Very enjoyable and special event at the Hawk's Rock, Coolaney, Sligo yesterday. I was delighted to be asked to play a part in Conor Gallagher's exhibition of his paintings of the rock, an impressive steep outcrop on the southern side of the Ox Mountains. This place and Tullaghan Well nearby gave Yeats the title of his play At the Hawk's Well.
Conor performed miracles, got Coillte to clear a path to the top of the Rock allowing the visitors to climb and enjoy the view - all of south Sligo and Benbulben, Sligo Bay and the Donegal mountains to the north. He had a hut built near the Rock in which he exhibited his paintings, asked me to speak of the history of the area and read some poetry and had a couple of musicians there who played the Dervish tune The Hungry Rock. He made my collection of six poems on the area into a very attractive chapbook which we gave out to the audience.
A good crowd made up I think of some from Sligo town and some locals enjoyed the event. I got some compliments on the poetry and and the history as well as some additions to the stories associated with the area. The weather was perfect, a calm clear autumn day and the mountain was dry underfoot. Conor's gallery at the Hawk's Rock is open again today 2pm - 5pm and he will have more on the exhibition on his website later.
Pictures. Top: Conor Gallagher welcoming everybody. Below: Me pointing out the local landmarks.