Zeitgeist: Providing a place for women to find peace and healing in Carraroe

Despite the housing crisis, novelist and single parent Betsy Cornwell has managed to establish a childcare-inclusive retreat in Connemara where women can write, make art, or simply take a break

Betsy Cornwell: ‘It makes me feel good, helping other people who are going through the same process I went through, but sometimes you're not quite able to help everyone.’ Picture: Michael Dillon

Betsy Cornwell was scrolling through property listings one night in March 2020 when she came across an old knitting factory that had been turned into a house. The long white cottage lay on the shore of Loch an Mhuilinn, a few minutes’ walk from the village of Carraroe in Connemara, and had been on the market for years.

A self-employed single parent, Cornwell thought it was the kind of place she could only dream of ...