It didn't crossed my mind the Wild West to which my Uncle Am said I belonged might be the “Wild West of Ireland” and I will not forget my first time visiting there through old photos, postcards and family records. Now no longer working 24/7 having made way for younger minds, and having at last acknowledged that living in the US Wild West had in no way calmed my restlessness, I began to search for the origins of a photo of some unknown relations on a sailboat. The photo had been framed and kept by my paternal grandparents to be discovered in a chest of treasures when my Mom joined my Dad in the next place. It is a haunting photo of four people on a sailboat, entitled “Tommy’s Boat”. Something of it, the serenity, the anticipation, haunts me. In my quest I discovered that my grandparents both emigrated from Galway to the U.S in the early 1900s. They were proud to have recorded on the US Census “Free State of Ireland” as their birthplace. Digging through papers and records I discovered the photo to be that of my Grandmother’s brothers and a cousin sailing a Húicéir on Galway Bay. Is this the Wild West to which my dear Uncle said I belong…When I tell my children that someday I will go to Ireland, they smile. They remember our travels through the picture books and magazines, dressing up to “go to” different countries as we explored ethnic foods, and dance; now augmented with Arial Ireland on Public Broadcasting and sites like The Wild Geese for “travels” with my grandchildren. I have a file of places to go and things to see on my visit to Ireland, including Kinvara. where I am certain the Hooker of the photo was at some time blessed, Kylemore Abby which sites on land once said to belong to family, hoping to connect with relations... If there is luck in this Irish I will be selected to go on this wonderful adventure The Wild Geese, WOW and all are offering. My daughter will come with me and we will bring home stories and photos to inspire the next generations to explore their roots. I know we will never forget our first time setting foot on the Wild West of Ireland! I thank you for this opportunity!
Tell us why YOU want to experience the ‘Wild West’ of Ireland, and you might win a free 9-day trip there, courtesy of Wild West Irish Tours and WOW Air. Get the details!