Olivia Seery leads Landmark Educationâ€™s Self-Expression and Leadership programme in Ireland. Four years ago she visited the beautiful and historic Aran island of Inis Mean, located in Irelandâ€™s Galway Bay and fell in love with the island and its people. She created a project in the programme which was an artistic weekend holiday for a group from Sligo and the environs. The trip has become an annual occurrence. The following brief story appeared in the Sligo Weekender of August 5 2008:
Arts Trip to an Aran Island
A group of Sligo people are organising the 3rd annual weekend on the Aran island of Inis Meain, promising creativity, community and fun.
This year, a writerâ€™s workshop will be run by the published writer and poet Mary Branley and an artistâ€™s workshop facilitated by well-known Sligo artist Tinka Bechert. The Inis Meain Artistâ€™s Paradise weekend takes place from August 8th to 10th and costs â‚¬200. This includes return ferry, two nightâ€™s dinner B & B, music sessions, workshops and a guided tour of the island.
For details call Olivia on 086-8232166 or Patricia on 087-2194718.
Usually the quietest and least visited of the Aran Islands, Inis Meain is often viewed as an escape from the modern world, a place where beauty, tradition and culture combine with a rugged landscape.
A maze of narrow winding roads, sheltered paths and trails crisscross the island, from the rock hillsides of the south to the deserted sandy beaches on the north shore. Wild flowers bloom everywhere and numerous examples of early settlements dot the limestone karst. The oval fort of Dun Chonchuir is here, and so too are the beautiful Cill Cheanainn and the church of Mary Immaculate with its stained-glass windows by the famed Harry Clarke Studios. Nearby is Teach Synge, the restored island cottage where writer John Millington Synge wrote most of his plays.
Syngeâ€™s book â€œThe Aran Islandsâ€ tells the story of a man who, 100 years earlier, looked at Inis MeÃ¡in and thought â€œthis is the last outpost of ancient Europe, I am privileged to see it before it disappears foreverâ€. This sense is often shared by visitors to this day.