Omey Island, Last Man Standing by Kevin Griffin

by Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on April 7, 2015 in Libraries

I recently took a trip across to Omey Island off the west coast of Ireland. Omey is a tidal island so you must time your visits according to the tides or else spend the night beneath the stars! According to the locals on the mainland the tide would be in at 4pm that day so […]

I recently took a trip across to Omey Island off the west coast of Ireland. Omey is a tidal island so you must time your visits according to the tides or else spend the night beneath the stars!

According to the locals on the mainland the tide would be in at 4pm that day so we had the all-clear to go. We drove cautiously across the half-mile long sandy causeway following the suggested track which was marked with stakes in the sand. We ridiculed the little old blue Corsa ahead of us which did not follow the markers but assumed a different route to be better. It seemed so foolish of them to do such a thing.

After rumbling across the sand ridges and relieved to have reached the other side of the causeway we drove onto Omey Island and followed along the only road there was until it came to an end at a high point on the island. There we caught up with the old blue Corsa and a man in his 70s was getting out of the car. He was dressed in layers of ragged clothes and he was walking over to an old mobile home which looked derelict. We asked his advice on what route we should take to walk around the island. He was more than willing to offer his help and so we chatted for a few minutes. This man turned out to be Pascal Whelan, the only remaining resident on Omey Island. His home is the dilapidated mobile home with a window missing and boarded up with flimsy sheets of wood but with a sea view! In fact, a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and Croagh Island with the waves crashing against the rocks. He happily posed for a photo and before we parted he asked for help with lifting some items from his car to his mobile home. He was just out of hospital and didn’t have his full strength. We obliged and as we were leaving he suggested that we should buy his book which, he said, took a long time to write.

Pascal Whelan collaborated with photographer, Kevin Griffin, to write a book about his life. The title of the book is “Omey Island: The Last Man Standing.” It was amazing to discover that Pascal is a former Hollywood stuntman who once lived a high life of travelling and working around the world with famous actors and on many movies including some of the James Bond movies. Years ago, during a stunt show, his colleague died while carrying out a stunt. Pascal lost heart and finished up his career as a stuntman. He then moved back to Omey Island where he was born and where he is now the last man standing.

It’s a privilege to have met Pascal and a delight to have visited his lovely Omey Island.

“Omey Island, Last Man Standing” is an interesting book about an interesting man.

By Yvonne Boylan

Last Man Standing

Omey Island, Last Man Standing – Kevin Griffin

Published by Lost Cat
140 pages
27 x 30cm
Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-9926