What makes Ireland so SPECIAL?

In our last newsletter we were amazed by the feedback we got on our suggestions for the top 10 places to visit in Ireland. Plenty agreed with some but no one agreed with all and we got many suggestions on special places to visit all across or wonderful little Island.

That got us thinking….instead of publishing all the feedback we received why not get you our Guests to write about the places you think all visitors to Ireland should make that extra little effort to fit into their vacation.

Summer CompetitionWhether you have a list of 3 or 23 why not talk about it either on your own blog or website? Alternatively comment on our facebook page, send them to us via twitter or simply email them in and we will publish the very best of them here on our website.
To mark this we are also offering an amazing FREE vacation to Ireland to the person we deem writes the best blog post/s about the reasons that make Ireland such a special place to visit.

How does it work?

  • Our starting prize will be a basic vacation to Ireland for 2 people staying in a cottage vacation rental with rental car for a week
    – great if you can get it but how about some more? …
  • Once we reach 25 entries the bar rises and the vacation includes a mix of B&B’s & Hotels
  • At 50 entries, the vacation includes all luxury hotels
  • Get us to 75 entries and half the stays will be in genuine Irish Castles
  • When we have 100 or more entries, all entrants will have the chance to win a luxury castle vacation in Ireland.

Rules:

There are no rules for entry as such but here are some things we won’t say no to:

  • Nice mentions of DiscoveringIreland
  • Becoming our friend on facebook … www.facebook.com/Discoveringireland
  • Links to our website
  • Constructive comments of our website
  • We love lists – top 3, top 5, top 10 etc.

Looking forward to hearing from all you Ireland enthusuiasts soon.

Once you have written about Ireland – email: seamus.omurchu@Discoveringireland.com
with details of where the article is posted,
Entering is as simple as that!

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39 Responses to What makes Ireland so SPECIAL?

  1. Maggi Constantz says:

    I love Ireland because:
    1. I love soft misty rain
    2. I love all those variations of deep, rich green color of the the lansdscape
    3. I love that to listen to that lyrical accent – just love it! love it! love it!
    4. I love that everywhere you go you it feels magical – from the history of Dublin, Trinity library – what a WOW factor, the seascape, the moors, the heather, the artwork, the music, of course the pubs and more so the people and personalities of positively humble yet delightful natures.
    5. Since I am a woman, I love the men – dark hair or light hair I love them all. They are a curious lot and therefore intriguing.
    6. The mystic of their history is absolutely stirring from St. Brendan,to St. Patrick and the snakes, and the wars. It begs for one to delve more into our ancestry.
    7.I love the beauty of all those winding twisting roads – no matter where you go you feel like you are communing with nature.
    8. The landscape dotted with history everywhere you go there’s a castle – I love that they have not destroyed their past and replaced it with urban renewal.
    9. I love how I feel a very part of the soil. That I have lived many past lives there and still continue to crave that green grass.
    10. I love how everything looks so clean – it depicts a people who are proud of their Island.
    11. Surprised as I was to see Palm Trees – I love the nature of the “Trade Winds”
    12. Did I mention how much I love the men? Those girls have such beautiful hair as well.
    13. I love the Guiness beef stew, and fish and chips
    14 And, speaking of Guiness I love how it helped my digestion. I drink it here in the states now after being introduced to it there. I know it’s not quite the same but still great.
    15. I love that when someone asked me my name and I answered “Maggi,” that we felt an instant kinship.
    16. I love harps and harp music.
    I could go on, and on, and on
    Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my thoughts.

  2. Darlene Schultheis says:

    I would love to visit Ieland.I was there in 1976-1977. I was in the US navy stationed in County Derry. I had the chance to visit some of the local area as well as Bunratty Castle.I was wonderful to see the castles and landscape. The Irish people were very nice and plesant to be around. I have always said that someday I would return to Ireland for a visit. Darlene

  3. Mary Noonan says:

    WE had an excellent 2 weeks in Southern Ireland in 2007, staying in Dublin. Cork and Galway. Probably enjoyed Galway area the best ,especially the “Burren” and also out trip to the Aran Islands. Guiness is a great beer, food and people were wonderful. We would like to return and go also to N, Ireland. We traced our Noonan ancestry to Cork area.

  4. Lua Southard says:

    It’s really hard to hard to say what’s so special about Ireland without someone thinking that you are writing a travel brochure. My favorite section was the Connemara area with the rugged land, the adorable sheep with the owners colors painted on the, the beautiful coastline with the waves crashing into the shores, or was it the adorable town of Dingle. Well, maybe it was the incredible green of the countryside or the old, old churches and houses. Oh drats…I think it’s the people with their wonderful, friendly greetings as we meeted and greeted them at the pubs, and their increbible broughs (is that the right way to spell it) — you know what I mean, the way they speak English or Gaelic. Now that I really put my mind to it, I absolutely love their great horses — the Irish Stud — and the horses racing at The Curragh. Quite honestly I find it impossible to choose just one thing. It’s a wonderful country…from coast to coast. I’m afraid I can’t get enough of it!

  5. Jodie Hynes says:

    Ireland is “my” home, my heart, my every-day love affair. When I say “Ireland”, I smile and everyone knows it. From the time I was very little, I’ve sung its’ songs of love, of sorrow, of war, of passion, of beauty and of family and I’ve danced til the early morning! Most of my family is there, in Ireland, waiting for me to come “home”. Ireland’s green hills, its charming people, its depth of warmth stir up my very soul. I would love to be considered for this trip…and I’ll make the most of it to be sure. Thank you for your consideration!
    Slan!
    Jodie Hynes

  6. Ray Tsai says:

    Nice Irish people is the first attraction I love this country so much. Where ever I went to, It made me feel like I was always welcome. Their gentle, friendly culture and beautiful scenery are all irresistible. I drove 8 days in Ireland, I didn’t see any car accident. What a great place. I definitely will go back again.

  7. jackie walton says:

    I was in Dubin May 2001, My dream is to return.
    My Mother was full Irish, and so proud of her heritage.
    I’m 59 and just had a shamrock tatto done. I know the harp is the Irish symbol.
    When I was in Ireland I felt like it was home, and I cried when I left. Please give me a chance to go back, as my and my husband’s health is poor.
    Sincerely, Jackie

  8. James Kunz says:

    My wife and I are lovers of Irish music and step-dancing. I could mention any number of performers or groups, but any talented Irish musician can move most people. We have never been to Ireland, but eagerly await reports from those of our friends who have travelled there. The picturesque and variety of landscapes intrique us—we usually have an Irish calendar hanging somewhere in our house. The warmth of the culture seems to be most appealing, particularly given the cooler, dampish climate. It seems like nothing can get a good Irishman or lass down, although , maybe, a wee glass assists. We fantasize about vacationing in a small-town
    B&B near a few local pubs to be enjoyed. The rich, green countryside we imagine seems to go on forever. The shepherders and fishermen exude a spirit of the Irish land & sea. Given the unique Irish history and cultural development, and after reading Trinity (Leon Uris), I would love to be awakened by a wee, small leprechaun dancing in a sunbeam on my bed while visiting the Irish countryside. Are we dreamers or is the Irish land we fantasize for real?

  9. Shellie says:

    The main reason I would like to travel to Ireland is because my maiden name is O’Keefe and I know some distant relatives live in Ireland. My brother visited there a few years ago and said if he had had enough time he would have done more research to find some long lost relatives. Although my dad passed away in 2008, he and my mother visited England in 1983 and while there they toured Harewood Estate. My mother’s mother’s maiden name was Hare. There is a long story about this trip but I won’t continue since I would LOVE to win a trip to Ireland. Thanks!

  10. Michael Ferrick says:

    It’s the people, plain and simple. When I do return it’s the people I look forward to seeing again. Folks I met as far back at 1992.
    The friendliness of MOST of the folks. Always willing to help you out. Whether it’s with directions to another town, a restaurant in town or place to attend Mass.

  11. KATHLEEN SOINE says:

    My ancestors immigrated to Massachusetts in the mid 1800’s. I have been able to find out some information, but not enough. My family has always been more Irish than probably most natives. I have no idea why there is such a draw for all of us, but I yearn to find out. Being Irish has been the most important thing to our family. In fact we won’t admit to be anything else.Which we are (I didn’t say that). My sister Mary Ellen and I plan on going to Ireland when I retire in 2012. We count the days. Wish our mother had lived long enough to go with us. I have totally enjoyed the newsletter. It has opened my eyes to even more. It is helping me to plan a better trip when we do make it. Of course if we got there a little ahead of schedule, certainly wouldn’t mind learning as we go. ha. Keep up the good work.
    Sincerely,
    Kathleen Matthews Soine

  12. Wayne Doe says:

    We traveled to Ireland for our first time 2 years ago, with great help from you. Your trip was everything promised and the wonderfully warm people of Ireland made us feel welcome at every stop and left us with such a good feeling that we will be back soon. We’ve been to many other places in Europe and there is absolutely nowhere at all that comes even a wee bit close to the hospitality that is found only in Ireland. We made friends that we communicate with regularly and want to get back to see them soon. I sincerely recommend that everyone needs to go to Ireland once, and then we know, as you know, they will be back.

    Wayne Dow

  13. anne kirby says:

    Ireland is many things. It is a land filled with a rich cultural inheritance manifested through its kind-hearted people whose awakening smiles reveal blue eyed and curly haired Irish beauties.
    Ireland’s history is rich in powerful political struggles and literature. These are intertwined with the strength of the Irish character that can be seen in varied, architectural sights ranging from stone Castles that represent Irelands’ conflicts and buildings that denote Ireland’s powerful leaders who struggled for Irish independence such as Dave O’Leara.
    The country’s white thatched cottages cling tenaciously to peninsulas and cliffs shielding inhabitants from the fierce winter winds blowing in off of the open ocean.

    Enjoy William Butler Yeate’s country in the West and Bloom’s Door. In the heart of Dublin, this one singular, image symbolizes the lyrical and often dark thoughts tath made James Joyce on eof the world’s most famous authors.

    And then there are the typical spots such as Bunratty’s castle where people come to kiss the Blarney stone. It’s a faery like dream and it undermines the whimsy of the Irish and their superstitious Banchees.

    Ireland’s known for its gorgeous green grass that attracts people from far and wide to Ireland’s beucholic countryside and diverse, geographic sights such as the lovely port of Kinsale or the Cliffs of Moher. Often mingled in the summer sunlight with light whiffs of purple heather, Ireland’s green grass makes Ireland a spring, summer and fall destination for all who love the sport.

    Come see Ireland. Drive about and experience its diverse and enchanting sites and landscapes, its welcoming pubs, and photographic scenery! Live a bit in the greatness of the past made perfect!

  14. Dianne Rqell says:

    Oh I WOULD LOVE TO GO TO IRELAND,I DON’T KNOW WHY I FEEL LIKE I BELONG THERE (MAYBE I LIVED THERE IN A PAST LIFE.)
    I WOULD LOVE TO SEE THE HAUNTED CASTLES AND THE BEAUTIFUL LAND. I LOVE THE LIFESTYLE, THE PUBS THE PEOPLE. I LOVE IT ALL AND SOMEDAY I WILL GO THERE.
    I LIVE IN MICHIGAN AND WAS LAID OFF MY JOB A YEAR A GO. THERE IS NOTHING I WOULD LIKE BETTER THAN HAVING MY OWN PUB IN IRELAND IT’S ALWAYS BEEN MY DREAM HOW I WOULD LOVE TO BE THERE. DIANNE ROELL
    I WOULD LOVE TO STAY ANY WHERE IN IRELAND. I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO THERE

  15. mj sorvillo says:

    What I love about ireland is its natural beauty. We spent a week, but could spend a lifetime. just exploring the seacoast and inland byways. Suppose it is bad to say, but we never went to a castle or other attraction.
    We stayed in b& b’s. picked up bread and cheese and headed out for the day to explore. Bought some Jameson’s for a drink before dinner and went to a pub for supper having a bowl of seafood chowder and a beer and started all over the next day. If we get to come again I’d like to rent a house and get to reallly know one area…and of course yes the people are great as well.

  16. Glenda Murray-Kurkimaki says:

    I was always aware of my heritage even when I was young, although my parents never really talked about it. I always wanted to go to Ireland but I never thought it would ever happen. I was very ill a few years ago and when I recovered I decided that I would do everything that I always wanted to. I went to Ireland with a friend that was born and bred in Dublin 4. I fell in love. I love everything about Ireland and being Irish. I love the linen, the whiskey, the music and especially the people–so genuine. Last fall I went with my best friend and this spring I went with my husband. He fell in love with Ireland as well. I would love to go again. Glenda 🙂

  17. Glenda Murray-Kurkimaki says:

    I spent alot of time in Dublin. I visited the Jameson Distillery. What a wonderful experience. I have been a Scotch drinker for most of my life but now I only drink Jameson. St. Stephen’s Green is one of my favourite places in the whole world–so quiet and serene.
    I could spend all day there. Galway is a really fun place. I had the best meal there at the Hotel Meyrick. Very good value. Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry is our favourite place above all. In May we also visited friends in Dalkey. We ate at Finnegan’s Pub–great food and a great experience. I dream about Ireland every day. Glenda:-) P.S. I just purchased some Waterford Crystal.

  18. Eugenia Strawser says:

    I have dreamed of going to Ireland ever since I was a little girl. I have always been enchanted by the music and have been homesick for a place I have never been. I guess you could say it is in my blood as I am of Irish/Scotch decent.
    My husband and I are trying to save up for a trip to Ireland but just can’t seem to come up with the money as two of our children and their families have moved in with us. And oh how I would love to learn the Gaelic language!!!
    The pictures and movies I have seen that have been filmed in Ireland are beautiful!! I have never seen so many shades of green! One of our favorite movies is The Quiet Man. A trip to Ireland would be a trip come true!!

  19. Chuck Quick says:

    I’ve visited Ireland twice, and loved it. I am an amateur musician (or at least I play at it), and play whistle, wooden flute and uilleann pipes. I love the Irish music and listened and played almost every night while I was in Ireland. People are friendly and helpful, especially around the music.
    On my first trip I found and visited my pipemaker – a great experience.
    I’d love to return and see more and meet more people, and play more tunes.

  20. What my wife and I like about Ireland is the people,
    beautiful country, and the magical historical places.
    It is always exciting to take our map and find the list
    of places that we want to see, find a house as centrally located as possible, get in our little rented car and go.
    We have just returned from our fourth spring trip and we
    were more excited each time that we traveled, because we have started to learn our way around so that it is easier to find interesting places. Each two-week trip was made possible by the excellent help from My Guide Ireland. This year we stayed three weeks and enjoyed talking to people. The people are so friendly and helpful. Every day was filled with new adventures. We visited castles, churches,ancient sites like New Grange, and many other archoliogical sites all over Ireland. We have also driven the Dingle and Bera Peninsulas. We like to walk around the cities and towns. We enjoy the pub grub every day for our mid-day meal.Before returning home we purchase another suitcase to carry home the many books that we have bought. Nest time we will try mailing the books home. We hope to return next Spring for another two weeks.

  21. Ireland, land of mystic and fae. Beautiful greens of every shade covers the countryside. The music is both haunting and lively and the language has a beauty all its own. As a child this captured my heart and as I got older I found myself longing for home. And today I am as homesick as ever even though I have never been there.
    I am of Irish/Scotch decent and believe that this is the reason I am so homesick. Even though I have never met the people I can see the love and friendliness in their faces in the pictures I have seen. My husband bought me a large book about Ireland and it’s history and I am looking at and reading it every chance I get.
    Why is Ireland so special??? Because it’s home!

  22. Seamus Martin says:

    In the Spring of 1968, me, my wife Carol Ann nee Moore, daughters Kelly, Colleen, and Shawn came to Ireland to stay with relatives in West Cork. Being Boston Irish, I always was and remain Irish in heart and mind. My love of the people and the land only grew as each day passed. Back then, everyone was poor but shared what they had with each other and us Yanks. Finally the sad day of departure came and as I was climbing up the ladder to the plane, I looked back and was overwhelmed that I saw place of my grand Da and Nana were born and felt that I would never return. Return we did! As the girls grew we went home numerous times. It never grew old or boring. After the girls had families of their own, they also went back. Now my grandchildren return. Even with the advent of the Celtic Tiger and the leap into the 21st Century, Ireland is the place that I love and share with others. Now the dream that came true! For the past 12 years I have been a courier (tour guide) in Eire. I have the opportunity to address hundreds of tourist each year about the wonders of our people, places and history. I show them the great towns and cities, the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher to the Ring of Kerry. I introduce them to my Irish friends and relatives. On a regular basis, someone will ask me if I’m Irish. I tell then no that I am a proud American. That is usually followed up by them saying that my love of Ireland and all things irish are well displayed by the end of the tour. My continued goal is to bring the wonders of Ireland and the Irish people to first time visitors so that they will return. For a guy who boarded that plane in 1968 and never thought that he would return, I have learned the ins and outs of the people, places, culture, and history. I am blessed.

    Slan, JJM

  23. Erin says:

    Each time I think of Ireland I start to cry, especially when the Cranberries song,
    “Dreams” comes on. Having a first name that means “Ireland” I guess couldn’t hurt
    my eternal love for the Emerald Isle.
    I have waited to see Ireland for 20 years and the dream comes true
    on September 1,2010. I will go to the Guinness Storehouse to pour
    and then visit the West for a week. I will see the town of Inch on Dingle where my ancestors are from
    and visit the pubs there that bear the same surname.
    It will be pure bliss!

  24. Carol Kiley says:

    What makes Ireland so special:

    The first time off the plane in Shannon I felt HOME. I was not expecting those emotions, a spirit of peace and oneness with the country of my grandparents.

    I loved the smell of the fresh sea air, the green grass and trees, the landscape dotted with ancient castles, the rolling hills and stopping to allow the cows walk across the road while driving.

    I loved not seeing anyone wearing a baseball cap and the pleasant welcome and friendliness of every one I encountered.

    I loved the Irish accent and craic in the pubs. The music and singing is so much a part of the culture. The Irish seem so free and know how to enjoy themselves.

    I love being invited into their homes for “Tea”.

    I took a special interest in the architecture of their churches, they are very beautiful and even small villages have one.

    I love their way of expressing “cooker” for stove, “post” for mail, “boot” for trunk, “ring you” for calling you on the phone. It all makes more sense.

    I loved meeting Frank Mc Court at Writer’s Week in Listowel in 2006. Though famous and brilliant, he projected a gentle, kind and considerate spirit to all.

    I love the lifelong friends I made.

    I loved beauty and sad history of Clashmelcon. Balleybunion and the separate beaches. Listowel is so special, Adare lovely and Duah quaint, Ennis in County Clare is where I saw myself in the faces of the people on the walkways.

    The West is like going back in time with all the modern conveniences. Killarney is a fun town, full of surprises!

    Wicklow Hills are magical and breathtaking. Powerscourt Gardens and Glendalough are beyond description and pictures cannot reveal their breathtaking beauty.

    The gardens, houses and wildflowers are all a sight to behold. The sound of the ocean is magical.

    The food is the best I have eaten any place! The milk, butter, cheese, lamb are rich and tasty. Irish soda bread is wonderful!! The potatoes are the best I have ever eaten, very flavorful and a bit yellow in color, very unlike the white ones I am used to. Irish tea is the best in the world and spoiled me so completely I drink only Irish tea now. Oh, the ice cream; I have never had anything like it! And the chocolate is unlike anything I have ever had, I simply love it.

    The cemeteries are full of history and beauty with Celtic crosses all around. One could spend an entire day reading the stories on monuments, they are rich with history.

    I love the weather, any time of the year, and walking in the soft misty rain caressing my face.

    Ireland is Paradise and I would love to live there. Everywhere you go in Ireland are hidden treasures. Every day is a joy of new discoveries!

    Thank you for the opportunity to share a few of my experiences of the wonders of Ireland. I look forward to the My Guide to Ireland e-mails and will add you to my Facebook.

    All my best,

    Carol Kiley

  25. Dorothy Dingle Tiffin says:

    I work at our beautiful Orpheum Theater in Omaha, Nebraska. When Lord Of The Dance came I made up my mind that I had to go to Ireland. The dancing was so beautiful that I asked them to teach me how to do it. I think they thought I was crazy because I was 75 years old. But I think it is just the Irish in me that my feet could not stand still. I really loved everything about Ireland when we made the trip..

  26. John C. Little says:

    A smile, a nod, a wink, a grin,

    a storyteller weaves his tall tale again,

    of giants and saints, magic and more

    of castles, brave heroes, the grand cliffs of Moher

    His stories, alive, in my children and yours

    Remembering Ireland–forever and evermore

  27. My greatest desire is to see Ireland. How I would love to live there for the rest of my life!! There is no other place on earth like Ireland! Every nerve in my body and every heartbeat cries home! home! home! I may be American by birth, but I am Irish by the grace of God! If I could go anywhere on God’s green earth, it would be to Ireland. My heart is in Ireland, land of my ancesters, of mystery and mist, of laughter and love of fairys and fables. Land of the greenest greens you will ever see and the friendliest people you will ever meet.

  28. Joanne Daley says:

    I would love to visit Ireland most of all to see my freind Conor Buckley and his family.
    I knew him from being in the USA and going to school here for his masters degree while working
    with me.He became a good freind and holds a special place in my heart. He calls me his USA Mom.
    I am so proud of his sucess with 123 Travel. He worked hard to acheive his great company and his great staff.I am especially proud of his becoming the person he is today,being a great parent, husband and freind.You can’t ask for a better person derserving of owning and operating a great company.I would love to see him and his country that he alway’s talked proudly about. I also would love to meet his parents and tell them the great job they did with Conor being so special.Every one should visit Ireland through 123 Travel, Conor will make it your best trip ever I am sure of that. I have sent him many customers from USA. They all loved it and want to return as soon as they can. I hope I win so I can visit that beautiful country and my freind!

  29. Auraha Perkins says:

    I’ve always dreamed of going to Ireland, but unfortunety have never had the opportunity. “What I Love About Ireland,” humm, that’s a good question. I have seen just about every movie which featured Ireland in it, I’ve read tons of books about or set in Ireland, I’ve listened to the lilting music, and watched the beautiful dancing on television..but I’ve never experienced any of this in person. Maybe thats what I love about Ireland..to me maybe it’s the dream of all these things rolled into one…Have you ever visited a place and all your expectations were let down? I’d love to see all the castles, the green landscapes, the heather blowing in the breeze, hear the lyrical people talk, eat fish and chips in a pub, look out over the ocean and watch the waves crash upon the stones, see the fairies (maybe), kiss the Blarney Stone….all the things I’ve only dreamed of, but would love to love in person!

  30. Pamela Lynne Bennett says:

    Why is Ireland so special? It is the place I have dreamed of seeing ever since I can remember. I have never been but someday I will get to visit. From what I have seen on movies and documentaries it is my dream destination. It seems to me a magical place, rich with history, beautiful landscapes and castles!! ( I love castles). To experience it myself would be an awesome adventure. It is full of legend and lore and I can not imagine, being an artist and a writer ,what creations it would inspire in me after actually setting foot in such a glorious place. Meeting the fine people who are fortunate enough to live on the enchanting Island would be a great pleasure. I am sure would be so enchanting. Oh yes and some of the castles and places are haunted!! So I must answer the question “What makes Ireland so special?” and even though I have not yet been there my answer would be a question of my own “What isn’t special about Ireland?”

  31. Audrey Gray says:

    I was blessed to spend three months in Ireland in 1997 when I was completing my teacher practice. I went there not knowing a soul and it was the most transformative time of my life. It was like I was stepping into the life I had always dreamed of. The green grass was so rich I just wanted to drink it. I lived in a hostel in Limerick and traveled all around the countryside when I was not teaching in Salesian’s Secondary School. I made friends from all over the world and remain friends with some of them to this day. Ireland is as magical as I had always dreamt it would be. The rainbows were abundant, the wind refreshing, the sea mellifluous, the sheer cliffs whispered of danger and intrigue and all of the elements invigorated me to my core. There are so many places that enliven my memory of that extraordinary time in my life; it is hard for me to narrow it down. However, since it is part of what you might like to read I will try to speak of a few special places in Ireland:

    1. Westbourne Holiday Hostel on Dock Road in Limerick. It was my home and it was my first taste of Europe. It was like this incredible meeting place where you could share tea, biscuits, and life with all of the others who passed through the kitchen there.
    2. Dingle Bay: Peace and extraordinary beauty.
    3. Lahinch and the Cliffs of Moher: Awe of God’s beauty and majesty. Warm cottage on a bone-chilling evening. Shepherd’s Pie at Stephen’s house. Pubs filled with laughter and irish love.
    4. Ring of Kerry: Rugged beauty unlike any other than I’ve ever seen.
    5. Killarney castle: Pure magic. I truly expected to see a fairy behind every Yew tree and dancing through the flowers.
    6. Dublin: Art and history and lots of pubs.
    7. Every little village I was able to experience and the Guinness signs beckoning of the hospitality of the town pubs.
    8. Limerick city center: Oh how I grew so accustomed to the shops and pubs and Arthur’s Quay where I would purchase my groceries; these were the “everyday” things that I hold so dear in my memory.
    9. Limerick taxis: adventure in how extraordinarily these drivers would navigate the narrow enchanting streets.
    10. Galway: Swans, beauty, vintage stores, and small boats with dogs standing watch over their masters.
    11. Daffodils: The Cranberries said it best, “and the daffodils look lovely today…”

    I often dream at night of being back in Ireland, and each time I awaken from such dreams, I long to drift right back into it because Ireland is not only a place to me, but a feeling. From the moment I arrived home from my adventures, I have longed to go back. I so wish to share this extraordinary culture and land with my husband. He hears me speak of it so often and wants to be able to take me, but alas, as with most, it is not in our reach financially and I sometimes think it may never be. My family is my priority and I have two young sons now whom I would love to experience Ireland as well, but necessities in life trump my longing for adventure on the Emerald Isle. When I saw the possibility of winning a trip to Ireland through Discoveringireland.com I was thrilled at this chance, this possibility to realize what I long to do. I receive emails from Seamus O’Murchu. I always read these offers from the website and I am amazed at the packages that they put together and the extraodinary fares and rates. When I do go back to Ireland, and I know I will, I will most certainly use Discoveringireland to plan and book my trip. I will happily document and blog about my trip and experiences in Ireland made possible through Discoveringireland.com if I am chosen to receive this special trip.
    Sincerely,
    Audrey Gray

  32. Dolores Caruso says:

    I love Ireland because it was the land of my heritage … I’m of Irish decent and would love to visit the villages where my grandparents and all ancestors were born and raised ….
    I am the only one in our family who has not been able financially to visit Ireland and would love to visit with my husband to show him my family’s past and visit with relatives I have never met in person only through correspondence … I definitely would love to kiss the Blarney Stone …

  33. What I Love About Ireland

    Ireland, land of Céad Míle Fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes).

    It is called the Emerald Isle… rightly so as the green in Ireland is greener than in other places in the world. The natural beauty of the land is quite striking. Everywhere you look there is something of beauty. It can be a simple field with the stone fences terraced throughout the hills, or the brilliant sun reflecting off the Twelve Bens mountain range in Connemara.

    Waterfalls erupt from the hillsides after refreshing rainfalls echoing their thunder throughout the valleys. Lakes that are so still they appear to be massive field size mirrors reflecting the image of the landscape in reverse dimension causing the feeling that the edge of the world had been reached and we were about to fall into the endless pit.

    One of the most magnificent places on earth is located on the west coast in the County Claire. The Cliffs of Moher, where one can truly appreciate the wonderfulness of creation. The waves crash into the giant walls of rock carved out of the landscape and reaching out into the sea and angling towards the heavens. Breathtaking.

    Driving can be quite an adventure. Road signs that have upwards of thirty or more individual signs on them are impossible to read without stopping. You must remain focused on your driving skills as the roads are narrow and most have no shoulders allowing for any lack of attention. I found it rather humorous to see a particularly hilly one lane curvy road with the posted speed limit at 100km. A cautious eye must be vigilant in looking for sheep in the road. We even had to stop for a time while the farmers moved their beef stock from one field to another right down the middle of the road.

    The view from the Quiet Man Bridge was just as amazing as when I saw it in the movie of the same name that starred John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The scene had not changed from when the movie immortalized it many years ago. The location is unassuming with only a very small arrowed sign easily missed from the main road.

    Kylemore Abbey has the look and feel of a fairy tale setting. Walking the grounds of the Abbey is one of the most beautiful and peaceful times we spent in Ireland. A visit to the Chapel is simply a must as well as the Abbey’s Victorian Gardens. There is a waterfall and a creek that run through the many different sections of gardens. The gardener’s house and sheds are all included behind the huge walls that enclose these beautiful gardens.

    Roundstone is a quaint little fishing village along the Atlantic coast of southern Connemara that is home to the only full time bodhran maker in the world. Malachy Kearns has his shop and retail store in Roundstone where you can watch as the goatskin drums are being made. If you are lucky you might get to hear Malachy tell tales of his trade or some of the famous folks he has sold bodhrans to like The Chieftains.

    No matter where you travel in Ireland, there is history steeped in love and lore as well as hardship and travail. There is a story to tell about most locations and the locals are friendly and willing to tell their stories.

    The castles of Ireland should be national monuments. Castles are scattered throughout the island and each has it’s own unique beauty and historical tradition attached to it and the entire area it surveys. Where else in the world can you kiss the Blarney Stone? The view from the top of Blarney Castle is absolutely astounding!

    The Rock of Cashel towers above the city of its namesake and can be seen for miles rising above the landscape in its majestic magnitude. It is said that Saint Patrick himself plucked a shamrock from the grounds of Cashel to explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity and thereby gave Ireland it’s powerful Irish symbol.

    The pubs and the Irish music call to all visitors like the Siren’s song of Greek mythology. There is no place as friendly and welcoming as an Irish pub with its rows of drafts and lively songs. If it’s Irish Stew you’re looking for, the best in Ireland can be found at Ladyswell Restaurant in Cashel, County Tipperary. Desmond and Margaret O’Riordan make a great Guinness Stew that we didn’t appreciate until we had tried other stews throughout our trip. All good, but none compared to the stew at Ladyswell.

    Many come to Ireland to see the wondrous sights or hear the music and experience the rollicking nightlife. Many come to learn about the culture and history of the people of Ireland. People come from all over the world for all kinds of reasons, but they stay because of the hospitality and friendliness that flows from the very pores of the Irish people… a people like no other in any land.

    Slainte

    Chuck Lungstrom

  34. Gayle Ballinger says:

    Ireland is like coming home. Have you ever walked into a place or stepped on far away land and just known you were home? Ireland is that place for me. From the moment I stepped off the plane I knew I was home. Yes, there are ancestral roots that connect me to Ireland. However, I do not know those stories. I don’t even know if I want to know the stories. Ireland remains a mystery to me. A tangible mystery. I cannnot put words to it, it is just a sense of mystery and home. Every time I receive a new edition of DiscoveringIreland I feel that wave of nostalgia pour over me. I miss Ireland to my core.

    My lifelong dream was to travel to Ireland and having done that I can only say I can hardly wait to go back. At the end of each day I would sit and breathe in the sights and smells of the land, the people, the sounds of this culture which is musical by its very nature.

    I don’t know how anyone could not visit and not be enchanted.

  35. JAMES M WHITE says:

    I WAS IN YOUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY IN 2006. I PUT 1000 MILES ON THE CAR.
    I WENT FROM GALWAY TO KILARNEY, TO DUBLIN, TO WATERFORD
    AND UP TO BUNRATTY. I LOVED THE CLIFFS OF MOHR TORC FALLS
    THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS. I REALLY ENJOYED STAYING IN A B & B IN MUCKROSS. THE LAKE HOTEL HAD BEAUTIFUL VIEWS. MY FAVORITE HAD TO
    BE WATERFORD CASTLE.
    I’M COMING BACK IN 2011 TO CELEBRATE MY 60TH B-DAY
    I’M PLANNING TO COME THE BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER.

  36. Amy Malone says:

    I have finally started my Ireland vacation fund. Hopefully in 2012 I will be able to go. There is numerous reasons to visit this country. I want to see the countryside,visit a pub, ride the connamara trail on horseback and visit a castle. Oh I almost forgot you can kiss the blarney stone and visit the Jameson distillery. I can’t wait to meet the fine people of this country and hear their music played live. While I am there I will also do a little digging into my husbands family history. Those who know me know this is the place I talk about going to all the time. I am so excited to have started my fund. I dream of riding the horses across the countryside. There is so much to do there like visit historic churches with great architecture and festivals and fairs are abundant. There is waterford crystal and hand made items to purchase as well. I can’t wait to go. If interested you can go to Discoveringireland.com for information. This site has kept me posted for 2 years and they also give great rates on trips.

  37. Ann says:

    Me and my husbund spent 5 day, in Irelan 1995 it was my dream come true to get to Irland, not tow way about it,” a little bit of heven fell there.”
    Did not want to lave, we had such grat times there started to save as soon as we back to U.S.A.but things keep comeing up and we have not got back yet we had to Hawyi
    but are chouse is to some day get back to IRELAND as every tern we made there was somthing to marveled over,the peple, went out of there way to acomodate a lost torist even fi it was rainnig, or trust that you would not run out on your cab farer, the man
    dropt us off were we wanted to go and seid he be back allwehad to do is call we were gob smacked.
    Five day was not long, but sure glad we did not miss the time we had, you bet WE would like to be your gest and I hope we mack it back there. LOVE IRELAND
    Ann.

  38. MARY ANN KILGORE says:

    I JUST LOVE EVERY THING IRISH!MY FAMILY CAME FROM IRELAND ,THEY LEFT SOMETIME IN THE 1800’S.I USE TO LISTEN TO MY GRANDMOTHER TELL TALES OF IRISH LORE!HOW I LONG TO GO BACK TO THE LAND OF MY ANCESTORS!SEEMS LIKE I’M BEING DRAWN THERE!MY HEART LONGS TO SEE WHAT MY FORFATHERS SEEN.I WANT TO WALK THE HILLS,PATHS,EVERYWHERE I CAN GO.IRELAND IS IN MY BLOOD AND I LONG TO COME HOME!!!!!!WE ARE TIGUES AND PROUD OF OUR HOMELAND!!!!!!!!I’M ALWAYS THINKING OF IRELAND!YOUR FRIEND MARY ANN

  39. Christina Young says:

    What is it about Ireland that is so special? Ireland is a place where dreamers may find their wings. It is a place where faeries whisper on the wind, and songs of days gone past still stir the soul. Life is simple in Ireland. The pace is slower, the spirit is fuller, and the earth calls her children closer. What is it about Ireland? It is the emerald hills that ripple in the breeze. It is the roads, craddled by stone walls, like the arms of a lover. The heart of the land beats in the hearts of its people, and the spirit of the people pulses in the wildness of the land. There is no way one who feels kindred to Ireland can hear the lilt of an Irish brogue and not hear the voice of their own soul calling them home. It is the voice of memory that kindles the spirit lying dorment. And it is the spirit that yearns for the land. This land, where yet waits, the pulse that frees the flight of my dreams.

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