The Farmer’s Last Harvest
25th July 2016
Lovely Leitrim and Lough Allen
25th July 2016

The Green Glens of Antrim

Anyone who travels north on the coast road from the town of Larne, in County Antrim, will view some of the most spectacular scenery found on the island of Ireland. The sight of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches and the deep valleys, also known as glens, has created in the hearts of many visitors a desire to return to this beautiful area. This desire to return must be even stronger in the heart of one of the local people who had to leave home and try to settle down in another country.

The lyrics of that marvellous old song, ‘The Green Glens of Antrim,’ speak into this situation, as they express the thoughts of a person who once lived in the Glens but, for some reason that is not mentioned in the song, at some stage decided to emigrate. The words of the song reveal the fact that he is now very far from the place he loves so much and, what’s more, he feels the separation.

And now this exile sits quietly and reflects on bygone days, and memories come flooding back. How he would love to once more walk through each of the nine Glens. Can’t you just picture him feeling the call of his beloved Glens, and in his mind wandering slowly through each one, taking time to absorb their various attributes? As he muses, his mind takes him back to Glenarm, to the Forest Park, where he can enjoy the beauty of one of the oldest estates in Northern Ireland and view the Castle which, since the 17th Century, has been the home of the McDonnells, the Earls of Antrim.

He can picture himself in Glencloy, the Glen of the hedges, where Slemish Mountain stands as a reminder of the time Saint Patrick spent tending sheep during the days of his slavery in Ireland. Patrick eventually escaped from his captors and returned to his own country. Each year, on Saint Patrick’s Day (17 March), pilgrims climb Slemish to commemorate the great work Patrick did when he later returned to Ireland to proclaim the Gospel message.
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