I seem to be always thinking, dreaming, planning my next trip to Ireland. Born and brought up in an Irish/American family, Irish references, jokes, songs and the inevitable quote have always been a part of me. The neighborhood where I spent the first 20 years of my life was full of "comeovers", the Sugrues', Hogans, McElroys', Costigans', O'Grady's of my childhood told many a story that always fascinated me, creating a yearning that was finally satisfied in 2007. A grand trip with my Brother and Sister in Law. We landed in Dublin from Boston, my brother was a veteran of the Irish manner of driving, he had been "over" seven years before. We drove and we drove, got lost, got found, survived the roundabouts, found all the B&B's we had booked and enjoyed the hospitality of all those in the B&B field.
It was only a week, but a wonderful one, we did all the called for stops,Dublin and all its bustle and brag, Powerscourt, Waterford Crystal, The Cliffs, The Burren ending in Galway, way too soon for our flight back to Boston from Shannon.
Well, now I had been given a taste, a soupcon of this Magical Country and I wanted more. Fast forward, I unfortunately but also fortunately win an insurance case! Ireland here I come! Searched around on the wonderful Internet and found what looked like the trip for me, I would become a "Wild Westie". We had always been told that "Granny Grunt" Annie Drury White and her brother Michael Drury had left Ireland from their home in Sligo and arrived in Boston. I did so want to see this area and walk where she had walked.
Arrangements made for my look at the West of Ireland, I anxiously await August of 2014, the trip will be solo, my Husband not the traveling sort. A few days added to the itinerary both at the beginning and the end. I want to see as much as I can squeeze in over two weeks. Well to shorten this ramble up a bit it was a fabulous two weeks, every day a treasure to look back on and remember, pictures in the thousands and ties to Ireland, thanks to Facebook, that I hope will be forever. My Wild Westie group was small, just three women, all of us solo, three forceful personas, we wanted to see and know everything. Our daily trips satisfied our quest, with a personal trip to the Sligo Genealogy Center and then a lovely meander through Mullaghmore, the village where my Great grandmother might have come from, a truly lovely day, one of many. The town names ring through my thoughts against a background of Yeats and the lively music of O'Donnell's Pub in Cliffoney.
Ahh, but now dangling in front of me is a chance to see more, places I missed, towns that were only signs on the road, churches, graveyards, ruins, oh my,how I would love to return and maybe locate another area where an ancestor had cut the ties and sailed to America. The family names are fairly common, Sullivan, White, Drury and Sheehan, did trace the Sheehan's to Tyrone, so have added that to a must see list.
No, I will never forget my first two visits to Ireland, one covering the South and the other the North and West, I certainly would be over the moon to see it again, so here I am with fingers crossed and the "Luck of the Irish" behind me offering this tribute to my travels.
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!