50th Anniversary Ireland Trip

Ireland 2018: 50 Years Later

My parents, Maureen and B.J. were married June 15, 1968 in Queens, NY.  The next day they departed for their honeymoon in Ireland.

Fifty years later, they returned…with their family in tow: we children, spouses, and grandkids. We arrived in Shannon Airport on July 5th for two weeks of travel.  This is the story of our trip (some of it, at least…photo highlights, memories, and scenic views).

Our journey lasted 14 days, during which we toured the countryside, learned more about our ancestral history, and spent precious time with family.  For the first week, we traveled via tour bus from County Clare, through Kerry, then south to Cork. For the second week, we traveled between Cork City and West Cork, visiting with family and stopping at notable locations along the way.

full itinerary w labels v2

My daughter Indira looking out her airplane window at the Irish landscape as we approached Shannon; this was her first glimpse of where her ancestors were born.

Our day-by-day itinerary is below. The first week’s journey, Days 1-6, was thoughtfully crafted over many months by Mom, her travel agent, and many discussions with us kids; all an exercise in diplomatic consensus-building among five families spread out over three states (Maryland, New Jersey, New York).  The second week was made possible because of wonderful relatives in Ireland who put their lives on pause to host us, drive us around, and in general be present with us on this amazing trip.

Day 1: Arrival, The Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle

Day 2: The Ring of Kerry & Bantry

Day 3: Milleennahorna, Skibbereen, & Celebrating Gerry O’Sullivan

Day 4: From Bantry to Cork City, via Kinsale

Day 5: Cork City & The Cobh Heritage Centre

Day 6: Blarney Castle & Youghal

Day 7: on the 7th day our guided tour ended…and we rested. And it was good.

Days 8-14 were jam packed with family fun. We spent the second week with family in Cork, enjoying food, drink, and conversation, often into the early morning hours. Here’s what we did:

Day 8: Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tour of Cork City & Fitzgerald Park Playground

Day 9: Breakthrough Cancer Research Centre & Fota Wildlife Park

Day 10: Drimoleague and Coomanore, County Cork

Day 11: Air India Flight 182 Memorial in Ahakista, County Cork

Day 12: St. Finbarr’s Oratory, Gougane Barra Church, County Cork

Day 13: Final night in Cork

Day 14: Back Home.