These are the impressions of two students from Bantry - Mairead Cronin (pencil sketch) and Louise McCarthy (poem) who visited Gougane Barra with their class in May of 1997

"Memories of Gougane Barra"



The sun hovered above us, young heads, glistening smiles,

Shimmering lagoons, dancing jocundly

A wonderful world enveloped in beauty alone

Long, twisting lanes unfolding before us,

Unfolding so gently, gently like silky serenades,

Happiness overwhelmed me amidst this peaceful fantasia

Schoolgirls laughed in lush green meadows

Innocent giggles, peaceful sighs, a dove upon a steeple,

A small church stood upon a hill,

Graceful memories embedded in its walls,

A stony cemetery where dead men lie,

They lie in perfect harmony,

This is a world full of love and laughter,

full of carefree memories,

A hearty laugh from a wise old nun

She speaks of days gone by

Days abundant with joyful ponderings

Romantic visions of lakes and woods

We listen readily in awe, passionately grasping

Passionately holding to these wild and wonderful tales

Of saints and scholars, of a world free of tears and sorrow,

We listen, we hear, we remember forever,

Forever, forever, forever in our hearts we see this wise, old woman.


Louise Mc Carthy