The Beautiful Cooley Peninsula

Yesterday as we drove across the Irish border to our County Meath home, we deviated from the usual motorway route after Newry and drove instead along the canal; eventually taking the coastal route which goes through the quaint villages of Omeath and Carlingford. My daughter and I stopped to admire the small medieval village of Carlingford which is set against the greenery of the mountains, but my first port of call here was with the tourist office which took quantities of my first two books: “A Biblical Journey through the Irish Year” and “Singing on the Journey Home.” (The latter contains a story set in Carlingford, called “The Lost Ring” – a true story from my own life.)

There is much to see of historical interest in the area, including St. John’s Castle and the little village itself with its narrow streets has lovely craft shops – and a fascinating antique shop, packed with all sorts of memorabilia. However, coming from a rural background as we do, both my daughter and I have a special affinity with the beautiful surrounding land and seascape.

What a beautiful pastoral scene may be composed of those sheep grazing on the scenic Cooley peninsula, where Carlingford is situated! They remind me of the sheep, “that which is lost,” in Luke 15v4&5: “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” Beautiful pastoral scenery also reminds me of rural Scotland, where Elizabeth C.D. Clephane (1830-1869) was the author of many inspired hymns including “Beneath the Cross of Jesus” and “There were Ninety and Nine.” Based on the parable of the same name, the latter was written from her own poignant experience, when news came through of her eldest brother’s sudden death after a fall from his horse. However, it is widely believed that, although he led a prodigal life in Canada, the young man returned to the Lord shortly before his death. Surely only eternity will reveal the many ways that are used by the Shepherd to draw straying sheep to the safety of His fold? With this in mind, I pray that those seeds which the Lord has assisted me to plant in the lovely village of Carlingford, will take root in the hearts of natives and tourists alike.

Link to Elizabeth C.D. Clephane’s hymns:


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2 Responses to “The Beautiful Cooley Peninsula”

  1. gabhinrua Says:

    I just logged on in college and the first place I searched for is home. I ts great to hear someone to speak so nicely about my home town.

  2. readywriterpublications Says:

    Yes, it’s a very scenic place – about an hour’s drive (or less) from where I live. I hope you aren’t homesick, coming from such a lovely area! Hope all goes well for you in college too. God bless,

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