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Vol 1, Issue 10 • Autumn / Winter 2016 • $4.95

Dreamy Donegal

Say ‘I Do’ In Ireland






In Association with

The North American Celtic Trade Association


74470 26857


A World Class









United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Co. Clare, Ireland.


T: +353 65 7086141

Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark

Belleek Archive Collection 160th Anniversary 1857 - 2017

Sixteen Very Special Pieces Celebrating 160 Years Of Quality, Craftsmanship & Heritage

For further information on the Belleek Archive Collection please contact: Toll Free: 1 855 212 0547 Email:

Spectacularly beautiful,

whatever the weather!

Autumn / Winter | 2016

CONTENTS 017___ DELIGHTFUL DONEGAL Whether you begin or end your Wild Atlantic journey in Donegal, the beauty of this county will leave an indelible mark on your soul

047__ THE KINGDOM OF KERRY Its Ireland’s holiday hotspot and no visit is complete without paying homage to the mighty Kingdom of Kerry

061__ CLARE CALLING There’s glorious scenery here to be sure, but Clare is also the stuff of dreams for the finest of fresh food

073__ IRELAND’S WILD WEST Despite their natural wonders, Mayo and Sligo remain well-kept secrets offering wild, romantic beauty without the crowds

093__ SHANNONSIDE Roscommon and Leitrim are watery wonderlands with rolling countryside, heather covered moors and thriving riverside villages

100__ IRELAND’S ANCIENT EAST Golden-sandy beaches, seaside towns and dramatic peninsulas make Wexford and Waterford firm favourites along Ireland’s Ancient East

123__ DISCOVER DUBLIN Break out of the city to experience Dublin’s remarkable history in its coastal towns and castles

155__ SAY ‘I DO’ IN IRELAND It’s the dream destination for the most romantic of occasions, and what dreamier a location than The K Club in County Kildare

169__ CRAFTED IN IRELAND A craft lover’s paradise, there is no shortage of talent or inspiration the length and breadth of Ireland

197__ STORE STORIES A selection of Irish stores tell us their story. Visit for a chat and a cup of tea, and take away the latest copy of Spirit of Ireland – just perfect! 4

time to


one of Ireland’s hidden treasures

• Three daily sailings to all three Aran Islands • Bicycles, jaunting cars and mini-buses available for hire • Explore traditional Irish heritage and stunning scenery

your discovery starts here

call +353 91 568903 visit email

Arts & Crafts | ???

Welcome EDITOR

Trish Phelan





Dermot Kelly, Paul Halley, Linda Hickey, Maria Smith


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


Tourism Ireland 345 Park Ave, 17th Floor New York, NY 10154

In this issue we start our journey in Ireland’s most northerly county, one of the most unspoilt landscapes in Europe. Donegal is famous for its beautiful scenery, dramatic coastline, and rich historic past. It is also Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht region; a breath-taking land of great mountains and lake-filled valleys fringed by the unpolluted seas of the Atlantic. Continue along its coastline to access the equally glorious Causeway Coast, where you can take in the Giants Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and pass through the most memorable locations from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Ireland has become a popular movie location and Irish actors are now among Hollywood’s elite, like Michael Fassbender, Colin Farrell and Saoirse Ronan. From Hollywood blockbusters to a galaxy far, far away, the spectacular panoramas in Ireland have provided the backdrop for some of cinema’s most iconic moments. Both Donegal and the Kingdom of Kerry were the backdrop for the new Star Wars movies, showcasing our other-worldly beauty to a world-wide stage. For those who like to veer off the beaten track head for the wilderness of Mayo, the surf sensation that is Sligo, or the watery worlds of Roscommon and Leitrim. Follow the track of Ireland’s Ancient East to the heritage towns of Wexford and Waterford - striking examples of Viking settlements, as is Dublin, a bustling gem that is also surprisingly rural - if you know where to look. Ireland sure has fairy-tale appeal and in recent years it has become an increasingly popular wedding destination. With so many jaw-dropping locations, the setting will certainly not disappoint. We visit one such location, and we talk to a couple who recently said ‘I Do’ in Ireland. And last but not least, we drop in on a few of the fantastic stores who sell Irish wares from their little pieces of Ireland in stores all over the USA and Canada. Irish craft and hospitality are alive and well in your local NACTA store, so head on down to connect with home. Enjoy!


Stefan Schnebelt


GRAPHIC DESIGN One Little Studio


76 Ellsworth Rd, Hyannis 02601 MA, USA 6

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.

Downings Bay Hotel is a 3* family run luxurious Hotel along the Wild Atlantic Way. 40 ensuite bedrooms nestled on a tranquil village, perfect for a well deserved break or a family getaway. Let the sand slip through your toes on one of Donegal’s Blue Flag Beaches a few steps from the hotel. Why not enjoy the rugged Coastline of the Atlantic Drive. It will take your breath away with world famous views of mountains, coastlines and the Atlantic Ocean. Seeing is believing, feel the adventure!! Two beautiful 18 Hole Golf Courses a few minutes drive. Delicious Bar Food Menu served in JC’s Bar & Fine Dining Cuisine in the Haven Dining room. Daily specials including seafood also available. Guests of the hotel have complimentary use of our excellent near-by Leisure Centre and Kidz Kingdom, softball play centre.

Downings Bay Hotel, Downings, Donegal T: + 00353 (0) 74 915 5586 |

Abbey & Central Hotels, The Diamond, Donegal Town, County Donegal Abbey Hotel: +353 (0)74 97 21014 • Central Hotel: +353 (0)74 97 21027 •

240228_2L_ABBEY_AMA_GTYB.indd 1

16/08/2016 15:44

Wild About Ireland


Wild About Ireland

Wave-riding thrillseekers and sensitive souls alike lose their hearts to the Surf Coast


Wild About Ireland



Rocky. Remote. Romantic. Beneath skies streaked with Northern Lights, follow the curve of the coast from this island’s northernmost point at Malin Head, past lonely Fanad Head Lighthouse to the sweeping Slieve League cliffs.

Secluded beaches? Check. Indigo waters? Check. Sheep-spotted hills? Check. Keem Strand, Killary Fjord and Derrigimlagh Bog weave between Mayo and Galway in a bountiful display of Ireland’s inherent beauty.



Wave-riding thrill-seekers and sensitive souls alike lose their hearts to the Surf Coast, where pounding waves and poetic silence sit side by side. From Mullaghmore and Downpatrick Head to Yeats Country and beyond, prepare to be inspired.

This is where the island’s most improbable landscapes meet. Some were shaped by the Ice-Age, others resemble the moon, and all are worthy of pilgrimage. Take in the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and The Burren, in all their weather-beaten splendor. 11

Wild About Ireland

At Mizen Head a high arched suspension bridge connects a rocky crag to the mainland.

SOUTHERN PENINSULAS The five great peninsulas of the southwest knit together like a finely tuned melody. Answer the mysterious call of the deserted Blasket and Skellig Islands; or see if you can spy Mizen Head on the horizon from the Dursey cable car. HAVEN COAST Stories of siege cling to the salty air at the Old Head of Kinsale. Once a Viking trading post and medieval


fishing port, gourmet food and whale-watching cruises now reign king. You’ll leave with a sea shanty in your heart. ANCIENT COAST From Cairns to Castles, Ireland is indeed an ancient place. Follow the route of Ireland’s Ancient East to step back in time; thousands of years of history and heritage just waiting to be discovered from Viking towns and cities to fortresses and follies, and craic a-plenty along the way.

Wild About Ireland

Your Gateway to Donegal The Gateway Lodge, Donegal town is located directly along the Wild Atlantic Way, perfect for those wishing to explore Donegal from a central location and return in the evening to relax with dinner and a glass of wine in our award winning restaurant, before retiring to your room which boasts super king beds, flat screen TV, en-suite and free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout.

We have the distinction of being the only town centre property with free, private car & coach parking including garden and outdoor facilities for guests to enjoy. Donegal Golf club is a mere 15 minutes’ drive with other major attractions like Sliabh Liag easily reachable within one hour.

The Gateway Lodge | Donegal Town, County Donegal, Ireland Tel: 00 353 74 9740405 @thegatewaydonegal 13

DONEGAL CASTLE Donegal Castle is the most important Heritage Site and visitor attraction in the Donegal Town area. It was built in 1474 by the great royal family of the O’Donnell’s who ruled from 1200 until 1600 over the Kingdom of Tyrconnell – an area that encompassed all of the modern country of Donegal apart from Inishowen. In 1601, at the battle of Kinsale, the English Crown defeated the O’Donnell’s and their allies from the other kingdoms in the north of Ireland. In 1607 the O’Donnell’s along with leading Ulster families fled from Ireland in a sea-journey, which became known as the Flight of the Earls. The castle was granted to Captain Basil Brooke, an English soldier, in 1610 as a reward for his part in defeating the native Irish. Captain Brooke adapted the four-storey tower house, adding a bay window and fireplace, which featured his and his wife’s coat of arms. He alos added a Jacobean-style wing, transforming the fortress into a comfortable residence. Brooke also added an English manor house to the castle in 1623. The castle fell into ruin after the Brookes’ departure in 1676. In 1996 the Office of Public Works opened the restored castle to the public, with its impressive Banqueting Hall features a unique, elaborately sculptured fireplace. The Exhibition Hall showcases important aspects of the O’Donnell period from 1200 – 1600 and the Brooke occupancy of the castle from 1610 to 1676. Opening House: Early April – Mid September: Daily. 10.00 – 18.00. Last admission 17.15 Mid-September – Early April: Thursday – Monday. 9.30 – 16.30. Last Admission 15.45 There is limited access for the disabled. You may wish to visit some of our other sites in Donegal – Glenveagh National Park, Glebe House and Gallery and Newmills Corn and Flaxmills. For more information visit

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huge range of heritage sites fall under the care of the Office of Public Works. This experience offers free admission to most fee paying sites on the first Wednesday of every month. The annual visitors pass at just €25 is great value or a family pass at €60 opens the door to a vast array of heritage experiences at a very low cost. Ireland presents the visitor with a unique heritage experience no matter what area you choose to visit. 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. 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 civilisation found at the Céide Fields in Co Mayo 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. Off the southern coast is a world famous 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 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 hosted US first lady Michelle Obama and her daughters in June, 2013. Full details of the many heritage sites that can be visited are on 15

Maritime Museum - Planetarium - Gift Shop - Fishing Tackle - Cafe Part of the WAW Route the museum has an extensive collection of artefacts, exhibitions and memorabilia of all things maritime. Our new full dome theatre runs 5 shows each day. Children’s shows are suitable from 4yrs. 25 seated Tea room – Nautical gifts & fishing tackle shop – Car / Coach Parking. Open Daily from EASTER

INISHOWEN MARITIME MUSEUM & FULL DOME PLANETARIUM Old Coast Guard Station, Greencastle, Inishowen, Co. Donegal Tel: (00353) 074 93 81363 E-mail: Web: Facebook: Inishowen Maritime Greencastle

Local Bus Tours of Donegal. Regular Daily Tours to Slieve League, Glenveagh Castle and the Wild Atlantic Way Expert Local Driver/Guides Bus Sizes from 6 seats to 50 seats Rated No1 Bus Tour Company by Trip Advisor

relax, dream, explore | Tel: +353 74 9135460

Feel The Force | DONEGAL



Feel The Force | DONEGAL

“I long to see your smiling children Standing by the door The kettle boiling on the hearth As I walk up the floor And then to see a welcome free For travelers one and all For your hearts are like your mountains In the homes of Donegal.� 18

Feel The Force | DONEGAL


and up all of you who have heard of Paul Brady. For those who may not know he’s an Irish singer/songwriter although not your common or garden Irish singer/songwriter.

He is someone who has written highly original, imaginative, simply brilliant rock tunes that have been recorded by big American names such as Tina Turner and Bonnie Raitt. From time to time Brady has also taken old Irish ballads and re-worked them infusing them with a new life; extracting a different nuance from the lyrics and the tune. He does that most brilliantly in the song ‘The Homes of Donegal.’ It’s a classic interpretation; full of that quality so many singers seek yet so few find in a song – soul. “I’ve just dropped in to see you all/I’ll only stay a while/I want to hear how you’re getting on/I want to see you smile/I’m happy to be back again/And greet you big and small/For there’s no place on earth just like/The homes of Donegal.” The words were written in the 1950s by Sean McBride

a Donegal man who was very familiar with the customs of the locals. McCann also clearly appreciated the remote, immutable beauty of his native county and the warmth of the people he lived among. The second verse also says a lot about why the visitor is so anxious to visit the homes of Donegal. There’s that prospect of a nice cup of tea; a warm welcome; a refuge from the storm. “I long to see your smiling children/Standing by the door/The kettle boiling on the hearth/As I walk up the floor/And then to see a welcome free/For travelers one and all/For your hearts are like your mountains/ In the homes of Donegal.” Ah yes that immortal phase: “For your hearts are like your mountains.” It says so much about the county – and the people who live in it with their generous spirit and open door. It’s the kind of spirit that has made Donegal an attractive place to visit. That memorable phrase about hearts as big as mountains also hints at another reality. The fact that Donegal is a place full of stark, sweeping, bleak yet beautiful tracks of mountainous landscapes that people find beguiling for all sorts of reasons. 19 1 22/06/2012 12:00


Slieve League is viewed by thousands each year from all over the world. We cater for all groups and whether you are just viewing or if you are up to the challenge of walking and crossing the famous “One Man’s Pass” can pick up/drop offseacliff on any Sliabhwe Liag is Europes highest s, of andthe onemany of the signature quality walks in the area. points on the Wild Atlantic Way. We at Sliabh Liag Tours run a







Ireland Sliabh Liag Tours, Rhannakille, Teelin, County Donegal, Ireland. PHONE: +353 (0)74 973 9145 Aidan: +353 Joe:PHONE +353 (0)87 2860 471 (0)87 6711 944 Joe:6711 +353 (0)87 2860 471 Aidan: +353 (0)87 944

Weekend groups welcomed, bookings by appointment


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guided shuttle bus service to the viewing point at the cliffs. We caSo why not join our many loyal customers ter for all group sizes, and whether you are just viewing, and want from all over the world and shareeach in the Slieve League is viewed by thousands year to know the history and stories of the people and thefrom areaall which LiagWe Experience. over Sliabh the world. cater for all groups and whether you are surrounds thisormagical place, if you are up toofthe challenge just viewing if you are up or to the challenge walking and of walking and the famous Pass” can pick crossing thecrossing famous “One Man’s“One Pass”Man’s we can pickwe up/drop Sliabh Liag off onoff any ofTours theofmany quality walkswalks in theinarea. up/drop on any the many quality the area. Rhannakille SoSo why not join our many loyal customers from all over the World Teelin why not join our many loyal customers from all over the and share in in thethe Sliabh Liag Experience. world and share Sliabh Liag Experience. County Donegal


Photograph by Fergus Burke.

Mrs B’s

Bayview Hotel Main Street

Tourist Office Shore Road

Church Ulster Bank Tara Hotel

Donegal Town

Cover photograph by Fergus Burke. Back of flyer Wed 1st May.indd 1

4/18/2014 11:30:38 AM

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

Tourists just like to savour the beauty they offer. Others still regard the mountains as an example of the vast outdoors; an opportunity to get away from it all; their remoteness offering a sanctuary from the stresses and strains of modern life.

It’s also easy to imagine the opening clips of a Star Wars movie with, in the background, the Donegal landscape while a voice reels off the immortal words that open every Star Wars movie: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…….”

Then there are others, who in more recent times, have looked to Donegal for another reason – to film scenes for a Hollywood blockbuster.

These words are, of course, usually accompanied on the screen by the Star Wars logo that shrinks in front of a field of stars while the film’s episode number and subtitle is shown. This, in turn, followed by details about what the film is about.

When those involved in Disney Lucasfilms were searching for locations earlier this year to film episodes of the latest Star Wars epic (which is due out in December 2017) they picked on Malin Head, the most northerly part of the country, right at the top of Donegal. The makers of Star Wars have, in recent years, spent a considerable amount of time shooting in various parts of Kerry, in areas that clearly offer the kind of background that’s suitable: moon-like, other-worldly. Looking to vary their location from Kerry the makers of Star Wars moved - lock, stock and barrel as they say in Ireland - to the north-west of the country and set up shop in Malin Head. There they constructed a spaceship-like structure, the Millennium Falcon, and started to film – all behind a thick cordon of security. Like everybody else we’ll just have to wait until the film comes out to found out what went on. It’s easy to imagine how the north-west Donegal landscape, unchanged for millions of years, conjures up the image of timelessness and fits in perfectly with the Star Wars theme.

“Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Irish Sea: Green, swift upsurges, North Athlantic flux” - Seamus Heaney

That opening has become so familiar to the millions of Star War fans around the world; from Denver to Donegal, Kerry to Kentucky and many places in between; it’s now a part of Hollywood folklore. Most of the time Malin Head is a very quiet place, populated mainly by hardy, mountain sheep. It is also a location better known to many Irish people for the fact that it is frequently mentioned in the national shipping forecast. It was a forecast the great Irish poet Seamus Heaney heard often and used it as a raw material for one of his better known poems simply called ‘The Shipping Forecast.’ “Dogger, Rockall, Malin, Irish Sea:/Green, swift upsurges, North Athlantic flux” runs the poem’s first two memorable lines. At times the Atlantic that ebbs and flows around Malin Head can be calm and reassuring, at other times it can be churned up and a menacing force but never less than dramatic. Epic even. 21

The Malin Head region is an area of great natural beauty and is part of the Inishowen Peninsula that is remote and almost cut off from the rest of Donegal by Lough Swilly, Lough Foyle and the Atlantic Ocean. For generations locals made a living in the farming and agriculture sectors and the area also became well-known for its shirt factories especially during the 1980s and 1990s.

Tí Linn is a unique Café,serving artisan cuisine which marries Irish traditional and modern tastes, and is renowned for it’s home baking and coffee by Illy. The craft shop has a large selection of local and national crafts, knitware and gifts, with something for everyone CIE T Winner of ours from the discerning shopper to “Gold A International ward 20 15” of the passing tourists. Excell Shuttle bus to Cliffs available.

ence an Best Vis d it in all Ire land

It was also an area that suffered from economic recessions that appeared to blow in with all the force of an Atlantic storm. There were times when people from the area had no other choice but to emigrate to try and dig out a living elsewhere, mostly America. Now locals can claim, with justifiable pride, that Malin Head features in Star Wars - one of the most popular films ever made. They are certainly looking forward to the release of the latest Star Wars episode in late 2017 with many feeling it will be a bonanza for the area; helping to promote the beautiful, scenic aspects of the region to a wider audience then was previously the case. When the Star Wars contingent had moved to Donegal they were eagerly welcomed by the locals and big movie stars like Mark Hamill didn’t waste any opportunity to get out and about and get a flavour of the north Donegal culture. Hamill of course has played Luke Skywalker in such famous, iconic productions as ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ Over the years he has become one of the most recognizable faces in the Star Wars firmament. While in Donegal he freely mingled with members of the local community, visiting a pub located close to the film set. Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley were other actors spotted out and about.

Bunglass Road, Teelin, Co, Donegal Phone:(074) 973 9077

Hamill tweeted up a storm about just how much he loved the place, the warmth of the local people who - with hearts like mountain - put out the welcome mat and made one of the most recognizable faces in sci-fi movies feel right at home.

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

On a visit to a local pub Hamill was somewhat taken aback to see how a family had brought their newborn baby to the hostelry no doubt to show the new arrival off to friends and family. “You bring your new born to the pub? Gotta love Ireland,” he tweeted. He was also taken by a group of musically-minded youngsters who welcomed him with a performance of the famous Star Wars theme. He thanked the youngsters for their efforts. “You make us feel like part of one big Irish family!” he tweeted in obvious appreciation. He also included on his Twitter page a picture of the Millennium Falcon starship on Malin Head with the sunset in the background. In January 2016 the Donegal Film Office launched its website in the beautiful Glenveight National Park with one of Ireland’s foremost actors – and Donegal man – Sean McGinley leading the way. McGinley, as any film buff will know, appeared in Braveheart, another Hollywood blockbuster that was partly filmed in Ireland. At the website launch McGinley highlighted the many fine qualities his county has when it comes to filming - and clearly the message got out there. The Star Wars people were interested. They came, they saw and decided it had the kind of landscape they needed – dramatic and unique. Certainly the people behind Star Wars saw what

was on offer – and there is every chance that they will be back in the not-too-distant future filming further episodes of the sci-fi adventure. They will certainly find a welcome on the mat. “There were 250,000 visitors to Malin Head last year. Everyone in the country knows where Malin Head is – Inishowen is the big winner in all of this. We have the scenery, the wildlife, the history and now Star Wars,” is how local Fianna Fail politician Martin McDermott put it when asked by the Irish Times what the making of the film meant to the local area. There are many others who would agree with his sentiments. There is also the real possibility the people behind the Game of Thrones will be locating to Donegal to film in the very near future helping to further enhance the county’s reputation as Ireland’s ‘new Hollywood.’ Star Wars Country – How To Get There There are, of course, many ways to get to Donegal and visit places such as Glenveigh, Ballybofey and Malin Head itself. There’s the journey by road – by car, bus or bike, motorised or otherwise. Or there’s the opportunity to fly into the county by plane – and therein lies a tale in itself. To get to Donegal by air you have to land in the local airport and that is a treat, an opportunity for many to see up close and personal the stark beauty of the landscape. 23

Kitty Kellys

Run by Remy Dupuy and his wife Donna, Kitty Kelly’s is a beautiful restored 225 year old farmhouse and operates mainly as an evening dining restaurant. Set in the beautiful surrounding on the way to the Sliabh League cliffs, a light lunch is also served in the summer for visitors.

Remy who is originally from France is a very well known local chef and has been cooking in Donegal since the mid 90's, winning numerous awards for his culinary skills. His specialty is Seafood dishes, using only the freshest fish caught daily and landed in the local fishing port of

Contact details: +353 74 973 1925 Email: Weekend Reservation Advisable Kitty Kellys, Largy, Killybegs, Co. Donegal

Killybegs. His meat is also locally sourced as is most of his produce. Come and enjoy a French cooking experience with a Donegal twist. You won't be disappointed.

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

Donegal people are full of warmth and humour. People with a story, a saying or a song for every occasion.


Feel The Force | DONEGAL

It’s a great way to see the west coast of Donegal which is incorporated into the well-named Wild Atlantic Way.

doing enter another world where the scenery can be breathtaking; where the pace of life is that much slower.

Donegal Airport was built at Carrickfinn, Kincasslagh, Co Donegal and is part of the Irish-speaking region where the native language is spoken in a form that has come to be known as ‘Donegal Irish.’

The surrounding landscape is truly memorable so much so that Donegal Airport was voted one of the most scenic in the world by global travelers and travel industry experts in the survey conducted by Privatefly, the private jet booking service.

The Airport is a big factor in sustaining the local economy. Not only does it provide employment, it also brings people into the area with Aer Lingus providing a regular service. It’s possible to fly into Dublin from destinations in the US and catch a connection to Donegal – and by so 26

Donegal comfortably made the top 10 coming in at number seven with Malta International Airport receiving the highest vote. Barra Airport in Scotland was another that featured prominently. One passenger described flying into Donegal as

North America to Donegal Discover the secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal Airport One of the world’s Top 10 Most Scenic Airport Landings. Now you can book a through fare from North America to Donegal via Dublin and avail of a stress free through check in!

“awe-inspiring to say the least” and clearly there were many others that agreed. Another talked of arriving into Carrickfinn against the backdrop of Mount Errigal on one side and a picturesque coterie of islands on the other. It was a vista that left an indelible mark on the observer. Fish & Cliffs A place also sure to leave its mark on the visitor is Killybegs. For such a pretty little town it is hard to imagine that Killybegs is actually the largest fishing port in Ireland. Its position at the tip of a deep fjord-like inlet, makes it one of the safest, most sheltered, deep-water harbours on the Irish coast. On any given day you can see many fishing boats in the port from all over the world and freshly caught fish is available six days a week on the Visit:

Sailing Daily,

DONEGAL BAY WATERBUS - on the Wild Atlantic Way

Donegal’s #1 visitor attraction sets sail up to three times daily depending on the tide. Easily Accessible convenient parking for cars and coaches. The Donegal Bay Waterbus trip lasts for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and includes a full commentary on the historical, natural and geographical sights view from the vessel. Included also is the renowned on-board entertainment! For full details of the various sights you’ll see on the tour check out facebook.

GROUP RATES AVAILABLE (weddings, private parties etc

+ 00 353 (0) 74 9723666 #1 Visitor Attraction

FORT DUNREE A must for every visitor to Donegal Military Museum Exhibitions

Unique flora and fauna

Wildlife Discovery Room

Waterfront Coffee Shop


Opening Times: Winter opening, Monday - Friday 10.30am - 4.30pm, Saturday & Sunday 1.00pm - 6.00pm Summer opening, Monday - Saturday 10.30am - 6.00pm, Sunday 1.00pm - 6.00pm Phone: 074 93 61817 | Email: |

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

pier. Needless to say the finest and freshest of seafood is available in bars and restaurants throughout the town and you really can’t go wrong no matter where you choose. There’s ‘eating and drinking’ on the famous seafood chowder. Washed down with a cold pint of Guinness, your taste-buds will be tingling thereafter.

The highest sea-cliffs in Europe located at Sliabh Liag are within a modest drive of Killybegs and are an absolute ‘must do’. The view is breath-taking; a spectacular sight. The Cliffs of Moher get more publicity, but the cliffs of Slieve League are higher. In fact, these spectacular sea cliffs are among the highest in Europe, plunging some 600m to the sea.

Killybegs in Gaelic (Irish) is ‘Na Cealla Beaga’, meaning ’small cells’ which refers to the small cells built by monks who once lived in the area. There is now a monument in the shape of little cells erected in a field at the entrance to the village commemorating this piece of history.

If you have a good head for heights there is an incredibly beautiful walk from Bunglas to Malinbeg near Glencolmcille. The One Man’s pass walk is not for the faint hearted with spectacular and impressive scenery right along the cliffs. To reach the starting point for this walk, take the dramatic 6 km drive beyond Teelin to Bunglas Point along roads with hairpin bends and steep drops to the sea. One Man’s Pass overlooks the Loughs and the steep slopes above the lake provide a unique habitat which has been identified by the wildlife conservation as an area of international scientific interest for bird and plant life. The Belfast naturalist Robert Lloyd Praeger wrote of the cliffs in 1939:

The former carpet factory, Donegal Carpets (now the Maritime Museum) supplied carpets to royalty and heads of state in palaces and government buildings around the world and the loom on which these works of art were handmade can be seen in the museum. It is the longest carpet loom in the world and when it was in operation, eight weavers would have sat in a line making a carpet (or perhaps tapestry) on it. The Maritime Museum also has a marine simulator where one can try their hand at “steering” a fishing trawler in and out of Killybegs harbour.

“A tall mountain of nearly 2000 feet, precipitous on its northern side, has been devoured by the sea till the southern face forms a precipice likewise, 29

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

S​ lieve League is truly spectacular. A curving, colourful cliff face, it’s essentially a mountain cleaved in half with a sheer drop from the peak 600 metres to the churning Atlantic Ocean below.


What is it about Donegal that makes it so special? Donegal is a county of vast expanses, extremes and excitement. It is the jewel in the crown of a country renowned for its tourist attractions. A cradle of the Irish tradition of music, song and craic that almost permeates the countryside. When one visits Donegal, the unique welcome that is afforded the visitor does not come from its rugged landscape, nor its many islands, or from its glorious coastline either. It comes from the greeting of the lone walker on one of its 13 Blue Flag beaches. From the chatter of the family descending Errigal mountain. From the socialising shopper in any of its bustling towns. From the assured guidance of the surf instructor in the world class surf of Bundoran. From the jovial banter of publican and punter savouring one of the county’s fine craft beers. From the shrieks of excited children in any of its numerous playgrounds and adventure parks. Donegal is also a mystical county of ancient sites and folklore, where little minds can be fired up to take flight across the realms of imagination. A place where all cultures, old and new, are accepted wholeheartedly. Where smiling faces are generous with their time and with their surroundings. It’s as if they realise just how special this extreme North West corner of Europe is; and want to share its treasures and secrets with all who take the time to take in the splendour of the county that has so much to offer. Donegal is an area of outstanding natural beauty, a county where you can take in the breath-taking scenery of places like Malin Head, Fanad Lighthouse, and the sea cliffs of Slieve League as you begin your Wild Atlantic Way adventure, or settle into the welcoming cosiness of a relaxing stay in some of the most unspoilt countryside in the whole of Ireland. A county with an array of activities that are second to none, and a variety of regional landscapes within its vastness that makes it appear like a miniature province. All that is left is for you to explore it, create your own memories and discover the many faces of Donegal.

Errigal Mount ain

Experience a place where everyone feels welcome and everyone feels at home. The people are of the county and the county is of the people. This symbiotic way of life engenders its people to a gravitas of sincerity when greeting visitors from far and near. Donegal, has it all!

rk tle Lake and Pa G lenveagh Cas

Shipwreck Bunbeg Beach

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

descending on this side right into the Atlantic from the long knife-edge which forms the summit. The traverse of this ridge, the “One Man’s Path”, is one of the most remarkable walks to be found in Ireland – not actually dangerous, but needing a good head and careful progress on a stormy day. The northern precipice, which drops 1500 feet into the coomb surrounding the Little Lough Agh, harbours the majority of the alpine plants of Slieve League, the most varied group of alpines to be found anywhere in Donegal.”

touches on his paradise by building the spectacular lakeside Glenveagh Castle, a late 19th century castellated mansion, built as a hunting lodge and modelled on Scotland’s Balmoral Castle – the Queen of England’s favourite summer retreat.

The cliffs are particularly scenic at sunset when the waves crash dramatically far below and the ocean reflects the last rays of the day. Looking down, you’ll see two rocks nicknamed the ‘giant’s desk and chair’ for reasons that are immediately obvious.

Surrounding the Castle are the renowned Gardens, boasting a multitude of exotic plants whose luxuriance contrasts starkly with the surrounding barren landscape. The Walled Garden is a horticultural masterpiece, as are the Italian Terrace and Tuscan Garden.

Wilderness Lodge In the north west of Donegal Glenveagh National Park is a remote and hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland. Alternating between great knuckles of rock, brown swaths of bog and scatterings of oak and birch forest, the 16,500-sq-km protected area is magnificent walking country. Its wealth of wildlife includes the golden eagle, which was hunted to extinction here in the 19th century but reintroduced in 2000. The land was once farmed by 244 tenants, who were forcibly evicted by landowner John George Adair in the winter of 1861 following what he called a ‘conspiracy’ but really because their presence obstructed his vision for the valley. Adair put the final

Entrance to the castle is by guided tour only but well worth the visit. There are several flamboyantly decorated rooms in the round tower, including the tartan-and-antler-covered music room and the pink candy-striped room demanded by Greta Garbo when she stayed here.

Lakes & Castles Pull on a pair of walking boots, point yourself in any direction and feel the Donegal wilderness speak to you. With a backdrop of the Blue Stack Mountains, tranquil Lough Eske (‘Lake of the Fish’) lies to the northeast of Donegal Town, a photogenic spot at the mouth of Donegal Bay. With its well-preserved castle and a good choice of shops and restaurants, Donegal town is a delightful little spot. Guided tours are available of the imposing Donegal Castle, a 15th century pile rebuilt in 1623 by Sir Basil Brooke, along with the adjacent three-storey Jacobean house. The castle is an atmospheric way to dip into the past with rooms decked out in fine French tapestries and exquisite Persian rugs. 33

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Feel The Force | DONEGAL

Just a 10-minute drive away you can visit an equally impressive castle and perhaps linger for a day or two in the sheer bliss of Solis Lough Eske Castle. Set in vast grounds at the lake’s south end, the castle is an exquisitely restored 17th-Century structure which can trace its roots back to the O’Donnell clan, the founding fathers of Donegal. As first impressions go, it’s tough to beat Lough Eske. As you meander up the forested driveway, silver glimpses of the lake winking between the ancient trees, anticipation begins to build. Depending on the time you visit, a blaze of purple rhododendron’s break up the densely forested path, then out of the corner of your eye you see a dragon? The dragon statue breathes fire - resembling the branch of a tree. There is so much to take in before you even set sight on the turreted castle, and things just get better and better.

next to iPod docking stations. It’s this thoughtful approach which makes Solis Lough Eske the ‘World’s Best Luxury Country Hotel’, as voted at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. With its opulent banquet hall and private meeting rooms, it’s little wonder that the castle is renowned as a destination for weddings and private functions. And this world-class boutique hotel will make a special event simply unforgettable. In the surrounding region, guests can relax with activities including hiking, golf, biking, river angling and horseback riding along the beach. The hotel has three different restaurants from which to choose; the low-key Oak Bar, the Gallery Bar with its selection of 60 fine whiskeys, and the Cedars Grill overlooking the hotel lawns, where chef Philipp Ferber serves up a masterful take on local Donegal cuisine.

Lough Eske Castle offers a taste of time-hallowed comfort, set in a location dating back to 1400. The castle has been rebuilt and renovated over the years, with its current incarnation offering the perfect balance of five-star innovation and rich historical heritage. Nestled in a 43-acre forest estate this is the perfect treat for those looking to experience the past, but with modern perks.

The Solis Spa is as sensual as one would expect; seated on the original castle’s Glass House, the aqua and gold-mosaic spa center comprises seven treatment rooms (including two designed for couples), a 12m infinity pool and a thermal suite with sauna, steam room, sanarium, tropical showers and ice fountain. After finishing treatments, visitors are invited to unwind and contemplate in the relaxation area, where designer beds look out onto the courtyard.

Each guest room features bespoke furniture and a calming neutral décor, while around the hotel antiques and artworks sit side by side with internet and TV facilities, while venerable bronze statues standing

For all its imposing interiors and beautifully manicured grounds, the ambiance at Solis Lough Eske is easy-going and friendly, making this the ideal venue for wedding parties, couples and families alike. 35

Feel The Force | DONEGAL

Local Heroes As well as a beautiful land, Donegal has, of course, plenty of famous people who have made their mark in various walks of life – and became famous in the process. There’s the singer Daniel O’Donnell and composer Phil Coulter as well as sporting heroes including Packy Bonner and Shay Given, goalkeepers both, who filled the number one jersey for the Republic of Ireland soccer team in various World Cup and European Championship campaigns. Then there is Paddy Crerand who has a strong Donegal background but whose family moved to Scotland to carve out a new life – like so many others from north-west Ireland. Crerand achieved fame as a soccer player helping Manchester United to a victory over Benfica in the European Cup final in 1968. In Gaelic football – the most popular sport in Donegal by some distance – there are people such as Brian McEniff and Jimmy McGuinness who led Donegal teams to All-Ireland triumphs, the equivalent of winning the Super Bowl. Other high achievers include members of the Brennan family, Moya, Ciaran, Pol and Enya who were, at one time or another, members of the famous 36

Clannad – the band that scooped Grammy, Bafta and Billboard Music awards during their glittering career. Did you know that 16 out of 41 American Presidents have come from this small regional area (We wonder is it something in the drinking water!). George W Bush can trace roots back to the region. Mr Bush’s ancestor on his mother’s side was William Gault, who was first citizen of Tennessee in 1796, and came from the region. And 8 of the 56 signatories of the American Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776 were from Donegal. Yet while these people are, with justification, honoured and revered for their achievements it’s the Donegal folk you meet out and about who are often the unsung heroes. It is about connections. It is about the connections that all who come to this beautiful and dramatic place never forget. The connections with the people. People who are full of warmth and humour. People with a story, a saying or a song for every occasion. It is definitely about the connections with the landscape. A landscape that offers so much to so many. The Donegal people are the kind of people who, through their warmth and generosity of spirit, inspired songs such as Paul Brady’s memorable version of old but still fresh Irish ballad: ‘The Home of Donegal.’

A 5- Star WAW experience

An ideal base for exploring Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way

Experience Donegal’s great outdoors, hike in the Bluestack Mountains, play a round of golf or simply relax and unwind in beautiful and tranquil surroundings.

Package includes: • Two nights’ luxurious accommodation • Full Irish breakfast each morning • Dine in Cedars Restaurant from the Table D’hôte menu on one evening of your choice • Enjoy a hearty packed lunch each day • Return to a complimentary Guinness or Whiskey • Complimentary use of rucksack with maps, rain mac and walking sticks • From: €300 per person* *Based on two people sharing



Visit the historic building, about the science Visitlearn the historic building, learn Visit the historic building, learn about about the science of lighthouses, of lighthouses, hear stories lightkeepers hear stories about lightkeepers the by, science of lighthouses, in about days gone and, not for the fainthearted, in days gone by, and, not for the hear stories about lightkeepers climb to the top of the tower for spectacular fainthearted, climb to the top of the tower not for spectacular in days gone for theviews of land views of land andby, sea.and, and sea. climb to the of the Orfainthearted, recreate the past and stay in atop Lightkeepers houses in this unique and unspoiled Gaeltacht Or recreate theof pastland and stay in a tower for spectacular views Lightkeepers houses in this unique (Irish speaking) area. Our refurbished houses and sea. and unspoiled Gaeltacht (Irish are each named after another speaking)lighthouse area. Our refurbished are each named after visible from it, Toraigh,houses Inis Trá Tholl Or recreate the past andlighthouse stay inagus a Dún another visible from it, Riabhaigh.

Toraigh, Inis Trá Tholl agus Dún Lightkeepers houses in this unique Riabhaigh. and unspoiled Gaeltacht (Irish Further details: Further details: speaking) area. Our refurbished 353 83 8091199. 00 353 83008091199. houses are each named after another lighthouse visible from it,


Dunree View

Dunree View

Tory View

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See the Light IN FANAD



t the tip of the peninsula, Fanad Head or Cionn Fhánada as it is locally known in Irish, is the location for one of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world and in 2016, it opened to the public to visit and to stay in, for the first time in its 199year history! Fanad lighthouse stands at the point where the deep Lough Swilly fjord meets the Atlantic Ocean. It was first lit on St Patrick’s day, 1817, built as a consequence of the sinking of HMS Saldahna, a British naval vessel, scuppered on adjacent rocks in 1811 with the loss of 254 lives. Today it is still a working lighthouse, providing the same steadfast service to all vessels at sea. The light is now fully automated however, and the light-keepers have left, with their uniquely positioned homes having been renovated to provide luxury accommodation for anyone wishing to break totally away from it all. Three self-catering cottages in the most dramatic location are available to rent. They might not boast Wi-Fi or a reliable phone signal, but the scenery is to die for and signal aside, every other modern comfort is provided. Perched on the edge of the ocean, you are ideally placed to watch the sunset and the sunrise. The Aurora Borealis is visible from here and on a clear night you will be spellbound by the stars in the night sky.

Amid the tranquillity of a stay here you might forget about the great amenities on your doorstep. You are ideally positioned between two of Donegal’s best golf links courses, Portsalon and Rosapenna. Sea-kayaking, surfing, angling and hill walking are all available in the area. Get the tastes of Donegal in local restaurants and the local pub is a mere 10-minute walk away. The lighthouse is in a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area and the Irish language is very much alive here. If you are just passing through, daily guided tours of the light house allow visitors to experience the life of the light-keeper for themselves, to hear about its history and hear stories about tragedies in the surrounding sea. Needless to say the scenery is spectacular and while delving into the past you can also learn about the new technology that watches over the Irish coastline today. Climb the 79 granite steps to the top of the tower and take in the panoramic views. There are three other lighthouses to see from here and you might very well see dolphins or other cetaceans passing by! Fanad lighthouse is one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland. It is one of 12 lighthouses around the coast of Ireland now open to the public. It is run as a community not-for-profit for the sustainable development of the area. 39




We’ve been your Scotch-Irish Transatlantic kinfolk since 1718 In summer 1718, we waved goodbye to five ships, carrying Ulster-Scots Presbyterian ministers and their congregations across the wild Atlantic. They said farewell to our coastlines and castles, churches and villages, and started a new life in today’s New Hampshire, Maine, Massachussetts and Connecticut. They were just the first wave. Hundreds of thousands followed. They were Presbyterians who became pioneers and Presidents. Today, tens of millions of Americans have Scotch-Irish ancestry. We invite you to discover yours. East Donegal is the ideal location for a real Ulster-Scots experience. A lot has changed since 1718, and yet so much has remained the same. And like the best families and friendships, when we meet again it’s just as if we’ve never been apart.

Raphoe Cathedral

Makemie’s Old Presbyterian Church

Ramelton quayside

Raphoe Castle

The view from Glenmaquin to Lough Swilly

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Discover a Different Donegal DISCOVER ULSTER-SCOTS

Ramelton Quayside, County Donegal


he walled city of Londonderry is the historic hub of north-west Ulster, the scene in 1688 of the longest siege in European history. After the siege, King William III endowed a Presbyterian church to reward the Ulster-Scots (known in America as Scotch-Irish) who defended the city. Today the First Derry Presbyterian Church also houses a heritage centre and museum. Nearby, the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall tells the story of the famous Siege. A walk around the historic walls is an essential part of any visit to Ulster – rest on the ramparts and touch the cannons. Major festivals and re-enactments take place every summer. As the shots ring out as reminders of the 1600s, we’ll remind you that 300 years later the city was also a major base for the US Navy during the Battle of the Atlantic and in the run up to D-Day. Also known as the ‘Maiden City’, Londonderry of course gave her name to the first Scotch-Irish emigrant settlement in New England, in 1718, when hundreds of people boarded wooden ships bound for a new life in America. Located in today’s Rockingham County, New Hampshire, this settlement was at first named Nutfield, and then changed to Londonderry in 1722 to remind its Presbyterian founders of home. Soon after, another settlement, this time called Derry, was established. They are said to have brought your first potatoes with them! Ulster-Scots are still very proud of the role our people played in the founding of the nation which became the United States of America. As you drive south out of Londonderry city

you follow the River Foyle and the rolling hills of the Foyle Valley, bounded on the west by the heathery Sperrin Mountains of County Tyrone, and on the east by the Blue Stack Mountains of County Donegal. County Tyrone is home of the UlsterAmerican Folk Park, a wonderful open-air museum which has grown around the original family homestead of the boy who became Pennsylvania banker Thomas Mellon (1813–1908). Two US Presidents – President Woodrow Wilson and President Ulysses S Grant – also had Ulster-Scots roots in County Tyrone, and their traditional thatched and whitewashed ancestral homes can be visited today. County Donegal is famously rugged and remote, with the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ driving route clinging to its dramatic Atlantic coastline. Yet in the gentler inland part of the county, on the banks of the River Foyle and Lough Swilly, you can uncover a very different Donegal. For here the Scottish Presbyterians settled in large numbers and their influence and descendants can be encountered today. The founder of American Presbyterianism, Rev Francis Makemie, was born and bred in this countryside. His old church at Ramelton still stands today. He emigrated in 1683 and founded the first Presbyterian churches in the USA in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, among fellow Scotch-Irish emigrant communities. Ramelton is a peaceful and picturesque small town, with the River Lennon running through towards the north Atlantic. Near Ramelton lived another Ulster-Scots Presbyterian, the father of President James

Buchanan, who emigrated exactly a century after Makemie, in 1783. In 1718 a major emigration began, with five ships sailing to New England, led by Presbyterian ministers. One of these was the Rev William Boyd, who compiled a ‘Petition’ of signatures for Samuel Shute, the Governor of Massachussetts and New Hampshire. Boyd was minister at Monreagh in east Donegal. The church still stands, as does a later ‘manse’ – the minister’s home. The manse has been converted and is now Monreagh Ulster- Scots Heritage Centre, an interesting visitor destination for those who are interested in uncovering their roots. The town of Raphoe is built around a distinctive Ulster Plantation era ‘Diamond’, with Raphoe Cathedral (which dates back to the 1300s) and the new Discover Ulster-Scots visitor centre just across the street. The former ‘Scottish Church’ building stands adjacent, and Raphoe Castle, once the home of Scottish Bishop Andrew Knox also nearby. East Donegal is also home to a number of top quality pipe bands and Scottish highland dance groups, some of whom compete regularly in major competitions in Scotland as well as Ulster. We are 4000 miles from New England. Yet we have always been the closest of neighbours and the best of friends. In 2018 UlsterScots will mark the 300th anniversary of their first major migration to New England. If you have Scotch-Irish ancestry, then a visit to east Donegal is a great way to experience a real Homecoming. 41

The definition of

† 17.

undiscovered [adjective] un•dis•cov•ered getting off the beaten track to explore hidden gems like Portbradden Harbour, Whitepark Bay, County Antrim.


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THE UNMISSABLE Causeway Coastal Route



ecognized internationally as ‘One of the World’s Great Road Journeys’, here are some ideas on how to best enjoy the experience.

Walk in the footstep of Giants – No trip to the Causeway Coastal Route is complete without standing on the spectacular and unique hexagonal columns which form the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Giant’s Causeway, located amongst some of the most unspoilt beauty, unparalleled elsewhere. You will also not want to miss the challenge of the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, suspended over a 20m drop to the Atlantic waves below, you will be well rewarded with the stunning views across to the Scottish Isles. From mythical giants to giants of the small screen, Game of Thrones® fans will be in seventh heaven here

as they visit the caves of Cushendun where scenes from the series were filmed; other nearby sites include Ballintoy Harbour, the Dark Hedges and Portstewart Strand – a full itinerary can be found on Take time out for tee – The spectacular links courses along the Causeway Coastal Route are well renowned and feature regularly in the list of top golf courses worldwide. For any aspiring Rory McIlroy fans out there, the links and parkland courses are the perfect place to practice your drive or hone your putting skills. Preparations are well underway at Portstewart Golf Club to host the Irish Open next year while The Open Championship will be played at Royal Portrush Golf Club for only the second time in 2019. Take a trip back in time – Unearth a fascinating heritage in a fantastic range of historic properties 43

??? | ??? which will truly bring the past to life. Dunluce Castle, Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne, Hezlett House and Magilligan’s Martello Tower to name only a few, offer a glimpse into our amazing history, in some of the finest examples of built heritage in Northern Ireland. Discover hidden tales of serpents, sea-gods and highwaymen – Explore an iconic Myths and Legends Sculpture Trail in Limavady which treats the visitor to seven original pieces of art set in spectacular rural scenery, telling the stories of some of our most celebrated tales. Let your imagination transport you through a magical journey of merciless highwaymen preying on unsuspecting travelers, faery harps playing ghostly melodies, leaping dogs and unearth the last serpent in Ireland. See things from a different perspective – Take to the skies above the Causeway Coastal Route and see things from a different point of view with our adrenalin filled adventure sports such as gliding with the Ulster Gliding Club, sky-diving with Skydive Wild Geese and paragliding with Cloud Surfer Ireland.


If you prefer to keep your feet closer to the ground, why not try other equally exhilarating activities such as horse-riding, blokarting, hovercrafting, stand up paddle boarding or pay a visit to an adventure center offering kayaking, zipline and climbing walls. Savour delicious local fare – If you enjoy your food, you won’t be disappointed on your journey through the Causeway Coastal Route. With a plethora of cafés, restaurants, hotels and wine bars serving the freshest local produce, visitors will experience the most mouth-watering delicacies. Try local organic salmon from North Coast Smokehouse, award-winning Morton’s Fish and Chips by Ballycastle Pier, sample some of Ireland’s finest whiskies at the world’s oldest licensed whisky distillery at Bushmills Distillery or visit Broighter Gold Econmusee to see artisan producers at work, crafting their ‘liquid gold’ home-grown, rapeseed oil. Still on the subject of food - treat yourself to a melt-in-the-mouth ice-cream at the beach; sample award-winning local ice-creams from Morelli’s, Maud’s, Mullins and Braemar Farm during a visit to

??? | ??? any of the numerous Blue Flag beaches in the area, including Portstewart Strand, Whiterocks, West Strand Portrush, Benone, Ballycastle and Downhill. If you’re feeling active, why not try surfing in some of the best conditions in Northern Ireland or explore the stunning coastline with a bit of kayaking or coasteering. Seeking something more relaxing? Then try the comfort of a sea-safari to look out for local wildlife and sea-life or visit Rathlin Island – Northern Ireland’s only inhabited island with a population of just 140. Learn about local legends – The Causeway Coastal Route is filled with more than one kind of legend – we love to celebrate and remember our local heroes which originate from this region. Visit Ballymoney town to pay homage to the famous biker brothers at the Joey and Robert Dunlop Memorial Gardens. Experience the buzz – the Causeway Coastal Route hosts many events throughout the year including the fast and furious North West 200 International Road Race and Air Waves Portrush International Airshow. Local festivals include the celebration of the

tales of Tavish Dhu at Pirates Off Portrush, and musical and artistic talent at Stendhal Festival of Art. The renowned songwriter Jimmy Kennedy, famous for such tunes as The Teddy Bear’s Picnic and the Hokey Cokey is the inspiration for the annual Red Sails Festival in Portstewart and the Lammas Fair held every year in Ballycastle is Ireland’s oldest traditional fair, where visitors can revel in two days of bartering, trading, busking, unique local produce and entertainment. The Causeway Coast and Glens is easily accessible via three airports within a 90 minute drive, Belfast International Airport, George Best Airport and City of Derry Airport, with direct flights from a number of international destinations. Daily flights available from the US directly into Dublin and Shannon airports, only a few hours’ drive away and United Airlines currently operates a daily summer service from Newark to Belfast. For more details check out


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Wild Atlantic Way | KERRY

Explore The KINGDOM



rom Tarbert, with its famous Bridewell on the Shannon Estuary to the fishing village of Kilmacalogue in the Beara Peninsula, stunning scenery is assured all along the way. The North Kerry section is probably the least explored area for North American visitors though it has been a vacation base for Irish holidaymakers for generations. North Kerry possesses stunning beaches, famous links golf courses, historic sites and literary giants; it’s all here in spades. Listowel is regarded as the “Literary Capital of

Ireland”. World famous writers such as John B. Keane, Bryan McMahon and George Fitzmaurice are the foundation stones for Listowel Writer’s Week, now an annual event at the end of May. A designated Heritage Town, Listowel displays a myriad of wonderful architectural features and these can be viewed on the Heritage Trail. Take in the “Big Bridge” and the “Garden of Europe” that contains more than 2,500 trees and shrubs from all European countries. The North Kerry Literary Centre and St. John’s Theatre in The Square are well worth a visit as is the Lartigue Monorail Railway which is operated by enthusiastic volunteers. 47

Wild Atlantic Way | KERRY

Heading towards Ballybunion, enjoy the rural countryside of North Kerry passing through Lisselton. While on route why not stop off in the Thatch Bar and fill up on ancient local knowledge from people who have been there all their lives. Also enjoy great food and fine beverages while you are on your travels. Alternatively, should you take the coast road from Tarbert, you will visit Ballylongford, birthplace of one of Ireland’s finest poets, Brendan Kennelly. Carrigafoyle Castle, a short distance from Ballylongford, is a listed National Monument and is a Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Built 48

by the O’Connor Kerry family between 1490 and 1500, it features a spiral staircase of 104 steps that visitors can climb to this very day. Standing 30m high it has stunning views from its battlements. Ballybunion is truly a great seaside town. Blue Flag beaches, seaweed baths, buckets and spades, sandcastles, picnics, periwinkles, candy floss and blue Atlantic waves with sea breezes full of salty air! Not forgetting the Bromore Cliffs, their beauty is truly a great sight to be seen and admired. Along with the magnificent beaches and cliffs, Ballybunion hosts one of the world’s most popular golf courses

Wild Atlantic Way | KERRY

Take time for the gorgeous circular drive around the Kerry Head Peninsula with spectacular panoramas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

ranking in the top 10 most visited every year. Among its famous visitors are astronaut Neil Armstrong and former President Bill Clinton and there is even a monument to him outside the Garda Station! If you are looking for a guided walking tour or even fancy a cycle around the town and surrounding area, then EcoTreck is the place to go. The man providing it is Danny Houlihan, a man with a vast knowledge and history of not only Ballybunion but also the greater North Kerry area. So for a day full of history and fun, then Dan as they say locally, is your man. Enjoy Ballyduff, a village successful in both Gaelic

Football and Hurling. Close to the village at Rattoo is Kerry’s only intact Round Tower reaching to a height of 28m. It dates from the late 10th or early 11th centuries. “An Tóchar”, Causeway, is Old Irish for “the road”. The village was founded by a group of settled Celtic travelers on an ancient roadway which originated in the neighbouring parish of Ballyheigue and was reputed to have ended in Tara, seat of the High-Kings of Ireland. Take time for the gorgeous circular drive around the Kerry Head Peninsula with spectacular panoramas 49

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Wild Atlantic Way | KERRY

overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Dingle Peninsula and Clare coast. Ballyheigue village boasts miles of beaches and is overlooked by the ruins of a castle built in 1812, which is the site of Ballyheigue’s scenic 9-hole golf club. With stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Ballyheigue is very popular for swimmers and walkers. Banna Strand extends from Ballyheigue Beach at the Black Rock to Barrow Beach. Its sand dunes can rise up to 12 meters (40 ft). It was here that Roger Casement arrived by German U-boat on Easter 1916 seeking to import arms for those planning the Easter Rising. During 2016/2017, there is a wonderful temporary exhibition on Casement at the Kerry County Museum. Ardfert Parish takes in the villages of Ardfert and Kilmoyley. Ardfert village grew up around the 6th century church of St. Brendan. On the same site it is now a National Monument and hosts an Interpretive Centre. Ardfert Friary nearby is also a

National Monument founded circa 1253. This little village was the seat of the Kerry Diocese for over a thousand years.

Blennerville windmill on the shores of Tralee Bay

On the northern shores of Tralee Bay, lies Fenit, Europe’s most westerly commercial port. The harbor is also important for fishing and its 136-berth marina adds a leisurely atmosphere to the village with its beautiful views of Tralee Bay. Fenit Castle, a tower house, was built in the 16th century to protect the entrance to Barrow Harbor and Tralee Golf Club, the world famous Arnold Palmer designed course, is now ranked among the top 20 links courses worldwide. North of Tralee and situated on the north side of the Shannon river, Kilflynn is today part of the parish of Abbeydorney. Places to visit are St. Columba’s Heritage Centre, Kilflynn; St. Bernard’s Church, Abbeydorney; St. Mary’s Church, Kilflynn; and the old railway station in Abbeydorney. Lixnaw was once the seat of the Earls of Kerry and one of its descendants, later Lord Lansdowne, born 51

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On the Wild Atlantic Way and The Ring of Kerry

Wild Atlantic Way | KERRY For a day full of history Dan from EcoTreck is the man

in Dublin but largely reared in Lixnaw, became British Prime Minister in 1782. Visit the Korean War Memorial, St. Michael’s Church and the Holy Wells of St. Michael and St. Senan. Halfway between Listowel and Castleisland, the heather clad hills of Lyreacrompane lie in the Stacks Mountains. Take time to explore its wonderful lanes and country roads and for walking enthusiasts, the new Loop Walk is magical and full of the character of this special place.

Tralee, capital of County Kerry, offers a range of both indoor and outdoor attractions and activities and there is something for all the family making it a real family friendly place to be. Tralee celebrates its 800th birthday this year and many events are planned. If you happen to get some soft Irish rain during your vacation in Kerry, Tralee is the place to head for with its many indoor attractions. Tralee offers amazing shopping with a host of boutiques, bookshops, antiques and craft shops tucked away in old lanes and stylish new arcades. From the 53

Wild Atlantic Way | KERRY

Christmas Lights to the Rose of Tralee Festival, there is a buzz and bustle to the town all year-round. Blennerville, with its stately Windmill on Tralee Bay, has been an important lynchpin connecting east and west - The Tralee and Dingle Light Railway (1891 – 1953) and the Jeanie Johnston emigrant ship. The Tralee & Dingle Light Railway was one of the world’s most famous narrow gauge railways and the replica Jeanie Johnston emigrant ship was built here for its voyage to North America in 2003. Visit its famous Windmill - this unique 220-year-old restored windmill houses an acclaimed exhibition of Irish milling history and features working millstones. A selection of exhibitions on the region is also on show here. Supported by Kerry County Council Tourism Unit Further information:


There is so much to see in the magnificent county of Kerry and you have only seen half of it in North Kerry. Killarney, Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry and Skellig Ring are also there to be explored and enjoyed. Kerry is special.

FAST FACTS. The father of famous American outlaw Jessie James was from Asdee. The Lartigue Monorail is the only one of its kind in the World. In March 1919 the voice of W.T. Ditcham an engineer with the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy Company was projected from Ballybunion to a receiving station in Cape Breton, Novia Scotia. These were the first words clearly spoken by human voice from East to West. On June 24th, 1834 a race meeting on Ballyeigh Beach turned in to one of Ireland’s worst ever faction fights involving over 3,000 people. The race meeting was banned and transferred to Listowel and is now known as the Listowel Harvest Race Festival. The Rose Wall in Tralee Town Park lists all the finalists in the International Rose of Tralee Competition from 1959.

L U X U R Y C H A U F F E U R - D R I V E VA C A T I O N S Five star hotels & castles | Customized itinerary with hotels & driver for 2 to 9 persons Pre-booked attractions and visits also available

Suggested Chauffeur-Drive Itineraries – IRISH INDULGENCE



10 Night Chauffeur-Drive Vacation

6 Night Chauffeur-Drive Vacation

5 Night Chauffeur-Drive Vacation

This 10-night itinerary gives travelers an opportunity to include some of the lesser-known places in the North of Ireland as well as the more popular regions of the south. Explore vibrant Belfast’s restaurants and delve into 20th century history. Relax in Lough Eske Castle before heading to the Connemara region, Cliffs of Moher and Kenmare.

Start your 6-night tour to visit Dublin’s famous landmarks. Enjoy some pampering or golf in the lovely country estate of Mt. Juliet and explore the surrounding area of Kilkenny and Waterford. Head to the south west to revel in Killarney’s charm and scenery and end your vacation at Dromoland Castle, one of Ireland’s premier deluxe properties.

This 5-night tour will give you a tantalizing glimpse into Ireland’s cities and magnificent countryside while enjoying the best of deluxe hotels with excellent cuisine and service. See Dublin’s highlights and then your driver will whisk you away to absorb the wonderful scenery of Killarney, the impressive Cliffs of Moher and more.

Celebrate a joyful occasion with special tour arrangements – whether it’s for two or a small group of family and friends. Pick your preferred dates and we will assist you in planning a custom vacation, or choose from our selection of suggested itineraries. Your driver will look after you every step of the way as you travel around Ireland and Scotland.

Traveling with CIE Tours ensures your holiday will be filled with unique experiences and rich cultural immersion. For over 80 years, CIE Tours has served as the most trusted Ireland and Britain tour provider. CIE Tours’ array of tour itineraries and chauffeur-drive options allows you to explore these countries on a personal level, for a deeper travel experience.

800.243.8687 or visit Contact your travel agent, call

Kylemore Abbey, Connemara, Co. Galway

Inisturk • Inishturk Signal Tower • Port an Dun • The Old Church • The Present Graveyard

Clare Island • Grace O’Malley’s castle • Clare Island Abbey • Clare Island Lighthouse • Beautiful seacliff walks

O’Malley Ferries (Clare Island) Ltd., is a family-run business based on Clare Island, Co. Mayo.

Descendants of Grace O’Malley (Granuaile), the legendary 16th-century pirate queen who lived by her family trade of piracy and plunder, this sea-faring family are natives of Clare Island.

Both ferries, “Naomh Ciaran II” and the “True Light”, provide year-round links between the Mainland and Clare Island and Inishturk Co. Mayo

Bookings and Information: Call (00353) 98 25045 | Call 00353 (86) 8870814 | Call 00353 (87) 6600409 |

At the Heart of the Wild Atlantic Way

WWW.FALLSHOTEL.IE | Tel: 065 7071004 | e-mail:

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I’m sitting on the cliffs of Moher Looking out to sea The broad Atlantic swells below me A bridge love between you and me The puffins cry above the tide The seagulls glide through the air Calling you back from New York City Back home to the County of Clare


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t’s easy to understand why the famous Cliffs make up such an iconic and dramatic symbol of Ireland – and why they inspire so many artists. They are one of the last pieces of Ireland to be seen before the Atlantic Ocean begins. Next stop after that is America, another world thousands of miles away. The Cliffs are also one of the first sights to be seen as an emigrant returns to the Emerald Isle from across the Atlantic – and it’s easy to imagine the puffins and the seagulls forming a welcoming party, their plaintive cries echoing that age-old Irish greeting: “Failte ar ais aris.” Welcome back again. In recent years the Cliffs have become a huge tourist resort bringing large numbers to county Clare eager to see this natural phenomenon. Each year well over a million tourists, many of them from North America include the venue in their schedule. It’s a ‘must see’ location. Yet back in the 1960s a large chunk of the Cliffs were almost sold to a foreign entrepreneur. In modern times it would be something like the Irish Government opting to sell the President’s home in the Phoenix Park – Aras an Uachtarain - to latter day venture capitalists. It’s a remarkable story told before but is worth the re-telling. So pull up a chair, have a cup of tea and listen closely. The townland where this part of the Cliffs is located is called Lislokan North and two cousins – Danny and Kathleen Considine – jointly owned 65 acres of land here. The land was divided in such a way that it could only be sold as unit; one part faced the sea; the other the road. Both owners would have to agree to any sale. Their strip of land ended at the cliff front and incorporated the historic O’Brien’s Tower. The plot also consisted of a half-a-mile frontage of the Cliffs and a


narrow walkway from the public road to the viewing point. Back then the Cliffs, while they were an attraction, did not draw a fraction of the numbers that they do today. There was no exhibition centre as there is today; no car parks, no shops or restaurants. No café or visitor centre. Visitors then had to park their car on the road and walked to the Cliffs along the historic right of way in order to admire the view – and therein lies a tale. The Irish tourist industry had yet to take off but there were those who saw the Cliffs’ future value to the nation; who had a vision. Danny Considine and his wife Kathy lived in the nearby village of Liscannor. Danny – who was to die in 2007 at the age of 79 - was employed as a road worker but also kept a number of cows on the land he owned along with his cousin Kathleen. “He loved those cows. He loved that land,” Kathy Considine told the Irish Times. “Land was everything to him. It was land that was important to him, not money. He did not want to sell that land.” The day came in 1964 when a German entrepreneur – who turned out to be Eberhard Kemper - made contact through his solicitors with the Considines. He wanted to buy their 65 acres. Back then it wasn’t unusual for Germans to arrive in Ireland and seek to purchase land. Visitors from the continent felt that Irish land was relatively cheap at the time and they saw opportunities there. In the 1950s and ‘60s Eberhard Kemper operated a textile factory in Gelsenkirchen, near Essen producing clothing for men and women. Herr Kemper looked to Ireland to expand, and he had also opened up a textiles outlet at Drogheda, Co Louth. He clearly wanted to purchase land at the Cliffs of Moher but for what reason local people wondered?

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Did he want to open another factory? Did he want to build a hotel? The attempt by the German businessman to buy the 65 acres was quickly latched onto by the local Clare Champion newspaper. They investigated reports knowing it would be a subject of great interest to the local people. “German offers to buy Cliffs of Moher confirmed” ran one headline in the highly respected publication. The attempt to purchase the land provoked a response in the form of an editorial in the Clare Champion that would have gone a long way to expressing the mood many people in the area felt about the purchase of land on the famous Cliffs of Moher. It was like someone from abroad – or “aliens” as they were then referred to in the Champion – wanted to buy a piece of Ireland’s precious natural heritage. “The buying of land by aliens criticised” one headline read. “It is only right that Irish land should be retained for the farmers of Ireland. Thousands of Irishmen have died over the years to rid the country of British landlordism. It would be a national tragedy if the ideals they fought for were forgotten” the editorial concluded. The newspaper also reported that Kathleen Considine had expressed an interest in the sale of the land “if the price was right.” For whatever reason Danny Considine was clearly reluctant to offload his land despite receiving what was believed to have been a very attractive offer; an offer that also included grazing rights for his precious cows. There were many locals who would have applauded his reluctance.

“Germany had any amount of money. Germans could not understand why land was so cheap here,” commented Senator Sean Brady who was also chairman of Clare County Council. “These people should not be allowed to buy up land and estates here. These aliens would buy up the whole place if they were not stopped,” he added. The Clare County Manager Joe Boland also felt the Cliffs of Moher should be in public ownership. It wasn’t long before the necessary steps were taken to do just that. The County Council bought a portion of the land (just over two acres) that included O’Brien’s Tower for £1,060. The day – and the Cliffs – were saved for the people. Those in the Clare Champion did not try to hide their delight. “Cliffs proposal welcome” ran a headline over a front-page story in the paper announcing the purchase. The newspaper also conveyed the good news that the Council were preparing to spend £6,700 on improving the amenities at one of Ireland’s most scenic sites. Since then much more has been spent on adding to and maintaining the facilities available for visitors. “The Council proposes to expend the money on the purchase of the main section of the Cliffs of Moher, including the tower, and also the provision of additional parking for cars and buses,” it was reported. “The proposal to preserve the Cliffs of Moher as an amenity area for the benefit of the general public has been welcomed by many North Clare interests.” Today the seagulls continue to swoop around the Cliffs in big numbers. It doesn’t take much to imagine their plaintive cries welcoming people – as the song says – “Back home to the County of Clare.” 59

Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM

County of Culture CLARE


Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM



colourful and vibrant county, Clare always captures what it means to be Irish and no more so than in 2016 as it celebrates being the designated ‘County of Culture’.

Celebrating Clare – County of Culture, Clare Tourism in partnership with Clare County Council is paying homage to the county’s rich cultural heritage and showcasing Clare as an important Irish cultural destination with a packed programme of more than 400 festivals and events - from music to song and dance, from food to sport, literature, fashion, heritage and so much more – throughout the year. So while you’re enjoying the breath-taking scenery, discovering the best of cliff, sea, beach and countryside and letting the fresh Atlantic breeze wake up body and mind, there will be countless opportunities to feel the energy of Clare Culture. The festival highlight for Clare-County of Culture will be the welcoming back, after 39 years, of the greatest Traditional Irish Music Festival – Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2016 – to the streets of Ennis from August 14th to 22nd. This is a unique and welcoming festival of the best of traditional arts, offering a wide range of cultural activities to be enjoyed by all. Ennis Fashion Week in September will celebrate the art of fashion in Ennis – the Boutique Capital of Ireland. Bluegrass musicians from Ireland and abroad will be showcased at more than seven venues around Bunratty Village and Bunratty Folk Park during the Bunratty Bluegrass Festival in October. And if you are looking for love and loads of fun, the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival in September is where you belong. This world-famous, 160-year-old fair focuses on bringing single people together in the best possible way through fun, music, dance and song. The festival’s matchmaker, Willie Daly, has set up more 3,000 marriages and some 60,000 people take part in the event every year. The Doolin Craft Beer and Roots Festival in August will celebrate the best of Irish craft beer, the finest roots’ acts in the land and some mouth-watering Irish, Cajun and American favourites on the BBQ! For an experience that’s truly unique to Clare, visit in October for the Burren Winterage Weekend: this is a special community tribute to the tradition of pastoral farming. Walks, a food fayre, family events and a cattle drive combine to give you a once-in-a-lifetime

experience that is typically Clare. Clare-County of Culture’s extensive Festivals & Events calendar can be viewed on Clare is a fantastically located county and can be easily accessed from Shannon International Airport and only two hours’ drive from Ireland’s capital of Dublin. Clare is a place of contrasts, from the majestic rugged coastline along the Wild Atlantic West to the wide calm expanse of Ireland’s longest river, the River Shannon; to the magic of its many lakes and the dramatic soulful tranquillity of the windswept Burren. From North, South, East, West and to the historic county town of Ennis, contrasts are as much a part of the Clare psyche as story-telling and ‘not making a fuss’. Many come to Clare’s shores to find peace and tranquillity while others come to relish in the thrill, buzz and spirit of adventure offered by Clare’s world-class high-action sports, adrenaline-pumping activities and relaxing leisurely pursuits. County Clare has some of the finest golf courses the world has to offer, combining challenging, professionally-designed course architecture with the ultimate in beautiful landscaping, features and club facilities. Clare has earned a name as a premium surfing destination – with several beaches offering different surf experiences so you can select according to your skills and experience. The best known surf location is Lahinch, which has become a true ‘surf town’, with plenty of surf schools, surf shops and ‘hang outs’ on offer – and the buzzing vibe to go with it. Other beaches close by are Spanish Point and Doonbeg, which have more swell – and are perhaps for the more experienced or daring. If you prefer staying on dry land, there are a whole series of wonderful walking routes around the county which you can select according to the level of challenge you want. Burren Wild Tours offers professionally-guided walking and hiking tours in the heart of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher GeoPark. And they even have festivals dedicated to walking in Clare! From the Burren Peaks Weekend of Walking Festival to the Loop Head Walking and Heritage Festival – there are lots of special events dedicated to helping you get out there, discovering Clare at its most natural and beautiful. If biking is your thing, take an off-road, guided mountain bike tour and follow the road less traveled with the company of an expert guide – with Burren Way 61

Located in the centre of Ballyvaughan village, heart of the Burren, adjacent to Aillwee Caves, Cliffs of Moher and Galway City

Mid point on Wild Atlantic Way

Accommodation - Open all year

Family owned and managed

Food served all day

Traditional Music Sessions in the bar

Sunday Lunch



Main Street, Ballyvaughan County Clare +353 (0)65 - 7077037

Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM

Mountain Bike Tours or West Coast Cycle Tours. You can tour The Burren on a quality Kalkhoff electric bike from E-whizz – guided and self-guided tours of The Burren. You can take in all of the well-known landmarks and many more scenic and historic sites – all guides are locals with in-depth knowledge of the area. For the adventurous, activities in Clare include kayaking, rock climbing, caving, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and archery. There are many beautiful beaches in Clare – no less than nine of the county’s beaches have met all criteria necessary to be given the much sought after Blue Flag Status. All of this means that wherever you choose for some sand, sun and swimming, you can be sure of a safe, top quality, world-class beach experience. Beyond Blue Flag recommendations, what also make Clare’s shores so compelling is the sheer diversity, beauty and natural wonder of the coastline. The natural seaboard resonates as much with the soul as it does with the sports enthusiast and swimmer. So whether a lone walk on soulful sands with the waves crashing behind you is your idea of beach heaven – or you’re looking for premium water sports – or you’re simply longing for that nostalgic, authentic sandcastle and rock pool family holiday to recharge and reconnect – you’ll find Clare beaches tick all the right boxes. County Clare’s landscape is one that is truly magical

and that seems to change from craggy cliff to soft folds of green in a heartbeat. It is a landscape dotted with picture-post card cottages, villages and towns where the secrets of Irish life are unlocked as the music begins. The magnificent waves of the Atlantic roll in, crashing against the ancient cliffs of Clare’s coastline - this is the magic of the Wild Atlantic Way – and at its very heart sits County Clare. The Wild Atlantic Way stretches from Malin Head, County Donegal through to the Old Head of Kinsale in County Cork. There are several Signature Points along the way, and without a doubt some of the most naturally breath-taking and extraordinarily beautiful sights are in Clare. NORTH CLARE HIGHLIGHTS

Bluegrass musicians from Ireland and abroad will be showcased at more than seven venues around Bunratty

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher are synonymous with County Clare. The Cliffs of Moher are an incredible sight – made up of rocks formed over 300 million years ago during the Upper Carboniferous period. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience and Cliffs Exhibition offers a wealth of information and displays to inform and fascinate. Have a 360 degree Cliffs experience, on foot: Follow the path that leads from Liscannor all the way along the coast to Doolin. Once there, you can take a ferry which will cruise around the Cliffs, giving you a view of their greatness from the water and a chance to see their many caves and sea stacks up-close. 63

Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM

Just North of the Cliffs is the Burren National Park – a dramatically beautiful Karst landscape of 1,500 hectars with its own geological and natural story to tell. It’s a symphony of limestone pavement, grassland, hazel scrub, woodland, petrifying springs and cliffs. The Park’s highest point is Knockanes, at 207meters, which continues as a curving terraced ridge right down to Mullaghmor. Doolin Cave, located in The Burren region, close to the Cliffs of Moher, is home to the Great Stalactite. At 7.3 metres (23feet) it is the longest free-hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere. The Great Stalactite, suspended from the ceiling like a chandelier, is truly astounding. Visitors can hardly believe that it was formed from a single drop of water over thousands of years. Aillwee Cave, one of the oldest caves in Ireland, is located in the heart of the Burren. Here you can tour the dramatic underworld of this area with expert guides who will accompany you through the beautiful caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall which sometimes gently sprays the unsuspecting visitor! Marvel at the frozen waterfall and explore the now extinct brown bears bones. The Aillwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre celebrates 40 years of Céad Míle Fáilte this year, though the history of this subterranean wonder goes way back, over 1,000,000 years, when a cave began forming from dripping water that enlarged a tiny weakness in the carboniferous limestone. 40,000 years ago a thunderous underground river continually churned its way against the soft rock, creating the caverns and passage-ways of Aillwee Cave. 4,000 years ago, 64

European Brown Bears sheltered here for winter in relatively warm, dry chambers, then just 40 years ago the cave was sensitively developed by the Johnson and Mulqueeney families into the first show-cave open to visitors in The Burren Region of County Clare. In such a natural environment it is no surprise to experience exotic creatures and all manner of bird life. At Aillwee, the Birds of Prey & Educational Centre is home to nearly sixty birds of prey; several kinds of owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, vultures and a beautiful raven name ‘Loon’. There are audio guides and informative & interactive flying displays to help visitors learn about the majesty and diversity of these magnificent creatures. One-to-one hour long ‘hawk walks’ in hazel woodland and along limestone pavement are an experience of a lifetime. There are over twenty-six acres of woodland here including the Woodland Craft Village where bush-craft adventure and survival skills are taught using techniques that date back to the Stone, Iron and Bronze Ages. Fire making, shelter building and archery provide fun and discovery for all ages and skill sets. Over three generations the Johnson and Mulqueeney families have established Aillwee’s cheese factory and farm shop, which produces the multi award winning Burren Gold Gouda Farmhouse Cheese. The product is hand-made in small, daily batches which mature for a minimum of three months. The result is a hallmark taste of Aillwee, which features proudly with other fine food products along the Burren Food Trail. Today, 40 years on, and as a Geosite in The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, the Aillwee team

Killaloe River Cruises provide tours of the River Shannon and Lough Derg. A commentary is provided on all interesting sites as you cruise by. Relax and unwind on one of our modern boats taking in the magnificent scenery, wildlife, heritage and folklore. Bar facilities on board. Available all year round, on-line tickets available at | | 00 353 (0) 61 376691

Killaloe River Cruises, Killaloe Co. Clare 25 minutes from Limerick City 45 minutes from Shannon Airport

Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM

From rugged coastline to the magical stories of traditional music, County Clare has a warm and romantic soul

endeavour to be Burren Ambassadors, interpreting both the underground cave system and the many wonders of the over-ground attractions. The popular visitor centre continues to delight, engage, inform and inspire into the 21st century. SOUTH CLARE HIGHLIGHTS: Shannon International Airport is one of Ireland’s three primary airports, along with Dublin and Cork. In 2015, 1.715 million passengers passed through the airport, making it the third busiest airport in the country. Visitors from America, England, Scotland and many parts of Europe can all fly in to Shannon. Bunratty Castle & Folk Park is a must on your itinerary to Ireland. This is your chance to experience a window on Ireland’s past and explore the acclaimed 15th century Bunratty Castle and the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park. If aviation is your passion and you want to learn more


about the wonderful world of flight, then you need to put Atlantic AirVenture on your travel itinerary. This unique facility is located in Shannon - the heart of Irish Aviation where you can learn the thrill of flying in a cockpit simulator and take an interactive guided tour of the Aviation Museum. EAST CLARE HIGHLIGHTS: Mountshannon is located on the shores of Lough Derg, one of Ireland’s biggest lakes, in East Clare. It is a beautiful and scenic village with its foundation in the 18th century. It’s a place with strong links to history and includes some excellent archaeology within short reach. Ring forts, Holy wells, Famine Graves and even a wedge tomb (Known locally as ‘The Dolmen’) can be found close by. Holy Island/ Inis Cealtra is a monastic settlement of great importance in ancient Ireland. The island is just a short boat trip from the village of Mountshannon, and

Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM

is home to a number of churches, graveyards, a holy well and a selection of religious stone carvings. Killaloe, a pretty town on the banks of the River Shannon, is the birthplace of High King of Ireland Brian Boru (c. 941 – 1014) – you can visit the Brian Boru Heritage Centre in Killaloe to learn more. One of Ireland’s most picturesque attractions, Killaloe is linked by a 13 arch bridge to Ballina in neighbouring County Tipperary. Killaloe is a great base from which to explore Lough Derg, Ireland’s third largest lake, known as the ‘Pleasure Lake’, and take part in many outdoors activities from walking to hiking, kayaking and fishing. St. Flannan’s Cathedral, unique for its stone carving inscriptions is in Killaloe. A Romanesque cathedral was built in the 1180’s by Donal O’Brien but was destroyed soon afterwards by Connacht forces. A new cathedral, built in the Gothic style, was completed on the same site in the early thirteenth century.

WEST CLARE HIGHLIGHTS: The wild and wonderful Loop Head is situated at the very most western tip of Clare – the meeting point of the calm waters of the Shannon Estuary and the powerful waves of the mighty Atlantic. Although the Peninsula is less than 25 kms end to end, it is a place of unlimited contrasts and endless possibilities. The Peninsula is almost completely surrounded by Special Areas of Conservation and Natural Habitat – making it a true Paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. The Loop Head Drive runs right through to the farthest western tip and this area’s very famous lighthouse. Climb to the top of the lighthouse and fall in love with the splendid views stretching from County Kerry to the Cliffs of Moher. Kilrush is at the centre of the rich and diverse coastal landscape of the West Clare Peninsula and is set in an unforgettable seascape that features the grand River Shannon, the islands of Hogg and Scattery 67

Wild Atlantic Way | CLARE TOURISM

and the picturesque village of Cappa. The designation of Kilrush as a Heritage Town recognizes its legacy as a landlord estate town with a rich maritime tradition. Attractions in (or near) Kilrush include: Angling, Birdwatching, Cycling, Education Packs, Light Entertainment, Gardens, Golf, Guided Tours, Horse Riding, Touring and Walking. Doonbeg is a beautiful picturesque coastal village nestling in a sheltered bay on the edge of the broad Atlantic. There is a wide range of local attractions and amenities, and it’s an ideal base from which to explore North and West Clare, from Loop Head to the Burren. Whether it’s golf, fishing, walking, surfing or sandcastles, Doonbeg has a lot to offer and, if you’re lucky, your time here will coincide with one of the vibrant festivals. ENNIS – ‘OLD TOWN, NEW STORIES’ Ennis, the capital of the county, is Clare’s premier venue for arts, theatre music and exhibitions. A history town with a very active present, it’s narrow bustling streets and lanes give character and ambiance to the town giving it a cosmopolitan flavour. The first Irish town to be accredited with the Purple Flag Award means that Ennis achieves the “gold standard” for night time destinations. It also has a rich heritage tradition with some of the finest monuments, buildings and waterways. Visitors to Ennis can expect to experience unique and diverse boutiques, shops, cafes and restaurants and it is an ideal base from which to explore the county’s many and diverse attractions. From rugged coastline to the magical stories of traditional music, County Clare has a warm and romantic soul. The beauty of its landscape, the friendliness of its people, its rich culture and heritage will stay with you long after you return home and will leave you with the desire to return. It is this kind of quality and exceptionally high standards that have made Clare – County of Culture a world destination of choice. 68


Cliffs of Moher County Clare, Ireland


Honans Antiques Ennis Co. Clare

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

The Burren Slow Food Festival

23rd - 24th May 2015 The Slow Food Festival The Burren Burren Slow Food Festival The Burren Slow Food Festival 23rd - 24th May 2015The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare The Burren Slow Food Festival 23rd - 24th May 2015 23rd - 24th May 2015 TheBurren Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare The Slow Food Festival 23rdCo. - 24th • Sally and John McKenna, McKenna’s Guides The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, ClareMay 2015

• Sally and John- McKenna, McKenna’s 23rd 24th May 2015 Guides The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare • Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivain Restaurant • Sally and Clarke, John McKenna, McKenna’s Guides • Sally and John McKenna, McKenna’s Guides • Derry L’Ecrivain Restaurant Honans Antiques is inMarket the• heart of Ennis Clare. ItMcKenna’s has • JP McMahon, Anair • Cookery Demos • Claire Farmers The Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare Sally and JohnCo. McKenna, Guides Derry•Clarke, L’Ecrivain • Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivain Restaurant • JP McMahon,• Anair Cookery Demos •Restaurant Claire Farmers Market a fantastic stock of engagement rings, antique and modern • Burren Adventure Activities • Burren Food Trail • Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivain Restaurant • JP McMahon, Anair • Cookery Demos • Claire Farmers Anair • Cookery Demos • Claire Farmers Market Sally and John McKenna, McKenna’s Guides ••Burren Adventure Activities • Burren Food Trail Market • JP McMahon, jewellery. It is a •well known antique shop full if Demos treasures. A Farmers Market • BBQ evening JP McMahon, • Cookery • Claire • Burren Adventure Activities Burren Food TrailBurren Lamb on the spit • Burren Adventure Activities •Anair Burren Food Trail Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivain ••BBQ Burren Lamb on the•Restaurant spit evening truly amazingly experience to visit the shop. • Burren Activities • Burren Food Trail • Burren & Cliffs Of Moher Geopark • JP McMahon, Anair •&Cookery Claire Farmers Market • BBQ Burren Lamb on the•spit evening • BBQ Burren Lamb on theAdventure spit evening Burren Cliffs OfDemos Moher Geopark For bookings call Bunratty, Co. Clare Trade dealers welcome. • BBQ Burren Lamb • Burren Adventure Activities • Burren Food Trail • Burren & Cliffs Of Moher Geopark • Burren & Cliffs Of Moher Geopark on the spit evening For information For information • Burren & Cliffs Of Moher Geopark • BBQ Burren Lamb on the spit evening Tel: 065-7074432 • For Email: Tel: 065-7074432 • Email: information For information • Burren & Cliffs Of Moher Geopark For information Tel:find 065-7074432 • Email: Tel: 065-7074432 • Email: @durtynellys_ie us on facebook Tel: 065-7074432 • Email: Phone: 0656828137 For information Tel: 065-7074432 • Email:

(061) 364 861

Visit the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. the Burren Smokehouse Visit the Burren Smokehouse Visit the BurrenVisit Smokehouse Visit the Burren Smokehouse Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. Visit the Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare. in Lisdoonvarna,in Co. Clare. in Lisdoonvarna, Co. Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare.






t’s a legendary Irish tale that figures prominently in ‘The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn’ a collection of stories recounting the great adventures of the one and only Fionn Mac Cumhaill. They are the kind of stories that one day might be brought to life by Steven Spielberg or some talented film-maker of his ilk. For now we must just go with what we have. According to the story, Fionn was a special young man blessed with a huge range of athletic talents; a latter-day Usain Bolt, only quicker, more powerful. As daring and strong as an ox. If he was around today Fionn would be the kind of young man guaranteed to scoop a couple of Olympic gold medals every time the Games roll around. But back to the Salmon of Knowledge. According to legend, Fionn became an extremely wise. The story outlines how the poet Finn Eces spent seven years fishing for the elusive, aforementioned salmon. When he did find it, he left 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. Fionn touched the salmon to see if it was cooked, burned his finger and, as any of us would do, he instinctively sucked his finger, thus absorbing the knowledge of the world. It’s a lovely story, a real Irish legend that has passed down through countless generations, yet there is a grain of truth to it as well – it underlines the part the salmon has played, and is continuing to play, in Irish life. The importance of the salmon to Ireland and to Irish is fully understood and appreciated by Birgitta Hedin-Curtain, a Swedish woman who produces award-winning smoked salmon from her Burren Smokehouse outlet in the picturesque surroundings of Lisdoonvarna in Co Clare. Birgitta - who set up and runs the company with her husband Peter – produces salmon that is literally fit for a Queen. And therein hangs a little tale. Back in 2011 when no less a figure than Queen Elizabeth II visited Ireland, a big banquet was arranged in her honour at Dublin Castle – as one does for visiting monarchs. Birgitta and her company were asked to supply wild smoked salmon for the occasion. It was a great honour for her and a testament to the quality of product she produces in her base at Lisdoonvarna. However, there was a problem; a potentially big, big problem. “No fish were caught on the first two days of the season,” Birgitta recalled, looking back to those tension-filled 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 were landed. There was just enough time for


the curing and smoking and I ended up taking the salmon straight from the ovens and driving through the night to deliver it in time.” The important thing was that she got there on time and the smoked salmon produced by Burren Smokehouse appeared on a menu for a dinner that grabbed the attention of the world’s media. It was quite an honour. As well as salmon, the Clare enterprise also produces what by all accounts is excellent smoked trout and locally caught mackerel. One of Peter and Brigitta Curtin’s unique creations is a tender and succulent hot smoked salmon with honey, lemon, dill or pepper, infused with delicate oaky flavour. Mmmmm, sounds delicious. When is lunch? It’s not by accident that smoked salmon produced by Birgitta and her team at Lisdoonvarna is known and enjoyed far and wide. As well as the Queen of England, it was also on the menu at a St Patrick’s Day event in honour of no less a personage than the President of the United States. The Curtins only work with sustainably sourced fish. It’s all fits in with their philosophy that only the best will do. Take their outlook as regards the salmon they make available. “Our organically farmed salmon is the best in terms of feeding, stock density and situation. 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 minimum of the fat you find in fish raised in overcrowded conditions,” explained Birgitta recently to those good folk from Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the Irish Sea Fisheries Board. The Curtins also showed plenty of innovation in products such as the Clare Island organic farmed salmon as well as salmon with Irish seaweed. It turned out to be their most successful product to-date. Not that the seaweed is any old seaweed. It is supplied by well-known harvester of seaweed Gerard Talty of Wild Irish Sea Vegetables. It’s not widely known that there is such a thing as wild Irish sea vegetables!! But there are, and its good stuff too it seems. The mackeral used for the smoking process is sourced by the Curtins at Killybegs, that famous fishing port in Donegal. They only use fish that’s caught between November and February when the oil content is at its best for producing high quality product. It’s that ethos again of seeking out the best raw material to produce an excellent end product. It’s the kind of approach that has certainly paid off for the Curtins. Food and it’s production has always been important to Birgitta Hedin-Curtin. Originally from Sweden she grew up on the coast of that most picturesque of countries. She comes from an area where there is a tradition of smoking fish. Smoked eel and herring are particularly popular in those parts. 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


shared interest on recipes for smoked fish, not sure where it would take them. They were, in a sense, sitting out on adventure into the unknown – like those intrepid seafarers who centuries ago set out on a voyage into the vast ocean and ended up discovering a new land; a new world. America. Smoking fish is, as Birgitta knows, an art, a craft that takes time - and the kind of knowledge Fionn mac Cumhaill acquired – to perfection. The temperature for starters 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. They have their own equipment that is patented. Unique. The fish also have to be sourced carefully.

the ‘smokery’ is restricted for health reasons, tours are arranged for culinary students. Birgitta - who is a Wild Atlantic Way Food Ambassador for Failte Ireland - is involved with a number of local groups, including the Burren Slow Food Festival and she is a frequent visitor to food fairs. It’s an indication of her passion for food and her interest in keeping instep with new trends.

Birgitta and Peter started their business in a low-key fashion packing their first batches of smoked salmon in their kitchen. It was in those relatively modest surroundings that 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 tonnes of smoked fish a year, with the large orders at Christmas accounting for over half the total sold.

Some of the places where Burren Smokehouse Irish salmon is stocked include world-famous outlets such as Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason. It’s all a long way from where Burren Smokehouse started out. And air travelers – perhaps winging their way from America on their way to Ireland – can get a taste of Burren Smokehouse salmon as part of a series of products made available by Aer Linus, aimed at showcasing quality Irish artisan products. Again it’s an indication of how far the Lisdoonvarna enterprise has travelled the past 25 years or so. The food produced by the Curtins has featured in TV shows such as the ‘Wild Ireland’ series in which the Christine Bleakley, no less, returns home to Ireland to travel the 1,500mile length of the Wild Atlantic Way.

There is a visitor centre and shop. It’s a place where the welcome mat is out all the time and people respond with great enthusiasm. It is estimated that around 30,000 people call each year, and while access to

Those behind Burren Smokehouse have achieved a huge amount since starting out in their voyage. It is, like Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Salmon of Knowledge, the very stuff of legend.

Birgitta is a Wild Atlantic Way Food Ambassador; It’s an indication of her passion for food and her interest in keeping in-step with new trends.


Keel, Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland +353 9 843 157

Here at the Chalet Seafood Restaurant we aim to give you the true Achill experience; Warm welcome, great food, and wonderful memories. Ours is a family run business with a tradition of sourcing quality local seafood that goes back more than 50 years. Gerard & Julie Hassett continue this proud tradition, with Gerard providing much of the fish and shellfish served daily, from his very own boat. Our spacious and elegant dining room, with its cozy, intimate booths and stunning views, provides the perfect ambiance to enjoy your meal

while our separate dining area, the Curragh lounge with its pretty stained glass windows and truly magnificent outlook onto the Minaun cliffs makes the ideal venue for any occasion and can be booked separately to enjoy a private meal with family and friends. Our friendly staff will be on hand to ensure you have a wonderful experience. So whether your exploring the wild Atlantic way, on a cycling adventure on the greenway or celebrating a special occasion come visit us here at the Chalet, and experience the best that our beautiful island has to offer.

FATHER PATRICK PEYTON C.S.C MEMORIAL CENTRE Come and Visit the Beautiful and Spiritual Surroundings of the Father Peyton CSC Memorial Centre.

Attymass, Ballina, Co Mayo, Ireland. Phone +353 (0)96 45374

Wild Atlantic Way | MAYO



rom distant Erris to Connemara, Ireland’s Atlantic coast skims south around huge bays. The largest of the western bays – Clew Bay – is said to have 365 islets and islands, one for every day of the year. In Connemara, water and land merge in a lacy shoreline of loughs, coves, islands and bogs. There’s history and culture too: elegant Georgian Westport House; the stronghold of legendary

pirate queen Grace O’Malley on Clare Island and Connemara’s Derrigimlagh Bog – where the world’s first transatlantic flight landed. KEEM STRAND Keem Bay is a rural and sheltered beach surrounded by cliffs on Ireland’s largest island - Achill Island. It can be found at the head of a valley between the cliffs of Benmore to the west and Croaghaun Mountain on the east on Achill Island. The 8km drive west from Keel to what is literally the end of the road is spectacular, with 75

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sweeping views across the water as the road climbs the sheer rock face. But after you spiral down to this perfect cove, you’re rewarded with a gorgeous Blue Flag beach.

Down on the Farm: Roam the fields of the western world while learning how to herd Connemara sheep at Glen Keen Farm – one of the largest on the west coast.

Drive across the road bridge to Keem Strand on Achill Island, with its towering sea-cliffs, exposed mountains and sweeping sandy beaches. On Achill, while sheltering under Slievemore Mountain, you can wander through a strange and long abandoned settlement known simply as the Deserted Village. Simply walk from cottage to cottage, imagining life here through the centuries in this remote and poignant spot.


Soak it all up: Take a cruise around Clew Bay to see the thriving seal colony, beautiful secluded beaches and breathtaking views that stretch as far as the eye can see. 76

Killary Harbour is a picturesque fjord, which forms a natural border between Galway and Mayo, in the heart of Connemara. Ringed by mountains, the fjord is often speckled with dolphins. Killary is also well known for producing some of Ireland’s most delicious mussels – taste the celebrated shellfish at the Connemara Mussel Festival in Tullycross. An incredibly calming place, it was this peacefulness that drew the famous philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein to stay after WWII to write Philosophical Investigations, his famous work.

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The White Sands: The White Sands of Glassilaun Beach near Renvyle create one of the most beautiful beaches in the world - undisturbed and a little bit magical. Lobster for the Pot: You’re never too old to learn a new skill: lifting lobster pots as you glide around Roundstone Harbour and Inishnee Island before returning in time for lunch. Indulge in a foodie adventure following the people who catch and produce seafood with passion and dedication, and the chefs who know a thing or two about how to cook it. DERRIGIMLAGH BOG Derrigimlagh Bog is a wild and mysterious place, a mosaic of tiny lakes and peat. To uncover two remarkable events of the 20th century, stick to the Bog Road. Soon you’ll come across the scattered remnants of the

world’s first permanent transatlantic radio station, built by the Marconi Company over a century ago, while not far away is a monument to Alcock and Brown, who crash-landed (without injury) into Derrigimlagh Bog in 1919, bringing an end to the world’s first nonstop flight across the Atlantic. Islands at the Edge of the World: Take a day trip to explore ‘the islands’ by bicycle – or even better, by pony and trap, trotting along narrow lanes, past white sandy beaches and clover-covered hills. Wherever you go in these parts one thing’s for sure, the landscape is captivating, stimulating and spectacularly unique. Images available from 77

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ohn Millington Synge was one of the leading playwrights of the Irish Literary Renaissance in the late 1890s and the early 20th century. Encouraged by W B Yeats, he visited the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland and absorbed himself in the lives, language and stories of the people he met. The result was some of Ireland’s finest plays that are still being performed today. In the Shadow of the Glen, Riders to the Sea and The Well of the Saints – all based on stories from the islands, drawing heavily on the language and speech patterns of the islanders. The Islands also provided the inspiration for Synge’s most famous play, The Playboy of the Western World. While visiting Ireland why not follow in the path of Irish literature and legend. Immerse yourself in traditional Irish history, culture and heritage on the Aran Islands with easy passage by Aran Island Ferries. Based on Ireland’s West Coast in Co. Galway, Aran Island Ferries offer daily sailings to Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oír with an average journey time of 45 mins. Galway is a two-hour drive from Dublin, and just 90 minutes from both Shannon and Knock Airport. Inis Mór, the largest island, boosts over 50 historical attractions including Dún Aonghasa, a world heritage site, the Seven Churches, Arkin Castle, and extensive Celtic stone walls. The main village on the island is the picturesque Kilronan, which has a wide selection of restaurants serving high quality


local produce, traditional Irish bars and a variety of accommodation. Dún Aonaghasa is the most famous of the many prehistoric forts on the island. Kilmurvey Craft Village, located close to Dún Aonghasa, is speckled with many little craft shops selling the products of local artists inspired by the Celtic traditions of the island. Visitors to Inis Mór can also relax on blue-flag beaches, and enjoy a number of walking and cycling routes around the island. Inis Meáin, the most traditional of the three Islands, was a retreat for Irish playwright, John Millington Synge and a small museum is now located in the cottage where he resided on the Island. In addition to a trip to Synge’s Cottage, visitors can enjoy sandy beaches and breath-taking scenery at a leisurely pace. Inis Oírr is the smallest of the Aran Islands and is home to numerous historical attractions, including the much photographed wreck of former cargo ship ‘Plassey’, which ran onto rocks on 8th March 1960. At just three square km in size, and with very little traffic, Inis Oírr is walker’s paradise. Operating a fleet of state-of-the-art vessels, Aran Island Ferries offer passengers maximum comfort with minimum journey times and excellent amenities such as full bar service on board. The team works closely with customers to offer a range of bespoke package deals throughout the year in association with businesses on the islands.





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Stunning Accommodation awaits you on the Bay Coast of the Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo

Croagh Patrick Hostel & Cottages offers luxury selfcatering cottages and a newly built de-luxe hostel, located at the foot of the majestic Croagh Patrick Mountain overlooking Clew Bay on the Wild Atlantic Way.

It is a family run business and guests are simply raving about our superb accommodation facilities, our fantastic location and the warm, friendly welcome that awaits. The hostel and cottages can accommodate individuals, families and small & large groups.

The perfect base to discover the magic of what the Bay Coast has to offer including the famous ‘Croagh Patrick Mountain Climb‛ and ‘The Great Western Greenway! Plenty of adventure activities to choose from!! You won‛t be disappointed!!

“We look forward to welcoming you to our place!!” Murrisk, Westport, Co. Mayo +353 98 64756 | +353 87 4191953 |


HEALY MAC’S IRISH BAR AND RESTAURANT Ireland (Breaffy House Resort, Co Mayo) Spain (The Marina, Estepona, Costa del Sol) Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh, Penang); Indonesia (Medan) Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, named Best Irish Bar in the World (outside Ireland) by the Irish Times and Diageo

Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, Co Mayo

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n the summer of 2015, the first Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant outside Asia opened its doors at Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar, Co Mayo in the west of Ireland. It was a homecoming of sorts for the multi-award-winning international chain, as the company was established by Mayo’s very own Liam Healy. A native of Glenamoy in North Mayo, Liam opened his first Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant in the bustling area of Changkat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2008. Since then, the Healy Mac’s chain has continued to blossom, with the chain now boasting seven outlets in Malaysia, one in Indonesia, one in Ireland and the latest outlet now open on The Marina, Estepona in Spain’s Costa del Sol. In the summer of 2015, Healy Mac’s on Jalan P Ramlee in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was named Best Irish Pub in the World (outside Ireland) by the Irish Times and Diageo. Nominations for the prestigious accolade flooded in from all across the globe with more than 1,500 people in 41 countries nominating their favourite Irish bar. Of course, there could only ever be one winner and from a pool of more than 7,000 bars worldwide, Healy Mac’s took the top spot and was lauded for its role as a social hub for emigrants, its support for the Irish community overseas, its commitment to Irish food, culture and sport, and, of course, its ‘craic factor’. The award coincided with the opening of Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant at Breaffy House Resort. The previous year, in 2014, Liam Healy and a consortium bought the stunning 90-acre Resort in Co Mayo, which is home to two

hotels, a sports arena, spa and leisure centre. Like all of the outlets, Healy Mac’s at Breaffy House quickly established a great reputation for excellent food, drink, service and atmosphere. The large and spacious bar boasts 15 television screens, showing all live sporting action, while music and entertainment are regularly on offer. Of course, opening a Healy Mac’s outlet in Breaffy wasn’t Liam’s first entry to the Irish market. The Mayo-born businessman also owns O’Brien’s Bar in Churchtown, Co Cork. The bar has been in Liam’s family for more than 150 years and was once the local bar for actor Oliver Reed, who starred in such movies as The Three Musketeers, Oliver and Gladiator. Reed loved the village and the people so much that he chose Churchtown for his final resting place. The actor’s grave is just 50 metres from Liam’s bar and the key to the gate of the graveyard is kept behind the counter in O’Brien’s. Earlier this year, Liam expanded the Healy Mac’s chain further into Europe, with the opening of Spain’s first Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant in Estepona. A truly picturesque location, Healy Mac’s in Estepona has proved a firm favourite with visitors to the area and indeed among the local clientele. The Healy Mac’s chain has picked up myriad of awards over the years and the business continues to go from strength-to-strength. So, whether you’re planning a trip to Ireland this year or you fancy going further afield to Spain, Malaysia or Indonesia, be sure to schedule a visit to Healy Mac’s Irish Bar and Restaurant. At Healy Mac’s, you may arrive as strangers but you’ll definitely leave as friends. 81

Visit Eagles Flying

Irish Raptor Research Centre SCIENTIFICALLY MANAGED SANCTUARY FOR BIRDS OF PREY & OWLS Experience Eagles swooping only inches over your head and landing on your arm. Eagles Flying is Irelands largest Raptor Centre and home to more than 100 raptors and another 350 birds and animals (out of 85 species). Our focus is on a hands-on experience

» Bird Whisperers » Interactive Shows » Photo opportunities » Touch Zoo » Over 100 raptors and 350 birds & animals » All-weather suitable

Opening times:

10.30 - 12.30 and 2.30 - 4.30 (2 Hour Programmes)

2 shows Daily 11.00am and 3.00pm 7 Days 1st April - 7th November

Ballymote, Co. Sligo Phone: (353) 71 9189310 |

Wild Atlantic Way | ESCAPE TO SLIGO


This Centre is one of the best equipped and dedicated centres of Traditional Irish Music in Ireland. The visitor can be ‘transported’ back in time through audio-visual and touch screen facilities to enjoy the best of traditional music as presented by the old masters and the younger musicians of today.

Coleman Music Visitor Centre Gurteen, Co. Sligo, Ireland

‘An Authentic Traditional Music and Cultural Experience!

The centre has a fully stocked Music Store carrying a comprehensive range of CDs, music books, instruments, souvenirs and local crafts. The Coleman School of Music offers one to one or group tuition to visitors, available all year round but must be booked in advance. During July & August there are weekly traditional music concerts performed by local artists in the 130 seat theatre. A traditional music experience of music, song and dance can be arranged for groups, day or evening, all year round

The Beehive Ireland Sligo’s newest Hostel, located in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. Private rooms and dorms available

Contact: T: + 00 353 (0) 71 915 2802 E:

Wild Atlantic Way | ESCAPE TO SLIGO


ick start your day with a surf lesson from any of the local Irish Surf Association surf schools on Strandhill beach. You’ll never feel so alive and your grin will never be so wide as when the foaming Atlantic waters spray your face as you catch your first proper wave, with magnificent views of Knocnarea to inspire you. Afterwards, sooth your tired muscles with a seaweed bath in the Voya Spa right on the seafront, just yards from the surf school, then refuel at the Strand Bar with

its big welcoming turf fire, cozy snugs and hearty food. Hit the pretty town of Sligo, the shopping capital of the Northwest with its plethora of fashion boutiques, high street stores and local craft shops. Here you will find the Cat and Moon store where Martina Hamilton makes her amazing jewelry – available from the store and from many Irish stores in the USA and Canada. If retail therapy is not your thing, you might be more interested to check out Sligo County Museum which contains a fascinating collection of exhibits detailing Sligo’s rich stone-age history, including a large firkin 85

Wild Atlantic Way | ESCAPE TO SLIGO

Or take a walk or a swim on the long miles of beach, with whispering sand dunes and views of Knocknarea and Benbulben. of 100-year-old bog butter. The Yeats Room is also a must-see. It’s full of manuscripts, photographs, letters and newspaper cuttings associated with the Nobel Prize winning poet. You’ll also see paintings by Irish artists George Russell, Sean Keating and Jack B Yeats, brother of the famous poet, as well as artefacts and memorabilia linked to Countess Constance Markievicz and her sister Eva Gore-Booth. When the hunger pangs kick in there is something 86

for everybody in Sligo regardless of your budget, and afterwards there are an endless supply of nightlife possibilities – from old-world pubs to trendy bars and nightclubs. Or you might prefer to head out of town to somewhere like the Waterfront restaurant in nearby Rosses Point. Here you can enjoy great seafood as well as stunning views across to Oyster Island before bedding down for the night in one of the homely

Wild Atlantic Way | ESCAPE TO SLIGO

Hit the pretty town of Sligo, the shopping capital of the Northwest with its plethora of fashion boutiques, high street stores and local craft shops

local B&Bs or high-quality hotels. In the morning, you could take in a round of golf at Rosses Point Golf Club, one of the oldest and best known links courses in Ireland. Nearby is the lesser known but equally glorious Strandhill Golf Club – where an open door and warm welcome can always be assured, and green fees are particularly attractive. Or take a walk or a swim on the long miles of beach, with whispering sand dunes and views of Knocknarea and Benbulben.

And then head inland to Eagles Flying in Ballymote. Every member of the family will be wowed by the free flying displays of huge eagles, magnificent owls and awesome falcons. This sanctuary is home to more than 70 species of bird as well as about 350 animals and is a real trip away from the ordinary which will just add to your great memories of your visit to Sligo.


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The Spirit of Ireland



A moon, worn as if it had been a shell Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell. Adam’s Curse, WB Yeats Sligo, (Sligeach in Irish) means the shelly place. The Wild Atlantic waves crash ashore, piling up long golden beaches of broken shells and weathered stone over the millennia. Shards of broken shell picked randomly along Streedagh beach in North Sligo continue to inspire jewelry designer Martina Hamilton. Martina Hamilton is a multi-award winning jewelry designer from County Sligo. Working from her studio in Sligo town with a small team of master goldsmiths, Martina has created multiple acclaimed jewelry collections which are stocked by Ireland’s most exclusive retailers including The Cat & The Moon, Kilkenny Shop, Arnotts, House of Ireland, Avoca and Blarney Stores as well as many international outlets.


Martina began her design career over 25 years ago. Having finished a degree in Fine Art (Sculpture), she immediately embarked upon a career as a goldsmith and designer. Her early collections ‘Spirit of Ireland’ and ‘The Cat and the Moon’ remain leading sellers for her studio outlet which bears testament to their design quality and authenticity. The Spirit of Ireland collection is rooted in the bronze age heritage and physical landscape of her home county of Sligo. “I was deeply inspired as a sculptor by the work of our ancient forebears and I decided to celebrate it as richly as I could in my early jewelry designs. I took their symbolism – now believed to be connected to stars and planetary movements – as a starting point” explains Martina.

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“My early designs became a statement of identity. I was saying this is who I am, these are the traditions that have made me, this is the landscape, the rocks and stones and rivers and coastline from which I come and to which I belong”. With her name established Martina turned to creating more feminine collections under the brand ‘The Cat and the Moon.’ Native Irish flora provided her with the natural geometry of design flowing from leaves, flowers, buds and stems. But the geometry was offset with a dramatic randomness of texture that brought these florae inspired pieces stunningly to life in metallic forms. The Martina Hamilton collection was launched and with this new brand came a focus on striking contemporary statement pieces.

“In so many ways I can see now that these collections are a fusion of my earlier designs. In many of the designs I’m still being inspired by the randomness of form I find in nature. I’m bringing much more of my own sensibilities and interpretation to the original inspiration, to that spark I still find turning over shells on the beach”. A recent commission from the National Museum of Ireland to create a collection of jewelry celebrating the warrior queens of ancient Ireland delivered the Showcase 2015 award winning ‘Bean Ri’ collection. The new Shore Collection has been met with rave reviews and with new signature collections emerging annually, Martina is destined to remain at the forefront of contemporary Irish design and jewelry making for a great many years to come.


Lani's art is quirky, fun and colorful. Her art depicts coastal living in Ireland. Her love of surfing, cottages, winding roads, chickens and camper-vans comes to life in watercolor and watermixable oil paintings., which are then made into Giclee prints. The square prints come in two sizes, 8”x8” and 10”x10”,they are sold mounted as well as framed (Irish wooden made frames). The portrait and landscape shaped prints come in 8”x10” and 12”x10” mounted as well as framed. The prints make lovely gifts for celebrations such as weddings,engagements, new home or simply to put a smile on your face. Contact: Lani Gregory Email: Phone: 083 112 9996 | Website:

Wild Atlantic Way | SLIGO



er work depicts coastal living, her love of surfing, cottages, winding roads, chickens and camper-vans – all of the everyday things that surround her and all of which comes to life in watercolour and water-mixable oil paintings. Once complete Lani’s paintings are made into Giclee prints - fine art digital reproductions that keep the artwork authentic while keeping cost to a minimum. “My love of drawing and painting began early on. Both my parents love to sketch and paint so there was always a brush nearby. My mum is German and my dad is English. They both wanted to live in a little piece of paradise and so bought an old semi-ruined cottage in the tiny village of Feakle in County Clare.” Lani goes on to explain: “Money was very tight when I was young but my parents managed to create a lovely home. For the first few years there was no electricity, but what I remember is the cottage being lit by beautiful old oil lamps.” Lani’s love of the outdoors was also inspired by her parents and her remote little cottage:

“My parents loved plants and trees and our 1-acre patch was a haven of greens and beautiful flowers. I particularly loved to run around in the fields and chase the chickens when out gathering eggs for our breakfast.” Lani draws inspiration from the old and the new in her life. Something relatively new is her love of surfing which she took up in her early 20’s. This is clear to see in some of her paintings “I still love the feeling of taking off on a wave. It’s an electric feeling.” Lani concludes: “Painting is an absolute joy to me, I get lost in each piece, making up stories about what’s happening around me. I try to capture the vibrancy and quirkiness of Ireland’s magnificent landscape.” If you happen to visit the Sligo area Lani’s Art is on sale at the Sunday Strandhill market in Sligo Airport; a charming local market full to the brim with authentic and unusual gifts. You can also purchase her work online via her website, or at the delightful Cat and Moon store in Sligo town who also offer online shopping. 91

Leitrim Wild Atlantic Way Ad-1-2 Page .pdf




Leitrim, explore, experience & enjoy...

Situated just two hours from the major cities of Dublin, Galway and Belfast, Leitrim is a county where you can explore, experience and enjoy unspoilt landscapes and breath-taking scenery alongside bustling towns and quaint villages. Experience the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ or enjoy scenic Northern Ireland from your base in Leitrim, where you can enjoy lively home grown traditional entertainment in a variety of venues, soak up the culture and heritage through exhibitions and historical sites. Savour the peace and tranquillity by a lake’s edge. Endless possibilities await you!

Glenade Valley


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e’re talking no crowds, pristine countryside and all sorts of hidden treasures just waiting to be discovered. We suggest you start your explorations in Boyle where you can immerse yourself in its local history. This town is graced with fine Georgian and medieval architecture and is a joy to stroll around. Boyle Abbey, founded by the Cistercians in 1161 and reputedly haunted, is well worth a look, as is King House. Close to the town center, this Palladian mansion now houses an interpretive center which tells the tale

of its former owners, the King family. Designed for both adults and children, exhibitions are spread throughout the building. Families can enjoy activities ranging from writing with a quill and ink to beating the regimental drum, or even dressing up like an Irish chieftain. Adults will be impressed by the magnificence of the period rooms but a trip to the cold and forbidding jail cells in the basement is a must for everyone! After some lunch at the house’s restaurant, make tracks for Lough Key Forest & Leisure Park. If the weather is nice, there are no end of outdoor activities to enjoy. Take a romantic walk down secluded forest paths, a boat trip out to the castle on the island, or learn about 93

Shannonside | ROSCOMMON

times past in the area; there are some unexpected gems like the 19th Century underground tunnels that the servants used. But whatever you do, don’t miss the Tree Canopy Walk, the first of its kind in Ireland. Rising 9m above the woodland floor, it offers a bird’s eye view of nature as it meanders through the treetops and affords panoramic views of the shimmering island-studded lake. There’s lots more to do too if the weather isn’t so obliging, like the weird and wonderful two-story Boda Borg which is designed to entertain kids and big kids! To progress through its 47 rooms, you have to complete activities, puzzles and tasks – with no instruction! Another great place to visit is the Arigna Mining Experience. Set in a picturesque valley in the hills 94

above Lough Allen, this is Ireland’s first and last coalmine; it closed in 1990 after 400 years. Tours of the mines bring visitors underground so they can really feel what it was like to work in some of the narrowest coal seams in the western world. No doubt after the tour you’ll be keen to feel the luxury of wide-open spaces, so why not don your boots and head off exploring the Arigna Miners Way & Historical Trail. This series of way-marked ways, many of which were originally used by miners coming to work, form a network of paths through unspoilt Roscommon, Leitrim and Sligo. The entire network is 118km long and can be completed over a period of six to seven days. However, you could just pick an individual section of the walk and experience some of the history and tranquility that is intrinsic to the unpolluted wilderness of the area.

Shannonside | LEITRIM



Shannonside | LEITRIM

“​ ​I​f Kew Gardens were the grand salon of a mansion, Leitrim would be it’s teenagers Bedroom”


B Yeats isn’t the only author associated with Leitrim. John McGahern was born and raised here, and Booker Prize winner DBC Pierre famously made it his home: “If Kew Gardens were the grand salon of a mansion, Leitrim would be its teenager’s bedroom.” Leitrim is defined by water, which influences the county’s character and the activities that take place there. Not only are there an amazing variety of lakes, rivers and canals, with everything from grade 3/4 white water to gentle calm, flat water, but there is also access to the mighty Atlantic with plenty of surf-like swell. Leitrim is a leisurely county – a place to explore, experience and enjoy. Linger at the waterside pubs and restaurants where you can relax as if there was no tomorrow.  Enjoy the gentle humour of the people,

the companionship. Hire out a bike and cycle for miles around Sliabh an Iarainn (aided if you like with the bonus of an electric motor!). Hear the splash of a trout; the song of the thrush or savour the sound of utter silence. Leitrim is an ideal base for touring both the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East. In Carrick on Shannon, the county town, visit the Costello chapel, one of the smallest in Europe.  In North Leitrim visit Glencar waterfall which inspired Yeats or Parkes Castle near Dromahair the home of the Parkes family in the 17th century. Leitrim is a border county so in many ways it offers the best of both worlds; access to the sea, to stunning scenery, to Ireland’s waterways and to the coasts and glens of Northern Ireland. Described by Lonely Planet as one of Ireland’s best kept secrets, go see for yourself this “landscape from a dream.” 97

A Cavan GEM



deally situated in the historic town of Cootehill the location is the perfect base for every visitor to explore all the many attractions in the area such as Cavan Museum, Tanagh Outdoor Education Centre, Golfing, Walking and Fishing. Tranquility and sincere hospitality are the essence of this 4 Star Family hotel which offers 30 beautifully appointed bedrooms in the main house and 30 beautifully appointed rooms in lodges adjacent to the hotel. All rooms have super-comfort king-size beds, individually controlled air-conditioning, power showers, flat-screen TV and complimentary wireless internet access with work desks. At Reynard’s Restaurant you can enjoy overlooking landscaped gardens and stunning flower displays while chefs prepare



Errigal Country House Hotel Cavan Road, Cootehill, Co. Cavan Tel 049 555 6901 | Email:

the finest dishes using only the freshest of seasonal and local produce. The Brewery Bar offers a more relaxed dining option or simply enjoy a pint of stout or an Irish coffee. The Errigal Country House Hotel is renowned as one of the finest wedding venues in Cavan. Whether it is an intimate celebration, a civil ceremony, a humanist ceremony or a more exuberant affair there is only ever one wedding per day and the setting is ideal with magical flower gardens and an abundance of spectacular settings such as the Hotel’s Grand Stairway for capturing special memories. For a bit of pampering let the aroma of candles, gentle music and soothing essential oils transport you into a heaven of calm and serenity at the Riverside Beauty & treatment Rooms.

Enter a world of elegance and sophistication at the family run Errigal Country House Hotel, Cavan located just a mile outside Cootehill town and nestled between counties Monaghan and Cavan. This 18th century house has been lovingly refurbished to a contemporary design offering style and character along with the best traditions of Irish hospitality.

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o off the beaten path throughout Ireland on one of the special tours, learning the story of Ireland as you speak with locals, taste authentic cuisine, discover ancient traditions and enjoy expert-led excursions to historic sites. Stay at rural country B&B’s or boutique city hotels - an unforgettable way to experience the real Ireland delivered in a professional, yet informal and contemporary style. All tours are a superb blend of Irish history, culture, outdoor activities, awesome Irish scenery, friendly local music and pub life. From traditional music in Lovely Leitrim, a pint in a Thatched pub in the beautiful County Sligo or stroll around a neo-classical Greek revivalist style country house Lissadell House, overlooking Sligo Bay to learning a few Irish (Gaelic) words in an old irish pub in Connemara – all of this and more are to be expected. Popular trips include sampling some Irish specialities

on a Whiskey tour – be it to Jameson, Bushmills or the hidden distilleries of County Galway, County Kerry and the North West. Gain a deeper understanding of Ireland’s coasts as you discover the Ancient East and Wild Atlantic Way wonders. Discover the Giants Causeway, Derry’s Freedom Wall, the Titanic Museum in Belfast, meet members of parliament and maybe even ‘snog’ (kiss) the Blarney Stone for good luck. Learn the art of storytelling, search the countryside for fairies and leprechauns or enjoy a medieval banquet in a castle. From the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher to the vibrant city of Dublin, discover myths, history, traditions and local life. Explore medieval fortifications and centuries – old castles, unique cultures with local experts on this comprehensive exploration of the Emerald Isle. 99

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD



he South East of Ireland is an evocative patchwork of fertile valleys and plains alongside pristine endless beaches. Down through the centuries the Celts, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons and Normans have all passed through these valleys, leaving behind rich historical remains. Countless castles, abbeys, fortresses and ancient settlements mark the passage of time including the cities and towns, where ancient and the modern meet in a delightful blend.


Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city, and arguably the best place to get stuck into 900+ years of history. Taking its name from the Old Norse vedrarfjord (haven from the windy sea), it remains a busy port city on a tidal reach of the River Suir, famous as the home of Waterford crystal. Situated on the banks of the majestic River Suir the port city has seen its share of invading armies, with each leaving their imprint on the picturesque capital of the South East region. For over a millennium, the

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD

This theater of history is all enjoyed against the background of one of the finest collections in Ireland of 18th century Irish furniture

produce of the lush farmland of the city’s hinterland has been the back bone of the export trade here in Waterford. Also its rolling hills and dramatic coastline has enthralled and inspired writers, artists and visitors alike. The enchanting Waterford Green Way, a thirty-mile long cycle and walk way, takes you through the very heart of this lush green county with its spectacular scenery from the mountains to the coast. Because this corner of Ireland is the sunniest and driest in the island, it’s many almost deserted sandy beaches make popular retreats, especially in the summer months.

named in honour of a Viking and today it houses the city’s Viking museum.

The Viking Triangle

It is an area that assaults the senses, simply by walking through the Viking Triangle visitors can explore a range of historic buildings that span a thousand years of the city’s history. While in its three world-class museums, the visitor encounters remarkable treasures of both national and international importance.

History has been kind to Waterford and many of the city’s historic monuments testify to its wealth as a great port in bygone times. The city boasts the largest collection of medieval walls and towers in the country with Reginald’s Tower being the most impressive of the remaining six stone towers. Reginald’s Tower; once a Viking fort, stands at the apex of the Viking Triangle, the name given to the area of the city first settled by the Vikings in 914. It is the only monument in Ireland

Inside this most atmospheric stone tower, great treasures from the Viking era are displayed, including the very rare weaponry of a 9th century Viking War Lord. Situated outside the tower is a reconstructed Viking longboat; a replica based on original Viking ships timbers found by archaeologists in the city. This is a city that is very conscious of bringing its history and archaeology from inside the museums out on to the street.   

The Bishop’s Palace -Museum of Modern Waterford

The stunning new Medieval Museum is housed in a state-of-the art iconic museum building and holds the distinction of being the only medieval museum in Ireland. It incorporates two subterranean medieval 101

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD

The Charter Roll dates back to 1372, featuring some of the earliest illustrations of medieval Kings of England in existence

buildings, the evocative 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault; a building that once belonged to the city’s most famous Mayor, James Rice who was 11 times mayor of the city. A book that Mayor Rice compiled in the 1470s, and a sword he received from the king of England, which was used in official ceremonies, are among the many objects on display. A document written and sealed by him still bears his thumb print on the back of the wax seal! This is history up close and personal.   The medieval museum galleries house the largest and most remarkable collection of any city in Ireland. The highlights of the collection are the medieval manuscripts, including the four-meter long illuminated Charter Roll dating back to 1372, featuring some of the earliest illustrations of medieval Kings of England in existence. Another stunning element of the collection is the complete set of 15th century Cloth of Gold Vestments, the only set to survive the Reformation in Northern Europe. A glorious assault on the senses, re-enactors at The Bishop’s Palace turn this remarkable building of 1743


into a giant theater set as they take you through two centuries of Ireland’s and Waterford’s history. This theater of history is all enjoyed against the background of one of the finest collections in Ireland of 18th century Irish furniture, paintings, silver and glass. This is an experience not to be missed. The top floor of the Bishop’s Palace tells Waterford’s story from 1800 to 2000 with a special emphasis on the years around the 1916 Easter Rising. There is also an intriguing exhibition on the modern history of Waterford Glass where using many original 18th century pieces you can trace how the designs and styles of both cutting and engraving evolved over the centuries. On the ground floor a glass engravers studio allows the visitor get up close and personal with a virtuoso glass engraver of immense talent who has won many international commissions for his work. A beautiful cafe with terrace overlooks the splendid Mall and the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral and affords the visitor a relaxing opportunity to sample the best of local produce and cuisine.

The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience & Restaurant The Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience is a must stop on any tour of Irelands Ancient East. This award winning family attraction, moored on the quayside in New Ross, takes visitors back in time to the 1840’s. Explore our replica emigrant vessel both above and below deck. Listen to real life stories as costumed performers set the scene for the arduous journeys taken by so many during the Great Irish Famine. As well as the ship’s tour, the Dunbrody Visitor Centre houses a charming riverview restaurant and the Irish America Hall of Fame.

Welcome to Waterford

Waterford’s Viking Triangle is the cultural and historic centre of Ireland’s oldest city, where in 914 the Vikings first settled.

Enjoy over 1000 years of history in 1000 paces The Triangle is a tranquil place, characterised by narrow streets, historic architecture, atmospheric public spaces and unique cultural and heritage attractions. Wander through the Triangle, take a unique ‘Telling Tales’ tour in one of the three world-class museums

(Viking, Medieval and Georgian). Explore nine national monuments including a 15th century wine vault and a 13th Century Choristers’ Hall that lie beneath the Medieval Museum. The Triangle is home to an array of craft studios, cafés and excellent gift shops and the global brand that is Waterford Crystal.

Waterford Treasures - Three Museums in the Viking Triangle, The Mall, Waterford, Ireland. T + 353 (0)51 849501 E

...Ireland’s Top Heritage Attractions

Central Reservations +353 61360788

Ireland’s Ancient East | WATERFORD CASTLE


Ireland’s Ancient East | WATERFORD CASTLE Guests can stay in one of the original castle’s 19 luxurious bedrooms or in one of 45 selfcatering, family friendly lodges.


riginally erected as a single stone tower during medieval times, Waterford Castle has evolved into an extraordinary internationally renowned destination with magnificent halls and rooms, each ordained with fine art, period furniture and ancient features. Unique details can be found at every angle, from ornate original plaster ceilings to Elizabethan stone fireplaces. The castle is accessible via a short crossing on the resort’s private car ferry over the King’s Channel. This centuries-old site sits just downstream from its namesake city, Waterford, the oldest city on the Emerald Isle. As both a longstanding strategic and scenic locale, the 310-acre island has seen more than its fair share of inhabitants over time. Originally settled by monks from the sixth to the eighth century, the island was taken and guarded by Danes during the Viking era, then a long line of Anglo-Norman Fitzgerald’s owned and occupied the spot for a further eight centuries. In the late 1980’s the castle was transformed into a luxury hotel and resort, opening its doors to local residents and international visitors. This landmark hotel recently changed hands in March 2015 and an extensive refurbishment has breathed new life into this magnificent period property. The refurbishment encompasses the restoration of the priceless antiques to their previous glory, reupholstering items of historic value and procuring period décor, with each addition decided by the Castle as it dictates what it will allow into its great halls & rooms. “This has been an exceptional project, in that all of the additions and refurbishments aim to showcase the castle’s unique


Ireland’s Ancient East | WATERFORD CASTLE personality,” says spokesperson Walsh. “Our team’s enthusiasm, professionalism and genuine love of the resort have made this a project from the heart.” Each new detail of luxury and style enhances the old world charm of the castle including the installation of a magnificent €120,000 euro Waterford Crystal chandelier in The Great Hall. The Bridgewater chandelier, a quintessential design from Waterford, has graced palaces, stately homes and great government buildings of the world. Adorned with a crystal crown, Bridgewater features hundreds of unique crystal jewels, each radiating their meticulously applied cuts and facets. Like fine fabric, they drape gracefully from the crown, catching, reflecting, playing with the light. This spectacular centerpiece is the last of its kind to be made at Waterford Crystal.

Great Outdoors The exclusivity of a private island is an enchanting way to escape the modern world, taking a relaxing stroll around the charming grounds. The golf course has undergone extensive refurbishment and will challenge visiting golfers, and there are an assortment of engaging activities available including tennis, clay pigeon shooting, falconry, croquet, the golf performance centre and a kid’s club (on selected dates) and playground. The new owner has expanded the nature walking and biking trails to allow access to the Island Lighthouse. The castle grounds are also prime territory for nature enthusiasts. The island boasts a vast array of wildlife from the resident deer, fox, badgers, hare, pheasants, peacocks, a siege of herons, swans, ducks and many other wildlife, and it is a bird watcher’s paradise.

The exclusivity of a private island is an enchanting way to escape the modern world


Ireland’s Ancient East | WATERFORD CASTLE

With the stunning setting and the famous Irish homespun hospitality, more and more couples are keen to get married at this private island resort.

A day on the grounds can be complemented with a fine dining experience at the Resort’s Munster Room Restaurant. Critically acclaimed in the 2015 Michelin Guide and AA Rosette accredited, with its warm ambience, oak paneled walls and extensive wine cellar makes this the perfect dining option. The award winning culinary team uses only the finest local produce and create a truly memorable fine dining experience offering traditional vintage afternoon tea, seasonal lunch and dinner menus with private dining options. With the stunning setting and the famous Irish homespun hospitality, more and more couples are keen to get married at this private island resort. “Our mandate is to be the premier wedding venue in Ireland,” 108

notes Walsh. “Most of our wedding couples are American and have Irish heritage. We also have many Australian and Canadian couples.” The locale is a popular nuptial destination for couples from across both the Emerald Isle and Europe as well. Renovations will continue with the building of an Island Spa. While upgrades carry on, Waterford Castle retains its old-world charm and integrity. As it was when the monks first settled the island 1400 years ago, guests and visitors are invited to “leave your worries at the shore.” Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, The Island, Waterford, Ireland Castle Tel: +353 (0) 51 878 203 Website:

See Exquisite Pieces of Crystal manufactured before your eyes

Waterford Crystal Factory and Brand Experience

The House of Waterford Crystal brings a visit to Waterford to a whole new level, as visitors can witness the creation of crystal masterpieces right before their very eyes. The factory tour is a unique and captivating experience that allows people go behind the scenes for over an hour and see exactly how Waterford Crystal pieces are made and they can witness every stage of production, from the initial design stage right up to the final engraving of the piece.

Guided Factory Tours daily Waterford Brand & Visitor Experience

Open Daily

Book online at and receive a 10% discount on adult tickets

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+353 (0) 51 317000




Pic: Stefan Schnebelt

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD


Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD


xploring this corner of Ireland’s Ancient East and journeying through the unspoiled landscape, hearing first hand the stories that built Ireland is a must when visiting Ireland. Journey through time and meet Celts, Christians, Vikings, Normans, the French, Welsh and English – all of whom left behind their unique stamp on the area and a remarkable legacy of heritage and culture. The first humans to arrive in Ireland did so via Wexford in the Mesolithic period between 5000 BC – 3000 BC. Age-old Portal Tombs known as ‘Dolmens’ are dotted across the county together with many artefacts from the later ‘Bronze Age’. Later, the Vikings certainly made their mark here too, bearing down from


Scandinavia. Hordes of wild wayfarers first arrived in the 8th Century, initially to loot and pillage as was their way, however they also laid the foundations of many Irish towns – including Wexford Town, which was founded by the Vikings in about 800 AD. They named it Veisafjǫrðr, meaning inlet of the flats, and it remained a Viking town for about 300 years. In 1169, the Normans arrived to Ireland, also via Wexford. Diarmait Mac Murchada the High King of Leinster whose seat was located in the village of Ferns, Wexford and his Norman allies battled the Viking inhabitants who resisted fiercely. Today, Norse and Norman influences combine in Wexford, a town that has retained its compact, medieval feel – though the only invading hordes you’re likely to encounter these

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD

days are the opera buffs descending on the annual international Wexford Festival Opera.

and cafés in-between.


Exploring the vast heritage trail, the garden trail and the craft trails of Wexford will ensure that you encounter some gems. Making your way south in the county to the tip of the Hook Peninsula you’ll be met with the wondrous Hook Lighthouse; the oldest intact operational lighthouse in the world, protecting the coastline for some 800 years. And today offers and incredible interactive tour.

Presuming you are traveling by car these days rather than by Viking longboat, routes connecting the highlights of the Ancient East in Wexford make for some great driving trips, ranging from the towns themselves to all the rivers, beaches, festivals, castles, forts, abbeys

Just a stone throw from the Lighthouse the haunting beauty of the Hook Peninsula provides the perfect backdrop for Loftus Hall, the Most Haunted House in Ireland. An ancient building of a different kind is also located on the Hook Peninsula is the glorious

The beautiful Norman town of Enniscorthy, the quayside town of New Ross first established by William Marshal and the bustling Market town of Gorey all combine to provide a historic trail with fascinating visitor attractions alongside beautiful coastline boasting miles of golden sand beaches.


Gilly Thomas has a Gallery next to her home and studio in south County Wexford and is happy for you to drop by and see her work which includes pieces with an Irish Celtic theme and also larger bronze sculpture. Have a look at her website or call to make an appointment

Tel: + 353 87 227 9270

The Fincourt

For all your function and accommodation needs Phone 049 8541153 or 087 2514602 Situated in the picturesque town of Oldcastle, The Fincourt is an ideal base for visiting county Meath, wLOCAL ATTRACTIONS INCLUDE: Loughcrew Historic Gardens, Fore Abbey, Fishing trips in one of the many idyllic lakes within a 10 minute drive, Equestrian Weekends Failte Ireland approved B&B and Self Catering Acommodation Catering for: Parties, Family Occasions, Seminars, Meetings, Hen Parties Wide choice of Catering options

For all your meeting and function requirements. Ph: 049 8541153 / 087 2514602 Fax: 046 9433379 Email Oliver Plunkett Street, Oldcastle, Co Meath

Artisan Chocolates, Bars, Gifts & Visitor Experience The Chocolate Garden of Ireland Rath | Tullow | Co. Carlow | R93 PY82 Ireland Phone + 353 (0)59 64 81 999

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD

Tintern Abbey, a magnificent Cistercian abbey, founded c. 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall, and now home to the wonderful Colclough walled gardens and a variety of walking trails. Also close by is the splendid Dunbrody Abbey founded on the

instructions of Strongbow, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke, Dunbrody Abbey was built in the late 12th Century. It is the largest of its kind in Ireland and one of the finest examples of a Cistercian abbey still standing in Ireland today. 115

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Experience the majesty of a great Victorian revival castle KENNEDY COUNTY Treking towards the nearby town of New Ross from the Hook Peninsula you will enter ‘Kennedy Country.’ Meet the life-size statue of President Kennedy himself and remember the emigrants who left the Irish shores at the Emigrant Flame, alight from the same flame that burns at President Kennedy’s graveside in Arlington. In 1848 great-grandfather of President John F. Kennedy, Patrick Kennedy emigrated from his hometown of New Ross to America. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy returned and stood in the yard of his ancestral home and drank a cup of tea with his Irish cousin Mary Ryan. The Kennedy Homestead, birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great grandfather, celebrates the story of this famous Irish American family. See how some of the emigrants would have crossed the ocean at the Dunbrody Famine Ship moored on the quayside in New Ross. Travel back through time to the 1840s in this authentic reproduction emigrant vessel. Above and below deck hear real life stories as costumed performers set the scene. A wonderful arboretum also commemorates the Kennedy family and a visit to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park is a peaceful experience. The Arboretum contains over 4,500 types of trees and shrubs covering 623 acres the exact same size as Arlington National Cemetery. Leaving New Ross for the 30-minute drive to Wexford town, a trip to the Irish National Heritage Park is a must. Surprises wait around every turn from campsite to Ringfort, from mill to Fulacht Fiadh, from Crannog to Viking house and more. Take an incredible journey through 9,000 years of Ireland’s past. Also on the outskirts of Wexford town lies Johnstown Castle where you can experience the majesty of a 116

great Victorian revival castle and ornamental grounds originally laid out by the famous Daniel Robertson in the 1830’s. From here, take a 5-minute trip into Wexford Town to explore the breathtaking sites and enjoy the bustling cultural lifestyle. Walking tours are a great way to see the sights including the National Opera House of Ireland. Just 20 minutes away from Wexford town lies the heritage town of Enniscorthy featuring a number of prominent sites in Ireland’s history including Enniscorthy Castle, built in the 13th century. The National 1798 Visitor Centre plus the historic battlefield of Vinegar Hill overlooks the heritage town. At the nearby 13th century Ferns Castle, enjoy a guided tour to hear the stories of the resident King of Leinster ‘Dermot McMurrough’ who brought the first Normans to Ireland. North of Enniscorthy town, the beautiful Victorian Wells House & Gardens offers something for all generations of visitors from a living Victorian house tour, garden tours, falconry and archery in an enchanted woodland setting. Wexfordians love to share their beautiful county and stories with visitors. They also produce some of Ireland’s top foods, from a street side cuppa to Michelin star dining, there is something for all tastes. The county boasts a broad variety of accommodation from pretty cottage rentals, bed and breakfasts to top class hotels and a five-star destination spa, so there is something for all budgets. For everything you need to know about holidaying in Wexford, see

Ireland’s Ancient East | WEXFORD



y eye is drawn towards that space where humanity interacts with nature. I look at the villages and towns around me and the power of the many natural elements. My visual clues come from the windswept beaches around me, wildflowers and solitary trees. The nuances of colour, which I replicate in my glazes, have their origin in the changing colour of the skies and clouds, the reflectiveness of wet sand and water and the contrasting matt surfaces of dry stone and sand. I now find that I am working with a diverse and exciting palette.” Please feel free to visit the 200-year-old mill studio at The Old Mill, Castlebridge, Co Wexford which is open to the public 00 353 87 2029730 117

Ireland’s Ancient East | CARLOW



long the way a towpath follows the lovely Barrow Way walking trail where the Blackstairs Mountains dominate the southeast, their rounded ridges forming the backdrop to many a view and their underlying granite cropping up everywhere as building stone – most notably as the capstone for Europe’s largest prehistoric dolmen. Dating from the Early Neolithic period (4000-3000 BC), Brownshill Dolmen is one of the most impressive megalithic monuments in Ireland. The capstone is truly massive - it is estimated to weigh in excess of 150 tonnes. The magnificent capstone has excited the interest of many antiquarians and tourists down


through the years and it is thought that religious rites, possibly even human sacrifice, were performed there for four and a half thousand years (2500 BC). Antiquity abounds in Carlow and the county is filled with old aristocratic estates and grand country houses. Huntington Castle for example is a spooky, dusty old tower house built in 1625 by Sir Laurence Esmonde, now surrounded by Georgian terraces and flamboyantly castellated Victorian extensions. Related to the Esmondes by marriage, the DurdinRobertson family still live here today and offer 45minute guided tours of the castle’s Jacobean hall, Victorian kitchens and living quarters, complete with entertaining ghost stories.

Ireland’s Ancient East | CARLOW

Dunleckney Manor is well worth a visit. Formerly the home of the Bagenal family for almost three centuries, this Tudor Gothic style house with oriel windows, it is now restored to its former glory. Carlow lays claim to some of Ireland’s most magnificent flower-filled gardens with visitors flocking to these parts to follow the Carlow Garden Trail. Open all year-round, the garden trail includes great old gardens that have been lovingly restored and maintained throughout the years, and smaller gardens which are maturing beautifully with time. Award winning garden centres and forest parks complement the joy of a visit here. The Carlow Garden Trail ranges from small to very large gardens, garden centres and forest parks and from old to new. More formal gardens can be viewed at Altamount Gardens, a full 16 hectares on the banks of the River Slaney with carefully selected plantings arranged in naturalistic settings where peacocks, swans, squirrels and wilds, surrounding an ornamental water-lily lake. Walkways meander among flower beds, shrubberies, mature trees (some more than 250 years old), rhododendrons and azaleas, before finally leading down a flight of 100 granite steps to a gorgeous bluebell wood beside the river. Known for its mild and temperate climate, County Carlow in Ireland’s sunny South East is a charming destination. 119

Family run Four Star Hotel in #IrelandsAncientEast. Multiple award winning hotel and restaurant. Ireland’s best wedding venue 2015 and world’s best wine list 2016. Visit for all special offers and upcoming events. Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow, Ireland Phone: 00 353 599 774000 | Email:

Ireland’s Ancient East | CARLOW



he Barrow Way follows the course of the River Barrow, so where nicer to stay, nested in the historic village of Leighlinbridge on the banks of the river than at The Lord Bagenal Inn?  The Kehoe family run this 4 Star deluxe hotel offering riverside views of one of Europe’s finest navigable waterways. Using this luxurious hotel as your base, you can explore the South East of Ireland where you will be spoilt for choice, whether its enjoying a morning coffee in the bright and airy lobby, refreshing evenings on the 200 seater deck, or relaxing beside one of the open fires in the cosy bar area. You are sure to unwind after a long day exploring the local delights. What began as a family-run restaurant in 1979

has now evolved into an award winning restaurant, most recently winning the prestigious “World’s Best Wine List 2016” – World of Fine Wine in the #Wineawards2016. Serving food daily from 8am10pm, offering a variety of International dishes, along with daily specials prepared with the finest local ingredients, complimented by an incomparable relaxed and friendly service. Opulent fresh floral displays can be found each day throughout the public areas of the hotel - a lovely touch that brings the pretty outdoors ‘indoors’.  Contemporary Irish artists adorn the walls to bring an eclectic gallery experience for the Kehoe family’s international guests. 121

Baily Lighthouse, Howth

Coasts & Castles

Pic: Stefan Schnebelt




owever, visitors who look out beyond the city center limits will be rewarded with the experience of the wonderful coastline and the many ancient and imposing castles of the capital. Dublin is dotted with many fine castles open to visitors, all easily commutable and in towns that give a real flavour of Dublin’s bayside setting.

Viking Fortress in the 930’s which became the main Viking military trading base and trading center of slaves and silver in Ireland. When the Normans invaded in 1169 they strengthened and expanded the existing town walls. The Great Courtyard (The Upper Castle Yard enclosure) today corresponds closely with the medieval castle which was built in the early 1200s under the command of King John of England.

After flying into Dublin, give yourself a relaxing start to your holiday by touring the Guinness Storehouse and sipping on a pint of our world famous Guinness, and stroll through the city streets to get your bearings and to give you a sense of place. Then move on from its culture to its history by taking a tour of Dublin Castle.

The site has been occupied over the ages and modified to suit its ever-changing functions. All the historic buildings have been restored and the Castle now plays host to European Union Presidencies, Heads of State, and leaders of business, industry and government. It is also a major tourist attraction to experience the varied facilities and the unique historic layers revealed throughout the complex - from the Medieval Tower to the world treasures of the Chester Beatty Library and from the Viking Defence Bank to the splendid State Apartments.

Dublin Castle is situated in the very heart of historic Dublin. In fact, the city gets its name from the Dubh Linn or Black Pool on the site of the present Castle Gardens and Coach House. Standing on an easily defendable strategic high ridge, it is very probable that the original fortification on this site was a Gaelic Ringfort, followed by a Danish

In medieval times, the city was walled with a corporation controlling trade and commerce within 123

Coasts & Castles

Steeped in history dating back to preViking days, the gem of Malahide’s historical buildings is Malahide Castle and Gardens

the city and levying taxes and tariffs to run and protect the city. Remnants of the old City Wall of Dublin can be seen today at Cornmarket and in St Audoen’s Park. The area, now known as The Liberties, developed to the west of this settlement and during the 19th Century, it was dominated by great brewing and distilling families, most notably the Guinness family, who from 1759 built and developed the world’s largest brewery at St James Gate. OUT & ABOUT To gain a full appreciation of Dublin’s many impressive castles, hop on a bus, board a DART train (a trip with stunning sea views) or flag down a taxi to head out towards the bay and up along the coast into north county – Fingal - Dublin. Aspects of Fingal Dublin’s rich heritage and long history are encapsulated in the many famous buildings, churches, castles, great houses and archaeological sites located in the area. With some dating as far back as 5,000 years, they span various periods of Fingal Dublin’s history from Christian civilizations and the Viking occupation to the diversity of Anglo-Irish history through to modern day. Located in the beautiful seaside fishing village of Howth, Howth Castle has its origins in medieval times. Almeric, the first Lord of Howth, came to Ireland with John de Courcy, in 1177. Legend has it that on August 10th, the feast day of St. Lawrence, he won a victory which secured him possession of the Howth peninsula. In gratitude for this, he is said to have taken the name of St. Lawrence. His descendants still own and live in the castle. The house has been extensively altered by succeeding generations to adapt it to their times, most notably in 1738, when the house took


on its current appearance and again in 1911 when Sir Edwin Lutyens renovated and added to the house. It is still possible to see evidence of the alterations that have been made and infer what was there before. This gives a remarkable insight into how historic houses evolved in Ireland over the centuries. While Howth Castle remains a family home, the Gaisford-St Lawrence family enjoy showing the house and its contents to visitors, however, this is by appointment only, so be sure to use their website to contact them in advance ( Howth is a picturesque fishing villages just 15km northeast of Dublin city. It is renowned for freshly caught seafood and its water sports. Literary fans will know it from James Joyce’s Ulysses. Howth village is a pretty sea side town offering visitors a myriad of attractions – look out for Lambay Island, Ireland’s Eye, Howth Castle, The National Transport Museum, the Martello Tower and the Baily Lighthouse. Wildlife enthusiasts will adore this area, particularly Ireland’s Eye and its bird sanctuary which boasts guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, gulls and gannets. If you’re lucky, you may even see grey seals diving for fish just offshore. There are four looped walks around Howth Head ranging in difficulty from easy to hard and are ideally suited for people either looking for a scenic stroll or a challenging walk. All four routes start and end at Howth DART station. Not far from Howth, Malahide is another colourful, picturesque seaside town, full of character. Nestled on the Broadmeadow Estuary just 16km from the city center, Malahide is the perfect spot for a bit of sailing, a fishing trip from Malahide

Coasts & Castles Marina or a wander along the stunning coastal path to Portmarnock. This thriving town is a mecca for boutique shopping, fine food and a range of quality fashion outlets, all within a traditional village setting. Steeped in history dating back to pre-Viking days, the gem of Malahide’s historical buildings is Malahide Castle and Gardens – one of the oldest castles in Ireland. Set in beautiful, well-maintained grounds, the magnificent 12th century castle and demesne are open to the public for guided tours, with the Talbot Botanic Gardens behind the castle being a particular favourite with visitors. Malahide Castle is set on 260 acres and has been home to the Talbot family for over 800 years. A brand new interactive exhibition area is located on the ground floor of the castle. Upon entering visitors will enjoy meandering their way around the caverned exhibition where the history of the Talbot Family is retold, not forgetting their ghostly residents, before embarking on a guided tour throughout the reception rooms of this magnificent landmark. The exhibition focuses on key family members and share some very personal glimpses of life in the castle; and an understanding of how the Talbot legacy impacted on all who have lived and visited here. Visitor facilities include the Castle Courtyard, Visitor Center, Gift Shop, Avoca restaurant and coach, bus and car parking is available. Tours are available by audio guide in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Japanese. ( Continuing to tour northwards up along the coastline, in the center of the ancient town of Swords lies Swords Castle, a former residence of the Medieval Archbishop of Dublin. The extensive complex of buildings is in the form of a rough pentagon of 0.5 hectares and is enclosed by a perimeter. Swords Castle contains more than 800 years of history and, as a recent surprising discovery of burials beneath the gatehouse shows, it has yet to give up all of its secrets. The castle was built by the Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn, around 1200. While it was not a castle in the accepted sense but an Archbishop’s Palace and administrative center. Tt is now a National Monument, and it is the best surviving example of an Archbishop’s Palace in Ireland. It is not known exactly when the castle passed out of the ownership of the Archbishops of Dublin. The Cobbe family of Newbridge House, Donabate who bought Swords Castle after 1830, used the land for farming and planting an orchard. Although details of the type of orchard are unknown, demesnes of the time grew cherries, pears, damsons and plums as well as apples. The oldest surviving apple tree is near the Chapel. It is an Old Bramley dating from the 1890s. Dublin City Council obtained the castle from the Cobbes

in 1985. Restoration works began here in the 1990s. In order to protect Swords Castle into the future, a program of repair and conservation works is also being undertaken now. Repairs to the Gatehouse, which will secure safe access, are a priority. It is hoped that the castle will become a focal point for the town and center for public events. Newbridge House is a fine Georgian mansion built by Archbishop Charles Cobbe in 1736. The house remained with the Cobbe family for almost 250 years and is now owned by Fingal County Council. In a unique agreement, the Cobbe Family has provided, on loan to the Council, the original furniture, pictures and other works of art on display in the ground floor rooms of the house. An extensive program of renovation, reconstruction and restoration of the house in 1986 has returned it to its 18th Century grandeur. The finest room in the house is the Red Drawing Room featuring a beautiful white marble chimney piece, original plaster ceiling, carpet, curtains, and wallpaper from the late 18th century. Other rooms open to the public include the Dining Room, Library, Sculpture Gallery and the Museum of Curiosities. The latter features many artefacts collected by the Cobbe Family on their travels throughout the world. ( Once you have taken in the magnificent history of Swords and nearby Donabate, continue north towards Balbriggan to Ardgillan Castle and Demesne which is Ireland’s hidden gem. Set in spectacular parkland overlooking the Irish Sea with a magnificent view of the Mourne Mountains, the ‘castle’ is a large eighteenth century country-style house with castellated embellishments. The park consists of 194 acres of rolling open grassland, mixed woodland and gardens, overlooking the Irish Sea with views of Mourne Mountains to the north and Lambay to the south-east. Ardgillan is a sanctuary for many species of animals, mammals and birds for which the wooded areas provide a safe retreat from surrounding agricultural land. The demesne is a stunning visitor attraction with a range of facilities the public can avail of, including castle tours, garden tours, theatre events and afternoon tea. Bremore Castle is a large tower house located north of Balbriggan. Estimated to have been built in the 16th century, the castle is currently undergoing an extensive program of reconstruction by Fingal County Council to restore it to its former glory. This restoration program is being carried out sensitively. Stone masons chipped away at the stone to literally rebuild the castle stone by stone. The exterior stonework was completed two 125

Coasts & Castles

The fully restored complex brings to life the authentic workings of a five sail windmill, four sail windmill, water mill and bakery of the 1800’s.


Coasts & Castles Dalkey in the south, Dublin Bay is full of beauty and many charming coastal villages. And what better way to take in views of the bay and the history and sights its north and south coastlines have to offer than by boat! Take a day trip by boat ( and wander around picturesque towns, discover secret beaches or enjoy breath-taking cliff walks. Heading south out of the city you can stop at the bustling port town of Dún Laoghaire. During Victorian times, the formerly named Kingstown was popular as a seaside holiday location. Some of the traditional features of this era are still visible in the town, including the well-preserved bandstand, People’s Park and stunning architecture of the Town Hall, all of which lend a gentrified air to the area. Continuing on your southbound journey will bring you to the delightful town of Dalkey, home to celebrities, including U2’s Bono and some of Dublin’s finest cafés and bars. This old port town has many little harbors dotted around its coast offering boat hire and fishing opportunities to locals and visitors alike. And Dalkey has a long, proud history that is celebrated at Dalkey Castle and Heritage Center. The castle offers an insight into life back in medieval days with actors bringing history to life as they guide you around the castle. The castle doesn’t focus only on the distant past – the Writers’ Gallery celebrates scribes of the area like Maeve Binchy and Samuel Beckett. Guided walks of the village are also available.

years ago and the focus moved to weatherproofing the building and on the internal fit out of the castle which is hoped to be completed shortly. While Bremore Castle remains closed to the public, a walk outside the castle shows the amazing work which is being undertaken. Skerries is another historic seaside town in County Dublin. The name comes from the Norse word Skere which has descended into the Irish word ‘Na Sceirí’ which means ‘The Rocks’. Skerries has five islands off its coast. These are Shenick Island, St Patrick’s, Colt and Rockabill. Rockabill is in fact two islands, “The Cow” and “The Calf”, separated by a narrow channel. There is also Red Island, which is a tied island.

From historical castles and magical shorelines to outdoor adventures and fabulous food and hospitality, Dublin Bay really has it all.

Skerries town is built around two long streets - Strand Street and Church Street and between the surrounding hills of North Fingal and low-lying beaches. Historically the town was a thriving fishing port and a major center of hand embroidery. Skerries Mill still stands to this day and is a perfect way to see how 12th century flour was milled at this unique location. The fully restored complex brings to life the authentic workings of a five sail windmill, four sail windmill, water mill and bakery of the 1800’s. Skerries also has links to Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick, who was captured as a youth by Irish pirates and taken into slavery in Ireland where he spent many years as a shepherd before escaping and returning to Britain. The 7th Century writer, Tírechán, wrote that Inishpatrick off Skerries, was the first place on which Saint Patrick set foot on his return to Ireland as a missionary. It was near here, somewhere close to the mouth of the Delvin River, that Saint Patrick converted his successor Benignus, regarded as the first native Irishman to become a bishop. Fingal Dublin is both urban and rural in character, it encompasses large urban swathes, sleepy rural villages and vibrant seaside towns. The Fingal Dublin coastal corridor is extensive in area running from Kilbarrack/Blackbanks to the Meath Border. It contains a number of important beaches, islands and headlands which together create a sensitive and nationally important landscape of high amenity and landscape value. The land is generally low lying, with the exception of some prominent headlands and hills to the north of area. The imposing presence of Howth mark the southern extent of Fingal Dublin while offshore lie a number of islands. Adjoining the coastal zone are three heritage homes and demesnes (Ardgillan Demesne, Newbridge Demesne and Malahide Demesne). Views along the coast are generally contained within headlands, ridge lines and harbors, all of which combine to create spectacular viewing points Of course, to get the true and complete flavour of Dublin’s majestic bayside setting, a tour of the north coast is not complete without sampling the south side. From its most northward point at Skerries to PrivateParty_v3.pdf




Private Evening Tours at









Impress your guests with an exclusive after hours tour of Malahide Castle with a drinks reception on arrival. Guests will enjoy mingling in the historic surrounds of the caverned ground floor area before our friendly & informative guides take them on a journey through one of Ireland’s most historic castles owned by the Talbot family for 800 years.

Prices for Private Tour & Drinks Reception from only


*Minimum numbers apply

@MalahideCastleG /MalahideCastle&Gardens

For more information on options please contact our Sales & Marketing team on +353 1 8666784 / 8666793 or email Tel: +353 1 8169538


Experience the charms of County Dublin on the perfect half day tour

▲ Malahide Castle ▼ Howth Marina


▲ Powerscourt ▼ Glendalough




North Coast & Malahide Castle

Glendalough & Powerscourt Gardens

There aren’t many cities with a 12th century castle and a picturesque harbor on its doorstep but Dublin is lucky to have both. Escape the hustle of the city with a magnificent tour and see splendid views across Dublin Bay with unparalleled scenery in the seaside village of Howth. You’ll also hear magnificent stories on a guided tour of Malahide Castle.

See the treasures on Dublin’s doorstep on a half day tour to Wonderful Wicklow. Gaze across stunning Dublin Bay before exploring Powerscourt Gardens and Glendalough Heritage Site.

Buy your tickets online at or from the Dublin Sightseeing office, 59 Upper O’Connell Street Dublin Sightseeing


Departs from Dublin Bus, 59 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1.

Phone: +353 (1) 703 3028

Coasts & Castles

A TICKET TO Adventure



ee it all at your own pace with the Dublin Bus Freedom Ticket. Climb aboard the number 42 Dublin Bus and discover the legacy left behind by the Talbot family at one of Ireland’s oldest castles, Malahide Castle. The Castle dates as far back as the 12th Century and has withstood the test of time, surviving many of Ireland’s major historical events including the Battle of the Boyne and Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland. Continue further north along Dublin’s coastline and explore the beauty of Ardgillan Demesne. Now fully restored, the castle at Ardgillan plays host to a wide variety of entertaining events including castle tours, theatrical experiences and afternoon tea. The Demesne is also renowned as being a sanctuary for local indigenous wildlife and like it’s not too distant neighbour in Malahide, it can be reached on board a Dublin Bus, the number 33. Next, explore one of Dublin’s great seaside towns, Portmarnock. With a beach nicknamed The Velvet

Strand, the area is very popular with water sports and walking enthusiasts alike. The beach is five miles long and features a stunning view of the Dublin Mountains and Howth Harbor. This beautiful area is accessible on the same number 42 bus that visits the Castle at Malahide. When it comes to adventures on the water, you’ll want to experience Dollymount Strand. Known affectionately by locals as ‘The Dollier’, this strip of golden sand, framed by dunes is home not only to a nature reserve but also to Dublin’s best kitesurfing experience, Pure Magic, which caters for total beginners up to the most advanced rider. Hop on board the 130 bus and discover this adrenaline fuelled adventure right on Dublin’s doorstep. During your visit to Ireland you might also like to experience the wonder of our greatest and most unique cultural activity – Gaelic Games, just catch either the number 4 or number 9 bus to Glasnevin. Experience Gaelic Games, and you’ll soon understand why Gaelic is the focal point of every Irish summer and why 129

Coasts & Castles every town in Ireland has its own Gaelic Games Club.

Visiting Ireland isn’t complete without discovering its capital city.


The number 140 takes you to the most famous cemetery in Ireland, Glasnevin Cemetery, where the great and the good (and the not so good) all found their final resting place. The Museum and daily walking tours offer a dynamic interpretation of Ireland’s history told through the lives of the people buried in Ireland’s necropolis. Animated tour guides revisit great pockets of Irish history through a rich narrative of stories about Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Eamon DeValera, Countess Marckievicz and Brendan Behan to name but a few. Michael Collins, for example, was quite the heart-throb in his time, and to this day fresh flowers are laid on his grave regularly, especially on St. Valentine’s day and on his birthday! There is everything here to help delve into the past and trace your ancient ancestors from a genealogy center, a vast database of historical records, an excellent interpretive center and a wonderful café to rest a while and take it all in. But undoubtedly it is the ‘live’ tours that draw crowds and gasps as tour guides enthral and entertain tourists with an entire history of Ireland underfoot. City Lights, City Sights Having enjoyed the best of what’s on Dublin’s Doorstep, it’s time to experience the many attractions located within Dublin’s City Center itself. Climb aboard the Green tour bus and enjoy Dublin’s Original Hop On Hop - Off City Tour.

Featuring entertaining Live Commentary from Dublin’s best tour guides, the Sightseeing Tour is a great way to see Dublin. With two routes to explore, the tour covers all of Dublin’s best attractions including the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol and the historic General Post Office. The Docklands Route showcases an area which has undergone a stunning regeneration in recent times. Learn the entire history of the Irish diaspora at Dublin’s newest immersive experience, EPIC Ireland, explore water sports and kayaking right in the heart of the City Center at Surf Dock in Grand Canal Square or walk in the footsteps of Irish emigrants aboard the Jeanie Johnston famine replica ship. Visiting Ireland isn’t complete without discovering its capital city, and you’ll want to explore as much of the Greater Dublin Area as possible during your trip. The best thing to do is let Dublin Sightseeing take care of your sightseeing adventures with one great value ticket. The Freedom Ticket can be purchased online at www., or alternatively, visit the friendly Dublin Sightseeing staff at the Travel Information Desk in Dublin Airport, Terminal 1 where you can purchase your ticket and pick up some great travel tips from the welcoming Meet & Greet team. With unlimited trips on the Dublin Bus network, Green Hop - On Hop - Off City Tour and Airlink Express Buses, you’re guaranteed to make the most of your city break with The Freedom Ticket!

A watercolour painting by Róisín O’Shea © 2012


ohnnie Fox’s Pub situated in the heart of the Dublin Mountains has it all, a living museum of Irish History and Tradition where unique pieces from old farm implements to Historical antiquities adorn every wall, nook & cranny. Serving an award winning a la carte menu from 12.30 until late, with live musicians playing traditional Irish music 7 nights a week, our special kind of Irish welcome is not to be missed.


ituated only 40 minutes from Dublin City Centre and 10 minutes from Dundrum or Enniskerry Villages why not take our private shuttle bus which will collect you from an array of Dublin City or County Hotels operated by (01 8221122) for €5 each way.

Hooley Nights For a real treat one should experience the world famous show known as the Johnnie Fox’s HOOLEY night which includes the esteemed Johnnie Fox’s troop of Irish dancers, live traditional Irish music, a full 4 course evening meal and plenty of great craic….. at only €52.50 per person. • • • •


Johnnie Fox’s Pub l Glencullen l Co. Dublin

l Ireland l Tel: (01) 295 5647 Email:


Coasts & Castles



lasnevin Cemetery was established in 1832 by Daniel O’Connell as a burial ground for people of all faiths and no faith. It was in response to Protestant cemeteries’ refusal to bury Catholics within their grounds. O’Connell himself is commemorated near the entrance by a fifty-metre-high round tower, which managed to survive a Loyalist bomb in the 1970s. His corpse was interred in the tower’s crypt in 1869, having been brought home from Genoa where he died (in fact, not all of his body is here: his heart was buried in Rome). To the left of the round tower, O’Connell’s political descendant, Charles Stewart Parnell, who asked to be buried in a mass grave among the people of Ireland, is commemorated by a huge granite boulder from his estate at Avondale, County Wicklow. Other notable figures among the 1.2 million dead


at Glasnevin – most of them gathered around O’Connell’s tower – include Countess Markiewicz, Éamon de Valera, prime minister, president and architect of modern Ireland, and his old rival Michael Collins, the most charismatic leader of the successful independence struggle. From the arts, there’s Gerard Manley Hopkins (unmarked, in the Jesuit plot), W.B. Yeats’s muse Maud Gonne MacBride; writer, drinker and Republican Brendan Behan, and Alfred Chester Beatty. To the right of the tower is the Republican plot, with a memorial to hunger strikers, from Thomas Ashe who died in 1917 to Bobby Sands in 1981, while in front of the tower lie the recent graves of 18-year-old Kevin Barry and eight other Volunteers hanged by the British during the War of Independence. Originally buried in Mountjoy Prison, their bodies were moved here with the full honours of a state funeral in October 2001. The full history of the cemetery and it’s interred is told

Spirit of ireland PQ.pdf




Coasts & Castles












in glorious, award-winning detail in the on-site museum which tells the social and political story of Ireland through the lives of the people, known and unknown, buried in the cemetery. The City of the Dead covers the burial practice and religious beliefs of the roughly 1½ million people whose final resting place this is, while the Milestone Gallery features a 10m-long digitally interactive timeline outlining the lives of the cemetery’s most famous residents. The best way to delve into the stories of the past however is to take one of the daily tours (11.30am and 2.30pm year-round, also 1pm June to August). The guides are entertaining storytellers that will bring to life the rich and important lives of those buried here. Worth a visit also while in the vicinity is Kavanagh’s pub, located at the old gate towards the rear of the cemetery. It is better-known as The Gravediggers, because the gravediggers working at the cemetery used to order drinks on the job through a secret hatch. Founded in 1833 by one John Kavanagh and still in the family, this pub is one of the best in Ireland, virtually unchanged in 150 years and with some of the best Guinness in town.

Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015/16 RECOGNISING SUCCESS and INNOVATION





Coasts & Castles



IE Tours offers an ever-expanding selection of tours to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales. For travelers, these destinations are more than locations; they are experiences filled with memories that will last a lifetime.

Discover Ireland’s Ancient East or the Wild Atlantic Way on one of the customized chauffeur-drive itineraries or choose from a range of suggested itineraries created by CIE Tours’ experts. Experience an authentic vacation while being guided by your own private Ireland expert. Stay in 5-star luxury properties as well as castle hotels, beautifully restored and reminiscent of their time period. CIE Tours luxury chauffeur-drive itineraries will go above your travel expectations—hand-picked hotel accommodations, authentic dining occasions and access to great cultural experiences. Celebrate a joyful occasion with special tour arrangements— whether it’s for two or an intimate number of family and friends. Pick your preferred dates and CIE Tours will assist you in choosing hotels. Customize your itinerary and tour Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East or choose one of the suggested itineraries including Distinctive Ireland, Ireland’s Castles & More, & Irish Indulgence tours. Experience the magic and adventure of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, a coastal route that stretches approximately


Coasts & Castles

1,500 miles. Discover stunning vistas, rugged mountains and Irish culture as you travel along with your private guide. Choose from a number of luxurious hotels including, Abbeyglen Castle or Ballynahinch Castle. Having been built in 1832, the Abbeyglen Castle in Clifden is a perfect place to unwind during your Wild Atlantic Way adventure. Ballynahinch Castle is set in a 455-acre estate with beautiful views of the Irish countryside. Uncover 5,000 years of history when you explore Ireland’s Ancient East. From incredible tales of kings to lush green lands of the eastern coast, offering travelers a unique vacation experience. Ireland’s Ancient East encompasses 17 counties and is separated into three unique areas; The Land of 5,000 Dawns, The Historic Heartlands and The Celtic Coast. Customize your tour and stay in hotels such as the 5-star Merrion Hotel located in the heart of Dublin. Discover Gothic architecture and Neolithic tombs along the way, as well as medieval castles, monasteries and mythical landscapes. The Distinctive Ireland tour is a 5-night tour that will give you a glimpse into Ireland’s cities and magnificent countryside while enjoying the best of deluxe hotels with excellent cuisine and service. See Dublin’s highlights and then your driver will whisk you away to absorb the wonderful scenery of Killarney, the impressive Cliffs of Moher and more.

Enjoy Ireland’s Castles & More! Start your 6-night tour to visit Dublin’s famous landmarks. Enjoy some pampering or golf in the lovely country estate of Mt. Juliet and explore the surrounding area of Kilkenny and Waterford. Head to the southwest to revel in Killarney’s charm and scenery and end your vacation at Dromoland Castle, one of Ireland’s premier deluxe properties. The Irish Indulgence is a 10-night itinerary that gives travelers an opportunity to include some of the lesser-known places in the North of Ireland as well as the more popular regions of the south. Explore vibrant Belfast’s restaurants and delve into 20th century history. Relax in Lough Eske Castle before heading to the Connemara region, Cliffs of Moher and Kenmare. Traveling with CIE Tours ensures your vacation will be filled with unique experiences and rich cultural immersion. For over 80 years, CIE Tours has served as the most trusted Ireland and Britain tour provider. CIE Tours’ array of itineraries and chauffeur-drive options allows you to explore these countries on a personal level, to create an in-depth travel experience that will resonate with your interests and desires. Call CIE Tours 800.243.8687 or visit for more information. 135

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he exhibition captures the footprint of the global Irish family in 20 interactive galleries that illuminate the incredible tales of the global Irish community’s past, present and future using a bold series of galleries slickly fitted with

breathtakingly immersive technology-driven displays.


Designed by Event Communications, the award-winning designers of Titanic Belfast, EPIC Ireland tells the story of 10 million journeys and the roots of 70 million people, with galleries organised into themes of migration, motivation, influence and connection. It addresses the questions: ‘Why did people leave?’, ‘What was their influence overseas?’ and ‘How has the emigrant experience changed over time?

“The vision and objective of EPIC Ireland is to be the essential first port of call for visitors to Ireland,” said its Managing Director, Conal Harvey. Dervla O’Neill, Head of Marketing describes the experience as “a real deep dive into the Irish DNA”. The overall experience is a hi tech emotional sequence of stories and events that is awe inspiring, uplifting and thought provoking. Visitors receive a passport as they enter the attraction, stamping it at various points before using it to send a virtual postcard as their tour concludes. Alongside stories galore of Irish history and heroes you can also delve into your own past at the Irish Family History Centre. Here you can search for Irish ancestors and access interactive display screens to uncover more about your Irish roots. You can even sit with a Genealogist for a consultation; take a fun quiz to test your Irish knowledge and view records of Irish emigration and migration throughout the ages. This €15 million addition to the CHQ Building in the heart of Dublin city is the biggest attraction the capital has seen since the Guinness Storehouse and well, it’s pretty Epic!

‘‘ ‘‘


If you are looking for an authentic experience about the Irish and Ireland, look no further than EPIC Ireland. In this fully interactive museum you will discover the story of Irish emigration over the years and celebrate the extraordinary contributions of Irish emigrants, people of Irish descent and Irish culture around the world.

The most fascinating, informative & interactive tour anywhere.


An absolute must-see in Dublin



Located in the beautiful vaults of The historic chq Building, you can visit the many cafés and gift shops or explore your roots in the Irish Family History Centre. Custom House Quarter is also home to the Famine Memorial Sculptures, The Triumphal Arch and The Jeanie Johnston replica Famine Ship.

tripadvisor Call +353 (0) 1 531 3688 or Pre-book online at


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hey hang down from the ceiling – thousands of them. All lined up in neat, colourful rows, looking for all the world like multi-coloured bats. Hats from the locality, hats from around Ireland, hats from around the world; each one has been donated by customers from far and wide who have heard of this charming attempt at one day winning a Guinness World Record gong for the most hats in a public place. The Snailbox Traditional Pub, Restaurant & Venue is owned & run by The Foster Family. This roadside restaurant is perfect for parties large and small. It’s a very friendly sort of place. It has won the Best Welcome & Customer Service Award and countless Tripadvisor accolades because it has a real atmosphere about it. It’s hard to put a finger on it but there’s just a great feel to the place. And the food, well it’s honest to goodness,

down to earth, well priced great grub. The Snailbox is famed for its steaks, always perfectly cooked, generous portions and served with a skewer of sautéed onions and mushrooms, as well as a side order of fries or salad. For hearty appetites the food is lip-smackingly good. For those that prefer something a little more exotic, the Thai beef salad is excellent as is the prawn stir-fry, a house speciality, served sizzling and smoking hot with rice or noodles. Gourmet breads are in plentiful supply and if you go there on Saturday the open music session is just mighty. There’s usually so much food served for dinner that you may not have room for dessert – a shame since the choice is good but by now most people throw in the hat after the big feed. Oh wait, is that where all the hats come from??! Happy customers, happy experiences, the Snailbox is a real winner. 139

the castle | the lodge | the old stable mews the castle | the lodge | the old stable mews

A rural retreat in the heart of Ireland... A rural retreat in the heart of Ireland...


estled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient estled on 1,000 acres oflakes, undulating Irish countryside, ancient woodlands and glittering Castle Leslie Estate is onedotted of thewith last great

woodlands lakes, Leslie Estate one of the last great Irish estatesand stillglittering in the hands ofCastle its founding family.isSteeped in history, full 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. of character and charm, it is the ultimate Irish rural escape.

Only 80 minutes from Dublin and 60 minutes

Castle Leslie Estate offers an idyllic setting for

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treatment exhilarate in ainabundance of luxuriate inrooms, a relaxing massage the Victorian outdoor adventures, or just borrow a pair of wellies treatment rooms, exhilarate in a abundance of

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Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Monaghan t: + 353 47 88 100 Castle Leslie Estate, Glaslough, Monaghan t: + 353 47 88 100

Historic Homes



or the modern day visitor, a trip to one of Ireland’s many great houses is all about the history, however, it’s also about heart-stopping views, open parkland, candlelit dinners and maybe staying over for a night or two in grand style. Some great houses are now tourist attractions; others are smart hotels or family-run retreats where you can soak up warm Irish hospitality, have tea and

scones by the fire and borrow a pair of wellies to take walks through the woods. At grand houses such as Russborough or Powerscourt you can imagine yourself in the world of the 18th century super-rich. Russborough House was designed by the German Architect Richard Cassels and it has the longest façade of any house in Ireland, stretching almost 700 feet across 141

Historic Homes

Russborough was fortunate to find new owners who possessed the means to maintain the house and the impressive Art collection of the previous owners 142

Historic Homes

the Wicklow landscape. Sir Alfred & Lady Beit purchased the house in 1952. Russborough was fortunate to find new owners who possessed the means to maintain the house and the impressive Art collection of the previous owners. They also added their own collection, Old Master paintings and decorative arts assembled in England in the late 19th century. In 1976 Sir Alfred transferred the ownership of Russborough to the Alfred Beit Foundation, a charitable trust which he established with the aim of keeping both the house and Art collection intact. The house was opened to the public in 1978 so that visitors from all over the world could witness the grandeur, culture & art of Ireland’s heritage. Russborough now plays host to over 100,000 people each year. Castletown House is Ireland’s largest and earliest Palladian-style house. It was built for William Connolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland.

Famine and the land wars were a time of great change in Ireland where tenant and landlord relations disintegrated. Followed by the Easter Rising, the War of Independence and then the Civil War in the early decades of the 20th century, many of Ireland’s most prestigious and historical castles were abandoned or destroyed. Castletown House almost suffered this terrible fate when republicans were about to set Castletown alight with 50 gallons of petrol, but a local leader remembered Conolly’s Irish and relatively humble origins. Thankfully the house was saved. In 1967, the Hon. Desmond Guinness purchased the house and 120 acres of land to save it for posterity. Castletown became the flagship project of the Irish Georgian Society, which had been re-established by Desmond and Mariga Guinness in 1958. In 1967 it became the first house in Leinster to be opened to the public. The restoration of Castletown began under the aegis of the Irish Georgian Society. Their first major task 143

Ireland’s first, finest, largest, most celebrated 18th century house on the banks of the River Liffey

“This I believe the only house in Ireland to which the term palace can be applied” Richard Twiss, 1775

+353 1 628 8252

Castletown House, Celbridge, Co. Kildare House open 12th March to 31st October 2016 Just 20km from Dublin City Centre Parking: Exit 6, M4, Celbridge West or on Main Street Celbridge and a 10 minute walk from the village. Dublin Bus: 67 from Merrion Square to Main Street Celbridge

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was to acquire furniture and paintings for the house. Many of the original furnishings had been secured for the house at the auction by Desmond Guinness. Gradually the Georgian Society, and after 1979 the Castletown Foundation, began to acquire Irish furniture and paintings for the house, through gifts and loans. The restoration of the interior of the house to its eighteenth century grandeur began at this time, with the re-decoration of the green silk room, in 1985, a notable achievement. The house continued to remain open, and the restoration process continued to proceed, still mainly funded by private munificence and visitor revenue.

The Duke and Duchess had married in Paris in 1900 despite the initial protestations of the bride’s father, the millionaire businessman, Eugene Zimmerman of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr Zimmerman’s lack of enthusiasm for his new son in law stemmed from the Duke’s reputation as a debt-ridden and reckless gambler. Marriage to a ‘rogue’ was not what Eugene had hoped for his beautiful and well-educated daughter, Helena. However, the ancient Manchester title was not to be sniffed at and following the marriage, Mr Zimmerman helped to establish the young couple in respectable society by funding the purchase of Kylemore Castle as their new home.

The Duke and Duchess of Kylemore Castle

As soon as Helena and Kim (as the Duke was known) arrived at Kylemore, changes began to happen. Out with the marble pillars and light filled interiors so beloved of the Henrys and in came dark oak panelling and a radical remodelling of the castle. The Duke did not settle down to the life of a country squire, focusing on the running of his extensive estate. Instead he continued to travel and enjoy the ‘high life’ of motor cars, horse racing and

Kylemore Abbey is one of Ireland’s most iconic buildings. Built by the British Industrialist Mitchell Henry for his beautiful wife Margaret in the 1860’s, its romantic back story is well known. Less well known but just as intriguing is the story of Kylemore’s second owners, the Duke and Duchess of Manchester who took up residence in Kylemore Castle, on the 22 of September 1903.


of course gambling. Helena meanwhile made herself at home at Kylemore and despite her loneliness, it seems she established a warm environment for her young children. Well known in the local area for driving at speed along the narrow country lanes in her Daimler motor car, the Duchess, seemingly relished the freedom from society and the scrutiny of the press that remote Connemara afforded her. The couple were always preparing for a much longed for Royal visit but unfortunately, although they were indeed close to the King, the visit never happened and by 1914 the Castle was in the hands of the mortgage company. Stories abound of how the Duke lost the castle in a late night card game which is untrue, but sadly they did leave under a cloud of debt, and the couple divorced in 1932. The Benedictine nuns arrived in Kylemore in 1920 and the castle which then became known as Kylemore Abbey has enjoyed a secure and peaceful existence ever since. Pirates Queen of Connacht

Create Memories to treasure at Ireland’s Most Beautiful Historic Home, the award-winning rides, slides, boats & trains of the Pirate Adventure Park, 3 Star Caravan & Camping Park, Westport Train Tour and the Adventure Activity Centre. Check out our website for upcoming special events!

May o’s


aTTr acTi on



Westport, Co. Mayo, Ireland +353 98 27766 |

A beautiful scenic drive just 40 minutes north of Kylemore takes you to another of Ireland’s classic houses. Surrounded by the majestic expanse of Clew Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Ireland’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick, the origins of Westport House date to the 1500’s when the legendary Pirate Queen of Connacht, Grace O’Malley, reigned here in one of her many castles. Today visitors can tour 300 years of Irish heritage in the ancestral home of the Browne family (direct descendants of Grace O’Malley), while enjoying a myriad of attractions throughout the grounds. The original Brownes were members of the landed gentry, Ireland’s upper class. Owners of Westport House, the family were the largest landowners in County Mayo with thousands of tenants living on their estates. Catherine Browne, Marquess of Sligo, lived from 1800 to 1878. Lady Sligo as she was known took over the day to day running of Westport House after her husband’s death. When her 25-year-old son, George John Browne, inherited the estate in 1845, Lady Sligo supported him through the difficult years of the Great Hunger. Unlike many landlords, the family assisted poor

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Photogenically perched on the shores of Pollacapall Lough, the 19th-century neo-Gothic fantasy, Kylemore Abbey, was built for a wealthy English businessman, Mitchell Henry, who spent his honeymoon in Connemara.


Historic Homes

tenants and spoke out against the harsh policies of the then British government – even borrowing money to help impoverished tenants. The Poor Houses Not all landlords were as kind as the Browne family of Westport. For all the wealth in the country, there were hundreds of thousands who were poverty-stricken and racked with hunger. In 1520, Catholics, both Irish and Anglo-Norman, owned 100% of the land, however, after 3 centuries of plantations, confiscations, evictions, Penal Laws and colonialism, 90% of Irish land belonged to Anglo-Irish Protestant landlords, with Catholics forced to become tenants on their own properties. Irish tenant farmers produced vast quantities of agricultural produce and livestock which they sold to pay rent, or face eviction. This left the majority of the native population solely dependent on potatoes for food, as they were cheap to purchase; could be grown in poor soil and were high in nutrition. Disaster struck from 1845 to 1848 when the potato blight destroyed the potato harvest across Europe leaving the tenant farmer stricken for food. There was actually an abundance of alternative food, however the British Government sent troops to Ireland to 148

ensure people did not eat the thousands of tonnes of other crops, vegetables and animals being exported by landlords for profit. And so began The Great Hunger - An Gorta Mór - and the poor had few paces to turn. In the early 1840’s, the population of Ireland was almost 9 million - 3 million of whom were destitute due to eviction and starvation. 130 Workhouses were built between 1841 and 1843 to house the poor; Teach na mBocht - The Poorhouse. It was the last resort and a gruesome experience. The poor had to apply for admission to the Workhouse and successful applicants had to surrender any land before entering. Once admitted, families were segregated and forbidden from seeing each other without permission. Food was meagre and unvarying and work was hard with little heat and no comfort. These deliberately harsh conditions meant that Workhouses quickly became known as the Poor Man’s Jail. In other jurisdictions some committed petty crime both to feed their fearsome appetite but also to gain access to jails where at least there was a bed and some form of food on a daily basis. Several workhouses and gaols are accessible today to tell the terrible tale of one of the most feared institutions in Irish history.

WHERE HISTORY & CULTURE LIVE ON Come visit our stunning Palladian Mansion which is situated at the foot of the Wicklow mountains overlooking the Blessington Lakes. Take an AWARD WINNING GUIDED HOUSE TOUR & browse through our EXHIBITION CENTRE or experience the great outdoors in our PARKLANDS. WOODLAND WALKS, MAZE, FAIRY TRAIL, PLAYGROUND, SHEEPDOG DEMONSTRATIONS & THE NATIONAL BIRD OF PREY CENTRE. Our 18th century walled garden is being lovingly restored by the RHSI. The Artisans are located in the East & West courtyards. See our website for more information. Located south of Dublin off the N 81, 4.5 Km from Blessington, Co. Wicklow. Tel: +353 45 865239 Email:

Your ideal destination to explore Ireland’s Ancient East

Only 30 minutes from Dublin Airport Call 046 – 903 0900 or email

Interior of the neo-Gothic Church at Kylemore Abbey

Come and see our beautiful 1,000 acre estate and 6 acre Victorian Walled Garden.



Restored Rooms in the Abbey • Gothic Church • History Talks and Guided Tours Woodland & Lakeshore Walks • Café & Tea House: Craft & Design Shop Pottery Studio • Artisan Chocolates • Handmade Gifts

Phone 353 (95) 52001 Web: Email:

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& Gardens



ituated in Bray, Co Wicklow, Killruddery House & ​ ​Gardens i​s​easily accessible from Dublin city. The estate comprises​ 850​ acres ​calm, open ​​parkland, ​including 17th century gardens made up of formal spaces, wilderness and rolling green lawns. Seat of the Earl’s of Meath and home to the Brabazons since 1618, the family remain central to everything that happens at Killruddery today. On site there is a lovely ​T​ea R ​ ​oom​serving produce f​rom Killruddery Farm or local producers, a walled kitchen garden, farm and farm market. An extensive programme of events throughout the season range from family-friendly archery, falconry, teddy bear picnics and traditional games to special

interest events; talks on gardening, food and foraging; musical evenings in the ​Or​angery or Sylvan Theatre and silent films in the Library. Killruddery is a spectacular venue for weddings​,​parties​and they have an extensive new corporate entertainment portfolio​. There are many options such as the library and dining room which can host drinks receptions and the glorious​Orangery which is perfect for ceremonies. Alternatively the ​G​rain ​S​tore, a 19th century barn conversion facing onto a charming courtyard​ , ​is a room of large capacity and the perfect space for a relaxed wedding or event. A weekly Farm Market runs each Saturday, 10am - 4pm throughout the year. Located in the H ​ ​orse ​Y​ard and sheltered​ G​rain S ​ ​tore​,​it features some of the very best of 151

Killruddery House & Gardens is an oasis of calm, open space for fun, well-being and creativity. Grounded in harmony with the natural environment and our living heritage, we offer acres of parkland, 17th century formal gardens, natural playscapes and space to nourish all the senses. Seat of the Earls of Meath, and home to the Brabazons since 1618, the family remains central to everything that happens at Killruddery today, from a carefully planned connection between the Tea Room, kitchen garden, farm & farm market, to a programme of family, food and musical events. Killruddery, a place where one wants to be... or tel: +353 1 286 3405

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local and small food producers selling fresh fish, meat, vegetables, cheeses, cakes, jams, preserves and other speciality items as well as a variety of unique crafts. Killruddery has its own section at the Farm Market. Killruddery House & Gardens is open weekends April and October and daily May to September. Guided house tours run daily in July, August and September including a shorter version for children on weekends, specially designed for little legs! Guided tours of the garden are also available on weekends throughout the season. On Thursday’s the tea rooms host an Al Fresco supper club – perfect for long summer evenings. There are so many things to see and do at Killruddery. The Brabazon family encourage people to enjoy frequent visits and to take advantage of this, annual membership gives access to the gardens, selected walking paths, tearooms and walled gardens. ​ 153

The Frank McCourt Museum

Step back to 1930’s Limerick and see how the young life was for one Pulitzer Prize winner

Open Weekends from May - September 2-6pm Last entry 5.00pm

Visit huge 19th century stationary steam engines, models and a scenic model railway beside a delightful 18th century walled garden

The Frank McCourt Museum Leamy House, Hartstonge St., Limerick, Ireland Tel; +353 61 319710 • Email;

The Steam Museum and Lodge Park Walled Garden Straffan, Co. KIldare 087 241 4556

For more information visit



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The Georgian splendour of the old entrance hall is a charming setting and just perfect for a drinks reception or for greeting guests


glorious French chateau-style hotel, The K Club in Straffan, County Kildare offers the elegance of a world-class resort, the luxury of one of the most outstanding venues in Europe and the warmth of Irish hospitality. From the moment you drive down the private avenue you are surrounded by beauty. Ancient trees stretch their arms high above you, welcoming you to what


truly is a very special place. At every step and every turn the eye is drawn to something new; a little boat moored on a crystal lake, delicate summer flowers framed by a white picket fence or old fashioned roses which fill the air with their sweet summer scent. There are endless photo opportunities and the setting cannot fail to impress. The Georgian splendour of the old entrance hall is a

Several options catering for large and lavish weddings through to smaller more intimate affairs.

charming setting and just perfect for a drinks reception or for greeting guests. The elegant Yeats Room (which houses one of the finest private art collections in the country) is perfect for serving pre-dinner canapes and prosecco overlooking the vast parkland. For religious ceremonies the pretty church in Straffan Village is just a stone’s throw, or a carriage ride away. Many couples however, choose not to leave the

sanctuary of The K Club, opting instead for the elegance of a civil ceremony. This classically styled room is beautifully decorated in the traditional old grandeur that the house bestows. The lure of the outdoor is strong here, with miles of beautiful countryside and a private stretch of the River Liffey adjoining the grounds. An outdoor ceremony in the gardens by the fountain with the beautiful French

Getting married in Ireland? We offer aerial photography and videography that will capture breath-taking images and video of the wedding party or just the bride and groom sharing a special moment. Ireland’s amazing scenery offers an amazing backdrop for our drones, giving the couple memories to cherish forever.

Call +353 21 910110 or email

Abbeyfield Farm Ireland’s leading Outdoor Country Pursuits Centre, offering top class Clay Pigeon Shooting, an Air Rifle Range, long bow Archery and an Equestrian Centre. The farm is nestled in over 240 acres of picturesque Kildare countryside. Let our experienced and friendly staff provide you with a safe and enjoyable afternoon of fun outdoor activities. For the first timer, expert tuition is provided to allow you get the very best out of each pursuit. For the accomplished let us push your skills to the limit. To make a booking: E: | T: 00353 (0) 86 8164 130 | W:

??? | ??? Located in the Smurfit Clubhouse, the legendary Legacy Suite transforms into the quintessential wedding ballroom. The Legacy Suite caters for opulent weddings from 120 guests to 300 guests. In-keeping with the style of the main house, the ballroom has French doors leading out to a beautiful terrace with views onto the lake. This exclusive venue gives a 5 Star service, divine food & the most perfect atmosphere.​

Chateau style hotel as a backdrop is the most magical setting for your wedding. There are several options catering for large and lavish weddings through to smaller more intimate affairs. The Legacy Suite, The Arnold Palmer Room and The John Jefferson Smurfit Room all offer varying options from small parties through to extravagant affairs. At the Smurfit Clubhouse for example, The Legacy Suite transforms into the quintessential wedding ballroom. Or for golf enthusiasts you might choose the Arnold Palmer Room, located in the Palmer Clubhouse, with its stunning views over the Palmer Ryder Cup Golf Course.

in conjunction with local company Abbeyfield Farm & Country Pursuits. You can arrange everything from clay pigeon shooting, archery and horseback riding, fishing on a private stretch of river or spectacular falconry shows, not to mention a round of golf on the Ryder Cup Course. For something a little more intimate, or for a wind down evening party, the private Inis Mór Island offers the perfect secluded atmosphere to end a spectacular event. There really is something for everyone at The K Club. This unique, spectacular resort is just a 30-minutes’ drive from Dublin airport.

Many couples extend the wedding celebrations over several days with rehearsal dinners, next day BBQs and sporting activities for family and friends. A vast range of activities are on offer at The K Club 159

Where Champions Meet‌ Recently renovated & refurbished, The K Club features 140 bedrooms and brand new conferencing & events facilities. For more information call +353 (1) 601 7200 or email






aige, who hails from the USA, moved to London 4 years ago on a 6-month secondment. Within the space of just six weeks she had fallen under the spell of the city and of Alexander MacAndrew, so she asked for her contract to be extended and set about a new adventure in London with the new love of her life. Alexander hails from the UK but like many UK citizens, he had Irish roots; his family originating in County Meath and Roscommon, so when the question was popped and plans were afoot for a wedding, Ireland seemed like the ideal choice.


“We settled on Ireland quite quickly” Paige explains. “We knew we didn’t want to plan a wedding in the USA if we were living in London.” Between time zones, logistics, and busy careers the couple aligned on Ireland as a great location and of course they couldn’t ignore the sheer romance of the Emerald Isle for their special occasion. So they set off on a scouting trip to Ireland, choosing a combination of hotels and country houses to go see. All of the locations were stunning, however The K Club was a head and shoulders above the rest for Paige and Alex. “The house has been refurbished to the nines, the


When the big day arrived everybody “was blown away” by The K Club

new ballroom was the perfect place to have everyone eat together and dance the night away. The food was epic, the gardens were lush, the bridges over the Liffey River were romantic and charming, and Cassandra and The K Club staff were the warmest and engaging of anyone we met.” For many couples the idea of organizing a wedding remotely seems pretty daunting, however, on site wedding co-ordinator Cassandra Conway receives lavish praise for her seamless work in helping everything run so smoothly. “It was pretty easy to plan the wedding remotely, but it would have been much harder without Cassandra.

She helped us to connect with florists, bakers, bands; you name it, and she had a short list of suggestions. It also helped that we were able to travel over twice to meeting with vendors and catch-up with Cassandra.” When the big day arrived everybody “was blown away” by The K Club; with the hospitality, the rooms, the food, the gardens, “absolutely everything” was wonderful. The ceremony itself took place in the hotel grounds next to the classic fountain and with the backdrop of the beautiful chateau style hotel. Paige and Alex walked down a red carpet through the glorious gardens to waiting guests on the lawn. “It was perfect” she said. 163


they had the most perfect day and they look forward to returning to a place that will always be dear to their hearts.

The ceremony was followed by dinner and dancing in the Legacy Suite. The day after the wedding, there was a BBQ on the terrace overlooking the grounds. “The little ones were running and rolling up and down the hills and throughout the gardens, and the adults were relaxing on the terraces with some Pimms.” And the sun shone too! Onsite activities were also a huge hit and the wedding party took full benefit of the many options on offer. In partnership with The K Club, Ireland’s leading outdoor country pursuits centres, Abbeyfield Farm, offer top class clay pigeon shooting, an air rifle range, archery and an award winning equestrian centre nestled in over 240 acres of picturesque Kildare countryside. “I had a few friends that went shooting, went horseback riding, and archery” explains Page. Unsurprisingly, there were also several keen golfers who managed to sneak a few rounds in around the wedding festivities. For instance, Alex and a good chunk of the bridal party played golf on the morning of the wedding, and I believe my god father played two rounds the day after.” 164

Guests also visited the pretty local village of Straffan and the surrounding Kildare countryside. “Saturday was a big activity day. In the morning, my grandmother and father went on a historic tour of Kildare, which Cassandra helped to organise.” The ladies also managed to fit in a bit of shopping at the luxury local shopping outlet village. “My mother and sister-in-law went down to the Kildare Village. They found a very cool shop called So Collective that carried products from a number of Irish designers that used Irish materials, and they raved about it.” When Paige visited the store a few days later, “the woman who was working in the shop recalled my mother by name and asked me about our wedding day.” Planning as they say is everything, and all of the many elements need to come together to result in the perfect day. For Paige and Alex, they had the most perfect day and they look forward to returning to a place that will always be dear to their hearts. “Our day was tremendous, and Cassandra orchestrated everything for us so well. Seriously, Cassandra was a star and the K Club staff was wonderful. It could not have been more perfect.” Fiona: 00353874531751

The No.1 Irish quirky wedding planning service Bring your personalities out for your wedding, by adding a theme to your big day. Alice in Wonderland, Marvel comic book, Cinderella, Traditional and of course my Country Western Vintage Glam as seen on Stetsons & Stillettos on RTE1 & Keeping Er Country on BBCNI


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iona’s personality of joie de vivre in all that she does but mostly her love of all things matrimonial, took her on a new path when twelve years ago, she began the search for ideas for her own wedding. Tirelessly and with little success in sourcing the different and the quirky to personalize her big day, Fiona’s personal brand Wicked Wedding was born. “When I started the hunt for my wedding it was to get different ideas, as I wanted something beyond a traditional wedding,” recalls Fiona. “I even picked my wedding venue before the family run hotel was even built as I fell in love with the people who own it. I found it hard to find anything that was unique; I wanted a traditional wedding with quirky touches. My own


Scottish and Japanese themed wedding stemmed from love of my favourite flowers from Scotland and Japan and both my husband and I love Japan. So we had the Scottish Thistle intertwined with the Japanese orchid in our floral arrangements and we had a Geisha girl themed wedding cake. I designed and handmade much of the details for own wedding. “ It was from her unique work on her own wedding that requests for help with invitations and other individual and personal touches ideas that Wicked Weddings began. “Eight years ago I undertook my first themed wedding from start to finish - ‘Celtic’ - where everything was Irish from the Celtic knots embroidered onto the bride’s wedding dress to embossed Celtic designs on the

??? | ??? wedding invitations,” she says. “After that my client list grew to not only weddings but themed events. I started going to wedding fairs and designed my website and started to blog about weddings. “Initially at wedding fairs, my services stood out as all the other categories were offering traditional services but then I found more and more people responded so well as I fulfilled the needs of couples with different taste. People wanted more than just generic weddings and I wanted to give people what they wanted. Anything can be accomplished – if you want a Unicorn, I will get it for you!” Wicked Weddings is the premiere alternative wedding service that will bring all your quirky and the wedding dreams or themed event to life. Whether you want a traditional wedding with just a few alternative touches or a full blown ‘Star Wars’ Themed wedding, Fiona will ensure you have your heart’s desire. From ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to ‘Marvel Heroes’ and ‘Harry Potter’, Fiona has successfully executed almost every theme possible for a couple’s special day, from celebrities to couples of all tastes and from all walks of life. One wedding of popular country singer Dervla Burke of ‘Crystal Swing’ cemented Fiona’s reputation as a celebrity wedding planner with a difference. Dervla, at the age of 23, still had the Princess-style wedding of her childhood dreams coupled with a theme which reflected her country music roots. Along with the stilettos, there was Stetsons, wheelbarrows and plenty of country glam! “When someone hears about a Marvel themed wedding, they may think of a couple getting married in full superhero costume but that is not necessarily what it is all about,” explains Fiona. “The wedding can still be very traditional with touches such as themed socks and ties or even shoes. I design shoes as well (Wicked shoes by Fi) from stilettos to Converse, decorated in the couples personal wedding theme. “Today’s wedding is about the bride and groom bringing their own personality to their day.” The couple making it as individual and bespoke as they each are. Their ideas might include features such as a cake or a digital backdrop playing their favorite film - a little bit of a ‘wow factor’. It is all about allowing couples to take control of their wedding and stamp their own personalities on their celebrations.” Fiona is a member of the Association for Wedding Professionals International (AFWPI) and as a destination wedding planner, she has worked with the country’s top hotel venues to execute the perfect day for American based couples. With the assistance of her ‘dream team’ of expert suppliers, she can organize every aspect of a dream wedding. Fiona can consult and assist couples from abroad with choosing a venue. Once they have decided to where they will host their wedding or after wedding party, they will tour their venue and meet with Fiona and her suppliers. Everything is then left in her capable hands. Fiona sources all transatlantic couple’s

requests from Irish suppliers with everything – apart from the wedding dress. Finding the perfect shoes to match the perfect wedding day is something brides and grooms are starting to look at more and more. “Through getting requests from my brides to help source the perfect shoe for their big day, I expanded my hobby of shoe and fashion design into another part of my service. This has taken both Europe, America and Australia by storm!” “I officially launched this side of the business with a photo shoot in collaboration with top Irish designer Claire Garvey and Irish owned vintage fashion boutique set in Dublin’s very beautiful Smock Alley theater which is over 300 years old. This is also one of my wedding venues for those looking for an alternative wedding venue in Dublin,” says Fiona. “I love weddings and I love being creative,” she says simply of her reason for being a wedding planner. My favorite parts of the wedding are the instant emotion on the face of a groom when he sees his bride walking down the aisle; the ‘wow’ look on their faces when they walk into their reception room and see it decorated for the first time and then they take a minute, breathe and look at each other and say ‘we have actually done this’. And then the rest of the day is a party full of smiles, love and laughter. There may be a few tears during the speeches but they are tears of joy as everyone is happy.”

“People wanted more than just generic weddings and I wanted to give people what they wanted. Anything can be accomplished” 167

Come and visit Liz Christy, Artist, Textile Designer and Hand-weaver at work in her studio, Swallow Studios, located in Annayalla among the rolling hills of Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. Take in the stunning views from Concra Wood Golf and Country Club which were the genesis of Liz’s desire to be an artist and visit the home county of the famous poet Patrick Kavanagh, who is another inspiration for Liz’s beautiful hand-woven scarves and wraps. See the real Ireland, with all its mystic magic still at play in tandem with the modern day and bring back a gift to treasure forever!

Swallow Studios are open 10am to 6pm Monday to Friday come and see stunning colours hand-woven before your eyes, real poetry in motion ! For weekend opening and availability call Liz on 0876821563. The GPS co-ordinates for SAT NAVs are: N54˚09.930’ & W6˚47.772 . Parking is available and bus tours/large groups are welcome with prior arrangement for ease of access. Visa/Mastercard/Cash all welcome at Swallow Studio’s shop. See you soon !

Crafted In Ireland


Crafted In Ireland Colored by nature, quality woven accessories from Mucros Weavers


ost of these crafts developed from ancient skills our ancestors had passed down the generations and some, for example the craft of Tweed making, remain regional specialities only. Others were originally developed from imported skills and subsequently taken to a higher level due to the exceptional quality of local materials. Our internationally acclaimed Irish linen is an example of this phenomenon. Irish crafts have always played a part in the lives of our ancestors and today, the crafts sector is valued at more than €500 million. Nearly 6,000 people are employed in Irish craft and design with more than 2,000 craft enterprises, large and small, officially registered with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. This Council, which is headquartered in Kilkenny, is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. Visitors to Ireland will find a vast array of Irish crafts on display in hundreds of gift shops the length and breadth of the country from Aran sweaters to linen,


tweed, crystal, porcelain, whiskey – the water of life, cheese – the flavour of the land, pottery and jewelry. There are many individual craftspeople developing and fine-tuning their traditional skills in small studios and workshops all over the country where you can observe their craft and creation at work and buy homemade products. One of the traditional Irish crafts that you’ll find on display almost everywhere in Ireland - except in a gift shop - is dry stone walling, so called because there is no mortar holding the stones together. Most dry stone walls were constructed simply by farmers using stones cleared from the soil to allow cultivation and to restrain livestock. These are not necessarily stable. Others are works of great skill and are rock solid, created by specialist stone masons, typically from the west of the country. Linen arrived with the Celts in the first millennium BC but Ireland really picked up the thread of the linen story in early Christian times - St Patrick is said to be buried in a shroud of Irish linen - but although production continued through the Middle Ages, it was not until the 17th Century that a structured industry started to develop. Two of the most important influences in this development were the adoption of the Dutch spinning wheel (which became known as the low Irish wheel) and the Dutch loom which

Crafted In Ireland

was wider than those to which Irish weavers were accustomed. When the French Huguenots arrived a few years later, they added their expert textile skills to the already well-established industry and by the start of the 18th Century they controlled linen production. As the reputation of Irish linen flourished, Northern Ireland became known as the Linen Homelands. International designers love working in Irish Linen fabric, partly because of its natural, breathable qualities but also because modern finishing techniques can reduce its creased appearance. It never really made its mark in traditional Irish clothing, except for a few items of dress for better-off folk, but it is fully accepted as a contemporary fabric. The industry that started so humbly in the Irish countryside has gone on to supply the top boutiques of New York, Paris, Milan and London. Celtic craftsmen enjoyed making elaborate jewelry and finely decorating objects such as shields and swords. They worked with an array of materials such as metal and gold and introduced glass beads as a way of injecting colour into their work. The use by the Celts of glass to decorate their jewelry sparked an industry that Ireland is now famous for.

CELTIC CLASSICS There are several classic pieces instantly recognizable throughout the world as being uniquely Irish, and indeed suppliers know for the quality of their work. Solvar is a family run Irish jewelry company celebrating 75 years in business this year. The company design and create jewelry inspired by Ireland’s rich history and unique icons. One of the most powerful of these icons is the Claddagh ring. First produced in the 17th century, the Claddagh has become a powerful symbol of Ireland’s heritage. A gift of love, crafted in Ireland, the Claddagh echoes a tale of devotion retold over the centuries. Once upon a time, so the story goes, a young Irish sailor was captured and sold into slavery. Far from his native land, he held the memory of his sweetheart deep in his heart. He never forgot her. Years later, on his safe return to Galway his gift to her was a Claddagh ring. Forged with the skills he had learnt during his imprisonment; it was a token of his enduring love.

Solvar rings before & after felting & brushing

“With these hands I give you my heart, and I crown it with my love”. Crowned with love, all Sterling Silver and Gold Claddagh rings crafted by Solvar are hallmarked by the Assay office in Dublin castle. You can add 171

Crafted In Ireland

George Norman Pillow, centre, with colleagues outside his father’s shop in Mayo circa 1940

your own chapter to the story by how you wear your Claddagh ring. Worn on the right hand with its heart facing outwards, tells the world that your heart is not yet taken. Worn with the heart facing inwards tells admirers that love is a possibility. But if you wear it on your left hand, with its heart turned inwards towards your own, there can be no doubt. It tells the world: two hearts have joined together forever. The Jewelry House (TJH) Ltd are another example of a third generation, family operated jewelry manufacturer, proudly supplying to jewelry retailers at home and abroad for over 65 years. The Jewelry House is currently led by Gary Pillow and a small team, some of whom have been with the company for over 50 years. Their jewelry designs are inspired by Ireland’s rich culture and Celtic Heritage. The “Celtic Designs” jewelry range draws inspiration from Celtic symbolism transforming them into beautiful jewelry to cherish. Their craftsmen create the “Celtic Designs Collection” in a wide variety of gemstones and precious metal including 10k 14k and 18k Gold, Sterling Silver, Platinum and Palladium. Customers can choose from over 1000 individual designs, and a bespoke Celtic wedding band service. The company’s long history was forged around the reliable supply of quality product at highly competitive


prices and is key to their success. Backed by unrivalled customer service, headed up by Louise Hanway, TJH are justifiably proud of their reputation in the trade and the company are passionate about maintaining high standards in design and craftsmanship. TJH are the only manufacturer with an exclusive license to use 100% authenticated Irish gold for the House of Lor Jewelry collection. House of Lor Irish gold is ethically sourced and responsibly mined in Omagh Co Tyrone. It is kept completely separate from all other gold throughout every stage of production. Each piece of jewelry, which is manufactured in Ireland, is designed and produced to the highest standards. Each piece is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and also bears the hallmark of the Dublin Assay Office. This is your guarantee of the purity of product and of its distinctly Irish provenance. It is a very exciting innovation for TJH and their retailers in offering exclusively to customers of a unique piece of Irish jewelry that cannot be sourced anywhere else on earth. In 1963 the late Norman Pillow then proprietor of TJH, was one of the proud founding members of the Federation of Jewelry Manufacturers of Ireland (FJMI), membership of which the company retains to this day. TJH are also members of the Irish Jewelry Association, (IJA).

Crafted In Ireland

Lisbeth makes all her wall hangings in the weaving room, which is open to view from the upstairs area of the spacious shop.

TACTILE TEXTILES For centuries weaving and knitting have been an important part of Ireland’s economy and to this day, Irish tweed and knitwear have an international reputation for quality, style and tradition. Hand-weaving has been a traditional skill – particularly in Donegal – that has been passed down through many generations. The sheep on the hills of Donegal provide the wool and the gorse, while moss and blackberries provide the colourful dyes to create the stylish tweed that’s warm for the Irish weather and cool enough for the fashion catwalks. While the Aran sweater is a popular and practical symbol of Ireland and Irish craft, its tradition is not as old as you may think. In the early 20th Century, men began wearing a ‘fisherman’s jersey’. This jersey was known in the West of Ireland as ‘geansai’, meaning Guernsey. Here lies the strongest evidence that Irish wool sweaters originated from the thick, water-resistant knitwear already popular among fishermen from Britain and the Channel Islands. Island women started knitting; it was a communal activity, a pastime that brought together the girls and women who shared their skills and, in time, the symbolic stitch designs they developed. Eventually, they moved from knitted stockings with patterned tops to larger garments.

Uncorroborated accounts suggest that these early Aran sweaters made their debut on boys taking their First Holy Communion in the 1920s. Others suggest men’s sweaters were knitted by young women for their sweethearts as evidence of their suitability as future wives. Whichever is true, it was to be some years before decorative Aran knitting patterns became the symbol of the islands. In 1935, the first Aran sweaters went on sale in The Country Shop in Dublin. In the 1940s the first Aran knitting patterns were published by Patons of England, and demand (and even exports) grew significantly after Vogue published patterns for men’s and women’s sweaters in 1956. Hand-knitted Aran sweaters carry a significant price premium because they include the most complex stitch patterns. WOVEN IN TIME Weaving is the oldest craft of all and in the heart of glorious Dingle in County Kerry, Lisbeth Mulcahy makes weavings using original patterns to design her sophisticated scarves, stoles and throws. The designs are based on the classic herringbone to make wavy or undulating patterns, which Lisbeth emphasises with bold colour combinations - an expression of her own original colour sense adjusted every year to fit in with current fashion trends. 173

Crafted In Ireland

Siopa na bhFíodóirí is the perfect backdrop for the displays of Lisbeth’s work. It is housed in a beautiful, listed building in the centre of Dingle, dating from ca. 1850


Crafted In Ireland

Siopa na bhFíodóiri/The Weavers’ Shop is a classic Irish craft store, and it is here where Lisbeth Mulcahy designs her weavings. Lisbeth makes all her wall hangings in the weaving room, which is open to view from the upstairs area of the spacious shop. Lisbeth is originally from Denmark but she has lived right on the wild Atlantic coast at Clogher Strand, west of Dingle since 1975. This rugged, beautiful environment inspires her work, especially her unique, woven tapestries and wall hangings, which she makes in a range of colourways. Again, Lisbeth has chosen to make this work in probably the oldest pattern in weaving – plain weave – to make bold, clear designs in her signature original colour schemes. The particular technique she uses is Kilim (used in Polish and other traditional rug weaving), which works simply with the action of the loom and which allows for clearly defined areas of colour. Siopa na bhFíodóirí is the perfect backdrop for the displays of Lisbeth’s work. It is housed in a beautiful, listed building in the centre of Dingle, dating from ca. 1850. It retains most of its original features, including original counters and shelving. Siopa na bhFiodóirí also sells the work of Lisbeth’s potter husband, Louis Mulcahy, designer/maker of the very best Irish hand-made craft Pottery in exquisite fine porcelain and robust stoneware.

WEARABLE ART The work of textile designer and hand-weaver Liz Christy has always taken inspiration from the arts, be it poetry, prose or painting. As a young art student Liz had a postcard of one of her favourite paintings pinned to her bedroom door. This painting, ‘The Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ 1864, by Frederic William Burton (1816-1900), is now the inspiration for a scarf specially commissioned by The National Gallery of Ireland. The Turret Stairs painting is one of the most famous images in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland. The subject is taken from a medieval Danish ballad ‘Hellelil and Hildebrand’ which was translated into English and published in 1855. It tells the story of Hellelil’s love for her bodyguard Hildebrand, whose death is ordered by her angered father. Burton depicts the moment of their final meeting on the turret stairs. This much loved painting is the muse for Liz Christy’s specially commissioned wearable art. Explaining her craft and her scarf design Liz comments: “Ours is an age-old craft and the looms are powered only by human energy.” “Threads pass through the weaver’s hands many times in the design and preparation of the warp, in combing 175

Crafted In Ireland

2017 will be a very special year as Belleek Pottery celebrates its 160th Anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, Belleek are proud to introduce the Belleek Archive Collection.

onto the loom; filling bobbins, weaving, knotting and washing”. For the special commission work the rich blue wool of the weft is hand-dyed, and woven it into the soft cotton warp, making each of Christy’s scarves a unique work of art. THE POTTER’S WHEEL Irish pottery has evolved over time. As much an art form as an industry, manufacturers continue to create traditional pieces that reflect the heritage of the land. In 1849 John Caldwell Bloomfield, who inherited the village of Belleek in County Fermanagh, learning of Sligo’s rich minerals and feldspar deposits he set up a ceramics company in 1859, Belleek Pottery. Famous for its thin porcelain and sparkling glaze, Belleek Pottery is widely considered to exemplify Irish craftsmanship and skill. Back in 1857 John Caldwell Bloomfield declared that any piece of Belleek with even the slightest flaw should be destroyed. Over nearly 160 years later, this golden rule is still strictly adhered to - the result is perfection. Each piece of Belleek is created by 16 individual artisans. From design to production to quality control at the 176

historic pottery, the process has changed very little since 1857. Belleek continues to develop signature designs reflecting the heritage of Belleek including the world renowned, artisanal baskets. Each porcelain basket is hand-woven and decorated with delicate flowers, each crafted, applied and painted by master artists. 2017 will be a very special year as Belleek Pottery celebrates its 160th Anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, Belleek are proud to introduce the Belleek Archive Collection. This very special collection comprises sixteen very special pieces, each representing a decade in the rich heritage of Belleek since its foundation in 1857. Each item will be a numbered Limited Edition with its own special back-stamp, a ‘must have’ for every Belleek Collector. Twelve pieces are available to order now with the remaining four pieces launching in January 2017. Belleek designers have gone back to the archives and reintroduced this truly special collection of Belleek pieces representing a wide range of design, skill and craftsmanship that has flourished over the past 160 years. The Collection boasts an impressive range of figurines. The earliest piece in the Archive Collection is the Group of Greyhounds representing the decade 1857 – 1867.

This impressive group of four greyhound figurines was designed sometime before 1867 by Reverend Halahan Dunbar, a good friend of Robert Armstrong, one of the founders of Belleek Pottery. There are twenty separate moulds used in the production of this elaborate figurine! The world renowned craft of Belleek basket making is showcased beautifully with the Henshall Handled Basket representing the decade 1887 – 1897. This beautiful handled basket is named after William Henshall who came to Belleek in 1867 bringing the skills & art of porcelain basket & flower making. Over the next forty years he developed the art, designing over twenty different baskets. The Henshall Handled Basket features 60 leaves, 40 pips & buds and 29 flowers, all handmade, hand-applied and hand-painted in beautiful pastel colours. One of the most iconic pieces in the Archive Collection is the Round Tower Centrepiece representing the decade (1897 – 1907). This piece was designed in the latter part of the 19th Century. It is based on the Belleek trademark and may have been made originally as an exhibition piece as it is not shown in any early catalogues. It was rediscovered in the early 1980s and head modeller Hugh Gallagher was able to find all the mould parts and reassemble the piece. CRAFT DIRECTORY: Lisbeth Mulcahy, Louis Mulcahy Pottery, Solvar, Belleek,

A much sought after piece from the Archive Collection is the Papillon Vase representing the decade 1987 – 1997. This colourful vase is based on an old hand painted earthenware vase made by Belleek in the 19th Century the Papillion Vase was created for the Belleek Collectors International Society in 1933. Less than one hundred were made on that occasion, making it a very collectable and much sought after. Each piece in the collection has been carefully chosen and there truly is something for everyone from figurines, baskets, tableware, vases, a statuesque Mantel Clock and a last but least the 160th Anniversary Plate which beautifully depicts an image of the Belleek Pottery building in the 1860s alongside the same scene as it is today. It is the fusion of the quality, craftsmanship and heritage of Belleek that has ensured it has not only survived but has thrived over the past 160 years. The craft scene in Ireland is both vibrant and dynamic, offering a range of different skills from weaving and pottery to glass blowing and woodwork. While these trans-generational skills are being maintained by the new and fresh generation of designers, they are also updating tradition with their own interpretations of innovative design. So from the traditional to the modern, Ireland really is the place to experience authentic craft and excellent design. The Jewelry House, House of Lor, Liz Christy, Design & Craft Council of Ireland,

Master Glass Cutter, Waterford Crystal

Crafted In Ireland


Crafted In Ireland



thel’s workshop is located on the site of a famous Irish claypipe factory in the village of Knockcroghery in County Roscommon. Knockcroghery was renowned for the almost 300 years for the production of clay pipes or dúidíns. By the late 1800’s virtually the entire village was involved in the manufacture of the pipes which were distributed extensively throughout the country. They were smoked by both men and women and were predominantly the pipe of the common man. Clay pipes were particularly popular at wakes where trays of tobacco-filled pipes were laid out for the mourners. Traditionally, after the pipes were smoked at the wake, they were broken while saying ‘Lord have Mercy’. This custom was often repeated at the grave side where the broken pipes were laid on the grave. Used wake pipes were sometimes kept as mementos of the deceased.

Ethel’s passion is her work, and her work is embedded in Irish tradition. One of her products , Ogham wishes are a range of meaningful words, handwritten in the Ancient Ogham Alphabet. Each piece is individually painted on handmade paper and beautifully framed. Perfect for all manner of occasions like christenings, weddings or individual birthday gifts, Ogham Wishes are treasured pieces to pass through the generations. A similarly unusual and authentic gift option are the charming BogBuddies; hand-made collectible characters forged from real Irish bog. No better way to have a piece of ‘the auld sod’ than in a unique piece of Irish art forged from raw material as raw and as natural as Ireland. If you are looking for something uniquely Irish, contemporary, and handmade, it seems that Ethel Kelly really has the edge.

Ogham Wishes are the perfect gift for those who love Ireland and want to keep a special blessing in their home

The Claypipe Centre, Knockcroghery, Co. Roscommon, Ireland | Tel: 011-353-9066-61923 179

Crafted In Ireland

The Gaslamp



he Gaslamp Gallery is contemporary Art Gallery in Gorey, Co. Wexford – a popular destination shopping town located on the South East Coast.

​They​have an unrivalled reputation for being a warm, welcoming gallery with exceptional customer service. ​Representing a diverse selection of national, and international artists including works by award winning Irish artists Kevin Roche, Kate Kos and Niki Purcell​they​also are the exclusive stockists of original works by Yvonne Coomber in Ireland. T​ he ​​aim ​of the Gaslamp Gallery is​to make acquiring art an easy and enjoyable experience in a relaxed and i​nfo​rmal environment. International Shipping Service available. Come visit – ​They​would love to meet you. T: + 353 53 94 80486 W: E: 180

Crafted In Ireland


Tourism Ireland Marketbook_Sept15_DublinSightseeingFreedom copy.pdf 1 11/08/2016 14:51:05

Enjoy the best of Dublin with your Freedom of the City ticket



Your 3 Day Freedom of Dublin City Pass includes:


Public Bus travel anywhere in Dublin for 3 Days! Green Hop–On Hop–Off Sightseeing Tour Airlink Express to and from Dublin Airport






€33 Kids €16 Adults

Freedom Ticket available at: Dublin Airport - Travel Information Desk in the Arrivals Hall - Kiosk at Airlink boarding area T1 & T2 City Centre Dublin Bus Head Office, 59 Upper O’Connell St. Tel: +353 1 703 3028 Online: Greenbusdublin

Boutique Coffee Shop | Historic Gardens | Adventure Centre Group Accommodation in Loughcrew House | | +353 49 854 1356

Dublin Sightseeing

Out & About | NEWS

Birds Eye View Have you ever wondered how photos are created with a bird´s eye view? Cork based photographer Ray Fogarty is taking photography to new heights using drone footage to capture the most spectacular images imaginable. Ray’s company AirCam offer a captivating new perspective on all sorts of events including weddings by capturing a couples’ special day from angles previously out of reach. Ray explains: “In addition to traditional wedding photos and videos, having a drone present will capture the day in a more spectacular fashion - making the record of the day so much more tantalizing. We can give a brilliant new angle on the amazing locale which can be cherished forever.” The company work with quality wedding videographers and photographers providing shots of the church and venue from the air, and also creative shots of the couple and the wedding party at the church and venue.

“There’s no limit to your imagination in producing some breath-taking shots” explains Ray, for example - imagine the newlyweds on the Cliffs of Moher. A drone can fly out from the couple to reveal the awesome setting - adding a cinematic element that will amaze family, friends and descendants. “With the capabilities of drones, a couples’ investment in the venue and destination can be greatly realized with awe inspiring shots of the area on their special day.” Even better, you might like to incorporate some of the photography into the day itself. “You can see the shots immediately if you like” explains Ray. “As soon as the drone lands, we can show the couple the raw video or photos captured.” You might even like to beam it up on a big screen! Old fashioned video footage move-over; this is the future and it’s one hell of a way to capture your special day!


Out & About | NEWS Tourism Ireland has launched a €9 million promotional campaign to boost late-season travel to Ireland from around the world. The September to December period usually yields as much as 30% of Ireland’s annual overseas tourism business. The campaign will highlight the many festivals and events taking place right around the island this autumn and winter – from the Dublin Theatre Festival to the Bram Stoker Festival and Culture Night, Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival, Galway International Oyster Festival, Belfast International Arts Festival, Sligo Live, Cork Jazz Festival, Wexford Festival Opera and New Year Festival (NYF) Dublin.

Late season travel & festivals

51st & Green Dublin Airport has opened a new passenger lounge, 51st & Green, after US Preclearance in Terminal 2. The lounge is open to business class passengers, and those holding airline club cards, on transatlantic flights with Aer Lingus, Delta, United and American Airlines. Inspired by Newgrange, the 750-square-metre space is entered via a 32-metre corridor featuring terrazzo tiles spaced with bronze strips. A bright, open space seats up to 180 people, with dramatic views of the airfield. Food and drink facilities, a concierge service, luxury shower rooms and an entertainment area with sports channels are all available to guests. Dublin Airport now ranks fifth among EU airports for route frequency to North America. It is the only airport outside of North America to offer a lounge facility to passengers that have completed Preclearance checks. 184

Out & About | NEWS

Ireland in Pictures

A fabulous new website, provides a picture postcard insight into Ireland with a stunning collection of photographs by Spirit of Ireland magazine’s favourite photographer, Stefan Schnebelt. The “Ireland in Pictures” website supplies premium photographic prints and beautifully hand-crafted canvas prints – the perfect gift or a beautiful way to decorate your home, office or store. If you love the images in Spirit of Ireland magazine and you want to have some of them for yourself, check out the website where you can purchase your very own little piece of Ireland. 185









Out & About | NEWS

or over 20 years, nothing has carried the energy, the sensuality and the spectacle of Riverdance. The worldwide phenomenon began its journey as the interval act in the Eurovision Song Contest. This electrifying and innovative seven-minute dance piece was then developed into a full length stage show by Producer Moya Doherty, Composer Bill Whelan and Director John McColgan. Riverdance’s innovative fusion of dance, music and song draws on Irish traditions and combines the talents of the remarkable Riverdance Irish Dance Troupe and Riverdance Band with international artists from Russia, Spain and the USA. The show broke all box-office records during its world premières in Dublin, London and New York and has continued to set new records in packed theatres and arenas throughout the world. Riverdance has played 11,000 performances and has been experienced live by over 25 million people in 47 countries across 6 continents.


Kylemore Abbey’s New Online Shop Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden are delighted to announce the launch of their new online shop www. This beautiful new site allows you to purchase all your favourite Kylemore Abbey products from the comfort of your home. Discover the range of artisan foods and crafts handmade by the Benedictine Nuns of Kylemore Abbey. Choose from Kylemore Produce including well-loved jams, chutneys, cookies and award-winning baking mixes. Chocolates are handmade by the Benedictine nuns in Kylemore’s own Chocolate House. Next door to the Chocolate House is the Soap

Room where the sisters make high-quality beauty products such as lavender skin balm, natural soaps and delicately scented candles. Just a short stroll down the avenue is Kylemore Pottery Studio where the distinctive fuchsia pottery range has been made since 1973. In the run up to Christmas, an ideal present for somebody back home is the Kylemore Abbey Hamper, beautifully presented and delivered straight to your door. Great worldwide shipping rates will make your go-to site for cherished gifts for your dearest family and friends.


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


From horses to horticulture, the Irish National Stud & Gardens offers a unique experience that may be enjoyed as part of a guided tour or at your own leisure. • Guided tours of the stud & gardens • World Famous Japanese Gardens • St. Fiachra’s Garden • Horse Museum • Newborn Foals • Restaurant

• Children’s Playground • Free Coach/Car Park • Meet our Living Legends; Beef Or Salmon, Kicking King, Hardy Eustace, Hurricane Fly, Moscow Flyer & Rite Of Passage

Irish National Stud & Gardens, Tully, Kildare, Co. Kildare

Book your tickets online at T: +353 (0) 45 521617 E:

Open 7 Days: 9.00am-6.00pm (last admission 5.00pm) from 1st February to 6th November. Located 30 miles south of Dublin in Kildare, off the M7, Exit 13 onto the R415.

Out & About | NEWS


for Tea The Conrad Hotel in Dublin 2 is toasting its stylish new bar, Lemuel’s, named after the hero in Gulliver’s Travels. It will serve an afternoon tea in the theme of the classic book, as well as an array of high-quality, locally sourced nibbles and cocktails. Its central location and close proximity to the National Concert Hall ensures plenty of buzz in the new lounge.

The Irish National Stud & Gardens prides itself on being enjoyed and appreciated by visitors from all over the world. When it comes to symbolising all that is great about Co. Kildare, nothing is better than the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry. The stud is a unique attraction of stunning natural beauty and is home to some of the most magnificent horses and sumptuous gardens in the world. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful Japanese Gardens which tells the story of ‘Life of Man’ from the cradle to the grave. The Japanese Gardens were designed and built by Tassa Eida from 1906-1910. St. Fiachra’s Garden pays tribute to the Irish landscape in its rawest state, seeking to capture that which inspired those involved in Ireland’s monastic movement in the 6th and 7th centuries. The stud is also home to the ‘Living Legends’, our retired racehorses who have excelled themselves on the racecourse. Visitors can admire Beef or Salmon, Hardy Eustace, Kicking King, Moscow Flyer, Rite of Passage, and our newest addition Hurricane Fly.

Irish National Stud & Gardens

From horses to horticulture the Irish National Stud & Gardens offers a unique experience that can be enjoyed at your leisure or as part of a guided tour. A newly refurbished restaurant offers delicious homemade baked goods and wholesome lunches to enjoy so you can really make a day of it. The Irish National Stud & Gardens is open 7 days (1st February to November 6th) from 9am – 6pm, last admission at 5pm. Tickets can be purchased on the day or to avail of discounts can be booked online at


Dreaming of an Irish wedding set against the backdrop of rolling parkland and rugged Wicklow mountains in a venue that offers intimacy, personality and style? Then Ballybeg House is the perfect place for you!

Nestled in the heart of the Garden County in Ireland’s Ancient East lies Ballybeg House along with its colonial lodge, Victorian marquee, medieval style ceremony room and majestic gardens. We specialize in providing bespoke wedding experiences over a three-day period in a venue steeped in history, romance and natural splendor. For further information about our wedding packages and availability please email or call Paddy on +353 (0)402 38841

Out & About | NEWS

Kerry makes Friends Hollywood and Friends star Courteney Cox recently visited County Kerry, taking part in a Bear Grylls’ survival skills reality TV show called Running Wild. With Courteney tweeting the news of her visit to her 979,000 followers, it’s great news for tourism and comes hot on the heels of the beautiful Kerry landscape being showcased to millions of Top Gear fans by Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc.


See a Stack,

CLIMB IT! “Falling wasn’t an option,” says Iain Miller, referring to his momentous achievement in climbing Mayo’s most iconic sea stack. In Irish, Dún Briste means ‘broken fort’. Soaring 50m out of the ocean near Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, this is a sea stack so storied and dramatic it has become a Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way. It’s also extremely dangerous. Last week, Irishman Iain Miller succeeded in the ultimate challenge. Until now the stack has been climbed only once, when UK climbers Mick Fowler, Nikki Duggan and Steve Sustad successfully summited in 1990. Watching the climbers was an amazing, once-ina-lifetime experience for local lady Marie Tighe who said: “I’ve lived down here for years and I never thought anyone would be able to do it from the ground.” Dún Briste is said to have broken away from the mainland in 1393, with locals rescued from the stack with the help of ships’ ropes. Prior to that, St. Patrick is believed to have founded a church on the headland - once a popular pilgrimage site.

Food for


Fr. Patrick Peyton was born on 9th January 1909 in Attymass Parish Co. Mayo.

Patrick’s wish from boyhood was to be ordained a priest but his family in Ireland were unable to meet the cost of his education. After immigrating to the USA however Patrick returned to full-time education and studied for the priesthood. In his final year in the seminary he was diagnosed as having tuberculosis - at that time an incurable disease. Fr Patrick became very weak and was given little hope by the medical team, however, his faith never wavered and through prayer his health was restored – to the amazement of the medical profession. Soon after, in1941 Patrick Peyton was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and a remarkable life and mission dedicated to Our Lady unfolded. He became a household name for years

in Catholic homes around the globe. He was a great pioneer in evangelisation through media. He enlisted some of the best talent of TV and film of the time to help with his mission to keep families united and strong through prayer. His great Family Rosary Crusades attracted literally millions in many cities all over the world. In 1997 a centre was opened in Attymass in memory of Fr Patrick Peyton CSC. The aim of the centre is to continue Fr Peyton’s mission in the promotion of prayer, and family unity. The Centre is a popular tourist attraction, come and experience the inspiring multimedia presentation on the life of Fr. Peyton. Enjoy a place of beauty and peace at the foot of the Ox Mountains. There are guided tours of the centre, heritage rooms and contemplation gardens. Come and browse in our book, craft and souvenir shop.

Out & About | NEWS

Ireland 2017 Calendar

New for 2017 is an exciting collaboration between Spirit of Ireland photographer Stefan Schnebelt and NACTA, with a very special calendar, exclusive to NACTA stores in the USA. Stores can order calendars by emailing info@ and for end users, this beautiful Irish keepsake will be available for purchase at your local NACTA store. Stefan is also author and photographer of a glorious coffee table book full of stunning images of Ireland, all of which are available to purchase via his website, www. 193

Out & About | NEWS

Make a Match If you’re looking for an Irish mate, this may be for you – Europe’s largest Matchmaking Festival draws throngs of people to Lisdoonvarna each year, and if you cannot find that special person at one of the many events, there are matchmakers on hand to assist. It’s an extraordinary event running all through September and into October each year. Dancing and music start most days at noon and the party continues non-stop into the wee hours with age being no barrier. There are hopefuls here from 18 to 80 and if you have difficulty finding somebody special, fear not. There are plenty of professional matchmakers on hand to help you, the best known of whom is Willie Daly, who deals in horses when he’s not dealing in love.

A Titanic Achievement Titanic Belfast has been named Europe’s leading visitor attraction at the World Travel Awards. This is the first time a visitor centre in Northern Ireland has won the award, known as the tourism ‘Oscars’. It was up against some of the most famous tourism destinations in Europe beating the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome, and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Titanic Belfast commemorates the ill-fated liner which was built in Belfast over 100 years ago and sank on its maiden transatlantic voyage in 1912. The centre, which was opened four years ago on the slipways in Belfast’s Docks where Titanic was constructed, just recently welcomed its three millionth visitor. 194

Start your life together with Happy Ever Laughter! Due to phenomenal demand you can have Ireland’s Award winning comedian Dave Young perform at your wedding. His outrageously funny after dinner show is filled with hilarious jokes, audience participation, song, surprises and will have both sides of the family laughing together and make your wedding the one everyone’s talking about! So, no after-dinner lull, just a room full of one big family, laughing. If you’re looking for something different and special and want to turn your typical wedding into a great party and break the ice with laughter? Then this is the show for you! Tell us more? How do you make your shows personal to the bride and groom? Well it’s like baking a cake, now anyone can bake a cake, but to make it good, really good you need the right ingredients, so here’s my recipe for a great time, you take a tablespoon of fun, mix it with great jokes, add a little music, sprinkle it with

“Dave was the highlight of our big day; he even got my future mother in law to laugh!”

audience participation, stir in 20 years experience and add a little love, pour in some story’s about the loving couple put it in the oven, let it set and what have you got? A memory for life of the funniest wedding you were ever at, and its “fat free”! When do you perform at the wedding? Well usually I’m kept as a big surprise, and generally straight after desert is the perfect time for my show to start, you see you don’t want guests disappearing after the meal to their rooms, or resident bar. Sometimes the reception room can end up looking very shabby and nobody wants to dance straight after a big meal anyway. So as the guests are washing down those last few desert calories with their teas and coffee “Boom” my show starts and within minutes I have them burning off those calories with laughter!

es. But most of all its all about breaking the ice between families and guests and reducing everyone to tears...of laughter of course! Hey enough of these questions, I’ve a question for your readers, “Are you looking to make your wedding the best wedding anyone has ever been too? Well congratulations you just found the answer! But don’t just take our word for it check out the testimonials at www. Wait till you see the show and more importantly your guest’s reaction! Eyeliner will be running, high heels will be kicked off, tables will be slapped and your whole room will be filled with laughter, and that’s only the beginning! Tell us your favourite joke.

What does your show consist of?

“Did you hear about the couple who booked The Wedding Comedian for their wedding?” Answer “Everyone died laughing!” & that’s no joke!

Just under an hour of hilarious jokes, audience participation, song and surpris-

Call Today 00353 87 2616317 or Visit

I can honestly say I have never laughed as much as i did at my daughter’s wedding - his comic ability, quick timing and the general air of devilment was electric! - Dave’s a real professional and a super guy to deal with. Morris Dillon, Father Of The Bride

Lynda & Sean Burke “Dave will make your ceremony memorable in all the best ways possible. I am convinced that no person could have done a better job at our wedding, and I have no doubt he will do the same for you.” Barry & Imelda Kershaw

Martina Hamilton CO LLEC TI O N

Made in Sligo, Ireland


STORE STORIES Irish Stores all over the USA and Canada open their doors and their hearts to customers every day. Here are some of their stories.

Celt-Iberia Traders Celt-Iberia Traders was opened in 2000 by Mike Burns and Richie Cordover as a gallery featuring the artists and craft-workers of Ireland and Spain; 2 countries that are the ethnic heritage of the two owners as well as frequent travel destinations. “We always enjoyed all of the great art and craftwork found in these two countries that was rarely, if ever, seen in the US. In looking for exit strategies from corporate careers in the NYC and NJ metro area, we decided to open a gallery in New Hope, PA/Lambertville, NJ, an area on the Delaware River, north of Philadelphia, with a national reputation as a center for theatre, literature, the arts and antiques. These synergies pointed to a perfect spot to attempt this concept.” Mike and Richie started by using the Kilkenney Design Center in Kilkenny and similar galleries in Spain, as inspiration. “We do our own direct sourcing and importing for most of our featured items which, in many cases, we are the only US feature gallery for some of these renowned Irish and Spanish artists or artist groups. We also feature popular Spanish Galician Celtic jewelry and ceramics, such as Sargadelos.”

In 2010 Mike and Richie moved into a large stone barn built in 1750 in the center of the business district, allowing them to expand their offerings to include many more popular and identifiably Irish and Celtic products in china, crystal, sports apparel, jewelry, gifts and fragrances. “Moving from strictly craftwork to include more mainstream Irish and Celtic products has broadened our appeal to the casual shopper. We are particularly proud of our extensive woolen and weaving collections, as well as our designer jewelry.” “Always on the lookout for new and emerging artisans, and not shy to showcase someone young and exciting, it is a great pleasure to see artists we were among the first to feature, breakout into the mainstream.” The shop is a labor of love, and customers feel this love as they enjoy the rustic and colorful ambiance of the colonial barn which fits into the Celtic atmosphere. “Our customer base, not just Delaware Valley locals and tourists, has expanded nationwide as a result of our active website, blogs, and frequent Facebook postings.”

Celt-Iberia Traders, Inc. 52 South Main Street New Hope, PA 18938 Toll-Free: (877) 862-4922


Crafted with Care, Treasured for a lifetime CoroďŹ n, Co. Galway

Athena Knitwear

Traditional Irish Aran Handknitwear

Family Owned Company Specialiasing in Traditional and Designer Styles/Patterns

International Delivery inc. US and Japan Customer Requirements Accommodated

Athena Knitwear Ballymakeera, Co. Cork, IRELAND

| TEL: +353 26 45403 |


Celtic Ranch Whiskey Snug Nestled right into Main Street in Weston Missouri, the Celtic Ranch has a Whiskey Snug which carries a deep catalogue of spirits from all over the world. Specializing in Irish whiskey and Scotch, the Celtic Ranch Whiskey Snug also has bourbons and ryes both international and local, as well as Japanese whiskies. With the most comprehensive collection in

the Midwest visitors can try these unique whiskeys by the individual shot, or as a curated flight, and take their favorite bottles home. And then step into the Celtic Ranch and shop Irish clothing, jewlery and gifts with an equestrian flair. Shopping and sipping, a unique concept!

Celtic Ranch 404 Main Weston, MO 64098 816 640 2881


100% mouth blown and hand cut crystal Specialising in coloured hand cut crystal

Celtic Valley Ceramics From the Land of Legends comes a range of beautiful handcrafted ceramics guaranteed to add a romantic Irish touch to your home

Inspired by the Land of Legend

Creating legends for your home

Inspiration comes easy for Louise and Andrew Shaw, the

Their Celtic Collection includes intricately carved art tiles which can be used as feature tiles in kitchens and bathrooms or mounted as decorative plaques, handcrafted bowls and plates, clocks, trinket boxes and their ever-popular house numbers.

creative duo behind the handcrafted works of ceramic art produced by Celtic Valley Ceramics. In fact, it surrounds them. From the window of their workshop, a converted old stone barn in the heart of Ireland, Louise and Andrew can see the dramatic Slieve (Mount) Gullion, the Mourne Mountains and the rolling green fields of County Louth, an area known as the Land of Legends.

Young at heart At one with nature “This combination of fields, mountains and the nearby coast is a wonderful inspiration for the colors and textures we use in our ceramics,” said Louise. “We love to take our creations into the countryside to photograph them to see if they are in harmony with the natural surroundings.”

The influence of Celtic Art is also much in evidence in their creations. In particular, the religious symbols and imagery found in the elaborately carved crosses at the historic ruins of Monasterboice and lavishly illustrated Book of Kells.

“We are a relatively young company but have been very encouraged by the support of our customers, particularly those who buy online from the US who really share our enthusiasm for the traditions, folklore and history of Ireland,” said Andrew. “We are constantly developing our range with the input of our customers and friends. We love to get feedback and ideas. We are also hoping to extend our presence in the US through shops as well as online.” More of the creations by Celtic Valley Ceramics can be seen at website at: or contact them on:


Irish Crystal Company Welcome to the Irish Crystal Company, a family owned business providing quality gifts to clients in the Kansas City area since 1991. Customer service is very important, so we go that extra mile to serve you. 

companies like Waterford, Lladro, Belleek China, and Swarovski. We also represent a mix of companies with high quality standards, like Heritage Crystal, Solvar and Fado Jewelry, Beatriz Ball, and Christopher Radko.

In April 1991, we began our small business with the help of some special people: A Sister of St Joseph in St. Louis, Missouri, Sr May Ann, two entrepreneurs from St. Louis, Don and Nancy Daniel, who began starting up US Irish Crystal Company locations, and Michelle, a college student with an International Business degree.

The Irish Crystal Company artistically engraves on crystal and silver pieces for anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms, corporate functions, golf tournaments, or maybe just a job well done. Just supply us with your engraving information, such as a logo or a picture to be etched. The Irish Crystal Company takes pride in our customer service. We offer our free signature gift wrap on all purchases as well as world wide shipping through FedEx to protect your packages.

Our small business is still operated by the college student, Michelle, store manager and woman entrepreneur in Kansas. Our initial customers always asked us why we started this family business. Simply put, as consumers we were dismayed at the limited customer service and lack of knowledge of crystal in major department stores. We knew there had to be a better way. Today we have expanded beyond just crystal. We represent well known names in the industry

At the Irish Crystal Company, we go that extra mile to offer friendly customer service. If you are looking for a specific item in a collection or have a question about crystal, please give us a call at 1-800-7834438 or email to The Irish Crystal Company is very proud to be offering memorable gifts for so many generations. A gift for today; a family heirloom tomorrow. 201

Luxury textiles and accessories from Mucros Weavers


Celtic Shop of Dunedin After living in the UK for 13 years, Lynn Thorn, the owner of the Celtic Shop of Dunedin, made a quick visit to Dunedin, Florida and fell in love with the town. Lynn is celebrating her 7th anniversary this year and feels like she has found her paradise!  Dunedin has a strong Scottish history (the name Dunedin means ‘Old Edinburgh’) and is twinned with Stirling, Scotland.  The city, high school & middle schools have large pipe & drum bands; every year the Highland Games & the Celtic Festival are held in town.  The Celtic Shop of Dunedin has high quality products from Scotland, Ireland, Wales & Cornwall including highland wear, crystal, jewelry, home décor, baby wear, bridal items, clothing & food. Dunedin has a great local & tourist trade and

has won numerous awards including The Walking Magazine’s ranking of “Best Walking Town in America”. Lynn loves to welcome everyone into her little bit of Celtic paradise. This September, Lynn sponsored Tartan Day at the Dunedin Blue Jays baseball game.  “The team wore jerseys made of their own tartan and featuring the Celtic Shop of Dunedin logo” said Lynn. “After the game, the jerseys were raffled off (after washing!) and proceeds from the auction and ticket sales went to various Celtic charities we have in Dunedin.  The game was televised in Toronto as the Jays are the farm team of the Toronto Blue Jays.  And the crowning jewel was I got to throw out the first pitch!”

Celtic Shop of Dunedin 354 Main Street Dunedin, FL Tel: 727-733-2200 203


Price: $499.00

(Including delivery)

Actual size

Phone +353-1-8621314 For more information or to order online visit 7 Signatories Magazine Ad 184wx130h_V2.indd 1

10/02/2016 11:23

Mully’s Touch of Ireland

Welcome to Mully’s Touch of Ireland! As we are often asked, why is there an Irish store in the middle of the desert? Well, not only will I tell you why, I will tell you the whole story complete with Who, What, Where AND Why.

Who is Mully: The store is named after my Father, Joseph A. Mulheron. His nickname was Mully. The funny thing is, I never knew that was his nickname. I guess it was used at work, but not at home. I found out about his nickname when my Mom named her new dog Mully after my Dad passed away in 2003. For some reason, the name stuck in my head and became the name I wanted to use for the shop. The “Touch of Ireland” part came from my Mom as we were driving down to show her the retail space we just rented. So I guess “the Who” is really my Dad, Mom and Mully the Dog! What is Mully’s: This is the easy one! A place for those in Arizona and all over the world to find Irish and Celtic goods. If you are able to visit us in store, it is also a place to buy imported Irish foods and Irish meats (frozen and packaged) you would enjoy in Ireland, like Irish breakfast items, scone and soda bread mix, and a variety

of drinks and snacks. Why Mully’s: No idea! Many people come into our shop asking if it was always a dream to open a shop like Mully’s. Many are surprised to hear that it was not. I certainly love Ireland and all things Irish and Celtic, but opening a retail shop was not on my list of things I wanted to do. Then…one day, driving down 5 th Avenue in Scottsdale on my way to a hair appointment, I saw the empty retail space right by the Bob Park’s horse fountain. I thought to myself, “this would be a great location for an Irish shop”, 6 weeks later we were open for business. And no, I had zero retail business experience (other than a children’s clothing store in high school for 6 months). We love being a destination for the almost 1 million of Celtic descent in Arizona. Whether looking for a Celtic wedding gift, or craving a bag of Taytos, our customers both online and in store make all our hard work worth it every day. If you are ever in downtown Scottsdale, please come visit! Frank and Nancy Morrall

Mully’s Touch of Ireland 7054 E 5th Avenue, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 Tel: 480-941-4198


Sheehan’s Irish Imports Sheehan’s Irish Imports 410 East Gregory Boulevard Kansas City, MO 64131 816-561-4480 206

Established in 1985 by Peggy Sheehan and her daughters, Molly & Katy, Sheehan’s Irish Imports has a new home. After 30 years in business in the Plaza/Westport area of Kansas City, Missouri, Sheehan’s moved to the Waldo neighborhood in the Fall of 2015. Just 30 blocks southeast of the former location, the residents of this up & coming community have welcomed us with open arms. “Our store has been consolidated to feature our most popular items & highlights all of our favorite handcrafts from Ireland,” says co-owner, Katy Sheehan Morris.

Co-owner & sister, Molly Sheehan Corkill agrees “this was a good move & allows us to carry on the tradition that is Sheehan’s in our own style. We actually grew up in this neighborhood and as children we shopped in the small markets right next door to our current shop.” A lot of young families live & work in Waldo & Sheehan’s are glad to now call this great new location their home. “We would like to thank all of our patrons for following us into our 31st year of bringing Ireland’s finest gifts to the Midwest.”

Uniquely Crafted in Sterling Silver and Pure Irish Gold. House Of Lor Jewelry uniquely features a Rare piece of Irish mined Gold at the heart of every Design. The new Heritage Collection from House of Lor combines Irish Design and Irish Gold effortlessly.

Clockwise from top right House Of Lor Sterling Silver Celtic Pearl Pendant with Irish Rose Gold Trinity design detail l Sterling Silver Traditional Celtic Harp Pendant with Irish Rose Gold Celtic design detail l Sterling Silver Traditional Celtic Harp Earrings with Irish Rose Gold Celtic design detail l Sterling Silver Cufflinks with Irish Rose Gold Trinity Knot detail l Sterling Silver ‘Love Shamrock’ drop Earrings with Irish Rose Gold centre detail l Sterling Silver ‘Love Shamrock’ Pendant with Irish Rose Gold centre detail l Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring with centre green stone set in Irish Rose Gold l Sterling Silver Claddagh Pendant with centre green stone set in Irish Rose Gold l Sterling Silver Claddagh Earrings with centre green stone set in Irish Rose Gold l Sterling Silver Celtic Pearl Earrings with Irish Rose Gold Trinity design detail


Céad Mile Fáilte! What happens when you cross the love of Ireland with the love of gourmet coffee?  The Celtic Cup is born!  Located in the rolling green hills and valleys of Tullahoma, Tennessee, Denise and Chris Smith opened their doors to the public on Saint Patrick’s Day in 2009 and have been dancing a jig ever since. Tullahoma sits on the Highland Rim in Middle Tennessee and is so named for the Irish and Ulster Scots that settled in the area after their immigration to America.

After joining the North American Celtic Trade Association (NACTA) in 2012, Denise and Chris expanded their retail section to include exclusive fine imports from across Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  They quickly became the “go to” place for folks looking for unique gifts for loved ones. And with the help of NACTA and CIE Tours International, Denise and Chris have started their own group tours to the Scottish Highlands and the Emerald Isle to share their wanderlust dreams with other adventurers. 

They took a derelict 1928 Craftsman “foursquare” house and transformed it into a oneof-a-kind coffee house with the look and feel of an Irish Pub, complete with outstanding ales, lagers and cuisine from the old world. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, you can enjoy an authentic Irish Afternoon Tea, complete with a triple-tier of savories and sweets and a large Trellis Shamrock teapot filled with strong Irish tea.  They also have live music on Friday and Saturday evenings, featuring the best Celtic and folk music in Middle Tennessee.

The Celtic Cup’s motto is “Great Coffee—Great Company—Great Community!” They believe there’s something magical in a satisfying cup of great coffee.  They believe that hard work, honesty and integrity are the only way to build a small, family-owned great company.  They also believe that a great company with great coffee will attract a wide variety of customers who become great company (and friends) they keep within their four walls.  And finally they believe that by bringing people together for fellowship over coffee, it will eventually lead to a great community! 

Speaking of fellowship and a great community, The Celtic Cup is instrumental in the Highland Rim Scottish Society (HRSS) and its Annual PIPING ON THE GREEN Celtic Music & Crafts Festival. The festival is held “on the green” at The Celtic Cup on the Saturday closest to National Tartan Day, April 6th. This year, they worked tirelessly with the HRSS to bring the world-famous Tannahill Weavers all the way from Paisley, Scotland, to perform for festival-goers.   When you find yourself in Middle Tennessee, look half-way between Nashville and Chattanooga and you’ll find The Celtic Cup.  Stop in and say hello, and stay for tea, or a “pint” with music!  Until then…Sláinte!

The Celtic Cup Coffee House 106 North Anderson Street Tullahoma, TN 37388 Tel: 931-563-7733 209

Celtic Treasures 4240 Old Seward Hwy #2, Anchorage, AK 99503 Tel: 907-333-2358 Website: Contact: Lisa Caress-Beu

ARIZONA Mully’s Touch of Ireland 7054 E 5th Avenue Scottsdale, AZ 85251 Tel: 480-941-4198 Website: www. Contact: Nancy Morrall

Kathleen Casey Proctor & Maureen Casey Brubaker of Casey’s Irish Imports, Rocky River, OH pictured with former President of Ireland Mary Robinson. President Robinson was in Ohio to raise funds for the Mary Robinson Presidential Library in Ballina, County Mayo.

CALIFORNIA The Celtic Knot 28 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642 Tel: 209-223-5830 Contact: Ron Busch

COLORADO The Emporium 1620 Miner Street, Idaho Springs, CO 80452 Tel: 303-567-1151 Email:

Celtic Shoppe 354 East Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008 Tel: 408-379-7474

emporiumcolorado@ Contact: Mary Ann Dalpes


Kerreen O’Connor’s Irish Shop 2595 West Alamo Avenue, Littleton, CO 80120 Tel: 303-794-6388 Website: Contact: Heather Benedict Contact: Cathy Cavagnaro

Ciara’s Irish Shop 334 Second Street, Eureka, CA 95501 Tel: 707-443-0102 Email: Contact: CC O’Brien-Cree O’Ireland 575 Grand Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008 Tel: 760-720-1500 Email: Contact: Tony Cross

O’Reilly’s Irish Gifts 248 Main Street, Farmington, CT 06032 Tel: 860-677-6958 Website: Contact: Sergio & Luana Berardelli

House of Ireland 162 St. George Street St. Augustine, FL 32084 Tel: 904-824-5040 Website: www. Contact: Grace Reed


The Irish Shop 818 East New Haven Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901 Tel: 321-723-0122

Fenwick Float’ors 35034 Buoy Blvd, Selbyville, DE 19975 Tel: 302-436-5953 Website:



Website: Contact: Jaqueline De Poli Contact: Jason, Tina

& Hughie McBride



Irish Eyes 8A Olde Mistick Village, 27 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, CT 06355 Tel: 860-536-9960

Celtic Elegance / Name Heritage International Spanish Springs & Sumter Landing The Villages, FL 32159 Tel: 352-840-3212 Website: www. Contact: Marian Halpin

Irish Treasures 923 Azalea Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32963 Tel: 772-492-0523 Website:

Email: Contact: Donna Gorman Lucky Ewe Irish Goods 2371 Whitney Avenue Hamden, CT 06518 Tel: 203-507-2160 Website:

Celtic Shop of Dunedin 354 Main Street, Dunedin, FL 34698 Tel: 727-733-2200



Kathleen O’Neill-Regan

Contact: Lynn Thorn Contact: Betty Cochrane

GEORGIA Enchanted Shire 6905 Virlyn B Smith Road Fairburn, GA 30213 Tel: 585-329-5653 Website: www. Contact: Arleen Dougherty


Store Directory | NACTA

Saints & Shamrocks 309 Bull Street Savannah, GA 31401 Tel: 912-233-8858 Website:

Long time staff member Maureen Fitzgerald O’Brien (center) recently retired from Tipperary Celtic Jeweler & Irish Importer in Troy, New York. Maureen started working in the shop in the fall of 1995 with the idea of “helping out” for a Christmas season. 20 years later she will be sorely missed and not easily replaced. l-r: Tom McGrath, Nancy McGrath, Maureen Fitzgerald O’Brien, Marsha McGrath, Tom McGrath Sr. Contact: Hope Ebberwein IDAHO All Things Irish 315 E Sherman Avenue, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814 Tel: 208-667-0131 Website: Contact: Ilene Moss

ILLINOIS Heartland Gallery The Vault Arts Collective, 100 N. Main Street, Tuscola, IL 61953 Tel: 217-377-4502 Website: Contact: Jan Chandler Irish American Heritage Center Gift Shop 4626 N Knox Avenue Chicago IL 60630 Tel: 773-282-7035 Website: Contact: Irene Higgins-Hruby & Mary Rose Teahan The Irish Boutique 434 Coffin Road, Long Grove, IL 60074 Tel: 847-634-3540 Website: Contact: Patrick Barry

The Irish Boutique 6606 Northwest Highway, Crystal Lake Plaza, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 Tel: 815-459-1800 Website: Contact: Patrick Barry

The Irish Shop 100 N Oakpark Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301 Tel: 708-445-1149

Shamrock Imports 391 Bluff St, Dubuque, IA 52001 Tel: 563-583-5000 Website:

Website: Contact: Jim & Anne August

Contact: Michael & Judy Siegert


Enchanted Shire 46468 River Road Hammond, LA 70401 Tel: 585-329-5653 Website: www. Contact: Arlene Dougherty

Paddy’s On The Square 228 Robert Parker Coffin Road, Long Grove, IL 60047 Tel: 847-634-0339

St Pat’s Association & Irish Gift Shop 1001 South Broadway, Emmetsburg, IA 50536 Tel: 712-852-4326


Website: Contact: John Barry Contact: Billie Jo Hoffman

Ireland on the Square 3 Dock Square Kennebunkport, ME 04046 Tel: 207-967-0534

South Side Irish Imports 3446 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60655 Tel: 773-881-8585 Email: Contact: Linda & Ron Gorman



South Side Irish Imports 7725 W 159th Street, Tinley Park, IL 60477 Tel: 708-444-4747 Email: Contact: Linda & Ron Gorman

Failte Irish Import Shop 113 South Upper Street, Lexington, KY 40507 Tel: 859-381-1498 Website: Contact: Liza Hendley Molly’s Celtic Center 931 Baxter Avenue, Louisville, KY 40204 Tel: 502-459-9888

MAINE Contact: Jennifer Dumas MARYLAND Irish Traditions 141-143 Main Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 Tel: 410-990-4747 Website: Contact: Margaret McLemore


IOWA Contact: Sandy Nedrow

Irish Connoisseur 1232 Waukegan Rd, Glenview, IL 60025 Tel: 847-998-1988 Website: Contact: Megan Quinlisk Van Treeck


A Celtic Tradition 7672 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights, IA 50324 Tel: 515-278-8302 Website: Contact: Kris & Garry Knapp

MASSACHUSETTS Bridget’s - An Irish Tradition 88 West Main Street, Norton, MA 02766 Tel: 508-285-9700 Website: Contact: Bridget Daly

Website: Contact: Jennifer Dumas

Thistle and Clover 424 South Main Street, St. Charles, MO 63301 Tel: 636-946-2449 Website:


Website: Contact: Karen Heitzman & Jim Slack Contact: Edward Hansberry Contact: Ed & Linda Karmann

Irish Specialty Shoppe Inc 158 President Avenue, Fall River, MA 02720-2638 Tel: 508-678-4096 Website: Contact: Joseph Reilly

Sullivan’s Irish Alley Inc 104 East Main Street, Flushing, MI 48433 Tel: 810-487-2473 Website: Contact: Caron & Ed Sullivan

The Tinker’s Cart 54 High Street, Clinton, MA 01510 Tel: 978-365-4334 Website: Contact: Cheryl Hughes

The Twisted Shamrock 3074 12 Mile Road, Berkley, MI 48072 Tel: 248-544-4170 Website: Wexford House Irish Imports 9 Crescent St, West Boylston, MA 01583-1309 Tel: 508-835-6677 Website: Contact: Dorothy Trow MICHIGAN Always Irish 37560 W. 6 Mile Road, Livonia, MI 48152 Tel: 734-462-7200

Contact: Jim Monahan

The Isles 809 S. Center Street Reno, NV 89501 Tel: 775-247-2781 Website: Contact: Theresa Fegan NEW HAMPSHIRE Celtic Crossing 112 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801 Tel: 603-436-0200 Contact: Karin Scott

Brownes Irish Market Inc 3300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64111-2724 Tel: 816-561-0030 Website:

Ireland on the Square 6 Market Square Portsmouth, NH 03801 Tel: 603-319-1670


Contact: Kerry Browne Contact: Jennifer Dumas Contact: Judy & Dean Valovich The Celtic Path 214 E Main Street, Hubbardston, MI 48845 Tel: 989-981-6066

Kerry Cottage Ltd 2119 S. Big Bend Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63117 Tel: 314-647-0166


Website: Contact: Patricia Baese

Celtic Seasons 301 N Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417 Tel: 269-668-8069 Email: Contact: Eileen Boyle Chlebana




The Celtic Ranch 404 Main Street, Weston, MO 64098 Tel: 816-640-2881 Website: Contact: Terry Kast


Emerald Gifts 137 Parsippany Rd, Parsippany, NJ 07054 Tel: 973-884-3241

County Emmet Celtic Shop & Molly’s Celtic Kitchen 221 E. Lake St, Petoskey, MI 49770 Tel: 231-753-2027

Sheehan’s Irish Imports 410 E. Gregory Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64131 Tel: 816-561-4480 Website: Contact: Katy Sheehan Morris

& Molly Sheehan Corkill

NEW JERSEY Ballyhugh Irish Imports 235 White Horse Pike, Audubon, NJ 08106 Tel: 856-546-0946 Email: Contact: Fran Siefert Bridget’s Irish Cottage Inc 15 E Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090 Tel: 908-789-0909 Website: Contact: Bridget Lawn The Cross & Shamrock 1669 Route 33, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690 Tel: 609-586-9696

Faith & Begorra 40 Broadway, Denville, NJ 07834 Tel: 973-625-0070 Website: Contact: Susan Banks Irish Centre 1120 Third Ave, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 Tel: 732-449-6650 Website: Contact: Moya Rush Kellys A Touch of Ireland 5 South Broadway, Pitman, NJ 08071 Tel: 856-589-4988 Email: info@ Contact: Judy Miller


Ireland on the Square 10 Market Square Newburyport, MA 01950 Tel: 978-463-6288

O’Ireland 30 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701 Tel: 732-747-4433 Email: Contact: Paul Savoi O’Ireland 130 North Broadway, South Amboy, NJ 08879 Tel: 732-525-0515 Website: Contact: Rosanne Savoi Out of Ireland Store #22, 3 New York Road, Historic Smithville, NJ 08205 Tel: 609-748-6707 Website: Contact: Kathleen O’Gara

Pipeline Celtic Themes 128 Wanaque Avenue, Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442 Tel: 973-839-4761


Website: Contact: Ann, Len & Tim Bauersachs

Contact: Gerald Rooney


Store Directory | NACTA

Owners of Irish/Celtic shops in North America on a recent tour of Ireland with CIE Tours International. Come with us next time! Call us at 866-622-2244

The Pipers Cove 212 Kearny Ave, Kearny, NJ 07032 Tel: 201-998-3695 Website: Contact: John & Joan Nisbet

Celtic Gifts & Treasures 72-17 Grand Avenue Maspeth, NY 11378 Email: Tel: 718-424-8686 Contact: Liz Kenny

Celtic Aer Gift Shop 1451 Strawberry Rd., Mohegan Lake, NY 10591 Tel: 914-526-3361 Website: Contact: Ashley Rooney


Lennon’s Irish Shop 164 Jay Street, Schenectady, NY 12305 Tel: 518-377-0064



guaranteedirish145@ Contact: Donal Gallagher

Contact: Mary Ann

& Dale May


Irish Crossroads Ltd 18 Main Street, Sayville, NY 11782 Tel: 631-569-5464

Little Shop of Shamrocks 173 Islip Avenue, Islip, NY 11751 Tel: 631-224-4311



Contact: Paul O’Donnell Contact: Kathleen Quinn Contact: Linda Low

NEW YORK Cashel House 224 Tompkins St, Syracuse, NY 13204 Tel: 315-472-4438 Email: Contact: Peter Heverin

Guaranteed Irish 2220 Route 145, East Durham, NY 12423 Tel: 518-634-2392

Celtic Treasures 456 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 Tel: 518-583-9452

The Danu Gallery 39 E. Central Avenue, Pearl River, NY 10965 Tel: 845-735-4477 Website: Contact: Isabel & Audrey Haley

Irish Import Shop 2590 Ridge Road West, Rochester, NY 14626 Tel: 585-225-1050 Website: Contact: Patricia Lloyd

McNerney’s Irish Imports Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive, Amherst, NY 14226 Tel: 716-870-0033 Website: www. Contact: Michael McNerney

Tipperary Irish Importer - Celtic Jeweler 3956 NY 2 Brunswick Road, Troy, NY 12180 Tel: 518-279-8272 Website: Contact: Tom McGrath

Sinead’s Cottage Tickled Pink Gift Shops Lumina Station 1904 Eastwood Rd #106-107, Wilmington, NC 28403 Tel: 910-763-7056 Website: Contact: Cathy Lynch



A Lit’le Irish Too 9 Chambersburg Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325 Tel: 717-334-6609

Casey’s Irish Imports Inc 19626 Center Ridge Rd, Rocky River, OH 44116 Tel: 440-333-8383

Website: Contact: Stephen Walker NORTH CAROLINA The Carolina Celt 9650 Strickland Road Suite 167 Durham, NC 27615 Tel: 919-286-9206 Website: Contact: Bruce Wright Enchanted Shire 16445 Poplar Tent Road Huntersville, NC 28078 Tel: 585-329-5653 Website: www. Contact: Arleen Dougherty Sinead’s Cottage Blue Moon Gift Shops 203 Racine Dr Wilmington, NC 28403 Tel: 910-763-7056 Website: Contact: Cathy Lynch

Website: Contact: Tory Warren

Website: Contact: Kathleen Casey

Walker Metalsmith Celtic Jewelry 1 Main Street, Andover, NY 14806 Tel: 607-478-8567

Celtic Stag 319 SW Pine Street, Portland, OR 97204 Tel: 971-269-9055 Website: www. Contact: Chad O’Lynn & Doug Deane

Proctor & Maureen Casey Brubaker

Celt-Iberia Traders 52 South Main Street, New Hope, PA 18938 Tel: 215-862-4922 Website:

Ha’penny Bridge Imports of Ireland 75 South High Street, Dublin, OH 43017-2154 Tel: 614-889-9615 Website: www. Contact: Anne & Al Gleine Irish Crossroads & Gift Shop 38015 Euclid Avenue, Willoughby, OH 44094 Tel: 440-954-9032 Website: www. Contact: Michelle Morgan

Giggles Gifts 7400 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19136 Tel: 215-624-8311 Website: Contact: Rosemary

Veneziale Irish Design Center 303 South Craig St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 Tel: 412-682-6125 Website: Contact: Paul Carey Contact: Michael Burns

& Richard Cordover The Celtic Cross 729 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15228 Tel: 412-306-1890

Oxford Hall Celtic Shoppe 233 Bridge St, New Cumberland, PA 17070 Tel: 717-774-8789 Website:


Contact: Cindy &

Steve Washburn

Contact: Thomas Macik

Celtic Culture 137 East Main Street, Ligonier, PA 15658 Tel: 724-238-2420 Website: Shamrock & Rose Creations 25576 Mill Street Olmsted Falls, OH 44138 Tel: 440-714-9000

Enchanted Shire 2775 Lebanon Road Manheim, PA 17545 Tel: 585-329-5653 Website: www. Contact: Arleen Dougherty

Contact: Andrew Carr

St Brendan’s Crossing Arcade Shops at Fifth Avenue Place, 120 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 Tel: 412-471-0700 Website: www. Contact: Eileen Manning

The Celtic Rose Peddlers Village Courtyard Store 14, Lahaska, PA 18931 Tel: 215-794-5882

Contact: Shawn Jeffrey


Tipperary West Irish Imports 3026 Cherry St, Erie, PA 16508 Tel: 814-459-5797



Contact: Marilyn Mellon



Molly Malone’s Irish Gifts 295 Canada Street, Lake George, NY 12845 Tel: 518-668-3363 Website: www. Contact: Bill & Emily Manion Contact: Jeff Hardner

Bridie’s Irish Faire 715 NW 3rd St (Nye Beach), Newport, OR 97365 Tel: 541-574-9366 Website: Contact: Susan Spencer

Donegal Square 534 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018 Tel: 610-866-3244 Website: Contact: Neville Gardner & Marie Barry

Tullycross Inc 110 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147 Tel: 215-925-1995 Website: Contact: Meg Turner


Store Directory | NACTA USA Kilts 3389 Schuylkill Road (Rt. 724), Spring City, PA 19475 Tel: 610-948-4110 Website: Contact: Rocky Roeger

CANADA A Bit of Home 2-1248 Dundas Street East Mississauga, ON L4Y 2C1 Canada Tel: 905-804-1731 Website: Contact: Henry & Geraldine Porsch

TENNESSEE The Celtic Cup Coffee House 106 North Anderson Street, Tullahoma, TN 37388 Tel: 931-563-7733

Celtic Creations 208-123 Carrie Cates Ct, North Vancouver, BC V7M 3K7 Tel: 604-903-8704

Contact: Denise &



Huland Smith Contact: Helen Richie

Celtic Heritage 634 Parkway, The Village #26, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 Tel: 865-436-2588 Website: Contact: Lisa Henline

TEXAS Things Celtic 1806 West 35th St, Austin, TX 78703 Tel: 512-472-2358 Website: Contact: Lanora Davidson

Eileen Manning, owner of St. Brendan’s Crossing in Pittsburgh, PA pictured with her customers Sue & John Hoffmann, who won a trip to Ireland in her shop! The Home to Ireland giveaway is sponsored annually by the North American Celtic Trade Association and CIE Tours. Go to your local Irish /Celtic shop to enter Pixie Treasures Celtic Shoppe 829 Lynnhaven Pkwy, #106, Virginia Beach, VA 23452 Tel: 757-961-7494 Website:

VIRGINIA Contact: Jeanne & Bob Rider

Irish Eyes of Virginia 725 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 Tel: 540-373-0703

Scotland House Ltd 430 Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185 Tel: 757-229-7800


Legends of the Celts 10556 Main Street, Hayward, WI 54843 Tel: 715-634-0901 Website: Contact: Steve & Barb Hand

Contact: Contact: Bernadette & Mike Esler

Sam & Michelle Wallace

Piper Dan’s Keltic Shoppe 109E Main Street Old Town Purcellville, VA 20132 Tel: 540-751-0777 Contact: Mary Brady Shea Knight

Galway Bay Trading Company 880 Point Brown Ave NE, Ocean Shores, WA 98569 Tel: 360-289-2300

O’Meara’s Irish House LLC 3970 State Highway 42, Fish Creek, WI 54212 Tel: 920-868-3528 Website:

WASHINGTON Contact: Megan O’Meara

Website: Contact: William Gibbons Wandering Angus 914 Water Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368 Tel: 360-385-9549 Website: Contact: Tracy Williamson 216


Robin’s European Cottage N70 W6340 Bridge Road Cedarburg, WI 53012 Tel: 262-377-3444 Contact: Robin Parsons

Gold & Shamrocks 3398 Old Kingston Road Toronto, ONT M1C 3J2 Tel: 416-884-5991 Website: Contact: Monika Donnelly The Scottish & Irish Store East 1713 St. Laurent Blvd (at Innes), Ottawa, ON K1G 3V4 Tel: 613-739-3393 Website: Contact: Michael Cox

The Scottish & Irish Store West 2194 Robertson Road, Ottawa, ON K2H 9J5 Tel: 613.829.2251 Website: Contact: Michael Cox

The Scottish Shoppe & A Little Bit of Ireland 1206 - 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta T2T 0B8 Tel: 403-264-6383 Website: Contact: Jim Osborne

The Wee Tartan Shop 177 Queen Street, Port Perry, ON L9L 1B8 Tel: 905-985-6573 Website: Contact: Stewart Bennett

We’re closing briefly in order to bring you the greatest living whiskey experience.



Best Hotel In The World Virtuoso 2015

Voted Best Ireland Hotel Spa World Spa Awards 2016

Voted No. 1 Best Resort Hotel in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Travel + Leisure ‘World’s Best’ Awards 2016 -

ASHFORD CASTLE Cong, County Mayo, Ireland T: +353 94 954 6003 | E:

Profile for One Little Studio

Spirit of Ireland  

Issue 10

Spirit of Ireland  

Issue 10