Belclare Old Church, County Galway

Silent is the slow march,
yet we do not walk alone,
too heavy is the coffin,
to simply be of bone.

A coldness builds and lingers
with every keening knell,
as we gift you to the sodden earth,
the gaping maws of hell.
— Claire Loader

As a self-confessed taphophile I love a good cemetery, but this is one I won't be running back to. Sitting silently overlooking the small village of Belclare, just outside of Tuam, there is something oddly unnerving about the long walk up the slope to the waiting graves above, never mind the gaping hole sunk into the mountain at the back. It's not hard to imagine the reason for its replacement on the flat - if the steep incline didn't kill you before you got to the top, one false move thereafter would see you not return.

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.


Emlaghfad Old Church, County Sligo

Speak not of the dead as if they never sinned, as if all were grace and good. Let not death create a saint, where merely a man once stood.
— Claire Loader

Sitting on the steeps of a lonely rise just outside of Ballymote, the old Emlaghfad Church is not for the faint of heart. Weeds rise out of the long grass like hands, grasping and clinging, seeking to pull you down like the gravestones and tombs that have already succumbed to her depths.

Copyright © 2017 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.