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Doo Lough Valley
The Doo Lough Valley was the most beautiful scenery we saw in Ireland. Doo Lough means Dark Lake. The lake is at the southern end of the valley and does look quite dark on the surface. The valley is bogland and is uninhabited except for the intrepid sheep who seem quite content to have it to themselves. The bog grass has a beautiful reddish hue. Many small waterfalls flow down both sides of the valley.
The monument pictured in the second row of photographs commemorates those who died in the valley on a tragic march through the valley in 1849 during the great Irish Famine. Starving locals marched through valley to ask for food from their landlord at Delphi. "Landlords" were British aristocrats granted land seized from the local population by the English Crown and effectively functioned as authoritarian governors for their holdings. Though the landlord at Delphi had food, he refused to provide any to the starving marchers. Of the 600 people who made the trek to plead for food, 400 succumbed to starvation on the return journey.
Connemara is a starkly beautiful region located in western county Galway. The donkey pictured below is a resident of Mal Dua House where we had a great stay both this trip and the year before. Mal Dua House has 2 charming resident donkeys, named Yeti and Butler, which they kindly adopted from The Donkey Sanctuary . The Donkey Sanctuary rescues abandoned or mistreated donkeys, rehabilitates them and then carefully matches them up with good homes. In the not-too-distant past, donkeys were widely used as work animals throughout Ireland. This practice has almost entirely ceased over the past 10 years, leaving many donkeys abandoned and in need of rescue. The Donkey Sanctuary gratefully accepts donations to support its work.