This spectacular arrangement of granite standing stones overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on the windswept southern tip of the Belmullet Peninsula in County Mayo.
They look like they have stood guard there since pre-historic times. But in fact they were erected in 1993 as part of the North Mayo Sculpture Trail.
Deirbhle’s Twist is the work of pioneering Offaly sculptor Michael Bulfin who raised existing granite boulders, found on site, and placed them in an ascending spiral shape.
The work is sometimes described as an Irish version of Stonehenge. However it takes its name from Saint Deirbhle – pronounced Dervla – who is said to have lived in the area in the sixth century.
Legend has it that she came to this remote spot to escape a persistent lover. When he pursued her, she took the rather drastic step of making herself less desirable by gouging out her own eyes.
But when her horrified admirer ran away, she reputedly washed her eyes in the waters of the local well and her sight was restored. To this day, the holy well is said to cure eye problems.
I rather prefer the artist’s own summary of the work. “The stone is the landscape. It was always here. I have just, in a sense, rearranged it.”
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