The weathered wonders of an ancient land, the cultural sophistication of Europe and the adventure-inspiring landscape make Ireland the one place in the world that really has it all. Visitors are met with the welcoming faces of Ireland’s most charming attribute: its people. Locals are always ready to expose the Emerald Isle’s hidden gems, share a pint and point all of its visitors in the direction of the craic – Ireland’s favorite word for fun and good times!
A Special Supplement to Irish America magazine in cooperation with Tourism Ireland • Written by Tara Dougherty
Anytime is the right time to visit Ireland. There is never an
off-season nor a dull moment. Ireland’s shores are lined with invitations to explore, experience and celebrate all that its people and land have to offer.
TO THE WEST. County Mayo is the picturesque home of some of Ireland’s quaintest and most delightful towns. In Westport, traditional music is always bursting from doors of Matt Molloy’s pub, while visits to the Foxford Woolen Mills and the Museum of Country Life provide a taste of rural days in the idyllic west of Ireland. Then, of course, for another perspective on the old world of Ireland: a stay at the Ashford Castle, the perfect spot to bask in the warmth of the famous Irish hospitality with a most royal backdrop.
DUBLIN CONTEMPORARY 2011. Dublin has for many years been regarded as one of Europe’s most exciting cities. Exploring its modern influence and a century of the city’s development and identity is Dublin Contemporary 2011—a cannot-miss art exhibition titled “Terrible Beauty: Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance.” The series, to run from September 3-October 31, 2011 at several galleries throughout the bustling city, narrates through art all that Dublin was and has become since Easter 1916. THE BELFAST FESTIVAL AT QUEEN’S. As summer fades and the cool air •breezes in, Belfast warms up with a three-week-long festival in October, which features some of the best live music acts, theater, dance, film and family activities from around the world. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, the Belfast Festival at Queen’s encompasses everything visitors to Belfast rave about: the seasoned history of an ancient city met with the vibrant energy of a modern atmosphere. Next year’s 50th Anniversary Queen’s is one of Northern Ireland 2012 events. The festival, dreamed up by Queen’s University student Michael Emerson, boasts the most refined opera and visual arts as well as the most heartpumping rock acts and engaging films. Queen’s has welcomed the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Laurence Olivier to its stages, and in 2012, the festival promises to top itself once again.
THE TITANIC QUARTER IN BELFAST. For those gripped by the stories of our ancestors, this LONDONDERRY CELEBRATES. As 2012 winds down, Londonderry will spring, Belfast will launch an unparalleled look just be awakening to its title of UK City of Culture 2013. Londonderry will be into the history, the tales and the life of the HMS filled to brim with activities and art and a newfound excitement to show the Titanic. In April 2012, the Titanic Belfast will world just what lies within the historic walled city of the North. The commercial open inside a six-floor architectural masterpiece, center of the North West, the city has been decorated for centuries by ornate artfit for the wonders it houses. Nine galwork, narrated by the best Irish poets and is now being reshaped leries will lead visitors through the hisby a youthful population. After a stroll around the famed walls, a 1. Center of town at tory of the Titanic, from its construcvisit to the Tower Museum and “The Story of Derry” is a must! Westport, County tion in Industrial Era Belfast to the Mayo 2. Titanic Quarter complex, 1985 discovery of its final resting photo by David place on the ocean floor. Visitors to the McCann 3. The famed Titanic Quarter will find themselves in walled city of the largest modern urban development Londonderry in Northern Ireland, while still feeling an enduring connection to the Titanic and its passengers.
Cover Photo: The spectacular Rock of Cashel
in County Tipperary All photographs courtesy of Tourism Ireland unless otherwise noted. Design by Marian Fairweather
56 IRISH AMERICA OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2011
GOLF IN IRELAND
Home of Champions
1 With courses that cut through the mountains, dangle by the edges of the sea and nestle between stone-walled valleys, the landscape of Ireland is a golfer’s paradise. Don’t believe us? Collectively, the fruit of these spectacular courses – Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell – have six major titles claimed for Ireland in the past five years. What is it about Irish golf that sets it apart? The compact size of the country makes it ideal for a golf tour, with both minimal travel time between courses and a varied terrain for a diverse experience. Visit some of the golf courses where these Irish golf champions honed their skills! in County Kerry, the Ballybunion Golf Club is largely regarded • Located as one of the best in the world, and it doesn’t take long to see why. A favorite
The Championships and the 19th Hole A tour of these spectacular courses will no doubt demonstrate why Ireland was chosen to hold the Ryder Cup in 2006 at the K Club in County Kildare and why the upcoming Solheim Cup will be claimed on the Killeen Castle Golf Resort in County Meath.While walking the footsteps of these champions across Ireland’s hills and valleys, there is one stop that absolutely no golfer should forget: the 19th Hole! No visit to an Irish golf course is complete without a tale at the pub after. Share your best, worst or even imagined stories of luck on the fairways and greens of Ireland over an authentic pint with the locals! It’s time to play!
of President Bill Clinton, Ballybunion consists of two courses which provide spectacular views through the rolling hills of County Kerry. With the sounds of the sea crashing just beside the Old Course, it is a wonder to see and a delightful challenge to play. up the country to the Ardglass Golf Club in Northern Ireland, • Venture where the panoramic views are unrivaled.The first six holes of this gargantuan course are fitted on cliffs above the Irish Sea. It is the perfect backdrop but also an unparalleled natural water hazard! The nearby fabled natural wonder, the Giant’s Causeway, only adds to the mystical challenge of this course. With a clubhouse fit for a king in Ardglass Old Castle, it is the quintessential Irish course.
gem of the North, situated on the North Antrim Causeway coast, is • Another the Royal Portrush Golf Club. If it’s a challenge you want, then look no further than the valleys and sandhills of Royal Portrush. Above the 36 holes this club claims as its own are the ruins of the 13th-century Dunluce Castle. at the foot of the breathtaking Mourne Mountains, The Royal • Nestled County Down showcases even more of the exceptional natural wonders that make the island of Ireland so memorable.The mountain ranges tower in the distance of this course, which winds from the greenest hills down to the coast of the sea. Just thirty miles from the thrills of Belfast, the Royal County Down is the perfect stop for any business traveler or adventure seeker.
1. Ballybunion Golf Course in County Kerry 2. Killeen Castle in County Meath, host of the upcoming Solheim Cup 3. Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim. 4. The 10th hole at The Faldo Championship course at Lough Erne Golf Club, photo by David Cannon courtesy of Lough Erne.
For information on visiting Ireland and great value vacation offers visit discoverireland.com
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The weathered wonders of an ancient land, the cultural sophistication of Europe and the adventure-inspiring landscape make Ireland the one p...