The Road To Glenlough

AN GHLEANN

The geography of the valley

Tá an gleann sléibhtiúil seo i gcroílár cheantar Gaeltachta in iardheisceart Dhún na nGall agus ina theorainn mhaorga idir paróistí Ghleann Cholm Cille agus Ard an Rátha. Tá “an tsiúlóid chósta is deise in Éirinn” tugtha sa leabhar Mountain and Coastal Hillways, A Walking Guide, ar an áit a mbuaileann an gleann leis an Atlantach. Mountain and Coastal Hillways, A Walking Guide, ar an áit a mbuaileann an gleann leis an Atlantach..

Níl bóthar ar bith isteach go Gleann Locha - siúlóid chrua dhá uair an chloig trasna an chaoráin atá i gceist. Ach nuair a shroicheann tú an bháighe faoi dheireadh, is fiú an tairbhe an trioblóid, mar go bhfuil na haillte ar scála i bhfad níos mó ná haillte Shliabh Liag, atá sa cheantar céanna, láthair atá níos fusa fáil a fhad leis agus atá anois ina Láithreán Oidhreachta Domhanda. 

Ag ceann an ghleanna seo tá loch oighreach le cuar ghleann talaimh ard thart air. Ón loch seo, ritheann Abhainn Ghleann Locha a hachar gairid go dtí an fharraige, áit a dtiteann sí amach i roinnt easanna i gcuan nádúrtha Phrionsa Séarlais.

Níos faide thart, ar Bháighe Ghleann Lach tá an Claddagh Mór nó An Tráigh Mhór, atá clúdaithe le clocha móra bána cruinn a mheallann an lán mara suas agus anuas ar imeall an chladaigh. Tá an tráigh cosanta ag stácaí móra uaibhreacha lena n-áirítear an Tor Mór, an staca mara is airde amach ó chósta na hÉireann.

Neadaithe isteach i mbun an ghleanna tá fothracha an dá thí bhig a thug foscadh d’úinéirí an ghleanna glún i ndiaidh glúin agus do thriúr cuairteoirí cháiliúla a tháinig ar feadh tréimhsí gairide le cur fúthu sa ghleann uathúil seo.

Cur síos ar an ghleann acu siúd a thug cuairt air

“Glenlough sloped gently towards the ocean to terminate at a steep-banked cove flanked by great masses of rock that had withstood the sea’s erosion; and these were backed by headlands that approached a thousand feet in height. It was a scene of awe-inspiring grandeur enhanced by silence broken only by the sound of sea birds and the occasional roar of surf. Few people ever came that way to shatter the prevailing mood, or gape and goggle at an artist while at work; and the Wards, by their strict avoidance of me at those times, as by their general incuriosity about my painting, showed such instinctive courtesy.”

[Rockwell Kent from his autobiography Its Me O Lord]

    “I nGleann Locha bhí gach rud; agus fós - ag fairsinge an radhairc, ag a chiúineas a bhí i réim níos mó ná ag corr-rogall na tonnmharcaíochta ar an gcladach, ag a uaigneas níos lú ná i nádúr an cúpla duine a tháinig an bealach sin - bhí an Láithreacht sin. Gan dabht, ba shiombail dár n-urraim ann féin an fothrach seomra amháin de theach ársa a tháinig chomh sásta linn ar feadh na míonna ar mhair muid ann. Déanann duine cogar i séipéal: dá bhféadfadh duine cogar a fheiceáil bheadh sé, i nGleann Locha, an teach sin.”

    [Rockwell Kent from his book This is my Own]

      Geoffrey Grigson, who was to accompany the young Welsh poet Dylan Thomas to Glenlough in the summer of 1935, recalled the: “valley above the Atlantic entered by no road, not even a well-defined path, over a ridge of rock, peat and heather. In this valley of Glenlough between Ardara and Killybegs, I knew a solitary farmer and his wife. A year or two before (sic), the place had been discovered by the American artist Rockwell Kent, who liked its wilderness and loneliness between mountains, or mountains and lakes, and the sea. He had concreted a donkey-shed into a sleeping-room and studio.”

      [Geoffrey Grigson from his book Recollections – Mainly of Artists and Writers]

        Ag tabhairt cuairte ar an ghleann

        Cuimhnigh go bhfuil feirmeacha caorach ar fad i nGleann Locha agus sna ceantracha gaobhara. Má tá sé ar intinn agat cuairt a thabhairt ar an cheantar, ná tabhair leat do mhadadh, ná bain rud ar bith as na foirgnimh agus tabhair bruscar ar bith chun an bhaile leat. Fág an gleann mar a fuair tú é, le do thoil.