Returning from abroad — how I reconnected with home by running around it

You can look anything up online these days, including how to climb a mountain. Paddy Hegarty from Lahardane kindly showed me through his land after his two well-trained sheepdogs alerted him to the trespasser coming up through his farm from the main road, exactly like the internet said he would.

Paddy lived in England all his life but his untouched Mayo accent and effortless knowledge of the local area makes it sound like he hadn’t so much left to cheer the footballers on in Croke Park the odd summer’s…