Faces from the past

I follow this wonderful website, Wistorical.com, on Facebook and when old pictures of Ireland are shown, I am amazed at how beautiful the faces are, and I am also saddened at how tough life was in Ireland in the not so distant past.

Old Woman at her spinning wheel in Galway around 1900 (Image source The Sheep And Wool Heritage Center and Wistorical.com)

Old Woman at her spinning wheel in Galway around 1900 (Image source The Sheep And Wool Heritage Center and Wistorical.com)

The face of an older lady, in Galway, sitting at a spinning wheel, is languid and calm, but her eyes are so sad. The photo is colorized, and part of a collection published as postcards by the Detroit Photographic Company.

The Sheep and Wool Heritage Center in Leenane, Connemara in County Galway is a great way to see how sheep and wool and spinning played an important part in the history of the west of Ireland.

If you can’t wait to get there and buy some of their original wool products, you can shop online and have your hat, gloves, scarf, whatever you’d like, delivered to your door, all the way from Leenane!

There is another photo of women sitting on the floor sorting through tobacco leaves at the Lambkin Snuff and Tobacco Factory in County Waterford.

IRISH TOBACCO & THE LAMBKIN FACTORY (Image Source: Wistorical.com)

IRISH TOBACCO & THE LAMBKIN FACTORY (Image Source: Wistorical.com)

Who knew that tobacco was grown near Adare Manor in Limerick? Not me, that’s for sure. And in addition, who knew that a tobacco factory would later be used by a family called Lyons to make tea?

Rough work though, sitting and stripping, whirling or doing whatever else needed to be done to tobacco leaves to make those leaves smoke worthy.

The photos are beautiful, a window into a bygone era, and a reminder that we don’t have it too bad today. I am glad that someone had the wherewithal to record those stories and photograph those faces, before they were lost forever to us.

I purchased two books by Turtle Bunbury, who is responsible for Wistorical.com. The Vanishing Ireland series is a lovely collection of those faces from the past, each face has a story to go with it. Worth buying, definitely.

Irish Days by Margaret Hickey (Image Source: Amazon.com)

Irish Days by Margaret Hickey (Image Source: Amazon.com)

A second book that I purchased is Margaret Hickey’s Irish Days, which offers more details about its subjects. Anyone with ancestors from Ireland would love these books.

Anecdotal, funny, and a detailed historical record of what life was like in Ireland for those that have come and gone before us.

If you have Irish origins, go beyond The Quiet Man and read what life was really like in Ireland in the last two centuries.

It wasn’t an easy life by any means, yet these people smile. They had what they needed, I suppose, and appreciated life for the little pleasures it brought.

March 17th is only a few weeks away. Why not connect with your Irish roots, don’t just leave it until Saint Patrick’s Day. Vanishing Ireland and Irish Days, brush up on you ancestors and their history.

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Murals: A part of history or an eye sore?

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A mural of Che Guevara, who visited and stayed in Kilkee, West Clare has been painted over prior to a Latin Festival celebrating his visit in 1961. The Che do Bheatha Festival is in its third year. The removal of the mural has caused division among county council representatives.

According to The Irish Examiner, “Kilkee Chamber of Commerce President Johnny Redmond said: “Clare County Council has decided it is graffiti and has removed this harmless mural. This at a time when the council says it has no money to kill the weeds that are growing up through the footpath on the promenade but has time and funds to waste on removing an internationally recognised image in the year of the Gathering with Irish-Argentinians coming to Kilkee for the festival.””

The Che Guevara mural in Killkee, County Clare. (Image Source: Irish Independent)

The Che Guevara mural in Kilkee, County Clare.
(Image Source: Irish Independent)

The Belfast Telegraph said that the mural was removed because due to an increased number of US tourists, the Americans were upset by the Che mural. “The Americans left town after seeing the mural. The face of Guevara, who visited Kilkee in 1961, had adorned the same spot for the previous two Che do Bheatha festivals.”

Belfast should know a thing or two about the historical importance of murals. The slideshow above (all pictures are my own. Taken in August 2009) is of murals in the city of Belfast depicting the troubles, the heroes of both sides, and historical figures, such as Guevara, that were revered for their patriotism. Taxi and bus tours of Belfast city include the murals in their informational tours.

Jim Fitzpatrick's iconic image of Che Guevara

Jim Fitzpatrick’s iconic image of Che Guevara

The image depicted of Che Guevara was made famous by Irish artist, Jim Fitzpatrick, whom I interviewed by telephone in November 2011. You can read the interview here. Fitzpatrick met Guevara when he visited County Clare during a  flight stopover in 1961.

Should the Kilkee mural have been painted over or removed because it upset a few Americans? I don’t think so. And I do hope that the Clare County Council will redo the image. Regardless of whether you admire or despise Che Guevara, it is just a mural, and if the locals aren’t offended, why should a tourist be offended?

Homesick

HomesickHomesick

            The dry cleaners smelled of perchloroethylene. That stink, sweet smell reminded her where she was and made her homesick; not because of its familiarity, but because of its strangeness.

The accents were Mexican, Chinese, Korean, and American.  She was the only Irish one. An exotic bird in a cage of varied nationalities; looked down upon, less than, and doing the jobs that the locals refused to do. The work of lesser mortals, the Morlocks, doing the work that the Eloi preferred not to.

            Homesickness is an ailment that strikes the physical, mental, and spiritual being. The idle chit chat she once was capable of performing effortlessly became a tantamount effort at communication. She thanked God for the itemized slips. Never looking the customers in the eye, “5 shirts boxed with starch,” and she circled each criteria on the docket. “2 suits, same day.” All she ever had to ask was their name, and sometimes she had to ask them to spell it. It was then that they detected her accent. “Are you Irish?” “Yes.” “Oh! My grandparents were from Ireland!” “Oh really? What part?” “I don’t know.” Occasionally they would know and tried to remember the town, mispronounced the place name, or they began to recount their trip to Ireland.

            The Mexican taught her how to drive. She called him Mario Andretti for fun. She learned to say hello, goodbye, and count to ten in Spanish. The Korean said she looked too thin, and made an extra lunch every day to fatten her up. She learned to say hello, goodbye, and count to ten in Korean. The Chinese man looked down on her; she was, after all, a woman. The Americans praised her work efforts, told her to slow down, and warned that cancer was an evil that ran through families, promised to pray for her, or asked her for a loan to feed a gambling habit.

The Mexican and Korean learned to say hello, goodbye and count to ten in Irish.

            A family formed. All immigrants. Everyone was from somewhere else. The Mexican was an accountant, but made more money working as a presser. The Korean wanted independence, which work provided. And she was in university. The customers seemed shocked to hear it. But then again, in this town, the occupants had the luxury of choosing where to work. Where she came from, that option was non-existent.

How could you miss a place that couldn’t give you work? Is home in the blood? Do you still call it home when you’ve been gone twenty years? Will the homesickness go away eventually? She wondered if she would ever fit in. 

            Marriage, motherhood, twenty years of Thanksgivings, July Fourths, Memorial Days, and Labor Days. All it takes is two days in Ireland to bring back the homesickness. It will pass, she tells herself, but she knows it’s getting worse as she gets older. She wonders if other immigrants die with this feeling of not belonging. At what point will she be more American than she is Irish. And she secretly hopes that this will never be the case.

            An immigrant, she tells herself, is an ethnicity abroad. There are more immigrants than there are nationals. The world has been pulsating with shifting tribes for thousands of years. She reminds herself that to be Irish means to be part of a culture that was conquered by the Celts, Vikings, Normans, Spanish, and the English.

            A piebald heritage, not one hundred percent of anything. This gives her solace. She is not the first, and won’t be the last, to feel homesick for a land that she belonged to for eighteen years. Homesickness is transferred into pride. Home is in the blood.

Unknown Woman in Ireland 100 Years Ago

In recent days I have been browsing through old photographs of Ireland that are now online. 100 years is a long time, and yet when I see 1913 I think about my father’s birth date, January 1928, and it doesn’t seem like such a long time ago. To see color photographs of Ireland in 1913 makes 100 years seem even less of a distance from today.

Irish girl in the Claddagh in Galway May 1913. Picture from Old Color Photos of Ireland blog

Irish girl in the Claddagh in Galway May 1913. Picture from Old Color Photos of Ireland blog

The Old color photos of Ireland blog has some fantastic photos that make you realize the people in the photos are REAL people, with no shoes, dirty feet and well worn hands from hard work.

The color in the photograph on the left is vivid, and if I could get my hands on that scarf that she is wearing!

This girl is probably not even twenty I would guess. I wonder if she wore shoes in the winter? I wonder what the life expectancy  rate was back then?

There’s no doubt about it, she is living a hard life, and yet she smiles for the camera. Don’t show any signs of suffering on your face, don’t let the world know that times are hard and maintain an air of respectability. Or maybe that isn’t what her smile portrays at all? Maybe she really is content, maybe she is happy with her lot in life. Somehow though I doubt it.

Irish girl in Claddagh, County Galway. May 1913 Picture via Old color photos of Ireland blog

Irish girl in Claddagh, County Galway. May 1913 Picture via Old color photos of Ireland blog

Here she is standing at the cottage door. The smile is gone. This is a more natural pose I think. She’s looking off into the distance and her eyes search for something or someone.

According to Turtle Bunbury, who brought us the beautiful Vanishing Ireland books, with his photographer friend James Fennell,

“In May 1913, Marguerite Mespoulet and Madeleine Mignon, two French women in their early 30s, arrived in Co. Galway, armed with heavy cameras and, more importantly the Autochrome Lumière plates, which enabled them to produce the first colour images of Ireland.”

The photographs are allegedly the first color portraits ever taken in Ireland. I am glad that Marguerite Mespoulet and Madeleine Mignon took pictures around Galway in 1913. It brings the past to life. Color adds expression and emotion to the photographs. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone knew this girl’s name? It might even be your grandmother, you’d never know.

Here’s one more picture from the Old Colour Photos of Ireland Blog. Visit the blog for more pictures of men with the old coracle boats, Irish cottages, Clonmacnoise, and Melifont Abbey all in color and taken in 1913. Remember, in 1913 Ireland was still governed by England. Three years after these photos were taken the Easter 1916 Rising would begin the separation of both countries and result in Irish independence.

Mother of seven making fringes for knitted shawls, Galway, Ireland, 29 May 1913 Picture Via Old Colour Photos of Ireland Blog

Mother of seven making fringes for knitted shawls, Galway, Ireland, 29 May 1913 Picture Via Old Colour Photos of Ireland Blog

Memories of an Irish thatched cottage

I watched the 2013 Irish short entry for the Sundance film festival and it brought me back to Sunday afternoons when I was about eight or nine years old. My parents visited their friend, a widow living with her elderly aunt, in a thatched cottage in a place called Tiernascragh in East Galway, the county not the city.

Fireside cottage

Open fire in an Irish cottage. Picture via seahorseholidays.ie

I am so glad I have this memory. A beautiful thatched cottage, an open fire, and the furniture, painted by the woman, had a charm that I have never seen since.

Nonie and Paco Madden of Tiernascragh with my parents, Michael and Margaret Horrigan

Nonie and Paco Madden of Tiernascragh with my parents, Michael and Margaret Horrigan, and my twin sister Margaret standing, I am sitting on Nonie’s lap.

The distinct smell of the interior of the cottage was typical of thatched homes. It wasn’t unpleasant, but earthy and natural. Despite having no central heating, the kitchen was always warm and inviting. There was always plenty of food, and a generous hostess, lots of chat and laughter.

Open half door of an Irish cottage. Picture taken in Kileel, Co. Down by Dev b via Flickr

Open half door of an Irish cottage. Picture taken in Kileel, Co. Down by Dev b via Flickr

In the summer, the half-door remained open, keeping roaming farmyard animals out,  allowing the smells of the garden across the way to drift in. The melding scents of roses, foxgloves and parsley, all wafted through, even on the soft days. In the summer the fire was always ablaze, it was how kettles were boiled for making tea, an hourly ritual, and strictly adhered to.

Irish Thatched Cottage on Lough Eske, Donegal, Ireland

Irish Thatched Cottage on Lough Eske, Donegal, Ireland
flickriver.com

On the Ireland Reaching Out Tiernascragh, County Galway page a Vimeo video, The Tiernascragh Heritage Project, re-enacts essays written by school children in 1937 in the Tiernascragh school.Traditions practiced on Halloween, Twelve Night and old Irish sayings, some were practiced in my own home in the seventies, others were not, are discussed.

I wonder how many of these older traditions are still celebrated today? It makes me think how quickly things changed in Ireland. In 77 years, only one lifetime, many of these older traditions are no longer in existence, and it’s a bit sad really. But that’s progress, or is it? I suppose to an eight or nine-year old girl, without a care in the world, the world seemed rosy and bright, even on a soft day.

Vimeo Video about Tiernascragh.

If you’d like to watch the Sundance Irish short entry, Irish Folk Furniture, you’ll find it below.

T’was the Night Before Christmas in Irish

santslgh

An Oiche Roimh Nollaig in san Gaelige   T’was the night before Christmas in Irish

The first two verses on audio:

Ba é an oíche roimh Nollaig
agus go léir tríd an teach,
Ní raibh ainmhí ag gluaiseacht,
ní fiú ar an luch. mouse

Crochadh ár stocaí ar an simléar go cúramach
Bhí súil againn go mbeadh Santa Claus cuairt a thabhairt go luath.
Bhí na páistí go léir in a choladh sa leaba
agus bhí siad ag aishling de na rudaí milis.

Mamaí a bhí ag caitheamh a gúna oíche
agus bhí mé ag caitheamh hata oíche
Bhí Fuair ​​muid díreach i leaba a titim ina chodladh.

Gach de tobann suas ar an díon a bhí a lán de torann
Léim mé as mo leaba a fheiceáil cad a bhí ar siúl.
Chuaigh mé go dtí an fhuinneog
agus d’oscail sé go tapa.

An ghealach ar an mbrollach an sneachta nua-thit
Thug an luster de lár-lá rudaí thíos,
Nuair a, cad ba cheart do mo shúile wondering beidh sé le feiceáil,
Ach carr sleamhnáin miniature, agus ocht réinfhianna beag bídeach,

Le tiománaí beag d’aois, mar sin bríomhar agus tapa,
Bhí a fhios agam i láthair caithfidh sé a bheith St Nick.
Níos gasta ná mar a rialóidh a coursers tháinig siad,
Agus fead sé, agus scairt, agus d’iarr orthu de réir ainm;

“Anois, Dasher! Anois, Dance! Anois, Prancer agus Vixen!
Ar, CometT! ar Cupid! ar, Donder agus Blitzen!
Chun an barr an porch! go dtí an barr an mballa!
Anois Fleasc ar shiúl! Fleasc amach! Fleasc ar shiúl go léir! ”

Mar duilleoga tirim roimh an eitilt Invest fiáin,
Nuair a shásaíonn siad le chonstaic, mount chun an spéir,
Mar sin, suas go dtí an teach-barr na coursers eitil siad,
Leis an carr sleamhnáin iomlán na bréagáin, agus San Nioclás freisin.

Agus ansin, i twinkling, Chuala mé ar an díon
An gothaí agus crúbáil gach crúb beag.
Mar a tharraing mé i mo lámh, agus bhí sé ag casadh timpeall,
Síos an simléar tháinig San Nioclás le cheangal.

Bhí sé gléasta go léir i fionnaidh, as a cheann go a chos,
Agus a chuid éadaí a bhí tarnished go léir le luaithreach agus soot;
A carn de bréagáin a bhí thangadar sé ar a chúl,
Agus d’fhéach sé cosúil le peddler ach a oscailt ar a phacáiste.

A shúile – conas a twinkled siad! a dimples conas Merry!
A leicne a bhí cosúil le rósanna, a shrón cosúil le silíní!
Tarraingíodh a bhéal droll beag suas mar bogha,
Agus bhí an meigeall a smig chomh bán le sneachta;

An stumpa ar píopa bhí sé daingean ina fiacla,
Agus an deatach encircled sé a cheann mar a bheadh ​​fleasc;
Bhí sé ar aghaidh leathan agus bolg beag cruinn,
Sin chroith, nuair a gáire sé cosúil le bowlful glóthaí.

Bhí sé chubby agus plump, a ELF ceart d’aois jolly,
Agus Ghair mé nuair a chonaic mé é, in ainneoin mé féin;
A wink a súl agus casadh a cheann,
Go gairid thug dom a fhios go raibh mé aon rud le dread;

Ní labhair sé focal, ach chuaigh sé díreach ar a chuid oibre,
Agus líonadh na stocaí; iompaithe ansin le jerk,
Agus lena leagtar a mhéar ar leataobh a srón,
Agus ag tabhairt nod, suas an simléar éirigh sé;

Sprang sé lena carr sleamhnáin, chun a fhoireann Thug feadóg,
Agus ar shiúl eitil siad go léir cosúil leis an síos ar thistle.
Ach chuala mé exclaim, ere thiomáin sé as radharc,
“Nollaig Shona LE GACH, AGUS DO GACH A OÍCHE MAITH-!”

santalaf

Translation by blogger and Google Translate. From the original poem by Clement Moore

Animations via http://www.night.net/christmas/Twas-night01.html

Apologies to native Irish speakers! Nollaig Shona Dhuit!

The Claddagh: More than just a ring

Claddagh Ring picture via Wikipedia

If you’ve ever seen someone wearing this ring and wondered what it signified, you’ve come to the right blog post.

The Claddagh ring is worn by people who are affiliated with or have an affection for Ireland.

The design, originated by a blacksmith in Claddagh, a town outside of Galway on the west of Ireland, was originally created as a wedding ring.

There is also a river by the name of Claddagh which meets the Corrib river at Galway city and flows into Galway bay. The word Claddagh, pronounced Clada, means stony beach. The town itself is one of the oldest fishing villages in Ireland, existing before the arrival of Christianity.

The Claddagh in Galway, Ireland

The Claddagh attracted many writers who spread the word about the idyllic location of the Claddagh with its thatched cottages. The village was located outside of the old Galway city walls, but in the 1930’s the cottages were destroyed and replaced with council housing.

The original design of the hands holding a heart and topped by a crown signify love, friendship and loyalty, fashioned by a blacksmith who could not afford to purchase a wedding ring for his betrothed.

Why do I like it? Because the guy who designed it did so with an old and outdated skill, blacksmithing, and also because the Claddagh in Galway, located near the Spanish Arch, is a beautiful area made famous by writers.

So if you’ve got friends who are of Irish descent and who aspire to writing, the Claddagh design is more than just an Irish wedding ring, it was designed in a place made famous by writers. Heck, they don’t even have to be Irish to appreciate the story of an artist who was broke and decided to use his craft and skill and then share it, do they?

The Claddagh design

The red dot signifies the location of the Claddagh in County Galway in Ireland

Irish Women and Catholicism

‘Tis only meself on the altar stone of the Drombeg Stone Circle in County Cork

When Saint Patrick arrived in Ireland, allegedly circa AD 428, the Irish had their own religion, Druidism. Patrick lived as a slave and then escaped Ireland, leaving behind a foreign land, people, and religion.

Like many other indigenous tribes throughout the world, the Celts of Ireland worshipped the world that surrounded them. The Eskimo, Native American Indian and so many other tribes worshipped in similar ways. The forest, rivers, mountains and weather all influenced the belief system of the Celts.

Mother goddess

Mother earth, or mother goddess, was revered. Women were held in high esteem because they could give birth, and the most important woman in many tribes was the mid-wife.

This was contested by the cult of the head, warriors who made life taking more revered than life-giving,and transitioned a matriarchal society into a patriarchal society, and that transition was far from peaceful.

Cult of the head

Along comes Patrick, now a Catholic bishop, and according to Patrick himself in his own words,”I saw a man coming, as it were from Ireland. His name was Victoricus, and he carried many letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the heading: “The Voice of the Irish”. As I began the letter, I imagined in that moment that I heard the voice of those very people who were near the wood of Foclut, which is beside the western sea—and they cried out, as with one voice: “We appeal to you, holy servant boy, to come and walk among us.” via De Paor Liam (1993), Saint Patrick’s World: The Christian Culture of Ireland’s Apostolic Age pg 100.

Drombeg Stone Circle in County Cork.

I doubt very much that the Irish “appealed” for Patrick to come back and “walk among them.” Because the Druids and Druidism still existed in Ireland, the Irish had a religion. Yes, the cult of the head caused a major shift in societal ideology, but let’s face it, most people lived isolated lives on crannogs, peaceful lives.

The warrior cult of the head existed most likely by the shoreline, battling off invasions from mainland Europe.Patrick’s conversion of the Irish from Druidism to Catholicism reminds me of the assimilation of human to cyborg; it had to be done gradually, retaining aspects of the former, but coercing the new ideology into the new structure.

When Patrick arrived in Ireland he witnessed a fully functional religion that contradicted the religion he belonged to, Catholicism. Patrick was an ordained bishop when he returned to Ireland in AD 428 (c.) and he was adamant that the old ways would only survive if they melded themselves with the new. The earlier post entitled The Lucky Four Leaf Clover: Celtic Christianity at it’s best is a small snippet of information about how an aspect of Celtic life was taken, twisted and implemented into the new faith.

In the new faith, women were demonized. There are stone carvings over a number of castles, churches, and towers in Ireland called Sheela na Gig; to date 101 such carvings have been found.

These carvings are of grotesque women, exposing their private body parts. I can’t think of a better method of demonizing women. And believe it or not, these Sheela na Gigs are carved above church doorways.

The severe type of Catholicism that existed in Ireland is connected to Jansenism, a theological movement that began in France. It advocated receiving communion and confession daily in order to save your soul. It was a severe form of Christianity, advocating depriving oneself and predestination of souls.

Mantilla

Another factor that affected the Type of Catholicism was the teachings of Saint Paul, particularly his teachings about women in Catholicism, which, believe it or not, are based on women of the Jewish faith.

Paul, I have a big problem using the word Saint with him, suggested that women were not good enough to serve, teach or vote in religions affairs or the church. Paul is the reason my mother had to cover her head with a mantilla when she went to mass, and he is also the reason she had to be “churched” or blessed and purified after giving birth.

When I think of how the Irish viewed sex and women in those early days of Catholicism, is it any wonder that monks were beating the arses off themselves with nettles in their beehive huts? “Sex is bad, WHACK!” They did a great job on the Book of Kells though.

A page from The Book of Kells, a coloring book for sexually frustrated men.

The Irish Accent: Borrisokane, North Tipperary

The art of asking a question and providing the answer to it all in one sentence is a very complicated oratory gift. My father’s people were from a town in North Tipperary, Borrisokane. They seemed to possess this gift in greater quantity than anyone else I knew in Ireland.

I call this gift “double barrel speech.” It happens so swiftly that the listener must pay special attention, otherwise the punchline has come and gone before the words register in your head.

For example, as a child I remember sitting in the family car outside a store in Borrisokane, The Gem this store was called back then. It was a hot summer’s day, we don’t get too many of them in Ireland. The windows of the car were rolled down and the conversations of the passerby on the street were clear and distinct.

Two older men approached each other from opposite directions. The greeting was as follows.

“Ah hello. Are you not gone home yet?”

“No. Are you?”

Wasn’t the answer just staring them in the face?

Another example of double barrel speech was the offering and refusal to offer a cup of tea, all in a few short words. Again this speech pattern is specific to Borrisokane.

“You won’t have a cup of tea will you?”

Ah, let me think about how to answer that. Yes I will not have a cup of tea? No I will not have a cup of tea? Maybe I will not have a cup of tea? I guess the right answer is that I won’t have a cup of tea, thanks all the same.

“You won’t have a cup of tea, will you?” “Am? Do I win the tea if I give the right answer?”

I am poking fun at the Irish accent here, but I am allowed to, I am Irish. I love how we speak. I love the fact that we are a small island and we have such a diverse dialect that we can pin point where a person is from just by listening to the accent.

Today’s lesson was lovingly dedicated to Borrisokane in North Tipperary. Tomorrow we’ll head off to Galway, my mother’s home county and “The besht in the wesht!”

Week of Welcomes South East Galway June 24-30 2012

Dear Friends,
please distribute the details of the 2012 South-East Galway Week of Welcomes to your relatives, friends, family and neighbours!

The Ireland Reaching Out project is seeking to identify those who left Ireland, in order to trace them and their descendants worldwide. The Week of Welcomes – an integral part of the Ireland XO programme – is an opportunity for people of Irish heritage to explore their past and connect with the people and places of their forefathers.

It is a week organised by the Parishes for their own Diaspora and an opportunity to meet in a place of common ancestry, with which a deep and real connection is shared. Above all, the Week of Welcomes builds on the paper trail of the records that may only get you so far, by providing that final link of local knowledge. You get to speak to people from the communities of your ancestors and use their knowledge to perhaps finally discover that elusive headstone, or the spot where the ancestral home once stood, or even seek out some long-lost cousins…and have some fun along the way!
The Week of Welcomes in South East Galway is an absolutely unique, personal and intimate experience – we will meet and greet you, taking you deep into Ireland, its parishes and townlands. With stops at must-see places, as well as those that are off-the-beaten path, we will entertain you with history, stories, music, and lively discussions about Ireland’s past, present and future.
Have a look at the Week of Welcomes Brochure here!
Itinerary in Brief…Come for the Week or just the Weekend! Jun 24 Open Event & Welcome Reception
Jun 25 ‘This is who you are’ Day Jun 26 Shannon River Cruise – Garden Tea Party
Jun 27 Historical & Heritage Tour of local areas Jun 28 Free Day – Irish Night Jun 29 Culture – Crafts – Heritage: all things Irish! Jun 30 Country Market – Hurling Match – Farewell Event
Jul 01 Departure Day
The Week of Welcomes in South East Galway includes:
  • passionate, knowledgeable local guides and historians
  • individual local assistance to trace your family roots
  • a week of guided touring
  • receptions and events in local castles and country estates
  • bus and walking tours of local parishes and the region of South East Galway
  • visits to heritage and ancient sitesof interest
  • an exceptional evening of Irish music & craic. No canned music here!
Cost is €299 for the full week or €149 for a long weekend (Sun-Wed or Thu-Sun). Sign up now via our online booking form (you’ll also find a link to accommodation options here). Need more information? Contact us by email: wow2012@irelandxo.com or ‘phone: +353 (0)91 842013 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +353 (0)91 842013     end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Your IrelandXO Team
********************************** Ireland Reaching Out
Cusack House
25, Dunkellin Street
Loughrea, Co. Galway, Ireland. T: +353 (0)91 842013 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +353 (0)91 842013     end_of_the_skype_highlighting, www.irelandxo.com
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