Beth Steele   |   Ireland J Term: the Gleann   |   sociology   |   January 2012

“Fáilte! Welcome to the rugged beauty and kind people of Gleann Cholm Cille, Ire.”

Sheep are everywhere in the Gleann - mountainsides, roads, and even backyards.
Approaching Gleann Cholm Cille, on the coast of the Atlantic.
The Church of Ireland figures prominently in views of town, and shines in the rare sunlight.
Most members of our Hartwick group, standing on the Silver Strand (An Tráigh Bhán) beach, 165 steps down from the car park.
The view from Martello Towers, one in a series of posts built by the English to protect against possible invasion by Napoleon.
Sliabh Liag - Western Europe's highest sea cliffs are just outside of town.

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Our 24 day J Term experience in Ireland began in the Gleann, which is so deeply rooted in the country's history. Mornings we learned Irish at Oideas Gael, run by Liam Ó Cuinneagáin; afternoons we visited historic sites such as dolmens (tombs) with local guide Paddy and climbed to Martello Towers with David; evenings brought dinners with host families, traditional fiddle music, and storytelling by Owen, who has lived in the Gleann all of his life. The area is stunning in its beauty and its simplicity. Every turn brought a new and unforgettable experience. Leaving after 8 days was wrenching.

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