The Last Post on the Lonely Beach

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When: 01 January 1900

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One of the things we who live on mainlands never really appreciate is the peace, the quiet, and the tranquility of island life! Aranmore from the Mason Collection with houses scattered like currants in a virtual curreny bun looks just perfect to Morning Mary this fine, cold, and wintery morning!

Rory_Sherlock was quick to pinpoint this to Leabgarrow and its pier on Aran's eastern side. The distinctive rock (Carricklea Beg?) still stands out in the "then and now" comparison photo which BeachcomberAustralia shares!

Photographer: Thomas H. Mason

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1890-1910. Possibly before c.1908 (school)

NLI Ref: M20/33/9

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


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 8830
thomasholmesmason thomasmayne thomashmasonsonslimited lanternslides nationallibraryofireland aranmore atlantic donegal beach sea cottages whitewashed ulster island countydonegal locationidentified

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    • 30/Jan/2019 09:18:43

    Somewhere around here?,-8.4956359,3a,90y,318.13h...

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    • 30/Jan/2019 09:30:50

    There is now a National School on that left hand corner, which might have showed up if it had been built. Dated 1908 -

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    • 30/Jan/2019 10:01:06

    Sometimes Flickr is amazing! In 2015 via [], slightly to the right, see how the pyramid rock lines up with the jetty - []

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    • 30/Jan/2019 10:27:11

    It wasn't peace, quiet and tranquility in 1901 -

    " ... On the island an epidemic of typhus fever made its appearance. Here, owing to the poverty and ignorance of the people and the insanitary state of their houses, it was found a fruitful breeding ground, and it was in combating this epidemic that Dr. Smyth laid down his life, a martyr to his sense of duty. "Alone each day he rowed his boat across the stormy waters of the Sound to the island, a distance of four miles. Into the cottages, devoid of sunlight, and therefore, owing to lack of sunlight and ventilation, reeking with foul air, he daily made his way. In many cases he had to carry a lighted candle to enable him even to see his patients, lying sometimes three or four in one bed. "Alone he tried to be at once a nurse and a doctor to these poor stricken people in their miserable homes. When at length he succeeded in persuading them that their only chance of recovery lay in their removal to the mainland, he was confronted with the difficulty that owing to the terror of the contagion no one would help him, or even lend him a boat."
    Read All About It! - (January 1902)

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    • 30/Jan/2019 10:45:02

    ... which might explain the subsequent nurses' visits - []

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    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 30/Jan/2019 14:54:20

    That was one of the hazards of island life, in emergencies getting help was never easy. An inspiring if tragic tale of professional dedication.

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 08/Feb/2019 09:00:08

    Well captured