Living in the west of Ireland, we sometimes get battered by Atlantic storms, as we did last night and this morning. We’re lucky to be living about 40 miles inland and in a relatively sheltered spot. So when I reading aranislandgirl I could only begin to imagine what it would feel like to be on a little island surround on all sides by the seas (http://thearanartisan.com/2015/01/14/time-to-batten-down-the-hatches/).
A number of years ago, I read a book entitled, Mayo’s Lost Islands: The Inishkeas by Brian Dornan. The book is a social history of the Inishkea Islands, two islands off the west coast, near the Mullett Peninsula. In 1927, a great storm suddenly blew up while the men were out fishing in their currachs (a small, open fishing boat with a wooden frame, over which canvas is stretch and tarred). Ten young men were drowned which had a devastating effect on the small island community and within a few years the islands were abandoned for the mainland. One of the most fascinating aspects of the book was the description of the ‘Naomhóg’. It was a small, doll-like object and the islanders believed that it had the power to calm the sea and keep the men at sea safe. I was so fascinated by this story that I was inspired to write a children’s story based loosely on some of the Naomhóg’s supposed powers.