Our Local Treasures competition has closed and we would like to share some entries from our finalists which we have been receiving over the past number of weeks.

With this competition, Irish Country Living asked our readers: what makes your 5km special? We received entries from all over Ireland and they have made us excited for the country to reopen again so we can plan our next staycation.

The winner, Veronica Mannion, shares a gorgeous shot of her family's farmland in Louisburgh, Co Mayo. She has won a Thalgo Spiruline gift set valued at €250.

We still love seeing photos from our readers, so feel free to continue to send in your own Local Treasure (with a short description) to ICL@farmersjournal.ie. You could feature in our weekly Week in the Country page in print.

Winning entry

Devlin Farm Life

Local Treasures winner Veronica Mannion submitted this stunning photo of her family's farmland in Louisburgh, Co Mayo.

Veronica Mannion submitted this stunning photo of her family farmland in Mayo.

Veronica and her family live and run their sheep and holiday rental business in the village of Devlin North, Killadoon, Louisburgh, Co Mayo.

“Our farmstead is nestled between the alluring Killadoon Hill and The Wild Atlantic Ocean,” she explains. “From our kitchen window, we can watch the sea as it changes into a varied hue of colours contingent on the mood of the weather.

“Further back sits Clare Island, home to the famous pirate Grainne Uaile (Grace O’ Malley),” she continues. “After all these years this picturesque view has us in awe.

“The sound of the ocean seems like it’s tapping outside the window. The echo of the tide flowing over the stones that are embedded on the shoreline is soothing especially at night. There is a pause and then the sea abruptly pulls itself away by some mysterious force, I find this ritual hypnotic.”

Killadoon Beach is known for its long sandy strand and is just a short walk from the family farm.

Veronica recommends those who want a challenge to climb Killadoon Hill, which is only a five minute walk from the Mannion’s home.

“The vast landscape and the spectacular scenery is worth the climb,” says Veronica. “Killadoon Hill has a history that is rich with riveting heritage and folklore.

“We like to trek Killadoon hill twice a week as our sheep are dispersed along its surface.”

Other finalists

Colligan Wood

Brigid Coffey (from Co Waterford) shared this beautiful photo of Colligan Wood, which is located just outside of Dungarvan.

Brigid tells Irish Country Living that Colligan Wood is a very popular spot for walkers, runners, swimmers and picnic goers all year round,

“It has a lovely wooden bridge over the River Colligan,” she says. “And a path that runs along by the river for about one kilometre to a stone bridge.

“This is a flat walk and suitable for all ages and abilities,” she continues. “There are also two other loops around the wood, but are much hillier.”

Every year, a five mile race is held in the area. “This is a very popular run as the winner isn't the fastest runner, but the person who can most accurately predict their time,” Brigid explains.

She also mentions that Colligan Wood has a wide range of tree species.

“It is beautiful all year round but has amazing autumn colours which, for me, is my favourite time of year.”

Morning Perspective

Meadhbh Fitzgerald recently captured this beautiful photo of Ardnahinch Beach in Shanagarry, east Cork.

She says early morning walks on the beach have become part of her routine in lockdown, as it gives her the opportunity to gather her thoughts.

“At this time, the beach is quiet but something about being near the sea as a new day dawns rings hope for the day ahead,” she says. “Although bitterly cold on this winter morning, I felt the need to capture this photo before I headed home.”

She explains that you can see the change of colours from pinks to oranges against the silhouette of the islands and lighthouse in her photograph.

“Even on the greyest mornings with rain or drizzle driving in your face and your shoes feeling a little more than soggy, walks along Ardnahinch beach provide time for thoughts and a chance to let me mind wander before the day begins.”

Ghost Ship Adventures

This photo shows the shipwrecked MV Alta “ghost ship” resting on the cliffs of Co Cork’ s Ballycotton coastline.

Sent in by his owner Jamie Hayes, rescue dog Chips undoubtedly steals the show. Jamie explains that Chips is originally from Mullingar and needed a home during the summer of 2020.

“There's nothing Chips and I enjoy more than our walks along the cliff walk; imagining what this ship’ s real story was before finding her resting place among the cliffs.”

Jamie tells Irish Country Living the ship was abandoned by its crew in 2018, on a voyage from Greece to Haiti, before being spotted drifting off the coast of Bermuda in September 2019.

“The MV Alta’ s arrival to the small fishing village caused great excitement in the locality when it eventually ran aground and washed up on the coast of the Ballycotton Cliff Walk last February,” he recalls.

“The wreck captured the imagination and curiosity of those near and afar with flocks of visitors arriving in Ballycotton to view the wreck.”

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A Week in the Country

A Week in the Country