I’ve been staying on the Sheepshead Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland. There, I met Charlie Donovan, a man who taught me about the land and his history there. Charlie is in his eighties and he came over to mow the field next to the house. Here he is:
Charlie was born in the house where he lives. “Six generations of us,” he says. When he was a boy, “six families made their living here,” he says. The farms were full of sheep and cattle and every family made a living. Charlie handed over his farm to his son Paul and Paul works for the electric utility by day and then farms after hours. He works hard. Even here, in the most remote part of Ireland, farmers have a tough time getting by.
I spent some great moments with Charlie– sipping whiskey, talking about growing potatoes, how he gets his dog, Skippy, to line up the cattle and life to come on the Sheepshead. From his stories, I could see the past and felt the chill of life to come in this place.