If the world was to end today, here’s what I’d do

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of sunbeam on bogland

If the world was to end at 2pm today,  what would you do, where would you go? That’s what a friend of mine asked me once, and I immediately answered: I’d go up to the Dublin Mountains, lie down in the heather, look up at the clouds and listen to the song of the skylark, way up there, somewhere between Heaven and Earth.

I can’t quite explain why this place is so special to me but it’s a place where I go to think, a place where I feel ‘at home’. If you drive up from Rathfarnham, past the Hellfire Club, past the viewing point over Dublin city and continue on over the mountains towards Glencree, you come to a white road on your right that heads off across the bog towards Kippure Mountain. This is the area we called “the Featherbed”. The mountains look different at different times of the year.  In July… well I especially like to go up in July because that’s the time when the Bog Cotton is in bloom.  In August when the heather is in bloom, it is a sea of purple and maroon, like in the painting below by an artist friend of mine called John O’Grady.

painting of heather by John O'Grady

But anyway, thinking of the mountains and the Featherbed reminds me of some “Land art” I made up there while I was in college. Ah yes, my 3rd year project. I used to go up there every morning and wander the hills…  I loved it. And I cut a staircase into the bog, using the traditional Sleán, a special spade for cutting the turf. A sort of vain attempt to reach the sky…

photo by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of Land art in dublin mountains

So that’s my story. What would you do if you heard that the world was going to end?  You know your comments are always welcome. Slán go fóill, eoin

And there’s more information about boglands on the Irish Peatland Conservation Council’s website : http://www.ipcc.ie/

and more paintings by John O’Grady to be seen at:  http://www.johnogradypaintings.com/

and more about my own art at:






  1. Reading this has transported me to the hills, looking up at the sky, wind softly blowing through the heather springy beneath my head.


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