Windings of the Moy Book

The Windings of the Moy Revisited is a photographic coffee table book produced by Pat McCarrick, photographer and owner here at the B&B.

The author of the original Windings of the Moy (1923) was Rev. James Greer. This new book however is principally a book of photographs; inspired and carried along by Greer’s original text. The original book contained only a few images, this new book contains many images and just selected excerpts from Greer. The combination of old text and modern images work very well to bring colour and new life to the Windings of the Moy story.

Pat says of the new book, It was a joy really to highlight something like the river Moy. It is of course a world-famous salmon fishing river but it has a great natural beauty as well and of course our B&B is named after the river also. Working with Greer’s text and capturing the images to match it, one hundred years later, proved to be a very rewarding project indeed.

My photography is the principal influence in this new book. Having the Ox Mountains and the source of the river at my back door, engendered a certain pride of place and urged me to create this photographic record while at the same time commemorating Greer’s original work.

The project highlighted to me the value of our region; beautiful and unspoiled. It was a bit like when we opened our home to guests; we began to enjoy the house a lot more. I now feel like that about the wider region where we live; I enjoy it a lot more!

The book is available online from or direct from the B&B when you visit!

Feature image: Moyne Abbey near the mouth of the Moy.

Image above: Original author, Rev. James Greer (1845-1929)

Opposite image: Front Cover


My Ireland Tour

It is great to see people doing their bit for tourism and attracting people to come and enjoy Ireland… and the North West. James, at the My Ireland Tour website, was in contact with us about his particular efforts. 

James says, “Over the past year, we have been building a Travel Guide of Ireland. It is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to visit Ireland, with advice about getting to Ireland, where to stay and what to do.” James goes on to say, “We’re here to help! We hope you find the below information useful, though please don’t hesitate just to get in touch instead to find the answers to your questions, we’ll always be glad to help. As a small, family-run company from Cork, we know Ireland intimately. So, if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to ask, we’ll be very glad to help. To find out how we can help create the perfect trip for you and your party, you can contact us by telephone, by email or by using the below contact form. We will always respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.”

You will find everything on the site from information about visiting Ireland to booking a tour to knowing what to expect from a visit to Ireland if you have never been before. Moy River B&B are now listed on the site so if you are making a trip, building a package, or just browsing the site, include us in your journey.

Contact My Ireland Tour on




Landscape and Portraits

It can be fun to combine being a B&B owner and being a photographer. Photography has proved useful in promoting our accommodation business.

Right from the start I had planned to use the best images I could create to promote the business; whither on our website, on other booking platfoms or on social media. I had the idea of showing the place as well as I could but not over selling it either. There is nothing worse than showing up at an accommodation and finding it is nothing like the images that sold it to you in the first place.

It is also nice to refresh the images used and there is always opportunities; changing seasons or even changing the front door colour. Redoing the images is a bit like redecorating. It was funny in recent times when we changed our front door colour from red to yellow. Many of our former guests didn’t like the change and yet new arrivals commented how much they liked the yellow! Our local landscape is full of inviting images and I love to put them up on our Facebook Page to help entice visitors to our region and guests to Moy River.

Our old cottage has lovely early morning light that streams in through the lace-curtained window. It has proved great lighting for many portraits over the years. Often a travelling musician or a honeymoon couple will inspire a photo shoot before departure and it always proves a lovely connection; an opportunity to have a bit of fun, something to remember the visit and an invitation to return.

Food is another photography friendly subject because of colour and composition. We have found that popping breakfast on a plate can be a very creative opportunity and in like measure, an image of it can show perspective guests what lays in store in the morning.

Our unique selling points are that we are off the beaten track and we do things a little bit differently. So whither landscape or portrait, the photography has proved the perfect compliment to Bed and Breakfast!


Western Skies

The artist, Paul Henry, made the skies here in the west of Ireland famous. From Achill Island, he showed our skies as a curiosity for outsiders and a source of pride for those of us who live here. Despite our less than perfect climate, the skies are a compensation.

In the 1920s and 1930s Henry was Ireland’s best known artist, one who had a considerable influence on the popular image of the west of Ireland. Although he seems to have ceased experimenting with his technique after he left Achill and his range is limited, he created a large body of fine images whose familiarity is a testament to its influence.

The lack of high mountains and the influence of the Atlantic Ocean are undoubted factors in the ever-changing displays of mood and colour. No two days are the same and indeed, at times, no two hours are the same. The old saying that you can experience all four seasons in the same day is true for sure. Despite the unprecedented nice weather of the past six weeks, or maybe because of it, the skies over Sligo did not disappoint. Morning and evening skies had a kind of magic about them that we seldom experience. There was talk of Sahara dust, chilly influences from northern climes and Europe (both unusual) and maybe this coloured things more than a little.

Whatever the reason, the spring of 2019 was a season of bright days and some spectacular skies – a feast for the eyes. However, any season provides skies to marvel upon and so we recommend a visit with camera or artist’s brush year round.

Painting Sky

The heavens beaming ever bright
On silent clouds that sail on high,
Sometimes laden, sometimes light
But always, always painting sky.

House Concert for Sr. Cait

Aug 20th 2018 – It would seem there is little connection between the foothill of the Ox Mountains and the foothills of the high Andes, but there one. Sr Cait Wims, a native of Coolaney, currently works as a missionary in Mache in Peru. The landscape around Mache, while five times higher than the highest point in the Ox Mountains, is similar in some respects; rural, green and with a simple agricultural tradition but the region’s isolation and poverty shows a stark contrast.

Cait says of her time in Peru: “In 1984, our then Superior asked four of us to begin a Mission in Peru.  In September of that year, we set out for the unknown land. I feel so blessed for that invitation and for the years God has given me to serve among the Peruvian people. Their hospitality, warm welcome and ability to interpret my Spanish are amazing. I have shared dinner with a family and tears ran down my face as I saw the father peel the nicest potatoes for me, place them on my plate and give me the best cup in the house.”

The Coolaney native goes on to talk about her role as a Mercy Missionary Sister: “We Sisters move from place to place within a country, from country to country, and while each one adds her own flavour to her Ministry, all are called to live the Mercy Charism, which is to serve the poor, the sick and uneducated.”

Cait, who had been in Peru for 34 years, speaks of her experiences there with great passion: “Since 2003, I am living in the Andes. First in northern Peru, in Pacaipampa and now in Mache. The simplicity and the profundity of the faith and lives of the farming communities are challenging. I feel not only privileged, but also blessed by God to have been given the gift to share my life with the people of Peru.  They have transformed my vision of who a missionary is and who a Sister of Mercy is called to be.”

A benefit night for Sr Cait Wims (Peru), in the form of a House Concert, is talking place on Friday 24th of August at Moy River Folk Club in Cloonacool (Moy River B&B). The Demolition String Band from the US will provide the entertainment (Bluegrass and country) on the night with support by local singer, Lana Moore. Spaces at the South Sligo venue are limited and seats go on a first come, first served basis. Those interested in donating to the fund can still do so even if they do not attend the concert. Booking is essential; 087 2512030.

The funds raised are earmarked for an educational fund administered Cait’s Order in Peru and go in particular to fund poor students who are given a scholarship for a university education. Cait continues: “My work is mainly in the area of Education, both formal and informal, with adults and youth. I am a member of the team that accompanies the Youth community here in Mache. They are wonderful young people, secondary school students, full of creativity and hope and are always resourceful to solve the many problems that we confront. Here, in Mache we have a Third Level Institute. It has two areas: Agricultural Science and Accountancy. We are so blessed and many rural communities would wish to have the same. Since, many students have the intellectual ability/wish to study other careers, we Sisters of Mercy offer some scholarships.”

Sr. Cait Wims finishes by describing her adopted home in Peru and how she feels so humbled to be there: “As I sit and watch the inexpressible beauty of the sunset or enjoy a walk in the Andes at 3,200meters, I see young children or a mother with a child on her back bringing home two or three animals, be they sheep or cattle. Usually one of these animals is ear marked to buy the school supplies for the children. However, if a member of the family becomes ill or any unexpected situation arises, then education falls to the bottom of the list.”

Chicken Feed

Chickens are fun, colourful and productive and who wouldn’t want them… and they are among our best attractions here at Moy River B&B. Many people have booked to stay with us just because of the gals!

Here in Ireland we call them hens, not chucks or chickens or eggers, just hens! Whatever you call them they are the easiest stock you can keep and of course they give so much in return for the little it takes to keep them; bed and breakfast! If a hen has a dry place to roost, is safe from the fox and has enough to eat, she will do the rest.

We have nine hens and a rooster. We get eggs most months of the year and in summers we always have one or two hens who settle into the work of raising a family. The chickens, the babies or the ‘little biddies’ are so cute in the summer and within six months are mature enough to start laying and become the replacements for the next year.

The old-fashioned breeds have all the style, size, shape and colour. They are not such great layers but are homely and usually fit right in. The modern hybrids are great layers but tend to look plain. Luckily, some cool cat somewhere came up with the idea of hybrids that look old-fashioned! These birds have all kinds of fancy names like Bluebells and Blackrocks but they look lovely and lay like the clappers. These are the type we have a present. Our new crop will be a mixture of these hens and a local ‘country boy’ rooster that we got from a neighbour.

The upshot of the ruction is that we have the eggs for our breakfasts – pancakes, scrambled egg & smoked salmon or sunny side up; there is no limit as to what you can do with the humble egg! No two eggs are the same shape or size or colour and some even have two yokes. All of this just adds to the variety and the comical nature of keeping your very own flock of hens. Hon the girls!

Nebraska to Cloonacool

Recently I watched the movie, Nebraska. It’s a great movie on many levels; it’s a nice father and son, road trip story better than most but what makes it stand apart is that it is filmed in black and white. You can watch this movie with the sound off and photographically, its stunning! It inspired me to make this short video, Sligo – Black and White.

The thing about black and white images is that even before you look at the content, you get an atmospheric overview. As a photographer, I used to love colour and at times saw black and white as old fashioned. Not anymore; if photography is an art form, then black and white is art and then some.

The images in this video where all taken in colour but where chosen for this project because they transferred well to black and white, sometimes in a subtle way, sometimes with contrast. The piece is about Sligo and all the images are local, people and places. Rural life, tradition and landscape are the themes because for me these things define Sligo, especially rural Sligo. I see little separation between Queen Meadhbh and Harry McGowan, between Appalachian Music and an Ox Mountain cottage, between disused railways and new growth. County Sligo is a many splendid place and its charms need to be sung, and in keeping with this little project; photographed and developed! I hope this video helps in that regard.


The music on the video, Down by the Sally Gardens, is of course a Sligo tune and is played here by Austrian classical flutist, Karin Leitner. Yet another connection with this piece sees Karin Leitner play a House Concert here at Moy River Folk Club in Cloonacool on September 28th next.

See Sligo – Black and White here.

A Nice Review

Now and again things just happen – nice things and this review we received recently is one of those… nice things.

Alana and Chris arrived to us from LA… on their honeymoon! Both people are in the health & fitness business back in the States.  They have a nice website that explains a bit about that, They stayed for just one night but it seemed like a week – and for all the right reasons.

After their return home they posted a really nice review on their own website about their stay here at Moy River. Read the complete review here.

House Concerts

Moy River Folk Club is a performance space at Moy River B&B. We host House Concerts from time to time, offering audience a close-up and intimate experience with local, national and international artists.

Our kitchen and living room space holds about 45 people. It’s too good a space not to use. It was designed for parties in the first place, long before the B&B idea came along. Like most things, we started not knowing how it might work but with a vision of how we would like it to be. It has worked and audiences love it; its homely while the entertainment is highly professional. Artists such as Charlie McGettigan, Kieran Goss, Tommy Sands and Mick Hanly have charmed audiences here and have given us very positive feedback on their experience. In addition to that we have had Mama & Fyrmoon, a bluegrass group from Switzerland, as well as a few homegrown gigs featuring the best local talent in our community. We also hosted a charity concert in support of a school and Rita and I support in Kenya. 

As part of the process, we offer the various artists accommodation in the B&B but we generally have a room or two left if you ever want to attend a concert and also stay to enjoy the complete Moy River experience. It will also allow you to breakfast with the stars!

Keep an eye on our  Facebook page for details of up-coming events or ask to be added to our mailing list. If you would like to perform at the Club, call us on 087 2512030.

Our Garden Birds

We do our best to make our garden as nice a place as possible for garden birds. Their colour and character add so much to our surroundings here at Moy River.

We had a service man call to us on some business a few years ago and before he left told us very excitedly about ‘an unusual bird’ he had just seen outside. He described the bird enough for us to be able to tell him it was a Goldfinch. While the Goldfinch is not unusual, it is indeed very colourful.

Robin protecting his dinner!

Golfinches are great; if you get one, you get a few as they travel in flocks. They deserted us for a year or two however but we later found out there was a few reasons for this. The very cold winters of 2009 and 2010 was severs on all garden birds and that was a reason but another reason was that these lads are fussy enough about what they eat. In an effort to attract the Goldfinches back we researched what they like best and we discovered it was… nyjer seed. Nyjer seed resembles small grains of wild rice and is highly desirable by many finches for its high fat and protein content. Nyjer has another name, thistle, which sometimes alarms people. Many people think they will be growing thistle weeds in their garden if they offer this seed. On the contrary, nyjer is not a thistle at all. It’s the seed of the nyjer plant native to Ethiopia.


Shy Blue Tit.

You will have gathered that the Goldfinch is our favourite but every garden bird has something unique to offer. The robin is special and loves nothing more that a simple baked potato. Mind you he hates sharing and despite his sacred reputation, he has a temper like a Philistine! The Siskin is selfish and will beat off all-comers from the peanut feeder. The Blue Tit is shy while the Coal Tit is clever beyond imagination and the Great Tit is… well just great! Chaffinches tend to stay on the ground and are happy with the crumbs from the table above. We have Wrens and Tree Creepers as well but they tend to be the minimalists in the world of garden birds; they live on little and don’t give away many secrets!

Coal Tit taking the shortest route to the food!

Our grounds are geared for wildlife in general and birds in particular. We leave wild areas for natural food sources and safety in summer and we hang a few nest boxes so that we can enjoy the goings on in spring. We avoid cats! The average cat kills 300 garden birds each year and as we all know, there is no such thing as an ‘average’ cat!

Rather selfishly, we have placed our two bird tables close enough for us to enjoy from inside the house. One is outside the kitchen window while our guests get to enjoy the one we located just outside the dining room.