January 18th, 2019.
Dear Ann and Robert,
This has been a most productive and enjoyable week. You have created a much-needed retreat for focus and considered thought free of distraction. We achieved more in our small working group in a week than we would separately achieve over a much longer time period. And it has all been thanks to your hospitality and preparations in making our stay exceptional in many regards, from an excellently facilitated conference room for inspiration and enjoyment, to the lovely accommodation and welcome we received.
Doonreagan is such a special place and we feel we’ve only experienced a smidgeon of the charm and beauty that surrounds it. We look forward to communicating our results (and hopefully the paper/s) in due course. I sincerely hope that others can experience the same and wish you the best with this.
Very best wishes and heartfelt thanks again for all you did to make our stay and work such a success.
Already looking forward to returning to beautiful Doonreagan.
Dr Cóilín Minto
Marine and Freshwater Research Centre
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
“There’s no place like….Doonreagan! It is a place of silence and beauty. Last summer, we spent two glorious weeks in the West Wing, and fell in love with this spot of rural Connemara, positioned at the edge of a tranquil inlet of the Atlantic Ocean. We came back this year to spend four weeks in the East Wing. We loved it so much, that we are planning to move to Connemara next year!”
Marjol Flore, Singer, and Pieter Lambrechtsen, Artist
“At Doonreagan light falls as ink on a page and imagination dances.”
Máíre Holmes, Poet
“Over the years, poets, painters and every kind of creative artist have found inspiration in this lovely locality, where sea and sky melt into each other and you can almost hear the sound of perfect peacefulness.”
Penny Perrick, Author
“Built on a tiny piece of flat land where Cashel Hill pauses momentarily before dropping into Cashel Bay, Doonreagan embodies for me an absolute ideal location for imaginative reflection and inspiration. There is no direction in which the visitor may turn without being awed by the majesty of the area, one of the most beautiful places in the truly magnificent landscape that is Connemara.”
Rory McCormac, Author
“I spent two of my happiest and most productive winters ever living and writing in this stunningly beautiful region, and have set many of my bestselling novels there, including my latest series – The Lissamore Trilogy (www.lissamore.com). Robert and Ann Jocelyn have created a true haven in the heart of beautiful Connemara.”
Kate Thompson, Author
“Among my memories of Doonreagan and its unique surroundings, an overriding impression that I’ll never forget was a deep sense of respect for the gifts of nature…”
Kerstin Henning Magnusson, Author
“With its silence and constantly changing colours, Doonreagan, like its neighbour Scrahallia, is an artists’ haven.”
Rosemary Carr, Painter, ROI
“Doonreagan is an idyllic retreat for any artist or soul who needs some time away. Whether to write, paint or just be, it’s a beautiful, peaceful spot that brings you right back to nature and the slower rhythms of life.”
Lila Dupree, Actress
“Connemara is a beautiful, peaceful place far from the hustle and bustle of modern city life. Here you will find sparkling lakes, towering hills and white sandy beaches. Doonreagan will anchor you in the heart of this magical place and you will be forever seduced.”
Pat Mullan, Ireland Chair International Thriller Writers, Inc.
“’There midnight’s all a-glimmer, and noon a perfect glow, and evening full of linnets wings’… (W B Yeats) . The light at Doonreagan has that magical quality that artists are always inspired by. I have never come away from this place without my heart restored and my head full of images and ideas to somehow transfer to canvas.”
Fionntán Gogarty, Painter
“I found Doon Cottage the perfect, soothing setting for a task which I had been dreading and which certainly did not involve the creative imagination – the compilation of an index to a 850-page edition of documents, bristling with proper names and with pitfalls of various kinds. The peace, the walks, the light, the views, all offered me the relaxation and the change of activity which I needed. What also matters a lot is that Doonreagan has been created by two people who understand the needs (and perhaps the little foibles) of writers, artists and the like.”
Dr Anthony Malcomson, Historian
“The peregrine swoops to blood the frosted bog
Where the spindrifting snows of winter
Blanket a mist-shrouded frozen land
Immobilized in leafless hibernation.
Snow-flurried gusts, biting into shivering marrow,
Exhaust all carefully-nurtured reserves,
Leading to a cloying, contagious lethargy
That fosters a universal mood of despair.
Decay seeps deeper into wooden sinews,
Limestone fissures and arthritic limbs.
Weather-crimped greetings, days and tempers
Shorten with seemingly no reprieve in sight.
Yet, jack-hammering through this unrelenting frigidity
There thrusts the snowdrop’s first frail lantern of purity.”
“An adoptee from far away,
I’ve spent nearly half my life
living in Connemara.
The place I was born to was quite different:
a park-like landscape dappled by the sun,
pretty and sheltered, neatly tended
through centuries of prosperity.
Trees sighing softly in a summer breeze;
tidy gravel paths for lakeside walks,
water lapping gently at your feet.
Those impressions dwindled to a wistful memory,
when I found myself exposed to the harsh conditions
of this extreme western edge of Europe.
A bleak wilderness of vast open spaces
bordered by a jagged mountain range.
Stony reaches pelted by heavy downpours,
ravaged by storms devastating
the little growth they yielded.
Today, the evidence of age-old poverty and starvation
has mercifully been eclipsed
by the advance of the Celtic tiger.
And as my eye wanders unrestricted
over bogs and meadows
that know no boundaries, no limits…
across the wide Atlantic Ocean
swelling with the tide
in an echo of my own pulse,
reaching for horizons ever shifting,
I am in no doubt that here is my home.
My bedrock of complete security
and total freedom.
Where the heart is at peace
there is no need for shelter.”
Ann Henning Jocelyn
Ann and Robert, my young son and I clambered the hills high above Doonreagan. We sat close together on the ‘moonrocks’ gazing at the breathtaking view spread out before us. This glorious scene is often revisited in my mind’s eye. The perfect retreat.”
Isla St. Clair, Singer
“Time in Doonreagan – – the new spiritual oasis in ancient Connemara – – must become the highlight of the year for every creative person in Europe & America! Especially for the chosen few who long to connect with the ‘Gods of inspiration’, explore Irish history and trigger their muse without even trying.”
George Ganchev, Politician, Author, Director
“This is a magnificent haven of inspiration overlooking Bertaghboy Bay, one of the wide variety of fascinating inlets from the wild Atlantic that make up the unique and beautiful coastline of Connemara. Doonreagan embraces this magical kaleidoscope of an ever-changing panorama that each season brings.”
Rev. Anthony Previté, Author
“Here at Doonreagan, soothed by the perpetual undulations of the sea beneath the infinite dome of the sky, you feel eternity within your reach.”
Gerd Riccius, Lecturer
“Each step you take opens up a wonderful new vista to inspire you.”
Janette Makin, Photographer