    • 10/May/2018 20:26:31

    Roman reports of Ireland. The oldest surviving records of Ireland and the use by the Irish of boats go back to the fourth century B.C. The Roman Rufus Festus Avienus claimed to have seen the records of an early navigator Himilco, a Phoenician, in a temple in Carthage in the 4th century and wrote of it in verse in his ‘Ora Maritima which was a geographical textbook produced around 425bc. In which he described Ireland (as we now call it) as being heavily populated, and the people as active traders and he says they undertook many voyages in boats sewn together from skins. He claimed they had no knowledge of the building of wooden boats. The Phoenicians in these early ages were trading tin from Spain Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. They regarded Ireland as the sacred Isle inhabited by the Hibernii, a distance of two more days sailing away. Pliny who lived into the early 12ndcentury wrote in his Naturalis Historia about 70AD “Ireland lies beyond Britain, the shortest crossing being from the territory of the Silures (South Wales) a distance of 30 miles.” He quotes the historian Timaeus with saying that “ the Britions cross in boats of osier covered with stitched hides”.