people standing in front of Gallarus Oratory in Dingle

St. Patrick’s Day Contest Entry: The Irish Bucketlist

In Win A Trip to Ireland by Leslie O'MalleyLeave a Comment

I have been to Ireland only once before, many years ago, I was lucky to see and go inside Newgrange while it was still somewhat of a “local archaeological curiosity.” I am proud to hear it has gained world recognition, and been properly protected and interpreted. I was duly impressed, to say the least. I enjoyed Dublin, the River Liffey, the locales of Joyce’s “Ulysses.” I enjoyed the train to Drogheda, and was lucky to hitch hike a ride back to Dublin. I look forward to visiting County Mayo, the birthplace of my grandparents (I am an Irish citizen through that heritage). I also look forward to visiting the Shannon area, Waterford and simply driving and enjoying the countryside. My sister has met some our our Sheridan cousins In Ballindine (it was not that far back, maybe 100 years).

I have never visited any of the castles and that would be a big plus. I am also interested in searching out more about Ireland’s Viking history. Also on my “Irish Bucket List” are the following: Gallarus Oratory, Cork, Wexford, The Easter Rebellion Post Office (how did I miss that?), Trinity College (again), The Guinness factory (AGAIN), Bantry Bay and mountains in the Macgillicuddy’s Reeks. If I had the time, I would consider a trip to the Aran Islands, and/or Achill Island which also sounds interesting. I cannot and should not forget the Giant’s Causeway. I would like to see a bit of the border areas, as I have studies the Troubles since a wee lad…(my Dad would not let me forget where we came from, even if in New York).

One of my “travel peculiarities” is to visit the governmental utilities, as far as possible. Where is the garbage taken? How it the water supplied? What is done with the sewage? Where does the energy come from, what kinds of sustainable energy is being explored like Peat and Wind production? I know that Ireland has some unique qualities, being warmed by the Gulf Stream despite its northern latitude. What does that do for the flora and fauna? My iPod is filled to the brim with Celtic and English language songs of Ireland and I can recite by heart the Clancy Brothers’ concert “patter” better than the Rosary, to my wife’s dismay…who is also a citizen, through our marriage. Her Gleeson ancestors were too far back to qualify!

I appreciate the Irish sense of independence while at the same time a sense of co-dependence among each other. A neighbor would not hesitate to help a neighbor, I know. Inventiveness, toughness in harsh conditions, the ability to sometimes endure the unendurable, these are qualities I hope I have managed to inherit at least somewhat. While Saint Patrick/s parade in NYC was always a source of dignity for me, I do gravitate towards the culture and the music, the literature, the films, as things I would point to among my friends. Writing this all down has made me realize that I need to plan on just one more trip back to Ireland, but several!


Have you created your own Ireland Bucketlist to follow on your next Ireland vacation? Maybe your list features famous sites, such as Temple Bar in Dublin or the Blarney Castle in County Cork. Whatever your list might include, the Authentic Ireland team is more than prepared to make sure you see the places and things you would like while on your trip. We even have our own suggestions for Ireland experiences, which you might end up adding to your own bucketlist!

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