Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography


Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Dún Briste Rainbow, Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo, Ireland

An icon of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Dún Briste sea stack sits in the Atlantic Ocean at Downpatrick Head.  Rising 150ft out the ocean, the stack was first scaled by rock climbers in 1990 and has only ever been repeated once  more in 2016.  The Dún Briste stack is joined on the headland by the large blowhole, Pul Na Sean Tinne and the manmade Eire 64 World War II Lookout Post and neutrality marking.  Huge stone "EIRE' markings were constructed into surface onto top of the cliffs declaring the neutrality of the state for overflying airmen which often accompanied by their Lookout Station number, which in this case was No 64.  The  concrete pillbox look outs  were manned 24 hours a day as part of a strategic place network to monitor and report all maritime and aviation activity around the coast of Ireland during the war.  

The pillbox offered a brief respite from the wind and rain squalls on the exposed cliff top, but not one if you have a delicate sense of smell.  I was scouting the area looking for the best composition in advance of sunset when the below scene appeared below me. Due to the gusty wind, I had left my tripod and bag sitting away from the top of the cliff and I didn't have time to grab the tripod.   Lying on my front; out of necessity for both the sheer drop to the sea below and to steady the handheld shot in the fading sun and gusty wind.  The rainbow stayed for a few frames before disappearing with the sun.  I never noticed at the time, but the rainbow has a faint double to the left of the main rainbow.  Another short squall followed which all but wiped out sunset, with the exception of a small window behind me where the sun was setting.