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Here is a selection of photographs taken in April and May which is the begining of the traditional turfcutting season, it is regarded as a cheap source of fuel but the real cost comes from the sheer amount of physical effort required to cut it, and that is only the start.

I know there is a good deal of nostalgic romanticism surrounding many aspects of Irish life in the past which tends to veil some of the harsh reality, but it does make wonderful subject matter, and has done over the years for many Irish artists.

Peter Boyle Irish Donegal TurfcutterPeter surveying the family's handy work. Irish Turfcutters working in pairsWorking in pairs they keep a steady rhythm going. tea break for turfcutters in DonegalA very welcome break for the Boyle family.
Donegal man cutting a turf bank on his ownIt's better when one cuts and one throws. A very long deep turf banksome banks are three cuts deep Donegal man carting turf in a wheelbarrowMethods used to get the turf home can vary.

View over an expansive area of bog towards mount ErrigalView over the Bog Towards Dunlewey, Co.Donegal. two members of the Boyle family cutting turfKeeping a nice steady pace pays off. Mount Errigal County Donegal covered with snow Mount Errigal blanketed in snow Co.Donegal.
Donegal man footing sods of turf to dryCorrie showing me how they foot the turf to dry. two native Donegal men cutting sods of turfCharlie taking his turn with the spade Irish man cutting a turf bank by himselfGoing at it alone.