In September 2013 my partner and I visited Ireland for 23 days, we traveled all around the coastline starting in Dublin, then onto Belfast, Derry, Sligo, Galway, Dingle Cork and back to Dublin. This was a life changing event for me. First it was the realization of a dream, coming from a large Irish-American family, Ireland has always been my dream vacation and I was lucky enough to pool all my time off from work to be there for more than 3 weeks.

I can honestly say every bit of that trip was magical… the landscape, the history, the food, the music and of course the people! I have followed the Good Friday Agreement since its creation and the N. Ireland peace process has been a passion of mine ever since, so it was particularly meaningful to spend a week of our trip in N. Ireland. The cab tours in Belfast and Derry were an extraordinary way to see the past and the present of the conflict and peace process. And we fell in love with the west coast, especially Dingle and everywhere we went in the Ring of Kerry. Ever since there’s been a longing in my heart to get back to Ireland and experience as much more of the country and people as I can. My partner and I both agreed one of our goals in life is to own a home in Ireland and live there later in life. That trip made it clear, Ireland is where I want to be… regardless of all the issues of small island life and a small island economy, Ireland is where I want to call home!

That trip also exposed me to the budding Irish coffee culture… as a “tea country” Ireland has just recently started to embrace the world of specialty and craft coffee in the last few years. While in Galway I actually found a little shop I later worked with to bring their coffee and café concept to the US. While this didn’t last long term given the costs, it awoke a passion and idea in me. I’ve been a coffee lover for the longest time and was excited to see Ireland diving into the world of coffee. So my plan is this, I have created a concept here in the US that I hope to one day take to Ireland. House of Monaghan was just launched this month… I’m custom roasting small batch roasts to customers’ specific orders. As House of Monaghan grows, it will move into retail space as a full service coffee shop, with fresh baked goods, café-style food and continue to custom roast coffee to our customers’ specifications. Once House of Monaghan has expanded into multiple locations in the Portland Oregon area, my goal is… take it to Ireland! Each store will employ a handful of staff and the staff will be well compensated. My long term plan is to have profit sharing, a management development program and possibly make House of Monaghan employee-owned in the future. The goal is simple, take a business model to Ireland that will benefit people with a career path and a work environment they’ll love and want to be part of.

So with that said, my hope to win this trip is both personal and professional for my goal of moving my home and my business to Ireland for the benefit of Ireland. This trip would be a wonderful chance to reconnect with Ireland and keep my passion fired up and my mind and heart focused on my goal of doing something good and beneficial for the Irish people – both in the north and south. I want to see House of Monaghan in cities in Ireland and Northern Ireland, providing a great career for the folks who want to work there and share my passion for great coffee!

Please help me stay focused and stay the course with my Irish dream by sending me and my partner back to the place we dream of calling home!!! House of Monaghan was essentially born in Ireland, this trip would be one piece of the puzzle in getting House of Monaghan and us back home!

Thank you,
Brian Monaghan

ps. I'll upload some photos from our 2013 trip and some images of House of Monaghan - Custom Coffee Roasters!

Me and Robert

The best vacation EVER!

Paul, our amazing Derry tour guide, son of one of the victims of Bloody Sunday... he is both a campaigner for justice AND a supporter of the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Sea cliffs in Donegal

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Tags: Travel

Comment by Brían Pádraic Ó Manacháin on May 25, 2015 at 3:51pm

The Rock of Cashel - amazing

Leaving Dingle - one of my favorite cities

The sun setting at the Cliffs of Moher... a VERY windy day

A MORE THAN Full Irish Breakfast at Malahide Castle

Comment by Bit Devine on May 28, 2015 at 4:48pm

Ah yes, the hunt for GOOD coffee in Ireland...used to be a real challenge once upon a not too long ago time... Luckily coffee has found a niche in Ireland...

Looking at your map... you missed some of the BEST parts of Ireland.. Though most do on their first a circular route is usually the choice... Wexford...The midlands... Inishowen... The Beara & Sheep's head peninsulas... Perhaps you will find your way to these on your next trip

Comment by Brían Pádraic Ó Manacháin on May 28, 2015 at 4:51pm

my next trip will be more inland (besides hopefully winning the WWIT)... there's lots we wished we'd hit, plus we arrived in Galway the weekend the Aran island shifted out of summer mode and the tours were much more limited, so that was a bit of a bummer... we also missed New Grange, so yes there's lots to still be check off the to do list, thanks Bit!


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