Ireland
Ireland

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  • Day19

    Beara Pennisula and Neilie Dunne

    April 17 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 50 °F

    My cousin Neilie Dunne and I connected 2 years ago through AncestryDNA. Our great great grandads were brothers. When he left Ireland , my GG John Sweeney left the family farm to his , Neilie Sweeney.
    Neilie invited us to his home for a meal and gave us a tour of Kinsale including the memorial tree garden for fire fighters killed in 9/ 11 attacks.
    Today Joerg and I enjoyed the drive back to Ballyvourney over the Caher Mountains pass and ended the day at Gobnait’s shrine .
    Read more

    Ronald Smith

    Sounds like a memorable, wonderful day! And the driving skills are being honed!

    4/17/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    ❤️

    4/17/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Beautiful

    4/17/22Reply
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  • Day15

    Bantry ahead …

    April 13 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    161 miles today from Galway to Bantry.At home that’s very do able, but in Ireland it can be a longish trip .
    The Google maps navigator seems to always include no name / no number roads that are not on the detailed map .
    These are mysterious roads that link the named and numbered roads and are basically cow or sheep paths just wide enough for one small car.
    Every time I see that our route directions include these mystery roads, I try to figure out another way using the map.Sometimes I succeed🙏

    Jörg honestly likes the driving challenges❤️ .One more reason I am forever grateful to have a life partner like him.

    That’s how we got these gorgeous photos of the Burren national park area and of driving over the Cork Mountains to Bantry.
    That’s true in many parts of life, right ? (Taking the unknown path ? ) Cue the song ;
    ( God Bless the Broken
    Road )

    The Perfumery in The Burren was as stellar as usual with all of their scented products made with 100 percent organic floral essences, and their lovely gardens are a favorite .
    We both love the stark glory of the Burren.

    Glad to arrive a few minutes ago , almost 7 pm local time.
    The Maritime Hotel in Bantry has huge windows that open to the street so you have a glimpse of the sea and the scent of the salt air .
    Lovely .
    Ps I am having difficulty posting this so I keep trying ..
    Meanwhile Facebook posts are up …
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    Kathy Sweeney

    Tribute to Joerg and Ronnie and all drivers who pass through this parking ramp at Jury’s Inn in Galway after navigating the ancient streets of Galway to this site .

    4/18/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    The Burren

    4/18/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    In the Burren ..

    4/18/22Reply
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  • Day14

    Brigits Garden

    April 12 in Ireland ⋅ ☁️ 54 °F

    11 acres of wildflower meadows and native woodlands surrounding Celtic themed gardens designed by Mary Reynolds famous wild garden / native garden designer.
    Created and operated by Jennie Beale
    The perfect place to bring a copy of Ronnie’s newest book.
    It was great fun presenting the book to Jennie Beale for Ronnie .
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    Ronald Smith

    So grateful for your ambassadorial energy and diplomacy. It’s not easy getting a book from American origin through the Gaelic portal. ☘️🇮🇪🇺🇸☘️💚

    4/12/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    Enjoying ambassador to the Ronnie Smith brand very much .

    4/12/22Reply
    Ronald Smith

    And I can’t wait to visit Brigit’s Centre and Garden.

    4/12/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    I can’t say enough about this amazing place .

    4/12/22Reply
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  • Day10

    It’s Friday so it must be County Cork

    April 8 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 43 °F

    A perfect day for a road trip with sunny skies and light traffic .
    We enjoyed the scenery along the sea coast and stopped at the amazing Inch Beach.
    The road through Macroom is under construction as a bypass around the town is underway so we took this opportunity to show you the look of a typical small town. You can see how the carriage paths were paved over to make the roads so the buildings are literally on the street with no sidewalks or front yards.
    Watching the ambulance make its way through was amazing.

    We arrived in Ballincollig just in time to get changed and head out to “ the cousins” for a gathering.
    Cousin Darina offered to pick us up and drive us to Cousin Keara’s and we happily accepted her offer.
    9 adult cousins and many of their kids and grandkids too so a swirl of family that is amazing.
    We were happy to gift this family with one of Ronnie’s newest books and they were thrilled .
    The family are avid readers and Keara is writing a history of Ballinora, where she and Darina grew up .
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    Kathy Sweeney

    Leaving Dingle for Ballincollig and cousins gathering there this evening just a couple of hours drive

    4/8/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Feels like a kinder and connected nation. Don’t want to stereotype but?

    4/8/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    It would not be a stereotype to say that Irish ☘️ culture is very people and relationships based and it is almost what I’d call reverent about treating each other well .

    4/8/22Reply
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  • Day8

    Ah, Dingle

    April 6 in Ireland ⋅ 🌬 46 °F

    The view changes every few minutes as we watch our lovely view of the Dingle harbor.

    50 degrees and windy.
    Yes, those are palm trees 🌴! Because it never freezes here and the Atlantic Gulf Stream is just off shore, the wind has a warmth to it that is quite surprising. That said , today’s rain is what the Irish refer to as “lashing rain” and is formidable.
    Latitude here is 52 degrees north, for context Calgary Alberta is 51 degrees north.

    The library here at the Greenmount called my name and I stayed here while Jörg went roaming and scouting , took care of our laundry and brought home pizza .

    We successfully changed our reservations for the rest of the trip to accommodate the changes necessary because some of our friends and family are in quarantine this week .

    P.s. Ronnie ; We did see Tom Crean’s
    South Pole Bar in Anascoul on our way here and will try and find some of his brew.There is also a Tom Crean pub in Kenmare which would be lovely to visit .

    The Dingle Peninsula is in County Kerry and is the most western location of Europe .

    We saw our first rainbow / from its appearance to its disappearance/ 2 minutes and every second stunning.
    Breakfast/ the food, the view, the staff …❤️
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    Kathy Zavala

    This place is a soft sigh and a deep breath

    4/6/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    Said perfectly

    4/7/22Reply
    Ronald Smith

    Nice!!

    4/6/22Reply
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  • Day7

    The road to Dingle via Killarney

    April 5 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

    We are changing up our itinerary to reflect the need to reschedule some of our local visits due to Covid quarantines.( Not for us thank God ) .
    We will return to Ballyvourney on Easter and stay 2 nights before we head to Kildare’s Bridget Center and Dublin at the end of the trip.
    Today we have a lunch date in Killarney with our favorite Irish bus driver John O’Keefe , then we head to Dingle for a few days stay.
    I don’t think I could bear to leave Ballyvourney if we were not returning soon .❤️🙏🇮🇪
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    Ronald Smith

    Your resonance with Ballyvourney and St Gobnait’s spiritual imprint shows pilgrim. So glad you’re doing this. Have a great lunch with John OKeefe!

    4/5/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    So glad you can be flexible!

    4/5/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Fun to see. Impressive system.

    4/5/22Reply
    Joey Kisser

    this is so inviting

    4/6/22Reply
     
  • Day6

    A soft Monday

    April 4 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 52 °F

    The Irish name for what we might call an overcast drizzling day is a “soft day”. On a day like this the thousand shades of green in the landscape are gorgeous.
    And, the rain is warm and the air clean .
    We returned for another visit to Gobnait’s Holy Well where the ancient trees and spring wildflowers frame the
    Pilgrims prayer ribbons and remembrances .
    We collected holy water from the Holy Well to bring home with us .
    And, we made our way down long country lanes to the tiny local cheese factory that produces 30 tons annually of Coolea cheese now shipped around the world .
    Famous for its lovely flavour and made with two ingredients; milk from cows pasture grazed locally and whey.
    The owner was happy to tell us he had just sent a large shipment to his marketer in London where it would be resent to Ukraine as his gift to the Ukrainian people.

    When we returned to the Mills we found that we had Irish Census forms waiting for us to complete because today is the day across Ireland to identify every person in the country including visitors.
    The experience was quite different than our US census because it included almost exclusively questions about our care for others and work and volunteer lives and nothing at all about our property.
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    Ronald Smith

    Yummy. 😊

    4/5/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Fascinating. I wish….

    4/5/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    ❤️

    4/5/22Reply
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  • Day5

    A tour of Coolea and tea party/ picnic

    April 3 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 48 °F

    It was a perfect spring day to tour the village of Coolea , just outside of Ballyvourney and home of Gobnait and my ancestors.
    The Kellys packed a tea picnic for us all and we finished the afternoon with another picnic table gathering at the highest pub in Ireland 🇮🇪: Top of Coom which is next door to Coolea and is in County Kerry .Read more

    Kathy Sweeney

    Hauntingly beautiful landscape

    4/4/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    A heirloom porridge pot from the days of the Great Hunger ( the potato famine ) .Said to have been used in the community porridge distribution to provide daily sustenance to the starving residents

    4/4/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    Pretty much the same local animals we have as neighbors at home

    4/4/22Reply
    18 more comments
     
  • Day4

    Welcome April in Ballyvourney

    April 2 in Ireland ⋅ 🌧 48 °F

    Today was our day to visit with our friends the Kelly’s; Joe and his daughters Deirdre and Neasa who have become dear friends on our visits here .We call Joe our Godfather as he has been instrumental in helping me to meet my cousins in the area and the Kelly’s have shown us such hospitality on our visits here .
    We originally met Joe when our B and B operator told us she’d like for us to meet him because he knows everyone here and introduced us.
    He does know every one and was keen to help me find my cousins and he did just that !

    We decided to meet up with them at Saint Gobnait’s shrine and to visit Joe’s wife and their Mom’s grave, and say hello to her too as is done here.
    Because the newest Covid variant is quite widespread here we won’t be able to visit the Kelly’s indoors .
    While we were at the shrine we met some visitors there who share the name Kelleher with my relatives of that name from the village of Coolea next to Ballyvourney.
    Of course, we had a lovely talk about various Kelleher’s and thanked Saint Gobnait for her continuing inspirations to all of us emigres from the area!
    We had a good visit sitting with Mrs.Kelly and tried to answer a few of the many questions our friends have about WHAT in the world is going on in the USA? ❤️☘️❤️
    After our visit we went to Gadaí Dubh Books and delivered Ronnie’s latest book as a gift from Ronnie for Conor the Owner.
    Cón was delighted to receive it ! He selected a book of local poetry and gave it to us for Ronnie ❤️.
    By the way Ronnie, Con loved the cover and was delighted with your illustrations even before he had a chance to begin reading it .
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    Kathy Zavala

    Lovely

    4/2/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Please say “hello” from us.

    4/2/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    We will ! We will be with the Kelly’s tomorrow afternoon again .

    4/2/22Reply
    16 more comments
     
  • Day3

    Ballyvourney here we come

    April 1 in Ireland ⋅ ☀️ 43 °F

    Coffee is the great ally during jet lag recovery, (and fresh flowers )…❤️

    We are picking up our car in Dublin and driving to Ballyvourney today.

    Always look forward to our cab rides with the utterly charming cab driver/ traffic angels 😇.
    Today’s driver was no exception as he updated us on the current green government of Dublin City who has “turned half the feckin streets into bike lanes and one way’s.”

    The three and a half hour trip went very smoothly.
    Gas is 8 dollars a gallon and we are pleased to be driving a VW Polo which is perfect for 2 people.

    So happy to have dinner and Guiness at the Mills Inn in Ballyvourney and to be checked into our own little private cottage under the shadow of the Old Colthust Castle.And we even have an outdoor seating area to enjoy during our stay.

    Back in the colonial days, when the locals here had their land seized , the English family the Colthursts were granted most of what is now County Cork by the King and ruled from castles throughout the area.
    My Sweeney ancestors were tenants of the Colthursts before John Sweeney, my great great grandfather and his wife Mary Dineen and her parents left for homestead land in Wisconsin in the early 1850’s. By the way , the Colthursts still own and operate nearby Blarney Castle.
    Ps Jörg is raising a glass to you readers in gratitude for your wonderful comments ❤️🙏☘️🇮🇪
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    Kathy Zavala

    Can you smell the flowers?

    4/1/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Very interesting menu! What did you have?

    4/1/22Reply
    Kathy Sweeney

    We both had the seafood chowder which was amazing and full of fresh seafood : only an hour to the ocean from here. And the Mills is famous for brown soda bread served with the widely acclaimed local butter .Many local food items on the menu .

    4/1/22Reply
    Kathy Zavala

    Yummm

    4/1/22Reply
    39 more comments
     

You might also know this place by the following names:

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