What makes Ireland such a special place? Get an Insider's Tour of the Emerald Isle with Jack Kavanagh, author of Always Ireland.
Journalist Jack Kavanagh is a Wicklow man, born and raised. This beautiful county, nicknamed ‘The Garden of Ireland' lies due south of Dublin and ranks with Kerry and Connemara as one of the country's beauty spots.
What Draws People to Ireland?
Jack believes that, for Americans, there are 3 things that make Ireland so appealing.
The fact that Ireland is an English-speaking country makes travel very easy. But each county if Ireland has it's own accent, and all are enhanced by the lyrical flow of words. Jack explains that while the words may be English the phrasing is all Irish.
Since joining the EU Ireland's main motorways have improved significantly making cross-country travel quick and easy (once you get used to driving on the left).
But once you are off the motorways and onto the rural roads, things slow down significantly. You'll need to watch for all manner of animals and people, as well as the hedgerows that line the roads.
The people you meet in Ireland are your greatest resource. Jack says that the people should be your destination as much as the scenery and history.
The Irish people are among the most welcoming in the world. They love a good chat and always have time to talk with people.
Jack advises that GPS is a bad thing, “Getting lost gives you a chance to stop and talk to somebody and you'll have a great conversation.”
Pubs and GAA matches offer a great opportunity to meet people and be part of the banter.
Best Advice for People Planning a Trip to Ireland?
Go with an open mind and be prepared to drop your itinerary when the opportunity arises.
Be prepared to talk, and listen, to people.
Irish people tell great stories, delivering them in a way that is built on centuries of sitting around the fire and entertaining yourself.
The Irish are also great listeners and want to hear about your life, where you're from, and your experiences.
Always Ireland – An Insider's Tour of the Emerald Isle
Always Ireland is far more than a guide book.
I loved that every county had its time to shine. Tyrone & the Sperrin Mountains, Wexford, Sligo – all favorites of mine – were offered as equals to the well known counties of Clare, Kerry, and Wicklow.
Readers will also find information about Irish culture, driving tours, and so much exceptional advice for exploring Ireland.
Jack describes his book as “less a travel guide and more a ‘dreamers guide to Ireland'.”
It gives people a ‘whole picture' of Ireland, not just the ‘tourism brochure' picture and does a great job of bringing together Ireland's past with the present, and even future, of the country.
3 Places to Add to Your Ireland Itinerary
- Be sure to visit the bog bodies in the Kingship & Sacrifice exhibition at the Muesum of Archaeology.
- Sweny's Pharmacy is a James Joyce Museum.
- Visit Kennedy's Pub across the street for a pint.
- The Medieval Mile
- St. Canice's Cathedral – climb the round tower
- Nightlife. Kyteler's Inn, Tynan's Bridge House Bar, and Hole in the Wall are great pubs to search out.
- Wild Ireland -an animal sanctuary in an ancient woodland.
- Celtic Prayer Garden – a peaceful garden in a sacred ‘thin' place.
- Glenveagh National Park
Buy Always Ireland
Purchase on Amazon or wherever books are sold.
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