irelandjourneys.com.au is based in Australia and provides fully escorted, small group (10 max), literary, and cultural experiences to Ireland at genuinely all inclusive prices.
That it is possible to drive from the north to the south of Ireland in around six hours inspires some visitors to lunacy, to hurry around and fleetingly witness the Ireland they want to know.
At irelandjourneys we don’t understand the logic of rushing and spend a minimum of two nights in each of the cities, towns and villages we visit. In Dublin, where the journey begins, and in Belfast we stay in hotels where the best of the central city is just beyond our concierges’ smiles. In Cashel we’ll check into an old Bishop’s palace and live amid history dating to a time when, for most, life was nasty, brutish and short.
In County Donegal we’ll fish for trout in a lake that is open for us if the season is closed. Our catch can be cooked for us at a local pub. In gourmet matters we’ll taste a confection of local delicacies: you can indulge in Champ and Boxty and Carregine Moss — Carregine, served as a pudding, it is a favourite of mine — and keenly forage for the odd-pint(s) of Guinness in storied pubs.
Together we will taste, smell, read, listen and laugh as we rove Ireland and become intimate with some of my favourite parts.
James Joyce wrote: “When the Irishman is found outside of Ireland in another environment, he very often becomes a respected man. No one who has any self-respect stays in Ireland, but flees afar as though from a country that has undergone the visitation of an angered Jove.”
Joyce, Beckett and Wilde and many more packed up their quills and left Ireland to live abroad. While I remain inexplicably fond of writing quills and went to the same school as Sam Beckett and Oscar Wilde (there the similarity ends!) it is my appreciation for Ireland that has been nurtured from a distance.
For there is nothing like the ex-patriot to look at his own place differently. Leaving clears the palette and switches on the senses. Australia, where I live, has refined, nay sharpened, my understanding of ‘home’.
irelandjourneys’ small group journeys are flavoured by some of the finest, local, raconteurs. “Armed” with Joyce, Wilde, Synge, O’Donnell, McGinley, MacGill, Yeats, Heaney, MacNeice, Hewitt and other writers, they’ll accompany us as we ramble with purpose from Dublin, across the Battle of the Boyne site to Belfast and Donegal (via the Giant’s Causeway); through Sligo where Yeats is buried. We will tramp Árainn Mhór island whatever the weather (tis the charm of the place.)
All the while gentlemen like – “Hotdog” and other village charmers and fixers that I’ve come to know will help us become part of their world. In the company of one of the most knowledgeable gents from Cashel we’ll flesh out chapters from colonial Australia through Ned Kelly’s links to Tipperary.
Thus, by blending with the locals, their food, their stories and their festivals we’ll soak up unscripted magic; moments that will prove as memorable as Ireland’s cherished landscapes.
If you’re interested to know more of irelandjourneys please contact us