The Spirit of Ireland Magazine Spring 2019

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Vol 1, 2019 • $4.95


In Association with The North American Celtic Trade Association



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11 FILL YOUR HEART WITH IRELAND With its scene-stealing natural beauty and multitude of things to see and do, Ireland is a dream destination that will catch your heart.

119 SOUTHERN STARS The south west of Ireland is known for its magical coastline. From sighting dolphins to exploring the Titanic’s history in Cobh, you won’t be short of things to do or places to see.

23 IRELAND’S HIDDEN HEARTLANDS Take a journey into the very heart of Ireland where activity and relaxation are centered around beautiful lakelands and rural communities.

141 CHERISHED PLACES From Kilkenny’s medieval mile to the bog lands in Co. Offaly, the public voted on Ireland’s most cherished places, kicking up a few surprises.

43 GO WEST The buzzing city of Galway is an ideal base for discovering Ireland’s Atlantic coast, offshore islands and the home of the Claddagh, the ultimate symbol of love, loyalty and friendship. 67 FUN FESTIVALS From big hits to small wonders, we take our pick of Ireland’s most diverse and fun festivals. 85 NORTHERN LIGHTS A Titanic experience awaits if you head north complete with Game of Thrones locations, glorious coasts and glens and the delights of Donegal.

171 DELIGHTS OF DUBLIN Not to take away from Chicago, but if Sinatra ever visited Dublin, he’d likely sing a few bars of ‘My Kind of Town.’ A thriving city, lively pubs and super-friendly people – what’s not to love? 203 FOOD TOURISM Indulge your senses in Ireland where flavors are fresh and foodie traditions handed down for generations have been given a modern-day twist. 233 CRAFT Contemporary creativity, traditional craft and skills perfected through time; Ireland’s jewelry and craft industries are at the beating heart of the island. 7


We travel in style and comfort. I guess we’re known for that. But for me, it’s always been about the journey.

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Welcome Tourism Ireland is excited to be launching its first major global campaign since 2011: ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’. An industry-first, the campaign was created by the heart rate data of two visitors wearing custom-made technology to track their physiological responses along the way. The couple loved Ireland and their heart rate showed that they fell for Ireland hook, line and sinker. We look at the places they visited and where in particular their hearts were sent racing. Travelers to Ireland have always marveled at the beauty of the landscape and the friendly, welcoming people, but up until recently we weren’t really known for our food. Wholesome and hearty for sure, but more ‘bacon and cabbage’ than haute cuisine. Well, all of this has changed and Ireland is fast becoming a foodie heaven. Street food and pop-up restaurants have become the way to munch around Ireland as chefs and cooks take to the roads bringing their tasty cuisines along with them. Take the Misunderstood Heron for example, a food truck on the very edge of Killary Harbour in Connemara. It was named one of the eight coolest in the world by Lonely Planet and the food is to die for. Looking out on one of only three fjords in Ireland; across the water is Mayo and in the water between are the famous Killary Fjord mussels. Misunderstood Heron is just one in a wave of cool Irish food businesses that are setting the bar very high even at basic street level. Premier travel company CIE International who are celebrating over one million satisfied travelers and 87 years of travel experience, are seeing a rise in the importance of farm-to-table dining. Ireland’s food story is not just about heritage they say, but the culinary experience benefits from what Irish explorers discover and bring back with them to Ireland – an infusion of experimental and creative methods with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. That same infusion applies to the plethora of gin distilleries popping up all over the country as well as craft beer and whiskey distilleries offering everything from tastings to creating and bringing home your own customized bottle. In New York, Irish food and drink took center stage at the recent FarePlate event. A gathering of the finest ingredients and brands in the industry, Bridget Bray’s event was a resounding success and an opportunity for new Irish brands to spread their wings stateside. If you are thinking of spreading your wings then look no further. Ireland is more than just a destination. It’s a feeling. It’s the thrill of standing on top of towering sea cliffs and daring yourself to look down. It’s the warmth of a traditional pub session where the locals pull you up to dance. It’s the cool touch of ancient stones and the intoxicating flavors of artisan food exploding in your mouth. Take a trip beyond the ordinary and let Ireland capture your heart. Enjoy!

Trish Editor

John Hogan

SALES Linda Hickey, Eamonn McGabhann Helen Fairbrother, Paul Halley

DISTRIBUTION North American Celtic Trade Association Celtic Marketplace Tourism Ireland Barnes & Noble



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Whilst every effort has been made to make the information contained herein as comprehensive and accurate as possible the publishers accept no responsibility for additions, omissions or errors. No part of this publication can be copied or produced without the editor’s consent in writing.

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Fill your Heart WITH IRELAND



f modern life can leave us running on empty and yearning for more authentic experiences, then Ireland is the perfect antidote. Embracing things of the heart and combining it with modern technology, Tourism Ireland has technologically proven what visitors to the island have always known: a vacation here will fill your heart with joy. Married couple Fred and Lisa from Sweden were invited to take a vacation in Ireland, and they were asked to wear a camera connected to

a heart-rate monitor to measure their responses to the beautiful sights. Fred and Lisa had never visited Ireland before. They went to see some of the island’s most spectacular locations along the Wild Atlantic Way and it’s fair to say, their hearts raced at the awesome sights. Every time their heart rate changed, a wireless computer logged the information. “When the brain feels an emotion, it corresponds 11


to an increase in heart rate,” explains Professor Brian Hughes, from the School of Psychology, National University of Ireland Galway. By tracking the experiences and physiological responses of the couple along the way, Tourism Ireland was able to capture the moments that evoked their most dramatic reactions. “In this experiment, where the couple are walking around experiencing beautiful, exciting things, we do see an effect... that feeling of something being really beautiful or taking your breath away – it is known that this increases your heart rate,” says Dr. Alison Muir, consultant cardiologist. Fred and Lisa had a dream vacation and the end result is a marketing masterpiece, forming the basis of an ad campaign featuring scenes chosen from the heart by Fred and Lisa, proving once and for all that Ireland’s beautiful landscapes and the authentic warmth and wit of its people offer genuine, heart-filling moments. 12

LOVED LOCATIONS Buzzing nightlife, great restaurants and a unique history – Belfast has it all. Set yourself up for the day with a fabulous serving of the traditional Ulster Fry in St George’s Market, take off on the Belfast Food Tour around some of the city’s culinary gems, and then enjoy a walk around the intriguing Cathedral Quarter, including the MAC, St Anne’s Cathedral, Writers’ Square and the quirky ‘Umbrella Laneway’. Take yourself down to the Edwardian-era Thompson Dry Dock where the past looms large. Within sight of that dock is the vast shimmering shell that is Titanic Belfast. Nine galleries – tracing the ship’s story from creation to tragic sinking – tell the entire tale on an awesome scale. Enjoy a walking tour in the company of those whose ancestors worked on the Ship of Dreams, take a Segway tour, making sure to absorb the stature of the city’s maritime legacy. Belfast can be your base as you explore nearby attractions, including the intriguing cliff


path, The Gobbins. Just north of Whitehead along the Causeway Coastal Route, you’ll find The Gobbins: a 21st century makeover of a spectacular cliff path created over a century ago. Step through the entrance known as Wise’s Eye, cross the tubular bridge suspended above the choppy sea – you might say it’s as close to walking on water as you’re ever likely to get! If you travel further north on the island, it feels as if civilization has been left far, far behind. You’re entering a world that lives and breathes through its land and seascapes. In the county of Donegal head for the Fanad Head peninsula, home to Fanad Head Lighthouse which has been saving lives for over 200 years. When in these parts you simply must visit Slieve League. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were at the very edge of the world once you reach the viewing platforms of the wondrous cliffs – among the highest sea cliffs in Europe at 601m (1,972 feet). Leave your car behind and simply absorb the spectacular views of Donegal Bay

and the Sligo Mountains from the viewing point – also watch out for EIRE markings on the land, signals from World War II to pilots, letting them know their location. Ireland’s most northerly point and renowned for its epic coastal scenery, thriving birdlife and historical curiosities is Malin Head. More recently, this rugged spot featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. SURF’S UP Ireland’s surfing reputation continues to swell for good reason. Massive breaks and peaks pound the coastline along the Wild Atlantic Way, the landscapes are unspoiled and the locals hospitable to a fault. And nowhere is the surf better than Bundoran, County Donegal – the surf capital of Ireland.

Ireland is more than just a destination. It’s a feeling. It’s the thrill of standing on top of towering sea cliffs and daring yourself to look down.

At the southern extreme of the county lies Donegal Bay, the spiritual home of Irish surfing and an area blessed with several world-class waves. With the prevalent airflow from the southwest 13


and a mainly north-facing aspect open to most Atlantic swells, the low-lying coastline that passes through counties Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo is a true surfer’s paradise. NORTHERN LAKELANDS Devenish - or the Isle of Oxen – lies at the south end of 300 square miles of glistening water on Lower Lough Erne. Its 70 or so acres supported a 6th century monastic site, which was raided by Vikings and burned in the 12th century, but it rose again to flourish in the Middle Ages. Its ruins – St Molaise Church, St Mary’s Abbey, and a round tower – survive, leaving eerie echoes of its rather turbulent 1,500-year history. Devenish is just one of a number of intriguing islands around Lough Erne – Boa, White, Lusty Beg – each boasting their own unique attractions. At Finn Lough in County Fermanagh you can sleep under the stars in custom built Bubble Domes. One of the coolest new travel trends, ‘bubble hotels’ offer luxury and nature all wrapped up in well, a bubble! There’s a very famous one in France, and there’s even one in 14

Iceland that lets you sleep beneath the Northern Lights. At Finn Lough Resort you can sleep within transparent walls that separate you from the forest and the star-filled sky. Complete with comfy living area, four poster bed and an ensuite, you don’t even have to set an alarm in the morning – let the sunrise slowly wake you up, just the way nature intended. MAGICAL MAYO Accessed by a landbridge at Kneem Beach, throw caution to the wind and immerse yourself into the wonderful blue waters. Pull on a wetsuit provided by Achill Surf Adventure and take a guided tour of the Blueway – a network of water trails that weave beneath Achill’s towering sea cliffs. Inspired by the Great Western Greenway cycling route, a sequence of kayak and snorkel trails give a glimpse of another world. If you’re feeling energetic, you could take the Great Western Greenway from Achill to Westport – Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail between Achill and Westport. Hire a bike in Achill, Mulranny, Newport or Westport and go


at your own place. On arrival in Westport, there really are few places that combine natural beauty, 18th century elegance and incredible outdoor activities quite like Westport. This genteel town is the kind of destination that offers everything from exploring the legacy of the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley in Westport House, to climbing the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick before relaxing by the fire in one of the town’s cozy pubs, including Matt Molloy’s – he of legendary traditional Irish music band, The Chieftains. CONNEMARA Long considered Ireland’s most spectacular love letter, Kylemore Abbey, on the shores of Lough Pollacopall in Connemara, stands in stately elegance, as perfect today as it was when it was first erected in 1871 by Mitchell Henry for his wife, Margaret, after they spent their honeymoon in the area in the 1840s. Hollywood really has nothing on the adoration this pair had for each other, that said, Hollywood has visited here many times with directors who have chosen Connemara as filming backdrops to movies such as The Field (Written by John B.

Keane, starring Richard Harris and John Hurt) and more recently, Marley & Me (Starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston). And who could blame them? Connemara is a setting beyond imagination, the stuff of dreams. Speaking of dream locations, the Connemara National Park has the Atlantic on one side and the famous peaks of the Twelve Ben Mountains on the other. The Diamond Hill Loop Walk in the midst of the park is what Ireland is all about: letting go of the mundane and filling your heart with something quite special. With the wild Atlantic Ocean on one side and the stately peaks of the Twelve Ben Mountains on the other, the Connemara National Park is Ireland at its most dramatic. It’s a place to free the soul, calm the mind and make the heart beat a little faster as you travel through an achingly beautiful landscape.

Hugging Ireland’s wavelashed western seaboard from Malin Head at the tip of the north-western county of Donegal, down to the southern town of Kinsale in County Cork, it’s a route that has more than enough wonders to fill your heart with joy.

In the midst of the park sits cone-shaped Diamond Hill, a gem of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way named for its sparkling appearance when sunlight reflects off its quartzite rock surface. The 7km Diamond Hill loop walk takes you to 15


the peak of this mountain gem, along gravel footpaths and wooden boardwalks stretching over the bog that leads to the western slopes where you climb to the 445m-high summit ridge. From the top the views are exhilarating. Look towards the Wild Atlantic Way to see the islands of Inishturk, Inishbofin and Inishshark which lie off Connemara’s stunning coastline. From this stunning vantage point you can look down on the gothic turrets of Kylemore Abbey, a wonder of nineteenth-century architecture and Ireland’s most romantic building. The Diamond Hill Loop starts and ends at the visitor center in Connemara National Park, a welcoming spot for refueling after the climb and for enjoying the ‘Man and the Landscape’ exhibition and multi-lingual audio-visual show. The 2,000-hectare park is also home to Connemara ponies, red deer and an enormous 16

variety of bird-life which populate its grasslands, mountains, bogs, heaths and forests. Remote and rugged, Connemara National Park is the perfect destination for those eager to escape from the hustle and bustle of twentyfirst-century city life. It’s one of many beautiful, unspoilt places to be discovered along the 2,500 km Wild Atlantic Way. Ireland is more than just a destination. It’s a feeling. It’s the thrill of standing on top of towering sea cliffs and daring yourself to look down. It’s the warmth of a traditional pub session where the locals pull you up to dance. It’s the cool touch of ancient stones and the intoxicating flavors of artisan food exploding in your mouth. Take a trip beyond the ordinary and let Ireland capture your heart.

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You cannot say you have truly experienced the Wild Atlantic Way until you have been on the actual Atlantic Ocean. To see the magnificent Cliffs of Moher from sea level is an aweinspiring experience. A one-hour boat trip from Doolin with Doolin2Aran Ferries takes you to see Ireland’s 18

most iconic natural attraction, cliffs eroded into hundreds of caves by the relentless pounding of the Atlantic waves, their cracks and crevices home to colonies of puffins and seabirds. There is so much for the senses to digest: the sheer size of the gigantic rocks, the salty spray of the waves, the unique views and even the cave that featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Photo Credit: RTÉ



! d r a o b a e m o c l e W

Sail with us to the Aran Islands or cruise under the Cliffs of Moher

Daily sailings to the Aran Islands from Doolin “March to October.” Sail on Ireland’s newest ship, the Star of Doolin in comfort and style! Visit the spectacular Dun Aengus fort on Inis Oirr, get away from it all on Inis Meain or take a quick trip to the smallest one, the beautiful island of Inis Mor.

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Take our 1 hour voyage of discovery under the Cliff of Moher, where you can admire their scale and majestic beauty in the comfort of our new ship, the Star of Doolin, away from the crowds at the Visitors Centre.

Tel +353 65 707 5949 Email

Several departure options 7 days per week, March to October. Pre booking online recommended. N W

Aran Islands


Atlantic Ocean


Blackhead Lighthouse


Inis Oírr | Inis Mór | Inis Meáin

Inis Mór to Doolin – 11.30 | 16.00 Doolin to Inis Oírr – 10.00 | 11.00 | 13.00

Dun Aengus fort


Inis Mór

Cliffs of Moher One hour sightseeing cruises Departure Times 10.00 | 12.00 | 13.00 15.00 | 16.00 | 17.15 More sailing times in high season

Combination Trip


Aran Islands Facilities on all 3 islands:

Doolin Pier

boats depart

Restaurants, Bars | Shopping

Hotels, B&Bs, Hostels | Bike Hire

Guided Tours: Pony & Trap/Minibus

Jack B

Doolin Inis Mór Combo – 10.00


For BEST PRICES book online:



Lisdoonvarna R478


Burren Smokehouse

Doolin Pier boats depart

Burren Centre Kilfenora


Cliffs of Moher

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at Tourist Information O’Connors


Harry Potter Sea Cave








Lahinch GPS for Ticket Office: 53.016306, -9.376785

Burren National Park


Star of Doolin


in Hotel Doolin

Doolin Inis Meáin Combo – 10.00

Tel: 065 707 5949 or 087 245 3239

Doolin Cave

Doonagore Castle

Doolin Inis Oírr Combo – 10.00 | 11.00 | 13.00

Poulnabrone Dolmen


Inis Oírr



Aillwee Cave

Dun Conchur fort

Aran Islands + Cliffs of Moher Departure Times


Inis Meáin

Inis Meáin to Doolin – 11.45 | 16.15 * 1-way or overnight sailing only



Inis Oírr to Doolin – 13.45 | 16.45 Doolin to Inis Meáin – 10.00 | 11.00* | 13.00*

Day trip times

Fanore Beach

Happy Hooker

Departure Times Doolin to Inis Mór – 10.00 | 11.00* | 13.00*












nis © Doolin2Aran Ferries 2018

For best rates, book online at




oolin is the quintessentially pretty Irish village, with brightly painted houses and the hum of traditional music emanating from its friendly pubs which host nightly seisiúns throughout the year. It is also famed for its setting, being just 6km north of the Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way. The area is hugely popular with musicseeking tourists and there are scores of accommodation options in the area from good-value hostels to B&Bs, guesthouses and the very popular Hotel Doolin. It’s also a place to catch a boat out to the offshore Aran Islands, or to see the Cliffs of Moher from an entirely different perspective. The Cliffs of Moher are probably Ireland’s most iconic sight, yet a land view doesn’t quite give the same perspective as approaching this awesome rock formation from the sea. Doolin2Aran Ferries operate a one-hour cruise to the cliffs three times every

day from mid-March to end of October. This fabulous journey allows passengers to see for themselves the 8km continuous rocky wall, varying in height from 407 to 700 feet (124 – 214m) broken into the most fantastic forms and innumerable caves. There is audio commentary on board in several languages – and of course your on-board expert will regale you with a variety of local tales like the time their boat was used to film the sea cave scene in the Harry Potter movie. The company also offers daily ferry crossings to each of the three beautiful Aran Islands which lie off the coast in Galway Bay. A very popular option is to take a combination trip, which allows you to experience the Cliffs of Moher as well as visiting Inis Oirr (translates as “Eastern Island”) – which is the closest island to the pretty town of Doolin. There are many attractions on the island – ancient castles, one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches, a modern playground and several pubs and cafes. Take

a pony and trap, hire a bicycle or stroll along the uncrowded, tiny roads. Doolin2Aran Ferries is owned and operated by one of Ireland’s best-known sea families, the Garrihys from Doolin. In 2018, the brothers invested €3m in a brand-new ship - the Star of Doolin. This purpose-built, 200 seat ship is the largest, most stable and ecofriendly vessel sailing from Doolin. Doolin2Aran Ferries can take you to any one of the islands for the day or you can opt to stay overnight and return the following day, sampling island life for yourself for a night or two in traditional style. The Star of Doolin operates the hour-long cruises below the Cliffs of Moher, where the views can be truly appreciated away from the crowds as well as the combination tour to Inis Oirr and the cliffs. For more information and to book visit: 21

At the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way

Gateway to the Cliffs of Moher & Burren Geopark DisCover the lanDsCape, the fooD, the people...the wilD outDoors at your finGertips

Dine at

Stay at

The Falls...

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Relax at The Falls...

Falls Hotel & Spa Ennistymon, Co Clare

+353 (0)65 707 1004

Visit Joseph Mc Hugh’s, our traditional Irish pub on the Wild Atlantic Way. Located in Liscannor, the nearest village to the Cliffs of Moher. We are known for our warm Irish welcome and a great pint of Guinness! We serve tasty and affordable local food. Our visitors really love our fish chowder, listening to music and having fun the Irish way.



Call in when you are at the Cliffs of Moher and see for yourself!

Follow us on josephmchughspub Visit our website:

* Food served during the season, April to October





t’s time to slow down, get off the beaten track and connect with nature – a chance to really recharge your batteries. What better way to do this than a visit to the Lough Derg Blueway which covers three counties in the west/mid-west of Ireland: Clare, Galway and Tipperary.

all offering a famously warm Irish welcome. For a chance to meet some of the area’s food gurus, look no further than the many farm and country markets that take place throughout the year in Killaloe, Scarriff, Mountshannon, Portumna, Nenagh and Terryglass.

The lakeside towns of Lough Derg are renowned for their impressive array of award-winning restaurants, cafes, pubs and specialty food shops,

If you are looking for an itinerary for two days, why not start off in Mountshannon Harbour, located on the banks of Lough Derg. 23


Travel out across the lake to Inis Cealtra (also known as Holy Island) with local guide Gerard Madden of Holy Island Tours. Inis Cealtra is an internationally important historical and cultural site with a variety of ecclesiastical architecture. You can spend a half day here walking amongst its six ruined churches and round tower while keeping a lookout for the local white-tailed sea eagles, which were reintroduced to the area in 2012. Here you can sit back and consider what this island was like back all those centuries ago as you bask in the serenity and calmness of the island. It has a tranquility that stays with you long after you leave. This is a breath-taking experience, but remember to bring sturdy boots. Afterwards, you could enjoy a lunch stop at Nuala’s Bar & Restaurant in Tuamgraney - a great experience in dining and socializing. This charming pub has been part of life in Tuamgraney since 1850 and they are proud to still serve locals and visitors alike to this day. You’ll be spoiled for choice with the extensive menu and with the warmth of the welcome. 24

For an alternative view, discover the great outdoors and beautiful nature of Lough Derg on horseback. You can work off your lunch by taking to the saddle at An Sibín Equestrian Centre near Whitegate. It makes for a relaxing afternoon and you will be guided and cared for by the friendly staff, who will literally show you the ropes. Later on, you could take a tour of McKernan Woollen Mills, where you will be enthralled by the 19th Century looms and equipment. You will definitely have lots of choice when it comes to choosing gifts for those loved ones at home. In the evening, you could retire to Williamstadt House, a Georgian County Manor House, for the night. This Country Manor is located near Whitegate close to Lough Derg and enjoys magnificent views of the Tipperary Hills. The next morning, refreshed and recharged after a hearty Irish breakfast, there are plenty of activities on offer at Derg Isle near Scariff on the banks of the River Shannon close to Lough Derg such as archery (including axe and knife throwing!), the climbing wall, and obstacle course. And for


afterwards, you could dial the pace down even further with a relaxing boat trip with Derg Boat Trips from Scarriff across Lough Derg for lunch at Brocka on The Water, an award-winning familyrun restaurant in an idyllic setting. Returning again by boat to the Clare side of Lough Derg, there is a delicious treat in store at Wilde Irish Chocolates. In the summer, they run sampling sessions as well as chocolate-making workshops for children. You’ll just have to take some gifts away, but it’s anyone’s guess whether these tempting treats will make it home as they are pretty hard to resist! The Lough Derg area has a rightly deserved reputation for gastronomy - options for fine dining or grazing at a farmer’s market are equally catered for through ‘A Taste of Lough Derg’. Catch one of the many food events that take place around the lake during the summer months. Visit for more details. THE LOUGH DERG BLUEWAY One of the most exciting parts of a vacation is planning where you want to go. Have you got a taste for adventure? Then let the Lough Derg Blueway blow you away with its beauty! Whether you’re a family, a couple or a lone wolf, Lough Derg will provide you with more than enough adventure to keep you going. With its blissful, blue, clear water and beautiful, dramatic surrounding countryside, the Lough Derg Blueway stretches across three Irish counties - Clare, Tipperary and Galway - each with its own list of activities, trails and loops to explore. Best of all, you can do it your way – by canoe, paddle board, under sail, cruising, by bicycle or by foot. North, south, east and west, we simply can’t choose a favorite, so you’ll have a ball no matter where you go. If you really can’t decide, here are the highlights along the Lough Derg Blueway. SOUTHERN SIGHTS In Killaloe/Ballina, Lough Derg is in the center of everything; it bustles with sailing boats and cruisers and echoes with the clink of halyards on masts. If you want to unwind and relax then experience the area from the water in the comfort of Killaloe River

Cruises. Enjoy a different perspective of Killaloe from the water by contacting Soulkite Stand Up Paddling to arrange a trip along the Shannon and the picturesque canal. You’ll have a blast trying to maintain your balance and, once you do, you’ll be the envy of everyone watching from the shore - provided they haven’t already seen you fall off 15 times! There are significant architectural and heritage sites close to Killaloe/Ballina. You can undertake a self- guided tour of this historic area, or be guided by a local if you’d like to hear all the local stories. The tour includes the 13th Century St Flannan’s Cathedral with its Ogham stone carvings, Romanesque doorway and the tomb of Muircheartaigh, the last O’Brien to be High King of Ireland. Killaloe is also home to two oratories – named after St. Flannan and St. Lua. The twin towns are home to elegant boutiques, bakeries, artisan shops and galleries - making it the perfect location to explore the old and the new. There are a beautiful riverside park and seasonal outdoor swimming pool, plenty of moorings for cruisers, and the jetty offers a platform to fish from. There are many enticing eateries dotted around the twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina, making it difficult to choose, but The Wooden Spoon, Goosers, Tuscany and Flanagans are hard to pass by. And with two hotels and many selfcatering and guest house options, you won’t be stuck for a place to stay either. Who says you need to go to the coast to visit the beach? Lough Derg has three award-winning beaches, and one of these is at Ballycuggeran (known locally as Two-Mile-Gate), a little lakeside beach where you can dip your toe or go for a swim. Here, you can stop off to enjoy a picnic on the boats and just across the road is Ballycuggeran Woods, impressive oak wood with looped walks and panoramic views of Lough Derg from its highest point. Scarriff and Tuamgraney are beautiful historical villages on the shores of Lough Derg. And just down the road there is another award-winning beach in Mountshannon. Across from the harbor, you can go for a walk through the quirky 25


and beautiful Aistear park in Mountshannon. Run through the maze and along the paths overlooking the lake or travel along the labyrinth. The wildness and beauty of this area have attracted many skilled artists and provides a diverse range of crafts, paintings, bog oak sculptures and mosaics for gifts and take-home memories. Some of these artists offer workshops as well, so you might even pick up a skill!

The lakeside towns of Lough Derg are renowned for their impressive array of award-winning restaurants, cafés, pubs and specialty food shops, all offering a famously warm Irish welcome.

NORTHERN STARS The northern side of the lake has plenty to offer, from walking to kayaking, driving to horseriding. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this part of Lough Derg and more activities than you can fit into a weekend. If you’re looking for a good hike, there’s no shortage of beautiful trails in Portumna Forest Park, with a range of different hike lengths so you can find one suited to your family or group, and many are bike trails too. Don’t pass up the chance to watch beautiful white-tailed eagles from a bird hide in the forest - if you’re lucky enough to see them, it’s an aweinspiring experience. Visit Portumna Castle to bring you back in time to the 17th century and why not recharge in the newly opened tea rooms and enjoy some delicious treats in the historical surroundings of the castle grounds? There’s plenty in the way of accommodation up this side of the lake too, but if you’re looking for something a little bit different, check out the ‘glamping’ facilities at Podumna. The little wooden pods offer a unique experience, with all the fun and feel of a woodland setting in a convenient town central location and bikes for rent too. Don’t miss the opportunity to try kayaking in Terryglass with Lough Derg Water Sports. Learn from the experts as you tour around the beautiful harbor and lake at your own pace. The harbor also offers an excellent playground and the country village is home to two welcoming bars with restaurants. Lorrha Monastic Village is just a short spin from the lake and is home to important ecclesiastical ruins, well worth a visit and try to catch a local tour while you are there to hear the ancient tales of the area. 26

EASTERN PROMISE Dromineer is a beautiful place to gaze across Lough Derg, listening to the water lapping and the clinking of the dinghies in the small harbor. Stroll beside the boats, let the children loose in the playground, or at ‘Aquasplash’, an inflatable water park operating in the summer months; or go back in time and immerse yourself in local heritage at Garrykennedy Castle. This area is perfect for casual strolling close to the water


in the woods or along the harbor watching the yachts and cruisers come and go. There are two lovely traditional Irish pubs in the idyllic village, and Larkin’s serves some top-notch food. Visit on a Sunday if you can as they have great classical music in the evenings and additionally on Wednesdays in summer. If you fancy a cycle, then follow the North Tipperary Cycle Routes that take in Nenagh, Terryglass, Garrykennedy, Cloughjordan and Borrisokane. Don’t miss the chance to climb the 101 steps to the top of the majestic Nenagh Castle; while surveying your surroundings, and you’ll see Lough Derg and beyond in the distance. If you’ve only time for one walk in this part of the lake then make it the Arra Mountain Loop (six hours). Traveling over tarmac, bog roads, farm tracks, gravel paths and fields, it winds past the northern edge of the Slieve Arra. It is a strenuous walk with some climbing, so it’s not for the faint of heart but stick with it and you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Lough Derg.

For your holiday photo, stop off at The Lookout in Portroe offering panoramic views of Lough Derg and take a trip down to Castlelough for a swim in the lake, or stroll in the woods where fairy doors adorn the trees. All that is before you even consider the kayaking, horse- riding, stand-up paddling, cycling and variety of other activities on offer around Lough Derg. Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands has so much to offer, you will find it hard to tear yourself away from the hidden gem that is the Lough Derg Blueway. You will long to come back for more; but even if you stay only a short while, you’ll feel well and truly recharged having gotten off the beaten track and under the skin of Lough Derg. For inspiration and to help you plan your trip to Lough Derg in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, visit or



Clare Museum

Admission is FREE!

6,000 years of history excitingly captured! Aran View House in Doolin is a wonderful Georgian country house accommodation with Self Catering Apartments, set in the magnificent wilderness of the Burren, County Clare.

Discover authentic artefacts, colourful text panels and touch-screen inter-actives in the Riches of Clare exhibition. The Riches of Clare exhibition at Clare Museum tells the history of the county over a period of 6,000 years using authentic artefacts, colourful text panels and audio-visual presentations. Admission is free with ample car parking and free coach parking beside the museum. Large groups should book in advance.


“Trace the music & history of The Kilfenora Band at The Burren Centre.”

Clare Museum, Arthur’s Row, Ennis, County Clare. Opening Hours: October to May: Tuesday to Saturday 9.30 - 13.00 (last admissions 12.30) and 14.00 to 17.00. June to September: Monday to Saturday 9.00 - 13.00 (last admissions 12.30) and 14.00 to 17.00. Closed Bank Holidays weekends.

Thevisitor visitorcentre centreininthe thehistoric historic village village of of Kilfenora Kilfenora The boasts afantastic fantastic exhibition, audio visual film exhibition, visual film Theboasts visitora centre in the historicaudio village of Kilfenora theatre, localcraft craft show and and teavisual theatre, local show tea room. boasts a fantastic exhibition, audio theatre, local craft show and tea room.

Explorethe theflora, flora,fauna, fauna, archaeology archaeology and and natural natural Explore history offlora, theBurren Burren in the the Burren Burrenand Centre. history of the Centre. Explore the fauna, in archaeology natural Services: Tourist Information Point, Services: Point, history of theTourist BurrenInformation in the Burren Centre. Free parking, Beside Kilfenora High Services: Tourist Information Point, Free parking, Beside Kilfenora High Crosses, all BurrenBeside reference Maps & & Guides Guides Freeall parking, Kilfenora High Crosses, Burren reference Maps available in craft craft shop. shop. Crosses, all Burren reference Maps & Guides available in available in craft shop.

openingtimes: times:Mid MidMarch MarchtotoMay May10am 10am toto 5pm; 5pm; opening opening times: Mid March to May 10am to 5pm; 10am to 5pm; June,July July & august9.30am 9.30amtoto5.30pm; 5.30pm;September Septembertoto october october 10am June, June, July&&august august Last 9.30am to 5.30pm; September to october 10am to to 5pm; 5pm; Admission 30 min before closing Last Admission 30 min before closing Last Admission 30 min before closing Burren Centre, Kilfenora, Co. Clare BurrenCentre, Centre,Kilfenora, Kilfenora, Co. Co. Clare Clare Burren Telephone:065 0657088030 7088030Fax: Fax:065 065 7088102 7088102 Telephone: 065 7088030 Fax: 065 7088102 Telephone: E-mail: Website: E-mail: Website: E-mail: Website:





ccording to the legend, the poet Finn Eces spent seven years finishing for the elusive Salmon of Knowledge. When he finally caught him, he left a young man by the name of Fionn Mac Cumhaill in charge of cooking the fish with strict instructions not to taste it. After all, considering how long he had spent in search of the fish, the poet wanted to be the one to get the first taste – and the knowledge which only transferred to the first person to eat the salmon. Fionn, however, touched the salmon to see if he was cooked; he burned his finger and as any of us would do, he instinctively sucked his finger, thus absorbing the entire knowledge of the world. This lovely story has been passed down through countless generations. It is a legend, yet there is a grain of truth to it. It underlines the health benefits of the salmon. Salmon, and especially

Irish Organic Salmon, contains a copious amount of omega-3 oils. THE BURREN SMOKEHOUSE The importance of the salmon to Ireland and the Irish is fully understood and appreciated by Birgitta Hedin-Curtin. She is a Swedish woman who produces award-winning smoked salmon in her Burren Smokehouse in the picturesque town of Lisdoonvarna in County Clare. Birgitta, who set up and runs the company with her husband Peter, produces salmon that is fit for a queen. Literally. Back in 2011, when Queen Elizabeth II visited Ireland for the first time ever, a grand state dinner was arranged in her honor at Dublin Castle. It was the first official visit of an English monarch in the Republic of Ireland in a hundred years. Birgitta and her company were asked to supply wild smoked salmon 29


for the occasion. It was a great tribute, and a testament to the quality of product she and her team produce. However, there was a problem; a potentially big problem. “No fish were caught on the two days after the start of the first wild salmon season in five years,” Birgitta recalled looking back to those tensionfilled days when she was asked to supply food for one of the greatest, most sumptuous, most lavish banquets ever held in Ireland. “Just as time was running out on the third day, the first salmon was landed. There was just enough time for the curing and smoking, and I ended up taking the salmon straight from the kilns and driving through the night to deliver it in time.” The important thing was that she got there in time. The smoked salmon produced by Burren Smokehouse appeared on the menu for the state dinner that grabbed the attention of the world’s media. It truly was an honor.

The Curtin’s also showed a great deal of innovation when covering the salmon fillets with seaweed flakes. It turned out to be their most successful product to date which was awarded very prestigious Great Taste Award medals. The seaweed is supplied by local harvester Gerard Talty of Wild Irish Sea Veg near Miltown Malbay.

As well as salmon the Clare enterprise also produces what by all accounts is excellent smoked rainbow trout and locally caught mackerel. One of Peter and Birgitta Curtin’s unique creations is a tender and succulent hot smoked salmon with honey, lemon and dill or pepper, infused with a delicate oaky flavor.

The mackerel used for the smoking process is sourced in Killybegs, that famous fishing port in Donegal. They only use fish that is caught between November and February when the oil content is at its best for producing a high-quality product. It is that ethos again of seeking out the best raw material to produce an excellent end product. It is the kind of approach that has certainly paid off for the Curtin’s.

It is not by accident that the smoked salmon produced by Birgitta and her team in Lisdoonvarna is known and enjoyed far and wide. As well as being served to the Queen of England, it has also been part of gift hampers presented to Presidents of the United States on St Patrick’s Day.

Food and its production have always been important to Birgitta Hedin-Curtin. Originally from Sweden, she grew up on the coast of that picturesque country. She comes from an area where there is a tradition of smoking fish. Smoked eel and herring are particularly popular in those parts.

The Curtin’s only work with sustainably sourced fish. It all fits in their philosophy that only the best will do.

Peter Curtin also has a marine background. He was in the merchant navy for a time and owned his own fishing boat. The couple met and started to develop their recipes for smoked fish not being sure where it would take them.

“Our organically farmed Irish salmon is the best in terms of feeding, stock density and location. Plenty of wave action and tidal movement means that the fish swims 24,000 km in its lifetime so the flesh is firm with a fraction of the fat you would find in fish raised in overcrowded, more stagnant conditions,” Birgitta explains. 30

Smoking fish, as Birgitta knows, is a craft, an art, that takes time to perfect. For starters, the temperature has to be exact and carefully controlled; the steel ovens have to be designed to meet specific requirements – at least that’s the


case at Burren Smokehouse. The ovens, designed by Peter Curtin himself, are patented and unique. The fish also have to be sourced carefully to secure the best quality. The Curtin’s exclusively buy in organically grown salmon, and the salmon has to be from Ireland. It is this passion and the high-quality level that attracted the attention of such customers as Fortnum & Mason, Harrods and Selfridges in England. It is a long way from where Burren Smokehouse started out. Birgitta and Peter started their business in a lowkey fashion packing their first batches of smoked salmon in their kitchen. It was in those modest surroundings that the Burren Smokehouse was born. Since then, the enterprise has grown greatly to the point where it now employs close to 20 people and produces 40 tons of smoked

fish a year. Attached to the smokehouse is a visitor center and shop. It’s a place where the welcome mat is rolled out every day of the year (except for Christmas and New Year). It is estimated that around 40,000 people are drawn to the smokehouse each year to learn about the art of smoking and to get a taste of the excellent Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon. The food produced by the Curtin’s has featured in TV shows such as the ‘Wild Ireland’ series in which Christine Bleakley no less, returns home to Ireland to travel the 1,500-mile length of the Wild Atlantic Way. Those behind Burren Smokehouse have achieved a huge amount since starting out in their voyage. Like Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Salmon of Knowledge, it is the very stuff of legend.

Visit us all year round in Lisdoonvarna! We ship our salmon and delicious ifts directly to you, your friends and family Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare V95 HD70 Ph. +353 (0)65 7074432 31


Moher Cottage is a family run, design led destination store and coffee dock beside the CLIFFS OF MOHER stocking unique local Irishmade crafts and gifts. Enjoy, the Finest Barista Coffee and our Artisan Cliffs of Moher Fudge with a VIEWING TERRACE and spectacular views of Liscannor Bay. Local Tourist Information Available Moher Cottage were in the TOP 5 for the “Best Irish Welcome” in the 2019 Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards

Contact us Caitríona Considine T: 087 2959096 E:


Find us 1.5km south of the

R479 R478



Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre

Connect with us….

Visit our pub beside us for a friendly welcome and our famous Irish Coffee

Considines Bar – est. 1868

CONSIDINE’S BAR St. Brigid’s Well




One Destination


Save up to 50% by booking online

at least one day in advance Book online in advance to guarantee entry

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Co. Clare, Ireland.

T: +353 65 7086141

Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark



An Open


he Irish Open has enthralled golfing enthusiasts since its inception back in 1927 and in 2019, Clare’s spectacular links at Lahinch takes the honor of hosting what is one of the key events on the European Tour. Following hugely successful Irish Opens at world-class courses including Ballyfin, Royal Portrush, Carton House, Fota Island, The K Club and Portstewart, the European Tour has cemented the Irish Open’s reputation as an iconic event in the golfing calendar. The 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played at Lahinch Golf Club from July 4-7, 2019, with tournament host Paul McGinley. The winning 2014 Ryder Cup Captain plays host at a venue for which he holds a great affinity having triumphed at Lahinch as an amateur when he claimed the South of Ireland Championship in 1991. He will be aided in his preparations for the 2019 event by his close friend and one of his vice-captains during the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Des Smyth, who was recently announced as Tournament Ambassador, a role which will see him help in the marketing and promotion of the event for the next four years as well as aid a successful transition between each of the hosts.

Commenting on the choice of venue McGinley said: “Lahinch is one of Ireland’s truly iconic links golf courses and I am delighted to be taking the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open there. Embedded in the history of Irish amateur golf, as well as in the hearts of our many international visitors, it now deservedly gets the opportunity to showcase itself on the world stage.

Perusing the list of past winners reads like a who’s who of golfing legends. Since George Duncan’s win at the inaugural event at Portmarnock back in 1927, greats such as Seve Ballesteros, José María Olazábal, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Sergio Garcia, Sam Torrance, Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry have all lifted the coveted trophy.

“We are very proud of our great links courses in Ireland and Lahinch has evolved to rank as one of the very best. It will challenge some of the game’s best players to produce skill, creativity and a mindset rarely tested in professional tournaments.”

As a Rolex Series event, the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will once again feature a minimum prize fund of $7 million and will attract a world-class field to Lahinch Golf Club, providing a huge boost to the local and national economy. Situated on the west coast of Ireland along the Wild Atlantic Way, Lahinch Golf Club celebrated its 125th year anniversary last year and the famous Old Course on which the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be played, regularly features in lists of the top golf courses in the world. Designed originally in 1894 by Old Tom Morris, the Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club was built on a stretch of sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean which provides a dramatic and picturesque landscape as well as a challenging test of golf.

2019 will be a landmark moment for Lahinch when The Open lands on its shores for the first time in its 91-year history. The tournament enters a new era when McGinley leads a rotation of Irish golfing legends including major champions Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell and most recently Rory McIlroy. The four-time Major champion’s charity, The Rory Foundation, has successfully hosted the tournament since 2015.



Golf Greats who love Ireland Legendary links, challenging courses and world champions; golf on the island of Ireland is world renowned – and for good reason. With world-class courses in some of the most spectacular locations on the planet, Ireland’s credentials are sky-high when it comes to golf. Did you know for example that the island boasts a quarter of the world’s natural links courses? Or that some of the world’s best golfers hail from this fair isle, including Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Paul McGinley and Padraig Harrington? Golfing great Tiger Woods prepared for the British Open in 2006 with a whistlestop helicopter tour of Irish courses. Apparently, he had a go at our world class fly-fishing too. Fellow American and fourtime major winner Phil Mickelson is a fan of our golf courses, with Lahinch being his favorite links. Of course, this love affair between the world’s top pros and Irish golf is not a new thing. Legendary Tom Watson famously waxed lyrical about the old course at Ballybunion when he said, “a man might think the game of golf originated here. It looks like a course laid out on land as it was in the 10th century.” His connection with the course was so deep that he was trusted with giving it a facelift in 1995. So, it’s little wonder that the world’s top players continue to play here, both privately and at the major tournaments that we host. At the 2012 Irish Open played at Royal Portrush, international players included Ross Fisher, Jamie Donaldson and Francesco Molinari. They followed in the footsteps of golf superstars like Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Sam Torrance, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Seve Ballesteros who competed for the same title over the years. And it’s not just the world’s best pros that can’t get enough of golfing in Ireland. We’ve had visits from Bill Clinton, Dan Quayle, Michael Jordan and even the late Neil Armstrong. 34

But that’s not all: the truly great thing about golfing in Ireland is that there’s far more to a golf trip than just the challenge of the fairway. In Ireland, we blend exceptional golfing with wonderful off-the-course experiences. “My favorite place to play

golf is in Ireland,” says actor Bill Murray. “It’s the most beautiful country to play golf in. And when you come as a guest, you’re treated like a king.” After all, this is the home of champions.

Get off the beaten track discover East Clare – a jewel in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

The Cottages

Three hundred year old cottage charm, picturesque flower gardens, the sound of the sea, six miles of sandy beach ... and you!


Castles &



f its water-based adventure you seek, why not try the world’s tallest floating slide at Baysports Water Sports Centre, Hodson Bay Athlone - a water adventure center which covers almost an acre in area of interlinking walkways, slides, towers and obstacles. Or Shannon River Adventure in Rooskey which offers kayaking, canoeing, archery, mudslide, orienteering, pier-jumping, climbing wall, island trips and adventure camps.

If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground why not visit the award-winning Lough Key Forest Park in Boyle (pictured on next page). An 800acre parkland and forest featuring Ireland’s only tree canopy walk, an outdoor playground, a high wire aerial adventure center ‘Zip-It’, woodland Segway’s and the weather-independent Boda Borg puzzle house – it’s the complete family adventure. The pet farms of Glendeer, Athlone or Tullyboy, Boyle, offer over 50 species of animals 37


and birds to get up close to. For walkers, Roscommon has many miles of tranquil tracks to explore. There are 18 walks of varying length and difficulty amidst the amazing flora and fauna of the landscape. Check out Beara Breifne Way, Suck Valley Way, the Miners’ Way/Historical Trail, Mote Park, or the looped walks at Rindoon, Cloonlfad, Kilteevan and Sliabh Bawn. The living bog at Carrowbehy brings the magic of our bog back to life - walk the ‘Golden Mile’ at Gorthaganny, which will take you into the very heart of the living bog. Roscommon offers some of the best angling in the country with trout and pike in fishing lakes and rivers across the region at Lough Ree, River Suck, Lough O’Flynn, Kilglass Lakes, River Lung and the Boyle River. 38

HERITAGE Roscommon offers an amazing glimpse of times past, from 4500 BC right up to present day. The Rathcroghan Visitor Centre in Tulsk brings to life the myths and legends of Rathcroghan which was once the inauguration and burial place of the kings of Connacht and home to the great Queen Maeve. Why not visit the Cistercian monastery of Boyle Abbey which was founded in the 12th century or Roscommon Castle (pictured on first page), an amazing 13th century Norman castle overlooking Roscommon Town and the adjoining Loughnaneane Park and playground. The Arigna Mining Experience offers an insight into coal mining life in the breath-taking Arigna Valley since the 1700’s. Ex miners take you on


an underground tour where visitors discover what it was like to work in some of the narrowest coal seams in the western world. Strokestown Park House, Gardens & National Famine Museum (pictured above) offers a truly unique visitor experience. This Georgian Palladian mansion is surrounded by walled pleasure gardens and the National Famine Museum, which commemorates the history of the Great Irish Famine is located in the original stable yards. The Douglas Hyde Interpretative Centre at Frenchpark, houses an exhibition dedicated to the first president of Ireland, Dr. Douglas Hyde. While the fully restored, working 18th century Elphin Windmill is the oldest of its kind in the country. And the award winning Derryglad Folk Museum offers a fantastic collection of over

7,000 items from by gone years. Roscommon’s magnificent period homes allow you to travel back in time to the days of old. King House Boyle depicts the history of the famous Connaught Rangers and displays the Boyle Civic Art collection together with the Mary Mc Aleese collection. Clonalis House in Castlerea is home to the direct descendants of Ireland’s last High Kings, the O’Connor Family while the magnificent Castlecoote House is a Georgian building incorporating parts of a 16th century castle.

Roscommon’s magnificent period homes allow you to travel back in time to the days of old.

Roscommon is a terrific authentic destination for families or a group getaway. There is so much to see and do so come, discover the real Roscommon! 39


The Miner's WAY



t is just 28 years since the last coal mine closed in Arigna, Co Roscommon. Less than three decades since the last miner stood in front of the picture of the Sacred Heart on the crude altar at the pit entrance, blessed himself and headed into the darkness of the Arigna mine for a grueling days’ work. It is a few short years, but those years have brought a lifetime of change. 40

The coal mines of Arigna were a part of the landscape, the community and the way of life for those living in and around the beautiful iron mountains. The meandering paths which wind through bog and heather are known as ‘The Miner’s Way’ and it is not hard to imagine men making their way across these paths in the early morning light carrying their lunches


and flasks for work at the coal face for a day spent without sunlight or gentle breezes and in permanently damp or wet clothes. The work was tough and dangerous. It was noisy, dusty and the fumes were often overwhelming. Despite this, many young lads looked forward to following their father’s footsteps into the pits at an early age. The coal in Arigna colliery was in seams which were never more than 20 inches high and notoriously difficult to remove. The ‘face man’ cut coal while lying on his side using a short handle pick and shovel, often lying in pools of black water. He was responsible for placing wooden props to prevent rock falls as he cut. He worked alongside a ‘drawer’ who loaded the coal into a ‘hutch’ and brought it back through the underground shafts to the weighing area. Miners were paid according to what they mined. They worked hard in a world of dust, sweat and hard graft yet with pride in being part of the mines. Mining was a way of life here and it had to be done to feed the family and maybe having enough money for a pint at the weekend. There was huge sadness when the Arigna mine finally closed in the 1990’s. The first mines had opened in the 1700’s when they provided steady employment, sustaining the community through the difficult famine years and providing work when there was little or no other industry in the area. The mining tradition was a part of the fabric of life at Arigna so when the mine finally closed, the entire community mobilized to preserve the heritage. The Arigna Mining Experience Visitors Centre opened its doors in 2003. Former miners became tour guides leading visitors into the depths of the mountain for a unique insight into the subterranean world. A 45-minute underground tour with sound and lighting effects offers an authentic mining experience. The fact that miners who once worked the pits are now accompanying groups into the mine is one of the tours best assets. The questions miners have been asked over the years have ranged from intricate technical details on mining methods to practical queries about how they kept their sandwiches clean! It is this personal experience and the quality of the center itself that has attracted over 200,000 visitors and the accolades of many travel writers. It’s a great day out for all the family, but more than that, it is a suitable testament to the community of Arigna and a fitting memorial to all the miners who spent their lifetime working underground.



Joyce Country Sheepdogs is part of a third generation family run working hill sheep farm at the the foothills of the Maumturk and Partry mountains. Located in Connemara on the West of Ireland only ten miles from the Wild Atlantic Way. The farm offers visitors a chance to interact with puppies and the opportunity to watch live border collie sheepdog herding demonstrations. Stories unfold as you journey through the farm learn how the farm played a small part in the movie ‘Marley and me’. The Joyce’s are delighted to share their love of sheep farming and dog handling with all visitors, young and old.


Address: Shanafaraghaun, Finny, Clonbur, Co. Galway F12 W027 Phone: +353 (0) 94 95 48853

Explore our historical 1,000 acre estate. Victorian splendour in the wild Connemara countryside. Home to the Benedictine Community since 1920.

• 6 Acre Victorian Walled Garden • Restored Rooms in the Abbey • Gothic Church • History Talks and Guided Tours • Woodland & Lakeshore Walks

E-mail: Website:

+353 (0) 95 52001

/KylemoreAbbeyandGarden @Kylemore



A Taste



t the heart of the county on the west coast of Ireland and along the Wild Atlantic Way lies the unique medieval city of Galway. The city has a well-deserved reputation for its atmosphere, heritage, quaint cobbled streets, colorful shop lined streets, cultural events, music, food and down to earth good craic.

It is in the midst of the county in Irelands Hidden Heartlands and all along the Galway coast and Wild Atlantic Way where Galway’s hidden gems unfold. Become immersed in some of the most incredible geologically and ecologically significant landscapes in the world including the Connemara National Park and the Atlantic 43


Ocean. Gaze on spectacular mountain ranges such as the Twelve Bens and an UNESCO Aspirant Geopark in the Joyce Country which surrounds the beautiful Gaeltacht Village of Clonbur. Check out An Fhairche, a hidden gem, where you can eat, stay and play beside the majestic Mount Gable and the lakes of Lough Corrib and Lough mask. Here you will find an abundance of water activities, forest trails and hill walking opportunities.

vertically into the ground to deter attackers.

For a real taste of ancient Ireland head offshore where the wild and beautiful swaths of the Aran Islands and Inishbofin offer a glimpse into Irish life of centuries past. Dun Aonghasa on Inishmore is the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands. Perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls and a chevaux-de-frise of tall blocks of limestone set

As you travel along the Galway coast on the Wild Atlantic Way you will likely catch sight of the majestic Galway Hooker. These traditional fishing boats with their distinctive red sails are an iconic element of Galway culture.


The famous Coral Strand west of An Cheathrú Rua and the long fjord-like inlet of Killary harbour boasts some of the finest scenery in Ireland. The coastline along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, fast becoming recognized as one of Europe’s finest coastal cycling routes, provides bountiful supplies of alluring seafood and shellfish food trails and unique festival experiences.

The dramatic and varied landscapes here lend themselves well to the outdoor enthusiast. Described by Oscar Wilde as a ‘savage

At Killary Fjord enjoy a farm tour to experience growing, harvesting, grading and tasting fresh Irish mussels.


beauty’, from the rugged coastline to the vast blankets of bog land, it’s the perfect place to get out and explore. A HERITAGE EXPERIENCE The people of Galway maintain a strong sense of traditions and values. The Irish language, folklore and literature, traditional crafts and customs, local history, traditional Irish music, Sean Nós dancing, singing, Gaelic football and hurling are all important components of the cultural experience here. A good place to start is the picturesque town of Athenry, a medieval town situated 23km from Galway City and a town steeped in history. Founded in the 13th century, Meiler de Birmingham surrounded the town with a curtain wall with towers and a moat making Athenry one of the most notable medieval walled towns surviving in Ireland. Athenry is also fast becoming a major foodie destination, it is also home to Ireland’s most famous song, ‘The Fields of Athenry’. Experience a magical encounter in the east of the county with opportunities to observe some of the most rare and vulnerable habitats and species in the world. Take a trip to the medieval town of Loughrea, crisscrossed with historical and ecclesiastical trails. These hidden gems are home to a slower pace of life and calmness, reminiscent of an older more authentic rural Ireland and farming communities. It’s a place you can find your own rhythm. Ballinasloe lives up to its equestrian heritage and offers a choice of pony and horse-riding facilities and well as being a firm favorite for anglers. Here you can travel back in time with a visit to the Battle of Aughrim Centre and relive one of Europe’s most historic battles which changed the course of Irelands history. CLASSIC CASTLES No visit to Ireland is complete without a visit to one of its many historic castles. Some are enchanting and fairy-like filled with character and charm, while others are said to be haunted! The castles in Ireland are full of history and a great way to learn about what life was like long ago.

In Portumna you can visit the great semi-fortified Portumna Castle, built before 1618 by Richard Burke or de Burgo, 4th Earl of Clanricarde. The imposing façade of the castle faces north and is approached by a long avenue and formal gardens. Also in Portumna is the Irish Workhouse Centre, Heritage Council winners in 2017 and 2018, and well worth a visit. The Centre recreates life in a typical workhouse. Colloquially known as a spike, the workhouse was a place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment, but they were miserable places. Described as the ‘poorhouse’ these feared places were a desperate last resort for victims of famine or landlord oppression.

See how oysters are grown from seed to plate on a farm tour. Enjoy the taste of a Connemara Oyster fresh from the waters of Ballinakill Bay.

FARM TO FORK Food and the culture and traditions around it have flourished in Galway for decades, evolving into the modern, authentic offering that can be 45


WHAT’S ON IN GALWAY Ap 11-14 Wild Atlantic Way Food Festival Apr 14 Connemara International Marathon May 3-5 Connemara Mussel Festival May 3-6 Fleadh na gCuach (The Cuckoo Festival) May 12 Tuam Food Festival, Blas at Brownes May 28 -June 3 Connemara Bog Week May 25-26 Lough Cutra Castle Triathlon Festival Jun 2019 Féile na mBád, An Spidéal Jun 8 (tbc) Portumna Forest Marathon Jun 12-16 Alcock and Brown 100 Festival Jun 22-23 Bia Lover Food Festival, Athenry July Féile Mhic Dara Regatta, Carna Jul 5-7 Traidphicnic, Spiddal Jul 6-7 Claregalway Garden Festival Jul 12-14 Connemara Oyster Festival Jul 15-28 Galway International Arts Festival Jul 20 (tbc) Joyce Country Challenge Walks Jul 29-Aug 4 Galway Races Aug 4 Omey Races, Claddaghduff Aug 9-11 (tbc) Inishbofin Maritime Festival

Galway Bay Boat Tours offers a unique opportunity for you to enjoy a Lobster Safari with the option of having your catch delivered and cooked at Rouge Restaurant in the evening, or a lunchtime meal at Dockside Deli. 46

Aug 10-11 (tbc) Cruinniu na mBad Festival Aug 17-25 (tbc) Galway Heritage Week Aug 23-25 Medieval Festival, Loughrea Sept 12-15 (tbc) Shorelines Arts Festival


Sept 19- Dec 22 Féile na gCloch (Festival of Stone), Inis Oírr Sept 20 Culture night, throughout the County Sept 27-29 (tbc) Lady Gregory Autumn Gathering Sept 27-29 Galway International Oyster Festival savored today. The connection to where the food comes from, the story and the tradition brings people together and connects them with the food. Galway is an ideal location to have an authentic food experience from farm to fork or sea to plate. Galway has a rich and diverse landscape with more than 12,000 farms, 689km of coastline and over 350 restaurants. Local seafood is harvested from the coast and freshwater trout is fished in Lough Corrib. Great grazing also accounts for the high-quality poultry, lamb, beef and game available in the region. Galway is regarded as a food lovers paradise and has won many accolades. Travelzoo has named it as the ‘Top Foodie destination for 2019’, following its highly successful designation as European Region of Gastronomy for 2018.

The award for Galway as European Capital of Culture for 2020 will bring an extravaganza of new, unique and exciting festivals and events throughout Galway during 2020 making it a colorful and exciting place to visit year-round. From well-known food festivals, outdoor activities, arts and crafts and music, Galway County provides for a deep cultural and traditional experience. For a welcoming and exciting getaway visit Galway County, explore its Wild Atlantic Way and visit its hidden gems in Irelands Hidden Heartlands. Take a journey into the unknown and let the magic unfold.

October Festival of Wild Atlantic Writing Oct 4-6 Connemara Green Festival Oct 9-15 Clarenbridge Oyster Festival Oct 26-Nov 6 (tbc) Slieve Aughty Halloween Festival Oct 28-31 Spooky Wooky at Burren Nature Sanctuary Nov 31- Dec 1 Galway Food and Craft Fair December Galway Christmas Market February 2020 Tedfest Fr Ted Festival February 2020 Brigit’s Cross-making workshop 47

Week-long riding holiday - A 'point to point' trail

For more information about dates and rates please contact us: Tel. No. 011 353 91 843968

G A LW AY T O C O N G - F U L L D AY T O U R −−−−−−−− A T T R A C T I O N S


Ashford Castle The Royal Abbey of Cong Cong Village The Pigeon Hole Lough Corrib Cruise −−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−−− B O O K I N G


tel: +353 (0)91398116 email:

Walk in the footsteps of Ireland’s Last High King


Kylemore Abbey


ylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden is one of Ireland’s best loved and most iconic tourist attractions. Home to the Benedictine order of nuns since 1920, Kylemore Abbey is the perfect destination for a day out in beautiful Connemara. Built as a Castle home in the Baronial style in 1868, for Mitchell Henry and his beautiful wife Margaret and their large family, Kylemore looks like an illustration from a book of Fairy Tales. Sadly, Margaret died tragically just a few years after the couple and their family had set up home at Kylemore. The 9th Duke of Manchester and his wife, Helena, took up

residence here 1903 to 1913. This glamorous and much written about couple add another intriguing layer to the Kylemore story. The next chapter in Kylemore’s story came when the nuns set up Kylemore Abbey School in 1922 and girls from all over the world were educated there until 2010. Today visitors can discover wonderful historic buildings, explore the beautiful woodland and lake shore estate, wander through the magnificent Victorian Walled Garden and experience the grandeur of the Connemara countryside. Visitors can dine in Mitchells, the on-site restaurant which produces a wide variety of dishes from bistro

style sandwiches to warming stews, healthy salads and delicious soups. Home baking is a specialty here and you will find it hard to beat the apple pies, fruit crumbles and traditional scones. The Tea House by the Walled Garden is the perfect stopping off point for a good coffee or teas made with fresh garden herbs while the craft and design shop features products handmade by the Benedictine nuns including chocolates, beauty creams, soaps and candles as well as a great selection of Irish gifts and crafts. Plan your visit to Kylemore by visiting 49


Love, Loyalty & FRIENDSHIP



he Claddagh Ring originated in the fishing village situated near the shore or ‘claddagh’ of Galway Bay. Claddagh is one of the oldest areas of Galway city, in fact, it’s one of the oldest inhabited villages in Ireland. Up until the 20th century, Claddagh was totally separate from the city of Galway because of the wall surrounding Galway that kept a divide between the village and the Anglo-Norman city across the river. The men of the town were fishermen while the women looked after the house and, with the


sole rights to fish in Galway Bay, Claddagh fishermen were to thrive in bringing their fresh fish into the markets in Galway. The story of the Claddagh ring goes back some 300 years when Richard Joyce, a silversmith from Galway was captured by Algerian corsairs and sold as a slave to a Moorish goldsmith who trained him. Released from slavery in 1689, at the demand of William III of England, Joyce returned to Galway and set up as a goldsmith.


His work marked with an anchor signifying ‘hope’ and initials R.I. still exists to this day. The Claddagh Ring became popular outside the Claddagh about the middle of the last century, especially as it was the only ring made in Ireland worn by Queen Victoria and later by Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII. These rings were made and supplied by Dillon’s of Galway to whom the Royal Patent was granted. Thomas Dillon’s Claddagh Gold, located on Quay Street, Galway was established in 1750. They are the original makers of the Claddagh ring and also the oldest jewelers in Ireland. The museum, to the rear of the shop has been described as the smallest museum in Europe with the biggest gift shop. It proudly houses some of the very first Claddagh rings made by Goldsmiths Nicholas Burge, Richard Joyce and George Robinson from 1700-1800. It also displays the world’s smallest Claddagh ring which is on the top of a tailor’s pin. Visitors can also view a fine collection of photos of old Galway as well as artifacts of the city’s past - stone axe heads from the stone age and relics from the penal times when the Irish were forbidden to celebrate their religion. Memorabilia from the famine and the years that followed show again a city that struggled as it grew to prosper into the thriving city it is today. The tradition of how to wear the Claddagh ring is very distinctive. If the owner of the ring wears it with the crown pointing towards the fingernail, he or she is said to be in love or married. To wear the ring with heart pointing to the fingernail, he or she is said to be unattached to anyone.

Makers of the original claddagh ring since 1750 The Claddagh Ring grows daily in popularity because of its unique design, peculiar history, sentimental appeal and close association with Ireland. All rings are cast in one piece and hand finished, guaranteeing true craftsmanship and excellence. All rings are stamped ‘Original’ on the inside and hallmarked by the Irish Assay Office, a trusted seal of quality located in Dublin Castle.

Thomas Dillions are the only original claddagh makers still in existence since 1750. Quay Street, Galway, Ireland Phone: +353 (0) 91 566 365 E-mail:


Seacrest is very much a family run operation and this comfortable and welcoming feeling can be felt during the entirety of your stay at the bed & breakfast, or your carriage tour around the island.

Seacrest B&B

Kilronan, Inis Mรณr, Aran Islands, Co. Galway

Tel: +353 (0) 99 61292 M: +353 (0) 871616507 E:

Take a trip with Thomas Faherty around the island in a pony & trap, and see the beautiful sights of Inis Mรณr the oldfashioned way. Pony & trap tours are a family tradition and date back to the 1940s.





t was the poet William Butler Yeats who suggested that Synge come to these islands. “Go to Aran,” Yeats told his friend. “Live there as if you were one of the people themselves; express a life that has never found expression.” John Millington Synge (1871-1909) first came to the Islands in the summer of 1898 looking for inspiration and to learn the Irish language. Over the next several years he returned many times growing more connected to the people and the windswept land that they inhabited.

Back in the day Synge would have taken a steamer from Galway that sailed at the mercy of the tides on the rolling sea, and then transfer into a currach, a small canvas-covered fishing boat, to make it to shore. Depending on the waves on the day this journey would not have been for the faint hearted! “A dreary rock appeared at first sloping up from the sea and into the fog,” the author wrote in “The Aran Islands,” his classic account of his time here, first published in 1907. “The place 53



Overlooking the Connemara coast and Galway Bay, Tigh Fitz Bed and Breakfast is located on Inis More which is the largest of the 3 Aran Islands and features several ancient stone forts and churches. Kilronan, the island capital, is just 1.6 km away. Free WiFi provided in each room at Tigh Fitz Bed and Breakfast, as well as scenic views, an en-suite bathroom and a TV. Guests can also relax in the property’s garden. Beaches, pubs and restaurants can be reached within a 10-minute walk, as well as Inishmore Airport. Tempeall Benainn, the smallest church in Europe, is also within walking distance of the property. Contact details: 00353 99 61213 Email: penny@tighfitzcom 54

looked hardly fit for habitation. There was no green to be seen, and no sign of the people.” Synge also noted stories of strange happenings on the island. “These people make no distinction between the natural and the supernatural,” he wrote. A Sligo woman for example had a dream that her blind son might be made to see if she traveled to a particular well out on the Aran Islands. She did so, and upon touching the well’s water to her sightless child’s eye, he exclaimed, “O mother, look at the pretty flowers!” Synge would use this story and his visit to the site as the inspiration for his play, “The Well of the Saints.” All six of Synge’s plays were either set in or heavily influenced by his time on Aran. His most famous work, The Playboy of the Western World was inspired by a story he heard on the islands. A tale of a murderer on the run, ‘The Playboy’ has killed his ‘da’ and he staggers into a shebeen in a place so isolated and barren, nothing ever happens. He is promptly installed as a hero by excitable women and drunken men, turning the local community on its head. When first staged in Dublin in 1907 Synge’s play caused a riot. Two years later its author was dead but his play was soon to go global. It features to this day on the Irish curriculum for modern day students. Synge described the people of Aran as “beings who feel their isolation in the face of a universe that wars on them with winds and sea.” Where else can you immerse yourself in such desolate beauty at the very edge of the ocean? Marvel at the winding web of stone walls framing sheep filled fields and seek out the smattering of early clocháns, dry stone beehive huts from the early Christian period resembling stone igloos.


Part of the considerable allure of these islands is in what they lack. There are no movie theaters here and very few cars. In fact, electricity only arrived in the 1970s. A short ferry crossing takes you the island lost in time with an average journey time of just 40 minutes. The journey is a delight, offering up the most inspirational landscape, spectacular sea cliffs, screeching sea birds and a beguiling beauty. Three limestone islands make up the Aran Islands and while they are close in appearance and proximity, they each have their own distinct personalities. The windswept landscape of all three islands is harsh and stony, separated from the sea by steep, rugged cliffs but there’s a stark beauty about these blustery islands and the simple lives its inhabitants eke out of a few inches of fertile soil and a frequently angry sea. Inis Mór is home to over 50 historical attractions including Arkin’s Castle and Dún Aonghasa a stunning stone fort perched perilously on the island’s stone cliffs. Nearby is the Worm Hole, or

Poll na bPéist, a striking natural rock formation in the southern coast, just west of Gort na gCapall, the only village on the southern coast of the island. The “péist” is the reptilian sea monster of Gaelic folklore. The large rectangular hole in the coastline shows the power of the sea to wear away the limestone, and also shows quite clearly how limestone itself is made of joints that form at right angles. The water rushes into the Worm Hole through an underground cave, or when the tide is high, spills over and fills it up from above. The Red Bull Cliff Diving championships have taken place here and it’s easy to see why.

JM Synge’s cottage where things inside remain as he had described: “My room is at one end of the cottage; there is a kitchen with earth floor and open rafters, it is full of beauty and distinction.”

Inis Meáin is a rocky respite and the most traditional of the three Islands. As the least developed of the islands, its landscape, culture and history can be explored in peace and at the visitor’s own pace. This combination of elemental beauty and personal space has long attracted independent thinkers and artists and has been the inspiration for many well-known works including JM Synge’s The Aran Islands and Martin McDonagh’s more recent The Cripple of Inishmaan (an anglicization of Inis Meáin). 55


Inis Oírr is the smallest of the islands is characterized by its distinctive charm. This island is close to the Burren with its unusual eclectic mix of color and the Cliffs of Moher clearly visible in all its panoramic splendor. The Island itself also has the true feel of a classical isolated fishing village. From the pier you are greeted with a pristine carpeted white sandy beach facing clear crystal turquoise water and plenty of fishing boats, their nets, and fisherman returning at the end of the day with their catch. Inis Oírr is home to numerous historical attractions including the much-photographed wreck of the former cargo ship ‘Plassy’ which ran onto rocks on 8th March 1960. The wheels of time turn very slowly here which is all part of its charm. While modern comforts and conveniences exist today, the Aran Islands still retain their feeling of isolation and the sea still yields its considerable influence. To quote JM Synge: “every article on these islands has an almost personal character which gives this simple life something of the artistic beauty of medieval life.”

Joe Watty's, Aran Islands Joe Watty’s Bar & Seafood Restaurant is a welcoming local Aran Islands bar with good food, music & craic located just a short walk from the pier in Kilronan Village at the crossroads that lead to Dún Aengus and the seal colony. Depending on the weather, you may relax and unwind in front of a warm open fire with an Irish coffee (it’s considered one of the ‘Coziest pubs in Ireland for a drink by the Fire’ by the or you can enjoy a pint of Guinness in the beer garden and watch the world go by. A wide selection of craft beers, wines and whiskeys are available at the bar where you might also learn a cúpla focal (few words of Irish) from some of the locals. Specializing in locally caught seafood, much of which is caught on the island, at any given time Joe Watty’s might be serving lobster, mackerel, crab claws, 56

salmon, oysters, mussels, prawns, seafood chowder or monkfish and they regularly have specials of seabass, tuna and baked cod. These are all in addition to the popular ‘Catch of the Day’ as well as a variety of meat & vegetarian dishes and tempting desserts. Live music is core to what Joe Watty’s is about and there is live traditional Irish music seven nights a week in the summer season with ballads and tunes in the evenings and anything from trad, country, folk to blues in between; indeed, they are very proud to be listed by Lonely Planet in the Top 10 pubs in Ireland for traditional Irish music. Joe Watty’s is the best place to enjoy the numerous festivals and events happening in Aran including the Inis Mór Half-Marathon for Temple St. Children’s Hospital, Patrún Inis Mór, RedBull Cliff Diving weekend, Féile na bPúcaí Halloween weekend and

of course it hosts the famous Father Ted festival, TedFest. When you visit Joe Watty’s Bar & Seafood Restaurant you’ll receive a Céad Míle Fáilte. You can chat with the locals and experience the quintessential Irish pub atmosphere with quality seafood, beers, whiskeys, Live Music or as we say, Ceol, Ól, Bia agus Craic!


Explore... The Aran Islands

• Daily sailings to all three Islands • Bicycles, jaunting cars and mini-buses available for hire • Traditional Irish culture and stunning scenery





Sail to the Islands


enture off the west coast of Ireland to discover the strong traditional culture that the Aran Islands have to offer.

City, bringing passengers through idyllic villages in Connemara, described by Oscar Wilde as a ‘savage beauty.’

Hidden in the mouth of Galway Bay lie the Aran Islands. These ancient Islands have existed off Ireland’s west coast for thousands of years, and remain host to some of the country’s most ancient monuments, forts and monastic dwellings.

THE ISLANDS Dún Aonghasa, one of Ireland’s most popular attractions, is located on the largest island, Inis Mór. This prehistoric stone fort stands warrior-like on top of the sea cliffs, overlooking the Atlantic since 1100 BC. Close by are the beautiful villages of Kilmurvey and Kilronan, both speckled with small craft shops selling the products of local artists inspired by the Celtic traditions of the island.

Aran Island Ferries are an award-winning, family run business, established by the O’Brien family in 1982. They started ferrying passengers (along with turf!) from Galway to the Aran Islands, on the family’s Galway Hooker, ‘An Tónaí,’ in the early 1960’s. In 1967, they installed the boat’s first engine when tourist demand increased. Operating a fleet of four state-of-the-art vessels, the ferries offer passengers maximum comfort and excellent amenities, including bar service on board. Daily Sailings to each of the islands depart from Ros a’ Mhíl Port, with an average sailing time of 40 minutes. A shuttle bus service is available every day from Galway

Inis Meáin, the most traditional and least developed of the three Islands, was a retreat for Irish playwright, John Millington Synge, and a museum is now located in the cottage where he resided. Visitors can also enjoy the dramatic cliffs and breathtaking scenery. Inis Oírr is the smallest of the Aran Islands and is home to many historical attractions, including the much-photographed wreck of the former cargo ship ‘Plassey’ which ran onto rocks on 8th March 1960, and has

since become a part of the island landscape. The inhabitants act as custodians as much to the physical environment as they do to the cultural environment. The tradition of craftwork that has flourished for hundreds of years is an enduring legacy to the islanders. The building of currachs and knitting of finely-made garments that have influenced modern designers, arose originally to meet the immediate needs of the islanders. The Aran Islands have captured the imagination of a great number of artists, poets and novelists who have always regarded Aran as a place of special beauty and cultural integrity. The iconic landscape of these islands has fascinated visitors for years. Look out over limestone cliffs, spot the seal colony along the beach and immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Aran Islands. Isolated by the forces of weathering and erosion, the islands have preserved a relaxed, traditional way of life and many visit to escape the pace of modern life. 59

PURCHASE A HERITAGE CARD & EXPLORE IRELANDS’S WONDERFUL HERITAGE Free admission to more than 45 of Ireland’s finest heritage sites Kilmainham Gaol

Charles Fort

Dublin Castle

Castletown House & Parklands


Gateway to THE PAST



reland presents the visitor with a unique heritage experience no matter what area you choose to visit. A vast range of over 70 heritage sites consisting of abbeys, castles and gaols

fall under the care of the Irish Office of Public Works and an annual visitor pass at just €40 or a family pass at €90 opens the door to an array of heritage experiences at a very low cost. 61


Located on Inis Mór, Dún Aonghasa is a semicircular stone fort perched at the edge of 300ft cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean



Dublin is home to some of the country’s finest architectural examples spanning two millennia, some of which are now used as museums, state apartments and state residences. Boasting the

largest public city park in all of Europe, Dublin also has many fine examples of civic parks and gardens and it is home to the National Botanic Gardens.

Off the southern coast is a world-famous island garden of rare beauty, IInacullin or Garish Island 63


Compare these elegant buildings with the more elaborate ecclesiastical setting of the Rock of Cashel in Co Tipperary. The grandeur of the parks and castles contrasts with the remains of a 5,000 years old civilization found at the Céide Fields in Co Mayo (as pictured on the first page) or the spectacular prehistoric stone fort at Dún Aonghasa on Galway’s Aran Islands, both framed by the wild Atlantic Ocean. A diversity of landscapes can be enjoyed by nature lovers in the richness of our natural heritage. On the north west coast, lies Glenveagh National Park and Castle with over 16,000 hectares of mountains, lakes glens and woods. Off the southern coast is a worldfamous island garden of rare beauty, Ilnacullin or Garinish Island. On the south east coast, the John F Kennedy Arboretum in Wexford has a plant collection of international standing 64

containing 4,500 varieties of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world, while Emo Court in Co Laois combines beautiful gardens and parkland with a Gandon designed neo-classical mansion. Towards the east, in December, the morning sun of the Winter Solstice awakens another unique World Heritage Site at Newgrange, Co Meath and lights the path of history to the seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland at Tara. Or visit the wooded glens and ancient monastery of Glendalough which is set in a glaciated valley with two lakes. The monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. Full details of the many heritage sites that are awaiting your visit are available on www.

Towards the east, in December, the morning sun of the Winter Solstice awakens another unique World Heritage Site at Newgrange, Co Meath

Nestled in the very centre of Ireland, where Ireland’s Ancient East meets Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Westmeath is your ideal base from which to explore it all. Discover ancient stories, legendary lakes and hidden landscapes of true beauty. Friendly tour guides and local storytellers are waiting to help you discover it. Find us on or Visit Westmeath on Facebook and Instagram.

Create YOUR memories of a lifetime Day trips with a difference on an experience of a life time

Do you want unforgettable memories of Ireland?

Explore Whiskey and Irelands Ancient East

• Discover the hidden gems along the Wild Atlantic Way, in Irelands Ancient East and in Northern Ireland. • Experience Ireland as you won’t find it in any guide book. • Create your own tours with your personal tour guide. • Customised tours for individuals and small groups

Do you want unforgettable memories of Ireland?

• •

Discover the hidden gems along the Wild Atlantic Way, in Irelands Ancient East and in Northern Ireland. Experience Ireland as you won’t find it in any guide book.

email: mobile: +353 (0)87 6509880

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Create your own tours with your personal tour guide. Customised tours for individuals and small groups

email: mobile: +353 (0)87 6509880 website:


iscover tales of bravery and } sacrifice, fierce battles, and territories won and lost…


LUAN GALLERY contemporary visual art

Luan Gallery is a visual art gallery overlooking the river Shannon in Athlone. We are dedicated to presenting contemporary and traditional art to our visitors.






usical, active, artistic or delicious: festivals in Ireland come in all shapes and sizes. Some counties even have whole seasons dedicated to festivals.Kicking off in January and packing the months until December, festivals in Ireland are in the hundreds, and know exactly how to catch our attention. Take the music ones for starters. Some see international bands rocking medieval venues like Slane Castle. Others host traditional musicians in pubs or on remote islands such as Valentia and Arranmore. Then there are the foodie festivals. You might find yourself setting out on seafood safaris along the Wild Atlantic Way or more intimate encounters like discussing dishes with artisan producers in a medieval city. There’s even a little bit of everything packed into the likes of Belfast Festival Season for good measure. One thing they all have in common? Fun!

Perhaps the best known of all Ireland’s festivals is St Patrick’s Day in March. Festivities are held all over the country and indeed, all over the world with the global greening of iconic buildings from Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil to the Sydney Opera House. In Ireland’s capital the festival has grown to become a week-long event. Street parades, music and shamrocks are only a small part of what Dublin has to offer. World-class museums host free workshops. Guided history walks take in famous sites including St Patrick’s Cathedral and at the Guinness Storehouse. Throw in spoken-word trails, singing workshops, film screenings and the world’s largest outdoor céilí, and you’ve got the ultimate St Patrick’s experience. Five great days not to be missed. North of the border in Armagh and Downpatrick are where St Patrick founded his first churches 67


way back in the 5th century. It’s here that you’ll find ‘The Home of Saint Patrick Festival’, a delightful celebration with cathedral concerts, sacred ceremonies and endless activities. Equine events don’t come more exhilarating than the atmosphere of the Galway Races. Held at the end of July and first week of August, this is a time to don a hat, take a punt and experience the thrill of the chase. At the same time in Dublin the RDS Horse Show is an equally spectacular affair and a great excuse for the ladies to get out the glad rags for Ladies Day – crazy hats at the ready. It’s no secret that Ireland wears its literary heritage on its sleeve. Every June, James Joyce readers celebrate the author’s masterpiece Ulysses by attending readings at various Dublin locations dressed in period costumes. Bloomsday celebrates Thursday 16 June 1904, which is the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel. The day is named after Leopold Bloom, the central character in the novel, following his life and thoughts and those of a host of other characters from 8am on 16 June 1904 through to the early hours of the following morning. This is a great way to see the real Dublin with some fantastic characters and even better, you get to be part of the plot. 68

But writers don’t have the last word when it comes to Ireland’s arts festivals. On the cinematic front, the Jameson International Film Festival has been hosting special screenings and panels with guests like Russell Crowe and Al Pacino since 2003. In Galway, a UNESCO City of Film, the Film Fleadh is a cult favorite for new Irish cinema, as is the Subtitle European Film Festival in County Kilkenny. The multidisciplinary Galway International Arts Festival takes place over 14 days in July and with more than 200 events has been named one of the top 5 summer festivals in Europe. For a little spooky fun, the Bram Stoker Festival celebrates the Dublin-man behind Dracula with films, talks, readings, and a scare or three. It takes place every year during Dublin Festival Season (September - October), when the city hosts more festivals than any other time of the year. Ireland’s autumn festivals will always keep you well fed, and nowhere more than at A Taste of West Cork in September. Celebrating the bounty and beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way, the festival flaunts the wonderful local food creators and food products in markets, cooking demos, tastings, talks, exhibitions, children’s events and numerous activities along the dramatic coastline.

Musical, active, artistic or delicious; festivals in Ireland come in all shapes and sizes


Make sure you can say you were at this year’s Dublin’s Fringe Festival, where for 16 days and nights in September, 80 shows and 26 venues will let you discover exciting, meaningful and memorable cultural experiences. Circus, club comedy, dance, gigs, cabaret, live art performance, music, party – it’s all there in a fresh and innovative approach to the arts from Irish and international makers. Keep the drama going in the capital with the Dublin Theatre Festival, Europe’s longest-running theatre spectacle. Pioneering international productions, engaging and provocative Irish work, theatre for children, as well a series of critical talks and artist development programs will all be on offer over three amazing weeks. For those who like their food, prepare to salivate over Ireland’s food festivals menu. Being an island means great seafood which means even greater seafood festivals. One is the famed Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival, a festival honoring “the first man bold enough to eat an oyster”, according to satirist Jonathan Swift. County Down’s Hillsborough Oyster Festival is another tasty event and is where the Guinness World Record for eating the most oysters was set by Colin Shirlow in 2005 – 233 in three minutes! Not a fan of fishy food? No problem. Festivals like Taste of Cavan, the Dingle Food Festival or the Belfast Beer & Cider Festival will have something on the menu to suit your tastes, whether it’s sampling from stalls in food villages, taste trails or demonstrations from award-winning chefs. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE Ireland’s mountains, lakes, forests and coastline provide the perfect setting for great walking festivals. Set in spectacular surroundings the Mourne International Walking Festival takes place in County Down, a region that inspired CS Lewis to create Narnia, as well as the Wicklow Walking Festival, which takes in local flora and fauna in the Garden of Ireland. A good walk is a great way to work up an appetite.

Or you can take to the water at the Ballinamore Angling Festival in County Leitrim with five days’ coarse fishing in unspoiled Lakelands. Not to mention the Irish Bass Festival luring overseas anglers to the southern coastline of Ireland, the ‘Bass Mecca of Europe’. Fancy meeting your match in Ireland? Go wild with all the fun of the fair at Lisdoonvarna in County Clare. One of Ireland’s oldest traditional festivals, it takes place in the small spa town of ‘Lisdoon’ on the Wild Atlantic Way every September. The festival, now over 160 years old, attracts up to 80,000 people from all over the world, who come for the music, the dancing and the ‘craic’. Dancing takes place in venues all over town, with third generation matchmaker Willie Daly on hand to bring hopeful singles together. His success record is staggeringly good. With so many festivals in Ireland, the hardest part is deciding where to start, or in the case of many repeat visitors, deciding when to stop! 69




reland’s literary heritage is a treasured part of our culture that can be traced across the entire island. Listowel Writers’ Week is Ireland’s greatest literary and arts festival, where writers, artists and poets gather in the heritage town of Listowel in the Kingdom of Kerry, at the start of summer every year. Founded in 1970, the dream of Listowel Writers’ Week was a simple but daring one: transform the beautiful Kerry heritage town into a center of the literary universe. Make it somewhere writers and book-lovers from all corners can gravitate to for a celebration of the written word in all its forms and imagination. Each June bank holiday, some of the most distinguished names in contemporary literature join traveling storytellers, experimental poets, local songwriters, cutting-edge novelists, and readers from all corners of the globe, to create a literary mecca in the heart of the Irish countryside. Today, the Festival program features more than 120 events across the five days, which are enjoyed by people of all ages. 70

“All year round in Listowel, the tireless organizers of the Listowel Writers Week meet to create magic.” Colm Tóibín After 49 years the festival continues to lure the leading lights of contemporary literature to the beautiful Irish countryside for five days of talks, walks, panels, performance, visual arts, theatre, masterclasses and much more. Those who have flown into Listowel to read their work are Nobel laureates JM Coetzee, Seamus Heaney, Kazuo Ishiguro; Booker Winners Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle, John Banville and Howard Jacobson to name but a few. Popular writers such as Graham Norton, Alan Cumming, Germaine Greer, Douglas Kennedy, Audrey Nifenegger, Patrick deWitt, Alice Sebold & David Sedaris are some of the fantastic writers who have flocked to the Listowel festival over the years. “It was one of the best experiences at a book festival. The people and the town made it for me.” Alan Cumming


Listowel Writers’ Week was the first in Ireland to introduce creative writing workshops to the festival program and today they host 1-day, 2-day and 3-day workshops and masterclasses. Workshops cater for all writing experience levels, from eager beginners to seasoned masters, and cover virtually every literary genre and craft. Douglas Kennedy, Vona Groarke, Michael Harding, Kit deWaal, and Gerald Dawe are just a few of the master-crafts people that have delivered creative writing workshops in Listowel. If you are an aspiring writer, quietly mastering your art, don’t do it alone, Listowel Writers’ Week is here to help!

“I’ve been to many writing festivals since then but none as warm; or as mad.” Roddy Doyle

“Best Literary Festival in the World!” Graham Norton Listowel Writers’ Week 2019 will be the 49th festival taking place from the 29th May to 2nd June 2019. The festival is delighted to welcome guests such as Douglas Kennedy, John Boyne, Elizabeth Day, Tishani Doshi, Carlo Pizzati, Joseph O’Connor, Roddy Doyle and Andrew Miller to name a very small selection. 2020 will see the celebration of the 50th Writers’ Week Festival. Dates for next year are 28th May to 1st June 2020, so if you are heading this way next year why not plan your trip to Listowel now and come celebrate the big 50 with us? “I’ve been to many writing festivals since then but none as warm; or as mad.” Roddy Doyle 71

Galway Film Fleadh 9th-14th July 2019





he Galway Film Fleadh was founded to be a platform for indigenous Irish cinema by four filmmakers who wanted to improve the representation of Irish people on-screen. A unique moniker for a unique festival, film fleadh literally means ‘a film feast,’ and for six days each July filmmakers come from around the world to Galway to celebrate their work alongside their Irish peers. Over the past 30 years, the Galway Film Fleadh has become the leading film event in Ireland, encompassing a festival for all levels of film buffs. The festival is full of film premieres, special guests and Q+A’s; a busy and industrious marketplace, where professionals can attend to the business side of film; and an informative and inspiring film and TV conference that covers

talks on things that are interesting to film fans, as well as masterclasses with screen stars, screen directors, writers and cinematographers. Galway has long been admired as an intimate and bohemian city and the Film Fleadh follows suit, as a festival that does not put on airs. Rather, the Film Fleadh boasts a ‘no red carpets’ policy, as the festival seeks to create an atmosphere where film fans, filmmakers, film financiers and film celebrities all rub shoulders with one another. Public interviews, debates, Q+A’s, panel discussions and other events are all a part of an ethos of engagement; of a shared experience. The personable engagement of Galway’s audience with invited guests from other countries is a rare opportunity for insight and cultural exchange, delivered in the Galway 73


style. No matter your generation or cultural background, you will form part of a mad diversity that offers something for everyone. AND THE OSCAR® GOES TO… The Galway Film Fleadh places an equal emphasis on short film as an artform and as a rich vein of new talented directors and cinematographers. The Film Fleadh is an Academy Award affiliated festival, and each year two of Galway’s awardwinning shorts qualify for consideration by the Academy for an Oscar® nomination. Each year, Galway invites luminaries of the silver screen to impart their knowledge, meet with their fans and celebrate their work. Previous guests of the Film Fleadh include: Actors Marisa Tomei, John C. Reilly, Will Forte, Martin Sheen, Isabelle Huppert, Amanda Plummer, Annette Benning, Michael Fassbender, Jessica Lange, Jeremy Irons, Kathy Bates, Colm Meaney, Woody Harrelson, Zachary Quinto, Saoirse Ronan, Brendan Gleeson, Anjelica Huston, Peter O’Toole, Patricia Clarkson, Matt 74

Dillon, Maureen O’Hara, Pierce Brosnan and Gabriel Byrne. Directors Sir Richard Attenborough, Lee Unkrich, Abbas Kiarostami, Mira Nair, Anthony Minghella, Agnieszka Holland, Gillo Pontecorvo, Arthur Penn, Jim Sheridan, Neil Jordan, and Michael Moore have all attended as well as screenwriters Ed Solomon, Kirsten Smith, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, Paul Schrader and Robert Towne. The 2019 Galway Film Fleadh takes place from 9th – 14th July 2019 and promises to deliver even more world premieres, European premieres, Irish premieres, special guests and fun and films by the River Corrib. The Film Fleadh takes place in the historical Town Hall Theatre, the brand-new state-of-the-art Pálás theatre and multiple venues across Galway city, all within a ten-minute walk of each other. The Galway Film Fleadh is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland


Bloomsday Festival


reland has a vibrant tradition of literature and story-telling. From the mythical poetry of W.B. Yeats to the witty plays of Oscar Wilde and the gritty writing of Brendan Behan, Irish writers are world famous. Many of these writers have been inspired by Dublin, but none more so than the author James Joyce, who is known for capturing the city’s characters and stories. Every year in June, the Bloomsday Festival takes over the fair city of Dublin with a colorful celebration of Joyce’s iconic novel Ulysses. “When I die Dublin will be written in my heart,” - James Joyce Each year visitors make a pilgrimage to Dublin, a UNESCO City of Literature, to experience this literary street carnival from as far afield as Brazil, Australia and the USA. During the Bloomsday Festival (11-16 June), locals and visitors alike immerse themselves by dressing up like the characters, eating food mentioned in the book, visiting authentic locations where the novel takes place, and re-enacting scenes from the text. It’s a wonderful way to get under the skin of

the city and explore the sights and sounds of Ireland through the eyes of one of her beloved writers. The name of the Bloomsday Festival is inspired by Ulysses’ main character Leopold Bloom, who experiences a roller-coaster odyssey through the colorful streets of Dublin on the 16 June 1904. You’ll also meet flamboyant medical student Buck Mulligan, intense angry young man Stephen Dedalus and Leopold’s wife Molly Bloom, an accomplished concert singer. Their daily lives unfold against the spectacular backdrop of Dublin’s buildings, streets, pubs and historical places.

their own adventures following the Bloomsday trail across the city and the villages that nestle along the edge of Dublin bay. From these spontaneous origins, the Bloomsday Festival has developed into a colorful and diverse celebration of Joyce and Ulysses.

“Life, love, voyage round your own little world,” - Leopold Bloom

Festival highlights include delicious Bloomsday breakfasts, pub crawls, walking tours through Joyce’s Dublin and lively literary cabaret. The week of the festival is filled with thought-provoking interviews and contemporary theatre, art and music inspired by Joyce. Amongst the line-up of writers, academics, performers and public figures that have been part of the festival in recent years include Patrick Kavanagh’s grand-niece and actress Katherine Lynch, Stephen Fry, Panti Bliss, Geoff Dyer and Will Self.

In 1954, a group of friends including poet Patrick Kavanagh and novelist Flann O’Brien, set out across Dublin on Bloomsday to recreate the 18 episodes of the novel. They clip-clopped across Dublin in a horse and carriage, reading the story aloud to each other and re-living the book. Ever since then, people have created

The festival showcases intimate and unusual venues across Dublin that Joyce wrote about in his books. A fine example is the James Joyce Centre, located in a beautifullyrestored 18th century Georgian townhouse, where the character Professor Maginni taught dance classes. 75


IN THE HEART OF THE HIBERNIAN METROPOLIS The novel Ulysses is unique because many of the buildings and places from the book are still with us today. It’s a wonderful experience to relive the iconic moments of the novel and follow in the characters’ footsteps by visiting the original locations. Traditional stops include the James Joyce Martello Tower and Museum that overlooks Dublin Bay. This quirky building is a 19th century military tower where Joyce briefly lived. Another gem is Sweny’s Chemist on Lincoln Place, where Leopold Bloom bought his lucky bar of lemon soap. This Victorian pharmacy with original fittings and fixtures, not to mention potions and lotions, is now run by volunteers. While you are there, why not pick up your keepsake bar of lemon soap or join in one of the daily readings from Joyce’s works. Follow Leopold Bloom to a tragicomic funeral at Glasnevin Cemetery and look out for Joyce’s father’s grave while there. Another firm favorite on the trail is Davy Byrne’s Pub on Duke Street where you can refresh yourself with a gorgonzola sandwich and a glass of burgundy. It’s what Leopold Bloom chose for his lunch on Bloomsday in 1904. Around Davy Byrne’s pub there’s a lively street carnival atmosphere with Dubliners bursting into the songs that feature in Ulysses.

“Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub,” - Leopold Bloom where the opening chapter of Ulysses takes place. It’s enchanting to sit and relax in one of Dublin’s beautiful parks at the Bloomsday Readings and Song event. Listen to writers, performers and public figures read and perform extracts from Ulysses, making its stories and characters live and breathe.

At these authentic locations you will receive a warm welcome from passionate locals happy to share their own Bloomsday stories. Some are born on Bloomsday like Tupac Shakur while others marry like Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Who knows, you might fall in love like James Joyce and his wife Nora Barnacle. What will be your Bloomsday story?

The Bloomsday Festival offers something for everybody. Food and drink play a big part in Joyce’s Ulysses, so why not join the Joycean Food Trail for a contemporary twist on the food of Ulysses or, on the big day itself, soak up the carnival atmosphere at an afternoon tea. And of course, have a pint in one of the many pubs where famous writers like Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats and Brendan Behan sought inspiration.

The Bloomsday Festival gives you a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in Dublin’s living culture and heritage. Traditionally on Bloomsday, people enjoy an exhilarating sea swim in a rocky bathing place known as the Forty Foot. Even if you don’t take the plunge, you can join in the Bloomsday festivities in the picturesque seaside town of Sandycove

If you’re looking for a Bloomsday pilgrimage, join a bespoke bus tour or one of the many themed walking tours starting from the James Joyce Centre, where expert tour guides and performers entertain you with tales of James Joyce and his characters. If you don’t want to cross Dublin without passing a pub, check out the Joyce of Whiskey tour or pub crawls.


James Joyce has had a lasting impact on the cultural landscape of Ireland and indeed the world. Ulysses explores the mundanities of daily life through an innovative and experimental writing style. Upon its publication the novel was praised, attacked, censored and banned. It has since been lauded as a classic, cementing Joyce’s position as an important modernist writer who gave Dublin to the world through literature. Today, Joyce continues to inspire writers, musicians, artists and filmmakers. Each year, the Bloomsday Festival presents new work influenced by Joyce’s life and works. For the Bloomsday Festival 2019, there’s the theatrical production Bloominauschwitz, a compelling tale that combines the original story of Leopold Bloom with his Hungarian Jewish heritage. Or for something lighthearted, get into the ‘midsummer madness’ atmosphere with the bawdy Poetry Brothel or Bloomsday Blowout, a literary variety show. This Bloomsday Festival, feel the thrill of tuning into Joyce’s wavelength.


In Full Bloom


ucked away on Lincoln place in the heart of Dublin’s south inner city is Sweny’s Pharmacy, made famous by the James Joyce novel, Ulysses. It was originally built in 1847 as a GP’s consulting room and became a pharmacy in 1853. It’s within 100 yards of the birthplace of Oscar Wilde and in 1904, the young James Joyce called to visit the store. In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom, the fictional character, visits Sweny’s to pick up a lotion for his wife. While waiting for the pharmacist, Bloom smells the lemon soap on the counter and decides to take a bar with him. The soap becomes a key part of his famous journey that is re-created every year on June 16th – Bloomsday. 77

t he cast le | t h e lodg e | t h e old s ta b le m e w s

A rural retreat in the heart of Ireland…


estled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate is one of the last great Irish estates still in the hands of its founding family. Steeped in history, full of character and charm, it is the ultimate Irish rural escape.

Only 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes from Belfast, Castle Leslie Estate boasts a variety of accommodation and activities to suit all tastes. The Castle, at the heart of the Estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world. The Lodge is the social hub of the Estate, a country house boutique hotel that brings locals and guests together in an atmosphere of conviviality and comfort. The Old Stable Mews and Village Cottages are the perfect spot for groups that want the convenience of hotel living combined with private luxury home rental.

Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Monaghan

Castle Leslie Estate offers an idyllic setting for outdoor activity and adventure. Explore the Estate on horseback, enjoy some of Ireland’s finest coarse fishing, take in a movie at our private cinema, luxuriate in a relaxing massage in the Victorian treatment rooms, exhilarate in a abundance of outdoor adventures, or just borrow a pair of wellies from our boot room and go for a stroll on our 1,000 acres – just some of the choices that await you in this hidden corner of Ireland.

t: + 353 47 88 100


Destination WEDDINGS



eddings are full of customs and traditions but one thing that always stands out is the venue; this sets the tone for the entire celebration and apart from the dress, is the most important choice that any couple will make. Since Ireland is a relatively small country, there are vast open spaces and endless castles and country homes with large swathes of land to fit the bill perfectly. If your dream is to be lord and lady of the manor, no problem; it’s just a question of which stately home, how big and how many guests you intend to bring. Maybe you want to hire your own castle in its entirety for a few days, or do you want it all done for you by an in-house team? Whatever you choose there are an abundance of options – sometimes too many, so get expert help in the form of the wedding organizer at your choice of venue. They will already have all of the answers – including answers to questions you may not even have thought to ask. Modern couples want a unique location as well as the opportunity to vacation with family and friends. Couples from the USA are finding that they can

spend several days celebrating with guests in Ireland for less than the cost of the average celebration back home. And when it comes to fairy-tale settings, they don’t get much better than Ireland, not to mention, you get to visit a dream destination in the company of family and friends. Some worry that the weather in the Emerald Isle might be a bit off-putting, but contrary to what you might think, it doesn’t rain all of the time. Ireland’s climate is temperate, which makes for an enjoyable visit at any time of the year. Therefore, you don’t need to be over influenced by selecting a particular time of the year. Focus instead on what aspect of Ireland you want to enjoy and let this determine the timing. For instance, there are many people who prefer Ireland in the Fall when log fires are burning with warm food created by award winning chefs tasting particularly good as nature puts on spectacular color shows. Regardless of the timing of your visit, the Irish welcome is always waiting and always warm. Your guests will be blown away with the beauty of Ireland and the unique identity of its people. 79


A Dream Destination


astle Leslie Estate is home to some of the most unique and enchanting accommodation on one of Ireland’s most breath-taking estates. Nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodlands and glittering lakes, this is a stunningly beautiful and secluded setting for a wedding. Still in the hands of its founding family, it is steeped in history and full of character and charm. A truly private rural escape, and one of the most renowned luxury hotels in Ireland, Castle Leslie is a magical setting. Located in the picturesque village of Glaslough, Co. Monaghan, the Estate is only 80 minutes from Dublin, 60 minutes from Belfast and a million miles from anywhere. At Castle Leslie Estate, expect individuality. Here, no two rooms are the same and attached to


each room is its own riveting story. One of the last great houses of Ireland still in the hands of the founders, the Leslie family arrived in Ireland in the 16th Century and can trace their ancestors back to Attila the Hun so when it comes to authentic, it doesn’t get much better than this! Filled with beautiful furniture, antiques and heirlooms, the castle has 20 original, uniquely decorated bedrooms and bathrooms. Which bedroom will be yours in this sumptuous castle hotel? Perhaps the Mauve Room where an Earl hid in the big white wardrobe in order to surprise a Queen or the Nursery where the giant dollhouse has been ingeniously turned into a bathroom. The Red Room, with its magnificent four poster bed and blessed with the most stunning views of Glaslough lake and the pleasure gardens, the huge paneled bath in the bathroom is the first bath ever installed in Ireland. This room


has accommodated numerous famous guests, including W.B. Yeats, the Irish poet. Whether your idea of heaven is a romantic boudoir designed with relaxation and privacy in mind or flamboyant room decorated with rich deep colors, there’s a room to suit all tastes. Additional accommodation is available in the boutique on-site country house style hotel called The Lodge, a restored stone stable-courtyard within the ancient woods and lakes that form the Castle Leslie Estate. With its 29 bedrooms and cut-stone stable courtyard, The Lodge has been lovingly restored and imaginatively decorated, retaining period features and original character throughout. For summer 2019 there’ll be more rooms at The Lodge with the addition of 21 bedrooms bringing the total capacity at this property to 50 bedrooms. As an additional option or for families who want to stay together there are luxury home rental properties in the form of 2-bedroomed Old Stable Mews and 4 and 5-bedroom Village Cottages. Castle Leslie Estate has a dedicated wedding team devoted to catering for your every need who appreciate that this is your special day and they are dedicated to providing the discreet personal attention and service that you deserve. Turning your dream into a reality is their heart’s desire at one of the best hotels Ireland has to offer. Having looked after bespoke weddings for couples from all over the world - including celebrity weddings for the likes of Paul McCarthy

and Heather Mills and most recently Pretty Little Liars’ Sasha Pieterse and Hudson Sheaffer the wedding team can take care of absolutely everything right down to the finest detail to surpass even your wildest dreams. Renowned for superb food and tantalizing menus, the Estate offers a variety of sumptuous courses to make every celebration exceptionally special. Executive Head Chef, Philip Brazil combines years of Michelin experience and personal passion with some tried-and-tested recipes of the past to create delectable menus. He and his team cater for all guests’ needs with style and a smile! Castle Leslie Estate has several unique locations where you can host your celebration. The magnificent Castle can accommodate wedding parties with up to 70 guests and for larger wedding parties, the Pavilion is a delightful space overlooking the glistening Glaslough Lake which can accommodate up to 260 guests. Wedding ceremonies can be also performed in the picturesque surroundings of St. Salvator’s Church on the Estate or there are a number of beautiful ceremony venues in the area from St. Mary’s Church in Glaslough to the magnificent St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh and many in-between.

Think leafy woodlands, shimmering lakes and stunning gardens dressed and tailored to your request. The grounds and woodlands provide an exceptional background for wedding photography.

The Estate has the facilities to host wedding ceremonies, civil ceremonies and partnerships and there are some enchanting locations in which to host a ceremony or blessing. This might be inside the Castle or in the Castle 81


Pavilion or for an even more unique experience, ceremonies can be held in the grounds of the Estate. Think leafy woodlands, shimmering lakes and stunning gardens that can be dressed and tailored to your requests. The grounds and woodlands also provide an exceptional background for wedding photography. ACTIVITIES Wedding parties can look forward to a huge array of on-site activities. There is pike fishing for the nature enthusiast, a sumptuous private cinema for movie buffs, exceptional walking trails for those who want to breathe in fresh country air, archery and clay target shooting for the more adventurous, falconry for those who like to experience nature up close, a Victorian spa for rejuvenation and of course the famous world-class equestrian center! For something extra special a hot air balloon ride is a wonderful way to glide over the Estate – or to hold a private aerial ceremony! The Estate 82

is ideal for fireworks displays and for something to warm things up inside there are personalized cocktails and a gin bar serving over 100 gins from around the world, including Castle Leslie Estate’s very own Fighting Bishop Gin. Bishop John Leslie was the first of the Leslies in Ireland and the Bishop of the Isles of Scotland. Known as the ‘Fighting Bishop’, he was involved in the battle of Raphoe against Cromwell. He bought Glaslough Castle Demesne in 1665. He died aged 100 in 1671. This gin is an earthy style of gin incorporating the Bishop’s beech leaves and botanicals handpicked from the trees planted by the Bishop in the 1600’s on the Estate. Castle Leslie Estate’s uniqueness, character and charm can only be felt, not described. Therefore, the team at Castle Leslie Estate invite you to come and experience it for yourself and look forward to welcoming you to the Estate so you can sample their renowned hospitality. Contact the events team on +353 47 88100 or email for further details.

One of the last great houses of Ireland still in the hands of the founders, the Leslie family arrived in Ireland in the 16th Century and can trace their ancestors back to Attila the Hun.


Celtic Traditions


o matter where you host your wedding you should try to include some Celtic traditions into the big day. Ever wondered where the expression ‘tying the knot’ came from? It harks back to the Celtic tradition of Handfasting which involved tying the hands of the betrothed together in advance of their actual wedding day. At the time Ireland was ruled by Brehon Law and handfasting was recognized as a proper form of marriage – some would say a pretty good one, in that you got to ‘try out’ the marriage for a year and if it didn’t work out, you found somebody else the next year. The expression ‘his goose is cooked’ is still in use in Ireland and especially in Dublin. The phrase originated from the tradition of cooking a goose for the groom in the bride’s house the night before the wedding. Once the goose was cooked there was no going back! Traditionally in Ireland brides wore blue dresses as it was seen as the color of love and purity. However, over time this tradition faded and the white dress became popular (dress shown by Hazel Comyn Designs). The “something blue” is still incorporated into the brides’ accessories however – be it on a garter, tied around the bouquet or sewn into

the underneath of the dress. The tradition of wedding flowers goes back to the day when it was customary to decorate the house that the wedding celebration was held in with locally grown flowers and plants. Some plants have become associated with Ireland, not least the now readily available ‘Bells of Ireland’, used in modern times for its symbolism. No Irish wedding would be complete without the traditional toast. These days it is often done with champagne but traditionally it would have been with Poteen - a strong brew made from potatoes. Mead was the more palatable alternative. An Anglo-Saxon drink made of white wine mixed with honey and herbs it was said to possess powers of fertility. It therefore became customary for the bride and groom to drink it for one full moon after their wedding, giving rise to the word ‘honeymoon’. The tradition of a horseshoe is well known throughout the world. By placing the horseshoe upright over a door or in a room the ‘luck of the house’ was kept intact. The Greeks associated the horseshoe with the crescent moon and its symbolism of fertility. The tradition was popular throughout Ireland and England too with the readily available horseshoe being carried by the bride as she walked down the

aisle. It was then affixed securely by the groom in the matrimonial home. Today, glass and ceramic horseshoes are symbolically used at Irish wedding ceremonies. Remember when your mom would tell you to always have a hanky in your pocket? Well so it was for brides and the tradition is alive and well today. The bride carries a hanky on her wedding day and it is kept and later converted to a christening hat or bonnet for her first child. The hanky would be passed on from generation to generation to be re-used in a similar manner. Dowry-giving was well established in rural Ireland and was a source of pride for the family of the bride. Modernity has relegated this tradition to the history books however it is still common for a bride’s parents to pay for the wedding – in effect paying to ‘give her away’. 83



Experience the Artistry of the World of Westeros OFFICIAL EXHIBITION OF THE HIT HBO SERIES

11 APR – 1 SEP 2019, TEC BELFAST BOOK NOW GAMEOFTHRONESEXHIBITION.CO.UK ©2018 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. HBO and related trademarks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.


A Titanic TALE



ne of the most luxurious ships ever with five miles of decks and a sixteen-ton forward anchor, it was the pride of the shipyard, taking a mere 62 seconds to launch. Four days into its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York at 11.40pm, lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee sounded the ships bell three times calling out “iceberg straight ahead.” The lookouts had to rely on eyesight alone in the darkness of the Atlantic waters; they did not have access to binoculars (locked in a cabinet and no one could find the key). According to the official 1912 inquiry findings, only 37 seconds elapsed between actually seeing the iceberg, calling downstairs, and deciding what course of action should be taken. An iceberg sliced through five watertight compartments cutting a 300-foot gash in the ship’s hull (had it been four compartments the ship could have kept afloat). Less than three

hours later the unsinkable ship sank in the freezing North Atlantic Ocean. Titanic carried 20 lifeboats, enough for 1178 people. The boat was designed to carry 32 lifeboats but there were only 20 on board because it was felt all 32 would make the decks feel cluttered. As a result, there were only 711 survivors out of a passenger and crew manifest of 2,201. The ship’s captain, Captain Smith, is widely thought to have acted irresponsibly in the interest of keeping passengers and White Star Line happy. He failed to heed ice warnings from other ships, and he did not slow the ship speed down to help navigate through icy waters, preferring instead to keep to schedule for an ontime arrival in New York. Captain Smith went down with his ship, but in allowing lifeboats to leave the sinking ship only partially filled, there was an additional loss of hundreds of lives. 85


As the unthinkable unfolded, the ship’s band played music up until the very end to try to calm passengers. The ship’s lights only went out when Titanic finally went under due to the ship’s engineers who stayed behind to keep the electricity and pumps running while the ship sank. Ship lookout Frederick Fleet survived the sinking of Titanic, but tragically went on to commit suicide in 1965 after the death of his wife. EXPLORE BELFAST Exploring Belfast doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, this energetic city can be a bargain hunter’s delight – you just have to know where to look! There are so many things to see and do in Belfast that don’t cost a thing. The Ulster Museum mixes curious oddities with an impressive collection of art and historical objects, and Westeros fans will love the Game of Thrones Tapestry, which documents seven seasons of the hit HBO series on 77 meters of hand-woven linen. At the Discover Ulster-Scots Centre, exhibitions, artifacts and audio-visual displays examine the close connections between Ulster and Scotland, while free tours of Belfast City Hall and the Linen Hall Library explore Belfast’s history and literary heritage. And while performances do have a cover charge at the MAC (Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre), you can enjoy dynamic changing art exhibitions in the center’s three galleries any time, free of charge. One of the best things about Belfast is how compact it is, so stroll around and take in the 86

essence of the city on foot. You can go a step further (pardon the pun) by taking part in the Belfast Free Walking Tour, which connects the city’s fascinating history with the people who shaped it. Cyclists should take advantage of the Belfast Bike Scheme, and, if you’ve registered once, you can rent these bikes in any city worldwide, including Dublin. Choose a three-day ticket for visitors and cycle anywhere you like – maybe the Titanic Quarter or perhaps the car-free waterside Lagan Towpath. Translink has a handy Visitor Pass for the city that offers unlimited bus and rail travel for one-to-three consecutive days within the Belfast Visitor Pass Zone. Even better, this pass grants you handy discounts at attractions including Titanic Belfast, W5 (Belfast’s Interactive Discovery Centre) and Crumlin Road Gaol. One of the best parts of roaming around Belfast is stumbling across a rousing music session in one of the city’s cozy pubs. Head to The John Hewitt, the Duke of York, Kelly’s Cellars and Fibber Magee’s for some toe-tapping tunes and budget-friendly entertainment. Bookworms will love CS Lewis Square, dedicated to the work of the Belfast-born author. Here, you can awaken your inner child and stroll amongst the bronze sculptures of beloved characters from Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series. Fancy taking a tour? For just £10 you can tap into the beating heart of the city’s music scene on the Belfast Music Tour, and end on a high note at the free-to-enter NI Music Exhibition at the Oh Yeah Music Centre, which details the legacy of music legends such as The Undertones, Van Morrison and Snow Patrol.

Westeros fans will love the Game of Thrones Tapestry which documents 7 seasons of the hit series on 77 meters of handwoven linen.


Despite being a bustling urban hub, Belfast offers countless opportunities to get out into the great outdoors. Your first stop should be Belfast Castle Estate and Cave Hill Country Park. Overlooking the city, this huge park is home to challenging walking routes with stunning views, a castle dating from the 1860s and a rocky outcrop that is said to have inspired the giant in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Thrill seekers will love the tracks and trails at Barnett Demesne in South Belfast while more leisurely explorers will enjoy the eco-trail, lush arboretum and woodland walks. Back in the city, you can lose yourself in the colorful oasis of Belfast’s Botanic Gardens. Be sure to stop by the Tropical Ravine, where the sweet scent of tropical plants such as banana, cinnamon and orchid perfumes the air. LAND OF THRONES Even in the golden era of television production Game of Thrones stands out. This is not simply an epic fantasy, it’s fantasy on an epic scale. It takes place in a world that is visually breathtaking, a large part of which is in Northern Ireland. Irish actor Liam Cunningham plays Davos in the

series and he gives us a peek into what we can expect in the last and final season. Cunningham says: “it’ll make epic seem small. Normally we have six months to shoot ten episodes; for this season it has taken us nearly a year to shoot six episodes.

Even in the golden era of television, Game of Thrones is not simply an epic fantasy, it’s fantasy on an epic scale.

“So, for the budget its scale is absolutely extraordinary. I can also repeat what the head of HBO said. He’s seen the six episodes twice and said it’s like watching six movies. It’ll be a different style, it’ll make epic seem small, this season.” And despite fans disappointment that the record-breaking series will finally end after eight years on screens across the globe. “One of the reasons this show isn’t going to be dragged out like other shows is because it’s incredibly difficult, you need the perfect storm. “Our costume people are extraordinary, our props people are extraordinary, the camera crew are the best I’ve ever worked with and it was cast beautifully. The quality of the writing, you can’t make that a thing that just continues, 87


it has to have a lifespan. Cunningham himself hails from Dublin where he worked initially as an electrician. A chance contract in Zimbabwe is what he attributes his acting career to: “At the time (just after independence) there was a lack of skilled labor so it was a new adventure. I used to do network electricity, high-voltage stuff – I was covered in rubber to stop me dying!” On his return home three years later, he was “looking for a bit of distraction.” “I saw an ad in the back of a newspaper for an acting school. I was looking for a hobby, but I completely fell in love with the process of acting. And hence you find me talking about Game of Thrones 20-odd years later. Africa was the reason I became an actor.” Cunningham came into Game of Thrones in Season 2 and unlike several of his fellow actors, he has lasted to the final season. “They never tell you if your character is going to be killed off. Sometimes the producers will ring you up and ask you to dinner. Then you know you’re in trouble. They obviously have to play their cards close to their chest, they don’t want anything slipping out. Quite a few of my fellow cast members have been gutted when they found out they were going. It’s the quality of this show: you’d like to hang around for as long as possible. My bank manager would like it, too! TOURING EXHIBITION Call your bannermen – Game of Thrones®: The Touring Exhibition will make its debut visit to Belfast in 2019. This dramatic exhibition combines costumes, props and settings from all seven seasons to create an immersive experience like no other. The largest Game Of Thrones public display will open in the 5,000m2 venue and will be an important part of the show’s incredible legacy in the region. The exhibition will be located at the TEC Belfast which is in the footprint of the legendary Titanic Studios, where much of the series was filmed over a 10-year period. Fans will be able to authentically immerse themselves in Westeros and Essos, as well as relive the trials and tribulations of those who struggle for survival in the shadow of the Iron Throne, ahead of the highly anticipated season eight release. The exhibition will give fans the experience of a lifetime with an upclose and personal look at the artistry and craftsmanship behind the Emmy award-winning series, as well as the opportunity to experience the wintry landscapes of the North and the tree-lined pathway of the Kingsroad; to view a garrison of Unsullied warriors and the iconic costumes of House Targaryen as well as a step into the House of Black and White. Get to explore Castle Black, the home of the Night’s Watch and battle for the Iron Throne. Bend the knee and book tickets for this not-to-be-missed blockbuster at 88





illed as one of the top five road trips worldwide, the Causeway Coastal Route is the strand that ropes the entire region together, linking rock archways, simmering seas and bustling resorts, tiny villages carved from white limestone and dramatic, wild headlands. It is little wonder that Lonely Planet named the Causeway Coast alongside Belfast as the Number 1 Best Region to Visit in 2018. Spread over two counties of Northern Ireland, Antrim and Derry/Londonderry, the Causeway Coast and Glens packs an entire country’s worth of bewildering landscapes into a small corner of the island of Ireland and is rightly a beloved draw for tourists who have been vacationing there for hundreds of years. It’s only in the last 30 years as Northern Ireland began to open up to the world

that tourists from further afield have started to discover Ireland’s best kept secret for themselves. The joy of the Causeway Coastal Route is that headland after headland recedes into the hazy distance as you traverse the Glens with their scenic drives and lyrical names such as Glencloy, Glentaisie and Glenballyemon. Explore a little deeper and you will uncover some of the great mysteries that many locals in Northern Ireland don’t even know about, including the enigma that is the Vanishing Lake, the echoing caves at Ballintoy Harbour and the underrated Kinbane Head. The Route has it all within one short drive thriving old-fashioned seaside resorts bristling with beachgoers, surfers and ice-cream lovers; wild, endless moors where hikers can escape 89


high above the windswept coast and deep shady wooded glens punctuated with waterfalls and lonely paths, where you can still spot a red squirrel if you’re lucky. Get the local knowledge by booking a guided tour with one of any number of operators such as Dalriada Kingdom Tours, Away A Wee Walk or Nine Glens Walking Tours. There’s a story in every town dotted along the Causeway Coastal Route, in a region that is oozing with history, from the windswept 1500’s Dunluce Castle outside Portrush, perched on a clifftop over a yawning chasm and thought to have inspired Cair Paravel in CS Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, to the stunning Torr Head and its views of the Mull of Kintyre and the peaks of Arran. And now a fresh generation of fans is discovering the most untouched corners of the region and seeing it through new eyes as they visit locations which have taken centre stage to double up as Westeros in the blockbuster HBO series Game of Thrones©. You can explore the haunting caves 90

of Cushendun or take a trip down a heartstoppingly steep road into Ballintoy Harbour, an ancient fishing port that doubled up as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones© - then head inland to stroll among the twining beech trees of the Dark Hedges, in the company of a tour guide from Giant Tours or Glenara Elite Travel who are well versed in all of the drama and intrigue. When in Cushendun, seek out the homely Mary McBrides, a bit of a hidden secret steeped in tradition and wall to wall delicious Causeway Coast food serving up fresh seafood and Steak and Guinness pie to those from near and far. The village itself, designed by Clough Williams-Ellis in 1912 is chocolate box prettiness personified, with all the hallmarks of a Cornish location. Generations of Northern Irish children have grown up with evocative memories of the seaside delights of the Causeway Coast and few coastlines can boast such a wealth of endless sandy coves stretching from one headland to


the next. If you have the time, and you should find the time, you can set yourself the mission of exploring one magnificent beach after another, starting in the east with Waterfoot Beach and ending in the west, with the seven mile stretch of golden sand at Benone/Magilligan.

Generations of Northern Irish children have grown up with evocative memories of the seaside delights of the Causeway Coast and few coastlines can boast such a wealth of endless sandy coves stretching from one headland to the next.

The small but perfectly formed Ballycastle beach with its sweeping sculpture of the Children of Lir is ideally placed to sample the delights of Yellow Man and the revelry of the Ould Lammas Fair. Seafood aficionados will relish the fare to be found at the likes of O’Connors Bar or The Central Bar, or if you prefer to dine al fresco, Morton’s Fish and Chip Shop is a top choice of Lonely Planet. You really shouldn’t leave Ballycastle without hopping on the ferry for the short crossing to Rathlin Island, often in the company of dolphins and other sealife. This inhabited island is home to one of Europe’s largest seabird colonies and visitors are enthralled each year by the puffins who come to breed from late April to July. There are three lighthouses on the island and the Rathlin West Lighthouse is part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland. Young and not so young daredevils will revel in the challenge of crossing the nearby Carricka-Rede Rope Bridge, a breathtaking 20-metre ropewalk strung from cliff to cliff some 30-metres above the sea, which was first put in place by the fishermen who plied the seas for wild salmon. Nearby, Ballintoy is also a great spot for some coastal walking, kayaking or stand up paddleboarding – whatever takes your fancy. Without doubt, the jewel in the crown is the Giant’s Causeway itself, Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back over 60 million years, with its breathtaking vistas of hexagonal rock columns, including the Organ Pipes and the Wishing Chair. The stunning multi award winning National Trust visitor centre explores its turbulent history and the myth of Finn McCool. Do not miss out on the village of Bushmills, just two miles from the Giant’s Causeway is packed with art galleries and a wealth of chic cafes and restaurants, including the French

Rooms and Tartine at the Distillers Arms. Take a tour of the world-famous Bushmills Whiskey distillery to sample the 12-year-old Single Malt Distillery Reserve which is only available there. Other Bushmills whiskeys may be savored in the evocative Gas Bar at the nearby Bushmills Inn. Before arriving at the quintessential beach town of Portrush, soak up more history by visiting the noble Dunluce Castle. Creating a haunting silhouette in the skyline, it provides a fascinating medieval diversion. Billed as Northern Ireland’s favorite holiday destination, Portrush, with three beaches, is where generations of small children have run wild in the sand dunes that soar above the surf. The celebrated Royal Portrush Golf Course is also located here and visitors and golfers alike will enjoy Portrush Harbour, perhaps for the choice of restaurants as well as an unforgettable welcome at The Harbour Bar. You could almost walk from there to the lauded Portstewart Strand, a vast stretch of sandy beach backed by ancient dunes up to 30-metres high, formed around 6,000 years ago and a haven for wildflowers and butterflies. The awardwinning Harry’s Shack, offers delectable cuisine 91


in a salubrious beach hut in the heart of the elements at the entrance to Portstewart Strand, while you’ll discover the sweetest of treats at the acclaimed Morelli’s ice cream parlor on the famed Portstewart Prom. Another quaint resort along the route is Castlerock, a 1 km sandy stretch bookended by the Barmouth in the east and the sea cliffs of Downhill in the west and backed by the impressive Castlerock Golf Club. Watch out for small harbor porpoises or seals feeding in the estuary at the Barmouth or indulge with a hot chocolate from Crusoes or more homemade ice cream at the beachfront from Braemar Farm. Further west is Downhill Beach with the quirky 17th Mussenden Temple perched on the sea cliffs high above the waves. Combined with the ruins of Downhill Castle, the Demesne presents a lively and sometimes salacious past. Beyond that is Benone Strand, with seven miles of golden sand, stunning views across to Donegal and a myriad of opportunities to indulge in some adventure sports such as surfing, blokarting and even paragliding from Binevenagh Mountain. Nestled in the valley of the mountain is Broglasco Farm where the Broighter Gold range of rapeseed oils is harvested and produced by local landowners Richard & Leona Kane and well worth a visit. Further sporting adventures such as canoeing, raft building, high ropes, climbing walls, archery and even hovercrafting are available at one of the several Causeway Coast’s activity centers. Delve further inland and you will discover the rugged wildness of the Sperrin Mountains, a rich setting for hill walking, angling, cycling routes and driving routes, dotted with a fine collection of historical sites including standing stones, raths and chambered graves. If the mysteries of the deep are more your thing, you can go diving or behold some of the fascinating Causeway Coast on a sea safari - the Skerries Islands are a Special Area of Conservation and you might be lucky enough 92

to see dolphins or basking sharks in the right season. Sea safaris operate from Portrush, Portstewart and Ballycastle. For immersive experiences we would suggest Causeway Coast Foodie Tours and Irish Feast who introduce all the flavors of the area with a selection of food tours, ranging from the Catch and Sea Tour, where you literally catch your breakfast onboard a fishing trawler and have it cooked onshore, to a guided walking tour in the company of the irrepressible Caroline Redmond who regales you with tales of food and much more in Bushmills, Ballycastle and Glenarm. And for something truly unique, the Artisans at Work promoting and sustaining traditional craft can be found dotted throughout the area and are open for visits. The aforementioned Broighter Gold is an example of a producer working the land with the latest machinery whilst still using traditional methods. Broughgammon Farm outside Ballycastle is run by two generations of the Cole family with a deep-rooted drive for sustainability and specializes in kid-goat, free range rose veal and seasonal wild game. Ballycastle is also where you will find the Ursa Minor Bakehouse which brings the freshest, seasonal bread and sweet bakes to the Causeway Coast. Completing the quartet of Économusée is Scullion Hurls, located in Loughguile, here you can meet Micheal who will demonstrate the art of making hurls while detailing the history of the sport and the inspiration behind the business. The Causeway Coast & Glens is less than a 3-hour drive from Dublin Airport. With so much to do and see we invite you to stay awhile to explore the destination. Available accommodation ranges from independent hotels to boutique B&Bs and guesthouses, and from self-catering cottages to glamping and holiday and caravan parks. Whether you are coming for your first visit or have been here before, a warm welcome awaits you. Main image ‘Giant’s Causeway’ @storytellers

Without doubt, the jewel in the crown of the Causeway Coastal Route is the Giant’s Causeway itself, Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back over 60 million years, with its breathtaking vistas of hexagonal rock columns, including the Organ Pipes and the Wishing Chair. The stunning multi award winning National Trust visitor center explores its turbulent history and the myth of Finn McCool.

Kenbane, County Antrim Northern Ireland



Glenariff Glen, County Antrim Northern Ireland


Family Run Bar

The Reel Inn AWARD WINNING PUB 2017 The Irish Hospitality Awards - Ireland’s Pub of the Year


“We love the conversation, the people, the craic, and the music.”

Bridge Street Donegal Town F94 R590 Ireland


Drawn to DONEGAL



ith no cities, no rail or motorway access and weather that swings from biblical to beautiful in the blink of an eye, wilderness always feels just a stone’s throw away, and world-class wilderness at that. But that’s all the more reason to visit, and there’s an infectious warmth about the people here, likely because they have one of the most stunning parts of the world pretty much to themselves.

Donegal is a dream landscape and a scarcity of visitors has left parts of it spectacularly unspoiled. Getting there is easy if you are already winding your way around the glorious Causeway Coastal Route. Ending at Derry-Londonderry (a charming walled city in Northern Ireland) continue into Donegal for a journey of discovery around the most northerly part of Southern Ireland (now there’s a conundrum for you!). 95


Voted #1 in the world for scenic landings, at Donegal Airport passengers can catch close up views of the Atlantic coastline, rocky islands, stunning beaches and the rugged form of Mount Errigal nearby. 96

For those on limited time a short Aer Lingus Regional flight from Dublin will whisk you to Donegal from Dublin in less than an hour and the views are spectacular. Donegal Airport (Carrickfinn) has been named as one of the world’s 10 most scenic landings by a global poll from private jet booking service, PrivateFly. The airport beat off stiff competition from all over the world, with a panel of travel experts forming the shortlist that was put forward for a public vote. The annual “bucket list” has global travel fans choosing the most breath-taking, unique and eye-catching descents in airports large and small. Landing just by the water,

passengers arriving at Donegal Airport can catch views of the Atlantic coastline, including tiny rocky islands and stunning beaches, as well as the rugged form of Mount Errigal nearby. Just imagine that, with so many amazing airports all over the world, Donegal tops the list. Carrickfinn terminal is tiny, the staff are super-friendly, lines are short and the location is ideal being at the very beginning of the Wild Atlantic Way and in the heart of the Irish-speaking Donegal Gaeltacht. ISLAND ADVENTURES There are many islands off the coast of County Donegal, most of which are uninhabited. They


vary in size from tiny rock formations to the larger inhabited islands like Tory and Arranmore. The islands are a galaxy unto themselves, with highlights ranging from rock climbing on Gola to meeting the king of Tory Island. Even by Irish standards Tory is a unique and enchanting place. The island is about as remote as you can get. With nothing to shield it from savage Atlantic storms, the craggy coastline is hand carved by natural forces. Holding firmly onto traditional Irish culture, the island has its own dialect of the Irish language and it even has its own ‘king’. Reflecting a long-standing tradition, a king is chosen by consensus of the

islanders. He has no formal powers but he acts as a spokesperson for the community and he works at welcoming people to the island. Tory is well worth a visit to literally stand on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. It is connected to the mainland by regular ferries from Magheroarty and Bunbeg with the journey taking about an hour depending on how rough the sea is, but a few splashes along the way only add to the experience. Arranmore is easily reached by a 15-minute ferry crossing, depositing you right on the fringes of Western Europe. Drive the island, potter about the harbor or go for a brisk walk.

Dry stone walls are a building feature as old as time, built by the hands of the many industrious farmers who cleared their prized fields of stone and used this stone to create a barrier around their property. 97


DONEGAL EQUESTRIAN CENTRE Providers of high quality horse riding experiences for all ages and abilities Ride along Tullan Strand Part of The Wild Atlantic Way

Visit us to experience some of the best beach riding Donegal has to offer. Donegal Equestrian Centre Finner Rd, Finner, Bundoran, Co. Donegal, Ireland Telephone: +353 (0)71 9841977 Website: Facebook: 98

Open all year round advance booking recommended.

When the weather co-operates, the thrashing ocean, brackish corrie lakes and boggy, wind-whipped hills are beautifully desolate. Oh, and before (or after) your trip, grab a quick seafood fix at The Lobster Pot in Burtonport. You can’t miss the giant fiberglass lobster clinging to the wall of the Lobster Pot, which looks onto the port. Serving up a great selection of seafood, this pub-restaurant is famous for its Titanic seafood platter loaded with lobster, crab, mussels, salmon, prawns and more, all locally sourced. A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN The Slieve League Cliffs in Donegal are some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe and hugely under-rated in comparison to the tourism hotspots of West Cork and Kerry. The soaring cliffs and dizzying One Man’s Pass are absolutely glorious but don’t miss some of the more offbeat attractions including a dip beneath the lighthouse at St John’s Point, seafood at the Village Tavern in Mountcharles and the Gaeltacht around Glencolmcille. Horn Head is equally stunning; an almost two-hundred-meter rock face scored by ledges on which perch countless guillemots, gulls and puffins. Its 7km loop is the Wild Atlantic Way in a nutshell — from breathtaking cliffs to bobbing lobster pots and beaches; this is probably the most dramatic of the beautiful Donegal peninsulas. The Fanad and Rosguill peninsulas are the smaller siblings of Inishowen, but both are full of the knockout views Donegal seems to produce on tap. Highlights are Fanad Lighthouse perched at the top of a rocky headland, voted one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world. Fanad Lighthouse is one of three signature points in Donegal on the Wild Atlantic Way and apart from being a glorious place to


visit, you can stay here too in one of the old (but wonderfully restored) lightkeepers cottages. Star Wars touched down for a location shoot on Inishowen, giving some idea as to its rugged beauty. A day or two could easily be spent circuiting this peninsula alone but however you manage it, don’t miss Malin Head where the rolling swells never stop charging across the sea at the island’s northern extreme. It is the start (or end, depending on your point of view) of the Wild Atlantic Way and has long been renowned for its epic coastal scenery, thriving birdlife and rolling green fields.

Dunfanaghy Stables

Heading to or from Malin Head you will pass through the Mamore Gap. The steepness of the terrain is heart stopping and you will marvel as sheep and cyclists strain themselves up the hillsides. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with extraordinary vistas of the coast below and to the West. This is an extraordinary place, remote and unforgiving like few other places in Europe. In the perfect isolation of Mamore there are several traditional shrines harking back to Penal days when Catholics had to practice their religion in secret for fear of persecution. But today it is God’s great vistas which set Mamore apart from all other places. Enjoy stunning views with a dash of historic intrigue and more than a pinch of precarious mountain driving. PARKS & STRANDS Donegal is blessed with many glorious, isolated beaches the most striking of which must be Silver Strand, stashed way out west on the Slieve League Peninsula. Is this Donegal’s most breathtaking beach? Granted, a county with 13 Blue Flag beaches will throw up its fair share of competition, but it’s hard to top Silver Strand. Cut from the cliffs at

Ride the Wild Atlantic Way!

The perfect way to see the rugged coastline!

Dunfanaghy Stables, Arnolds Hotel, Dunfanaghy, County Donegal, Ireland. E:

W: 99


the edge of the earth, set way beyond the reach of phone signals and overlooked by happily munching sheep, those who make the journey in the off-season are often rewarded with the place to themselves. Another great way to bask in splendid isolation is to visit Glenveagh, the second largest national park in the Republic of Ireland. The park covers 170 square kilometers of hillside above Glenveagh Castle on the shore of Lough Veagh, 20 km from the Irish speaking area of Gweedore in Donegal. The network of mainly informal gardens displays a multitude of exotic and delicate plants from as far afield as Chile, Madeira and Tasmania, all sheltered by windbreaks of pine trees and ornamental rhododendrons. 100

Glenveagh is a slice of National Park paradise with a dramatic Victorian castle at its heart reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. You can walk or cycle the 4km to the castle or take a bus. Watch out for Golden Eagles, don’t skip the wonderful gardens and round off your visit with lunch at the castle café. Even in inclement weather, there’s something otherworldly about the place. Donegal may not be known for its mild climes, but visitors need not be deterred by this. Be sure to pack your rain gear and a good pair of walking shoes and be well prepared to enjoy all of the sights and delights that this magical corner of Ireland has to offer.



Fly into the World’s Most Scenic Airport... Discover Ireland’s wild side

...and discover Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Aer Lingus, the Irish national airline, fly direct to Ireland from over 14 North American airports. With two daily flights between Donegal and Dublin and through-fares available, it’s now even easier to discover the Wild Atlantic Way and our fair capital in one easy trip.

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MULLAGHMORE, CO. SLIGO +353(0)86 8515607



GPS: 54° 46’ 70” N 8° 44’ 77” W ?


Ireland’s largest Bird-of-prey Centre. The attraction for all the family. Get up close with Eagles, Hawks, Falcons, Vultures and Owls. Learn from the scientists about their biology during our fascinating and interactive shows. You have never been that close to Eagles…



Ballymote, Co. Sligo. Sat Nav: N5406.207’W834.053 Drive off the N17 at Ballinacarrow

Just follow the signs

2 shows daily at 11AM and 3PM 10.30 – 12.30 and 2.30 – 4.30 every day

Tel: 071 918 9310 From 1st April – 7th November 2 hours programme Guided Tour, Show, Touch-Zoo, Picnic area and Kiosk available






Donegal Town

Get hands-on with birds of prey and various animals in our supervised Touch-Zoo


A Flying Visit A

rriving at the gates of the Eagles Flying centre in Ballymote is not much different to arriving at any other farm gate, however, on walking down the farm lane visitors soon realize that they are immersing into a different world. Suddenly they are surrounded by birds of prey and a menagerie of animals and it is hard to see which ones are pets and which ones are actually wild. This close contact with nature is very special and even more intensified as soon as the shows start. At 11am and 3pm every day a one-hour show enthrals visitors with eagles, falcons, vultures, owls and hawks swooping closely over visitor’s heads or landing on the heads and hands of visitors. This is only possible, because the “bird whisperers” of Eagles Flying have a very special and friendly way of interacting with the creatures in their care.

After the show, visitors are welcome to move on to the Petting Zoo where they can get hands-on with foxes, a raccoon, reptiles and of course all of the standard pet-farm favorites. Of course, you will get a plethora of information and if you have questions – feel free to ask - the resident scientists are always delighted to share their time and knowledge. A visit to Eagles Flying is really worthwhile. It is fun for all the family – not for kids only. The full programme with guided tour, bird show and pet-experience lasts for approximately 2 hours, but time here passes quickly and many would like to spend much longer. Since it is so unique and different, Eagles Flying won many awards and it is one of the major tourist attractions in the North-West of Ireland. And by the way - Eagles Flying is all weather suitable. 103





rom lakes and rivers to beaches and dramatic limestone mountains, Sligo is a place where ancient sites, spectacular landscapes and rolling waves inspire stories, trails and adventures that will open your mind and invigorate your body. ABOUT SLIGO From walking, water sports and golf to seaweed baths and horse riding - or even some leisurely fishing, the county has so much to offer whatever your interests may be.

From the myths and legends of ancient Ireland to the poetry of Yeats and the music of Coleman, Westlife and Dervish, Sligo’s cultural and literary heritage is world famous and still actively celebrated. Culture in Sligo is a lively, attractive combination of contemporary and traditional, theatres and art centers. Writers and artists have been inspired by Sligo - the poet William Butler Yeats is synonymous with County Sligo and is buried in Drumcliffe. Museums offer time for reflection on bygone times while in impressive stately homes there are many stories to tell. 104

The magnificent Lissadell House, so beloved of William Butler Yeats and built by the famous Gore Booth family shouldn’t be missed. Set amid the stunning scenery of mountain, woods and sea, Lissadell House & Gardens are famous as the childhood home of Constance Markievicz and her siblings Eva and Josslyn Gore Booth. Constance was one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising and was the first woman to be elected to the House of Commons at Westminister, London. Eva was poet of distinction and a suffragist. The Model, home of the Niland Collection, is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary arts centres featuring works by John and Jack B Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis Le Brocquy among others. Sligo Offers a wide diversity of excellent approved accommodation. What makes Sligo such a fantastic foodie destination is the culture that goes hand in hand with your food experience. Producers take pride in giving you fresh, local, healthy, organic food that nourishes your body while the scenery nurtures your soul.


THINGS TO SEE AND DO Sligo is the county town and the largest town in the north-west area. The development of Sligo as a town stemmed from its strategic location between Lough Gill and the Sea, and it was always considered the gateway from the province of Connacht into Ulster. It is an excellent base from which to tour with the majestic Benbulben to the north, the mystical Knocknarea to the west and the magical Lough Gill to the east. The first recorded mention of Sligo was in the year 807, when the town was sacked by some marauding Vikings. The arrival of the AngloNorman Maurice Fitzgerald in 1245 was marked by the building of a castle, nothing of which, unfortunately, remains. In 1252 Fitzgerald established a Dominican Friary in the town, which flourished until it was destroyed by fire in 1641; it was restored and is now open to the public. ACTIVITIES What better way to discover Sligo, than by walking through its rich and diverse landscape? From waymarked routes and coastal paths to mountain hikes and strolls through floral scented woods. Sligo’s breathtaking landscape will refresh and enliven the senses. Sligo offers an array of outdoor activities and is renowned for its surfing, championship links golf courses, stand up paddling, kiteboarding, off-shore diving, bird watching, horse riding and fishing. There are many discovery points along the Wild Atlantic Way including Mullaghmore, one of the best big wave surfing locations in the world. From breathtaking landscape to tranquil walks spanning the length of Sligo’s mountains, lakes and coastline, there are a range of adventure activities to suit the adventurous and the sightseers out to enjoy the fresh air.

HERITAGE Sligo’s archaeological and mythological heritage is incredibly rich. Sligo contains one of the richest concentrations of prehistoric and later monuments in Western Europe. The ancient county is filled with over 5,000 archaeological sites. Situated above the western shore of Lough Arrow is the impressive passage tomb cemetery of Carrowkeel located in the beautiful limestone upland of the Bricklieve Mountains. There are 14 cairns here with a further 6 cairns extending to the west to Keshcorran Mountain, which is capped with a large cairn, dating back to between 3,800-3,300 BC during the Neolithic period. Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery this is the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland and is also among the country’s oldest and most important in Europe. Over 60 tombs are recorded all of which predate the pyramids of Egypt. ATTRACTIONS W.B Yeats Grave Final resting place of WB Yeats and site of a 6th century Columbian monastery. This beautiful site which nestles under Benbulben Mountain has an exciting range of activities for the visitor. Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery This is the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland and is also among the country’s oldest, with monuments ranging from five and a half thousand to six and a half thousand years old. Maeve’s Cairn Overlooking Carrowmore megalithic cemetery on the summit of Knocknarea Mountain is the huge flat-topped cairn called ’Miosgan Meadhbha’ (Maeve’s Cairn), 55m in diameter and 10m high. The name of the monument along with folklore suggests it was built for the mythical Maeve, the Iron Age Queen of 105


Connacht. Walking Terrain: All Weather Path, Boardwalk and Mountain Terrain leading to one of County Sligo’s most conspicuous landmarks. Lissadell House Take a tour of this magnificent 1830’s house, visit the gardens and view Countess Markievicz Exhibition. Lissadell House & Gardens is situated on the shores of Sligo Bay, 7km north of Sligo on the N15 Donegal Road along the Wild Atlantic Way. Follow in the footsteps of W.B. Yeats in wandering through this beautifully restored estate on the shores of the Atlantic. Childhood home of Constance and Eva Gore-Booth, built by Sir Robert Gore-Booth in 1830 and designed by Francis Goodwin the house is now fully restored and open daily for guided tours. Sligo Abbey Known locally as the Abbey, this Dominican Friary was founded in 1252/3 by Maurice Fitzgerald. The site contains a great wealth of carvings including Gothic and Renaissance tomb sculpture, well preserved cloister and the only sculptured 15th century high altar to survive in any Irish monastic church. This enigmatic friary will inspire and enlighten its visitors. Access to site is by stone stairway. Drumcliff Church, Round Tower and High Cross This site is a monastic settlement, and also the burial place of the famous Irish poet W.B. Yeats. It’s importance dates from 574AD when St Colmcille founded a monastery here. The principle visible remains of the monument are the remains of Sligo’s only round tower, a high cross and a fragment of a plain high cross. The high cross dating from the 10th century has scenes from both the old and new Testaments. Atlantic Sheep Dogs At Atlantic Sheep dogs, you’ll get to meet and spend time with some of the smartest dogs in the world. Get to see the incredible teamwork between man and dog. Dolly’s Cottage Dolly’s Cottage is a 200-year-old traditional thatched cottage, the only one of its kind in the area, which is open to the public. It is a stone-built cottage with two rooms and a loft with original walls, roof, roof beams, fireplace and pouch bed. 106

Coleman Irish Music Centre The Michael Coleman Heritage Centre draws together the many strands of the South Sligo musical traditional. Dedicated to the memory of the legendary fiddle player, Michael Coleman (1891-1945) universally acclaimed as one of the finest traditional fiddle players of his era. The Irish music center draws together the many strands of south Sligo’s rich musical heritage. Eagles Flying / Irish Raptor Research Centre Ireland’s biggest sanctuary for birds of prey and owls offers you impressions of majestic raptors soaring over beautiful locations. Kilcullens Enniscrone Traditional Hot Seaweed Baths In 1912, the year of the “Titanic” the doors of Kilcullen’s Bath House opened for business. The Bath house had been built for the purpose on a site required by the Kilcullen Family as far back as 1898. An old Edwardian building with Edwardian fittings and original Edwardian 7’ porcelain baths. Fresh sea water pumped twice daily from the unpolluted Atlantic Sea which is a stone’s throw from the bath house. The seaweed is cut daily from the rocks. VOYA Seaweed baths Based in the coastal village of Strandhill. The therapeutic properties of wild seaweed have long been known along the Irish coast. At the beginning of the 20th century there were an estimated 300 seaweed bath houses in Ireland and nine in the small town of Strandhill alone. The last of the original Strandhill bath houses, its foundation still visible on the coast, was destroyed by Hurricane Debbie, the worst hurricane to hit Ireland in 1961. The Seaweed Baths opened in 2000, since reopening, the VOYA Seaweed baths in Strandhill have been enticing customers from all over the world. The Split Rock, Killeenduff, Easkey The Split Rock brought by the Ice Age. Local legend holds that the rock was split as a result of an argument between two giants. It is believed if one walks through the split three times it will close. Choosing Sligo as your holiday destination ensures an unforgettable experience!

WHAT’S ON Sligo boasts a year-round programme of festivals and events. Below is a flavor of what is on offer. 06th -12th of May Cos 13th Annual Sean Nos Festival 13th -16th of June Yeats Day Festival 14th -16th of June Rosses Point Wild Atlantic Shanty Festival 14th -16th of June Paddy Killoran Traditional Festival 06th -13th July Cairde Sligo Summer Festival 23rd -30th of July Sligo Jazz Project & International Summer School Festival 18th -28th of July Tread Softly Festival 25th July – 7th of August 60th Yeats International Summer School 02nd – 05th of August James Morrison Traditional Weekend 08th – 11th of August Sligo Summer Festival 10th -14th of August Tubbercurry Old Fair Day Festival 22nd – 25th of August Coleman Traditional Festival June – Sept Free Guided Walking Tour of Sligo City Sligo Races: 28th Apr/ 21st May/ 18th Jun/14th July/ 7th,8th,20th Aug/ 25th Sept.

Remember when the beaches went on forever, when the sea glinted in the sun, when you could smell the green of the woodland after rain, when you climbed a mountain you were king of the castle, when you always caught something when you cast your line when the pubs were a warm refuge on a bracing day, when you would always find something for yourself, when you were shopping for someone else, when there was plenty time for afternoon tea, when the tea was hot and the cakes were scrumptious, when food tasted like real food, when you could hum along that tune… well that’s Sligo it’s that corner of your heart that you keep close, that you remember, that lifts your spirit, long after you’ve left… it’s the place you’ve been planning to go to.

“There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met.” William Butler Yeats


Visit our website: Our Lady’s Shrine, Knock, Co. Mayo, Ireland, F12 Y226 Tel: +353 (0) 94 9388100 Email:





nock, County Mayo could easily claim to have one of the most interesting histories of any place in Ireland. In the 19th century, it was typical of the villages dotted around the West of Ireland - a small collection of thatched houses and two school houses with the parish church at its center.

for the celebrations is ’Continuing Our Journey’ and for those who visit, it is an opportunity to experience in person the uniqueness of this sacred place. Set in over 100 acres of landscaped gardens, the impressive grounds frame the Apparition Chapel and Knock Basilica.

The story of Knock, as we know it today, began on the evening of the 21st of August 1879 when Our Lady appeared at the gable of the church in the company of Saint Joseph and Saint John the Evangelist. Unique to the Apparition at Knock is the representation of the Eucharist in the appearance of the Lamb on the altar, standing before a cross.

A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS Knock Parish Church has been at the spiritual heart of the village since 1828. This historic Church has been carefully and sensitively restored for future generations of parishioners and pilgrims and stands as a testament to the faithful devotion of those who have gathered at this sacred place for almost 200 years. The Apparition Chapel at the original gable wall of the church offers a contemplative space at which to pray and reflect on the unspoken message of Knock.

TIMES CHANGE, BUT FAITH IS CONSTANT For 140 years, pilgrims have come to Knock from all over the world. This year marks the 140th anniversary of the Apparition and Knock Shrine proudly celebrates its rich history and the enduring legacy of the countless number of pilgrims who have been a part of the journey that has seen Ireland’s National Marian Shrine become an international pilgrimage destination. The theme

A BEACON OF HOPE With its impressive spire clearly visible across the rural Western skyline, Knock Basilica was constructed in honour of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland and dedicated in 1976 to provide for the thousands of pilgrims who visit Knock Shrine each year. 109


This iconic church was extensively redeveloped in 2015. Its stunning interior can be equally described as aesthetically beautiful and spiritually uplifting. Knock Basilica forms a serene backdrop for ceremonies throughout the pilgrimage season, most notably the National Novena to Our Lady of Knock which continues unbroken since 1977. THE WOMAN CLOTHED IN THE SUN The Apparition Mosaic at Knock Basilica is a truly magnificent representation of the evening of the 21st of August 1879. The vivid richness of over 1.5 million individual pieces of coloured glass combine in unison to give a sense of the wonder and awe that the people of the village must have felt as they gazed at the heavenly vision before them. The Mosaic is one of the largest of its kind in Europe and is based on an artistic representation of the Apparition by renowned Irish illustrator PJ Lynch. It was crafted by Travisanutto Mosaics in Spilimbergo, Italy. Echoing the evening of the Apparition, the local people of Spilimbergo gathered in their local hall to gaze upon the beautiful artwork before it was brought to Ireland in 300 sections to be inlaid by hand in the sanctuary at the Basilica. THE MASTER’S HAND The wonder of Creation can be glimpsed through the talent of the artist. This is apparent in the wide and varied collection of art work at Knock Shrine. Working in a range of specialties, from glasswork to sculpture and art, the spirit is lifted by beautiful pieces throughout the Shrine, including works from Imogen Stuart, Róisín De Buitléar and Timothy P Schmalz. TWO PAPAL VISITS It is a great honor for Knock to have welcomed two Popes to its Marian Shrine. To celebrate the centenary of the Apparition, Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine in September 1979, describing it as the goal of his journey to Ireland. He presented a Golden Rose, a symbol of the Risen Lord, as a gift to the Shrine on the occasion. It was one of only 9 Golden Roses presented by Pope John Paul II during his 25-year papacy. Pope Francis visited Knock Shrine in August 2018. In 110

humility, he sat in the Apparition Chapel and as silence descended on the huge crowd that had gathered in anticipation of his visit, the message of Knock was made real for all who joined with him in that moment of contemplation. CONTINUING OUR JOURNEY When you cross the threshold and enter Knock Shrine, you leave behind the worry and cares of our troubled world and join with your fellow pilgrims on a journey. Each person who comes to Knock has their own reason for making the journey, however long or short, to experience the unique atmosphere that is found in this special place. For some, Knock evokes childhood memories of family visits and a closeness to those who have gone before us. It is a reminder of the faith and devotion that has been passed down through generations. Some come searching for answers and consolation, others to give thanks. Many are drawn by curiosity and the desire to reconnect with God. Pilgrims find themselves refreshed in their faith and renewed in spirit. For those who are unable to visit Knock in person during this special anniversary year, the Shrine website offers the opportunity to follow all the ceremonies live online. You can also remember a loved one in a Mass enrolment or simply light a candle for your intentions. Full details of the KNOCK 140 celebrations are available at


The Marian Year


ou can’t travel for any great distance around Ireland without coming upon a roadside shrine or grotto. Although some date back to the early 20th century, many of these shrines date from 1954, a year

dedicated by the Vatican to the Virgin Mary. Statue maker Maurice O’Donnell recalled that 1954 was a bonanza year for him: “I was making so many at that time there was no time to dry them out before painting, so lots of statues in the shrines around the country are still unpainted. Although many

statues of the Virgin were painted later on, you will still see many unpainted examples. As well as erecting hundreds of shrines across the country, the majority of girls born that year were named Marian or Mary. 111





ocated less than two hours northwest of Dublin, County Cavan is the perfect base from which to explore the historic landmarks of Ireland’s Ancient East and the dramatic, undulating landscapes of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.

Friendly people, delicious food, tranquil lakes, and thousands of years of history are embedded in the rolling, ancient drumlins of Cavan which are alive with poetry, heritage and song. And nowhere more so than amid the life-affirming beauty of prehistoric Cavan Burren Park with its breath-taking views and ancient megaliths. 113


Learn how this ageless valley was hewn from the earth by giant ice sheets in the park’s information center or wander along one of four marked walking trails through dramatic and scenic landscapes. The land and water here are fresh and pure, and so too is its produce. This is a county with some of the finest food in Ireland. In recent years Cavan has been rightfully recognized for its culinary delights, and the Taste of Cavan food festival, which takes place every August, is the perfect place to meet some of the county’s best food producers. If history is your thing, the new World War One Trench Experience at Cavan County Museum is a must–see. This amazing true-to-life WWI trench is the largest in Ireland or the UK and has become a popular attraction in Ireland’s Ancient East. Visit the museum in its beautiful Georgian home, and explore over 5,000 years of history, 114

including ancient weapons and fascinating relics of bygone ages, along with a tea room and gift shop full of memories to bring home. Ireland is a land of castles and conquest and Cavan has its fair share of ancient fortifications. For a tour with a difference, take a boat trip to the island castle of Clough Oughter. Extraordinarily beautiful in its isolation, Clough Oughter Castle stands like a silent sentinel on an island in the center of a vast and charming waterway. This Norman castle has witnessed fire and bloodshed but has quietly stood the test of time. Cavan is an exciting, enticing, mysterious, historic and scenic county - one that must be explored at your leisure and where you’re sure to receive a warm and friendly welcome. Get off the beaten track and follow your own path. To plan your trip to County Cavan visit

Clough Oughter Castle stands like a silent sentinel on an island in the center of a vast and charming waterway. This Norman castle has witnessed fire and bloodshed but has quietly stood the test of time.


Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Ireland Unique exhibition experiences, in our historic building and outside in the beautiful gardens of the museum Inside Exhibitions

WW1 Trench Experience

1916 Rising Experience

Battle of the Somme Installation

After war comes peace, and when peace comes, never let it go.

Tel: 049 854 4070 • • • 115

Weddings at Crover House wwww

The Perfect Setting for your Very Special Occasion Country House Wedding in County Cavan The magnificent views of Lough Sheelin and the rolling hills beyond provide the perfect backdrop for your special day celebrations. Take your special vows in the company of family and friends, in the shade of centuries old trees within sight of beautiful Lough Sheelin or indoors in the rustic tranquillity of Crover House. We know that ‘atmosphere’ is important to you; congeniality, comfort and the relaxed, stress-free environment here at the hotel will help set the mood for the most important event of your lives.

Lough Sheelin, Mountnugent, Co. Cavan, Ireland, A82 P2D9 Email: Tel: 049 854 0206


Lakeside Luxury


magine a place with unparalleled service, commanding views and mature grounds on one of Cavan’s most beautiful, sought after family run country house hotels. Crover House Hotel and golf club in County Cavan is one of Irelands hidden gems with a four-star status accredited by Failte Ireland. The House is renowned for its exceptional service, friendly staff and stunning photography locations, ideal for celebrations of any kind. One of the Ireland’s most beautiful waterside venues, Crover House Hotel is an 18th century Georgian manor house, set on 40 acres of stunning grounds on the private shores of Lough Sheelin. It offers a personal service with exceptional attention to detail to give guests a truly memorable experience whether staying over for a night or two or having your special wedding day at this delightful venue. Licensed for both indoor and outdoor civil ceremonies, civil partnerships, Humanist ceremonies and blessings, the house overlooking the lake specialize in dream weddings, providing you and your guests with a unique backdrop when you say “I do.” With only one wedding per day,

ceremonies can be held seven days a week with a wedding team on hand to guide you through the entire process, ensuring you get the intimate ceremony you wish for. The beautiful courtyard provides the perfect backdrop for capturing special moments in a magnificent outdoor setting. Crover House invite you to come meet the wedding team – either in person or online. The team are dedicated to making your day as memorable as possible to help couples create the day they have always dreamed of. Whether you are looking for a large celebration or a more intimate day, Crover House caters for it all. The newly renovated Arley Suite can accommodate up to 350 guests, while the more intimate Courtney room oozes old-world charm. With 44 tastefully decorated bedrooms in keeping with the charming Georgian style and a beautiful log cabin by the lake, this is a location like no other. To arrange an appointment with the dedicated wedding team, contact weddings@ / 049 8540206 / 117




The Rebel COUNTY



tart your cultural tour in the city with Cork Public Museum, where you can learn the history of the city from Bronze Age archaeological finds to the modern day. Next stop over at Elizabeth Fort, an old military stronghold with incredible views of the city. Entry is free and guided tours are only €3, so it’s a great way to learn how the city developed and what the lives of Cork people were like hundreds of years ago. Finish your history lesson with a visit to the Butter Museum and delve into the international butter trade in which Cork

became a key player in the 19th century. The Butter Exchange in Cork became the largest butter market in the world from the 1700’s onwards, and with cargo ships calling into Cork butter was exchanged for spices, tea, brandy, wine and other foreign commodities. Tickets are only €4 and there are butter-making demonstrations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Contemporary art and architecture fans should check out the Glucksman Museum, located in 119


the grounds of University College Cork (entry free). The Glucksman has a huge range of exhibitions to amaze and inspire whether you’re a casual visitor or an art expert. If that’s not enough contemporary art, try the Triskel Arts Centre, which has a free gallery open seven days a week. For more classical tastes, the Crawford Art Gallery has paintings and sculptures dating all the way from the 16th century, with special exhibitions alongside its permanent collection. Entry is – you’ve guessed it – free.

Station, where family and group discounts are available. We dare you to look down!

EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS If you need a breath of fresh air after all those museums, Cork has countless walks, gardens and hidden beauty spots. Walk along the banks of the River Lee in Fitzgerald Park and lose yourself in a haven of tree-lined avenues, vibrant flowering plants and unexpected sculptures. Further along the river in Ballincollig are the Royal Gunpowder Mills, now a peaceful public park beloved by locals.

GETTING AROUND Cork city is great for pedestrians, with most places within walking distance of the centre. The steep hills will be a work out but the views will be worth it. You can explore the city centre yourself on a self-guided Cork Walks tour or join Walking Tour Cork for a free stroll through the city’s history. If you want a bit more speed, Cork’s bike share scheme has a three-day pass for tourists for just €3.

If you are journeying out on the Wild Atlantic Way, you won’t get closer to nature than the Sheep’s Head Way. Along this 200km walking route you’ll find stone circles, an old copper mine, ruined churches, and enough villages dotted along the way to provide for rest and refreshment. Make a stop at Ireland’s most south-westerly point, Mizen Head. Here you can descend the famous 99 steps and cross the higharched bridge to find the Mizen Head Signal

Trains run between Kent Station (about 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre) to key tourist areas including Cobh and Fota Island, and buses run regularly throughout the city. If you’re going to be in Cork for a while, it might be worth picking up a Leap Card – a travel card that offers savings on bus and train services. For longer journeys you can get Bus Éireann’s Open Road tourist travel ticket, which will give you three days of unlimited transport.


To start exploring Ireland’s Ancient East, head to Cobh, a pretty seaport town with a beautiful harbor that offered a final glimpse of Ireland for many emigrants. From here you can see Spike Island, a picturesque island dominated by Fort Mitchell, a star-shaped fortress that once held 2,300 prisoners captive – an important piece of Irish history and well worth the admission price.

With its lonely inlets, pebble beaches, and gorse- and heather-clad cliffs, Cape Clear Island is the most southerly inhabited land in Ireland.


A TASTE OF THE CITY Cork’s food scene is second to none and there are plenty of deals to be had. No visit to the city would be complete without a trip to the English Market, which has been running since 1788 and offers every kind of food imaginable. Selling both cooked food and fresh ingredients, the dozens of stalls here have food to suit every taste and budget, from artisan cheese to cakes and chocolate. For the best bargain brunch in town, head to Liberty Grill on Washington Street. With the freshest of ingredients sourced from the English Market, the menu has a delicious selection for vegetarians and vegans (and everyone else). Another spot for those with a restricted diet is the Quay Co-op, whose organic menu not only has endless options for vegans, but gluten- and nut-free recipes too. You won’t find a tastier or healthier meal. To wash it down, visit the Franciscan Well Brewery, a craft brewery that boasts one of the best beer gardens in the city. The Brew Pub has a huge range of craft beers and has food seven nights a week, including pizza prepared in their wood-burning oven. GO TO JAIL This imposing Cork City Gaol is well worth a visit, if only to get a sense of how awful life was for prisoners a century ago. An audio tour guides you around the restored cells, which feature models of suffering prisoners and sadistic-looking guards.

The tour is very moving, bringing home the harshness of the 19th-century penal system. The most common crime was that of poverty; many of the inmates were sentenced to hard labour for stealing loaves of bread. MUSIC Music in Cork city means big-name acts, a festival fever pitch of sounds and traditional music sessions sure to get your heart racing. It’s the home of the world-famous Guinness Jazz Festival, epicentre of a vibrant traditional music scene and the city that gave us rock god Rory Gallagher – Cork is a city with music in its soul.

The most common crime here was that of poverty; many inmates were sentenced to hard labour for stealing loaves of bread.

During the day, Plunkett Street is alive with the sounds of street musicians, but at night, music spills out of bars and clubs. Pubs like An Spailpín Fánach and Sin É, a lively spot on Coburg Street, host nightly traditional music sessions, while Coughlan’s and The White Horse feature more eclectic live sounds. Jazz Festival Director Sinead Dunphy puts it best when she says “There’s no need to have a single night in Cork without hearing some incredible music!” For music of a different flavour head for St. Anne’s Church Shandon in Cork City where the Shandon Bells are found. It is here if you climb the steeple you will have the opportunity to pick a tune and play it on the bells. Taking pride of place in Cork City’s history, at 121


A stunning heritage and cultural centre located at the western edge of the Dingle Peninsula, celebrating the unique culture and heritage of the famed but long abandoned Blasket Islands. A Signature Discovery Point along the Wild Atlantic Way and a destination in itself along the world-famous Slea Head Drive, the Blasket Centre is a “must see” experience. Enjoy the fascinating exhibits, amazing audio-visual presentation and striking architecture. Take in the breath-taking panoramas around this remote and wild location and soak up rich history of this Gaelic speaking corner of the world. A perfect spot in all weathers. Free parking, rest facilities, wifi, bookshop and a restaurant.

Dún Chaoin Dingle Peninsula, Tralee, Co. Kerry (066) 915 6444 / poster1bb.qxp_Layout 1 23/01/2017 14:11 Page 1

Responsible Whale and Dolphin Watching with zoologist Nic Slocum on board Voyager & Liscannor Star Tours from Baltimore Pier daily at 9.15am & 2.15pm (Booking Required)

+ 353 86 120 0027


the very top of St Anne’s Church you will see the weather vane which is a golden fish and the steeple also was known as the Four Face Liar due to incorrect times being displayed on all of the four side. The steeple of St. Anne’s Church was built with grey limestone on one side and the others were red limestone, in keeping with the Cork colors of Red and White. Shandon is only a short walk over the bridge from Cork City. MUSIC LEGENDS His influence can be heard in the playing of U2’s The Edge and Queen’s Brian May, and he was admired by Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Legendary blues and rock musician Rory Gallagher blazed a trail on endless tours, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He may have been born in County Donegal, but he grew up in Cork and to this day, fans come to the city to pay their respects to the master. When it comes to traditional Irish music, composer Seán Ó Riada heralded in a new age for the genre, merging modern and traditional techniques that rejuvenated the world’s love for traditional Irish tunes. The Cork man was a member of the trad band Ceoltóirí Chualann, which involved many of the founding members of The Chieftains. SEE THE STARS Blackrock Castle is a restored 16th-century castle that now hosts a science centre, planetarium and observatory. Standing at the mouth of the River Lee, the castle was rebuilt in 1827. Blackrock is today home to an interactive museum dedicated to the universe: the Big Bang, evolution theory, the origin of the continents, what microbes are, sending messages to outer space. The museum has come up with clever ways of inspiring visitors such as sending a message to space at the Pan Galactic Station - it will be sent at your command via the castle’s radio telescope and beamed towards nearby stars with known planets in orbit around them. The castle is also home to The Comet Chaser, Ireland’s first interactive theatre. In this cinematic gaming

experience, you make decisions that directly influence the design of a vital space mission to divert a comet on a crash course to collide with Earth. Using scientific principles to make critical decisions along the way, players in The Comet Chaser determine the outcome of the game. To see the areas that still remain as a castle the behind the scenes guided tours take place at 13:30 and 15:30. Your tour guide will bring the past present and future together and take you down to the dungeon and out on to the lower roof where you can take in views of Cork Harbour. FESTIVAL FEVER Cork’s music heritage is celebrated throughout the year in the form of rousing festivals that draw talent from across the globe. Each May, the Cork International Choral Festival sees world-class performers flock to the city for five days of concerts and competitions across 60 venues. 123


October means big brass, smooth tunes and infections beats at the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. The city comes alive with impromptu performances, entertaining some 40,000 music fans from around the world. Cork Folk Festival takes place the same month, with acoustic tunes and traditional music taking centre stage. From international and local acts to lectures, workshops and traditional set dancing, the city gives itself over to an infectious rhythm of unbeatable entertainment. A TROPICAL ISLAND Garnish Island near Glengarrif is one of the most unique places to visit in Cork. Situated in a protected part of Bantry Bay, the island has a micro-climate unlike anywhere else in Ireland. Here you will find exotic plant life not normally found in Ireland, plants that flourish due to the sheltered nature of the harbor and the effects of the warm gulf stream which pass by the island. Garinish is known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of rare beauty. The island is renowned for its richness of plant form and color which change continuously with the seasons. Pathways wind around the landscape, leading to a number of fascinating garden buildings, such as the Grecian temple, the clock tower, the casita, and an original Martello Tower. Bryce House, the family residence on the island for many years, is presented as it would have appeared during their lifetime. A selection from their vast collection of important paintings, prints, drawings, and books can be seen on display inside On the ferry ride to and from the island you will stop by the famous seal island, home to hundreds of fur seals. You should also look out for rare birds, such as white-tailed sea eagles, and you might even spot some dolphins. CAPE CLEAR With its lonely inlets, pebble beaches, and gorseand heather-clad cliffs, Cape Clear Island is the most southerly inhabited land in Ireland. Anyone with the slightest sense of adventure will enjoy a trip to this Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) island. 124

The trip from Baltimore takes only 40 minutes and you get a splendid view of the rugged coastline — and if you’re lucky some whales or dolphins — along the way. You are greeted by steep hillsides covered with heather, gorse and wild flowers, sparkling harbors and spectacular cliffs before the ferry slides into the narrow entrance of Trá Chiaráin, or North Harbour. This enchanting 5km-long island is home to 125 laidback residents living in splendid pastoral isolation within sight of mainland Ireland. Due to the island’s diminutive size and overall dearth of vehicles, it’s an absolute delight to stroll country lanes overlooking Roaringwater Bay and the Celtic Sea. The island has all the essentials - a restaurant, a shop and a pub! There is also a well-established bird observatory peaking in the third week of August as countless birds from the immense North Atlantic seabird colonies rush towards the southern hemisphere. On big days, truly amazing counts of 20,000 Manx shearwaters per hour have been recorded. Hourly counts of 1600 Cory’s shearwaters and 800 great shearwaters have also been noted, along with an impressive stream of razorbills, cormorants, skuas, puffins, kittiwakes and fulmars. St Kieran’s Church, dating from around the 12th century, is near the harbour and there are a number of prehistoric sites around the island. On the north-western flank stands the ruined O’Driscoll castle of Dún an Óir (fort of gold). It’s a steep climb from the harbour up to the old lighthouse and signal station, but the view from the top is breathtaking.

Stop at Ireland’s most southwesterly point, Mizen Head where you can cross the higharched bridge to find the Mizen Head Signal Station.

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse Tour & Cape Clear Island • Modern Comfortable Ferries with 360d panoramic upper deck viewing area! • Sail through Ireland’s Premier Whale and Dolphin watching waters! • Departures from Baltimore & Schull, West Cork Ireland. • Fáilte ar Bord! • Capacity for up to 90 passengers / +353 2839159/ +353 873899711

“The Bes Ireland’s t of Wild Atlantic Way” as seen in National Geograp hic!





he Irish government declared the coastal waters of Ireland a whale and dolphin sanctuary during the early 1990s. The first of its kind in Europe, this paved the way for whale watching to become a prime activity for locals and visitors alike. Coastal waters off West Cork are a summer feeding ground for a number of whale species and a year-round home for several resident dolphin species including the Harbour Porpoise. Baleen Whales commonly seen off the south coast include Fin Whales and


Minke Whales, which makes whale watching here some of the best in Europe. To date, 24 species of the world’s whales and dolphins have been recorded in Irish waters. In recent years over 12 cetacean species have been seen in the clear, unpolluted West Cork waters making them one of the richest areas for whale and dolphin watching in Ireland. West Cork has wide species diversity present


for over half the year. Minke whales arrive off our coast starting in March while Fin whales traditionally arrive in the late summer/early autumn. This is also the time the less predictable Humpback makes its presence known. Minke and Fin whales continue through to the early winter months providing some spectacular opportunities to view these large marine mammals only a few kilometres offshore. WHALE WATCHING TOURS Cork is legendary for its whale watching voyages and few do it better than zoologist Nic Slocum from Whale Watch West Cork. Based in Baltimore, Whale Watch West Cork is one of Ireland’s premier and longest established boat - based whale and dolphin watching operations. Nic Slocum and his expert team are outspoken advocates for marine conservation and sustainable wildlife tourism. Since its inception, Whale Watch West Cork have been ambassadors for the Wild Atlantic Way marketing initiative run by Fáilte Ireland and actively promote responsible whale and dolphin watching off the southwest of Ireland. Nic has a PhD and has appeared as an expert commentator on both radio and television championing marine wildlife watching in Ireland. With legendary on - board commentaries and

over 30 years’ experience of watching whales and dolphins from boats, the Whale Watch West Cork team are ideally qualified to conduct whale and dolphin watching tours for all age groups. Whale Watch West Cork is a founder member of The World Cetacean Alliance and received their 2014 Worldwide Responsible Whale Watching Award followed by the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Silver Award. As an active ambassador promoting responsible whale and dolphin watching both in Ireland and around the world Whale Watch West Cork has become one of Ireland’s most established, qualified and experienced whale and dolphin watching tour operators. The catamarans, Voyager and Liscannor Star are specially designed for whale and dolphin watching off West Cork. With spacious decks, seating for all guests, covered wheelhouse and toilets on board, customer comfort is assured. Both vessels are fully licensed by The Department of Transport (Marine Division) and have state of the art navigation and safety systems installed as standard. With detailed safety briefings prior to departure, restricting passenger numbers to 12 on each boat per trip and the mandatory wearing of life jackets, all guests are assured of a safe, enjoyable and informative wildlife viewing experience.

WEST CORK WHALE SEASON: March to June – Risso’s Dolphins March to November – Minke Whales April to June – Basking Sharks April to December – Common Dolphins May to December – Humpback Whales June to August – Atlantic Sunfish June to December – Fin Whales 127

Castleisland Golf Course

Dingle Golf Links C e a n n

Castleisland Golf Course overlooking the N21 and its scenic views of the county make it the gateway golf course to Kerry. A parkland Course built in 2001 on 200 acres to the highest championship standards with modern sand based greens and tees has now matured into a gem of a golf course. The quality of the course, its strategic location, scenic views, wonderful hospitality and great deals is well worth a visit. Email: | Phone 066 7141709

S i b é a l

Experience the Dingle Peninsula’s only 18 hole links course located on the famous Wild Atlantic Way. Nestled on the edge of Ireland’s dramatic south west coastline, Dingle Golf Links is a special place to play. Book now to play one of Ireland’s top Golf Courses. Dingle Golf Links Ceann Sibéal, Ballyferriter, Co Kerry, Ireland Tel: +353 66 915 62 55 Email:

Kerry Taxi Tours BESPOKE DAY TOURS AIRPORT TRANSFERS GOLF TRANSFERS + 353 (0) 85 788 2288 /KerryTaxiTours @KerryTaxiTours


Kingdom County CELEBRATES



ounty Kerry is a world-famous visitor destination. It is considered the birthplace of Irish tourism. It is known worldwide for its stunning scenery, mountains, lakes, Blue Flag beaches, historic sites, outdoor adventure locations, Irish culture, Gaelic footballers and friendly people, but few may know that the Kingdom County was the birthplace of two telecommunications revolutions in the 19th and 20th centuries that changed the world.

We now take global communication for granted; it’s part of our everyday lives - talking, Skyping, linking up with family and friends daily in all parts of the world; sharing vacation stories, videos and images. However, in the mid-19th century it’s hard to believe that it took a week or more to send a message by ship from America to Europe and the same length of time to get a reply! This was before the laying of the TransAtlantic telegraph cable from Knightstown, 129


Valentia Island in County Kerry to Hearts Content, Newfoundland and onwards to New York. The first connection was made in August 1858 and the connection became permanent from July 1866. This represented the start of our interconnected world and many advances including the standardization of time, standard units of measurement and globalization of trade. The driving force behind the ambitious plan to lay the undersea telegraph cable – the technological equivalent of putting a man on the Moon today – was Cyrus W. Field. He was a paper magnate based in New York and was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts 200 years ago this year. Field built up a network of political, financial and scientific support to achieve what was regarded as virtually impossible for the time 130

– the laying of an undersea telegraph cable from the old world to the new. His main collaborator on the European side was Sir Peter Fitzgerald, the Knight of Kerry, who lived on Valentia Island and was the owner of the famous Valentia Slate Quarry. Sir Peter, himself an entrepreneur, embraced the project with enthusiasm. The first telegram was sent by Queen Victoria to US President James Buchanan on the 16th of August 1858. Now the people of Valentia, with the support of Kerry County Council, the Irish State and several businesses are planning to conserve the old slate yard and building from where the first message was sent in 1858 and also restore the former Valentia Cable Station which was the hub of transAtlantic communication from 1868 to 1966.

Kerry is known worldwide for its stunning scenery, mountains & lakes, Blue Flag beaches, historic sites, outdoor adventure, Irish culture and friendly people.


The technological achievements on Valentia are regarded as being of outstanding universal value meriting UNESCO World Heritage recognition and this process has begun. Meanwhile, some sixty years later in Ballybunion, the picturesque seaside town in North Kerry, was the location from where the very first spoken words were exchanged, east-west, across the Atlantic from the town’s Marconi Radio Station. This year, 2019, is the centenary of this historic broadcast. As a young boy Guglielmo Marconi built a laboratory in the attic of his home in Italy where he experimented with sound waves. Many years later, on March 19, 1919, the fruits of his labor came together when the first spoken words were transmitted across the Atlantic by his engineers at the radio station he owned in Ballybunion, to Nova Scotia in Canada. Marconi bought a radio station that had been built in the Kerry town and used by the British Navy to monitor submarine activity during the First World War. The station consisted of one 500ft mast surrounded by six smaller 300ft masts on a massive 72-acre site. It must have looked pretty odd in a small Irish town in the early 1900’s!

Marconi installed personnel and equipment at the station and on March 19, 1919, Irish steeplejack Michael Daly climbed the mast, installed the aerial, and one of Marconi’s engineers, W.T. Ditcham, made the historic transmission to Nova Scotia, uttering the words: “Hello Canada, hello Canada.” It was a massive feat of engineering. There are stories about how the equipment actually arrived at Ballybunion. It was transported first to Listowel with the intention of putting it on monorail to Ballybunion but it was too big for the narrow gauge Lartigue monorail, so a steam generator was brought in to transport it. It took three weeks to carry the equipment from Listowel to Ballybunion – a journey of just nine miles. In this centenary year Guglielmo’s daughter Princess Elettra Marconi Giovanelli and her son Prince Guglielmo Giovanelli Marconi travelled to Ballybunion to join in the celebrations. While the 500ft masts are long since gone the Marconi Radio Building (now an Irish Language College) remains and is located just 300 yards from Ballybunion’s internationally renowned golf course. I wonder did Marconi play a round when he visited Ballybunion? 131

gifts | food | drink

Killarney National Park Tel: 064 663340 E:


gifts | food | drink

Explore and experience the real Ireland with our small group tours ranging from 1 to 13 days, with everything included from accommodation, transport, meals and in-depth culture! Enjoy breathtaking views gifts | food | drink of Killarney's Lakes from our new roof terrace Cafe "Altitude"

We’ll take you off the beaten track, making sure we get to those magical, hard to reach places, such as secluded beaches or dramatic cliff tops. PRIVATE VACATIONS FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Gift Shop * Cafe * Bar Throws * Perfumes Kinitwear * Jewellery Lace and Headwear

Travel in a small group on one of our pre-arranged itineraries, or let us design the perfect Irish experience for you. Tel: +353 (0)86 160 66 04 Email: Web:



11/03/2016 13:56

Waterville Golf Links is a championship links rated 10th in Golf World “Top 100 in Britain and Ireland”. It is the #1 course in the Republic of Ireland whose membership includes, among players, Tiger Woods and Mark O’ Meara. Waterville hosted the 2014 Irish Seniors Amateur and, as in the years past, it is the favorite links for US Tour players before the British Open. The Georgian Manor is a 18th century manor house that sits on a narrow isthmus facing the wild Atlantic with beautiful Lough Currane on its eastern perimeter. Aside from its comfort and charm, the four star residence has 13 bedrooms and a private Fazio designed practice facility. Guests enjoy preferential tee times and access to fishing the famous Butler’s Pool and private rivers and lakes.


353 (0)66-9474102


COMING UP ROSES Tralee, the Kerry capital, located 20 miles from Ballybunion, celebrates its own anniversary this year – the diamond jubilee of The Rose of Tralee International Festival founded in 1959. The Rose of Tralee Festival is one of Ireland’s largest festivals taking its inspiration from a 19th-century ballad about a woman called Mary O’Connor, Tralee’s First Rose (a woman of outstanding beauty and charm) written by her loved one, William Pembroke Mulchinock. The heart of the festival is the selection of the ‘Rose’ which brings young women of Irish descent from all around the world to County Kerry for a global celebration of Irish culture. The week-long festival in mid-August also includes street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, funfair, fireworks and the internationally renowned Rose Parade and Rose Selection in the famous Festival Dome. This year will be the 60th year of the Rose festival with winners from every decade of the festival’s

history taking part, including the inaugural winner of the competition in 1959, Alice O’Sullivan. Talking about her memories of the event 60 years ago, Ms. O’Sullivan said: “My immediate overriding memory would be the heat because the movie cameras were on. There was no television in those days, or no Irish television anyway, but there were things like Movietone News who had cameras with lights that were tremendously hot.” The contest that year was subsequently shown to members of the public in cinemas in Dublin and elsewhere in Ireland, “when we still had loads of cinemas”, she recalled. The 1959 contest only had five participants: Ms. O’Sullivan from Dublin, Maura Brown from Birmingham, Sheila Horgan from New York, Kathleen Sheehy from Tralee and Angela Flynn from London.

The Rose of Tralee International Festival celebrates 60 years in 2019, and is one of Ireland’s oldest and largest festivals located in the heart of the Kingdom of Kerry

“In 1959, Ireland was a very grey place to my memory and we didn’t usually have things like the Rose festival,” said Ms. O’Sullivan. “It was brilliant because it was full of light, fireworks, street 133


festivities, street entertainment and the races were going on in Tralee at the same time. It was really fantastic, there was a real festival atmosphere.” Describing the Rose of Tralee as the centerpiece for a really good festival week and commenting on the longevity of the festival Ms. O’Sullivan said: “It has really put the town of Tralee on the map. It does well on television and that’s getting the message out there about the town of Tralee and about Kerry that it’s a really good place to be. Anyone who’s thinking of entering the Rose of Tralee should just go for it!”

in the town center. Killarney House is one of the few grand houses that opens up onto the world’s biggest front garden - Ireland’s Killarney National Park.

The 2019 event runs from Friday August 23rd to Tuesday, August 27th. If you happen to visit Tralee outside the Rose Festival be sure to view the beautiful Rose of Tralee Memorial and Rose Wall of Honour in the spectacular Tralee Town Park.

Killarney House and Gardens is a treasure of Killarney National Park, located on the doorstep of Killarney town center. The house and gardens offer a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the busy town. Its weaving pathways through carefully manicured gardens provide an oasis of calm. Much more than that, Killarney House is an ideal starting point for a journey exploring the wonders of the National Park. The ‘Golden Gates’ that stand guard at the main entrance form a portal to the wonders of the National Park beyond. As you pass through these (black!) gates, the sounds of the town fade away and the magic of the park begins.

KILLARNEY HOUSE Killarney, famous for its scenery, mountains and lakes, has a new indoor visitor attraction right

The original Killarney House was home to the Earls of Kenmare and was built in the early 18th century. Known locally as ‘The Mansion’,


In the picturesque seaside town of Ballybunion, the very first spoken words were exchanged, eastwest, across the Atlantic from the town’s Marconi Radio Station.


this sprawling structure was considered one of the finest houses in Ireland at the time. After the death of the last Earl of Kenmare in the 1950s, the house and its adjoining lands were sold to an American investor syndicate and then to Irish American John McShain, when it came into its own as the Irish homestead of the ‘man who built Washington.’ John McShain was instrumental in the construction of The Pentagon, the Jefferson Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Library of Congress annex and Washington National Airport, as well as the 1949–52 reconstruction of the White House. Mr. McShain also built the Franklin D. Roosevelt

Library at Hyde Park, New York. He and his wife Mary used Killarney House as their summer residence from 1958 until 1998.

Killarney House is one of the few grand houses that opens up onto the world’s biggest front garden, the Killarney National Park.

The house eventually became public property after Mary’s death in 2009 and there it lay, falling into a dilapidated state until a €7m makeover by the Irish Government and Fáilte Ireland restored the house and gardens to their former glory complete with original antiques once owned by the Earls of Kenmare. With Muckross House and Gardens and the 15th Century Ross Castle just on the outskirts of the town, Killarney now has yet another cultural and heritage tourism attraction and it’s free to access.

Supported by the Tourism Unit, Kerry County Council 135


Kerry Fast Facts


se of ‘The Kingdom’ to refer to Kerry dates back to 65AD when one of the O’Connor clan took control of the area. The O’Connor chieftain’s name was Ciar (pronounced keer) and his descendants became known as Ciar-raigh, (pronounced keer-ree), which roughly translates to Ciar’s people or Ciar’s kingdom. FOSSIL FOOTPRINTS The discovery of tetrapod footprints on Valentia Island in 1993 took the history of Kerry back 365 million years. This large amphibian animal walked on soft sediment on the shoreline of Valentia Island. The footprints are preserved in the rock as shallow impressions. The Tetrapod and the footprints are the oldest known fossilized footprints in the world. They are also the earliest record of vertebrates moving onto land, breathing air, walking on all four limbs, and are also the first fossil record of an amphibian animal. This was


a time when Ireland was south of the Equator and you could have walked into Philadelphia, USA. A GOAT FOR A KING At over 400 years old the Puck Fair in Listowel is Ireland’s oldest traditional festival. It is the only festival in the world where a wild mountain goat is crowned king. The festival, which runs from August 10 to 12 attracting over 80,000 visitors is said to be linked to the Celtic festival of Lughnasa, which symbolizes the beginning of harvest. The goat was a symbol of pagan fertility. Every year locals captured a wild goat in the Macgillycuddy Reeks and brought it back to town. Mulvihill writes that one of the best-known goat catchers was Michael ‘Butty’ Sugrue, once known as Ireland’s strongest man. The “Queen of Puck,” usually a young schoolgirl crowns the goat “King Puck.” The

goat is placed in a small cage on a high stand for three days as the locals celebrate with markets, entertainment and pubs staying open until 3am. At the end of the fair, the goat is released back into the wild. THE BOND CONNECTION It is widely believed that James Bond’s boss ‘M’ was inspired by a man named William Melville from Sneem, Co. Kerry. After moving to London as a young man, he joined the London Metropolitan Police where he was a founder of the Special Irish Branch which monitored Irish Nationalists and subversives. In 1903, Melville became head of the British Secret Service and went by the code name ‘M’ to hide his identity. In 1909, the British War Office set up a counter-espionage service, the Secret Service Bureau, later named MI5 and MI6. William Melville was appointed Chief of the Bureau and many of the tactics and methods developed by him are still in use


today. The nature and secrecy of Melville’s work meant he was practically unknown, however, the creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming, did know about him because he too worked for the Secret Service. MOUNTAINS, LAKES AND COTTAGES Kerry owes much of its inherent beauty to dramatic geological phenomena millions of years ago. Movement of the earth’s plates delivered up the lofty McGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountains, stretching out across 12 miles of Kerry landscape. The Reeks are also home to Ireland’s highest lake, Cummeenoughter Lake, nicknamed The Devil’s Looking Glass, which is 2,320 feet above sea level. Major volcanoes created the stunning scenery of the Blasket Islands, while massive glaciers carved out the Gap of Dunloe and the magnificent lake-filled Killarney Valley. And where might you find the oldest thatched cottage in Ireland? In Kerry of course! Sheehan’s Thatched House at Finuge Cross, near Listowel, was built over 300 years ago and is the oldest surviving authentic thatched house in Ireland. The house is a three-bay single story example of a “direct entry” type of traditional Irish house. It is rectangular in plan, with each room opening into the next without a passage or central hall, and the entrances and windows are found on the side rather than the end walls. The walls are of rubble stone construction, finished with a lime-based wash. The house also features a traditional half-door, which in the bygone days offered important advantages: it allowed a good deal of both daylight and fresh air into the house while at the same time keeping the angry hens out. It also served as an armrest while the owner chatted to a passing neighbor. GREAT EXPLORATION Tom Crean was born near Annascaul, Co. Kerry. A seaman and Antarctic explorer, he was part of the Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott to the South Pole. He was also part of Ernest Shackleton’s mission on board the ship Endurance (1914-16) and became the hero of the doomed venture. During the Endurance expedition, the crew abandoned ship after it became locked in the ice of the Wendell Sea. They sailed in three small boats to the desolate Elephant Island before Crean and five companions, including Shackleton, journeyed 800 miles in the tiny James Caird to South Georgia, marched 40 miles across its uncharted, glaciered interior to reach a whaling station and returned for the castaways on Elephant Island. After making it to safety, Cream returned to Annascaul, where he set up the pub, The South Pole, with his wife, Ellen.

South Pole Inn Home of Antarctic hero Tom Crean 1877-1938 Hot Food – Cold Beer – Warm Welcome Lower Main Street, Annascaul, Co. Kerry 066 9157388



A Star is Born


t’s a story based in Killarney that could have been scripted in Hollywood. And the central characters are Skellig Micheal, Star Wars and an enterprising Kerry businessman. Skellig a spectacular pyramid of rock rising high out of the wild Atlantic Ocean off the Kerry coast - is home to a 6th-century monastic settlement which features in the dramatic final scene of The Force Awakens, when it is revealed as the mysterious secret location where Rey (Daisy Ridley) finally comes faceto-face with Luke Skywalker.


Within moments of the announcement that Star Wars was going to film the key sequence of The Force Awakens on the iconic Skellig islands, Killarney man Declan Mulvany, a regular visitor to Skellig Michael, had come up with a design idea that would quickly become a phenomenon. A keen birdwatcher, the idea came about while he was working on an image he had taken of Puffins huddled together on Skellig Michael. As he played with the image, one of the normally cute little creatures donned a sinister Vader like mask, as if he had moved over to the ‘dark side’ and hey presto, Skellig-Wars T-shirts was born. Not only did they fly out the door of his and Joan Moriarty’s Killarney store, The Irish Pub Shop, they made national headlines in Ireland’s media. The ‘Hollywood couldn’t have scripted this’ moment came later when the Star Wars crew filmed the sequel in Kerry and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark

Hamill, chose to wear a Skellig Wars t-shirt to the wrap party for The Last Jedi. And it didn’t stop there: in another remarkable plot twist for Declan’s creations the producers of the movie loved the Skellig Wars idea so much that they asked him to design and produce a bespoke official crew edition for the entire cast and crew involved on The Last Jedi. “It was an incredible experience to have had such an amazing reaction to Skellig Wars and to have been associated in my own small way with the people behind a part of movie history,” said Declan. The initial Skellig Wars T-shirt design, which featured the Vader-like Puffin has since been developed into a range of quality products in The Irish Pub Shop’s premium end merchandise. “When myself and Joan decided to open the Irish Pub Shop, we were very clear about what we wanted it to be, and that most certainly wasn’t a shop selling tacky ‘shamrock and shillelagh’ stuff to tourists.

We wanted to be different; different in what we sold and in how we delivered it, we wanted to create a great experience for anybody interested in high-quality Irish-made products, in a friendly environment,” said Mulvany. “While the Skellig Wars T-shirts are undoubtedly our most high-profile product, we source and sell the best of Irish crafts from leather smiths, jewelers, glass makers and much more,” he said.

The latest addition to the Skellig Wars collection is an Irishlanguage T-shirt featuring the slogan: ‘Go Mbeidh an fórsa leat‘ - May the force be with you! The building on Killarney’s Main Street which is home to The Irish Pub Shop’s Aladdin’s cave of beautiful creativity also has another treat in store for shoppers on its upstairs level. This bright and airy space is a stunning sensation of vibrant color, with walls adorned by original paintings from many of Ireland’s leading artists. This is the Killarney Art Gallery, which Declan established back in 1990. +353 (0) 87 276 7999 32, Main Street, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland V93 HF 76

Horse Riding Holidays & Horse Trekking in County Wicklow WICKLOW EQUI TOURS

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Located between Galway and Clifden, Peacockes is a family run hotel in the heart of Connemara. With an onsite Gift Shop, Fireside Bar, Restaurant and Viewing Tower, it’s the perfect base for visitors to explore the natural beauty that Connemara has to offer. Accommodation | Bar & Restaurant | Free WiFi Gift Shop | Viewing Tower | Livestock Mart The Quiet Man Replica Cottage | Free Parking

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Ireland's Most CHERISHED



reland’s Best Places is a competition run by Royal Town Planning Institute Ireland (RTPI) to celebrate some of the most attractive and inspiring places in Ireland and the role that town planners have played in protecting or shaping them for communities and visitors alike. Dublin has so many attractions that the selection of Grand Canal Square may seem incongruous to some, however, for those who have walked across its great red carpet, this is a square built

on a very grand scale. Grand Canal Square is an exciting urban space in Dublin’s Docklands. Designed by American Landscape Architect, Martha Schwartz, at 10,000 sq meters the square is one of the largest paved public spaces in Dublin city. It includes one of the most innovative landscape design projects ever undertaken in Ireland and as a result it has become a key cultural destination for Docklands and the city.

The ten places that made the shortlist are: Abbeyleix, Co Laois Cobh, Co Cork Cork City Centre Dingle, Co Kerry Grand Canal Square in Dublin The Great Western Greenway, Co Mayo Greystones, Co Wicklow Kilkenny City Centre Lough Boora Parklands, Co Offaly Tully Cross, Co Galway 141


Grand Canal Square is located at the west end of Grand Canal Dock with the Daniel Libeskind designed Grand Canal Theatre on the east side and the Manual Aires Matues designed 5-star hotel to the north. The square features a striking composition of a red ‘carpet’ effect extending from the theatre into and over the dock. This is crossed by a green carpet of paving with lawns and vegetation. The red carpet is made of bright red resin-glass paving covered with red glowing angled light sticks while the green carpet of polygon-shaped planters filled with marsh like vegetation provides seating – popular at lunch time as it also sits along the waterside.

This pretty coastal town was originally a fishing village and Victorian seaside resort, and the seafront around the harbor is picture postcard perfect. In summer the bay is a hive of activity and there are two sandy beaches. The town itself is idyllic with vintage shops, boutiques, cafes and some excellent restaurants.

Just outside of Dublin and accessible by public transport (DART) is the pretty town of Greystones, also nominated as a ‘Most Cherished’ place.

Another great waterside location is the City of Tribes (Galway), often touted as a ‘must see’ for visitors to the west of Ireland. For the Town


Expatriate Bostonian Kathleen Kelleher says that Greystones in Co Wicklow is “the place to be.” The town’s ex-mayor said the former fishing village has “everything you could imagine,” including a stunning harbor and marina as well as a slew of local amenities and easy access.


Planning Institute, however, a small village located on the Renvyle Peninsula in north-west Connemara gets a special mention. The thriving community of Tully Cross is well served by a local shop, a taxi service, draper, garage, café, hotel and two pubs. Colin Coyne, who runs his late grandfather’s Paddy’s pub in Tully Cross said there are many reasons why the idyllic village should get the nod. Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way in Connemara, the village is “a little gem,” he says. “It is local, friendly, and when you find it, you know we’re here,” he said. Paddy’s Pub, which also doubles as the local undertakers, has the unique distinction of being the last pub before Manhattan. “For such a small village, it’s buzzing,” Coyne says.

The village boasts a collection of nine replica thatched cottages - a romantic blend of the rustic and the modern, combining the traditional design of the authentic Irish thatched cottage and modern-day home comforts including cozy turf fires. The local church overlooks the village square and is well worth a visit to see the striking stained-glass windows by renowned artist Harry Clarke. Clarke was an Irish artist working in the Arts and Crafts tradition whose intricate glass technique earned him many overseas commissions. In Tully Cross you can enjoy the serenity of Christ the King Church gazing on three of Clarke’s windows flooding the church with color and light. 143

WHERE TIME STANDS STILL Join us for our world famous sing songs with live music seven nights a week! Full bar food and restaurant menus available daily Open 7 days a week from 10.30am

For bookings call

(061) 364 861 find us on facebook

Bunratty, Co. Clare



We go where the big buses cannot.

‘’Dingle with Mossie is a Must Mossie should be designated an Irish national treasure. Experiencing the land, the language, the people and the music through his eyes was life changing. Make sure a tour with Mossie is on your bucket list ‘’ snora2018, Chicago, Illinois

HALF DAY TOUR • Slea Head Drive • Gallarus Oratory • Riasc Monastic Settlement • Kilmalkedar • Brandon Creek and more

EXTENDED TOURS • Cliffs of Moher • Connemara • The Burren and beyond

FULL DAY TOUR Dingle Peninsula • Slea Head Drive • Famine Tour • Coumeenole Beach • Dunmore Head Walk • Gallarus Oratory • Kilmalkedar • Blasket Islands (weather permitting)

Ring of Kerry • Killarney National Park • Ross Castle • Caherdanoel House • Staigue Fort • Portmagee • Skellig Rock (seasonal)

In order to enhance your experience of our beautiful country we focus on small groups and families. Call us and we will be happy to organize a tour to suit your interests.

+353 (0) 87

390 4704/87 207 9981


One of the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way, Dingle is a delightful combination of scenic beauty, character filled pubs and a welcome like no other. Famed for its rugged beauty and indigenous cultural heritage, the area has long been a draw for both Irish and foreigner visitors

alike. With a large Irish speaking population and some of Ireland’s highest mountains, liveliest pubs and most beautiful beaches, the area has something to offer everyone. According to Seamus Fitzgerald, a local farmer 145


and councilor in Dingle, his town is the best in the land. The fishing village on the Dingle Peninsula boasts sandy beaches, rugged hiking trails and is home to Fungie, the bottlenose dolphin whose close interaction with locals and visitors have charmed young and old over the past 30 years. The RTPI say that, “planners have made good use of the fishing village’s natural environment to enhance the place while respecting its historical architecture and community ethos”. 146

For Mr Fitzgerald, the place has a unique feel. “Dingle has a magic to it that I just can’t describe,” he says. “I suppose it’s the scenery, the mountains and the ocean. It’s like an island within an island. There’s great spirit and a real ‘can-do’ attitude. Plus, it also has the best pubs in the world!” Lonely Planet sums it up well: Framed by its fishing port, the peninsula’s charming little capital manages to be quaint without even trying. Some


pubs double as shops, so you can enjoy Guinness and a singalong among screws and nails, wellies and horseshoes. It has long drawn runaways from across the world, making it a cosmopolitan, creative place. In summer its hilly streets can be clogged with visitors; in other seasons its authentic charms are yours for the savoring. The fact that Dingle is in the Gaeltacht and has a thriving maritime industry as well as great live music sessions are also some of its rare

qualities. Gaeltacht regions are small rural pockets of Ireland, where the Irish language (Gaeilge) is widely used on a day-to-day basis. In such areas Irish culture and traditions are kept very much alive, offering an authentic Irish experience for visitors. Many of the Gaeltachtai are situated along the western seaboard of Ireland’s Atlantic Coast, well off the beaten track and set amongst some of the finest, most timeless scenery in Ireland.

Some pubs double as shops, so you can enjoy a pint and a singalong among screws and nails, wellies and horseshoes.





Family owned and run for over 100 years, and home to the “University of Ticknock”. The longest running traditional music session every Wednesday from 9.30pm for almost 40 years. Off street heated smoking area and beer garden. Great craic and a warm welcome guaranteed

An Unmissable Experience! Cobh, The Queenstown Story An informative and emotive story of Irish emigration. Learn about Cobh’s connection with Titanic and the Lusitania. Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland. Open 7 days 9.30 – 5.30 (Sundays 11am) Tel 353 (21) 4 813591 Find Cobh the Queenstown Story on Facebook

Email: Web:


Cobh is a charming waterfront town dotted with brightly colored houses and overlooked by the splendid St Colman’s Cathedral. Situated on the shores of the second largest natural harbor in the world (the first being Sydney Harbour in Australia), this pretty town is steeped in history

and culture where every person, every pier and every stunning piece of architecture has a story to tell. For a relatively small town there’s always a lot going on. A myriad of festivals and events 149


compliment the scenic attractions. The Cobh Arts Festival and the Ukulele Festival take place each year in May while the Cork Harbour Festival which incorporates the Ocean to City rowing race from the mouth of Cork Harbour to Cork City takes place in June. Summer Swing sessions and live music on the Victorian bandstand feature every Sunday afternoon from May until September. At the end of June each year, Cobh’s maritime connections are embraced when the annual Trad Sail Festival Regatta takes place. One of the highlights of the summer is the annual regatta in August. This three-day festival 150

is a land lubber’s feast of entertainment ending with a spectacular firework show. The Cobh International Sea Angling Festival and the Cobh Blues ‘n’ Roots Festival, keep September busy. So, all in all, there is constantly a very good excuse to visit the town! Cobh has become a popular cruise ship destination with upwards of 85 cruise liners visiting the town annually. Docking in the town center these magnificent liners fill the area with activity as up to 5,000 tourists from all around the world disembark to explore everything


Cobh has to offer. On many liner days Cobh’s promenade will be full of stalls selling all sorts of arts, craft and foods. Many of the bars will have live music both day and night to entertain visitors and Cobh Tourism Ambassadors are out in force to offer help and advice as well as answering any questions visitors have. At the end of the day when a cruise liner departs, the Cobh Confraternity Band plays on the bandstand to wish the visitors a farewell making for a lovely atmosphere in the town. Nestled under the magnificent St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh looks out onto Spike Island. Accessed via ferry, Spike has a long and interesting history with some great stories to be told during guided tours around the island, fort, prison and visitor center. In the last 1,300 years Spike Island has hosted to a 6th century monastery, a 24-acre fortress, and the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times. The island is dominated by the 200-year-old Fort Mitchel, the star shaped Fortress which became a prison holding over 2,300 prisoners.

Follow the Trail From the millions of emigrants who left from Cork Harbour, to the stories of the Famine, Titanic and maritime exploration, Cobh’s heritage runs deep. Over the last number of years, travelers have become more discerning about the places they visit, seeking out the real stories behind the built architecture and landscape. Dr. Michael Martin of Cobh, Ireland is a vibrant and enthusiastic historian who believes that historical narrative must always be accurate but never be boring. His walking tour of Cobh, established in 1998, gives fascinating insights into Titanic, Lusitania, emigration from Ireland and much more. The aptly named ‘Titanic Trail’ operates every day, year-round (except Christmas day) and is a 60-minute gentle stroll through

the heritage town of Cobh. It explores the diverse and magnificent history of Cork harbor, its environs and the architecturally preserved town. The engaging narrative brings together the amazing maritime, emigrant and social history of the area. Cobh was the main departure point for millions of Irish emigrants to the USA. It was the last port of call for RMS Titanic (where some lucky passengers disembarked!) and it received the victims and survivors after the sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War. Over many centuries, the invasions, departures, arrivals and utilization of the port by many different peoples have crafted a fascinating story that will enthrall and engage the visitor no matter what their interests. In addition to the daily

guided tour at 11am from in front of the Commodore Hotel, Cobh, Martin also provides historical lectures and special private tours to those who want to delve a little deeper. He is the author of several books on different historical topics and truly loves providing different perspectives on what people thought they knew about Titanic and more. There are eight different tours to choose from including a train journey and an evening Ghost tour. For an engaging and engrossing experience, follow in the footsteps of time with Dr. Martin through the streets and environs of Cobh, visiting locations directly connected to the Titanic and many other aspects of Cork history and heritage. 151


Cobh Rebel Walking Tours

View the places visited by leading rebel figures like, Patrick, Pearse, James Connelly, Rodger Casement. Also see the last port of call by the ill-fated Titanic before meeting its tragic end.

‘’Absolutely loved the Cobh walking tour with Kieran. He was full of knowledge on the history of the area. It was wonderful learning about the local ties to the Titanic and learning about the perspective of the Irish rebels during the rebellion against the British colonial rule. This tour is a must for the history lovers, and for those who want to learn the other side of the historical perspective regarding the Irish struggle for independence, the potato famine that led to Irish immigration to the U.S and so much more’’

Una 5 star review Air BNB Jan 19

Group Bookings Welcome

Book Your Place on COBH REBEL WALKING TOURS NOW Price - €12 adults, and €8 for students and children.

Bookings: Phone 089 483 2126 or E-mail: In CONJUNCTION – COBH REBEL WALKING TOURS & MAURETANIA BAR

1916 IRISH CUISINE @ Mauretania Bar

Enjoy a set menu with a range of ingredients, traditions and dishes within the Irish Culture of 1916 Black and White Pudding Oxtail Soup

All included in the price

2 hour – Cobh Rebel Walking Tour and then relax and enjoy a 1916 Rebel meal in the Mauretania Bar, a classic Irish Pub overlooking the beautiful harbour of Cobh.

Potato Cakes, Irish Stew Bacon and Cabbage Brown Soda Bread 1 Pint of the good stuff 089 483 2126 152


pp 085 716 2793 Dollar payment accepted - ECB daily exchange rates apply.


A Rebel TOUR T

here’s more to Cobh than the shipping tragedies of the Titanic and Lusitania. Learn all about Cobh’s rebel past through sixteen historical sites with writer and historian Kieran McCarthy. First time visitors to Cobh are invariably intrigued not just with the beautiful scenery and historic buildings, but by the huge tapestry of historic stories linked with this old harbor port. Few towns in Ireland can boast such a rich maritime and colonial heritage and at the same time, a town that played a prominent role in the country’s revolutionary War of Independence. Cobh Rebel Walking Tours not only takes visitors on a scenic twohour leisurely walk around the town (taking in sixteen key historical sites relating to the Irish War of Independence), but also relays to visitors a feast of local historical knowledge, including the world-renowned maritime tragedies of the Titanic and Lusitania. “The other thing that invariably happens with people who come on the tour is that they all say how enlightening the experience has been, how truly revealing it was to learn so much of historical significance that happened in a small harbor community,” explains Kieran McCarthy.

Tour highlights include stories of conquest, the military and naval settlements, and the establishment of the British Admiralty in the town. Kieran enthralls his audience with tales of convict labor and transportation from the port via Spike Island which once operated as the largest prison in the world, as well as the transportation of food and people through the port during the years of the Great Hunger 1845-52. Discover how the town held three different names over a period of 71 years –initially Cove before 1849 when it became Queenstown, and later in 1920 Cobh, intended at the time to be a temporary transitional name until a later plebiscite –which never happened.

everything changed, and with the outbreak of the rebellion in Dublin, nothing would ever be the same again. From Easter 1916, the Cobh company of the Irish Volunteers played a huge role in the organizing, training and procurement of arms for all other East Cork volunteer units in the region, and they took command of the 4th Battalion of the First Cork Brigade area. Once the War of Independence formally got underway in January 1919, the Cobh company of the IRA again played a leadership role in guerrilla warfare in the region, including with the East Cork Flying Column, contributing in no small part to ultimately bringing Britain to the negotiating table.

A PERIOD OF REDEMPTION More than anything else, what visitors find truly remarkable is that at its peak in world dominance, the British Empire had come under attack from within, in the heart of its Irish naval heartland in Cobh Harbour. For it was here at the naval dockyard on Haulowline Island that several apprentices in November 1913 joined the ranks of the Irish Volunteers. At first nobody took the Volunteers seriously, for at worst, they sought nothing more than home rule from Britain, and most did so in a constitutional manner. By 1916 however,

This is the story that Cobh Rebel Walking Tours conveys, a story told with the backdrop of local historical sites, revealing the local characters who executed the war and who outfoxed and outfought the British. After completing the Rebel Tour, you can avail of an authentic 1916 period meal in conjunction with the Mauretania Bar. Alternatively, you can relax and simply enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of this historic Irish pub whilst indulging in an Irish Coffee or other local beverage at a discounted tour participant price. 153

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower are an essential part of the structural heritage in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East

The Cathedral Church of St Canice, The Close, Coach Rd, Kilkenny City, Ireland, R95 V63H. Phone : +353 (0)56 7764971 Email :

Visit for opening times and admission prices

N I A C T TRAIL I T E H T ‘’ It is the lo operating ngest attraction Titanic in Ireland ’’ Titanic Tra il a truly au , offers Titanic ex thentic perience. Tours dail y all year ro 11am und

Cultural Tour | Ghost Tour | Centenary Tour | Titanic Train Excursion | Titanic Insight Tour One of Ireland’s most entertaining and innovative guided walking tours. Brings to life the fascinating stories of Cobh and Cork Harbour, Titanic’s last port of call. Hear about the emigration of millions from the port, the tragedy of the Lusitania and Titanic, the wonder of maritime exploration and the dark story of Spike Island. Recommended by National Geographic, Rick Steeve’s Guide, Filmed by 20th Century Fox, the BBC and much more ‘’Tour brought to life by passionate guides who can answer any question you throw at them. A must do in Ireland. ‘’ (visitor testimonials,

Operating daily from 11am all year round since 1998.

Book Now on WWW.TITANIC.IE Tel: +353 87 767218 Company Registration No. 453719 VAT No. 9749852K Directors: Michael Martin, Geraldine Martin


Kilkenny is the ideal place to walk in the footsteps of Ireland’s Ancient East. A large number of Norman castles and abbeys make this one of Ireland’s most historic counties yet for all of its antiquity the city boasts a vibrant nightlife and a rich array of arts and crafts. The city’s treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks is exemplified by the magnificent Kilkenny Castle with its commanding location on the banks of the River Nore. Built in the 12th century by a famous Norman invader known as Strongbow it was the principal seat of the Butler family throughout much of its history. The Castle was also the birthplace of Lady Margaret Butler, grandmother of King Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn. Set in extensive parklands, the castle now includes a library, drawing room and bedrooms decorated in 1830’s splendor, as well as the beautiful Long Gallery and the Butler Art Gallery. A trip to Kilkenny’s countryside provides stunning examples of the county’s medieval heritage. Jerpoint Abbey is a Cistercian Abbey built in 1180AD and houses some of the most remarkable stone carvings and Romanesque

details to be found in Ireland. Just south of Kilkenny City stands Kells’ Priory, one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland. The striking tower houses enclose a medieval site of over 3 acres, lending the priory the appearance more of a fortress than a place of worship. Take a 10-minute stroll in any direction within the city and you will discover some of Ireland’s most notable historical Early Christian buildings. There’s Saint Canice’s Cathedral, completed in 1285AD whose many stone memorials offer some of the most splendid examples of medieval masons art. Black Abbey, constructed in 1225AD, was one of the first houses of the Dominican Order in Ireland. Recognized as the Craft Capital of Ireland and renowned as the creative heart of Ireland, Kilkenny is home to a vibrant creative community with world renowned gold and silver smiths, pottery studios, glass and candle making. Kilkenny designers create unique pieces using the most modern techniques as well as preserving and developing age old methods. 155



ilkenny is the Ireland of many people’s imaginations! While it enjoys its fair share of international visitors who delight in its atmosphere and authenticity, it is not a typical tourist trap.

food and hospitality. From local producers to food festivals, farmers markets and trails, cookery schools and gastro pubs, and Michelin star dining experiences, Kilkenny receives well deserved regular critical acclaim.

Situated in the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East alongside the scenic River Nore and just under 90 minutes from Dublin, two hours from Cork and three hours away from Belfast, the City and County quietly offers the very best of Ireland twelve months of the year.

There is a rich and fascinating brewing history and lovers of an Irish ale can take a tour of Smithwick’s Brewery which began brewing in 1710 in the heart of the city. If you want to experience the true authenticity of an Irish pub, head out of the city to any surrounding town and village for a local beer, gin or whiskey. A céad míle fáilte is guaranteed anywhere you go and locals will only be too happy to give you some travel tips!

The modern and bustling city with its narrow streetways and cobbled paths is rooted in its historic past and the county is filled with lively villages, country pursuits, unrivalled trails with wonderful scenery, outdoor activities and rural escapes. From culture to creativity, fine eateries to vibrant nightlife, historical adventure to medieval magic and outdoor escapes, this is the place that has something for everybody. Visitors will be instantly captivated by this county and a memorable trip to Ireland is guaranteed. FOODIE FAYRE Kilkenny is currently the Irish Foodie Destination of the year and is famed for its contemporary 156

FESTIVAL FEVER There is rarely a quiet month with Kilkenny being the county of festivals, hosting the Savour food festival, Kilkenny Arts Festival, Tradfest, Kilkenny Roots Festival, Cat Laughs Festival, Kilkenomics and Kilkenny Animated. MEDIEVAL MAGIC Kilkenny is the embodiment of Medieval Ireland and the city is best discovered by foot due to its compactness and medieval cobbled streets and landmarks. From Castle to Cathedral, Ireland’s Medieval Mile stretches between two of the most


iconic buildings in the city. Visit the 12th century Kilkenny Castle and the 13th century St Canice’s Cathedral, a religious site since the 6th Century, with historic buildings like Rothe House in between. DISCOVER THE COUNTRYSIDE Kilkenny’s countryside has many walking trails, river walks and woodland walks which is a great way to experience the stunning views of the countryside. There are many scenic villages such as Inistioge which have been the setting for three major films, The Secret Scripture, Widows› Peak and Circle of Friends. Medieval Kilkenny can also be explored by visiting sites such as Jerpoint Abbey. Cycling tours are popular in Kilkenny with the city easily linked to many of the townlands, Kilkenny Cycling Tours provide plenty of regular guided tours or solo excursions. THE BEST OF IRISH CRAFT & DESIGN Kilkenny is famous for its crafts with many international people descending upon Kilkenny in the 1960’s with the foundation of the Kilkenny Design Centre. Today opposite the castle, it remains at the heart of Irish Craft and Design as it is now home to The National Design and Craft Gallery. There are many craft studio’s throughout the county who welcome visitors including Jerpoint Glass in Thomastown, The Bridge Pottery in Burnchurch and Nicholas Mosse in Bennetsbridge. SHOW YOUR SPORTY SIDE Kilkenny is the hurling capital of Ireland and the sport was recently granted special protected cultural status by UNESCO. While in the city get involved in the Kilkenny Way Ultimate Hurling Experience providing a unique cultural experience which is an exciting insight into the Ancient Celtic game which is over 3,000 years old. In Stoneyford, drop by Fred Malzard’straditional Irish pub experience along with learning how to hurl. Horse racing is a staple feature of Irish culture, Kilkenny has a picturesque premier racing track located just 15 minutes from the city in Gowran Park, located in the Annaly Estate. Gowran Park hosts 17 race meetings throughout the year featuring both national hunt and flat

race meetings. For all race meetings there are complimentary buses which run from the city. For golfers Gowran Park also has an 18-hole golf course that meanders in and around the 130-acre Annaly Estate with five holes inside the racecourse. The nearby Mount Juliet Estateboasts the prestigious Jack Nicklaus designed park land Golf Course. GETTING THERE IS EASY, LEAVING NOT SO MUCH... While there are no direct flights to Kilkenny, the county is centrally located from all of the main Irish Airports. Visitors can rent a car and explore the Irish country side as they make their way towards a truly authentic Irish holiday experience in the heart of the Emerald Isle or avail of the many regular rail and bus routes. Check out for the best route options. 157


Set in Stone


n 597 AD the monks of St Canice, the patron saint of seafarers, built a wooden church on the hill overlooking the River Bregagh. Little did they know that their church would lead to a settlement that became the medieval capital of Ireland, Kilkenny, which is Irish for the Church of St Canice. In 1111 AD the church became a cathedral as the bishop moved his seat of power to Kilkenny and a magnificent round tower was built as a sign of status and as a place to hide when Vikings came to pillage. The round tower is one of only two original Irish round towers which you can still climb today. Standing at 100 feet high with 121 steps the tower is nearly 1,000 years old. Climbers are rewarded with one of the best views in Kilkenny. The panorama from here allows visitors to look out over all of Kilkenny and the six surrounding counties. It is a unique experience and an ideal photo opportunity. The current 13th century Gothic cathedral is 158

the second longest cathedral in Ireland and the best preserved. Inside are the remarkable effigy tombs of the witch-hunter Bishop Richard Le Drede alongside knights, ladies, nuns and earls, all immortalized in stone. The stainedglass windows in the cathedral are a stunning display of light and artistry and includes works by Harry Clarke and his mentor Alfred E. Child. The cathedral even has a saint’s chair, the seat of St Kieran, where the bishops of the diocese have been sworn in since the 6th century. St Canice’s Cathedral is renowned for its tranquility and beauty and it instils a sense of peace in all who visit. It has witnessed the most significant events in Irish history from its early monasteries, Viking raids, the arrival of the Normans, the Reformation, Oliver Cromwell’s sacking of the city to the Irish Civil War. Every stone tells a story. Visit for a real sense of history and make St Canice’s Cathedral one of your treasured memories of Ireland.



360° kilkenny






Kilkenny offers countless experiences, from the extreme to the extremely relaxing. Together with its historical attractions, great arts and entertainment, as well as award-winning dining - everything you need to create a perfect winter getaway is right here. #onekilkenny



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Hook Lighthouse is a gem on Ireland’s Ancient East located on the tip of the Hook Peninsula in Wexford, Ireland.


051 397 055 / 051 397 054


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Open all year Enjoy the Cafe and Gift Shop Free parking and an extensive picnic area Free WiďŹ Relax by the Sea and look out for seals, dolphins and even whales!





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THIS IS WEXFORD A World of Possibilities

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This is Wexford F

rom winding coastal roads, dramatic landscapes and breath-taking views to cinematic beaches, unforgettable experiences and magical memories, a holiday to Wexford will create memories that will last a lifetime. With some of the country’s finest sheltered beaches and situated at the cornerstone of Ireland’s Ancient East, Wexford enjoys an enviable location, bursting with nature and adventures just waiting to be explored. Wexford’s movie-star beaches are so good, even Hollywood has visited them. The county boasts a series of stretched, sandy beaches ideal for building sandcastles, for watersports enthusiasts, for swimming in rock pools, splashing around in the salty spray and simply enjoying the sand between your feet as you munch down on fish and chips. Explore the 13km oasis of golden sand that is Curracloe Beach and further south, Ballinesker beach, both renowned for the filming of Saving Private Ryan. Other beauty spots and spotless strands can be found at Cahore Beach, Kilmore Quay and sheltered, safe spots such as Rosslare Strand, Poulshone

Beach, Ballinoulart Beach and Europe’s longest continuous stretch of silver sand, Morriscastle Beach, amongst many more! Wexford is host to a number of exciting activities and adventures for all ages to explore, creating precious moments in stunning settings. Woodland walks, beautiful wildlife and a fantastic restaurant await in Wells House and Gardens, whilst the Dunbrody Famine Ship experience provides an eye-opening tour of Irish history brought to life as you board a replica ship, followed by lunch in a spectacular, glass-front restaurant setting. The Irish National Heritage Park on the banks of the picturesque River Slaney will take you on an unforgettable journey through Ireland’s past where you can experience the stories, sights and sounds that shaped Ireland. Onsite, the park boasts the award winning ‘Fulacht Fiadh Restaurant’. Here staff are always ready to extend a warm welcome and a hearty meal. Grow your sea legs on a boat trip to the Saltee islands or enjoy the thrill of kite surfing on Duncannon beach and create the memories of a lifetime!

For holiday-makers interested in heritage and culture, or something out of the ordinary, Wexford has a vibrant history. The county is home to a series of historical and architectural sights and some of the most scenic areas of Ireland’s Ancient East such as Hook Peninsula, Johnstown Castle, Duncannon Fort, Loftus Hall and Tintern Abbey, all of which can be enjoyed as part of a tour or on a leisurely walk followed by a tasty lunch. AWE-INSPIRING VIEWS No trip to Wexford is complete without piling into the car for a drive to stop off at one of the many coastal viewpoints, to soak up the salty spray of the ocean, capture the perfect photo, or collect shells in all their shapes and forms along the sandy coastline. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, culture or most importantly, to create a lifetime of memories to pass on to your own family, enjoy a holiday to Wexford this summer where simple moments become priceless memories. 161


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Vikings & The Opera I

n the 8th century, Ireland had some unexpected guests. The Vikings came from the north, sailing in magnificent ships, seeking priceless treasures and battling Irish chieftains, and they changed the island forever. Sea tales, stormy characters and centuries of history are imprinted in Wexford. And the Vikings played a starring role in that history from the early 9th century when they established a small settlement at the mouth of the River Slaney, which they called “Ueigsfjord”, meaning “the ford of the waterlogged island”. The Vikings spent 300 years making Wexford a true Viking town. They worked as traders, became allies to the local Gaelic kings, and hired themselves out as mercenaries. You can still see their influence as you walk through the winding streets of the town center, and follow the narrow lanes that slope down towards the quay. Because 162

in a Viking town, all roads lead to the water. Today Wexford is a pretty, arty town with plenty of craft shops and galleries, but if you want to experience it at its bustling best, try to visit during the annual Wexford Festival Opera, a fixture in the town’s cultural life. Since the first ‘Festival of Music and the Arts’ back in October 1951, Wexford Festival Opera has grown into one of the world’s leading opera festivals. Even if you don’t know much about opera it’s all open for discovery with Wexford Festival Opera Tours organized on behalf of Wexford Historical Society. Festival tours are led by expert guides who take you to interesting and intriguing places throughout Wexford town and county, some known, some lesser-known. The tours are open to everyone and are free of charge. They leave the Talbot Hotel car

park in the morning and return to Wexford at lunch, just in time to enjoy the afternoon events. This might be at the opera or at one of many fringe events that take place around the main festival. If you don’t have a car, don’t worry. People with cars make room for those without; an opportunity to explore some of Wexford’s hidden gems and make new friends.


Get Hooked


he world’s oldest working lighthouse, famously dubbed one of the ‘flashiest’ on earth by Lonely Planet, Hook Lighthouse is a must see during a visit to Wexford. Voted one of Ireland’s favorite attractions, Hook Lighthouse offers a fun filled day out for everyone. The oldest operational lighthouse in the world marks the entrance to Waterford Harbour, sitting majestically at the tip of the Hook Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty. The Lighthouse was purpose built some 800 years ago and it is still fully operational today. Take the Ireland’s Ancient East guided tour at the 800-year-old lighthouse and learn of its foundation with Saint Dubhan, who tells the tale of monks who kept a beacon alight here in the fifth century and William Marshal - the first Earl of Pembroke, who built the tower and married Isabella, daughter of Strongbow. Hear stories of lighthouse life before automation and enjoy

vistas of the Southeast for as far as the eye can see from inside the Lightkeeper’s Watchroom. Guided tours of the lighthouse culminate with the spectacular view from the balcony. In clear weather you can see for miles and in a storm the spray often reaches the top of the lighthouse! On site there is a visitor center with gift shop, art workshop, exhibits and café at Hook Lighthouse which are open all year around. Free facilities include parking, toilets, garden picnic areas and wi-fi. Guided tours of the lighthouse tower are on offer seven days a week sharing with visitors one of the greatest experiences on Ireland’s Ancient East. Bespoke and private tours are also on offer and there are regular sunset and sunrise tour experiences. 163

31 Thomas Street, Limerick, Ireland TEL: (061) 410 957

Experience the Ireland you have always dreamed of! Come for a guided horseback tour through pristine mountain pastures with incredible views, beautiful flowers and romantic ruins.

Ballina Quay, Ballina, Co. Tipperary, Ireland TEL: (061) 622 790

Private treks for one or two hours are suitable for all levels of rider and children aged 6+.

Whiskey Tasting Experiences, History of Whiskey, Masterclass

Seasoned riders and super fit adults can enjoy our longer trail rides, including five and eight hour pub rides. We also provide pony camps, riding lessons and on-site accommodation. Tipperary Mountain Trekking Centre, Rusheen, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, E41 X393. Mobile: +353 87 410 6868 Email: or Web: Facebook: Tipperary Mountain Trekking Centre

A Fairy Tale Castle in the Irish Countryside

LISHEEN CASTLE, COUNTY TIPPERARY, IRELAND Escorted Touring Vacations or Group Vacation Rental option available Please visit for more information


The Golden VALE



ntil relatively recently, that recipe was tasted from afar. But it’s fair to say the world has shrunk since Jack Judge penned the ditty ‘It’s A Long Way to Tipperary’ over 100 years ago. And these days it doesn’t take any time at all to reach what’s known as Ireland’s Golden Vale, with its rich tapestry of lakes, mountains and valleys, at the heart of the glorious region known as Ireland’s Ancient East.

Think of the River Suir, gently coursing between Carrick-on-Suir and Clonmel. Think of the Mitchelstown Caves, discovered by chance when a crowbar fell between cracks in 1833. Think of the Glen of Aherlow, a lost world between the Galtee Mountains and Slievenamuck. Can’t you see yourself bang in the middle of it all? Then there’s Lough Derg, Ireland’s pleasure lake. For an overview, head to the aptly-named Lookout 165


at Portroe. To get up close and personal, visit its harbor villages, take a cycling loop out of Nenagh, or stop by the twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina. The former lies in Clare; the latter in Tipperary, which makes for serious spice when the counties clash on the GAA hurling pitch. FIT FOR A KING Squirrelled away in the rolls and folds of Tipperary’s countryside are dozens of heritage gems. The medieval village of Fethard for example, where among other things, you’ll find the famous McCarthy’s bar, restaurant and undertaker all in one. McCarthy’s proclaims, “We’ll wine you, dine you and bury you”. Or if you’re driving, why not follow the Butler Trail, which ties together Ormonde Castle, Cahir Castle, Clonmel’s Main Guard and other landmarks linked to the Butler Dynasty? 166

In almost every nook and cranny of Tipperary you will find a connection to the Butlers of Ormond. For over five turbulent centuries the Butlers were the most powerful aristocratic family in Tipperary and they left an indelible mark. They raised armies and went into battle with rival families, sometimes fighting with and other times against the English Crown. They built numerous fine castles and houses, both for defensive purposes and as displays of their wealth. They sponsored the establishment and embellishment of abbeys and churches which still stand to this day. You can hear their remarkable stories by downloading The Butler Trail app and audio guide and visit the places associated with them. The route links the towns of Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cahir and Roscrea and there is interpretive signage to guide and inform you along the route in each town.


One of the most spectacular tourist attractions in Ireland and one of the most visited is The Rock of Cashel. It’s huge, it’s complex, it’s iconic and there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. The Rock of Cashel brings together Ireland’s long legacy and trademark stunning scenery. Silhouetted against the sky, rising above the lush green fields of the surrounding countryside, the Rock is home to over 1,000 years of history, right at the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East. We should start all the way back in the 5th century, and the Rock’s association with Ireland’s early Christian heritage, when it was also the seat of the High Kings of Munster. It’s on this spot that St Patrick converted King Aengus to Christianity. Legend has it that during the baptism, St Patrick inadvertently placed his sharp-pointed crosier on the king’s foot under the water, causing it to

bleed. Thankfully, Aengus believed it to be all part of the ceremony! The Eóghanachta clan ruled the region for centuries, but lost possession to the O’Briens in the 10th century under their leader, Brian Boru. And in 1101, his ancestor decided to present the Rock of Cashel to the church as a gift. According to legend, the Rock of Cashel appeared when the devil took a bite from the mountain known as the Devil’s Bit, and spat it back out. It landed in the middle of Tipperary’s countryside, and became the Rock of Cashel.

In the medieval village of Fethard you can catch a classic sight. McCarthy’s is a bar, restaurant and undertaker all in one. McCarthy’s proclaims, “We’ll wine you, dine you and bury you”.

From humble beginnings, the buildings atop the Rock grew over the years to become the complex of interlocking structures that make it such a marvel. At its center is the 13th century cathedral anchoring the Rock, while the 15th 167


century Hall of the Vicars Choral is where laymen once chanted cathedral services – their voices could be heard for miles. In the dark and damp of Cormac’s Chapel, 800-year-old frescoes line the archways: gold-headed saints, hands layered over sapphire blue, and robes of blood red strain to be seen against centuries of decay. At the back, you’ll find a hint towards Ireland’s Viking past. A sarcophagus, rumored to contain the remains of King Cormac’s brother Tadhg, is engraved with an elegant carving of two intertwining beasts – a symbol said to invoke blessings for an eternal life. The round tower, built in 1100 and rising 28 meters above the ground, is said to be the Rock’s oldest surviving building. You can no longer climb the tower, but the views around it are simply sublime. With icons of everlasting life, centuries-old heritage and legacy literally written in stone, is there any doubt that the Rock of Cashel is the ultimate rock star? To quote from a WIKI entry “The complex has a character of its own, unique and native, and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe.” One local family that can boast an unusual job title are the Monnogues, the official protectors of the Rock of Cashel. The family has carefully watched over proceedings at the home of the high kings for over 120 years. When you are visiting the Rock of Cashel, directly under it is an old stone cottage which was built in the 19th century. This house has been home to generations of the Minogue Family since the 19th century. The current curator and occupier of the cottage is Bernard Minogue, son-in-law of the founder; in fact, Bernard not only lives here, he was born here too! FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Why is the area known as The Golden Vale? The rich grasslands of this area are the focus for the most extensive dairy farming activity in Ireland. Located here are some of the largest dairy-processing complexes in Ireland at Mallow, Co. Cork; Charleville, Co. Limerick and Mitchelstown in Tipperary. 168

Tipperary’s farmland isn’t solely about the fields, of course. Local cheeses are the highlight of markets in Cahir and Tipperary. This is a county in which you’ll find fruit farms next to camping parks. Gorgeous gourmet getaways in restored old convents. Or artisan produce spilling out of delis in the garrison town of Nenagh. It’s a place where yachts and cruisers on the River Shannon can moor for a bowl of stew in a gastropub, or do home cooking with a flourish in waterfront restaurants. So, whether you have an appetite for history, heritage, or some honest-to-goodness home cooking, Bon appétit, the way to Tipperary has shortened considerably.


CLONSHIRE EQUESTRIAN CENTRE Adare, Co. Limerick Offering pony camps both residential and non-residential throughout the school holidays. All levels of rider catered for.


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Whether you want to sit back and soak up the culture at Dublin’s historic sites or get out there and explore the streets, meet the people and sample the Guinness, our guides can help you make the most of your holiday and see the city like a local.




Dublin’s No.1 Bus Tour


dodublintours FREE Kids FREE Hotel Shuttle FREE Walking Tour FREE Little Museum of Dublin Book a Tour Buy in person at Dublin Bus Head Office 59 Upper O’Connell St, Dublin 1 Book online and SAVE 20% with promo code spiritofireland2019 The Dubliner’s Guide to Dublin


Delights of DUBLIN



ike around Europe’s biggest urban park, discover why bubbles go down not up in a pint of Guinness at The Guinness Store House. Go behind bars at what used to be one of the most brutal jails in Dublin in Kilmainham or come face to face with a perfectly preserved Iron Age body at the Irish National Museum. Sit and chill in St Stephens Green, a small park at the top of Grafton Street that serves as mini Central Park for workers, joggers, lovers. For

a moment, you can lose the traffic and the shoppers and just watch ducks feed and swim quietly past in the tranquil pond. Find what you’re looking for at the Little Museum of Dublin’s intriguing U2 Exhibition then check out the Irish Whiskey Museum complete with a taster of the ‘water of life’ (uisce beatha). At the museum lap up stories about the origin of whiskey in Ireland up to the present day, with all the highs and lows in between. Being 171


independent of all distilleries the Irish Whiskey Museum offers visitors the chance to taste and experience several varieties of whiskey in a themed and fun experience. Appease the hunger pangs (or soak up the whiskey) with a slap-up feast of old Dublin fare at The Woolen Mills, one of the most iconic buildings in Dublin. Once the workplace of James Joyce, the building is over four floors and is at the foot of the Ha’penny Bridge, with double aspect windows and a roof terrace leading out to the ultimate Dublin cityscape. See the entire city from the vantage point of the famous green ‘hop on hop off’ tour bus. DoDublin have been bringing visitors to Dublin city’s top attractions since 1988 and they are masters at showing you the best Dublin city has to offer. Of course most visitors to Dublin city want to visit the big attractions like the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Zoo, but DoDublin also like to show you the city’s hidden gems like the Little Museum of Dublin in St. Stephen’s Green, EPIC The Irish 172

Emigration Museum and the Jeanie Johnston in the Docklands area as well as Teeling Whiskey Distillery - Dublin’s newest attraction, Marsh’s Library beside St. Patrick’s Cathedral and many more. You’ll enjoy live commentary from Fáilte Ireland trained drivers, all native Dubliners and all of whom are great entertainers. They take great pride in presenting the best of Dublin city, with plenty of historical and cultural references, quotes by famous Dublin poets and writers, loads of jokes and plenty of songs too. Explore Dublin from a different vantage point and roar like a Viking on Viking Splash Tours, an engaging, interactive experience showcasing the city by land and water complete with Viking hats. WALK THIS WAY Dublin, despite being low-rise, is a very compact city. This means that, unless you’re heading into the suburbs, you can get around primarily on foot. Pat Liddy’s walking tours are an ideal introduction to the richness the city has to offer. The tour takes in many of Dublin’s icons and guides you to some wonderful hidden spots too.


Starting from O’Connell Street the tour finishes close to Trinity College where you can nip in and catch a glimpse of the Book of Kells. On this gentle walk you will encounter many of the famous Dublin sites such as General Post Office, Dublin Castle and Christ Church Cathedral among others. All these places certainly have their interesting pasts but the human stories associated with them often capture more than just their eventful histories. Walking tour guides will share their love for the city with you and make you feel like a true Dubliner. The tour also introduces you to many secret gems and surprises that visitors often miss. Find Dublin’s first but now defunct full-time cinema, a church that’s not a church, a former Lisbon tram now serving as a café. Discover an amusing representation of a da Vinci painting, feel the bounce of a wobbly bridge and enjoy the tale of a post-box that represents Ireland’s transition to independence. And not forgetting a naked 18th century composer! COBBLED STREETS & CLASSIC PUBS A few days in Dublin is the muse behind the music, the craic of the comedy, the village atmosphere cuddled up in a cosmopolitan city. No wonder TripAdvisor named it Europe’s friendliest city not once but twice! The pub remains at the heart of Dublin’s social existence. It’s a unique institution: a theatre and a cozy room, a center stage and a hideaway, a debating chamber and a place for silent contemplation. It’s whatever you want it to be, and that’s the secret of its success. So, dive into a Dublin pub, prop up its timeworn bar and before long you’ll be putting the world to rights with garrulous strangers. For a great pint and even greater craic, pull up a stool for a trad session at Whelan’s Bar or The Brazen Head – Ireland’s oldest pub. The Brazen Head has been serving thirsty patrons since 1198 when it set up as a Norman tavern. Rebel leader Robert Emmet was a regular visitor. He was hung, drawn and quartered in 1803 at Kilmainham Gaol but his ghost, it is said is watching out for enemies in the Brazen Head where Emmet once held Resistance meetings.

In Ulysses, James Joyce reckoned ‘you get a decent enough do in the Brazen Head’. Fancy taking up a musical instrument? You don’t need to be in tropical Honolulu to have a bash 173

Our friendly team at Dublin Visitor Centre are here to help you explore Ireland! We offer city tour, day tour, attraction, evening entertainment tickets. We can tailor our packages to ensure that you have a vacation of a lifetime. C

Send our local team an email or visit our website for your local experience!




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on a tiny guitar. Jamming sessions are held every Tuesday at the Stag’s Head pub. When they’re not leading musicians in high-tempo covers of hits the organizers can be found carrying out ukulele flash mobs on Dublin’s streets.

warp to the golden age of speakeasies, aviators, silent move starlets and the like. The 1920s-style clandestine bar serves up an extensive menu of spirits and specially crafted cocktails as well as a menu of delectable bites.

Music is in Dublin’s DNA. U2, Thin Lizzy, The Frames, Sinead O’Connor, The Script – and there are plenty more like them in town, so grab a gig at Whelan’s, The Brazen Head or The Cobblestone, or just listen to the tunes from the buskers wafting down Grafton Street. Combine the two by joining a traditional Irish music pub crawl. Experience the vibrance of Dublin’s traditional drink and Irish music scene on a ‘crawl’ through Temple Bar. Accompany two friendly musicians on a fun and educational tour through the hip yet historic district, where you’ll visit classic pubs and bars, witness local drinking culture, and encounter Irish storytelling and music at its best.

There’s little doubt that you must try a drop of Guinness when in Dublin, so where might you go for the best pint? Most city pubs serve smooth, creamy pints of Guinness with pride but there is one place you really must go – the Guinness Storehouse at Saint James’ Gate.

When you’ve had your fill of Guinness in the more traditional watering holes, seek out the Prohibition-style Vintage Cocktail Club for canapés on silver trays and killer liquor combos. Behind an unmarked, black door down an alley in Temple Bar (because all the best cocktail spots should have that slightly illicit feel). It’s a time

Since Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in 1759, the operation has expanded down to the Liffey and across both sides of the street. At one point, it had its own railway and there was a giant gate stretching across St James’s Street, hence the brewery’s proper name, St James’s Gate Brewery. In the 1930s, Guinness employed over 5,000 workers, making it the largest employer in the city and workers were entitled to a free pint every day. The brewery still produces 2.5 million pints of stout every day.

The pub remains at the heart of Dublin’s social existence. It’s a unique institution: a theatre and a cozy room, a center stage and a hideaway, a debating chamber and a place for silent contemplation.

At the storehouse you get to drink a pint in the Gravity Bar with fabulous city views. It’s the best pint of Guinness in the world and die-hards can 175


opt for the Connoisseur Experience, where a designated barkeeper goes through the histories of the four variants of Guinness – Draught, Original, Foreign Extra Stout and Black Lager – and provides delicious samples of each. There’s a great bar and restaurant beneath the Gravity Bar with regular Irish sessions to keep the foot tapping. And as much as Guinness is synonymous with Ireland, who hasn’t heard of Jameson Irish Whiskey? Well the Jameson Distillery experience at Bow offers three fully-guided experiences; you can choose from ‘The Bow Street’ option, a tasting tour focusing on the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage and on-going innovations, while ‘The Whiskey Makers’ and ‘The Whiskey Shakers’ experiences provide more in-depth whiskey and cocktail masterclasses - both including the opportunity to sample whiskey straight from a cask in the distillery’s new live maturation house. New kid on the block the Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years and has brought the craft of distilling back into the very heart of the city center. The new distillery is right back where Teelings started in 1782 and only a stone’s throw away from where Walter Teeling’s old distillery was. Located in an ancient market square called Newmarket 176

in the heart of the Liberties of Dublin, an area long associated with brewing and distilling, the new distillery is a three-copper pot still operation reviving the traditional style of Dublin whiskey distillation. Since opening in 2015 the distillery allows visitors to see, smell and experience a real operational distillery and interact with the people making the whiskey. They also offer a variety of unique events spaces for you to have a tailored whiskey experience for you and your guests. FUN & GAMES Are you ready for a 17-storey high? Then bring your adventurous spirit to the hallowed sporting grounds of Croke Park and try the Skyline. This thrilling rooftop walkway is Dublin’s highest open-viewing platform and offers panoramic views of Ireland’s vibrant capital from the mountains to the sea. The tour highlights the capital’s main landmarks while giving you an insight into its heartfelt history, told in a uniquely charming way by charismatic tour guides. Then of course there’s the sporting highlight – the incredible view from the platform that’s suspended over the Croke Park pitch itself. ‘Croker’ as it is colloquially known is the home of the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association). The beating heart of Gaelic sports, the GAA was set


up in 1884 ‘for the preservation and cultivation of National pastimes.’ At Croke Park you can experience the fast and furious games of Gaelic Football or Hurling, the world’s fastest field sport. If you’ve not yet been introduced to our national sports – Gaelic football and hurling/camogie – then these in themselves will prove a wonderful treat for you. Head along to a match in the company of 80,000 passionate supporters, and the experience is a truly unique. It’s the key to witnessing local passions and understanding one of the cultural pillars of Ireland. Competition is fierce at Gaelic games and as the crowd belt out mighty roars you cannot but be swept up in the sheer emotion of it all. Gaelic football is played with a round, soccersize ball and players are allowed to kick it or hand pass it, more rugby style than soccer. Hurling is played with a flat bat (a camán) or Hurley which is used to hit a small leather ball called a slíothar. The game of hurling has been played for more than 3,000 years, yet it still inspires the same fanatical following as a World Cup final. Go to a match at Croke Park to experience ‘the clash of the ash’ - the sound of players’ wooden hurleys colliding fiercely as they wallop the sliotar. A good strike can propel the ball over 150 km/h (93 mph) in speed and 110 meters (361 ft) in distance. It’s been described as ‘hockey on steroids’ and you’ll understand why when you see it for yourself. HAVE A FLUTTER A passion for horse racing is deeply entrenched in Irish life and despite its small size, Ireland holds a pre-eminent position in thoroughbred racing and breeding. “Sell cow, buy sheep, but never be without a horse,” is a well know saying and it sums up Ireland’s relationship with the horse. Ireland is known the world over for its love of animals; in fact, Irish bloodstock is so highly valued that everyone from the Aga Kahn to Queen Elizabeth source their thoroughbreds here. Ireland equally has a reputation for racing and equestrian events such as showjumping, also very popular, albeit in a much less egalitarian kind of way. Major annual races include the

Irish Grand National (Fairyhouse, April), Irish Derby (the Curragh, June) and Irish Leger (the Curragh, September). If you fancy a flutter on the gee-gees you can watch racing from around Ireland and England on the TV in bookmakers shops every day. The ‘bookies’ are often located next door to the local pub to make it handy to nip in and out in between pints. Or, traditionally the ‘poor-man’s punt,’ greyhound racing (‘the dogs’), has been smartened up in recent years and offers a cheaper, more accessible and more local alternative to horse

A good strike can propel the ball over 93 mph in speed and 361 ft in distance. It’s been described as ‘hockey on steroids’ and you’ll understand why when you see it for yourself. 177


isit Christ Church Cathedral Dublin and discover 1000 years of history and worship. Explore the medieval crypt the largest in Ireland. Take a guided tour and ring the cathedral bells. Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch Place, Dublin 8. T:01-677 8099


racing. There are 20-odd tracks across the country with Shelbourne Park in Dublin providing a great night out whether you choose to hang out at the tote or watch the racing over a set menu with waiting staff taking your bet. Go more upmarket at The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club, Dublin’s favorite casino and with a reputation as the friendliest club in Ireland. The “Fitz” is open 6:00pm-6:00am, 7 days a week and is within easy walking distance of the city’s top attractions and hotels. Membership is free and open to all over 18’s. Casino games available are Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco (Baccarat) and Brag (3-card Poker). The Fitz is the home of poker in Dublin with daily Texas Hold’em poker tournaments at 8:30pm and poker cash games from 6:30pm. The Club also has a full menu service and shows all live TV sports & pay per view events. PARKS & GARDENS Most visitors to Dublin get to wander around St Stephens Green, the lovely enclosed park north of Grafton Street. It is well worth visiting our

largest park, however, home to the Wellington Monument, the tallest obelisk in Europe at 62mtrs. The bronze reliefs at the base were cast from melted down cannons from the battle of Waterloo. Or come to visit the Papal Cross, erected to commemorate Pope John Paul’s visit to the Park in 1979 and the location of mass when Pope Francis visited in 2018. The Phoenix Park in Dublin is one of the city’s best-loved free amenities and it is over 350 years old. It is the largest urban park in Europe at 1752 acres, bigger than all the parks in London put together, and twice the size of Central Park in New York.

The Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe; bigger than all the parks in London put together, and twice the size of Central Park in New York.

Around one-third of the park is covered with deciduous trees like oak, ash, lime, beech, sycamore and horse chestnut. It’s literally mindblowing considering it’s a city center park but 50% of Ireland’s mammal species, 40% of bird species and 351 different types of plants call Phoenix Park home. It is also home to a large herd of fallow deer having started life as a royal deer park for King Charles II in 1662. 179


The park contains a number of stately homes, including the official residency of the President of Ireland, Áras an Uachtaráin, the residency of the US Ambassador. Winston Churchill lived in the park between the ages of two and six in the Vice Regal Lodge, which is now the Aras. The former British Prime Minister later revealed that his “first coherent memory” was in Phoenix Park. It also houses Dublin Zoo, reputed to be the fourth oldest zoo in the world. Legend has it that Ireland’s first Hollywood star, Cairbhe the lion was born in the park before he went on to become the logo for MGM film studios and was renamed Leo. An exhibition on the history and wildlife of the Phoenix Park is on display in the Visitor Centre. Here visitors can receive information and view a historical interpretation of the park from 3500 BC to present day.

period, and houses important artworks and furnishings, as well as the Benjamin Iveagh collection of rare books, bindings, and manuscripts which is held in the Library. The house and estate are open seven days a week and access is by guided tour only. SHOPPING If you’re hoping to combine your city break in Dublin with a spot of shopping, you won’t be disappointed. The capital offers an eclectic array of shops ranging from high-street favorites to swanky department stores, and from quirky boutiques to unique markets. Temptation is around every corner! Grafton Street is the bustling heart of the city center. You’ll find the biggest range of pubs, shops and restaurants in the busy warren of side streets that surrounds it. Many of the city’s most important sights and museums are here, as is Dublin’s best-loved city park, St Stephen’s Green.

Dublin’s Phoenix Park is well worth a visit but it’s a lot of ground to cover, so with over 300 bikes, Phoenix Park Bikes can offer a bike rental service as well as daily Segway tours for a thrilling way to cover lots of ground.

Entering from Stephen’s Green in the south, Grafton Street meanders by a series of architecturally rich townhouses with streetlevel shops, twisting and turning, narrowing in width to barely twelve yards before sloping down to the broad sweep of College Green and the grand entrance to Trinity College.

An estate of seventy-eight acres situated to the north-west of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, Farmleigh provides accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation. As a historic house, Farmleigh remains a unique representation of its heyday, the Edwardian

Grafton Street boasts a selection of upmarket chain stores and boutiques. It is home to the prestigious Brown Thomas which is a favorite amongst celebrity shoppers as well as Weir & Sons Jewelers and Bewley’s Grafton Street Café,


Christ Church Cathedral Situated in the heart of the city, Christ Church Cathedral is Dublin’s oldest working structure and has welcomed pilgrims and visitors for almost 1,000 years. A working cathedral, Christ Church is renowned for its magnificent architecture and fascinating history. Admire the stunning stained glass and unique floor tiles of the cathedral nave. Learn the secrets of Strongbow’s tomb and uncover the amazing story of the heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, Dublin’s patron saint. Pause for reflection and prayer in one of the quiet eastern chapels or take a moment to light a candle. Explore the Medieval Crypt, the largest in Ireland, and visit the Treasures of Christ Church exhibition featuring priceless silver and Ireland’s first copy of Magna Carta. Take a guided tour, climb up the medieval staircase to the Belfry and ring the famous Christ Church bells. There are 19 bells up there, the largest rung in full-circle anywhere in the world and the reason the cathedral is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Christ Church has maintained a professional choir since 1493 and today the choir comprises 22 professional singers led by Organist and Director of Music, Ian Keatley. Catch a choir rehearsal or attend one of the many sung services to experience the cathedral in a different way. Before departing, visit the Foxy Friar gift shop and browse the wide variety of beautiful gifts and crafts exclusive to Christ Church Cathedral.


complete with hanging balcony where you can watch the world go by while sipping a delicious coffee. “Grafton Street’s a wonderland, there’s magic in the air,” goes a popular song that dates from the start of the 20th century. In fact, the street has been Ireland’s shopping mecca since Victorian times. When the British King George V visited Ireland in 1911, he paraded down this street. What should be a pretty little by-road linking two of Dublin’s greatest landmarks, actually eclipses all other streets in Dublin. It’s the place not just for Dubliners, but for the entire country to shop, lunch or simply hang out. Powerscourt Townhouse, adjacent to Grafton Street, is one of the finest 18th century town mansions in Dublin. It houses upmarket boutiques and relaxing cafés and provides the perfect ambience for brunch and retail therapy. Its Design Centre on showcases the cream of Irish design talent and should not be missed. If you’re after something typically Irish, take a trip to Avoca Handweavers on Suffolk Street. From fashion to home furnishings, aromatics to jewelry, fresh baking to gourmet foods, this is a showcase of the best of Ireland. Kilkenny Design and House of Ireland on Nassau Street are also worth visiting. For a more leisurely shopping experience, weave your way through the stalls at Cow’s Lane Market, the Point Village Market and Georges Street Arcade where you can pick up vintage pieces and gourmet food to fuel the body so you don’t drop while you shop! 181







rown Thomas is Ireland’s premier luxury department store and part of a global retail family which includes Selfridges in the UK, Holt Renfrew in Canada and deBijenkorf in Holland. This flagship store, and a landmark on Dublin’s Grafton Street since 1849, houses the world’s most prestigious designer brands from fashions and accessories to beauty and home. Featuring the world’s most prestigious luxury boutiques including Tiffany & Co., Hermès, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Céline, Tom Ford and Louis Vuitton, Brown Thomas has achieved preeminent status, a store that is listed among the best in the world, yet it remains quintessentially Irish and unique. From the doorman’s greeting to the sales consultant’s smile, the bond with the customer is all important. The aim is to ensure that every visitor’s experience at Brown Thomas is a

memorable one, and the team will be delighted to welcome you in store. Personal service is key and Brown Thomas will gladly deliver your shopping to your hotel so that you can enjoy the rest of your day at leisure around the city. If you wish, they can bring a selection of products to you so that you can enjoy shopping in the comfort of your hotel suite. In the case of products over a certain weight, Brown Thomas can organize complimentary shipping to your country of residence. And if you live outside Europe, you will enjoy the benefits of tax free shopping. In essence, wherever your location or whatever your needs, Brown Thomas will deliver in every way possible so that your memories of your visit to Dublin are with you for years to come.

• China Union Pay accepted throughout the store • Mandarin speaking staff throughout the store • Tax Free shopping • Personal shopping appointments for Beauty and Fashion (booking advisable) • Hotel Bag drop available • International delivery


Why book with LetzGo City Tours?

Discover Extraordinary Things to Do in Dublin and Ireland with LetzGo City Tours. READERS Some of our top tours include;


Book any 2 separate tours and get a Free Brazen Head & Dublin Castle Tour!

We offer fully guided tours that include Skip the Line & Fast Track entrance to the best things to do and see throughout Ireland. We are experts in developing tours that give you the best experience from must-see city historical highlights to lesser-known treasures. So, when planning your trip to Ireland, why book anywhere else? We can plan everything for your trip to Ireland including full itineraries of Ireland as well as one-of-a-kind experiences as well as ½ day & one-day fully guided tours not only in Dublin but also all throughout Ireland including Northern Ireland. We also offer tours in London & private tours in Paris including the opportunity to enter the Tower of London before it opens to the Public to witness the 700-year old Opening Ceremony and see the other highlights of this most famous of Castles including the Crown Jewels without having to wait in line.

Book of Kells Early Access Tour with Dublin Castle Avoid the crowds and explore Irish history on this 3-hour Book of Kells and Dublin Castle exterior tour. Visit the Trinity College Library, home to the famous Book of Kells — widely considered among the most important of all Ireland’s ancient treasures. Listen as your local Dublin guide brings medieval Ireland to life, shedding light on the Book of Kells’ profound historical significance. Learn about the artistry, meaning and symbolism of this revered illuminated manuscript from an expert guide. Afterward, enjoy a guided walking tour around Dublin Castle’s mighty exterior. Visit the gardens and yards, and learn of the castle’s role as court, fortress, treasury and jail.

Skip the Line Guinness & Jameson Irish Whiskey Experience Tour Save time and guarantee your Skip the Line admission to Dublin’s top attractions—the world famous Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery - on this exciting combination tour. With your guide in the lead, breeze past the crowds in line at both locations and begin exploring right away. Learn about the history and culture of both institutions through your guide’s commentary and incredible storytelling abilities. Sample Guinness and Whiskey on location with additional free drinks included on this fully guided tour by a local Dublin Guide.

How to book at or for more information send an email to

Our other fully guided 5 star tours include; • Easy Access - Kilmainham Gaol, War & Revolution Tour • Best of Irish History with Fully Guided Fast Track Access to National Museum of Ireland & Treasury • Brazen Head – Oldest Pub in Ireland & Dublin Castle City Tour • Private Early Access – Epic Museum & Story of the Irish with Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship Visit • Private - Irish Ancestors “Trace your Roots” & Heritage Tour

***** Trip Advisor Review for Book of Kells Kimberly, Ohio, Jun 2018 This was an absolutely phenomenal tour. I am so glad I booked it! This was our last big tour on our trip, and it really ended things on a high note. Our tour guide Neil was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and

funny! While some history-focused tours can be a bit stuffy and sometimes even boring, this one was both fascinating and fun. I recommend this tour to ANYONE visiting Dublin, not just the history buffs!


Glasnevin Cemetery MUSEUM & TOURS



pened in 1832, Glasnevin is a Victorian Garden Cemetery and is Ireland’s National cemetery. Located only 2.5km from the bustling city center, Glasnevin is a peaceful oasis in urban Dublin. The cemetery encapsulates the history of Ireland and is the burial place of over 1.6 million people including an abundance of iconic historical figures. Arriving at Glasnevin offers visitors a wonderful surprise – many expect a dull, morose, possibly even depressing cemetery visit, however from the

moment they arrive, it is evident that this is far from the case. The combination of architecture, iconography, the spectacular O’Connell tower, mature indigenous trees, wildlife, the beautifully manicured landscaping and sheer vastness of ornate monuments speckled over 124 acres is eye catching and awe inspiring. Glasnevin is a goldmine for genealogists, historybuffs and anyone with an interest in Irish history. There are more people ‘at rest’ in Glasnevin than there are living residents in the whole of 185


Dublin City! Ireland’s vast and fascinating history is dissected via immensely enjoyable historical anecdotes by knowledgeable and charming guides who take you on a journey to visit the graves of Ireland’s heroes. Visit the gravesides of Michael Collins, Eamon De Valera, Daniel O’Connell, Maud Gonne, Countess Markievicz, to name only a few.

and it’s clear that to leave Dublin without visiting Glasnevin would be a grave mistake!

One of Glasnevin’s wonderful guides, Bridget Sheerin really enjoys watching visitors spotting names similar to their own. She says “there is a sudden sense of mystery, wondering if they are related; there is an immediate connection, something familiar, even a sense of possible belonging”. Each burial record has been digitized and information is available online or through resident genealogist, Lynn Brady that’s over 1.6 million names.

The cemetery’s founder, legendary Irish statesman Daniel O’Connell is buried beneath the spectacular O’Connell tower, the tallest of its kind in Ireland, standing at 168ft. O’Connell’s crypt is particularly beautiful; he rests in a lead lined coffin in a tomb capped by a slab of stunning Kilkenny marble. Inscriptions around the ornate walls designed in the Celtic Romantic fashion were influenced by designs from the Book of Kells and include O’Connell’s final words: “My body to Ireland, my soul to heaven, my heart to rome”. Following a bombing in 1971, the tower has been restored to its former glory and is now accessible to visitors. Climb the 198 steps to breath-taking views of Dublin, Wicklow and the Irish Sea.

Glasnevin offers a window into Irish history, and the tours are filled with wry stories that bring it to life. Include a trip to the museum afterwards

Glasnevin is a not for profit organization and all proceeds are redirected to the restoration of the cemetery. The mission today remains as it


Glasnevin offers a window into Irish history and the tours are filled with wry stories that bring it to life.


was handed from Daniel O’Connell “to bury people of all religions and none” and to preserve and honor the heritage of past generations, serve and respect the needs of the present generation and provide a legacy for future generations. Since the museum opened in 2010, Glasnevin has won a multitude of awards and is proudly listed as a Top Attraction on TripAdvisor, highlighting Glasnevin as a cemetery of historic importance. This is something that people might not expect of a cemetery but it is testament to the pride and integrity held by those who work there and those who visit. Not convinced? Come and see for yourself!

For more information visit

Email us at or call +353 (0)1 882 6550


Photo: Phillip Lauterbach

Are you free? So are we! Free admission to the greatest collections of Irish heritage, culture and history in the world. Kildare Street, Dublin 2. Merrion Street, Dublin 2. Benburb Street, Dublin 7. Turlough Park, County Mayo.

Outreach Events, Guided Tours & Lectures. Museum Shops & CafĂŠs.

Open: Sunday & Monday 1pm to 5pm. Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Closed: Christmas Day & Good Friday.

For further information: Tel: +353 (0) 1 6777 444 Email: Visit:


Light on Earth T

he ‘Niamh Barry – Light on Earth’ exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland celebrates the work of contemporary Irish artist Niamh Barry, one of the world’s leading innovators in the use of LED technology. A Dublin native and resident, Niamh was one of the first artists in the world to create ‘edge lit’ pieces using LED technology and since then she has achieved significant commercial and critical international success. Niamh’s signature works are highly sought after and included in many prestigious public and private collections around the world. Her client list includes some of the leading interior designers and architects internationally, amongst them, Peter Marino, Nate Berkus, Miles Redd, David Easton and Kelly Hoppen. One of her most recent commissions in Ireland was a monumental light sculpture in the new Central Bank of Ireland Headquarters. While Niamh has exhibited in locations such as New York, San Francisco, Milan and London, the exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History - is Niamh’s first solo exhibition in Ireland.

After graduating from NCAD in 2001 specializing in ceramics, Niamh spent a number of years making conceptual furniture and lighting and later she made a brief detour into the film industry following which Niamh spent more than a decade making custom lighting designs for commercial installations. In 2004 Niamh made her first edge lit piece Chain, but it was in 2009 / 2010 that she made Fouette, her first bronze, curvilinear, edge-lit piece. This prototype, composed of a mild steel frame clad in bronze with handmade glass mosaic was a ‘breakaway piece’ in this art form. Five elliptical connections take the appearance of the ballet position from which the piece derives its name. This, her original bronze ‘edge lit’ creation, is one of the six pieces on display at the National Museum of Ireland and Niamh has also generously donated it to be part of the Museum’s permanent collection. In addition to Fouette, the exhibition also includes En Pointe II, an Avant Garde table with sleek angular lines; Model of a Staircase, a model of a unique large-scale piece measuring 8.5m commissioned for a private house in central Paris; the Model

of Vessel Scape, the monumental sculpture she was commissioned to create for the new Central Bank of Ireland; Walking, a series of preliminary sketches and bronze maquette which ultimately led to her first freestanding sculpture; Gesture II, a mirror polished hand formed solid bronze opal glass mosaic with LEDs; Vessel II, a voluptuous light sculpture with LEDs; and Propulsion, a large, bronze LED light sculpture specifically commissioned for the exhibition. Niamh’s work is a unique vision of light. She creates sculptures viscerally, to be seen with your eyes but to be experienced emotionally. “I hope that visitors to the museum will enjoy visiting the exhibition and also learning about the creative process that is involved in their development,” Niamh says. “Each piece takes hundreds of hours to create and I am grateful to my 8 colleagues in my studio that support me in this work on a daily basis.” ‘Niamh Barry Light on Earth’ is a yearlong exhibition open to the public at the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts and History, until November 30 2019. Admission to the museum and its exhibitions is free. 189

Baily Baily Lighthouse, Lighthouse, Howth Howth



Fabulous FINGAL



ingal Dublin landscape is diverse, ranging from rolling country landscape, picturesque seaside towns, sandy beaches, a rugged coastline and vibrant urban heritage towns all offering excellent accommodation, restaurants and friendly pubs. The region derives its name from the Gaelic words Fine Gall or ‘land of the fair-haired stranger’ in reference to the Vikings who settled here.

Aspects of the areas rich heritage and long history are encapsulated in the many famous buildings, churches, castles, great houses and archaeological sites located in Fingal. This wealth of monuments, some dating as far back as 5,000 years, reflect the various periods of Fingal Dublin’s history from the Viking occupation to the diversity of Anglo-Irish history through to modern day Fingal Dublin. 191


Christianity bestowed the area with a wealth of monasteries, churches and towers. Some of the finer examples include the 6th century Lusk Round Tower with its attached tower house. Swords Round Tower in the grounds of the Church of Ireland in Swords is all that remains of an early Christian foundation while in Kinsealy Saint Doulagh’s Church occupies the site of a 7th century monastic settlement founded by Saint Doulagh. Along the coastline you can see one or more of the twelve Martello Towers, a coastal defense system installed against invasion along Fingal Dublin’s shores during Napoleonic times. Fingal Dublin is also renowned for its magnificent castles and stately homes, some dating back to the 12th century. Many of these houses have been carefully restored to their former glory and refurnished in the style and splendor of times past. 192

COASTAL VILLAGES Malahide is one of Ireland’s most beautiful and well-known villages and has won many prestigious awards. Situated along a stretch of Dublin bay’s scenic coastline, Malahide boasts a heritage village, national visitor attraction at Malahide Castle, a marina, world class restaurants, cafes, famous pubs, accommodation and conference facilities all alongside beautiful sandy beaches. Malahide is also known as a boutique shopping destination. Malahide Heritage Village is the heart of the community with a vibrant atmosphere and is filled with shops, restaurants and pubs. There is a varied range of individually owned and unique shops offering fashion, gifts and traditional crafts. Perfect for a day of retail therapy, browse the boutiques and book shops, find a bargain and take a break for lunch or a coffee in one of the many cafes. Take a stroll around the pretty


village, gaze at the traditional shop fronts with beautiful floral displays and hanging baskets. The locals are friendly and welcoming and there is plenty to see and do. Skerries, situated on a rocky peninsula 25 kilometers north of Dublin City is a beautiful place to visit. You will find beautiful walks, wonderful wildlife and enjoy fabulous views from the pristine coastline. Interestingly the name Skerries comes from the Norse word Skere meaning “The Rocks”, no doubt in reference to the five islands off its coast. These are Shenick Island, St Patrick’s Island, Colt and Rockabill. Rockabill is in fact two islands, The Cow and The Calf, separated by a narrow channel. People have inhabited Skerries for about 8,000 years. They have hunted, fished, worked the land, built tombs, harbors and a town all of which has left its mark. Stone axes found in back gardens and flint tools during field walking show that people have lived in and around Skerries from earliest times. Skerries has always been a good place to visit. Today you can experience castles, windmills, exciting sea sports, festivals and a legion of award-winning places to eat and warm, cozy pubs. Balbriggan is located between two imposing castles, Bremore Castle on the northern boundary of the town and Ardgillan Castle to the south. Bremore Castle is an impressive medieval tower house that has been undergoing extensive renovation and is currently accessible to visitors only by appointment. Ardgillan Castle, an 18th century country house located in an extensive parkland overlooking the coast, is a real gem in the crown of Fingal. It offers a great day out for the whole family, with a state-of-theart children’s playground, garden walks, picnic areas, castle tours, exhibitions and a lovely café. Balbriggan Harbor is still a working fishing port. An eleven arch Victorian viaduct spans the entrance to the harbor and beach. From here there are beautiful sea views as far as the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland. Coastal walk leads further north past the Martello Tower along the rugged coastline dotted with little coves and hidden beaches where you can

look out for seals and a multitude of sea birds. Seabirds and seafood are in plentiful supply in Howth. The rendezvous of land and sea creates spellbinding natural environments for adventure and the great outdoors. Fresh seafood makes for fine food and entertainment. Cool niche shopping, and a broad range of health, fitness and beauty offerings complete the picture. Howth was an island in ancient times, known as Binn Eadair after the famous Chieftain of the Tuatha De Danaan. For the last 9,000 years it has been a hotspot on European itineraries and with good reason. Thrill and inspire yourself outside, enjoy excellent restaurants, bars and cafes or take to the hills on one of the glorious cliff paths. 193


Castles &



true heritage experience, Shannon Heritage operate a variety of day and evening visitor attractions in Clare, Limerick, Galway and Dublin as well as six distinctive castles. All are filled with history and character and some are said to be haunted, including the delightful Malahide Castle in north county Dublin.

On entering the castle, visitors have the opportunity to browse through an interactive interpretive area on the ground floor, retelling the history of the Talbot family and not forgetting their ghostly residents. The castle has featured on America’s ‘Most Haunted’ and it is said to have not one, but five ghosts!

Malahide Castle, is a magnificent and historic 12th century castle situated in the heart of the picturesque seaside village of Malahide. The Castle was built by the Talbots, an English family who arrived in England during the Norman invasion with William the Conqueror. Richard Talbot came to Ireland in 1174 and in 1185 he was granted the lands and harbor of Malahide by King Henry II for his “war-like” services in the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland. With the exception of a short time during the Cromwellian period, the Talbot family resided in Malahide for the next eight centuries.

Castle tours are carried out by informative and friendly guides daily, guiding visitors through the historic reception rooms on the first floor including the magnificent Great Hall where banquets are still held for special occasions and events. Up the sweeping staircase are the beautiful bedrooms which overlook the vast 260 acres of parkland and West Lawn. Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery of Ireland adorn the walls throughout which adds to the castle’s rich history and ambience.


A ticket to visit Malahide Castle includes admission and the famous Talbot Botanic


Walled Garden. Here, gardening enthusiasts and visitors can learn about Lord Milo Talbot’s passion for gardening and travel. Lord Milo was responsible for bringing new and exciting species of plants from the southern hemisphere, creating this uniquely charming botanical garden complete with roaming Peacocks. Prepare for your heart to flutter as you experience the only Butterfly House in the Republic of Ireland. Step inside the Cambridge Glasshouse in the Walled Garden and you’re in the domain of the most colorful creatures on earth. Watch them fly among tropical plants and spot their individual traits and markings. With over 20 species of butterfly housed at Malahide, it’s a paradise for both amateur enthusiasts and experienced lepidopterists! The Castle and gardens offer a delightful day out for visitors and locals alike. In the visitor center you can wind down at Avoca Cafe where home baked scones, cream teas or delicious fresh cooked meals are served overlooking the botanic gardens and greenhouses – sheer bliss in a gorgeous seaside setting. NEWBRIDGE HOUSE Newbridge House and Demesne is the most complete Anglo-Irish estate in Ireland. The house and estate were purchased from the Cobbe family in 1985 and opened as a County Dublin Regional Park in 1986.

loan from the family of the original furniture, pictures and other works of art on display in the main rooms open to the public. The Red Drawing Room is one of the finest Georgian rooms in Ireland and is home to the best documented 18th century private art collection in the country. The Museum of Curiosities (one of the few surviving family museums in Ireland or Britain) and the ornate plasterwork found throughout the house are of particular note. A private apartment is still maintained for the family continuing a line of occupancy unbroken since the eighteenth century.

Newbridge still has all the intimacy and warmth of a family home with the accessibility of a property in public ownership. This is achieved through a very successful and unique arrangement between Fingal County Council Shannon Heritage and the Cobbe family.

Newbridge Farm is home to a vast array of animals ranging from the Shetland and Connemara ponies of the paddock, to the piglets, goats and chickens of the farmyard. Access to the farm is through a cobbled courtyard designed by Robert Mack in the late 18th Century. It is one of the few working farms where children can see pigs, and many other animals, reared in an environment where they can move about freely and express normal patterns of behavior. Newbridge is very committed to the highest standards of animal welfare and to the preservation of many rare breeds of animals, such as the Gloucester Old Spot, which have all but disappeared due to intensive methods of farming.

Newbridge is not simply preserved but the extensive interiors collection continues to grow and complements the existing collections on

Consisting of approximately 370 acres of gently undulating pastureland, woodland walks, wild flower meadows, traditional farm, ruins of Lanistown Castle, deer park and at its heart, this fine Georgian house was designed by the renowned architect James Gibbs.


Discover the hidden gems that Dublin’s Southside has to offer. Killiney Hill, fun guided tour of Dalkey Castle, Avoca & finishing off in Johnnie Fox’s Pub (highest pub in Ireland)…

Tour leaves City Centre at 10am. Returns to City Centre at 4.30pm (excluding Tuesdays)

See our website for details… BOOK ONLINE:


Day Tours


Hooked on HOWTH



owth (rhymes with both) offers natural beauty along with Irish history, some great food and a plethora of pubs. If you have at least half a day to spare when visiting Dublin, Howth would make for a great day out. Howth has lighthouses, a castle, an old abbey and some great walking trails. The village is a hub of activity as fishing trawlers weave in and out of the harbor. Just inches from where the fish lands, restaurants along the seafront serve

up the catch of the day. Try the Brass Monkey for seafood tapas and wine or head to the Oar House Fish Restaurant where food is so fresh, it’s still swimming in a glass tank when you arrive! The local pubs too serve up great seafood spreads. The Bloody Stream beneath the DART station is a great place for a pint of Guinness with sumptuous seafood in the surroundings of a traditional pub. You can get settled in very easily after a few 197


pints, but walking around the village is a real treat. Take a stroll along the pier and watch seals scramble for pickings off the landing trawlers. From the pier you can take a boat ride out to Ireland’s Eye, an island and bird sanctuary just 198

a 15-minutes offshore. Explore its long sandy beach, take in breath-taking views of Dublin Bay and see a Martello Tower up close. Just a few minutes’ walk from the pier you’ll find


Howth Castle, one of the oldest residential castles in Ireland. Immerse yourself in history and take in the beautiful surrounding gardens which are home to a ten-meter high hedge and the ruins of St Mary’s Abbey. In spring, the castle gardens are ablaze with brightly colored rhododendrons. The castle was originally built on its present site in 1235 and elements of the castle date back to 1425, including the tower in the front courtyard. Originally the residence of the Earls of Howth, today it is the family home of the Gaisford St Lawrences. The castle has had all sorts of famous visitors over the years from Queen Victoria to Bing Crosby. Howth village is a delight with Howth Abbey at its hub, another great photo op with the backdrop of the sea. The original church was founded by the Viking king Sitric in 1042, and its graveyard is home to some elaborate tombs. A namesake restaurant, the King Sitric along the sea front is famed for its gourmet food. TAKE A HIKE Howth is a hill-walkers dream and the views are to die for, but don’t worry if you want the views without breaking a sweat, you can take a leisurely stroll or hop on an electric bike to see it all at your own pace. Take a hike (or a bike) with Shane’s Howth Hikes and see some of the best sights that Howth has to offer. Tour through fragrant woodlands and cliff paths spotting wild seabirds, seals, porpoises, dolphins and the occasional whale. One of the most famous and stunning views along the way is Baily Lighthouse, built in 1814. The scenic setting on the rocks, the oldfashioned design of the lighthouse, and the stunning aerial view all combine to make you reach for your camera. It was at this location that the Norse Vikings fled to regroup after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 and was also the point where they boarded their long boats and left Howth for the last time after the Normans invasion in 1177.

DUBLIN’S BEST DAY OUT Howth Adventure Experiences


Shane will regale you with great stories then deliver you back to the village or drop you off with Ken at Ireland’s Eye Ferries for a boat trip, returning to the East Pier and heading for the Abbey Tavern for a warming Irish coffee. Hooked on Howth? You’ll fall for it hook, line and sinker. GETTING THERE If traveling by bus the 31a from Talbot Street will get you here. Or for a great scenic journey hop on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit system). Howth is the last stop on the DART line linking the city center with the coastline. The journey is an attraction in itself, taking visitors alongside Dublin Bay with some glorious views. Alternatively, if you are coming from south Dublin, a great way to get here is to take a Dublin Bay Cruise departing from Dun Laoghaire taking you on a wonderful watery journey of Dublin’s stunning bay.








Journey through



“I still feel like this day was a dream. I am so grateful to everyone who made it so special. Getting married in Ireland was the most amazing experience in the world and the best day of my life.”


utside the city however, situated just to the south of Dublin City is the great sweep of Dublin Bay, an official UNESCO world heritage site – with stunning seaside villages and towns such as Dun Laoghaire, Blackrock, Monkstown, and Dalkey. Further south, and feeling a million miles away from the beating heart of the city, you will find Ireland’s Garden County – Wicklow, with its lush green fields, stunning peaks of the Wicklow Mountains, the natural beauty of Glendalough National Park, and the glory of the stunning Powerscourt House and Gardens, set in the very heart of the Wicklow Mountains. It’s hard to imagine many destinations, where in just a short few hours you can experience so much variety - strolling through a vibrant city centre, driving along the famous River Liffey, to Dublin Bay and Sandymount Strand, taking in views of the famous Poolbeg Chimneys and Martello Towers, to stunning mountain walks and historic round towers.

On the Glendalough & Powerscourt Gardens Tour, you will travel through the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains before arriving at the glacial valley of Glendalough, also known as the valley of the two lakes. This stunning location, now a national park, has a number of walking trails, and the panoramic view by the lake is one of the most stunning you will discover on the whole island of Ireland. Glendalough is also home to a perfectly preserved round tower and monastic village, built in the 6th century. A short drive from Glendalough, through winding roads in the Wicklow Mountains, and nestled in the quaint little village of Enniskerry, you will find the magnificent Powerscourt Estate & Gardens. Set in a spectacular mountain setting, Powerscourt Gardens has been voted in the Top 3 Gardens in the World by National Geographic magazine. With over 47 acres of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks designed from 1731 onwards, Powerscourt Gardens is an absolute must-visit in Wicklow. Surrounded by

Walled Gardens, the Italian Garden, Dolphin Pond, Japanese Gardens, Pets Cemetery and Pepperpot Tower, visitors will have much to explore before returning to the estate’s house and a trip back to Dublin. Don’t forget to get a breath-taking picture of the tremendous Great Sugarloaf Mountain from the gardens and sample a coffee and a scone from the on-site Avoca store from which you can enjoy the most scenic of views taking in the mountains and gardens from the store’s terrace. Wicklow and its stunning beauty simply cannot be ignored when visiting Dublin, and a trip with a Fáilte Ireland trained DoDublin guide on a Glendalough & Powerscourt Day Tour is the perfect way to discover one of the most beautiful counties that Ireland has to offer. Explore the best of Wicklow on the Glendalough & Powerscourt Gardens Tour with DoDublin Tours and save 25% by entering promo code spiritofireland2019 at the checkout on 201

OUT HERE, EVERYTHING’S ON THE ROCKS. If a whiskey tells the story of its place, Clonakilty’s is a story like no other. A rugged, windswept headland, carved from rock by the Atlantic wind and waves. A coastline that in earlier times was thought to be the edge of the known world. From this extraordinary place comes Clonakilty Irish Whiskey. Triple-distilled in traditional copper-pot stills. Aged at our Atlantic Ocean warehouse. Rewarding you with a subtle, elegant taste and just a hint of ocean mist. Quite simply, it’s a unique experience. Clonakilty Irish Whiskey. On the rocks, straight or with a mixer, it’s yours to discover.


A Taste of IRELAND



reland has long been recognized for the beauty of its landscapes and seascapes, the buzz of its cities, and the warmth of its people. Now visitors are coming for our food and drink too. And that’s hardly surprising. For Ireland has a natural, honest approach to food and an easy-going, warm style that’s both rooted in tradition and very 21st century. Thanks to our mild climate, clean seas, fertile soil and even the rain too, we have some of

the best raw ingredients in the world. And, on this small island, local rules. You’ll eat seafood straight off the boat. Dairy from local pastures. Beef, lamb and pork raised within a few miles. Sea veg harvested on nearby strands. Wild food foraged from hedgerows. Greens picked that same day. Expertly prepared, then served simply and fresh as can be it’s as if you can really taste the place: Atlantic swells, mountain mists, turf fires and 203


soft green fields. In Ireland, good food is just the start: you’ll shake the hand that feeds you too - in shops and smokehouses, on harbors and farms, at micro-breweries and markets, in traditional pubs, small-town cafés, city bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants. There’s the chance to visit producers, to follow food trails, to take part in food festivals, to learn traditional skills, to forage and fish, or simply to join in the chat at the bakery, on the quayside or at the bar. And speaking of bars, Irish Whiskey is enjoying a great comeback; it is one of Ireland’s fastest growing sectors, exporting over 94% of its output. Our mild, temperate, climate and long growing season provide ideal conditions to produce premium quality malting barley and now even Irish colleges are jumping on 204

the bandwagon, offering college degrees in brewing and distilling. Little wonder therefore that distilleries are popping up all over the place. Irish whiskey is alive and well with new found enthusiasts discovering the sweet softness of grain whiskey, the soft spice from the pot still and the fruitiness of the malt in Irish whiskeys. The ‘water of life’ is all about unique flavors and distinct tastes – so follow the trail of this national treasure around the island of Ireland for a guaranteed taste sensation. FOOD TOURISM Celebrating over one million satisfied travelers and 87 years or travel excellence, CIE International set the benchmark for fully inclusive tours to Ireland. The company have

Expertly prepared, then served simply and fresh as can be it’s as if you can really taste the place: Atlantic swells, mountain mists, turf fires and soft green fields.


always sought out the best experiences for their travelers and recently they have seen a significant interest in food tourism as well as their other offerings. “As we are seeing a rise in the importance of farm to table dining experiences in the US, we are also seeing this same demand for our clients when traveling to Europe,” explains CIE’s Melissa Sourbis. “Ireland’s climate and surrounding waters provide a wealth of locallysourced hearty ingredients. In essence, the farm to table scene has not been seen as a differentiating factor within the Irish culinary scene because it is the Irish culinary scene. “Seafood restaurants are in abundance with the morning’s fresh catch. Galway’s Oyster Farms have long been revered and places like Burren Smokehouse provide intimate experiences discussing the heritage and craft of the smoking process with the necessary samplings. “Ireland’s people are known for venturing abroad, a testament to the large expat communities around the world. With that, Ireland’s food story is not just about our heritage or the old ways, but what we are also seeing are the culinary experiences that our Irish explorers have experienced abroad and brought back home to Ireland. It is this infusion of new experimental and creative cooking methods with the same fresh, locally-sourced produce that we are seeing today.” TASTE AND TOUR With classy restaurants, bars, food markets and artisan producers around every corner, Ireland is one of the best destinations in the world for a culinary adventure. Travelers now want to add to the more traditional tours adding a side of foodie heaven. Foraging experiences are a great way to get started whereby guests join a local expert on the wild Atlantic shorelines collecting edible plants and shellfish to cook and enjoy afterwards. Fishing ports like Galway, Dingle and Kinsale have excellent ‘catch and cook experiences’ where clients enjoy a fishing voyage and then

join a local chef afterwards to prepare and cook their catch. Distillery experiences have always been popular but even these now come with an added kick. Blending experiences allow visitors to create their own custom blend of whiskey to take home with them – an option that is also available with several gin distillers. Another popular experience is the Private Cask-opening at Jameson’s Midleton Distillery, whereby visitors joined by a local expert get to break open and be the first to taste finely-aged whiskey.

Ireland has a natural, honest approach to food and an easy-going, warm style that’s both rooted in tradition and very 21st century. 205




Belfast have launched their own walking tour experience, Belfast’s Gin Jaunt, to give clients a flavorful way of exploring the city. In fact, if visiting Belfast then you’d better loosen your belt, because the city offers the ultimate foodie jaunt through streets dotted with super-tasty food for all palates. Belfast city is at the forefront of Northern Ireland’s thriving food scene, which last year beat off 70 entries from across the globe at the International Travel and Tourism Awards in London to earn the accolade of the world’s Best Food Destination. As a seaport, naturally there’s plenty of fresh fish on the menu, and nowhere better to sample it than at the Mourne Seafood Bar in Bank Square. Situated next door to the famous Kelly’s Cellars pub and traditional music venue, these two spots can let you savor a great Friday night in the city almost without moving a muscle. New experiences are popping up regularly in this foodie city. Among recent additions making waves around town are Gusto è, created by two top flight Italian chefs, and Tribal Burger, serving a range of top-end beef burgers along with sides, craft beer and milkshakes. Michelin star chasers can indulge in the exceptional five course seasonal tasting menu at OX, or head to Michael Deane’s restaurant, Eipic. A WIN FOR IRELAND With so much talent up and down the country is it any wonder we are being recognized at Worldwide Awards? Highlighting Ireland’s reputation as a fine food destination, two restaurants in County Cork took home the prize at the inaugural World Restaurant Awards in Paris. Echoing last year’s Michelin awards the focus was on County Cork, with Ballymaloe House and Dennis Cotter of Café Paradiso in Cork city winning two of the categories. First opened in 1993, and having attracted wide international acclaim for its innovative and ground-breaking cuisine, Paradiso is already regarded as one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Europe. Denis Cotter, founder

and executive chef, has created a menu with a strong focus on seasonal ingredients, and these are supplied by nine-acre Gort-na-Nain farm, located south of the city. The successful collaboration has lasted over 10 years with Gortna-Nain supplying Paradiso with everything from aubergines to winter squash, all lovingly grown according to organic principles. Ballymaloe House’s dessert trolley was on a shortlist that also includes Otto’s in London and The Grill in New York. Famous as the home of Irish cuisine, the multi-award-winning destination restaurant excels in the warmth of its hospitality and the quality of its food, which is made from locally sourced and home-grown ingredients from its walled garden and farm. Trolley delights always include home-made Ballymaloe icecream, a buttery pastry tart, sorbet made with ripe berries from the garden and a compote of fruit in season. These are complemented by a myriad of other delicacies such as poached pears in a saffron and cardamom syrup, chocolate marjolaine and pistachio tuiles. 207


The wins for Paradiso and Ballymaloe House shine the spotlight on County Cork as an extraordinary food destination. The county recently saw three of its restaurants achieve Michelin star status. Ichigo Ichie, a Japanese restaurant in Cork city, Restaurant Chestnut in picturesque Ballydehob, and Mews in the village of Baltimore were all awarded one star in the 2019 edition of the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland which all suggests that lovers of great food should make for County Cork to experience a taste of something quite special. PLATING UP IN NYC The emergence of Irish craft brewers, whiskey distillers and food artisans continue to bolster Ireland’s food, drink and craft scene. For those outside of Ireland and unfamiliar with the country’s culinary offerings, they are often surprised and delighted to experience what Ireland brings to the table. From the commitment to sustainable food and drink practices, to the centuries old and contemporary craftsmanship, the island of Ireland is inspiring innovative restaurants, chefs and food writers. Bridget Bray, founder of FarePlate found her calling to Irish food while visiting a county pub in Limerick a few years back. She became fascinated with the taste, the ingredients and the wholesomeness of the food. While seemingly basic fare, it piqued Bridget’s curiosity to tell Ireland’s food and drink story, and so began FarePlate. The name FarePlate is a spin on the Irish expression ‘fair play.’ Launched in March 2016 by Bridget, the initial aim was to create food experiences in the USA that showcased Ireland’s food and drink story in its most authentic way, steering away from the stereotypes such as green beer, shamrocks or corned beef and cabbage. In creating her new food identity Bridget saw an opportunity to build awareness around the emerging Irish culinary renaissance in New York City. She set about creating an event to showcase a wide range of Irish food and drink brands stateside, from both an artisan and larger brand perspective. 208

“FarePlate is a celebration of Irish food, drink and craft,” explains Bridget. “With a background in the food and event industry, it seemed opportune to bring back a little of the story home where I found a great appetite for an event that featured Irish produce.” FarePlate recently celebrated its 4th successful year at The Rag Trader in New York City. 2019 saw the introduction of select craft products that tied in with food and drink: Irish handpoured candles, handcrafted leather placemats, coasters and bottle bags. The future looks bright for FarePlate with plans to include more events and experiences, inclusive of custom crafted tours to Ireland and perhaps even an event in Ireland. Bridget’s ambition is that FarePlate will become a platform to market and support Irish food, drink and craft producers and showcase the exciting culinary renaissance underway.


209 PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. Imported Cognac Hennessy®, 40% Alc./Vol. (80˚). ©2019 Imported by Moët Hennessy USA, Inc., New York, NY. HENNESSY is a registered trademark.




he fields at the foot of the lighthouse are the perfect environment to nurture and grow the finest of barley, exclusively for this uniquely Irish, single pot still whiskey. Centuries of sea mist, soft rain, and salty ocean spray provide a complexity to the soil that permeates right through to each individual grain. The Scully family - founders of Clonakilty Distillery - have farmed this coastal land for 320 years and eight successive generations. Barley grown on the family farm is used to produce this distinctive new spirit. Three beautiful copper pot stills have been handmade to perfection by the family firm of Barison in Italy, who have more than 100 years of tradition and craftsmanship. Specifically designed for a triple distilled pot still whiskey, the still house is largely manually operated,


thus giving Head Distiller, Paul, the opportunity to fine-tune and lovingly handcraft each individual batch. The tall necked stills naturally produce an elegant spirit while the unique mixture of malted and unmalted barley give the spirit its wonderful complexity that can only be achieved from a single pot still. For cutting the new make spirit, the purest water from a dedicated well at the Scully family farm is used. Remote and unspoiled, the water is drawn from deep within the untouched rock formations by ocean cliffs. Naturally filtered through layers of Sandstone and Bayrite, it’s one of the hardest rocks known

DISTILLERY VISITOR EXPEREINCE Immerse yourself in the unique sensory experience of a working distillery by booking a tour of the new Clonakilty Distillery. A must see for the growing numbers of Irish whiskey fans, those with an interest in the history of distilling or anyone wanting a hands-on experience of a real working distillery in action. Combining world-class visitor facilities, the very best in multi-media presentation technology and knowledgeable expert guides, visitors will experience firsthand the smell, sound, feel and taste of a distillery creating genuine Irish spirits. The Waterfront, Clonakilty, Co Cork, P85 EW82 Ireland.


to mankind. Cool, unadulterated freshness, generously gifted by Mother Nature herself. For this first cut, water is directly added without any filtration or pre-treatment, so that it marries in its most natural form with the spirit for many years to come. This cutting and cask filling is done at the Atlantic Ocean warehouse, 200 feet above sea level on the family farm by the cliff edge. This is where they mature the finest of whiskeys. By definition, before a spirit can be called “Irish whiskey” it must be “matured in wooden casks, on the island of Ireland, for 3 years and one day.” The quality of the cask has a huge influence on the quality of the final product. At Clonakilty Distillery, they have scouted the world and sourced the very best of the best barrels, the majority of which are ex Bourbon. In keeping with the Scully family business ethos, these barrels are sourced from the family firm “Country Connections” in Kentucky in the USA. In order to provide a diversity of tastes and flavors, port casks from Oporto, sherry butts from Jerez in Spain, and red wine casks from Bordeaux are also used. As the spirit ages, it interacts with the wood, extracting flavor compounds such as vanilla, toffee and spice. This is a process that cannot be rushed. The mild maritime climate, without extremes of heat or cold, is absolutely perfect to make the very finest of whiskey. Over time, the salt sea air will permeate though the wood, adding a further dimension to the flavor compounds. And as the spirit interacts with the wood, a certain amount of evaporation is inevitable, with average losses of 2% per year. This is known as the “angel’s share”. Clonakilty whiskey is not always kept in a single cask for the duration of its life. In order to provide a complexity and diversity of taste experiences which would not normally be available from a single ex bourbon cask, whiskey is sometime finished in different wood for a period of 3 to 9 months. The most popular is a port cask finish but red wine, virgin American oak, sherry and Armagnac are also used.

But it doesn’t end there. At Clonakilty they bring two other unique insights to the process. When Paul the Master Distiller deems that a barrel is good enough to be disgorged and bear the Clonakilty name, the whiskey is transferred to a special vat where, over a period of two weeks, it is slowly cut with pure well water to bring the ABV to bottling strength. This is done very slowly so as not to shock and separate the molecules in the liquid, as combining the whiskey and water too quickly can cause heating and a change to the flavor. This is known as a “gentle cut”. As a further commitment to quality, minimal filtration is practiced. A certain level of filtration is necessary to remove the cask char from the finished liquid, but in order to preserve the natural congeners and flavors, only 30 microns of filtration is used, far less than the industry standard. This is how you make the very best whiskey. 211


Ceoláras Coleman, Gurteen, Co. Sligo

Authent Traditio ic n Music an al d Cultural Experien ce! The Coleman Music Centre, situated in Gurteen, Co. Sligo, is a community based, state of the art traditional music and cultural centre. The main aims of the Centre are to preserve, promote and foster Irish traditional music and culture. It is also the Comhaltas Regional Resource Centre for the five counties, Sligo, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Fermanagh. Visitor Centre The visitors’ experience is informal, welcoming and friendly providing a tailor-made first-hand experience of Sligo style traditional Irish music. There is a permanent exhibition and information area comprising of touch screens and an audio visual presentation on the history of traditional music. This together with a 12 minute audio-visual presentation on the history of traditional Irish music gives the visitor a unique insight into traditional music. Coleman School of Music Music tuition is provided in fiddle, flute, banjo, accordion, bodhrán, whistle, guitar, harp, cello, uilleann pipes, sean nós dancing, traditional céilí dancing and singing. The teachers, all from the locality, have a keen insight and knowledge of the Sligo repertoire and technique of playing. Special one to one and group tuition is available all year round by advance booking.

The Coleman Theatre Many top class traditional music concerts and shows are presented throughout the year in the 130 seat theatre. A programme of music, song and dance can be provided to suit the needs of individual groups and can include a music lesson or a lecture on any aspect of the history of traditional music. The Music/Gift Shop The shop stocks a vast selection of traditional music CDs, including many of an archival type, DVDs, music books, musical instruments and accessories, gift ideas and lots more….. Online shop delivered worldwide The Coleman Cottage A visit to this farmhouse cottage gives a unique insight into how people lived during the early twentieth century in Ireland. The building has three rooms, is constructed of red sandstone and is roofed in traditional thatch. The cottage contains everyday cooking utensils, furniture, crockery and other artefacts, which date back to the 1920s.

Tel. 071 9182599 Open all year round - Monday to Saturday F56 TF88


Music & DANCE



raditional Irish music is a full body experience. The upbeat tempos compel you to clap your hands, tap your feet and join in. That’s what trad music is all about, joining in and having the craic.

international scale, its origins can be traced back to almost two thousand years ago when the Celts arrived in Ireland. They brought with them many skills as well as a tradition of music and dance.

Spontaneous music sessions pop-up all over Ireland but the largest by far is the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, held in late August each year. It is the mother of all Irish music festivals and attracts more than 400,000 people over eight fun-filled days. You’ll have to qualify to enter the music, singing or dancing competitions but that’s only part of the story. It’s the impromptu music sessions, sing-a-longs, concerts and céilís that really attract the crowds.

The ‘feis’ was a local celebration held by Celtic communities. It was an opportunity for gathering, trading, playing sports and storytelling; dance was an integral part of the feis. In fact, Feiseanna are still held today but these days they are a showcase of Irish dance where dancers compete for medals and trophies.

While it is only in the past two decades that Irish music has gained recognition on an

When the Normans invaded Ireland in the twelfth century, they brought with them their own native customs, dance being one of them. For the next few centuries dancing further evolved and three distinct types of dance emerged; the 213


Irish Hey, the Rinnce Fada (long dance) and the Trenchmore. Instead of the Celtic circular formations, line formations became common. These in turn became more complicated with female dancers weaving between males or interchanging couples. Uilleann pipes (an Irish form of bagpipe) and harps were the most common musical accompaniment. It wasn’t until the 18th century when Irish dancing became more disciplined that the styles and formations we know today came about. This was all down to the emergence of the ‘dancing master’, a teacher who travelled between villages and towns giving lessons to peasants. This is how group dances evolved, out of practicality. It was a simple way to have all pupils in a class involved in one dance. The best dancers where given special sections of the song to show off their talents and dance alone in the spotlight. When this happened, doors were placed on the floor to give the dancer a solid platform to perform on. There was stiff rivalry between dancing masters from different territories, which is what gave rise to the modern dance competitions that take place today. In 1893 the Gaelic League was founded as an organization to promote and encourage all aspects of Irish culture in Ireland. It organized formal competitions, lessons and rules for Irish dancing, and this further developed into the launch of the Irish Dancing Commission in 1930 to regulate the now immensely popular 214

dance showcase. Irish dancing really took off once it had its own governing body, and over the following decades it spread to the vast Irish diaspora around the world. In a modern-day context Irish Dance was catapulted to global fame in 1994 when a daringly different interval performance was given at the 39th Eurovision Song Contest. The seven-minute interval act began with the haunting vocals of Anúna followed by the arrival onstage of Jean Butler, emerging from a traditional Irish cloak to herald the beginning of a whole new style of Irish dance. Then to the clash of drums Michael Flatley burst on stage to ‘battle’ with the drummers in a dancing style that had never been seen before. The performance culminated in a rousing finale of 24 dancers dancing in unison with Flatley and Butler to the forefront. It was a rousing performance that brought everyone at the event (and many watching at home) to their feet. Produced by Moya Doherty with music from Bill Whelan and choreography by Michael Flatley and Jean Butler, the seven-minute Riverdance performance eclipsed the main event and lit a fire that fueled the creation of a dance phenomenon that continues to this day. That night something extraordinary happened. Riverdance sent a chill up the spine of everyone who saw it, Irish dance was catapulted onto the world stage and it changed forever the landscape of Irish culture.

Traditional Irish music is a full body experience. The upbeat tempos compel you to clap your hands, tap your feet and join in.








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Let the Stars



ry choosing a destination based solely around the stars. And not just any stars – let your zodiac sign inspire your odyssey through the Emerald Isle. Here are 12 ideas for an astrologically compatible trip: ARIES Adventure-driven Aries tend to be outdoorsy and spontaneous. They appreciate the beauty of nature and are always on the go. CIE Tours’ Irish Adventure tour is the perfect fit for the trailblazing Aries thanks to its fast-pace where


guests can experience the highlights of the entire island’s gorgeous scenery and intriguing culture (Starting at $1,349). TAURUS The first of the earth signs, the tactile bull is known for its special connection with the environment. Taurus enjoy being surrounded by beautiful and natural things and there are few places more beautiful than the scenic Kerry Coast. From strolling through Killarney National Park or partaking in the Atlantic Irish Seaweed Walk along the beautiful


Derrynane beach, a Taurus will feel right at home in Co. Kerry. CIE Tours offers a variety of trips to Kerry, however for an environmentally driven itinerary, the Irish Supreme has got to be on your list (Starting at $3,590). GEMINI The love of cars and driving falls to Gemini, as does the need for variety. CIE Tours’ Irish SelfDrive Tours enable guests to mix-and-match destinations to create the perfect vacation, choosing from a wide selection of castles, manor houses, cozy inns and bed-and-breakfasts. Expect friends and family to ask you to skip the Blarney Stone, however, as Gemini already has the gift of gab in spades (Rates vary).

CANCER Each sign is associated with a part of the body and Cancer’s is the stomach, which is no surprise given how much Cancers love to cook (and eat!). CIE Tours’ delicious Irish Foodie Tour is the perfect getaway for a Cancer ready to sample what Ireland brings to the table. Cook up a storm with a friendly “cook-off” at Dublin’s premier cooking school, indulge yourself at Ireland’s ultimate foodie shopping destination: Cork City’s iconic English Market, explore familyrun farms to sample cheese and natural yoghurt and unwind with a whiskey and chocolate pairing dinner experience (Starting at $2,098).



LEO Impossible to miss, Leos love being center stage. The Merry Ploughboy Pub in Dublin is home to some great traditional Irish shows where guests can enjoy a 3-course meal as they watch a live concert of music and dance. Some lucky members of the audience even get to try out their own Irish Dancing steps on stage. It’s a regular favorite of travelers on CIE Tours’ Taste of Ireland Tour. Can you Leos think of a better way to show off your talents while enjoying some fun-loving entertainment? (Starting at $929). 218

VIRGO Spa is derived from the Latin word for health through water, and no sign is more healthconscious than Virgo. Fit for a king or queen, the heavenly and sublime Dromoland Castle Spa in Co. Clare offers intimate and serene escapism in the elegant surroundings of the wonderful 16th century castle. During the Irish Heritage & Dromoland Castle Tour, guests travel to the imposing and deluxe Dromoland Castle Hotel where they can opt to relax in the spa and experience the luxury for themselves (Starting at $2,349).


LIBRA Libra is the sign of partnership and marriage and what better place for a Libra to celebrate their love or renew their vows than the romantic backdrop of Ireland. The island is home to an abundance of romantic destinations including the Cliffs of Moher, Ashford Castle, the Ring of Kerry and Connemara. With CIE Tours’ Irish Spirit Tour guests can sample these romantic spots while staying at some of the country’s dreamiest accommodation. All you’ve got to do is say “I do!” (Starting at $1,799). SCORPIO The scorpion is fascinated by secrets and the occult (it’s no coincidence that Halloween falls in the thick of this sign). For a trip to the dark side, Scorpios will love Spike Island. Once known as “Hell on Earth,” Spike Island was the largest convict depot in the world and homed some of the most dangerous criminals during Victorian times. The island has since become an award-winning destination for travelers to visit and is one of the stops on CIE Tours’ Irish Myths & Legends Tour (Starting at $2,149). SAGITTARIUS The consummate traveler, freedom-loving Sagittarius is always exploring – and the ne plus ultra of international journeys is the “grand tour.” CIE Tours’ epic 24-day Grand Tour of Britain & Ireland is the perfect mix for the energetic Sagittarius. As part of the trip guests are given the opportunity to explore the Highlands in Scotland, London Bridge in London and Snowdonia in North Wales. On the Irish side of the tour, guests can enjoy panoramic views of the Irish coastline, a tour of Muckross House and the scenic Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle and Waterford City before stopping off in Dublin to view the Book of Kells (Starting at $5,999). CAPRICORN Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn – better known as Father Time – imparts the sign with an appreciation for tradition. No tour demonstrates the traditions of Ireland quite like the Irish Gold getaway. From the priceless 8th century Book of Kells to the Monastic site at Clonmacnoise and the traditional Irish night of music and

dance, the Irish Gold Tour is the perfect mix of tradition for the inquisitive Capricorn (Starting at $1,749). AQUARIUS The final air sign, Aquarius, whose symbol is parallel lightning bolts, adores technology and electronics. For an Aquarius, the Epic Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin is a must-do. The museum is the world’s only fully digital museum and discovery story of the 10 million people who have left Ireland in the last 1,500 years. You can swipe through video galleries, dance through motion sensor quizzes, listen to remastered audio from 100 years ago and watch videos that bring Irish history to life. CIE Tours’ Irish Odyssey Tour makes the Epic museum one of the first stops on its 12-day tour (Starting at $2,349). PISCES Pisces’ symbol, the fish, nods to the sign’s deep love of the water. As Pisces feel most comfortable surrounded by water and a salty sea breeze, a trip along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is sure to make a splash. Travelers will discover magnificent views as they explore the world’s longest coastal drive along Ireland’s western and northern coastlines. Let Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Tour take you there (Starting at $2,999). 219

Know your Castles C

lifftop ruins, ancient citadels and fortresses full of fascinating secrets: Ireland’s castles are in a league of their own! Test yourself and discover the history behind some of Ireland’s most iconic strongholds


According to legend, which castle in Ireland is said to have appeared after the devil took a bite from a nearby mountain and spat it back out? Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny � Wrong answer, the foundations of this castle were built by Welsh Earl, Strongbow.

Bunratty Castle, County Clare � The site where this beautiful castle is built was once a Viking trading camp. Lismore Castle, County Waterford � False. But this stunning fortress was once home to Sir Walter Raleigh, the man who famously introduced potatoes to Ireland! Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary � Correct! Both the devil and St Patrick are said to have visited these stunning ruins.



On what coastal drive can you find the breathtaking clifftop ruin of Dunluce Castle? The Wild Atlantic Way � Incorrect. Although you’ll discover sights just as stunning on this 2,500km long coastal touring route! The Copper Coast � Wrong. The Copper Coast is home to breathtaking panoramic views spanning the counties of Wexford and Waterford. Slea Head Drive � False. But if you’re looking for a drive that clings to the contours of Ireland’s stunning west coast, this is the route for you! The Causeway Coastal Route � Right answer! This epic journey stretches from Belfast city to the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry.


What member of the Beatles famously wed Heather Mills in Castle Leslie, County Monaghan? Ringo Starr � Wrong answer. However, he did attend the wedding. George Harrison � Incorrect. George got married in England. John Lennon � False. John chose to marry Yoko Ono in Gibraltar during the spring of 1969. Paul McCartney � Correct! The wedding took place in 2002 and was a lavish affair, full of decadent food and fireworks!


What castle features in HBO’s hit TV series, Game of Thrones®, doubling as the home of the Stark family? Doe Castle, County Donegal � Wrong answer. This fortress belonged to reallife warriors – the Scottish MacSweeney clan. 221


Dublin Castle, Dublin city � Incorrect. However, some of historical biopic Michael Collins was filmed here. Bangor Castle, County Down � False. However, the castle’s Walled Gardens were a film location for Game of Thrones® Season Five! Castle Ward, County Down � Correct! This grand stronghold is the location of Winterfell in the fantasy show.


What literary legend is said to have stayed at Dunguaire Castle in County Galway? Bram Stoker � False. But it’s fair to say the author had a love for castles judging by his iconic novel, Dracula! Jonathan Swift � Incorrect. Swift was the Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin city, and his grave is marked with a brass plaque at the west end of the cathedral. Maeve Binchy � Wrong answer. Maeve grew up in the village of Dalkey in South Dublin. You’ll find guided walks focussed on the author at Dalkey Castle & Heritage Centre. WB Yeats � Correct! Dunguaire Castle became a meeting place for literary greats such as Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and JM Synge.


In which county will you find Blarney Castle, home to the famous Stone of Eloquence said to bestow the “gift of the gab”? County Wexford � Wrong answer. However, you’re sure to find friendly locals full of chat and charm in this part of the island!



County Armagh � False. But here in “Orchard County” be sure to sample some delicious Armagh Bramley apples! County Laois � Incorrect. This is home to the Rock of Dunamase, a stunning medieval ruin that was once the biggest wedding present of all time. It was a gift to Norman Earl Strongbow in 1172 upon his marriage to Aoife, daughter of the King of Leinster. County Cork � Correct! Here you’ll get the chance to attain the “gift of the gab” by kissing the famous Blarney Stone!


In which county will you find what is said to be Ireland’s most haunted stronghold – Leap Castle? County Cavan � False. Although a trip to Cavan’s Cabra Castle is not for the faint hearted, either, with tales of ghost sightings, screaming babies and hanging trees... County Fermanagh � Wrong answer. But a trip to the ruins of Fermanagh’s Tully Castle holds tales of tragic fires and wandering souls. County Antrim � Incorrect. But Antrim’s Ballygally Castle Hotel is home to a dedicated “Ghost Room” due to the haunting presence of Lady Isabella Shaw – a former resident who is said to roam the halls. County Offaly � Correct! You’ll find Leap Castle in County Offaly. Its gruesome past has left behind tormented spirits and a dark force known as the “elemental”.


Your Long Lost Ancestors

Small group tours taking you to the edge

Who Do You Think THEY Were ? Research all over Ireland North & South especially Cork City & County Special Interests: Names, Social History & Local History

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Walled City celebrates 400 years Pulsing with life and resonant with centuries of heritage, the city of Derry~Londonderry is celebrating the 400th anniversary of its most distinctive historical feature. March 2019 marks the quadricentennial anniversary of the completion of the Walls of Derry, originally constructed from 1613 to 1619 to protect English and Scottish settlers in the city.

unbreached line of defence, a spectacular promenade, a stage for theatrical presentations and a gallery for artworks, to a hotspot for walking tours and even a course for joggers.

Derry Walls, its gates and its cannon. Within the walls there are inspiring museums, a flourishing arts environment, plenty of lively pubs to discover alongside an impressive music scene.

Running until March 2020, the programme will serve up a cultural feast in an eclectic range of historical and contemporary exhibitions, musical ensembles, symposiums, films, living archaeology demonstrations and workshops, visual arts exhibitions and much more.

A cultural orientation of Derry~Londonderry can include a unique foodie cycling tour with Far and Wild, one of the city’s leading ecoadventure companies. This two-hour jaunt takes in three great culinary experiences from kitchens spearheading the city’s gastronomic success, some gentle exercise and an historic view of the inner city and surrounding sites.

Cultural and historical experiences around the walls will be heightened this year as the city celebrates the occasion with a vibrant programme of events.

An artisan traders’ market every first Saturday of the month will offer a wide selection from the city’s thriving food scene, while Walled City 400 Years will also dovetail with major festivals in Derry~Londonderry.

‘Walled City 400 Years’ will celebrate the famous landmark with everything from an

There are excellent walking and guided tour opportunities along the almost fully intact

From the busy streets enclosed by Northern Ireland’s largest scheduled monument to the added pleasures of the natural world on its doorstep, the Walled City offers something for everyone.



In the Mood This summer Dublin Airport will welcome 23 new routes and services. Highlights of the schedule include Ireland’s first direct flights to Texas - an American Airlines route to Dallas Fort Worth starting in June, and a new Norwegian route to Hamilton, Ontario - which took off on March 31. Aer Lingus will start flying to Minneapolis-St Paul in July, though its much anticipated service to Montreal has been delayed until next year.

The airline has been working to enhance its in-flight experience with the use of mood lighting. Goodbye garish lights and simple dimming. Hello Blood Orange, Dim Lavender, Teal Green and Strong Blue. Aer Lingus is keeping its mood up with a bespoke new customized lighting set-up.

a journey. The result is, Aer Lingus guests will now arrive to their destination more energized than ever.

The LED lighting aims to improve in-flight ambiance and minimize the effects of jetlag by subtly shifting with each phase of

Aer Lingus’s system was developed in partnership with UK-based Cobalt Aerospace, which specializes in aircraft cabin and interior design products. 25 of its 66 aircraft have already been fitted with the experience-enhancing lighting, with the remainder to be fitted during standard maintenance checks.

least 51 different countries taking part for St. Patrick’s 2019.

abroad and is an expression of our reach, our shared values and our ambition.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD said: “Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening project is a powerful symbol of the impact of our Irish

Ireland’s Greening of the World is available to buy in bookshops and online at www.

Ireland's Global Greening To mark 10 successful years of Global Greening and to celebrate this unique global campaign, a new book called Ireland’s Greening of the World tells the story of Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening since it began in 2010 and how it has since captured the imagination of people everywhere. The initiative, which sees hundreds of iconic landmarks around the world light up green to celebrate the island of Ireland and St Patrick, first began in Sydney – when the Sydney Opera House went green on 17 March 2010, on the 200th anniversary of an historic event celebrating Ireland, hosted by the then Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie. The campaign has gone from strength to strength every year since then, with around 360 sites (or more) in at 226


Towers & Tailors at Lough Eske The five-star Lough Eske Castle located just outside Donegal Town is nestled within 43 acres of forest woodland hugging the shores of Lough Eske. Bedrooms are classically elegant but the new Rapunzel style suite will be a huge hit with the ladies and anyone looking for something drop dead gorgeous. The hotel has unveiled its new Tower Suite, situated in the turret of the castle overlooking the grounds. This part of the hotel dates back to 1861 and is the oldest part of the main castle. The suite is laid out over three floors with the entire top floor being the bathroom area. In true Rapunzel style, there are dainty period style windows to let in the light, and a winding staircase within the suite which leads up to a lounge area and then the bathroom.

Meanwhile for the boys, Lough Eske Castle wants to take the hassle out of a tailoring service by allowing their guests to have a bespoke, handmade suit measured on the spot and cut to perfection. Magee 1866 are now working with the hotel and will send out a tailor from their headquarters in Donegal Town at a moment’s notice for the convenience of guests who come from far and wide to experience Donegal’s superb hospitality. Both Magee 1866 and Lough Eske Castle could be credited for putting the “forgotten county” back on the map, as visitors to Donegal are converted to its charms once they see the beauty, warmth and hidden gems it possesses. Magee tweed has long been associated with Irish heritage as well as offering superior craftsmanship in its clothing. The new service is sure to attract fashion loving men, who wish to take the hassle out of shopping for a new suit, jacket or pair of trousers. Magee 1866 promises to have the finished suit ready within six weeks

and will deliver it to the customer in that timeframe, straight to their door. 227

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Rowan Cottage, Shronebeha, Banteer, Co. Cork, P51 N2R0, Ireland

Glendalough & Powerscourt Tour Escape the city and arrive in the quiet beauty of the Wicklow Mountains. Explore stunning Glendalough - Ireland’s oldest monastic city, and marvel at the craftsmanship of the 6th century round tower. Relax in the Georgian glory of Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, voted one of the world’s best gardens by National Geographic.

FREE Kids (Under 14) FREE Walking Tour FREE City Tour Loop Book a Tour Buy in person at Dublin Bus Head Office 59 Upper O’Connell St, Dublin 1 Book online and SAVE 20% with promo code spiritofireland2019 The Dubliner’s Guide to Dublin 01706 Spirit of Ireland 180x125.indd 1

dodublintours 08/02/2019 09:02


Wineport Lodge With a beautiful, peaceful location and stunning lake views, Wineport Lodge offers total relaxation with good food, fine wine, super spa treatments and luxurious airconditioned rooms. In the heart of Ireland, just three miles north of Athlone, Wineport

Lodge has a magnificent location, on the shores of the inner lakes of Lough Ree on the River Shannon. The Lodge has won the Best Guest House Breakfast at the Georgina Campbell Irish Breakfast Awards, in association with Fáilte Ireland. This luxury hotel was awarded for

its exceptional range of Irish fare, including Kilbeggan Organic Oats and Horan’s of Athlone pork. Next up, Wineport plans to roll out a weekend brunch offering. Taste the winning fare for yourself with weekend rates including breakfast from €185,

Savoring Sligo Foodies might want to check out the food tours set to take to the streets of Sligo this month. Participants on the 3½-hour walk will visit some of the town’s most inventive food establishments, led by the local food innovators Hans and Gaby Wieland. The first tour is on Friday, April 12th, and it costs €60 per person, plus booking fee. Check it out at 229


Dublin Top for Travelers Dublin has been named the top holiday destination in Ireland for the second year running in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. The award-winners were ranked based on millions of user reviews and opinions over the past 12 months, using an algorithm that takes into account both quality and volume, the global travel site says. Dublin’s win comes in a week that Fáilte Ireland announced an investment of over €1.75m in 11 of the capital’s visitor attractions with a scheme designed to bring its stories to life in engaging ways for tourists. Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, the Custom House, Teeling Whiskey Distillery, the Irish Whiskey Museum and Dublinia all received €200,000 under the ‘Dublin’s Surprising Stories’ scheme, with several other attractions sharing the remaining funds. Elsewhere on TripAdvisor’s poll, London

Irish Holiday Dialysis Ireland has many reasons to attract visitors, the hospitality of its people, it’s rich culture and beautiful landscape; now it can also boast high quality healthcare in an authentic Irish setting for those visitors who are dialysis dependant. For dialysis patients it’s easy to see how the necessity for three weekly sessions adversely impacts on travel plans as destinations are limited to where this life sustaining treatment is available in the hands of trusted healthcare professionals. Until recently it was very difficult to choose Ireland due to lack of capacity in busy hospitals. Established in 2017, Irish Holiday Dialysis is an ultra-modern dialysis facility inside a traditional 200 year old cottage with countryside views making treatment a pleasant part of an Irish holiday. This is 230

topped the list of both world and European destinations, despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit. The wedding of Prince

Harry and Meghan Markle last year undoubtedly “spurred interest in the capital”, TripAdvisor says.

the first such clinic if it’s type in Ireland dedicated solely to catering for the needs of dialysis holidaymakers. Home cooking is provided and the gardens and cottage interior mean the homely surrounds can be enjoyed by patients and their traveling companions alike. The clinic is open all year round and takes a fresh approach to healthcare with treatment times flexible to suit patient needs and to cause as little disruption as possible to a holiday experience. Located in North Cork the clinic is within striking distance of many quality tourist attractions, a wide range of accommodation and major transport links in the south of Ireland. The town of Killarney is close by and it sits perfectly where Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way meets it’s Ancient East.

Staffed by qualified and experienced nurses there is a high standard of clinical care and with just 2 dialysis stations - a personal service in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Safe and stress-free treatment is guaranteed in a peaceful and idyllic countryside setting - a world away from busy hospitals, as a proper holiday should be.


The Ultimate Airbnb

like limestone and oak beams, together with mod cons like solar water heating.

A 15th-century tower in Co Galway is the most visited private room listing in Airbnb’s history, the company has revealed. Cahercastle in Co Galway sleeps up to four people and boasts a master bedroom with access to the turret, among other facilities. Peter Hayes runs the castle, which is a 30-minute drive from Galway City, with his partner Eva. He introduces himself to wouldbe bookers by saying “one needs to be somewhat crazy to be owned by a castle, it’s owned me now for 20 years... It is our home, it’s not perfect, so don’t expect perfection, we do have cobwebs and a little dust (so asthma sufferers take note). We endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as possible.” Peter, a former fashion designer, first bought the East Galway pile in 1996, and has spent years restoring the place using traditional materials

As well as thick stone walls and roaring fires, the tower features eccentric touches like a bath in the living room, dozens of spiral steps and the odd cobweb. “Castles are hard work,” Peter says. “They’re not easy places to run... but doing Airbnb has given us the opportunity to finish the place.” Whatever Peter and Eva are doing, they are doing it right, as they have become Airbnb Super Hosts, a title only given to those who get almost universally positive reviews from their guests. The reviews for the single room in the castle, which costs around €150 a night, can only be described as rave. “The most unique B&B we’ve ever stayed – most recommended,” is how one recent guest started their assessment of the castle.

TOYS & GIFTS Selling beautiful toys since 1983


The ancient tower of Nobel-prize poet WB Yeats

With a warm West of Ireland welcome

Poetry | Exhibitions | Crafts | Culture | Tours | Teas | Walks | Giftshop Near Gort, Galway, Ireland | Daily April – October

Wooden Toys to educate and expand the imagination of the young and old. Pinocchio’s stocks toys from birth to very tall children (adults). Everything from mobiles to magic sets and from ragdolls to train sets as well as an amazing collection of pocket money toys.

Pinocchio’s Where the Magic Begins…

Contact us

Address: Pinocchio’s Toys & Gifts 2 Paul St, Cork, Ireland, T12 YT21 Phone: +353 21 6019011 Email:

Opening hours Monday-Saturday: 10:00am - 5.30pm Sunday: 1.00pm - 5.30pm 231

See Exquisite Pieces of Crystal manufactured before your eyes

Guided Factory Tours Daily Waterford Brand & Visitor Experience

On social media: Email: Phone: +353 (0) 51 317000





raditional Irish Craft is alive and well and is the mothership for a whole slew of industries. Skills such as textile making, jewelry making, pottery, ceramics, textiles and wood turning represent the marrow of Irish craft businesses.

gainful employment. A recent report concluded that Irish craft and design is worth almost €500m to the Irish economy with some analysts estimating an increase in value to €700 million within the coming years.

In purely economic terms, the value of the Irish craft business to Ireland’s economy is substantial. There are estimated to be almost 2,500 craft enterprises registered in Ireland right now, providing around 6,000 people with

Of course, cottage industries have always been common in Ireland. Just 50 years ago when a large proportion of the population was engaged in agriculture, a big percentage of the farming community turned to selling their wares along 233


the roadside or at markets and fairs for extra income during the quiet winter periods. The typical Irish consumer is happy to part with hard-earned cash for quality products and services which they hold dear, support, admire and respect. In Ireland, our craft industries have always been close to our hearts. Such micro operations speak of our artistic design, our catwalks, our creativity, invention, imagery and our individualistic choices. Irish people are strong minded and our views of what stirs the blood, what is rare and precious, are reflected in the quality of our craftwork. Our love of textiles, fine clothes, art and jewelry speak volumes about where our hearts lie. Ireland is an island that shapes our outlook on Mother Nature, on our relationship with our neighbors and on our landscape and who we are as a people. Our craftwork reflects the entire gamut of what makes the Emerald Isle such a magnet for so many visitors who note that Irish designers and manufacturers of craftwork are making waves at home and abroad. These hugely successful entrepreneurs are using their innate skills and traditional techniques to create must-have works and they continue to portray Ireland’s ancient Celtic culture and heritage via their goods in a way that buyers cannot resist. More recently a new breed of Irish craft groups emerged producing exciting, design-led products which embraced both traditional and new techniques. The market quickly latched onto this new wave of designers/makers and, aided by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, dozens and dozens of cottage industries were born encompassing the worlds of ceramics, jewelry, textiles, glass blowers and a host of other groups specializing in high quality, genuine Irish craft products. Irish craftwork has seldom been more popular or visible with a number of specialist craft and design shops stocking individual craft products pock marking the busiest shopping streets in our cities. And it’s not only on the shelves of marquee retail shops in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Belfast etc that this handiwork is appearing. In recent years, there has been an explosion in 234

interest for hand-made Irish goods in the USA and Britain. The export market for Irish craft has never been more buoyant with knitwear designers, candle-makers, jewelry designers etc. all seeing a steady increase in demand for their handmade, high-quality pieces in deference to the Asian mass-produced items. Each January, Showcase Ireland’s Creative Expo takes place at the RDS, attended by buyers from some 40 countries. Some €20 million worth of Irish craft products were sold at the most recent event. Irish fashion items, jewelry, accessories, textiles, furniture, glass, ceramics and leather continue to light up shops, trade shows, markets, galleries, craft events, workshops, festivals and exhibitions all around the world. The country’s most exciting and creative designer-makers are on a roll. Ireland continues to be well served by its people both at home and abroad whose skills, work ethic and grá for their craft means that Ireland’s craft industries are positively booming.


manufacturing, visitors also see the high standards that the House of Waterford Crystal has for each piece that leaves the factory. The crystal is inspected at each stage of production, so each piece no matter how small goes through six inspections, and if it fails to reach the Waterford Crystal standards at any stage, it is smashed and returned to the furnace to be re-melted so that the piece can be started again. Visitors who pass through the factory at the House of Waterford Crystal can bear testimony to the skill which is brought to bear in every piece, blending the ancient craft with modern techniques.

Crystal Clear T

hrough 235 years, Waterford Crystal and the visionary characters behind its evolution, have crafted a unique story in glass. Imagine the times back in 1783, when Beethoven was publishing his first works and the world’s first hot air balloon was launched in Paris; in Waterford City George and William Penrose petitioned Parliament for aid to establish the manufacture of flint glass in their Waterford Glass House. A luxury collection of the finest crystal continues to be made by skilled craftsmen at the House of Waterford Crystal factory situated in the heart of Waterford City, in Ireland’s Ancient East. A significant tourist attraction, the House of Waterford Crystal welcomes 200,000 visitors annually from across the world.

GUIDED TOURS On the tour, guests visit the mold room where they witness mold making – a technique that has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. Master blowers shape the molten crystal flawlessly with the use of wooden molds and hand tools, which is seen in the next part of the tour. A truly magical experience, visitors enter the blowing department where glowing balls of crystal are transformed by breath into majestic shapes as they are put through the 1300-degree furnace. The Waterford Crystal pieces are then hand marked for precision and accuracy and they are then cut, sculpted and engraved. While getting this behind the scenes sneak peak of this highly skilled method of crystal

On completion of the tour, visitors can experience over 12,000 square feet of crystal heaven in the largest retail and showcase of Waterford Crystal in the world. The retail store represents everything they make in crystal, including a showcase on golf and sport, which is a major part of Waterford Crystal’s international business. A lot of thought goes into Waterford Crystal products – inspiration is drawn from Irish heritage, landscape, castles, music and the arts. It is not just about the amazing shapes or designs of the products, but the stories behind them that reflect the Irish culture. Waterford Crystal is present in so many homes around the world – including some very famous homes – be it a fine wine glass, tumbler, giftware or a chandelier, there is something for everyone. 235

DISCOVER THE HOME DISCOVER of IRISH DESIGN THE and our AwardHOME Winning Restaurant Flagship Store • Nassau St • Dublin 2 of IRISH DESIGN and our Award Winning Restaurant Flagship Store • Nassau St • Dublin 2



15 Stores Nationwide •




ilkenny’s roots are defined by Irish cultural and design heritage, engaging customers with the largest and most inspiring collection of Irish handmade crafts and designs all under one roof. Owned and run by the O’Gorman family from County Cork, the company works with creative and contemporary Irish designers and craft makers who make beautiful products which can create precious memories for visitors to Ireland. CEO Marian O’Gorman credits much of the company’s success over the years to their unwavering dedication to developing new Irish designers and promoting the finest Irish craftsmanship whilst providing customers with a warm welcome, a great shopping experience and delicious Irish-sourced food. With an unforgettable welcome upon entering Kilkenny stores, customers are immersed into a haven of Irish design and craft with unparalleled five-star customer service. Knowledgeable team members know the scéal (Irish word for story) behind each designer and maker stocked in Kilkenny, sharing stories and experiences of the rich creative, cultural and design heritage expressed through the contemporary work of

renowned brands such as Nicholas Mosse, Foxford Woollen Mills and Waterford Crystal. Kilkenny also has a strong reputation for delivering authentic and genuine hospitality with homemade, locally sourced and truly delicious food in their cafes in Kilkenny Design Centre Food Hall, Kilkenny City, Nassau Street, Dublin and Shanagarry East Cork. The Kilkenny Café offers delicious wholesome dishes cooked from scratch on-site every day using locally sourced ingredients. Kilkenny is passionate about preservative free cooking and is proud to offer both gluten-friendly and dairy-free as well as vegetarian options. THE STORY OF KILKENNY There’s a fascinating back-story to Kilkenny of which many customers are unaware. Kilkenny was originally set up as Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) in April 1963 by the Irish government to help develop novice Irish craftmakers into self-sufficient entrepreneurs and to create sustainable design jobs in Ireland. Designers and craftspeople from all over Ireland were asked to relocate to Kilkenny town, where they shared skills and worked collaboratively to build links with industry and grow the market for Irish design and manufacture. The initial workshops included

the working of precious metals, woodturning, ceramics, candle-making, weaving, linen knitting, printing textiles, local pottery clays, bog oak, dense black limestone known as Kilkenny marble, and Irish mined silver. At the official opening of KDW in 1965, guests wanted to purchase some of the gorgeous crafts and gifts on display, which inspired the government to open the first Kilkenny Shop to sell all of the products produced at the workshops. In 1976, KDW opened a second store on Nassau Street in Dublin, and both stores set up thriving cafés. The products developed and sold at KDW became renowned for their design, aesthetic, craftsmanship and advances in industrial design, and the name ‘Kilkenny’ became synonymous worldwide with good design. Marian O’Gorman became CEO of the Kilkenny Group in 1999 after spending more than 28 years in Blarney Woollen Mills, also a family business. Since then, she has gone on to grow the group phenomenally to a position where it now includes a total of 17 stores around Ireland, 3 cafés, a restaurant and a thriving online shop. Kilkenny also has an online store which ships worldwide. ‘The Countess of Wessex’ by Julien Behal Photography


Galway Woollen Market Long standing family run business in the heart of Galway City and the quaint village of Cong. We specialize and stock a wide range of traditional Aran hand-knitted and hand loomed sweaters and cardigans, childrensware, accessories and much more. Galway Woollen Market 21 High Street Galway City 091 562491

TAX FREE SHOPPING Aran Island Sweaters 1/2.indd 1

Galway Woollen Market Circular Road Cong Co Mayo






he breathtaking beauty of the Irish landscape has inspired generations of poets and painters who seek to capture in their craft, its essence; the moss-covered dry-stone wall, the purple carpet of bell-heather or the yellow blaze of furze on the mountainside, the sheer granite cliff glinting in the sunlight as the Atlantic waves crash to shore. So too have Irish craftspeople turned to the landscape around them both for

inspiration and for materials when honing their craft. Early Irish crafts, particularly Irish textiles, are interwoven in the very fabric of the history and culture of Ireland. From once-humble beginnings Irish Aran knitwear, Irish Linen, Donegal tweeds and other textile crafts have grown from simple items of necessity to extraordinary works of quality and design which have earned their place on the international stage. 239


ARAN KNITWEAR Ask anyone about Irish knitwear and they will surely mention the Aran sweater. Almost as familiar as the shamrock, the Aran sweater serves as a symbol of Irishness. Yet how much do we know about the origins of this craft, and the society in which it was cradled? While some say the origins are lost in the mists of time, and that the knitted patterns represent families or clans, it is now widely understood that the origins of the Aran jumper are far more prosaic. The Aran sweater is thought to have originated in the 1890s on the Aran Islands off the west 240

coast of Galway. With the rocky land sustaining little more than hardy flocks of sheep, the islanders depended greatly on fishing for their survival. It is thought the idea of knitting was first introduced to the islanders by the Congested Districts Board, a body established to encourage economic growth in deprived rural areas. Once the initial idea took hold, the industrious island women adapted the initial patterns to develop their own unique style. Thus, the saddle shoulder and all-over distinctive patterning came into being as the design we now readily associate with the Aran Islands. Originally,

Almost as familiar as the shamrock, the Aran sweater serves as a symbol of Irishness


the wool came from the local hardy blackface sheep, with the local women choosing to spin it unwashed, to retain its oily lanolin which is naturally water resistant. This also meant the finished garments retained the off-white ‘báinín’ (pronounced bawn-een) color of the natural wool. The 100% wool, finished garment meant the ‘Geansai Árann’ was both warm and waterrepellant, ideal for the islands’ fishermen, who were battling the Atlantic Ocean in small opentopped currach boats to provide fish for the island community. Today, modern techniques mean that Aran jumpers can be produced more cost-effectively and more quickly to satisfy the demand of the global export market. However, both handloomed versions and hand-knitted Aran jumpers are also still available from local artisans. The wool today is finer, softer and, no longer being spun from unwashed wool, comes in a whole variety of colors as well as the traditional offwhite báinín. Today’s Aran sweater still retains the traditional stitches, developed by the early knitters on the Aran Islands. You will see the recurring theme of blackberry or trinity stitch, representing the riches of nature; the cable stitch, representing the fishermen’s’ nets; honeycomb stitch, representing hard work and honesty; trellis stitch, representing the small stone-walled fields of the islands; diamond stitch, representing wealth; moss stitch, named for the carrageen moss seaweed which was used to enrich the poor island soil, and the tree of life stitch, representing both family and the path to salvation. IRISH LINEN A truly ancient textile craft in Ireland is Irish Linen. The raw material for linen is flax, and there are records of flax growing in Ireland as early as 1000BC. So important was flax that the Brehon Laws, the ancient laws of Ireland, extending back as far as the bronze age, made it obligatory for farmers to learn and practice the cultivation of flax. The production of linen from flax is a complex process with several stages. Age-old techniques honed over the centuries are still employed today at several linen manufacturers in Ireland. Exacting manufacturing processes are strictly followed by

all members of the Irish Linen Guild to ensure top-quality linens are being produced, whether that be linen for household use, such as table, kitchen or bed linen, or indeed for apparel or fashion linens. IRISH TWEED The Donegal tweed tradition is centuries old; woven from native wool and dyed to reflect the earthy, heathery landscape of the area, it was originally woven by hand on small spindles, using a variety of colored wools, later progressing to larger hand looms and later 241

Our unique collection of Bridalwear and Bridal Accessories are available to purchase online or we can be contacted directly for customised orders. Our designs can be shipped to anywhere in the world. Hazel Comyn 19 Main Street, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, V23 YX62

Hazel Comyn Bridal and Lace is a multiaward winning Irish Designer. Her elegant bridal designs represent a modern girl, but bring with them a sense of tradition and heritage. Originally from Cork, but now based in Kerry she takes inspiration from the beauty of the Irish landscape. Through her exploration she discovered a love of Irish crafts especially Handmade Irish Lace which she now incorporates into her designs. Her beautiful handmade Limerick Lace pieces bring back a timeless tradition of passing a piece of lace from generation to generation each bringing their own unique story and memories.

Cape in 100% Pure New Wool Herringbone Donegal Tweed


again to mechanized production. While patterns produced include herringbone and checks, it is the ‘salt and pepper’ pattern that makes Donegal tweed so distinctive, and recognizable worldwide. It is most typically produced in the colors of the dramatic surrounding landscape in a mixture of wools yielding a dotted effect in moss greens, earthy browns, fuchsia pinks and Atlantic blues. Water resistant and hardwearing, Donegal tweed has been used to produce outdoor clothing for hundreds of years. An explosion of interest in the Victorian era saw demand escalate as Donegal tweed became a fabric of choice for those involved in fashionable outdoor sporting pursuits, including fishing, shooting, game hunting and cycling. This trend continues today, with Donegal tweed recognized the world over for its quality, style and durability, as one of the most famous tweeds in the world. One of the most recognized Donegal tweed manufacturers dates back to 1866; Magee, based in Donegal town, has been going from strength to strength for more than 150 years. Magee manufactures the traditional Donegal tweed fabric, and also produces a collection of ladieswear, menswear and homewares. Magee specializes in the use of high quality natural yarns such as cashmere, alpaca, angora, merino and lambswool. They also produce fabrics in a range of patterns including herringbones, checks, and of course the timeless salt and peppers so closely associated with Donegal. Magee’s tweeds are both designed and woven in their mill in Ireland. The company employs 6 handweavers to create unique and beautiful soft tweeds speckled with color, inspired by the surrounding landscape. Donegal is also home to several smaller tweed weavers, including Triona Design and Studio Donegal. Triona Design was started more than three decades ago by fifth-generation weaver Denis Mulhern. Mulhern sought to preserve the traditional method of weaving and, now a thriving family business, Triona Design boasts two retail stores and a visitor center where centuries-old looms can be seen in action. Studio Donegal is a small woolen mill on The Wild Atlantic Way in Kilcar Co. Donegal. Run

by Tristan Donaghy and true to the handcrafted nature of traditional weaving, Studio Donegal does its own carding, spinning, hand weaving and garment making. In fact, everything with the Studio Donegal label is hand woven and made in the mill in Kilcar, Co Donegal. Each individual garment is made entirely from start to finish by a single craftsperson to ensure quality. At the studio which, in the summer, is bustling with visitors from all over the world, a full range of products are available to view or purchase, including tweed throws, men’s and 243


women’s clothing, hats and accessories as well as Donegal Yarns knitting wool and a selection of contemporary and traditional knitwear.

they have a selvedge on each side ensuring they will last and it is this which gives each scarf its quality finish.

Not all Irish tweed is made in Donegal, Mucros weavers, are located at Muckross House, which is the focal point for visitors to Killarney National Park. Surrounded on all sides by the distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies, inspiration is everywhere.

From modest beginnings, Mucros Weavers have now grown to supply more than 100 shops internationally, including shops in the USA, Canada, France, Germany and Japan. The range of exquisite products on offer has also expanded in the more than 40 years that John Cahill has been weaving here. The product range now includes colorful scarves, stoles, capes and rugs, all made from premium yarns such as wool, mohair and alpaca.

Master Weaver John Cahill knows something about tradition, and about taking inspiration from the surrounding beauty of nature. Mucros Weavers’ scarves are woven using only the finest quality yarns, on Hattersly looms that are almost 200 years old. As the saying goes “The older the loom the softer the scarf!” Because all Mucros Weavers’ scarves are individually woven 244

These ranges are complemented with ladies and gents tweed headwear in both traditional and contemporary styles as well as ladies capes and gents waistcoats in tweeds to match the headwear.


represent a modern girl, but bring with them a sense of tradition and heritage. Based at her studio/boutique in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, Hazel travels all over Munster taking inspiration from the beauty in nature and the clean lines of modern architecture. Through her exploration she has discovered a love of Irish crafts especially handmade lace which she now incorporates into her designs. All of Hazel’s work is designed and handmade in Ireland using beautiful luxurious fabrics. Some of her lace is handmade using traditional techniques with original designs and can be designed to include the personalities and stories of the girl who wears it. Her beautiful handmade Limerick Lace pieces bring back a timeless tradition of passing a lace piece from generation to generation each bringing their own unique story and memories.

MODERN DESIGN Jimmy Hourihan and his family have been making beautiful tweed garments from his Dublin base for more than 60 years. Hourihan’s are one of the world’s leading manufacturers of these specifically Irish garments, women’s quality Capes, Wraps, and Shawls in magnificent luxury fabrics such as 100% Cashmere, Cashmere/Wool Blends, Precious Fiber Blends, Double-face Lodens, and of course their famous Irish tweeds from Donegal. While taking inspiration from traditional designs and fabrics, Hourihan’s capes and wraps bring femininity and softness, with an understated element of luxury, to today’s fashion look. Hazel Comyn is another modern Irish designer who draws inspiration from the traditional crafts in her work. A multi-award winning Irish designer, Hazel’s elegant bridal designs

Alexandra Zolich is a Polish-born artist now living and working in Ireland. With an art qualification from Poland and a textile qualification from NCAD in Dublin, she has brought a unique perspective to her Irish crafts. Alexandra creates one-of-a-kind ladies luxury scarves using a ‘Nuno-felting’ technique. In nuno-felting loose fiber (merino wool) is bonded into sheer fabric such as silk, creating a lightweight felt. Warm soapy water is applied to the layers of loose fiber. Repeated agitation and compression causes the fiber and silk to hook together, forming a new fabric. The result is something extraordinary. Each of Alexandra’s products is created by combining high quality silks and merino wool, which is softer and more finely crimped than other wools. Alexandra’s scarves are impressive; inspired by the natural landscape and imaginatively designed, she uses a whole palette of colors to create a truly unique and individual wearable work of art. While some producers of Irish textiles and garments are well-renowned, others particularly those individual artisans and small producers of high quality handmade goods can struggle to be discovered. One person who wanted to do something to change this was New York based Irish-native Margaret Molloy. A Harvard graduate and global chief marketing officer at Siegel+Gale, Molloy started a social media 245


campaign to support Irish design back in 2016. A personal passion-project centering around St Patrick’s Day Molloy started a hashtag campaign for #wearingirish. Molloy encouraged her 30,000+ followers to photograph and tweet about the Irish designs they were wearing in the month of March. The hashtag and associated twitter account has garnered global attention and has given a platform to contemporary Irish designers whose work is now seen and shared across the world. In many ways today’s Irish crafts are a reflection of a modern Ireland, while no longer borne out of the necessities of harsh island weather, Ireland’s modern day crafts provide a fresh outlook as well as a link to Ireland’s ancient past. Artisans still explore the skills of their forbears, and draw inspiration from the landscape, from the sky and from the earth itself while also welcoming new influences, new interpretations; Irish craft is a constant and vibrant journey of discovery.

Hats Off to Shevlin Millinery John Shevlin’s late father started a hat manufacturing company in Malahide, County Dublin in 1960. John has followed in the tradition and has designed and made hats for many outlets in Ireland, including A-Wear, Arnotts, Accessorize and The Hat Shop Dublin. The company is the only blocked felt and straw-hat manufacturer in Ireland. John makes felt hats in plain wool felt, wool felt mixes,


velours and fur felts. He is the only Irish maker of real panama hats using quality Toquilla Plant Straw from Ecuador for ladies and gents - and not just the classic ecru Panama - but also in various styles and colors. John ranks as one of the most established and respected milliners on the Irish fashion scene. Shevlin hats are regularly featured in magazines and on TV as well as featuring on various fashion blogs. John was commissioned to design and produce the last air hostess hat for the Aer Lingus uniform and he has made hats for leading Irish couturiers IB Jorgensen and Thomas Wolfangel. (Both now retired from fashion). The Gate Theatre in 2010 commissioned John to make a hat for the renowned actor Owen Roe, for Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, directed by Alan Stanford while the Abbey Theatre commissioned John to make two stovepipe hats for Brian Friel’s play Translations. Shevlin Millinery were

further commissioned to make two hats for renowned actor Theo James for the film The Secret Scripture. Many well-known personalities are known to don a Shevlin hat. The Best Dressed Man at the Dublin Horse Show in 2012 wore a Shevlin custom-made classic Panama Hat. Shevlin are also delighted to include the following luminaries as owners of a Shevlin hat: The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, dancer Jean Butler, actors Tom-Vaughan-Lawlor, Jerome Flynn and Stephen Fry, singer Bobby Womac (now deceased) and Rory Cowan from Mrs. Browns Boys - 15 hats! The Shevlin Brand is available in leading outlets around Ireland and worldwide.


"Elegance is the only beauty that never fades" Audrey Hepburn


lexandra Zolich is an artist and designer who moved to Ireland to study textile design at NCAD in Dublin. Alexandra’s passion for combining art with textiles led to her own brand, Alexa Design, which can be found in Marion Cuddy, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Dublin and also in The Design Loft, Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow. The products designed and created in Ireland by Alexandra are luxury handmade Nuno felted ladies’ scarves. Nuno felting is a fabric felting technique that bonds loose fiber into sheer fabric such as silk, creating a lightweight felt. Each product is created combining high quality silks and merino wool which is softer and more finely crimped that the other wools. Alexandra’s designs are nature inspired, individual and unique in which she uses a wide palette of colors to create a truly impressive work of art and pure garment poetry. 247

Cbeeltic Knot Works your own kind of awesome

“I’ve purchased two necklaces from Celtic Knot Works and they’re nothing short of spectacular... This is definitely one of my top favorite stores!” - Jesse

I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy making it. -Bob, creator, owner, maker


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Celtic Tradition, Original Design

Artisan Crafted Celtic Jewelry & Gifts Ask for us at your favorite shop or find us online at





id your great, great, great grandfather leave Ireland for America in the 1800’s? Perhaps your great-great grandparents emigrated during the famine of 1845-1850? You may have been born in the USA but many Americans have Irish blood in their veins. So how do you wear your ‘Irish-ness’ and how do you recognize it in others? Since ancient times people have used symbols to define themselves. From the shields and

banners of the crusades to ostentatious bodily adornment – jewelry is one of the oldest types of archaeological artifact. The Celts emerged within the Iron Age, which heralded a new wave of working techniques and materials, namely iron and steel, which required forging and working rather than simply casting. These new innovations gave rise to weapons, jewelry, utensils and armor which were lighter and stronger than during the previous Bronze Age. 249


The Celtic style started to emerge from the fourth and fifth centuries and continued in their purest forms until the tenth and eleventh centuries. Certain peculiarities of design began to appear in Christian decoration which can be found in the stonework of churches and tombstones as well as metalwork and religious manuscripts which had not been seen before. Designs from the Book of Kells and Book of Durrow are not only beautiful but are easily recognizable as Celtic, carrying with them centuries of powerful meaning. A precursor to the modern-day necklace, the Celtic torc was a simple neck ring, otherwise known as a traditional Celtic necklace. Torcs were worn to display wealth and status as well as being part of battle dress. The most famous and elaborate example of a Celtic torc was found in 1896 on a farm near Lough Foyle in County Derry. Two farmers hit something hard with their plough and discovered a hoard containing a model boat, two torcs, two necklaces, a bowl and the piece de resistance, an intricately decorated buffer torc. 250

One of the most universal pieces of Celtic jewelery was the brooch. Celtic brooches have been found in burial sites across Europe and served both functional and decorative purposes as an item of show and also as a cloak fastener. The Tara Brooch is probably the finest example. Dating from the 7th century AD it remains a popular symbol of Ireland and the country’s rich ancestral past. Visitors to Dublin can see it at the National Museum of Ireland alongside other stunning artifacts of the same era including the Ardagh Chalice. Irish Celtic Jewelry is more than a piece of platinum, gold or silver. Prized by men and women alike, Celtic jewelry is a treasure among possessions because of its uniqueness in beauty and symbolism. Given the power represented in this Celtic symbol, it’s easy to see why craftsmen then and now are so dedicated to the pristine perfection of their craft. Wearing Irish jewelry is wearing your Irish heritage with pride and recognizing it in others who are also proud of this fine tradition.

Traditional crafts are the embodiment of living heritage and the skills still in use today continue to be relevant and viable


From Galway with Love


he iconic symbol of love, loyalty and friendship, the Claddagh dates back hundreds of years and is intrinsically linked with Galway. Claddagh Jewellers are makers of the authentic Claddagh Ring whose origins date back over three hundred years. This family run business invites you to a unique visitor center experience where you can discover the history of the Claddagh Ring and the legend behind how it is worn. Visit stores in Galway and Dublin to browse the most extensive collection of fine Irish and Celtic jewelry, where you can choose your own authentic Claddagh Ring and become a part of the tradition. As Claddagh Jewellers continue to develop new designs, including a range of diamond set Claddagh rings inspired by locations around Galway, they have become a recognized destination, gaining a reputation as a high-quality producer of genuine Irish made jewelry among locals and visitors alike. Claddagh Jewellers are based in a prominent three-story building at the intersection of Shop Street, Mainguard Street and High Street in the heart of the old city of Galway,

The Latin Quarter. All parts of the business are consolidated under one roof with retail sales on the ground floor, online sales and service on the second floor and a large workshop on the top floor overlooking St. Nicholas’s parish church, the oldest church in Galway. With their reputation for quality and authenticity fully established, a total of three jewelers and a qualified diamond setter are now employed, and their range of jewelry includes fully handmade pieces, jewelry made through lost wax casting and a range of semi-manufactured stamped items in Sterling silver, gold and platinum.

decision was taken to convert it into a visitor & manufacturing center open to the public, named ‘Legend of The Claddagh Ring’. This property was completely refurbished to include a thatched cottage reminiscent of the dwellings that existed in the village of the Claddagh before the 1920’s and highlights the origin of the Claddagh ring and its importance to Galway. Within this cottage is a workshop that comprises a cutting-edge casting plant which is on view to visitors who can see the various steps in the lost wax casting process from the injection of wax into molds to the final polished product.

Claddagh Jewellers applied to the Irish Patents Office for recognition of their business identity and subsequently, their trading style was granted protection as an Irish trademark. This allowed Claddagh Jewellers to position themselves as makers of the authentic Claddagh Ring, a term which is defined as “a traditional Claddagh Ring that is designed and made from start to finish, within the old city walls of Galway, with the date of manufacture of the ring recorded in a central register.”

A fascinating short film was produced, using only local talent, telling the tale of how the legend of the Claddagh ring came to be. Combining the story of the Claddagh ring and keeping the spotlight firmly on the central theme of the tradition of Claddagh rings in Galway, it contains a workshop, information center, an ample viewing area and a gift shop. Claddagh Jewellers also operate from a prestigious Dublin base on the corner of Grafton Street and directly opposite Trinity College - the only retail location in Dublin where visitors can buy Authentic Claddagh rings made in Galway.

When the opportunity arose to secure the adjoining unit at 26 Shop Street, the



Celtic Knot WORKS



pringtime in Ireland is magical,” says award-winning jewelry designer Bob Heiney of Celtic Knot Works with a laugh, “Of course, every day in Ireland is magical”. Bob grew up in a family jewelry business and has been creating beautiful objects for most of his life. Today, he focuses his creative energy on designing jewelry that combines traditional Celtic motifs with an original twist. “Early in the 1990’s, I encountered and became fascinated by traditional Celtic knot work designs,” he explains. “And when we took our honeymoon trip to Ireland, I fell utterly in love with – well, everything. The minute I got off of the plane, I felt like I was home. The landscape is so green and lush, the food’s exactly to my taste. We’ve just gotten back from a trip, and we’re heading back again soon. It’s impossible


to overstate how much the experience of being in Ireland, with the wonderful Irish people, has influenced my work”. Founded in 2013, Celtic Knot Works features Bob’s original twist on traditional Celtic design. Bob specializes in pewter and sterling silver jewelry that is handcrafted in the USA. Bob creates pendants, pins, crystal pendulums, pocket charms, key chains and more, in dozens of distinct designs. For this article, we asked him to talk about some of his most exciting work, The Tree of Life. “You always want to do work you’re proud of, and that’s part of the reason the Tree of Life design is so special to me,” Bob explains. Created in collaboration with his wife Suzie, a talented designer and proprietor of Deva Designs, the family jewelry business, the Tree of Life design features matching intricate Celtic


knots that serve as the tree’s roots and branches. Looking closely at the tree’s trunk reveals it is a stylized person, perfectly balanced between a sense of being safely grounded and the exciting potential of growth.

have. I was inspired by the possibilities of using the traditional Celtic eternity patterns, where a single line is woven onto and through itself, to create a more realistic rendering of these powerful, iconic animals”.

The Tree of Life is symbolic of connection, wisdom and hope. “Trees occupy such an important role in Celtic legend and lore,” Bob says, “and other cultures have their own take on it, as well. The Tree of Life is sometimes called the World Tree, or the Sacred Tree. The Norse called it Yggdrasil, and in Israel, it is called Etz Chaim”.

BRIGID’S HAMMER: PATRON OF SMITHS “One of our newer designs, and one I’m quite excited about, is the Brigid’s Hammer. Brigid is one of Ireland’s patron saints who was, when we go back in history, a powerful Celtic goddess. She’s said to watch over many things, including scholars, poets, travelers, and my personal favorite, metalsmiths.”

Available as a pendant, pin, key chain, money clip and more, the Tree of Life design has won multiple awards. The Coalition of Visionary Resources has recognized it multiple times, including Jewelry of the Year and Product of the Year honors. CELTIC ANIMAL JEWELRY – WILDLIFE, CELTIC STYLE Almost half of Celtic Knot Work’s designs feature animals, with the Bear, Raven, and Wolf being the most popular. “These are some of the very first pieces I created,” Bob explains. “The Bear in particular is very personally significant to me. I’ve had an affinity with bears since I was a very young man, but I had a hard time finding a representation that wasn’t either too ferocious or too cute. It inspired me to create a new design of my own”. On the back of the Celtic Bear pendant, you’ll find the words “Strength. Courage. Compassion. Wisdom.” “The Irish know well the power language has,” Bob explains, “and I’ve found that for some people, the messages on the back of my designs add another level of meaning and personal connection to wearing the jewelry”. The Celtic Wolf design, which is consistently the best-selling pendant, has the message “Live bold, trust your instincts” on the back, and the Celtic Raven features the phrase “Speak your truth”. “When you talk about Celtic animals, many people think of the beautiful images from the Book of Kells,” Bob explains. “Those are stunning, of course, but they’re stylized in a way that didn’t speak to me as directly as they might

The Brigid’s Hammer design was inspired by one of Celtic Knot Works’ most popular creations, the traditional Viking Thor’s Hammer. “Thor’s Hammer is, ultimately, a weapon,” Bob says. “When you think about a hammer in the hands of a smith, though, it’s something quite different. The smith’s hammer doesn’t destroy; it creates. It’s through the application of force, will and intelligence that the smith uses their hammer to bring forth meaning from the metal – it’s truly a beautiful thing.” The Brigid’s Hammer features Bob’s Viking Thor’s Hammer design, with a twist. The base features a classic Celtic triple knot, honoring Brigid’s history as a triple goddess. At the top of the hammer, Brigid’s arms are raised above her head, as though raising her smithing hammer for her next act of creation. “So far, we’ve had a great response to this design. It’s been popular with creative people, the artists, makers, and free spirits of the world. All of our designs are made to be worn by both men and women, and so far, we’ve seen demand for the Brigid’s Hammer play out pretty evenly. It’s a completely original concept, and we’re proud to have brought it into the world.” ABOUT CELTIC KNOT WORKS All Celtic Knot Works jewelry features Bob Heiney’s original designs. Handcrafted in the USA of pewter and sterling silver, Celtic Knot Works jewelry is available on a wholesale and retail basis. Find out more by visiting 253





Made only in Co. Kerry PFK Master Goldsmith & Jewellery Designer 33 Henry Street, Kenmare, Co. Kerry, Ireland | tel: +353 (0)64 664 2590 | email: Available to purchase online or at our studio in Kenmare

The Celtic Craftsman “The Ring of Kerry” takes on an entirely new aspect and meaning under the skilled hands of goldsmith Paul Kelly. Inspired by the wildly beautiful landscape around him, Kelly’s Kerry ring features interlocking torc bands in silver and 18-carat gold, set with a brilliant-cut white diamond and a faceted emerald. A master goldsmith, Kelly trained and served an apprenticeship with Rudolf Heltzel before opening his shop in 1999 in Kenmare on the world-famous Ring of Kerry, where he has been based ever since.

Can you describe your first years as a goldsmith? My training was in Kilkenny, a medieval town in the southeast of Ireland. Here I worked as an apprentice with Rudolph Heltzel, an icon of Irish craft and design. During my time there I became immersed in the skill and discipline of advanced craftsmanship. The training I received to become a goldsmith and silversmith was second to none. I was taught to work with precision and flair; this foundation has allowed me the freedom to create new and original designs. What does the Ring of Kerry collection mean to you? I am proud of the connection many people have to my Ring of Kerry collection and in particular the Kerry ring. The special associations people make with the place are already there through the time they have shared together, and through their experiences of the sea, the valleys, the weather, the light, and the landscape. The Ring of Kerry symbolises and embodies that experience; it genuinely seems to touch an emotional chord.

Where do you find your inspiration? Living in the southwest of Ireland, I am constantly inspired by the beauty of the landscape around me. The greens and golds of the mountains; the silver and blue of the sea and sky; the fierce balance between the elements all led me to create my Ring of Kerry. The ring is actually two separate torc rings that when worn together symbolise the relationship between its owner and the Kerry landscape. The bands are made of silver and 18-carat yellow gold, one set with a faceted green emerald, the other with a brilliant-cut white diamond. What is your perfect day? My perfect day would be a day in June. I would get up early in the morning and go for a row on Kenmare Bay. Ideally, it would be a flat, calm morning with just a little mist. The appearance of the water is often like glass, and you can glide through the mist in total peace - everyone should try it; it’s stunning. I would then open my shop, which is located in the heart of Kenmare town.

Throughout the day I would make and design pieces from the Ring of Kerry collection in my onsite workshop. I greatly enjoy meeting my customers, who call in from all corners of the globe.

There’s a stillness at dawn, half of the world is still asleep and you’re up doing something that feels really special. The appearance of the water is often like glass, and you can glide through the mist in total peace.

Once the day’s work is done, I might go to the local harbour and, if it’s a particularly nice evening, I’ll take out my boat. I would be back on dry land by nine o’clock, at the pub right by the harbour, a pint of Guinness in hand, and a bowl of mussels in front of me a great end to the day. I mean, that wouldn’t be every day. But I do often get to experience “my perfect day”. I am one lucky man.

7-8 Johnson’s Court (off Grafton Street) Dublin 2 w: | t: +353 1 635 1136 | e:


Timeless Treasures


aul Sheeran Jewellers is a family run business established in 1994, and is located on Johnson’s Court, just off Grafton Street. Through specializing in fine diamond jewelry and luxury Swiss watch brands, it has gained a reputation across Ireland and beyond for offering the very best products in the luxury market. Paul Sheeran Jewellers sets itself apart from its competitors through the stylish and luxurious environment it provides to customers. Its team of in-house designers, goldsmiths, watch makers and diamond experts have attracted a strong base of support from locals and internationals alike. Paul Sheeran Jewellers has created an enhanced, guest centric in-store experience for customers. This includes the International Watch Room on the first floor, designed as a ‘boutique within a boutique’ for customers to view their favorite watch brands in a comfortable setting. To date the business counts Longines, Tudor, Breitling, IWC, Tag Heuer and Jaeger LeCoultre as the haute horology brands available at the International Watch Room. Tudor is the latest luxury brand launched at the International Watch Room in November 2018. Moving forward the business is going from strength to strength

and is continuously bringing luxury jewelry and watches in Ireland to the next level. Paul Sheeran, a trained horologist, states “symbolizing wonderful moments and special occasions with you is our privilege. From graduations, engagements to weddings, anniversaries to birthdays, or those special ‘just because’ presents, we love to see the joy on people’s faces when they either chose to give, or are the recipient of a special gift. The store also offers a bespoke design service, so whether you are looking for a simple solitaire ring, a pair of personalized cufflinks or a beautiful pendant, the in-house team of goldsmiths can bring your wishes to life.” The team at Paul Sheeran Jewellers understand that jewelry and watches are celebratory pieces, and they are on hand to share their expert advice, such as informing you on the latest watch trends and jewelry styles. Paul Sheeran Jewellers offers regular sixmonthly check-ups and lifetime steamcleaning service for jewelry purchased from the store free of charge. For day to day storage of mechanical watches, Paul Sheeran watch specialists recommend watch winders which keep the movement from seizing and

in turn, there is no need to correct the time. It is important to consider the daily wear and tear that a watch or a piece of jewelry experiences on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s essential to get your jewelry and watches serviced by a trusted professional. “Going to have your jewelry and watches maintained is comparable to going to your dentist for a check-up” says Paul Sheeran. “It’s not something you can do at home yourself and it’s important to find someone you can use time and time again.” As well as the Paul Sheeran Collections, the store also stocks a wide range of top jewelry brands including Gucci, Dior, Chimento and Utopia. Paul Sheeran advises “Diamonds are not just a fashion trend, they are the pieces you buy for the one you love. It makes sense to invest in a good quality piece, because it will be something you will have for decades to come.” Paul Sheeran Jeweller’s specialist team ensure discerning customers leave satisfied and the professional after-care service guarantees your purchase will maintain its quality for years to come. Tax free sales are also available to international customers. 257

IRISH LINEN HOUSE create handmade tablerunners, placemats and napkins made from the finest Irish Linen. Greg Whelan, founder and designer takes his inspiration from Ireland’s traditional celtic art and mythology. Each piece of the collection is uniquely made fusing historical elements with a modern, contemporary edge. Perfectly crafted, this luxurious range of linen will enhance your dining space to add character and elegance.

Specialists in Irish Knitwear, Tweeds and Wool Products Top Floor, St. Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dublin 2 Phone: 01 475 4621

Irish Linen House Bow Street, Smithfield Village, Dublin 7 Phone no: +353 1 5329572 Mobile Greg: +353 860339979



O'Meara's Irish House O’Meara’s Irish House is located in the heart of the Door County, WI peninsula and has been a destination for forty-five years for those on the hunt for high quality, authentic Irish clothing, crafts and jewelry. Door County, well known especially in the Midwest, is a gorgeous resort area that sees more than two million visitors a year. Owner Megan O’Meara says that they are often asked what an Irish store is doing in the middle of a Scandinavian area. “As it turns out, many Irish settled in Door County originally, not to mention that the majority of our customers travel from Chicago, Milwaukee and beyond,” she says. “We

frequently see some of those Scandinavians coming in for a peek of our fabulous wool room along with Germans, Italians and every other ethnicity you can imagine. What we have found is that good taste is universal.” O’Meara is originally from Chicago and her Irish relatives hail from counties Tipperary, Mayo, Galway and Limerick. She has owned O’Meara’s Irish House for 20 years and says that one of the best parts of the job is spending time in Ireland. Whether she’s there for her annual tour of Ireland that she hosts for customers, meeting with vendors directly in their factories, or visiting with her Irish friends and family, days spent in Ireland make for a richer experience for her customers back home in Fish Creek. “I love seeing our vendors

at various buying shows, however, for some of our larger lines, I like to take time and look at every fabric sample, gemstone and color swatch in person. The challenge is to always find incredible things that cannot be found anywhere else,” she says. Apart from her retail space, O’Mears Irish House has a guest house above her shop as well as an online store. In a changing retail market, O’Meara puts the longevity and growth of her business down to two key things. “We have amazingly loyal customers who always want new things to shop for and we have an amazingly talented group of vendors that always manage to produce an exciting range of products every year.” 259



A Lit'le Irish Too Get set for double the luck, two times the amount of green and twice the amount of all your favorite Irish goods because A Lit’le Irish Too has opened a second location in downtown Frederick Maryland. “Everyone is a little Irish, even if it’s only for a day,” says Emily Warren, owner of this charming Irish Store. No matter what walk of life people come from they can be united by the love of all things Irish she says. “For the past 15 years A Lit’le Irish, Too has become the Irish heartbeat

of Gettysburg Pennsylvania. This March marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of our current Gettysburg location and we couldn’t be prouder of how much it’s grown over the years.” Whether you are full blooded Irish or just a little Irish too, Emily and her team have something for everyone in every budget. A Lit’le Irish, Too carry beautiful Irish knit sweaters and handmade Irish caps. They also have fresh scented fragrances and delicious Irish foods that make visitors feel like they are right there in Ireland.

more sparkle, A Lit’le Irish, Too brings in top notch traditional and modern Celtic inspired jewelry designed and made in Ireland. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help customers find the perfect gift. To see all they have to offer, visit the storefront, shop with them online, or visit at one of the many Irish festivals they set up stall at. Or you can be A Lit’le Irish Too by following them on social media for the latest promotions, festivals and news.

If you are looking for something with a little 261


Criostal na Rinne is a hand cut crystal studio workshop situated in Ireland’s Ancient East in the picturesque Irish speaking area of An Rinn, the Waterford Gaeltacht. The products we make are stories made physical. More than just useful objects, they create meaningful connection with our rich culture, history, nature and language. Free Tour • Tax Free Shopping • Worldwide Shipping

@criostalnarinne +353 (0) 58 46174

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Mary-Anne's Irish Gift Shop Riverdale is a beautiful residential neighborhood nestled on the Hudson River only 11 miles north of Times Square, the perfect distance for many to be able to enjoy the hustle and bustle of New York City with the calm of a pretty suburb. It’s here in this neighborhood you will find Mary-Anne’s Irish Gift Shop. Mary-Anne, a former Rose of Tralee, is in her 29th year of running the business this year. As a destination store, Mary-Anne has always felt that it was important to have a well-stocked shop with a large selection of the finest Irish design to make it a worthwhile journey from anywhere in the tri-state area. What also makes this shop unique is not only the handmade Irish crafts but also that Mary-Anne’s Shop is attached to her parents’ traditional Irish Bar and restaurant. You can step right into the bar and order one

of NYC’s best pints of creamy Guinness and delicious Irish coffee, making you feel like you are in Ireland. Mary-Anne spent her childhood in Ireland, and her love of the landscape, its people, heritage and craftsmanship took hold of her and never left. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, she knew exactly what she wanted to do: gather crafts from some of the finest artisans the Emerald Isle has to offer and showcase them in NYC. She has always loved textiles, and this is plain to be see when you walk inside and see bursts of color everywhere. When speaking to Mary-Anne, you can see her eyes light up when she tells you about the different weavers, knitters and other Irish artists she represents. “Every piece has a story, and I just love sharing them with my customers. I love being able to give these extremely talented artisans a platform to be able to sell their designs here in New York City.” This is truly a one stop shopping haven.

You can find something for everyone here, whether it be a little baby Aran sweater, blanket, or a men’s traditional tweed cap, ladies’ cape, handwoven scarf, handcrafted jewelry and much more. Another thing that makes Mary-Anne’s shop unique is her ability to personalize for you on the spot, from etched crystal for a presentation piece, a baby bank with gold lettering, or hand lettered wedding blessing on a piece of Belleek China, to name a few. “I love creating an experience for everyone who steps into my shop whether it be educating him or her about the crafts I stock, connecting them with other people in my shop or just letting them enjoy the feeling of having stepped into Ireland for a brief moment in New York City. Now that doesn’t happen just anywhere, so please do stop in for a visit.” 5694 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx, New York 10471 263


Mully's Celtic Cottage Mully’s Celtic Cottage is located in the cool mountain town of Prescott, AZ. The location looks over the historic Prescott Courthouse Square as well as Prescott’s famous Whiskey Row. “Our love of all things Irish began on our first trip to Ireland in 2011,” explains owners Frank and Nancy Morrall. “The people and beautiful countryside were just a few things that made us fall in love with Ireland.” Since that time, they discovered that their love of Ireland is shared by many people in the 264

states and therefore Mully’s Celtic Cottage was born! The name Mully is derived from Nancy’s maiden name of Mulheron. Mully was her father’s nickname, so the couple decided to have it become the name of their store. Family is very important to Frank and Nancy who are proud to show off their niece Amanda Mulheron, her daughter Madison Truitt and grandson Easton wearing Irish clothing from Mully’s Celtic Cottage. “We carry a large variety of items Made in Ireland,” they explain. “The quality,

craftmaship and symbolism are outstanding, and we are proud to carry many well-known Irish brands such as Hanna Hats, Aran Woollen Mills knitwear, ShanOre Jewelry, Solvar Jewelry, Boru Jewelry, Jo Browne and Inis Fragrances. We also carry local favorites such as Celtic pewter jewelry made in Sedona Arizona.” Frank and Nancy invite you to visit them online or if you are in Arizona, come up to Prescott for the cool mountain air and visit their store.


Since 1960, when John Shevlin’s late father started a ladies hat factory in Malahide Co. Dublin, Shevlin Millinery design and make classical ladies and gents hats for the home and export market. Shevlin Millinery are also the only Irish makers of Real Panama Hats, using quality straw from Ecuador. Many well-known people wear a Shevlin Hat, including the President of Ireland. From their shop Design Lane, in Temple Bar, Essex Street West, Dublin 8, John makes made to measure hats at no extra cost. SEE OUR SELECTION OF HATS IN DESIGN LANE.

Monday to Saturday 11am to 6pm. Sunday 12pm to 5pm.

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Marion Cuddy, Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, Dublin The Design Loft, Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow. ALEXADESIGN.IE

Store DIrectory Bill Baber Knitwear





Celtic Treasures

The Celtic Knot

Irish Eyes

2420 Chinook Avenue Anchorage, AK 99516

28 Main Street Jackson, CA 95642

Celtic Elegance / Name Heritage International

Tel: 907-333-2358 Web: Contact: Lisa Caress-Beu

Tel: 209-223-5830 Email: Contact: Ron Busch

8A Olde Mistick Village 27 Coogan Boulevard Mystic, CT 06355

Sunshine Health Foods

Celtic Shoppe

410 Trainor Gate Road Fairbanks, AK 99701

354 East Campbell Avenue Campbell, CA 95008

Tel: 907-456-5433 Web: Contact: Mary Kopf

Tel: 408-379-7474 Web: Contact: Cathy Cavagnaro

ARIZONA Mully’s Celtic Cottage 130 W. Gurley Street, Suite 302 Prescott, AZ 86301

Tel: 480-941-4198 Web: Contact: Nancy Morrall

Ciaras Irish Shop 334 Second Street Eureka, CA 95501

Tel: 707-443-0102 Email: Contact: CC O’Brien-Cree

Tel: 860-536-9960 Email: Contact: Donna Gorman

Lucky Ewe Irish Goods 2371 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT 06518

Tel: 203-507-2160 Web: Contact: Kathleen O’Neil-Regan

Spanish Springs & Sumter Landing The Villages, FL 32159

Tel: 352-840-3212 Web: Contact: Marian Halpin

Celtic Shop of Dunedin 354 Main Street Dunedin, FL 34698

Tel: 727-733-2200 Web: Contact: Lynn Thorn


The Irish Gift Shop

Fenwick Float’ors

26 Cuna Street St. Augustine, FL 32084

35034 Buoy Boulevard West Fenwick Island, DE 19975

Tel: 302-436-5953 Web: Contact: Tina McBride

Tel: 904-824-5040 Web: Contact: Grace Reed


Store DIrectory


Paddy’s On The Square


Irish Traditions

Enchanted Shire

228 Robert Parker Coffin Road Long Grove, IL 60047

Irish Crystal Company

141 Main Street Annapolis, MD 21401

6905 Virlyn B Smith Road Fairburn, GA 30213

Tel: 585-329-5653 Web: Contact: Arleen Dougherty


Tel: 847-634-0339 Web: Contact: John Barry

South Side Irish Imports 3446 W. 111th Street Chicago, IL 60655

All Things Irish

Tel: 773-881-8585 Email: Contact: Linda & Ron Gorman

315 E Sherman Avenue Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814

South Side Irish Imports

Tel: 208-667-0131 Web: Contact: Ilene Moss

ILLINOIS Irish American Heritage Center Gift Shop

7725 W 159th Street Tinley Park, IL 60477

Tel: 708-444-4747 Email: Contact: Linda & Ron Gorman


4626 N Knox Avenue Chicago IL 60630

Ballyea Jewelry & Irish Gift Shop

Tel: 773-282-7035 x 14 Web: Contact: Irene Higgins-Hruby & Mary Rose Teahan

519 Franklin Street Michigan City, IN 46360

The Irish Boutique 6606 Northwest Highway Crystal Lake Plaza Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Tel: 815-459-1800 Web: Contact: Patrick Barry

The Irish Boutique 434 Coffin Road Long Grove, IL 60074


Bridget’s - An Irish Tradition

Failte Irish Import Shop

88 West Main Street Norton, MA 02766

113 South Upper Street Lexington, KY 40507

Tel: 859-381-1498 Web: Contact: Liza Hendley Betz

Walsh’s Celtic Center 931 Baxter Avenue Louisville, KY 40204

Tel: 502-459-9888 Email: Contact: John Walsh


Tel: 508-285-9700 Web: Contact: Bridget Daly

Ireland on the Square 10 Market Square Newburyport, MA 01950

Tel: 978-463-6288 Web: Contact: Jennifer Dumas

Irish Specialty Shoppe 158 President Avenue Fall River, MA 02720

Tel: 508-678-4096 Contact: Joseph Reilly


Tel: 585-329-5653 Web: Contact: Arlene Dougherty

Always Irish


Tel: 734-462-7200 Email: Contact: Dean & Judy Valovich

Shamrock Imports 391 Bluff Street Dubuque, IA 52001

Tel: 563-583-5000 Web: Contact: Mike & Judy Siegert

The Irish Shop

Tel: 712-852-4326 Web: Contact: Stephanie Mehan

1001 South Broadway Emmetsburg, IA 50536

46468 River Road Hammond, LA 70401

Ireland on the Square 3 Dock Square Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Tel: 207-967-0534 Web: Contact: Jennifer Dumas

MICHIGAN 37650 W. 6 Mile Road Livonia, MI 48152

The Celtic Path 214 E Main Street Hubbardston, MI 48845

Tel: 989-981-6066 Email: Contact: Patricia Baese


Celtic Seasons

A Lit’le Irish Too

301 N Harbor Drive, Suite B6 Grand Haven, MI 49417

143 N Market Street Frederick, MD 21710

Tel: 717-334-6609 Web: Contact: Tory Warren 268


Enchanted Shire

St Pat’s Association & Irish Gift Shop

Tel: 708-445-1149 Web: Contact: Jim & Anne August

Tel: 913-341-4438 Web: Contact: Michelle Nestel

Tel: 410-990-4747 Web: Contact: Margaret McLemore

Tel: 312-332-9307 Web: Contact: Bernadette Gibson

Tel: 847-634-3540 Web: Contact: Patrick Barry

100 N Oakpark Avenue Oak Park, IL 60301

8250 W 151st Street Overland Park, KS 66223

Tel: 269-352-0376 Email: Contact: Eileen Boyle Chlebana

Ireland on the Square

221 E Lake Street Petosky, MI 49770

6 Market Square Portsmouth, NH 03801

Tel: 231-753-2027 Web: Contact: Ed Karmann

Tel: 603-319-1670 Web: Contact: Jennifer Dumas

Sullivan’s Irish Alley & Travel Too


104 East Main Street Flushing, MI 48433

Bridget’s Irish Cottage

Tel: 810-487-2473 Web: Contact: Ed & Caron Sullivan

15 E Broad Street Westfield, NJ 07090

The Twisted Shamrock

Tel: 908-789-0909 Web: Contact: Bridget Lawn

3074 12 Mile Road Berkley, MI 48072

The Cross & Shamrock

Tel: 248-544-4170 Web: Contact: Jim Monahan

MISSOURI Browne’s Irish Market 3300 Pennsylvania Avenue Kansas City, MO 64111

Tel: 816-561-0030 Web: Contact: Kerry Browne

The Celtic Ranch 404 Main Street Weston, MO 64098

Tel: 816-640-2881 Web: Contact: Terry Kast

Kerry Cottage 2119 S. Big Bend Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63117

Tel: 314-647-0166 Web: Contact: Karin Jorgenson

NEW HAMPSHIRE Celtic Crossing 112 Congress Street Portsmouth, NH 03801

Tel: 603-436-0200 Web: Contact: Karin Scott

Store DIrectory

County Emmet Celtic Shop

1669 Route 33 Hamilton Square, NJ 08690

Tel: 609-586-9696 Web: Contact: Ann & Tim Bauersachs

Emerald Gifts 137 Parsippany Road Parsippany, NJ 07054

Tel: 973-884-3241 Email: Contact: Edward Hansberry

Faith & Begorra 40 Broadway Denville, NJ 07834

Tel: 973-625-0070 Web: Contact: Susan Banks

Irish Centre 1120 Third Ave Spring Lake, NJ 07762

Tel: 732-449-6650 Web: Contact: Moya Rushe

Kelly’s A Touch of Ireland 5 South Broadway Pitman, NJ 08071

Tel: 856-589-4988 Email: Contact: Judy Miller

Annual NACTA Member Night @ Showcase Ireland 2019 Marsha McGrath -Tipperary Irish Imports, Brunswick, NY (left) CC Cree-O’Brien - Ciara’s Irish Shop, Eureka, CA (middle) Karen Woods, Amethyst Designs, Dublin, Ireland (right)


Celtic Aer Gift Shop

130 North Broadway South Amboy, NJ 08879

1451 Strawberry Road Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

Tel: 732-525-0515 Web: Contact: Rosanne Savoi

Tel: 914-526-3361 Webite: Contact: Ashley Rooney-Hedtke


Celtic Gifts & Treasures

30 Monmouth Street Red Bank, NJ 07701

72-17 Grand Avenue Maspeth, NY 11378

Tel: 732-747-4433 Web: Contact: Paul Savoi

Tel: 718-424-8686 Email: celticirishgiftsandtreasures@ Contact: Liz Kenny

Out of Ireland 3 New York Road, Store #22 Historic Smithville, NJ 08205

Tel: 609-748-6707 Web: Contact: Kathleen O’Gara

The Pipers Cove 212 Kearny Avenue Kearny, NJ 07032

Tel: 201-998-3695 Web: Contact: John & Joan Nisbet

Celtic Treasures 456 Broadway Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Tel: 518-583-9452 Web: Contact: Paul O’Donnell

The Danu Gallery 39 E. Central Avenue Pearl River, NY 10965

Tel: 845-735-4477 Web: Contact: Karen Curran


From the Hart

Cashel House

108 N Main Street Wellsville, NY 14895

224 Tompkins Street Syracuse, NY 13204

Tel: 315-472-4438 Email: Contact: Peter Heverin

Tel: 585-808-4643 Email: Contact: Nancy Hart


Store DIrectory Irish Eyes of Virgina


Enchanted Shire

Bridie’s Irish Faire

16445 Poplar Tent Road Huntersville, NC 28078

715 NW 3rd Street (Nye Beach) Newport, OR 97365

Tel: 585-329-5653 Web: Contact: Arlene Dougherty

Tel: 541-574-9366 Web: Contact: Susan Spencer



Casey’s Irish Imports

A Lit’le Irish Too

19626 Center Ridge Road Rocky River, OH 44116

9 Chambersburg Street Gettysburg, PA 17325

Tel: 440-333-8383 Web: Contact: Kathleen Casey Proctor & Maureen Casey

Tel: 717-334-6609 Web: Contact: Tory Warren

Celtic Corner

52 South Main Street New Hope, PA 18938

Guaranteed Irish

Molly Malone’s Irish Gifts

2220 Route 145 East Durham, NY 12423

295 Canada Street Lake George, NY 12845

Tel: 518-634-2392 Email: Contact: Donal Gallagher

Tel: 518-668-3363 Web: Contact: Bill & Emily Manion

Irish Crossroads

Tara Gift Shoppe

Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland

58 Main Street Sayville, NY 11782

250 Abbott Road Buffalo, NY 14220

299 Links Drive Marysville, OH 43040

Tel: 631-569-5464 Web: Contact: Kathleen Quinn

Tel: 716-825-6700 Web: Contact: Mary Heneghan

Tel: 937-644-8688 Web: Contact: Anne & Al Gleine

Lennon’s Irish Shop

Tipperary Irish Importer / Celtic Jeweler

Irish Crossroads & Gift Shop

164 Jay Street Schenectady, NY 12305

Tel: 518-377-0064 Web: Contact: Dale & Mary Ann May

Little Shop of Shamrocks

3956 State Highway 2 Brunswick, NY 12180

Tel: 518-279-8272 Web: Contact: Tom McGrath

173 Islip Avenue Islip, NY 11751

Walker Metalsmith Celtic Jewelry

Tel: 631-224-4311 Web: Contact: Linda Low

1 Main Street Andover, NY 14806

Mary-Anne’s Irish Gift Shop



Tel: 607-478-8567 Web: Contact: Stephen Walker

502 Old State Route 74 Cincinnati, OH 45244

Tel: 513-528-5578 Web: Contact: Louise & Robert Reid

38015 Euclid Avenue Willoughby, OH 44094

Tel: 440-954-9032 Web: Contact: Michelle Morgan

Lynch’s Irish Imports & Gifts

Celt-Iberia Traders Tel: 215-862-4922 Web: Contact: Michael Burns & Richard Cordover

The Celtic Cross 729 Washington Road Pittsburgh, PA 15228

Tel: 412-306-1890 Web: Contact: Tom Macik

Celtic Culture 137 East Main Street Ligonier, PA 15658

Tel: 724-238-2420 Web: Contact: Andrew Carr

The Celtic Rose

116 S. Market Street Wooster, OH 44691

Peddlers Village Courtyard, Store 14 Lahaska, PA 18931

Tel: 330-601-0160 Email: Contact: Thomas Lynch

Tel: 215-794-5882 Web: Contact: Marilyn Mellon

Cronin’s Irish Cottage

5694 Riverdale Avenue Bronx, NY 10471

300 Lackawanna Avenue Scranton, PA 18503

Tel: 718-549-7660 Web: Contact: Mary-Anne Connaughton

Tel: 570-342-4448 Web: Contact: Breeda Cronin-Holmes

534 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18018

Tel: 610-866-3244 Web: Contact: Neville Gardner & Marie Barry

Enchanted Shire 2775 Lebanon Road Manheim, PA 17545

Tel: 585-329-5653 Web: Contact: Arleen Dougherty

Giggles Gifts 7400 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136

Tel: 215-624-8311 Web: Contact: Rosemary Veneziale

Irish Design Center 303 South Craig Street Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Tel: 412-682-6125 Web: Contact: Maura Krushinski


Piper Dan’s Keltic Shoppe

O’Meara’s Irish House

The Celtic Cup

109E Main Street, Old Town Purcellville, VA 20132

3970 State Highway 42 Fish Creek, WI 54212

Tel: 540-751-0777 Email: Contact: Mary Brady Shea Knight

Tel: 920-868-3528 Web: Contact: Megan O’Meara

Pixie Treasures Celtic Shoppe

Robin’s European Cottage

2925 Virginia Beach Boulevard Virginia Beach, VA 23452

N70 W6340 Bridge Road Cedarburg, WI 53012

Tel: 757-961-7494 Web: Contact: Jeanne & Bob Rider

Tel: 262-377-3444 Email: Contact: Robin Parsons

106 North Anderson Street Tullahoma, TN 37388

Tel: 931-563-7733 Web: Contact: Denise & Chris Smith

Celtic Heritage 634 Parkway, The Village #26, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Tel: 865-436-2588 Web: Contact: Melody VanNus

TEXAS Things Celtic 115 E Blackjack Street Dublin, TX 76446

Tel: 512-472-2358 Web: Contact: Lanora Davidson


Scotland House Ltd 430 Duke of Gloucester Street Williamsburg, VA 23185

Tel: 757-229-7800 Web: Contact: Sam & Michelle Wallace

A Bit of Home 2-1248 Dundas Street East Mississauga, Ontario, L4Y 2C1

WASHINGTON Galway Bay Trading Co

The Scottish & Irish Store East

880 Point Brown Avenue NE Ocean Shores, WA 98569

1713 St. Laurent Boulevard (at Innes) Ottawa, Ontario, K1G 3V4

Celtic Tides

233 Bridge Street New Cumberland, PA 17070

23A S. Jefferson Street Lexington, VA 24450

Wandering Angus

Tel: 717-774-8789 Web: Contact: Cindy & Steve Washburn

Tel: 540-464-6545 Web: Contact: John & Mary Jo Morman


Irish Eyes of Virginia

110 South Street Philadelphia, PA 19147

725 Caroline Street Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Tel: 215-925-1995 Web: Contact: Meg Turner

Tel: 540-373-0703 Web: Contact: Mike & Bernadette Esler



Maggie Casey’s Celtic Treasure

4221 Lien Road Madison, WI 53716

Basic Irish Luxury

124 Main Street Smithfield, VA 23430

137 Swinburne Row, Thames Street Newport, RI 02840

Tel: 757-371-6100 Email: Contact: Kristin Wilda

Tel: 800-255-8272 Web: Contact: Tom McGrath


Tel: 905-804-1731 Web: Contact: Henry & Geraldine Porsch

Tel: 360-289-2300 Web: Contact: William Gibbons

Oxford Hall Celtic Shoppe & Tea Café

914 Water Street Port Townsend, WA 98368

Tel: 360-385-9549 Web: Contact: Tracy Williamson & Debbie Sonandre

Legacy House Imports

Store DIrectory

Donegal Square

Tel: 613-739-3393 Web: Contact: Michael Cox

The Scottish & Irish Store West 2194 Robertson Road Ottawa, Ontario, K2H 9J5

Tel: 613-829-2251 Web: Contact: Michael Cox

The Wee Tartan Shop 177 Queen Street Port Perry, Ontario, L9L 1B8

Tel: 905-985-6573 Web: Contact: Stewart Bennett

Tel: 608-663-1340 Web: Contact: Patrick & Marsha Flannery

Legends of the Celts PO Box 13143 Hayward, WI 54843

Tel: 715-634-0901 Web: Contact: Steve & Barbara Hand 271

r Fo n o N U -E en id es R ts

makers of the tm

Traditional Claddagh Rings, Timeless Claddagh Wedding Bands & Exclusive Diamond Set Claddagh Rings From the Workshops of Claddagh Jewellers in the Heart of Galway City.

Visit Our Stores in Galway City

and Dublin City Centre

Visit Our Galway Store 25 Mainguard St. 091 562 310 Visit Our Dublin Store 2 Grafton St. 01 607 4018


V i si tor C e n t r e G a lway

Galway’s New and Exciting Claddagh Ring Visitor Centre and Workshop Come and see where the authentic Claddagh Ring is made. Learn about the origins of Galway's iconic Claddagh ring which dates back over 300 years. Browse the most extensive range of fine Irish and Celtic jewellery. TM

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Located next to Claddagh Jewellers: 26 Shop Street, Galway.

IS YOUR HEART IN THE RIGHT PLACE? Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

Because it wants to come home. Home to family, friends, stories. Home to festivals, traditional music, and the Irish pub. Home to majestic landscapes and fabulous feasts. You know the places. They’re the castles silhouetted against fiery sunsets, the islands that stir you with their beauty, the towns like Westport that pulsate with energy, and the iconics sites like Kylemore Abbey that are etched with true love. And when it comes to those legendary 100,000 welcomes, well‌ They say you should always listen to your heart, and it wants to be in the right place. Find your way home at