An Artist arrives on Achill

When Paul Henry and his wife Grace, arrived on Achill in 1912, they had only intended to stay for a brief holiday, but ended up making the Island their home for the best part of a decade.

Henry had first heard of Achill’s wild and natural beauty from friends, the Lynds who honeymooned, there earlier that year.

“When I had met them they were full of it, and they had talked of Achill Island more than any other place they had seen. Their enthusiasm thrilled me and I decided to see this wonderful place for myself.”

Henry was enchanted by the island, and had found in it a muse for his work.

Minaun Cliffs, Achill

Minaun Cliffs, Achill

“The currents of life had carried me to this remote spot, and there seemed no current strong enough to carry me away…I made another of my quick decisions, which I never regretted and taking my return ticket to London out of my pocket tore it into small pieces and scattered the fragments into the sea which foamed round the rocks of Gubalennaun.”

An Irish Portrait,Paul Henry’s Autobiography, 1951. P 48