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Travelireland Volume 2 Issue 20 December 2015

Hold on to your Hats its the NYE Festival Dublin!



heading south

for the Waterford Winterval Festival!

Colin Davidson Artist

Xmas Markets aplenty!

Cork North Pole Experience

CONTENTS 4 6 8 10 12 13 14 16 18 20 24 26 27 28 30 32 34 36 37 38 40 41 42 43 44 46 47 48 49 50 50

Welcome To Leinster

Ellen Media Communications Ltd Father Matthew Hall Second Floor, 131 Church St, Dublin 7. Tel: 01 561 2431 / 087 911 3732 Travel Ireland Magazine @traveliremag

Willkommen-Bienvenida-Bienvenue-Welcome! To our December issue.

Explore Leinster

Whether this is your first time visiting our shores, or you are returning once again to trace the steps of your distant ancestors, here at Travel Theatre Ireland we hope in some small way to be able to gently guide you as Explore Leinster you plan your stay here. There ’s so much to do and see all year round in Ireland but we’re feeling especially festive this month and have Féile Na Nollaig loads of Yuletide fun for you to enjoy. Visit the wonderful Winterval in Dublin Christmas Markets Waterford or head to Aillwee Caves and Cobh to pay a visit to Santa. The Importance of Being Earnest As always there’s plenty on the cultural front to enjoy, including the Leinster Pubs wonderful The Importance of Being Earnest at the Gate Theatre and Leinster Restaurants the Féile na Nollaig Christmas show in Joan Clancy Gallery. Whatever you end up doing, we at Travel Ireland wish you a hefty and heart-felt Shopping Céad míle fáilte. ORion Productions New Years Festival Dublin

Welcome to Munster Explore Munster

Enjoy your stay.

Waterford Winterval Santa’s Workshop at Aillwee Cave Glow – A Cork Xmas Celebration Munster Pubs Munster Restaurants Cork North Pole Outpost Welcome to Connaught


Explore Connaught Connaught Restaurants Connaught Pubs Welcome To Ulster Doagh Island Lapland Ulster Restaurants Ulster Pubs Explore Ulster Great Irish Writers Colin Davidson – Artist



Published by Ellen Media Communications Ltd Publisher John Carey Features Writer Mark O’Brien Design & Art Direction Outburst Design Credit Control Manager Nichola Thomas ( Advertising John Carey (, 01 561 2431, 087 911 3732) Aran Sheehan (, 085 711 0826) Contributors: Adam Patterson Photography, John McCurdy, Paula Moore, Patrick O’Neill, Stephen Walker, Ivan Donoghue, Joleen Cronin Richard Eibrand, Padraig O’Donnell, Michael Mc Laughlin. We wish to record our thanks to Paula Sneyd, Failte Ireland, The Office of Public Works and the National Monuments Service, Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. And to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and The National Trust-Giants Causeway (NI), for their help and guidance in the production of this edition. And to Paddy Donovan, Ed Reeve, Carr Cotter and Naessens, for the use of their images. Ellen Media Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Ellen Media Communications Limited does not accept responsibility for any advertising content. All unsolicited manuscripts will not be accepted or returned. No material may be used in whole or in part without the publishers prior consent. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all the events information or recommendations on this site, no responsibility will be accepted by Ellen Media Communications Ltd, its editorial team, designers, authors or agents acting on their behalf for alterations, errors or omissions which may occur.



Leinster - The East Coast Province Leinster is the most easterly of the four provinces of Ireland, and is the most populated with the city of Dublin at its heart. The province is made up of counties Dublin, Louth, Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Kilkenny and Wexford. These counties have a host of historic monuments, a picture perfect coastline and cities and villages thronged with things to do and see. County Dublin is the home to the capital city. Dublin is the administrative, cultural, and economic capital of the country. It is one of the most exciting places to visit with a thriving arts, musical and theatrical nightlife. All roads lead to Saint Stephen’s Green in the very centre of the city. You’ll find it at the top of Grafton Street, with Trinity College down at the other end. And just around the corner you can stroll around the cultural quarter of Temple Bar between Dame Street and the river that, famously, divides the North and the South of the city. If you want to escape to the country without

GPO, Dublin actually leaving the city, then you can head north to Howth Head, or south to the charming and culturally vibrant villages of Dalkey and Killiney. Half an hour on the DART train will take you from the centre of the city to what feels like the heart of the country. County Meath formerly known as the Royal County is the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland who were based around the Hill of Tara. Meath is also one of the most archaeologically important counties on the island with its Neolithic sites at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. These ancient religious sites (built before the Pyramids) have been excavated and restored in recent years making 4


Hill of Tara them some of the busiest visitors’ attractions in the country. The sites are all only less than an hour’s drive out of Dublin and are accessible through the Bru Na Boinne Visitors Centre. The county also features the site of the Battle of the Boyne which was one of the great battles fought on Irish soil. For horse racing lovers, Meath has the wonderful Fairyhouse Racecourse, and there is also summertime horse racing on Laytown Beach. County Wicklow has several world famous sites and attractions, from the Glendalough monastic settlement with its Abbey and Round Tower, to the fabulous Powerscourt House and Gardens. The Wicklow Hills rising majestically over the county and the seaside town of Bray are just some of its many attractions. Offaly is situated in the centre of Ireland. Nestling between the Shannon River to the West and the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the East, Offaly is one of the lowest lying counties in the country. Any visitor should travel along the Royal Canal where one can experience a peace and tranquillity little known in our busy world. Kildare is the home of the National Stud, Newbridge Silverware and Maynooth College. Couple all these with Mondello Park motor racing, Naas horse racing course and Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park and there is something for everyone. Westmeath is a county which has at its heart the town of Athlone which is exactly situated in the middle of Ireland. It is home to the RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Festival, the oldest pub in Ireland and some of the finest golfing, fishing and health spas on offer throughout the land. Louth is known as “the wee county” as it is the smallest county in Ireland but what it lacks in land mass it makes up for in places to see. It is the home of the Cooley Mountains, the Boyne

river which is famous for its salmon fishing and the beautiful Carlingford area. If it is a leisurely drive you seek Louth is the place to go. Carlow is where you will find three of Ireland’s key national walking routes – the South Leinster, the Barrow and the Wicklow Ways. Carlow is blessed with hundreds of miles of excellent and varied walking trails, and hosts a wonderful arts festival every June. Laois is where you can try your hand at a range of activities from paintballing in the Stradbally Woods to western-style riding at Fossey Mountain, bowls at the only indoor

Kilkenny Castle bowls stadium in the Republic or tie a fly at the unique Irish Fly-fishing and Game shooting Museum. Kilkenny City was voted Ireland’s Top Tourism Town for 2013 by Failte Ireland which is Ireland’s main tourism body. It was voted Cleanest Town in Ireland at end of 2013 by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), and has also been voted 9th friendliest city in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. The city was in addition voted Most Friendliest City in Europe. Couple all these awards with a huge countywide cultural heritage trail and it is a must see destination for any visitor. Longford is situated in the basin of the River Shannon and the upper catchment area of the River Erne. It is ideally located in the heart of the Lakelands region within easy reach of many stunning and historic tourist attractions. The county’s accessibility to many of Irelands main towns and cities make it a prime location as a holiday base. Finally, Wexford is famous for its glorious sandy coastline and together with County Waterford is known as ‘The Sunny South East’. You can also visit the oldest lighthouse in Europe which stands on the Hook Peninsula. So now you know, whether you are a family group, a couple, or a single traveller, there is something for everyone in Leinster!



Celtic Lodge Guesthouse

In the Heart of Dublin City Centre

Celtic Lodge is located on Talbot Street in Dublin City Centre. Recently refurbished throughout, the rooms are decorated in modern colours and fabrics with luxurious touches, to make your stay in Dublin as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The Celtic Lodge Guesthouse is located just 5 minutes walk from both Connolly Train Station and Busáras, the main bus station in Dublin. Popular Dublin attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, Book of Kells at Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and the Old Jameson Distillery are also close by. Celtic Lodge offers quality Dublin accommodation at great rates and is an ideal choice for your stay in Dublin.

81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 . Tel: 01 878 8810 Email:

Dublin’s Finest Traditional Irish Pub Traditional Irish Music Every evening from 9pm. Come on in for a pint and the craic! Come along and experience the authentic atmosphere found only at The Celt Bar, the traditional Irish pub in Dublin that’s as full of life as it always has been. Friendly faces, a classic bar menu, the finest selection of Irish whiskey’s, beers, ales and stouts, ciders and not to mention the goodness of real Guinness.

The Celt Bar 81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin 1

Explore Leinster

The James Joyce Museum In 1904, James Joyce stayed in the Martello Tower in Sandycove as a guest of Oliver St. John Gogarty. Although his stay was short, the Martello Tower became the setting for the opening of Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses. The Martello Tower is now the home of the James Joyce Museum, dedicated to the life and work of one of Ireland’s greatest writers. Open all year round with free admission, the James Joyce Museum has many first editions of Joyce’s work on display. Visitors can also view pictures inspired by Joyce and his work, photographs of the author, his family and his friends, and one of two plaster death masks made by the sculptor Paul Speck. The James Joyce Museum is a must visit for lovers of literature.


The Chester Beatty Library The only museum in Ireland to win ‘European Museum of the Year’ and described by the Lonely Planet as not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe, the Chester Beatty Library opens a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world. Egyptian papyrus texts, beautifully illuminated copies of the Qur’an, the Bible, European medieval and renaissance manuscripts are among the many highlights that you’ll find on display here. And be sure to avail of the excellent guided tours that the loquacious and extremely well-informed guides provide there, free of charge. They take place on Wednesdays at 1pm and on Sundays at 3pm and 4pm. Opening hours: 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, Sat 11am-5pm, Sun 1pm-5pm. Tel: 01 407 0750

Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) Kilmainham Gaol may seem like an unusual place to spend a morning or afternoon but despite its sometimes grim past it makes for a fascinating visit. Built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol served as a prison for 128 years, and tours detail some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation. The tour of the prison includes an audio-visual show. Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis and cannot be booked in advance. Tel: 01 453 5984

The Guinness Storehouse

Croke Park

This beautiful glacial valley in County Wicklow is renowned as the place where Cistercian monks settled in the sixth century, and the remains of the monastic priory including a round tower can still be seen today. Known locally as “the valley of the two lakes” , the locals also say it will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul. The early Christian monastic settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the “Monastic City”. Tel: 0404 45325/45352. 6


Formerly known as the Hop Store, the Guinness Storehouse is laid out over seven floors surrounded by a glass atrium that rises up through its centre. You make your way up on a self-guided tour, where you learn all about the beer’s history, the central part that the Guinness family played in the development of the city, and of the world famous advertising campaigns that did so much to help promote it. Tours are e16.50, which includes your pint of Guinness in The Gravity Bar on the 7th floor. Which might sound a bit steep for a self-guided tour, but it’s all beautifully laid out and the whole experience is richly rewarding. Tel: 01 408 4800.

Croke Park is the home of Ireland’s national games; Gaelic football and hurling. A tour of the stadium is a tour through Ireland’s rich history. The state of the art visitors experience offers a chance to visit team dressing rooms, go pitchside and take a seat in the VIP area. The museum tells the story of Gaelic games from ancient times to the present day and offers visitors the chance to try out their own football and hurling skills. If you’re feeling brave and have a head for heights, then why not take the incredible Skyline Tour? Visitors ascend a 44 metre walkway to take in panoramic views of the city from the top of the stadium and allows visitors to find out about key Dublin landmarks from five viewing platforms along the stadium.

236 Lower rathmines road, dubLin 6 teL: 01-4977057

GROGANS Where time stands still Host to a continuous changing art exhibition

15 South William Street Telephone 677 9320




New Year’s

Festival Dublin


ublin is set for the best New Year’s Eve celebration that the city has ever seen. The tival is back from Fes New Year’s y and 30 December to 1 Januar ter than bet and this year it’s bigger family and e fre of st ever, with a ho that nts eve and ies ivit friendly act ertain ent , are guaranteed to engage and excite. of the As always, the centrepiece wn do unt Co ree Th the festival is at the Concert on New Year’s Eve e som are re 3Arena. This year the is at wh g yin pla massive names musical sure to be an incredible , Ryan extravaganza. Little Hours



there, as Sheridan and Kila will be Slim and will the legendary Fatboy e Coronas, Th s, the hometown heroe w. sho the e who will headlin O’Reilly Coronas frontman Danny spect pro is cer tainly excited at the h suc in r Yea of ringing in the New

style. dline this “We are delighted to hea new the amazing event, and ring in . said he ” n, year in our hometow for r yea y bus a n 2015 has bee m play the band, having seen the e ver y Electric Picnic as well as som shows. ean op successful UK and Eur wn do unt Co ree Th Headlining The r of yea e ssiv ma a off s cap Concert d. ban live performances for the

a great Fatboy Slim always puts on ont efr for show. He has been at the two r ove of electronic music for er to large decades and is no strang having d, lan Ire in ws outdoor sho ic Picnic ctr Ele ed dlin hea y usl previo in 2013. ible Speaking about this incred ial erc mm Co ief Ch show, Three is is “Th : said rey Ca ine Ela r Office olved inv ng bei r now our second yea ted igh del ’re we in NYF Dublin and r ou to e com t cer con to see the r Ou 5. home turf at 3Arena in 201 the to ets customers can get tick rt first Three Countdown Conce e loads hav ’ll We . sale pre with 3Plus ences eri more special customer exp

ing to be announced in the com to y wa weeks. It is a fantastic g in 2016.” celebrate 2015 and to rin visitor s can t, cer con the As well as ivities over enjoy a range of other act rself to you at three fantastic days. Tre Food F NY the at d some artisan foo brings sity ino Lum as l rve Village or ma telling , life to buildings around the city light 3D e edg their story with cutting projections. Festival The NYF Spoken Word poetr y , brings the best of Irish wit to life ure rat slam, hip hop and lite sented pre is ich wh , while Flying South ht, is tnig For t Firs h wit n in associatio nce. ere diff an open mic night with a lth hea l nta me It is centred around

s all experience and welcome ms of for types of performers and edy, com y, etr po expression from ng and elli ryt sto , nce ma drama, perfor songwriting. r off to You can get the New Yea Run Fun 5k a h a healthy start wit kids the ile wh tre cen city around the the the at are sure to be entertained l Pau p. ho rks Storytelling and Ar t Wo r elle ryt sto ed enc eri Timoney, an exp rkshop for will create a bespoke wo as the children aged 6-12, acting a story of or protagonist and narrat help to en ldr chi and enlisting the e them olv inv to art and ps create pro in the tale. music With a fantastic lineup of

everyone’s and activities to cater to a lively place be tastes, Dublin city will this New Year. is The NYF Dublin Festival in d lan Ire lte Fái by ve iati an init Council y Cit association with Dublin ser s ani org nt eve and produced by D MC and e sur Holohan Lei Productions.



Theatre Mermaid Arts Centre Ardal O’Hanlon

charming rogues, who both lead double lives in an attempt to court the attentions of Gwendolen Fairfax (Lisa Dwyer Hogg) and Cecily Cardew (Lorna Quinn). (see page 16 for more details) 26 November - 30 January 2016 Tel: 01 8744045 / 01 8746042

The Abbey

You Never Can Tell

Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes silly, but always punchy, Ardal O’Hanlon has tickled audiences all over the world. In a comprehensive set, the star of Father Ted and My Hero talks about not just the things that matter but also about the things that don’t matter at all. Which covers pretty much everything. 3 December Tel: 01 2724043 or visit

Bord Gais Energy Theatre Mary Poppins

The magical story of the world’s favourite Nanny has been brought triumphantly to the stage with a book by Oscar-winning screenwriter and Downton Abbey creator, Julian Fellowes, Richard M Sherman and Robert B Sherman timeless score and new songs and additional music and lyrics from the Olivier award-winning George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. 3 December - 9 January 2016 Tel: 01 6777999 or visit Also at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre this month; A Very Merry Mooney Tunes (7 December) and The Snowman (14 - 20 December)

The Gate

The Importance of Being Earnest

Director Conall Morrison brings Bernard Shaw’s joyful and unpredictable battle of the sexes to the Abbey stage. Mrs. Clandon returns to England after 18 years abroad, with her unruly teenage twins and forthright daughter in tow. Their new life becomes complicated by her estranged husband and a love-struck dentist and it could be up to a mysterious waiter to help them all live happily ever after.

The National Concert Hall is home to the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, and the National Chamber Choir of Ireland. Highlights this December include RTE National Symphony Orchestra Beethoven (4 December), Handel’s Messiah (10 & 11 December), The National Concert Hall Christmas Concert (18 - 20 December) and Oliver! The Musical (27 December - 3 January).

The Gaiety

Little Red Riding Hood And The Big Bad Wolf

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to the Gaiety Theatre, which has hosted the annual Christmas Panto each year since 1873. This year, legendary panto dame Joe Conlon will play ‘The Notorious Granny McGregor’ and he is joined by Hayley-Jo Murphy as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and Nicholas Grennell as “The Big Bad Wolf ” in Little Red Riding Hood And The Big Bad Wolf. Oh no they won’t! Oh yes they will!

Freezin’ The Story of the Snow Queen


Lyngo Theatre Presents Snow Play

National Concert Hall

The Olympia


Theatre Royal, Waterford

2 December - 6 February 2016 Tel: 01 8872200

29 November - 10 January 2016 Tel: 0818 719 388.

Director Patrick Mason presents this stunning new production, with Rory Nolan and Marty Rea in the roles of Algernon and Jack. Wilde’s classic play charts the lives of these two

Also in the Olympia this month Lianne La Havas (3 December), Keith Barry Out of Control (4 December), The Blades (5 December), Boomtown Rats (6 December), Guy Garvey (7 December), The Vaccines (8 December), Oliver Callan (10 December), Jimmy Carr (11 & 12 December) Josh Widdicombe (13 December) and Ash (15 December).

Rising star Al Porter stars as Lolly Polly in Freezin’ The Story of the Snow Queen. This hilarious panto is directed by Simon Delaney and promises to be a spectacular, action-packed panto that the whole family can enjoy. 18 December - 10 January 2016

What would you do if one year winter decided to stay and moved into your house? Well that’s what happens in this snowy spectacular show where you are guaranteed a white Christmas, no matter what the weather or the time of year! Snow Play is a showdown between Winter and Spring over who gets to stay and who has to go away. Help Mr Green against Mr White in this highly interactive smash-hit London production. You get to make a giant snowman, cover a whole house in snow and have a super snowball fight! 8 December ph. 051 874402 Also at the Theatre Royal this month; Jack and the Beanstalk (5 - 30 December), Viennese Christmas (14 December), Cinderella’s Christmas (15 December), A Hippo for Christmas (15 December) and Funky Kids 2015 (21 December).

Smock Alley Theatre A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickens’ festive favourite A Christmas Carol comes to Ireland’s oldest stage this Christmas. Directed by Patrick Sutton, this production is for the whole family - but be warned! It will feature the biggest and scariest Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come ever to appear on an Irish stage. 7 - 22 December Also in Smock Alley this month Harvey (1 - 5 December), 1915 (2 - 5 December) and Pleasure Ground (7 - 10 December). ph. 01 6770014



Explore Leinster

The War Memorial Gardens

Avondale House and Forest Park

The Old Jameson Distillery A temple of Irish whiskey since 1780, the Old Jameson Distillery has stayed standing through rivalries, recessions, prohibitions and civil wars. The OJD experience invites visitors to explore the storied history behind Ireland’s most famous whiskey in an original building of John Jameson’s oncesprawling headquarters. As well as delving into Jameson’s past, visitors are given a guided tour of the production process and learn the secrets behind the triple-distilled taste. Of course whiskey is made to be enjoyed, so every tour concludes with a comparison tasting in our Jameson bar, followed by a signature Jameson Ginger & Lime drink for you to enjoy. Jameson Masterclasses are available for the true whiskey advocate or simply sit and linger in one of the bars sipping your favourite Jameson cocktail. Open Daily from 9am-6pm Tel: 01 8072348 / 2316. Book Online for a 10% discount on

Cultural and Historical Walking Tours The streets of Dublin have been home to the Vikings, Normans, Elizabethans, Georgians and Victorians. What better way to explore its secret nooks and crannies than to take one of the many cultural and historical walking tours that the city has to offer. At Dublin Decoded, Arran Henderson provides a wide range of fascinating insights into Dublin’s history, with particular emphasis on its art and architecture. From “How To Read A Painting:symbols and meaning at the National Gallery” to Architecture of Georgian Splendour, and an historic Medieval Treasure Hunt. Alternatively you can talk to him about designing your own tour. See 12


When you are visiting IMMA in Kilmainham, you should walk on over to Islandbridge about half a kilometer further on. The gardens there are dedicated to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1st World War. The names of all the soldiers are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts in the granite bookrooms in the gardens. Not merely a place of remembrance, they are also of great architectural interest and beauty. They are one of only four gardens in this country designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). The others being Heywood Gardens, Lambay Island and those in Howth Castle. The sunken rose gardens, herbaceous borders and extensive tree planting on view here make it well worth that extra bit of a walk. Open all year round. Tel: 01 475 7816

The National Museum of Ireland

The Museum is recognised as Ireland’s premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish material heritage, culture and natural history in the world. Admission to the museum is free and there are numerous exhibitions, talks and tours. Tel 01 677 7444

Avondale House was the birthplace and home of Charles Stewart Parnell (18461891), one of the greatest political leaders of Irish history. Set in a magnificent forest park of over 500 acres, there are tree trails and walks ranging in duration from one to five hours. Visitors are introduced to this wonderful historical house by a specially commissioned audio visual presentation. Other facilities include a licensed café, bookshop, picnic areas, children’s play area, three orienteering courses (maps can be downloaded at and a large car/coach park. Tel: 0404 46111

The Book Of Kells

The Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition in Trinity College Dublin are the first things that all visitors gravitate to when first setting foot in Dublin. Located in the heart of the city, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. And upstairs, you’ll find yourself in the magical environs of the justly famous Long Room. Inside the Book of Kells itself is a 9thcentury gospel manuscript famous throughout the world for its lavish decoration. The manuscript contains the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin), in a bold and expert version of the script known as “insular majuscule”. Guided tours of the campus, including the Old Library, The Books of Kells, and the magnificent Long Room upstairs are 12 Euro. Opening hours: 9:30-5:00 (4:30 Sun) Tel 01 896 1661

Féile na

Nollaig Christmas Group Show at Joan Clancy Gallery The Joan Clancy Gallery is best known for showcasing paintings by some of Ireland’s finest established and young emerging artists and this Christmas they bring you the fantastic, Féile na Nollaig; a Christmas Group Show which runs from 16 to 23 December.

The gallery can be found in Mweelahorna, Ring, which is between the Cunnigar Beach and Coláiste na Rinne in the beautiful, unspoilt Co Waterford Gaeltacht. Part of Ireland’s Ancient East, the gallery is well known and has often featured in arts and culture programmes on Irish national TV stations TG4 and RTE 1. Féile na Nollaig will feature exciting new works by up and coming artists, including Roisin Power Hackett, Josephine Geaney, Damaris Lysaght, Andrea Jameson, Blawnin Clancy, Rayleen Clancy and Ross Stewart. Andrea Jameson is part of the Irish whiskey dynasty while Blawnin and Rayleen Clancy are daughters of the late Tom Clancy, a Hollywood and Broadway actor who was also a founding member of the iconic folk group The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem. Ross Stewart is part of the Oscar award winning Cartoon Saloon animation team while Damaris Lysaght is a highly collectable plein air painter. Damaris’ grandfather was the renowned Dr. Edward MacLysaght, who was the Chief Herald of Ireland, the highest genealogical position in the land. This wonderful Christmas Group Show offers visitors the chance to marvel at the outstanding work of these young artists. The locals call Ring ‘Draíocht na Rinne’ which the magical spell of Ring and there’s sure some magic in the air this Christmas at Joan Clancy Gallery.



Dublin Christmas Markets I

f you’re struggling to get into the festive spirit this year, then perhaps what you need is a trip to a Christmas market to get those Yuletide juices flowing. Visitors to Dublin are in luck this year because there are two brilliant Christmas markets happening in the Smithfield area of the city that will be well worth visiting. First up is the Christmas Bazaar, which takes place in Block B, Smithfield Square on 4, 5 and 6 December. Christmas Bazaar will be one of Ireland’s biggest indoor Christmas markets, featuring over 120 stall holders, pop up cafes, artisan food and plenty of festive cheer. This is the perfect place to find alternative Christmas presents, stocking fillers and handmade produce from some of the best local and boutique makers and producers in the country, while soaking up the festive atmosphere with music, mulled wine and delicious food. Christmas Bazaar is presented by Block T and The Market Hub, who between them have experience of producing the Smithfield Market Fair, Bow Jangles Market at Body & Soul Arena, Electric Picnic and Canal Bank Market, Portobello so



you know that you’re in good hands with people who know how to organise the perfect market. Later in the month, it’s time to head to the Generator Hostel on 13 December for Smithfield Christmas Market Fair. This monthly indoor market fair promises loads of festive fun with over 40 traders, live music, Christmas film screenings, mulled wine and festive bites to enjoy. There will be a host of family friendly events, along with a cafe, bar and late night restaurant. The stalls will include vintage and designer clothing, antique and contemporary jewellery, vinyl records, sports apparel, free yoga classes, arts and crafts and creative installations. A trip to Smithfield this December is sure to lift the spirits of even the most Scrooge-like among us and is the perfect way to start the Holiday Season. Christmas Bazaar Block B 4th 5th 6th Dec Smithfield Market Fair The Generator Hostel, 13th Dec Sunday



The importance OF being Earnest at The Gate Theatre


t’s sure to be Wilde at the Gate this Christmas as they bring The Importance of Being Earnest to the stage. Director Patrick Mason presents this stunning new production, with well known faces Rory Nolan and Marty Rea playing the roles of Algernon and Jack. Rory is known for his brilliant comedic lead role in the hit show Breaking Dad, and has acted alongside acting legends such as Stockard Channing, while Marty is no stranger to the comedy of Oscar Wilde, having played Lord Goring in An Ideal Husband at the Gate in 2014. Both actors have worked extensively together in the past, meaning that the chemistry is sure to be perfect. The Importance of Being Earnest takes a satirical look at the lives of two bachelor friends, the adorable dandy Algernon Moncrieff and the utterly unreliable John (Jack) Worthing. Both men lead double lives in an attempt to court the attentions of Gwendolen Fairfax and Cecily Cardew respectively. These men must then grapple with the hilarious consequences of their deceptions, not to mention the formidable and utterly hilarious Lady Bracknell. Lisa Dwyer Hogg plays Gwendolen and Lorna Quinn plays Cecily. Lisa was last seen at the Gate in the World Premiere of The Mariner while Lorna is well known for her roles in TV’s Fair City and Love/Hate. Putting manners on this rogues gallery is Deirdre Donnelly as Lady Bracknell, who is sure to bring her sharp wit and comedic skills to the role. The cast also features Marion O’Dwyer as Miss Prism, Bosco Hogan as Lane, Mark Lambert as Rev.



Chasuble and Des Keogh as Merriman. Previews start on 26 November and the show runs until the end of January which means you have plenty of time to catch one of the most perfect comedies in the English language. Give yourself a Christmas treat this year by paying a visit to the Gate and learn all about The Importance of Being Earnest.


elcome to the Irish Whiskey Museum, the first Irish whiskey museum in the world! If you are searching for things to do in Dublin, across this wonderful new Dublin museum is located the heart from the main entrance of Trinity College, in time, in a of Dublin city. Join us on a journey through unveils the historic setting, where this fantastic museum ive ultraintriguing tale of Irish whiskey. This interact ke any other in modern experience offers an experience unli Dublin! the Independent from the drinks industry we tell guides are story of Irish whiskey through the ages. Our of Irish engaging and knowledgeable about all aspects resting whiskey and its history and know a few inte hour tour. anecdotes to keep you entertained on this one of its guests. The museum offers a whiskey tasting to each in Dublin, This should be high on your list of things to do re your that is, if you want a true Irish experience! Befo history of tasting experience, first learn the interesting le downfall, whiskey, from its humble beginning, inevitab a y to sample matured aged whiskey and receive toda et tick VIP a to e rad Upg val. revi ent and curr porary ory of your time with us. Relax in our contem mem fond a as y awa take to enir souv ue uniq , while to our experienced bar staff about our whiskey ing talk le whi ee, coff y tast a y enjo and bar café lege from above. taking in the beautiful grounds of Trinity Col

Standard Tour: €16 VIP tour €19 (2016 prices) Mention Promo Code TI 2016 at our reception desk to avail of a FREE VIP upgrade.

Irish Whiskey Museum 119 Grafton St, Dublin 2 T: +353 1 5250970

Recommended Pubs in Leinster The Porterhouse

The Gravediggers

There are three now here in town, but the one on Parliament Street is the best known. part of the increasingly popular micro brewery scene, the Porterhouse produces its own choice of stouts, lagers and craft beers, as well as a choice of others from home and abroad. And they usually have live music playing on the mezzanine.   


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“John Kavanagh The Gravediggers, established in 1833 and still run by the Kavanagh Family today. One of Dublin’s finest bars and best pint of Plain. No music no TV, but fine pints and fine food served. Beside the old cemetery gate hence our local name The Gravediggers�

Johnnie Fox’s

1 Prospect Sq., Dublin 9. Tel: 01 8307978 Situated on Talbot Street in the heart of Dublin, The Celt Bar is always thronged with locals and visitors thanks to the authentic Irish experience that is on offer there. Visitors can sample the finest Irish whiskeys, beers, ales and stouts and enjoy live traditional music seven nights a week. The Celt also offer traditional Irish food seven days a week. The classic bar menu includes beer battered haddock and traditional beef and Guinness stew. There’s no better place to go to for the full Irish experience than The Celt Bar. 81 Talbot St, Dublin Tel: 01 878 8655


This is the regular hang-out for Dublin’s finest writers and painters, or the great unwashed, and the walls inside are decked out with paintings and drawings which can, for a small sum, be purchased. Improbably, it is also part of one of the most fashionable mini crossroads in the city centre. And at weekends, the place is humming. 15 S William St., Dublin 2. Tel: 01 677 9320 18


Dice Bar

Situated on the corner of Benburb Street and Queen Street, near Smithfield Square, at Dice Bar they strive for three things – great drinks, great staff and great music. The welcoming staff offer a range of premium Irish whiskeys and if whiskey isn’t your thing then you have another great option. Dice Bar brew their own beers; the delicious Revolution Red and Augustine With so much choice and a relaxed setting, Dice Bar warrants many return visits. Open from 3pm daily.

Set high up in the heart of the Dublin mountains, Fox’s is an institution. Superb food and a unique atmosphere, there’s Irish trad here every night, and at weekends in the afternoons as well. And there’s a shuttle bus that gets you there and back in 30 minutes for a fiver either way. But be sure to book, as it’s one of the most popular pubs in Leinster.

93-94 Benburb Street Tel: 01 633 3936

Glencullen, Co Dublin Tel: 01 295 5647

Recommended Pubs in Leinster 57 The Headline

Sin É

JJ Smyth’s

Sin É

Situated only a short walk from St Patrick’s Cathedral and Teeling Whiskey Distillery, 57 The Headline is the ideal spot to sample the best of Irish Craft Beers and Whiskeys. With 24 taps dedicated to the best of Irish and International beers, you won’t be stuck for choice. They offer Beer tasting trays from 3 to 9 choices and 5 Whiskey trays. They also serve the best bar food in Dublin 8 and you won’t be paying city centre prices. Visit their website for all products, opening times and more.

Sin É on Ormond Quay is Dublin’s original late night alternative music venue. Whether it’s bluegrass, ska, alternative rock or open mic night’s that you’re looking for, Sin É caters for a range of eclectic tastes. The staff are warm and friendly and will serve you a range of incredible craft beers and cocktails at agreeable prices. If you’re looking for a great atmosphere and some of the best musicians in Dublin then Sin É is definitely the place to be.

Clanbrassil St. Lower, Dublin 8 Tel: 01 5320279

14 -15 Ormond Quay Tel: 01 555 4036 & 01 555 4037

With live music six nights a week, JJ Smyth’s is the home of jazz and blues in Dublin. The family run pub is steeped in history and the welcoming atmosphere keeps the loyal regulars coming back for the finest service and some of the best music that Dublin has to offer. JJ’s started out as a family owned grocery store and public house in the 1730’s and is one of the city’s oldest continuous licensed premises. It was also the birthplace of the famous Irish lyrical poet Thomas Moore, who was born there in 1779. If you love jazz and blues, then you’ll love JJ Smyth’s.

The Liquor Rooms

Doheny & Nesbitt’s

12 Aungier St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 475 2565

Situated under the Clarence Hotel on the quays, the Liquors Rooms offer up a heady mix of retro, vintage decor and a smart modern vibe that the too cool for school hipsters find hard to resist. Once you get in, it’s actually a lot bigger than it seems, and there are all sorts of nooks and crannies for you to get up to who knows what kind of mischief.

One of the oldest and more venerable pubs in Dublin, and traditionally the spot where politicians of old would juggle figures before swinging round the corner and into the Dail to present the next budget. It has now been extended both back and up, so that without sacrificing any of its illustrious history, it is now significantly roomier.

7 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2 Tel: 087 339 3688

5 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 2945

The Dingle Whiskey Bar

The Dingle Whiskey Bar is a delightful bar nestled beside Porterhouse Central on Nassau St. Walking into the bar, you are welcomed by a beautiful oak interior and a warm welcoming feel. The bar staff are very helpful, recommending many whiskeys and offering samples. The bar is full of culture and although it is a whiskey bar, it offers a range of drinks and cocktails made using their own Dingle Gin. The Dingle Whiskey Bar is simply a must do! 44 Nassau St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 4180



Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Restaurant FortyOne

such as Deep Fried Brie, Smoked Salmon Crostini or Brasco’s Style Meatballs before tucking into mouth watering mains that include Wicklow Lamb Shank, Dover Sole or Pan Fried Duck. For those who fancy a bit of lunch, they also have a daytime Deli with a range of great options to choose from. Harbour Road, Skerries Tel: 01 849 4388

Under the expert guidance of Graham Neville, Restaurant FortyOne has scooped numerous awards and flourished over the past three years. This is thanks to the superb experience that they offer, eschewing butter and sugar in favour of olive oil, vegetables and fruit juices that are sourced from the restaurant’s own garden. These unique ingredients are used to create fulsome, sumptuous courses, making Restaurant FortyOne the home of fine dining in Dublin. 41 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 662 0000

Frite Haus

Frite Haus offer a unique artisan fast food experience with care and attention given to every aspect of the menu. A relaxed Belgian style ‘Chip Shop’ restaurant, Frite Haus serve authentic Belgian fries with a range of craft sauces and delicious Jane Russell sausages. Jane Russell sausages use only prime fresh cuts of Irish pork, free from preservatives so you know that you are getting the finest, freshest meat. They also serve a fantastic range of craft beers, including delicious Belgian Trappist Brewery beers. Frite Haus is the only choice for a fine dining experience at very reasonable prices. 87 Camden Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 4758948


Brasco’s offer a new dining experience. Situated right on the end of Skerries Pier, Brasco’s serve modern European dishes with a wonderful flair. Diners can choose from delicious starters 20


Odessa Restaurant

Corfu Greek Restaurant

Corfu Greek Restaurant is a hidden gem situated on Parliament Street. Here, the friendly and attentive staff will serve you some of the finest Greek food at incredibly reasonable prices. Choose from a range of starters, such as calamari and dolmadakia, and then tuck into some delicious traditional Greek main courses, including moussaka, kleftiko and stifado, all washed down with a nice glass of wine from their varied wine list. 12 Parliament St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 675 0050

Le Bon Crubeen The intimate and warm Odessa Restaurant is perfect for birthdays, weddings or an evening dinner. Diners can enjoy the great value Early Bird menu all night on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Choose from a range of great dishes, including Grilled Goat’s Cheese Bruschetta, Pea & Mint Risotto and CharGrilled Swordfish. Their famous Brunch Menu is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3.30pm and includes such delights as Eggs Benedict, Baked Ham with Poached Eggs and the traditional Irish Breakfast. 13 Dame Court, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6703080

This is one of the best value restaurants in Dublin with a brasserie menu to suit all tastes. It won the Best Value Restaurant Dublin in “The Dubliner” Top 100 restaurants in 2012, having previously won the Irish Restaurant Awards’ Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Dublin in 2010. Value and quality.

Suesey Street

81-2 Talbot St., Dublin 1 Tel: 01 704 1026

Camden Kitchen

Suesey Street is Dublin’s new social destination, promising good times in the bar, great food from the kitchen and a relaxed vibe on the outdoor terrace. Located on the corner of Fitzwilliam Place, it is a welcoming space full of atmosphere and comfort, offering an informal approach to drinking and dining. The food is classed as modern Irish, changes with the season and is very creative - the flavours are awake and the customer is in for a real gourmet experience.

A culinary gem in the heart of Dublin, Camden Kitchen is the place to go to for lunch or dinner. Their menu changes daily to reflect the best seasonal ingredients available, meaning you know that you’ll be served fresh, seasonal food every time. Diners can choose from beautiful starters such as Irish Line Caught Mackerel, Connemara Crab Meat or Whipped Goats Cheese and then move on to delicious main courses, like Breckland Duck Leg, Irish Rib Eye Beef and Smoked Haddock Risotto, all served up in a wonderful cosy atmosphere by the friendly staff.

26 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 669 4600

3 Camden Market, Grantham Street, D8 Tel: 01 4760125

Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Klaw

A hidden gem in the heart of Temple Bar and critical acclaimed, Klaw is an Oyster bar & Crab-Shack with great atmosphere and delicious seafood. Choose from a range of dishes including oysters, crab claws, lobster rolls, seafood platters and chowder, all artfully presented at reasonable prices by the friendly staff.


Mexico to Rome

The Spanish city of Zaragoza is any food lover’s idea of paradise. Zaragoza have taken some local delicacies along with some of Spain’s authentic specialties to create a unique dining experience.... seasoned with a generous helping of the homegrown hospitality they are famous for. So come down, sit back and explore the tantalizing recipes created by their chef and enjoy with friends a glass or two of their exquisite handpicked wines.

Located in the heart of Temple Bar, Mexico to Rome, Bandito’s Grill House offer a new twist on Mexican dishes such as sizzling Fajitas, their unique Burritos, Tacos, Chili Con Carne, and Tex-Mex Baby Back Ribs in a Southern Comfort BBQ Sauce. They also offer a range of European and Asian dishes. They boast one of the best value earlybird menus in Dublin at €13.50 for a starter and main course, while their lunch special of a starter, main course and a soft drink or a glass of wine for €9.95 is superb value.

Open Mon-Sun 12noon - Midnight (last orders) 18 William St., Dublin 2. Tel: 01 679 4020

The Larder Restaurant & Brewhouse

23 East Essex Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 2727

Super Miss Sue

5A Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 twitter @dublinklaw instagram @dublinklaw

Peploe’s An oasis of quality, The Larder offer excellent Brunch, Lunch and Evening menus made from the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. These dishes are finished off with herbs grown in their own walled garden and complimented by their range of own brand beers. The meal can then be topped off with their own brand coffee; Dublin Roaster. 8 Parliament Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6333581

Kafka Restaurant

One of the few places to get really great fresh fish in the centre of town, and surprisingly affordable. You can treat yourself to a full meal in the restaurant proper, or a traditional fish and chips of exceptional quality in the diner next door. Drury St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 679 9009

Café Topolis

Peploe’s Wine Bistro is a chic and ambient restaurant located in the heart of Dublin City Centre. With it’s cosy lighting and comfortable spacious dining area, it is the perfect place to enjoy a fine meal in a relaxed atmosphere. All produce is sourced from only the best Irish suppliers and prepared to the highest standard. Located opposite St Stephens Green, Peploe’s is the perfect place to visit for a glass of wine to greet the evening after a twilight stroll in the park.

Whether it’s for an Italian coffee, a sweet or savoury snack or a full meal with wine, you can call in here for continental cuisine, exemplary service and great value.

Situated on Parliament St, Café Topolis is one of the best Italian restaurants in town with an extensive menu offering superior Italian cuisine. Best of all, it’s one of the very few places where they cook their pizzas in the traditional wood fired oven.

16 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 3144

236 Rathmines Rd Lwr., Dublin 6 Tel: 01 497 7057

37 Parliament St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 670 4961 DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Zaytoon

Taco Taco

The Good World

Zaytoon gives you the chance to choose a healthy eating option and indulge in the guilty pleasure of treating yourself to a scrumptious kebab. More a casual diner than a fast food place, they offer the very best of Persian cuisine. And as well as the one in Temple Bar they’ve opened a second one at the top of Camden Street.

Perfect for brunch or a casual evening meal, Taco Taco is sure to get your taste buds tingling. They have a range of specials on offer, such as Chargrilled Jerk Chicken for two with a range of sides for €29.95 on Sunday nights and Super Nacho Happy Hour from 5pm to 6.30pm from Monday to Sunday. While you’re there, make sure you sample some of their amazing cocktails, such as Whiskey Smash, Brunch Sour or Mojito.

There’s been a huge influx of Chinese in Dublin of late, and the choice of Chinese food in the city has improved no end. But this is still the best place to find dim sum. And significantly, most of the people you’ll find eating here are other Chinese diners.

14/15 Parliament St., Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 3595

Thornton’s Restaurant

This one star Michelin restaurant is, as they say, reassuringly expensive. Which is only as it should be as the man in charge is Ireland’s finest chef, Kevin Thornton. If you have any intention of cementing a relationship, or of instigating a new one, this is the place to take them. Above the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Stephen’s Green. Tel: 01 478 7008

Darwin’s Restaurant

This family run restaurant caters to all possible tastes, whether carnivorous, coeliac or vegetarian. Their own in house butcher provides them with meats, game and poultry, and they have fresh fish and a wide selection of dishes made from locally sourced vegetables. And you can finish it all off with their homemade desserts. 80 Aungier St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 475 7511 22


14 Dame Court, Dublin 2 Tel: 083 449 9584

18 S George’s St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 5373


La Ruelle Wine Bar

Tucked in opposite the Mansion House, on Joshua Lane, La Ruelle is the ideal venue for an intimate drink, with over 100 different international wines of which 40 are served by the glass. Their menu includes a variety of mouth watering nibbles, tapas and bites served small or large to accompany your wine of choice. Catering for private parties with free car park facilities in R.I.A.C for all customers. Perfect for the festive season or any events.

Located on Andrews Street, near the new home of the Molly Malone statue, Salamanca was one of the first Tapas Bars in the city and remains one of the best. Their Tapas dishes are served by authentic Spanish chefs and they use only the finest quality fresh ingredients. Diners can choose from a wide range of quality Tapas and carefully selected Spanish wines for a truly authentic taste of the Mediterranean in the heart of Dublin City.

3/4 Joshua Lane, Dublin 2

1 St. Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 4799

Marcel’s Restaurant

Combining elegant Moroccan décor and contemporary design, Marcel’s is a restaurant, bistro and bar that offers the finest French and European inspired food in a warm and friendly environment. Diners can choose from a range of delicious dishes, including Risotto, Pan Roast Monkfish and succulent Roast Rump Lamb while relaxing in the heart of Dublin City. 13 Merrion Row, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6602367

Mykonos Taverna

Authentic Greek food in the heart of Dublin. Mykonos Taverna offers traditional Greek dishes such as Moussaka, Kleftiko and Souvlaki at incredibly good prices. The staff are friendly and attentive and always on hand to cater to your every need, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your food! 76 Dame Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 561 3745

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Recommended Shopping The Design House

Designer Exchange

Kilkenny Design Centre

Ireland’s only dedicated pre-loved and authentic designer handbag and accessory store, Designer Exchange stock all the leading designer brands such as DKNY, Louis Vutton and Chanel. They offer incredible savings on these top designer brands and Tax Free shopping to non EU residents. “The Design House” is a boutique & design Hub, in the city centre. It is based in a fabulous Georgian building; they offer cutting edge fashion, jewellery, bridal and a variety of crafts all in the one building. The hallways of their building also host an artist’s gallery. The list of designers who call “The Design house” home has grown steadily since they opened. They are also the creative home to several in-house designers, that work from 2 floors of shared studio space and professional fashion workrooms . The concept behind their enterprise is to bring designers, craftspeople and artists together under one roof and to offer the customer a wide array of high quality products, all at varied price points and services such as their bespoke service and café. 43 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6799283

Jam Art Factory

53 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6128080

Cows Lane Designer Studio

Castle Yard, Kilkenny Tel: +353 56 7722118 Cows Lane Designer Studio is a colourful, fun retail space run by a group of independent designers and makers. With an eclectic mix of handcrafted, Irish designs including textiles, knitwear, jewellery, millinery, ceramics, prints, homewares and more, there is something for everyone. The perfect place to browse and be inspired! Unit 2, Essex Street West, Old City, Temple Bar, Dublin 8. Tel: 01 679 8366

Patrick Donald Photo Gallery

Jam Art Factory was set up in 2011 by brothers John and Mark to showcase the work of Irish artists and designers. It specialises in digital art prints, street art, ceramics and some witty Dublin themed work. It has been shortlisted in The Irish Times “Best Shops in Ireland” 4 years in a row. 64 Patrick Street, Dublin 8 14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 Tel: 01-6165671 and www. 24


Kilkenny Design Centre is situated in the heart of Ireland’s Craft capital, Kilkenny City. Once the Castle Stables dating back to 1760’s, Kilkenny Design is now home to three restaurants and a Shop stocking the very best of Irish products including Nicholas Mosse, Max Benjamin, Hairy Fruit Art, Áine Knitwear and Orla Kiely.

Situated at the heart of Dublin on Dawson Street, this is a ‘must visit’ if you want to get a quality souvenir of your time in Ireland! Patrick is well known for his black & white Irish landscape and Dublin Street photography. Gift sizes images are reasonably priced at €35. He will even ship them for you anywhere in the world free of charge! 8/9 Royal Hibernian Way Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 681 5225

Kildare Village

Kildare Village is Ireland’s leading luxury shopping destination located less than 50 minutes from Dublin city. With designer boutiques providing fashion and luxuries for the home, Kildare Village offers the authentic previous seasons’ collections of a unique selection of Irish and international brands with savings of up to 60% on the recommended retail price, seven days a week and all year round. Anya Hindmarch, Coach, DKNY, Furla, Hugo Boss, and Wolford are just a few of the international brands present, as well as the boutique of Ireland’s leading international designer, Louise Kennedy. A selection of services at Kildare Village includes a Tourist Information Centre; tax free shopping, valet parking, personal shopping service and a complimentary shuttle service to the nearby Irish National Stud & Gardens. With a range of restaurants and cafés, the Village has become a destination for visitors seeking a superior shopping experience and an enjoyable day out.

Recommended Shopping Celtic Whiskey Shop

Tights Department

Ireland’s premier whiskey shop has become a mecca for whiskey lovers since it first opened in 2003. They have daily whiskey tastings and the knowledgeable and experienced staff are always on hand to offer their expert advice and guidance. If you’re travelling, the staff are happy to wrap your purchases in protective wrapping and can arrange shipping to national and international destinations.

Tights Dept. is an Irish owned store specialising in Italian legwear. They offer a full range of classic and fashion hosiery: tights, socks (men and women), hold-ups, stockings, leggings and more, they also stock a collection of tops and vests. Top brands: Omsa, Emilio Cavallini, Trasparenze, Omero and Happy Socks.

27 - 28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6759744 / 01 6759768

25 Royal Hibernian Way (Anne Street South entrance), Dublin 2 Tel. +353 (0)85 800 4281 Shop online: (deliver worldwide)

Peaches & Cream The Donegal Shop

Celtic Spirit Gift Shop

Celtic Spirit is a small, family run store overflowing with beautiful, Irish & Celtic Jewellery, handcrafted in Sterling Silver, Gemstones & Gold. Their Claddaghs, Shamrocks, Tree of Life, Infinity Knots and Traditional Celtic Designs, are all reminders of the unique enchantment of Ireland. What’s more, they have a fabulous ring collection and if you spend €50 and mention Travel Ireland, they will give you a FREE Sterling Silver Claddagh Ring. What a great offer. Ground Floor, St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre Grafton Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 0812331898

Celtic Gent

Situated just off Grafton Street, in the Royal Hibernian Way mall, Peaches & Cream Dublin is one Irelands Premier Bra fitting Specialists with an emphasis on outstanding customer service. As featured regularly on TV3’s Ireland Am and Xposé Peaches & Cream cater for all sizes from A-K cup and house a range of signature shape-wear products for Bridal, Every-day and Maternity. So whether it is a good Bra fitting you require or a complete body make-over Peaches & Cream is the one-stop shop for all your underwear needs. Peaches & Cream Dublin 23 Royal Hibernian Way South Anne Street Entrance Dublin 2 Telephone 01 6708804

The Donegal Shop is an independently owned and family run Irish business. They are specialists in Donegal homespun tweeds and knitted products. The store offers a range of knitwear, aran sweaters and accessories for both women and men, all crafted using techniques handed down through generations of Donegal artists.

Celtic Gent takes inspiration from Ireland’s rich history and traditions. This Irish-made brand brings you contemporary, unique designs that honour Irish poetry, legends and Irish heritage with their tweed jackets, tweed waistcoats and limited edition Irish tweed bears. Their philosophy is that you will always have a piece of Ireland and an heirloom that will be cherished for generations when you purchase a Celtic Gent product.

2nd Floor St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre Dublin 2 01 4754621

Unit 3 Balbriggan Business Park Balbriggan, Co. Dublin 01 8416144 DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE





n just over two years, ORion Productions have made their mark on an Irish independent film scene that is thriving at the moment. ORion are thriving too and having produced a number of well received play, music video and short films, their first feature length film is now set to be released in 2016. A can-do attitude has been the ethos of the company since it was founded in 2013 by actress Sinéad O’Riordan. “I got to the stage where I was sick of waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for the parts to come in,” says Sinéad. “I got to the point where I just had enough and it was time to establish a production company and start producing my own work.” Not long afterwards, Sinéad met writer/ director Maurice O’Carroll and the two have since struck up a firm friendship and a brilliant creative partnership. Maurice had been looking for actors for his next short film and this is how he met Sinéad. “I saw a showreel of Sinéad’s and straight away I just loved what she was doing,” says Maurice. “I got in contact and didn’t think she would come on board but she did.” What has followed is a number of highly successful and well received short films such as The Bible Basher and Coming Out. Buoyed by that success, and having built up a team of crew and actors that they can trust, they recently shot their first feature length film, Dead Along The Way, which is a co-production between ORion and Maurice’s company Burnt Ice Pictures. Sinéad describes the film as: “kind of a crime comedy about two wedding videographers who accidently kill someone before a wedding.” 26


Shooting for the film took place over three weeks, with the cast and crew of 20 people all being put up in Maurice’s house for the duration of the shoot. Both Maurice and Sinéad are quick to point out the role that Maurice’s wife Elaine plays in making everything go smoothly. As well as designing sets and doing hair and makeup, Elaine also fed and looked after the entire crew and Sinéad and Maurice are both quick to point out that they would be lost without all of the help and input Elaine offers. It’s this family vibe that gets these independent film-makers through. With little funding available, ORion have to find other ways of getting films made and that means relying on the great team that they’ve surrounded themselves with and building up that community spirit. “Everyone’s there to help each other,” says Maurice. “We all like to see each other get ahead.” “When the money isn’t there it makes you become creative and resourceful and utilise whatever you have around you,” adds Sinéad. Of course hard work is needed too and the determination of Sinéad and Maurice shines through. Neither will take no for an answer and both are prepared to put in the graft to realise their dreams. “I hear independent filmmakers complaining that they can’t get funding and I’ve never subscribed to that,” says Maurice. “If I want to get something out there, I just have to go out and do it myself. If I’ve to open a door, I’ll just kick it open and that’s what I’m doing with Dead Along The Way.” Sinéad is equally determined. “I‘m very much a believer that if the project is right

and your gut’s telling you to do it then invest all you have emotionally and mentally and just go for it,” she says. This unity of vision and determination is probably why these two Irish filmmakers work so well together. They hope to have Dead Along The Way ready for the Galway Film Festival next year and with their admirable dedication, resourcefulness and no little talent, ORion Productions are an up and coming name to watch out for in the years to come. Sinéad also produced another feature this year, Lead Us Not, which is due for release in 2016. Some of ORion’s previous productions will be available to view on Maurice’s new website which will be live soon.

Welcome to Munster Munster is the most southerly of the four provinces of Ireland and stretches from Tipperary in the South Midlands to Waterford in the South East, and from Clare, Limerick and Kerry down to Cork in the South.The entire area is famed for Irish traditional music, song and dance. There are many ancient castles and monasteries in the province, and coupled with the vast green countryside and its three cities (Limerick, Cork and Waterford) Munster is a must see destination for tourists.

Fota Wildlife Park

Bunratty Castle Bunratty Castle in County Clare is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Travelling down the coast, Limerick is the next port of call which this year has been designated as Ireland’s first City of Culture. From theatres to outdoor music events, museums to festivals, Limerick has an eclectic mix of sights and sounds to suit all tastes.

Limerick County Limerick also incorporates the Foynes Estuary with its world famous Foynes Flying Boat Museum. The museum tells the story of the Pan Am Clipper aircraft which brought commercial flights from America to our shores, landing in the estuary itself. It includes the only full-scale model of a Boeing B-314 Flying Boat anywhere in the world. The Rose of Tralee is the most famous Festival in Kerry and this internationally acclaimed festival comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a truly Irish experience. The festival celebrates its 55th year this year and commences with the International Rose Ball on the 15th of August before culminating with the selection of the 2014 Rose of Tralee in the magnificent dome four days later. There is a packed programme of events during the week for all to enjoy.

One of Munster’s most famous landmarks the Rock of Cashel, in County Tipperary is the historical seat of the Kings of Munster. The outcrop on which the Castle and grounds stand is one of the most photogenic spots in all of Munster. The spectacular group of medieval buildings are set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale and include the 12th century round tower, the High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, the 13th century Gothic cathedral, the 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Tel: 062 61437 Email:

and Ireland’s oldest city. The city and county is famous throughout the world as the home of Waterford Crystal. A visit to the House of Crystal visitor centre includes an opportunity to choose from the world’s largest selection of Waterford Crystal. The factory tour offers first hand access to all areas of traditional crystal production. County Waterford offers a dazzling 147 kilometres coastline, with 49 beaches, beautiful river valleys, lakes and two dramatic ranges of very accessible mountains.

County Cork is well worth the drive as it has sandy beaches, the wonderful Blarney Castle, Foto Wildlife Park and golf course, wonderful coastlines and a city nightlife to rival any of that in Europe. Travel from east to west or north to south in this sprawling county and there is a view, an historical point of interest or an adventure to explore. Finally at the extreme South East of the island of Ireland is Waterford. Waterford is the capital of the ‘Sunny South East of Ireland’



Explore Munster

Cliffs of Moher

Stretching for eight kilometres along the coastline and standing at 214 metres at their highest point, the Cliffs of Moher give the visitor a panoramic view out onto the Atlantic Ocean. It is said that on a clear day you can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, over the twelve pins and the Blasket Islands off the coast of Kerry. When there you really should ascend O’Briens Tower which has been used as a viewing point for centuries past.

Jameson Experience, Midleton Co.Cork

The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum has artefacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation. There is also an important collection of Irish archaeological material ranging from Neolithic flints, Bronze Age material, and Christian art. One of the strengths of the collection is the medieval material, which include statues in stone and wood, painted panels, jewellery, enamels, ivories, ceramics, crystal and crucifixes. Plus work from Picasso, Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.

Tours run all day, last tour 16.30pm. Adult rate is €15.00 and save 10% on adult admission by booking in advance online. 28


The Ring of Kerry (Irish: Mórchuaird Chiarraí) is not a ring in the conventional sense but a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry. The scenery along this route is spectacular to behold and the route takes you through the Gap of Dunloe, the Bog Village, past Rossbeigh Beach, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, The Blue Pool, Ross Castle, the Ogham Stones, and many more visitor attractions.

Bunratty Castle

Tel: 061 312 833

Titanic Experience Cobh

Join the whiskey Masters for a guided tour through the romantic past of Irish whiskey making. Learn about the Angels Share, Triple Distillation and above all the smooth taste of Jameson Irish Whiskey. The Old Midleton Distillery stands on the banks of the Dungourney river in Midleton. It is a distillery steeped in history and provides both a cultural and educational experience. The old distillery buildings have been restored to their original splendor, as they looked in 1805 when whiskey was first produced on this site. Each tour culminates in the Jameson Bar with a complimentary glass of Jameson and a chance to become a “Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster”. Visitors can also enjoy a delicious lunch in the Malt House Restaurant or browse the Distillery shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts.

Ring of Kerry

Bunratty Castle in County Clare is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Browse the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past.

Blarney Castle Titanic Experience Cobh is located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town (formerly known as Queenstown) the departure point for the final 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic. The visitor experience is presented in two parts. The first is an immersive audio visual tour retracing the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. The second part of the Titanic Experience examines how it all went wrong. The unbelievable and “almost” impossible sequence of events that occurred to cause Titanic to sink.

Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting visitors from all over the world ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. This is probably because of the famous stone you will see at the top of the tower. People from all over the world have climbed up there to kiss it in the hope of acquiring the gift of the gab.

Tel: 021 438 5252

Killarney Brewing Company

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Muckross Road, Killarney, Co Kerry. Tel: +353 64 663 6505 Email :

!( Book online:



amilies will not want to miss the trail of over 30 events at Winterval from free festive movie screenings to a traditional Santa experience to a Grinch Santa experience and the country’s largest Christmas Food and Craft market this festival has something to offer all ages and tastes. The festivities get underway on the afternoon of November 20 when Santa arrives into the City on to The Mall. He will then travel with his helpers to John Robert’s Square to assist the Mayor of Waterford switch on the Christmas lights, marking the start of a magical month of wonder and fun. The Winterval 2015 ambassador is Keith Barry, who has some magical moments planned. “I am delighted to be returning as the Winterval ambassador for 2015,” he said. “This year I have planned a very special performance as part of Winterval Illuminates: Magical Lightshow, so why not share the magic of Christmas with myself and a very special guest for the 2015 lightshow.”




Festival goers can enjoy nineteen free attractions with an additional thirteen ticketed attractions on offer across the Winterval trail.Visitors can enjoy a Yuletide Viking celebration at the 13th Century Greyfriars Church, a spectacular free 3D light projection show at Palace Square, the best real Ice Rink this side of the North Pole, an Elves Workshop, a Polish Christmas celebration, a Transformers Exhibition,Vintage Ferris Wheel and so much more. The ever-popular Winterval Toy Museum will once again be one of the main exhibits this year. It will include a mass collection of Star Wars Memorabilia plus the ultimate Transformer Optimus Prime, who will feature amongst Ireland’s biggest Transformer collection. That’s sure to keep the kids and the parents who look back fondly on those particular series happy. IDW Comic Artist Nick Roche has also come on board for this year’s Festival. Nick has previously worked for Marvel Comics, drawing characters such as Iron Man, Captain America

and Thor, as well as working on Doctor Who and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He will present an exhibition of his comic artwork, titled: ‘The Best Of Optimus Prime and Megatron’. Nick will also visit the festival on December 12th to host a signing and sketch session at the Toy Museum. Cartamundi games manufacturing company will also be at Toy Museum. They will supply a selection of games and giant floor games for children to try out at the museum, which is sure to be loads of fun. An amazing free new highlight of the festival this year will be Winter Wonderland created by Bloom Gold medal Winner Gerard Mullen and the Grow Project. This stunning winter garden will be located at the Millennium Plaza at the Quayside offering an oasis right in the middle of the City. A 40-foot giant singing Christmas tree that will accommodate five tiers for Choristers performing Christmas classics will form the epicentre of the Winterval Market. The Medieval City of Waterford continues a long standing tradition established back in medieval times when end-ofyear markets sprung up as social gatherings where people could enjoy a little excess before the onset of bitter weather. A festive ‘Winterval Market’ will take over the heart of the City with sixty traditionally decorated log cabins offering the very best quality and range of goods in food, craft, wooden traditional toys and decorations. Winterval 2015 is set to be, yet again, one of the most popular festive festivals in the country and is not to be missed if you’re travelling to the city this Christmas. DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE





at Aillwee Cave

anta Claus has been taking up his annual residence in his workshop at Aillwee Cave in Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare to meet children and their families for the last fifteen years and he’s back again this year for four weekends leading up to Christmas. Ably assisted by Mrs Claus and his team of Elves, Santa makes sure that each child has a very special personalised visit with exciting events for the whole family, such as face painting, puppet shows and a whole host of carnival entertainment to enjoy. Each child will be guided along the cave passageways, singing Christmas Carols before meeting Santa and his helper to let him know what they want



for Christmas and, of course, receive a little present from Santa on the day. Grown-ups will be looked after too, with Mrs Claus on hand serving hot punch and mince pies. Santa has his train on standby all day long for visits to the Birds of Prey Centre, where kids can visit Snowy Owl and Happy Harris Hawk. There are scheduled flying displays at 11am, 1pm and 3pm and Santa’s helpers have prepared and stocked the Ultimate Christmas Shop with a range of great gifts for all. The Farm Shop elves can also make up a festive hamper, packed to include all sorts of foodie treats with Aillwee Cave’s own Award Winning Burren Gold

Farmhouse Cheese as the centre piece. Santa has also allowed the Woodland Craft Village workers to come and show visitors some of their Bush Craft survival techniques that date back to the Bronze & Iron Ages. Make sure you book your trip to this brilliant family event this Christmas. Santa’s Workshop is open on the following dates: Friday 27 to Sunday 29 November Friday 4 to Sunday 6 December Friday 11 to Sunday 13 Dcember Friday 18 to Sunday 22 December To make a booking Lo Call 1890 245593 or 065 7077036

Christmas Ireland’s


Over 30 Events to Enjoy Every Weekend



Waterford Marina Hotel is an ideal choice of accommodation for those visiting Waterford to experience the magic of Winterval Pre Theatre Menu – “Dinner for Two with a Bottle of House Wine €59.00” A Perfect Gift for Christmas – Treat a loved one this Christmas with Vouchers available from €25.00 Location is Everything and we have it – 17 years with the best location in the City Waterford Marina Hotel, Canada Street is one of Waterford’s premier 3 star Failte Ireland rated Hotels with 81 Bedrooms offering everything you would expect for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.


for119 2 sharing From

Offer available until 31st January 2016

We have a private on-site complimentary car park, Free WIFI and Live Music from local musicians every Friday and Saturday night. Our Waterfront Restaurant and Bar with its very own River Terrace overlooks the River Suir and at this time of year we are an ideal location for your Christmas night out or break away with shopping and nightlife on your doorstep and we are also a stone’s throw away from Waterford’s Cultural and Heritage quarter – The Viking Triangle

Bookable online Canada Street, Waterford , X91 PK2W Tel: +353 51 856600 Email:

Glow L

A Cork Christmas Celebration

ast month, crowds flocked to St. Patrick’s Street in Cork to see GAA legend Jimmy BarryMurphy switch on the Christmas lights with The Lord Mayor of Cork Chris O’Leary. The celebrations included festive musical performances by Cork based Voice works, a choir made up of young vocal talents accompanied by ‘The Voice UK’ performer Claudia Rose Long and the Voiceworks Band and singers and, of course Santa made an appearance. This kicked off the Christmas celebrations in Cork and provided the perfect build up to Glow - A Cork Christmas Celebration which runs from 27 November until 20 December. Glow will have something for everyone this Christmas with a free Santa’s workshop, food markets, a 30 metre Ferris Wheel and so much more. There will be Christmas Markets open every weekend on the Grand Parade, with a range of great gifts on offer while there will be number of Christmas Choirs spreading



joy and cheer with their Christmas carols ringing out across the city. The Ferris Wheel will operate from 12 noon until 9pm every day from 27 November until 10 January, excluding Christmas Day. One of the highlights of the festival is sure to be the festively themed children’s attraction in Bishop Lucey Park. This free event is sure to be fun for the whole family and will allow children to feel the magical wonder of Christmas. Cork is also a great place to get all of your Christmas shopping done.You can find high street shops, boutiques and quirky gift shops in the city. It also has the most independent and individually owned shops in the country so if you’re looking for something unique for a loved one this Christmas then Cork is the place to go.

A wonderful place to visit in Dingle, Co. Kerry



Recommended Pubs in Munster Jack Meades (under the bridge) Set on 5 acres of impeccably kept lawns, this sprawling complex boasts a number of bars. The old world bar it has dates back to 1705, whilst its lime kiln and ice house were built around 1860. But there is also a modern bar, and an extensive beer garden looking down over the gardens and streams. And good quality food is served here throughout the day. Dunmore Rd, Waterford Tel: 051 850 950

The Bierhaus

There are over 220 different beers to choose from here, including 6 rotating guest draught taps and a cask. So whether you are looking for a bottle or draught, an international or an Irish beer, there’s a reasonably good chance you’ll find it here. And they spend as much time on getting the atmosphere right as they do on choosing their beers.

An Brog

An Brog has been attending to fans of alternative and indie music for over 20 years now, and they’ve a constantly evolving roster of Djs and live bands catering to all and every musical taste. And best of all, they are open til 2 in the morning, seven days a week. 72-73 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork Tel: 021 427 0074

Buckley’s Bar

The oak panelled walls and turf fire are the perfect accompaniment to the many musicians who drop in here for the impromptu sessions that seem to be forever going on here. Both bar and hotel have been welcoming visitors since it opened in 1926. And many people either begin their trip around the kingdom there, or base themselves there for its duration. The Arbutus Hotel, College St, Killarney, Co Kerry. Tel: 064 663 1037



Dick Mack’s

Named after the leather craftsman, this small and gloriously “busy” pub still sells hand made leather ware inside at the shop to one side. Its walls are drowned in archaic photographs, and outside there’s a star studded pavement where the likes of Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Julia Roberts have left their mark. For many, many people, this is what they imagine when they conjure up the image of an Irish pub. Greene St, Dingle, Co Kerry Tel: 066 915 1960

Pope’s Quay, Cork Tel: 021 455 1648

Dolan’s Pub and Restaurant Dolan’s is made up of three venues, two outdoor areas, a traditional Irish pub and a restaurant. So there’s music here every day of the week, and they’ll serve you your breakfast, lunch and dinner as you require. Some of the many guests who’ve enjoyed their hospitality include Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand, Sharon Shannon and Imelda May. 3-4 Dock Rd, Limerick Tel: 061 314 483 (ext 1)

Recommended Restaurants in Munster The Strand Inn

Tel: 051 878203

Out of the Blue

Overlooking Hook Head, The Strand Inn is the perfect place to enjoy lingering breakfasts, relax over a long lunch or enjoy intimate, romantic suppers. Diners can look forward to the finest Irish beef, lobster and line caught seafood in a luxurious setting, characterised by beamed ceilings, original stone walls and planked floors. Dunmore East, Co.Waterford. Tel: 051 383 174

The Ventry Skipper

This little gem is just what the weary traveller needs after a day of sight seeing-with amazing views accompanied by great seafood and an extensive wine list you really cant go wrong. Ventry, Co Kerry Tel: 066 915 9853

The Munster Room Restaurant

They serve only the freshest, most succulent fish and shellfish here, which they have delivered every day, literally, from the sea outside their front door. And if there’s no fish on a particular day, then they won’t open the restaurant. A certain Mr. Paul Hewson, aka Bono is a fan. So book early to avoid disappointment.

Small quaint front room restaurant with locally sourced high quality ingredients making this little gem a must visit when in Dingle.

Dingle Harbour. Tel: 066 915 0811

Dykgate St., Dingle. Tel: 086 660 3778


The Smugglers Inn

Antonio Toscano opened this Italian restaurant in the heart of Cork City in 1994, and has always gone out of his way to staff it with his fellow country men and women, from both the North and the South of Italy. And it’s this, together with their extensive menu that makes eating here as close to actually dining in Italy as you could hope to find.

The Smugglers Inn is a family run restaurant that is ideal for casual lunch, fine dining or that special occasion. The restaurant has been praised by gastronomic writers from all over the world and is a Bord Failte award winner. It’s not hard to see why. The Smugglers Inn pride itself on serving fresh local produce, from seafood to organic vegetables. Add in the spectacular views and friendly service and you have the perfect dining experience.

La Bohéme Restaurant & Wine Bar

Waterford Castle, The Island, Co. Waterford

2 George’s St., Waterford. Tel: 051 875 645

An Canteen

33-4 Princess St, Cork City Tel: 021 427 5818

The Munster Room Restaurant at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort was awarded 2AA Rosettes in 2001 and currently continues this elite standard further confirmed with multiple awards and its review in the 2015 Michelin Guide. With its warm ambience, wonderful oak paneled walls, ornate ceiling, and further complemented by an extensive wine cellar and exciting seasonal menus it’s easy to see why it’s such a winning choice. Using the finest local produce, gifted head chef Michael Thomas and his culinary team continually create dishes with intense flavors that will tantalize and satisfy every food lover’s palate and create a truly memorable fine dining experience.

fine dining and wine bar with bistro menu options, qualifies La Boheme as a hidden gem in the heart of Waterford City. Tues - Sat 5:30pm until late (Open bank holiday Sundays)

La Boheme offers a unique experience for lovers of fine dining, with its location in the basement of one of Waterford’s foremost prestigious buildings. Head Chef Eric Theze uses fresh locally sourced produce, providing guests with exquisitely presented delectable dishes. Christine ensures that all are greeted with a warm welcome, with the belief in treating each guest as if they are being welcomed into their own home. A blend of

Cliff Road, Waterville, Co. Kerry Tel: 066 9474330

The Lobster

Whether you’re looking for lunch, a casual dinner or just a quiet pint, the friendly staff at The Lobster are sure to look after your every need. Situated in the seaside town of Waterville, it’s no surprise that The Lobster serve some of the best seafood in Kerry and their beef and Guinness stew is also spoken of very highly by all who have sampled it. Waterville, Co. Kerry. Tel: 066 9474629 DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE



North Pole Outpost I

t is a little known fact that Santa has a North Pole Outpost in County Cork but from 29 November until 23 December, his elves will open the doors of The Cork North Pole Outpost. Set deep in the woods of the Great Island near Cobh, on the private 17 acre estate of Cuskinny Court, boys and girls can board the Elf Express on a magical journey to the Elf Workshop and, of course, pay a visit to Santa. There will be stunning Christmas decorations throughout and fires lighting in every room. This interactive experience harks back to an old fashioned Christmas, with boys and girls being given the opportunity to make Christmas decorations and test toys. They can also enrol as an E.I.T (Elf In Training) and learn some essential Elf skills from the esteemed Professor Shandon Bells of Elfversity. “It’s a busy place with lots of elf mischief and plenty of entertainment,” says Caitriona Johansson of Cuskinny Court. “Mrs. Claus is kept very busy in the kitchen making gingerbread for visitors, young, old and elfish,” This is a magical experience for the whole family to enjoy. There are 40 people employed at The Cork North Pole Outpost, including local actors, writers, producers and directors. The music and lyrics for the Outpost Experience have been written by Alan Kearney from Cobh, the set is designed by Anett Kuruscai and the writer and director is Chris Doyle of Scene 1 Drama School, who has worked with the team at Cuskinny for a number of years. Booking is essential so make sure that you’ve booked your trip on the Elf Express soon because you don’t want to miss out on all the fun and festive goings on at The Cork North Pole Outpost Experience this Christmas.





Welcome to Connaught

Ancient stone walls in the Aran Islands

The province of Connaught lies in the West of Ireland with its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The counties of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Galway and Roscommon make up this geographically diverse region with the Atlantic Ocean to its westerly boundary, and the midlands of Roscommon to the East. It is the least populated with a population of just over 400,000. Historically, Connaught has retained its rich Gaelic heritage and today still has communities where the Irish language only is spoken amongst them. But English is the primary second language. These regions are collectively called the Gaeltacht. The remote and beautiful Aran Islands off the mainland of County Galway are also part of the Gaeltacht. The primary business centre of Connaught,

The Claddagh by night 40


and the most densely populated area is the thriving city of Galway to the south of the province. Although Sligo City, Carrick on Shannon, and Boyle are all fine business and shopping centres in their own right. Connaught has some of the most scenic and unspoilt countryside to be found in Ireland, including the spectacular mountainous landscape of Connemara, the lock gates and river banks of the Shannon Waterway, the famed Galway Bay and the historic glens of County Leitrim. Couple these with the beautiful Ashford Castle in Mayo near to Cong where the film The Quiet Man was filmed, and the natural serenity of Lough Key Forest Park in Roscommon, and a tour of this region is a must for all. For those interested in a religious experience

Mayo is famed for Knock Shrine where on the 21st August, 1879, at about 8 o’clock, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist are reputed to have appeared. The apparition was seen by fifteen people whose ages ranged from six years to seventy-five and included men, women and children. The shrine has become so popular in modern times that the Ireland West International Airport was built especially in 1985 to cater for the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors to Connaught. The county also features the pilgrimage site known as Croagh Patrick, which overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo. This is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Croagh Patrick is renowned today for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick is said to have fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the custom of trekking up the mountain has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport, and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside with magnificent views of Clew Bay beneath. So, whether it’s water activities on the Atlantic coastline, cruising on the Shannon Waterway, religious pilgrimages, chilling out amongst an unspoilt landscape or driving along roads where motoring is still a pleasure, Connaught has it all.

Explore Connaught

Kylemore Abbey

Few places on earth have the tranquillity and beauty of Kylemore Abbey and its majestic walled garden. The castle was bought by the Benedictine nuns in 1920. The Victorian walled garden was reopened in 1999 and won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award in 2002.The garden comprises of roughly 6 acres and is divided in two by a natural mountain stream. The eastern half comprises of the flower or pleasure garden, glass houses and gardeners’ houses. While the kitchen garden makes up the other half of the garden and is predominantly given over to the growing of food. This is a gem and should definitely be at the top of any visitors list.

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall is situated near Glencar Lake, 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. It is particularly impressive after rain and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk. As you reach Glencar which straddles the border between counties Sligo and Leitrim with its dramatic steep cliffs, you will notice a series of waterfalls cascading from the heights. Glencar waterfall is perhaps the most dramatic, descending from a 50ft rocky headland into a deep pool below in a haze of white spray. A paved path to the viewing area provides a wonderful vantage point from which to view the waterfall which is particularly spectacular during wet conditions.

Inishbofin Island

Inishbofin (island of the white cow) is situated seven miles off the Galway coastline and is an extremely popular tourist attraction.The island is 5.7km by 4km, and has three official looped walks of varying difficulties, each offering spectacular views of the island’s wild Atlantic scenery. The island also has several safe, award winning sandy beaches, and its clear waters make swimming, snorkelling and diving a joy. Two of the beaches on Inishbofin have been awarded the ‘Green Coast Award’, prized for their exceptional water quality and their natural, unspoilt environment.

Croagh Patrick



Mullaghmore is one of the surfing capitals of the Irish Atlantic coastline, and is recognised as one of the top surfing destinations in the world. Indeed, on 8 March 2012, surfers and windsurfers from all over the world rode waves up to 15 metres (49 ft) high off Mullaghmore Head. The area is also safe for bathing, and has all the modern facilities that you could wish for to make your stay enjoyable. And it is overlooked by the majestic Ben Bulbin mountain.

Connemara is one of God’s gifts to this world with unspoilt natural beauty, rolling hills, leafy glens and crystal clear mountain streams all overlooked by towering majestic mountains. Travel from the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the North through lake-rich Roundstone Bog, to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean. This wondrous landscape is bounded on the West, South and North by the Atlantic Ocean. Connemara’s land boundary with the rest of County Galway is marked by the Invermore River which flows into the north of Kilkieran Bay.

Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport, and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside. You get spectacular views of Clew Bay and the surrounding Mayo countryside from all stages as you climb. Widely considered the holiest mountain in Ireland, pilgrimages date all the way back to the time of the pagans, when people are thought to have gathered here to celebrate the beginning of harvest season. It was on the summit of this mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. On the last day in July 25,000 pilgrims climb it, and over a million people visit Croagh Patrick every year. Tel: 098 64114 DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Restaurants in Connaught Kai Café

An Port Mór Restaurant

Roasted pig cheeks with black pudding, and apple and vanilla sauce is just one of this award winning restaurant’s specialities. One of the finest restaurants in the West. 1 Brewery Place, Bridge St, Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: 098 26730

The Cottage Restaurant

Head chef Sham Hanifa’s sauces are so well regarded, you can buy jars of them to take away with you after your meal. Originally from Malaysia, he’s been here in Leitrim for over 14 years and applies his culinary skills to the local Irish produce that are native to the West. Jamestown, Co. Leitrim Tel: 071 962 5933

Ashford Castle

Dating all the way back to 1228, this is one of the most imposing castles on the island. And where better to dine than in the George V dining room, built specially by the Guinness family when they hosted the Prince of Wales in 1906. Cong, Co. Mayo Tel: 094 954 6003 David and Jessica Murphy’s restaurant in the heart of Galway has justly won a mountain of awards over the last couple of years, including Restaurant of the Year in 2012. Of the many, many who sing its praises, John McKenna wrote, “It’s vital food, packed with good energy, and it lifts you up to eat it because it’s so simple and elemental.” Sea Road, Galway City. Tel: 091 526 003

Eala Bhán

Upstairs @ West Restaurant

Situated in the luxury 4 star hotel The Twelve in Barna, minutes away from the city centre, this is one of Galway’s best kept secrets and is well worth a visit. The Twelve, Barna, Galway City Tel: 091 597 000

Waterfront House Restaurant

Ireland’s largest stockist of Designer Sunglasses If it’s fresh seafood or a prime steak you’re looking for, this is the place for you. Situated in the heart of Sligo this restaurant is warmly recommended by one and all, including Lucinda O’Sullivan and Georgina Campbell. Rockwood Parade, Sligo Town Tel: 071 914 5823

Half way between Athlone and Roscommon, and a quarter of an hour’s drive from either, Aidan Murray has been head chef here for over 20 years. Superior bistro food.

The Waterfront House Restaurant boasts one of the most outstanding sea views in Ireland. You can wine, dine and relax as you peer out over the 5km beach overlooking Killala Bay. Since it opened in 2011 the Seaview Restaurant and Wine Bar have become popular with locals and visitors alike. Fresh Seafood is a speciality.

Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon Tel: 090 666 1255

Enniscrone, County Sligo Tel: 096 37120

The Yew Tree Restaurant



Recommended Pubs in Connaught Tigh Neachtain (Naughtons)

Just across the road from Galway’s justly celebrated Druid Theatre, the Neachtain family have been running this pub here since 1894. And the artsy crowd that congregate here are as likely to be treated to a live jazz trio as they are to the best in Irish trad. 17 Cross st, Galway Tel: 091 568 820

Furey’s Pub

The Quays

Furey’s is located in the centre of Sligo, and is your no nonsense, strictly Irish trad music only, Irish pub. And they are as keen on real beer as they are on serious music, offering up an impressive choice craft beers. Bridge St, Sligo Tel: 087 958 3080 Don’t be put off by the reams of tourists that flock here all year round, there’s a reason that this pub enjoys such a lofty reputation. It looks and feels exactly like an Irish pub should. And be sure to check out the back of the pub which has been decked out with stained glass and wooden pews borrowed from a Medieval French church!

Bosh Bar and Restaurant Whether you are looking for a bit of good quality food, hoping to catch some live music, or just want to watch the match, this is the place you’re looking for when you find yourself in Castlebar.

11 Quay St, Galway Tel: 091 568 347

Linenhall St., Castlebar, Co Mayo Tel: 094 925 0534

Roísín Dubh

Matt Malloy’s

It might have changed hands a few years ago, but the Roísín Dubh is still the premier music venue in the West. In the past they played host to Ray Davies, The New York Dolls and Townes Van Zandt and, more recently the XX, DJ Shadow and Dinosaur Jr. The only difference is, they’ve got a beer garden on the roof now!

This is exactly the kind of pub you’d expect the flute player with the Chieftains to have opened. And when he’s not on tour with them, you can expect to see Matt Malloy here in person, joining in on the sessions that take place within.

Lower Dominick St., Galway Tel: 091 586 540

Bridge St., Westport Tel: 098 26655 DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Welcome to Ulster

Marble Arch Caves The Ancient Irish province of Ulster, made up of 9 counties, was partitioned in 1921 and six of the counties in it now make up Northern Ireland. These are Fermanagh, Antrim, Down, Derry/Londonderry, Armagh, and Tyrone. The other three counties are Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. County Fermanagh has over 300 square miles of water, 365 islands, breathtaking scenery, the mystical Marble Arch Caves Geo Park, world class fishing and more historic monuments than you could shake a stick at. In short, Fermanagh is a Lakeland Paradise. County Donegal is in the northwest of the

Malin Head Republic of Ireland. The name “Donegal” comes from the Irish, meaning “the fort of the foreigners”. The county consists chiefly of low mountains, with a deeply indented coastline forming natural loughs, of which Lough Swilly is the most notable. The famous mountains or 44


‘Hills of Donegal’ consist of two major ranges, the Derryveagh Mountains in the north and the Bluestack Mountains in the south, with Mount Errigal at 751 metres the highest peak. The Slieve League cliffs are the second highest sea cliffs in Europe, while Donegal’s Malin Head is the most northerly point on the island of Ireland.

the new Titanic Quarter and the Odyssey Arena to name but a few. This vibrant city has a culture all of its own and its restaurants, theatres and nightlife are amazingly good value.

Giants Causeway

County Antrim with its beautiful coast road and famous glens is the most north easterly county on the island. On a worldwide scale Antrim’s most famous attraction is the Giants Causeway. However the renowned ‘Glens of Antrim’, the Bushmills Distillery and Carrickfergus Castle are well worth visiting as well. Belfast City too has many things to see including the grandeur of the City Hall,

Belfast City Hall

Dublin Airport Travel Services Airport Parking, Fast Track, Executive Lounges and more – save time and book all of your essential travel services in one easy step on Dublin Airport offers all passengers unlimited free Wifi DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


A Christmas Wish - here in Inishowen

Doagh Island Lapland

By Heidi Woods Inishowen Tourism Development Officer.


reat your kids to make a wish in the magical world of Lapland Donegal, where the real story of “Christmas Past” meets the bright lights of “Christmas Extravaganza” of today. Taking place from November 21st until December 23rd 2015, make your fun-filled dream come true with a visit to remember, or take a winter weekend break away from it all, in a truly special place following the light of The Northern Star. The Inishowen Peninsula is bounded to the North and West by the Atlantic coastline; the Peninsula hosts the Signature Point One of The Wild Atlantic Way at Malin Head. It is also well known for its unique attraction, the Northern Lights seen more frequently in recent years during the winter months. However, Inishowen mountain roads at this time of year are lit up for our children to be guided to that special place that celebrates the fun and festivities of Christmas. Donegal’s very own Lapland is located at the Isle of Doagh. Taking a glimpse at what “Lapland” here in Donegal offers starts with the journey; spectacular images that fill the skies, guided by the star, or the bright strobe light that beams out from the “Lapland Village” on the Isle of Doagh. As the location is geographically “Ireland’s closest Christmas show” to Lapland itself; it is a fact that those visiting really do have to pass “The North Pole”. Building upon its huge success during the festive season last year, it is back by popular demand after a previous break of several years. It has been the longest running and most attended Christmas show in the Northwest. An additional new purpose built Lapland Visitor’s Centre completed during 2015 is now providing the “Little People” with Mums and Dads, a whole new experience, great facilities, and the all new Elves Disco in Santa’s Village. The latest attraction includes two reindeers especially transported all the way from Sweden, now permanent residents. Christmas can be a magical and fun filled experience for children; the Famine Village is transformed into Santa’s mini village with various themed rooms, and traditional scenes that reflect the true Christian story of Christmas. When the live show gets underway, the head elf appears and explains the story of Christmas. The children watch as a star 46


appears above the stage. Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus appear from behind the curtain along with a donkey in a stable. Santa makes an entrance coming down the chimney, which is a hilarious ordeal, and the elf explains how Santa got involved in the story of Christmas. Throughout the show, Santa is engaging with the audience, children and adults alike. There is no shortage of humour and laughter in this performance. Finally, Santa calls out each child by name and has a small present for each of them. The show closes and everyone continues to explore the enchanted village that is “Little Lapland”. The village has a number of cottages that are transformed to Santa’s House, A Toy Factory, and a Post Office, with Santa’s sleigh and various other features. The whole show takes place in the dark of night with thousands of lights for special effects, adding to the whole experience. Families visiting were asked by Heidi Woods, Tourism Development Officer of Inishowen Tourism for their feedback on the event experience and many said they had never been to a place like it. Comments included “brilliant” and “the best Santa I’ve ever seen”. Another visitor praised Santa for involving both children and parents alike. The helpers were appreciated for being friendly and a joy to be around throughout their visit. The message from my visit from Pat and Majella, the owners and managers here in Lapland “Wrap up warm children, this is Lapland and snow is on the way! Please remember to wear suitable clothing. Although the show itself is indoors, it takes place in the evening during the winter months; we look forward to meeting you”. Lapland Donegal has a website specifically set up to reserve your show at . Child & Adult Tickets are €14.50 each (plus a €0.50 booking fee per ticket). A full list of hotels, B&B, self catering accommodation, and current events on in the area are also available on and the Lapland site. Tickets are now available; it runs this year from 21st November until 23rd of December 2015. Come visit the jewel in the crown of Ireland here in Donegal, the Inishowen Peninsula, no need to take a flight, we have it all right here, and make your wish come true this Christmas with us. If you don’t get to visit us this year, we will put it on Santa’s Wish List for you for next year, Merry Christmas to one and all from Inishowen.

Recommended Restaurants in Ulster Ox

Having won the Best Newcomer Award in 2013, Ox took Best Restaurant, Best Chef and Best Wine Experience in Antrim for 2014. Chic, smart and very good.

The Ginger Bistro


1 Oxford St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 4121

55 Degrees North Located in Belfast’s historic Linenhall Street just behind City Hall, this is one of the best dining experiences you will find here in the city centre in Belfast. Its chic boutique surroundings make it very much the place to see and be seen.

This family run business has been open since 2005. And this stylish restaurant has been receiving plaudits ever since, both for the quality of its food, and the spectacular views of the Atlantic that it offers. 1 Causeway St, Portrush, Co Antrim Tel: 0044 28 7082 2811

The ginger in question is owner chef Simon McCance, and since relocating here closer to the centre his reputation for producing quality food at surprisingly reasonable prices has got even stronger. 7-8 Hope St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9024 4421

Deane’s Restaurant

7-11 Linenhall St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 1150


They serve deliberately simple, Frenchinfluenced food here using only the best seasonal ingredients, and all served at a reasonable price in an elegant location. And you can have a drink in the cocktail bar in the basement while you are waiting for your table. 253 Lisburn Rd, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9038 1655

Vanilla Restaurant

Local man Darren Ireland opened this smart new establishment here in 2009, and it’s one of the best quality bistros on the East coast.

Telfords Restaurant

Overlooking the river Lagan and situated in a maritime building that dates back to 1843, Telfords operates on three levels and is in walking distance from the Waterfront Hall, the Odyssey complex and the Ulster Hall.

67 Main St, Newcastle Tel: 0044 28 4372 2268

Lough Erne Resort

5 Donegall Quay, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9043 4000

Sun Kee Restaurant

One of the best Chinese restaurants in Belfast, the Lo family have been producing impressively adventurous and authentic Chinese cuisine here for years. 42-7 Donegall Pass, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 2016 Michael Deane trained at London’s prestigious Claridges and since returning to Belfast he has opened up a number of top quality restaurants across the city. And losing the Michelin star he had in 2011 has he says liberated him, allowing him to concentrate on the food without having to worry about critics. 36-40 Howard St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9033 1134


In the city’s busy Botanic Avenue, this is one of the city’s few authentic sushi bars, but they also serve a variety of fusion dishes if sushi is not your thing. A superior Japanese restaurant. 82 Botanic Av, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9043 9590

Speranza Restaurant

This 5 star hotel just outside the town of Enniskillen is quite simply one of the most spectacularly situated hotel resorts you will find anywhere in Europe.

Lusty Beg

This island spa is set on 75 acres in the heart of the lakes of Fermanagh, and where better to unwind than in its award winning restaurant.

Hand made oven baked pizzas are one of the specialities here, but there is a wide choice of all types of Italian food on offer here in one of Belfast’s finest Italian restaurants.

Belleek Rd, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh Tel: 0044 28 6632 3230

Boa Island, Kesh, Co Fermanagh Tel: 0044 28 6863 3300

16-9 Shaftesbury Av, Belfast Tel: 044 28 9023 0213 DECEMBER 2015 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Pubs in Ulster The Crown Liquor Saloon

Located in Belfast’s Cathedral district, very unusually this pub is owned by the Belfast Unemployment Resource Centre, which was opened by local poet, socialist and Freeman of the City, John Hewitt. Hence the name. They’ve an extensive range of craft beers, both on tap and in bottles. And if that’s not enough, they even have a genuine gin palace! Which includes locally made Shortcross Gin. 51 Donegall St., Belfast Tel: 028 9023 3768

White’s Tavern

Dating all the way back to 1630, this is the oldest tavern in Belfast, and one of the oldest anywhere on these islands. You can warm yourself by the fire downstairs where you’ll find the original pub, whilst upstairs they’ve opened a second bar where more livelier fare goes down. 2-4 Winecellar Entry, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 3080

Kelly’s Cellars Now owned by the National trust, this is one of the most justly famous pubs to be found anywhere in Britain or Ireland, with its mixture of oak panelling, leather chairs and its exquisite, ornate Victorian tiling. And, just as you’d expect, they’ve a wonderful selection of real ales and home made food. 46 Great Victoria St, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 3187

This is the oldest pub proper in Belfast, dating back to 1720. Stone floors, white washed walls, and traditional Irish music rings through its low ceilinged rooms. It’s like finding a country pub in the middle of the city. 30-32 Bank St, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 6058

The Duke Of York

The John Hewitt

One of the liveliest pubs in town, its walls are busy with paraphernalia and whatnots, and the place is hopping with (mostly) young people who fill the place up all weekend and most of the week. And if you are looking to treat yourself to a sneaky, antique whiskey, look no further. 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 1062

Peadar O’Donnell’s

There are three bars to choose from here at this famous Derry pub, and music to suit any and all tastes. You can move from an impromptu session that might have materialised magically in the corner of the traditional bar downstairs, to a gig proper upstairs in the Gweedore. Before coming back downstairs to what they swear is the best pint in Derry. 59-63 Waterloo St., Derry Tel: 028 7126 7295 48


Explore Ulster

The Old Bushmills Distillery

Belleek Pottery

Titanic Belfast Since opening in March 2012 Titanic Belfast has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, with over a million visitors through its doors in its first year. Housed in an iconic, six storey building, it’s located in the heart of Belfast, right next to the site where the famous ship was built. Once you enter the building proper, you’re introduced to the building’s giant atrium surrounded by the four “ships”, which act as the beginning of the Titanic experience. Your journey will then take you through the building’s nine galleries, telling the story of the Titanic from its conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through its construction and launch, to its famous maiden voyage and tragic end. Tel: 028 9076 6386

In 1608, King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillipps a license to distil whiskey, and Bushmills became the first distillery in the world to begin officially producing it. Bushmills is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey. This is at the heart of all Bushmills whiskeys, whether Bushmills or Black Bush, and it is this that gives them their unique combination of smoothness and richness. Today, over 120,00 visitors come to the Old Distillery every year to discover more about how it is all done, and to see for themselves where the magic happens. Tel: 028 2073 3218

Ulster American Folk Park

The Giant’s Causeway The Giant’s Causeway stretches for around five kilometres along the Antrim coast. Legend has it that it was built by Finn MacCool so that he could get across to Scotland to take on a giant who lived there. Visitors flock here from all over the world to marvel at one of Europe’s most magnificent coastlines and its unique rock formations. In 1986 the Giant’s Causeway Visitors centre opened, after the World Heritage Conventions added it to its list of sites which are of exceptional interest and universal value. The National Trust oversees the Causeway and provides the half million tourists who go there every year with all the information that they need.

Situated 5 miles outside of Omagh on the road to Strabane, the museum is your chance to mix family fun with a fascinating exploration of our shared histories. Immerse yourself in the world famous story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Follow the emigrant trail as you journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship leading to the log cabins of the American Frontier. Meet an array of costumed characters on your way with traditional crafts to show, tales to tell and food to share. You can also avail of the facilities at the residential centre and museum restaurant. Museum: +44 (0) 28 8224 3292 Residential centre: +44 (0)28 8224 0918

When you step into the world of Belleek Pottery you enter one of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating attractions. Visitors can take a personally guided tour of the factory and see how the techniques developed by the very first Belleek craftsmen 158 years ago are still followed today. An audio visual presentation informs visitors of the rich history of the pottery from its beginnings right the way through to present day, while the Belleek Museum offers a display of pottery through the ages. Visitors can enjoy a little retail therapy in the Belleek Pottery showroom and no visit is complete without taking a little time out at the Belleek Pottery restaurant to enjoy some well deserved refreshments from the savoury and sweet menu served. Tel: +44(0) 28 6865 9300 Email:

Florence Court

Florence Court is the former home of the Cole family, Earls of Enniskillen. The three storey Georgian mansion contains fine plasterwork and 18th century Irish furniture and also offers extensive gardens, outdoor trails and a woodland children’s play area. Every aspect of life in this classical Irish House, with its fine interiors and exquisite decoration, is brought to life on guided tours. Outside, visitors can discover the working estate including a sawmill, forge and carpenters shop, ice house, the historic rose garden and the mother of all Irish Yews. The Stables tearoom and Coach House gift shop are also onsite. The forest park has 10 miles of trails to enjoy on foot, by bike or on horseback. Tel: 028 6634 9001



Great Irish Writers

Patrick Kavanagh


t is a testament to Patrick Kavanagh’s work that when the Irish Times surveyed the ‘Nation’s Favourite Poems’ in 2000, ten of his poems appeared in the top fifty. He was born on 21 October 1904, in Mucker townland, Inniskeen parish, Co. Monaghan. His father was a cobbler and small farmer and he initially worked on the farm after leaving school. Frustrated with this life, Kavanagh yearned for a more enlightened life and soon his poems began appearing in the Dundalk Democrat and Weekly Independent. In 1928 he had three poems printed by George Russell in The Irish Statesman during. This led to him walking to Dublin in 1931 to meet Russell. Russell then introduced him to Frank O’Connor and this led to his first collection, Ploughman and Other Poems being published in 1936. Kavanagh moved to London for a period in search of literary work but soon returned to Ireland. One of his greatest poms, The Great Hunger, appeared around this time but its depictions of the mental and sexual frustrations of rural life attracted some

unwanted attention from police and censors. After experiencing something of a lull in popularity, the release of Recent Poems in 1958 put him back on top. This was followed by Come Dance with Kitty Stobling in 1960. These works contain some of Kavanagh’s best known shorter poems. He died in 1967 but works such as Stony Grey Soil, Canal Bank Walk, In Memory Of My Mother and On Raglan Road (which has been converted to song beautifully by The Dubliners) ensure that Kavanagh’s legacy lives on and he has earned plaudits from notable people as diverse as Seamus Heaney and Russell Crowe. He is buried in his hometown of Inniskeen and beside his grave is the Patrick Kavanagh Resource Centre. This centre is a wonderful place to visit, with regular events including the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Weekend and loads of information about Kavanagh’s life and work, making it a great place to visit for anyone with an interest in Irish literature.

Colin Davidson - Artist “Life is a gift,” says Colin Davidson of his decision to close his design business a little over fifteen years ago and pursue art full time. “We kind of nearly owe it to life to put ourselves out there, to challenge ourselves, to maybe even run the odd risk in the pursuit of really doing justice to what our lives are about.” Colin’s risk has certainly paid off as he is now an acclaimed artist whose work can be found in galleries in his native Belfast as well as Dublin, London, Paris and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. He initially began painting urban cityscapes at a time when Belfast was coming into its own and emerging from the shadow of the Troubles. “I looked at Belfast, the city that I grew up in, the city that I witnessed standing still for thirty years,” he says. “I kind of painted it again from high viewpoints, getting on the roofs of buildings in the city centre and just witnessing this city emerging again.” He then moved on to painting grand scale portraits. Thanks to an early relationship with the Lyric Theatre in Belfast, Colin had the 50


opportunity to paint portraits of Brian Friel and Seamus Heaney. He has since painted portraits of a host of well known faces, including Roddy Doyle, Brad Pitt, Michael Longley, Duke Special and Glen Hansard. In fact, Colin’s portrait of Glen Hansard went on to become the cover for Hansard’s debut solo album Rhythm and Repose. But it’s not just famous faces that Colin is interested in capturing. In 2014 he travelled to Jerusalem and painted portraits of ordinary people. “I don’t allude to what section of the community they’re from,” says Colin. “It’s more about exploring the common humanity than anything else.” There’s a similar theme to his current exhibition, Silent Testimony. The exhibition features eighteen paintings of people who have suffered loss during the Troubles. “The legacy of all conflict is people who are left behind, who have suffered the loss,” says Colin. “The stories are the same no matter where in the world you go.” Silent Testimony runs until 17 January in the Ulster Museum in Belfast. It will then go on a world tour, starting in Paris in January 2016. For more on Colin’s work, visit

Blarney Castle & Gardens Renowned for bestowing the gift of eloquence Take the time to enjoy our magical CASTLE GARDENS

Open all year round 5 miles from Cork Open Monday- Sunday 9-6

Profile for Travel Ireland Magazine

Travel Ireland Volume 2 Issue 20  

Whether this is your first time visiting our shores, or you are returning once again to trace the steps of your distant ancestors, here at T...

Travel Ireland Volume 2 Issue 20  

Whether this is your first time visiting our shores, or you are returning once again to trace the steps of your distant ancestors, here at T...