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Paul Henry and his wife Grace travelled to Achill in the Summer of 1910 on a Midland Great Western Railway train. They had come for a holiday on the advice of their London friend who had earlier honeymooned there.
Paul Henry was immediately captivated by Achill and famously tore up his return ticket to London on rocky point at Gubalennaun. On arriving in Achill Paul and Grace Henry visited Dugort but left Dugort as it was touristy. He moved to Keel “Paul Henry describes Keel as the most gregarious of villages, perhaps about 50 houses in all, huddled close together as if for warmth and companionship devoid of all plans” ( Kennedy, S.B.,2007, P32 )
The site of the Amethyst Hotel was of great interest it was here that Paul and Grace Henry lived on Achill Island. A plaque on the wall records that “Paul Henry (1876 – 1958), Irish artist lived and worked here and other locations in Achill 1910 -1919.
Henry often painted the people of Achill and Connemara, some of his famous depictions include The Potato Diggers and Launching The Currach both in the National Gallery of Ireland. Paul Henry has been described as “ probably the best painter that Ireland has ever produced”