A few weeks ago I wrote about my trip to the Slieve Bloom Mountains in search of snow. I thought it would be my last chance until next winter. I needn’t have worried. The Beast from the East and Storm Emma descended on us last week and instead of Ireland being all about the black stuff, we kicked off spring concerned with only the white stuff. And no, I don’t mean the bread nonsense, just the snow. This time I didn’t have to venture anywhere to find it. It was right here on my doorstep in Portumna, and plenty of it!

I know the weather has created havoc and untold financial strain for many, and that’s a whole other side to things but this is not something that happens very often in our country. It has been decades since we’ve seen a weather event like this. For many kids, it was their first proper experience in the snow. Even for a lot of bigger kids too. José was stranded in Dublin for the weekend but got to build his first ever snowman! My nephew spent a day building the most amazing igloo for his little sisters and our family WhatsApp group was going non-stop with photos and videos of all my cousins and their little ones, making the most of their snow days. No doubt the same was happening for families all over the country. Those memories are priceless.

As for me, I wandered around Portumna and couldn’t help but think that we got more beauty than beast from this storm. For four days last week our town was transformed into a real winter wonderland and we were lucky enough to be unaffected by power cuts and water loss, as some areas where. As the snow turns to slush now and melts away, things are getting back to normality for most of us. I have to admit to being a little sad to see it go and I’m glad that I spent the time outside capturing our town in a blanket of snow. At least if it doesn’t happen again, I can always look back on these images of Portumna looking just that little bit more magical than usual! 

A layer of snow covers Clonfert Avenue

Looking down a snowy St Brendan's Street

The main junction in Portumna, Galway covered in snow during Storm Emma.

Castle Avenue looking towards Christ Church and St Bridgid's Church

Snow surrounds St Bridgid's Church

A colourful sunrise over St Bridgid's Church

A blanket of snow covers the grounds of Christ Church

Snow covers Castle Avenue Portumna, as the sun rises

The former Gate Lodge at Portumna Castle estate

A trail of footsteps in the snow leading to Portumna Castle

A fresh fall of snow covers the grounds of Portumna Castle

A side view of Portumna Castle as the sun rises

Snow covering Portumna Marina

Snow falling over the ruins of the Abbey

The entrance gates at Portumna Castle

Snow covered gorse bushes in Portumna Forest Park

Thick snow in Portumna Forest Park

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Snow covered pine trees in Portumna Forest Park.

Snow covered trees in portumna forest park

A robin resting near Portumna Marina

Snow surrounds the swimming area

Sunset at the swimming area in Portumna during Storm Emma

The setting sun casts long shadows of the gravestones by the ruins of the Abbey

Colourful sunset at Portumna Marina during Storm Emma

Pink sky at sunset at the swimming area in Portumna, Galway during Storm Emma.

Meanwhile in Dublin…José and his snowman. How did he do?
Disclaimer: he may have had help from my parents!

José's first attempt at building a snowman!