Eyeries Village Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day Contest Entry: Deeply Rooted

In Win A Trip to Ireland by TonyLeave a Comment

Everything I have and am is a result of the decisions my great, great grandparents made over 100 years before I was born. My ancestors’ decisions provided me the life that I have today. By visiting Ireland, I will come to a land that is literally in my blood.
Imagine the courage it took to leave family, friends and the only home they ever knew and begin a new life in a land on the other side of the ocean. That is exactly what my ancestors did and it resulted in a better life for generations. Surviving the journey, establishing a new life, and adapting to the differences that America presented must have been exhilarating and eye-opening all at the same time. To win this Authentic Ireland trip would do the same for me–without the weeks of traveling in steerage class
To put it simply, Ireland represents the courage which is part of my family’s constitution. Ireland, is the homeland of my people, as my great, great grandparents immigrated from County Wexford, County Kilkenny and County Cork. This trip would provide me the opportunity to walk in my ancestors’ footsteps and come to understand the courage it took for them to leave their homeland and embark on a new adventure to the New World in America.
Traveling back in time–to the cobblestones walkways that my ancestors may have walked–would give me a glimpse of what they experienced and why they chose to risk everything for a new life. While history can explain why my family left their homes in the mid- 1800s,–they likely did so for their own survival–, seeing the villages and land they came from would reinforce my family’s (especially my father’s) determination to survive in the face of hardship. When my father was growing up as the third born of twelve, his family’s farmhouse burned to the ground and the family lived in a machine shed on their farmland until the house was rebuilt. Their ability to make the most of a challenging situation is part of my family and I think it traces back to what defined my original Irish relatives.
While many contestants may plan to visit tourist attractions in Dublin like Trinity College, Dublin Castle and Kilmainham Gaol, (and these are all noteworthy destinations), my journey to Ireland would be to explore the path of my ancestors in Enniscorthy, then in County Kilkenny and eventually in County Cork. To visit the small villages, to have an opportunity to speak with locals and experience the areas as my great, great grandparents did and to enjoy a pint (or two) in a local pub are all destinations on my Ireland travel list because that is the authentic Ireland of my family. To see with my eyes what they saw in the rolling hills of Ireland and the forty shades of green would put me in touch with what Ireland is to the generations that came after they left. The beauty of the land and the culture of the people are what make Ireland special to me and to experience it first-hand would strengthen my connection to my ancestors.
In journeying to Ireland, I also hope to learn about the family that was unable to leave. I am sure some of their stories will be heart-wrenching but they are woven into the fabric of everyone who came after them. It is a legacy to have a place to return to and to learn what makes us who we are. It would be an honor to win this Authentic Ireland trip.


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