Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Famous Seamus of the Orra Mountain

 
 By Willie Drennan for Issue 13 of The Ulster Folk
 
Seamus Boyle of the Orra Mountain near Loughgiel in County Antrim is a kind of living legend. Poems and songs have been written about him and have been recorded on CD. His latest claim to fame is that he has been recently featured in an article by the internationally distributed Forestry Journal. They had heard of the work of Seamus and this prompted one of their leading contributors, Anne Berry, to travel from Scotland specially to do a feature around Seamus.
It is difficult to explain the role that Seamus plays in the Glens of Antrim but he is widely recognised as the guardian of forest and mountain. Seamus is hard to define as he works on another level: a classic example of someone who not only thinks outside the box but operates outside the box. He simply is in tune with all that goes on around Slieveanorra and goes to considerable lengths to ensure his beloved region of forest, hill and glen is preserved for posterity.
 
Anne Berry not only goes into great detail about forestry management in the area but also spoke of “breathtaking vistas”: depicting a region of beauty and tranquillity, and contrasting this to Seamus’ intriguing tales of ancient battles. She also appreciated that Seamus went out of his way to show her the general area and was particularly impressed with Dunluce Castle. The fact that Seamus was able to introduce her to so many key local characters clearly added to the positive experience for the visiting journalist.
The net result was an internationally read magazine feature that presented this part of Northern Ireland in the most positive light. Tourism Ireland should pay heed to the impact that real characters like Seamus Boyle can have on local tourism. Anne Berry’s piece is of greater value than a thousand glossy marketing brochures.
 The feature on Seamus in the Forestry Journal is a must read: check it out on  http://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/newsitefiles/2013
 
 
 
 
 

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