Donegal airport voted the most scenic in the world

Is this the most scenic airport in the world?

If you would like to fly into the most scenic airport in the world, you’ll have to come to Ireland! Donegal airport has been voted voted the most scenic in the world for the second year in a row. It’s one of our favourite airports, so we agree 100% with this result.

The airstrip at Carrickfinn, which is on the west coast of Ireland, finished ahead of Barra  Airport in Scotland in the annual poll. Donegal airport finished second in 2017 and seventh in 2016, in the poll by PrivateFly.

Voters pointed to its scenic surroundings and dramatic approach as its stand-out features.

“The view is spectacular! Mountains on one side and a beautiful rugged coastline dotted with islands and golden sandy beaches running adjacent to the runway,” said one voter.

Another said it was the “most beautiful scenery I ever saw, with the beach on one side with crystal clear water and Mount Errigal standing tall on the other side”.


Donegal airport: voted most scenic in the world.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to touch down in Donegal, we certainly recommend it and can arrange short flights from Dublin city to the Wild Atlantic Way.

Across the water in Scotland, is an island in the Outer Hebrides. Here, small jets land on the beach itself.

“The approach to Barra airport is awesome – superb views over to Skye and the small isles then seeing the causeway between Eriskay and South Uist coming in over the sand dunes to land on the beach at Barra is a totally unique experience. Nothing beats it,” commented one voter. We haven’t landed there yet but are putting it on our list when we travel to Scotland next month to find new experiences for our Scotland itineraries.

Barra Airport Scotland was voted in the Top 10 most scenic airports in the world

Back home, Donegal is in the habit of winning awards – Harvey’s Point won TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award for hotels earlier this year, while National Geographic Traveller voted the county the “coolest place in the world” to visit in 2017.

Would you like to explore Donegal?

Our Travel Advisors would be delighted to speak to you know to create a bespoke Donegal itinerary for you and your group.

Call us now on 1800 329 9138, fill out a brief enquiry form or email Shane at

Tours of Scotland and Ireland

For the 2019/2020 season we are offering luxury private guided combined tours of both Scotland & Ireland.

The following are some of the Theme Tours of Ireland & Scotland on offer for 2019/2020

  • Guided Golf Tours of Ireland & Scotland
  • Whiskey Tasting Tour of Scotland & Ireland
  • Castles & Manors Tour of Scotland & Ireland
  • Highlands & National Parks Tour
  • Genealogy Tour of Scotland & Northern Ireland
  • Scottish & Irish Heritage Tours
  • Three Weeks Exploring the Irish & Scottish Landscapes
  • Customized trips of any duration to cater for your interests!


Joe, our Scotland & Golf Specialist Travel Advisor, will be happy to chat to you about your tour. Call him now on  1800 329 9138 (toll free from the US), email  or send an enquiry here.


An epic tale of Irish ancestry

Stories of Irish ancestry on show in Dublin 

Stories of Irish ancestry

One in every six Irish-born people alive in the world today lives outside Ireland. Back in 1890 that figure was even higher: two in every five.
The stories of the Irish diaspora, one of the largest per capita in the world, range from tales of desperation to tales of success. Almost all contain adventure.

If you are visiting Dublin and interested in these Irish ancestry stories, make sure to visit the CHQ building, an 1820s warehouse on the Dublin docklands.

Deep in its brick-lined vaults is Epic Ireland, an interactive visitor experience developed by the team behind Titanic Belfast. It aims to tell the “authentic and epic story of 10 million journeys, and the roots of 70 million people”.

“There is a specialness about Irishness”

Epic Ireland was funded by former Coca-Cola chief executive Neville Isdell. He emigrated from Co Down with his parents to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in the mid-1950s.

“There is a specialness about Irishness. It is the friendliness and the storytelling and the enjoying life. I knew that was something to be celebrated,” he told the Irish Times at the time of the opening in 2016.

Epic Ireland’s 21 galleries use actors and film footage to tell the story of 320 members of the Irish diaspora. The displays explore why people left Ireland and the influence they had abroad in sectors such as the arts, science, education, sport and politics.

Guinness and Riverdance

Well-known Irish brands – Guinness, Riverdance and the traditional Irish pub – are also referenced in the displays.

Famous faces who have Irish ancestry that is well documented can be seen, including Grace Kelly, Barack Obama, Graham Norton. You can also learn the stories of plenty more whose Irish roots are less familiar, including the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara, whose ancestors have been traced back to Co Galway in the early 18th century.

One especially interesting story is that of Dr James Barry, who as a British army surgeon in Africa undertook the first successful caesarean in the world where mother and baby survived. On his deathbed it was discovered Barry was in fact a woman, born Margaret Bulkley, in Dublin. Her mother had told her to disguise herself as a man before she moved abroad in order to practise medicine. Bulkley/Barry was the first qualified female British doctor or surgeon, preceding the next woman by more than half a century.

Please ask your Ireland Chauffeur Travel Travel Advisor if you would like to visit Epic Ireland.

Call us

We offer custom-designed Family Ancestry Tours of Ireland, working with experts across Ireland to assist your to trace your ancestry. Please email or call 1800 329 9138 (toll-free) to chat to our Travel Advisors.

‘It’s like a fairytale’: Mark Hamill and the Star Wars crew on Ireland

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill (aka Luke Skywalker) has been singing the praises of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way and Skellig Michael, which both havestarring roles Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi

“To come back to Ireland was a great treat for all of us because the beauty of that country is unmatched,” Hamill says in a new video for Tourism Ireland.

“You get up in the morning and see vistas where I was sure it was a special effect.”

“The people are so nice. They make you feel like family, they were so welcoming, so accommodating and so friendly. We felt like we were home,” says Hamill. “I mean, having lived in New York for many, many years I wasn’t sure how to take it! I would urge anyone planning a vacation to go to Ireland.  You’ll never find another place like it … I wish we could have shot the entire film there.”

The blockbuster movies were filmed along Ireland’s western coastline, from the northern-most point in Donegal to the cliffs and headlands of counties Clare, Cork and Kerry.

“I got the chills”

Speaking to journalists, Hamill was especially enthusiastic when speaking about Skellig Michael.

“I remember, I had this feeling that rushed over me when I was at the top of Skellig Michael … and in between shots if I turned away and had the crew to my back, you could look out and in this unearthly terrain and the robots by your side and the floating car and the stand, and you’re in this outfit…

“It was very easy to just be transported and really feel like you were in a galaxy far, far away. It was just – y’know, I got the chills. And I never had that feeling again, until – not in Empire, when we went to Norway, it was brutally cold, but snow is snow, I’ve seen it before. In Jedi, we went to the Redwood forest, and again, gorgeous, but again, it was something that I was familiar with.

“Skellig, you’re up at the top, and I didn’t expect this to happen but I was sort of off to myself, and it was just at sunset, and there was the craggy rocks coming up, and I had that same feeling: ‘Oh my gosh, this is like being in another world.’

“Y’know, also, it was built in the 1100s, and you go ‘how did they get these stones out the island in the first place?’, y’know? These monks must have built canoes or who knows, but it is a really extraordinary place.”

“Cultural significance”

Skellig Michael features distinct stone beehive-huts from a Christian monastery that that date back to at least the 8th century. It’s one of the two Skellig islands, which are located off the coast of Kerry.

Because of the island’s cultural heritage significance – it is a UNESCO heritage site – film on the island was only permitted for two days in 2015.

To continue filming on location, the crew returned in 2016 and built replicas of Skellig Michael’s beehive huts on the mainland.

The location scouts then handpicked areas in Cork, Kerry, Clare and Donegal to represent the planet Ahch-to.

Pulling a pint

While in Ireland, Hamill did have some down time and a photograph of him pulling a pint of Guinness got lots of attention. He told that he enjoyed music in the pub before popping behind the bar to learn to pull a pint of Guinness. Lee Marvin took Hamill to a pub “back when we were doing The Big Red One [1980 movie set in World War I], where when they finish the Guinness … and they put a shamrock on top.” He also teased his personal trainer by posing with a dog … and a packet of Tayto crisps.

Call us

If you would like to experience your own Star Wars adventure in Ireland (or learn to pull a pint of Guinness!), we will customize a tour of the movie sites on the Wild Atlantic Way during your visit to Ireland. Please email or call 1800 329 9138 (toll-free) to chat to our Travel Advisors.


Belfast and Causeway Coast ranked as “top” region in world to visit in 2018

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 lists Belfast and Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast as top region in the world to visit.

The Northern Ireland region takes top spot in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018, an inspirational, travel yearbook that highlights the top places to visit in the year ahead.

Belfast and the Causeway Coast came in ahead of Alaska, the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France and the Aeolian islands in Italy. The writers praise the Causeway Coast “whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever.”

They also highlight the region’s transformation, especially Belfast.

The city is now “full of hip neighbourhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes”. “The rusting old docklands are now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum.”

Black taxi tour

The authors suggest travellers take a black taxi tour – something we arrange for Ireland Chauffeur Travel clients – to discover the political legacy of the Troubles. They then suggest heading north for golf on Portstewart links course and recommend Harry’s Shack for food. They also suggest visiting the Giant’s Causeway.

These stop-offs have featured on the Ireland Chauffeur Travel customized tours of Northern Ireland for many years. Now we are seeking new off-the-beaten track gems to avoid the crowds that might be inspired by the book!

According to James Smart, Lonely Planet’s destination editor for Britain and Ireland: “Belfast and the Causeway Coast topped our list of the top 10 regions because it is deservedly now recognised as a must-visit destination by travellers from across the globe”.

“Dynamic Belfast has put its troubled past behind it and is a city transformed. Its streets are packed with buzzing bars and great stories. The coastline beyond boasts spectacular scenery and plenty of great diversions. The region may be famous for Game of Thrones but its many scenic filming locations are just the start,” he said.


We recently spent time in Belfast and we agree! The Titanic Quarter has a fantastic new addition – the Titanic Hotel. It is built in the old Harland & Wolff offices. Once you enter you cannot but be wow-ed by the renovations to the original Drawing Offices. These bright, vaulted ceiling rooms were where the plans for the RMS Titanic and numerous other White Star Line vessels.

Northern Ireland has heightened appeal right now because of the pre-Brexit value of the pound. This means it is very good value for travellers to the region.

“While the value of the pound hasn’t been great news for British travellers, it has been a great boost for people looking to visit the UK. We expect this to continue next year,” says Smart.

According to Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, the ranking is “another well-deserved accolade”. Tourism Ireland has planned a campaign on the back of the accolade. This includes a dedicated page on their international website, The website attracted almost 19.4 million visitors last year.

We have included one of the Lonely Planet videos showing why Belfast and the Causeway Coast took the honours. At, you can view three other videos.

Contact us

Please contact us at Ireland Chauffeur Travel (toll-free: 1800 329 9138 or email if you would like to arrange a tour in Northern Ireland. We would be delighted to assist you. Please quote #BestInTravel.

Wild Atlantic Way and ‘Game of Thrones’ route named as top drives in the world

Lonely Planet names Irish routes in ultimate top 50 road trips

dunlace castle

Though the term “road trip” might conjure images of American highways. When it comes to the best routes in the world look no further than the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland.

The route, that clings to cliffs along Ireland’s west coast, has been named as one of the top 50 ultimate road trips by Lonely Planet.

Also in the list is Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coastal Route, which is becoming well known as a filming location for HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’.

The two Irish routes are joined by Route 66 in the US, Australia’s Great Ocean Road and Bolivia’s salt flats, among others.

The book, titled Epic Drives of the World, borrows from Oscar Wilde to describe the “savage beauty” of the Irish scenery. The Wild Atlantic Way, which is the 2,750km route from Kinsale in Co Cork to Malin Head in Co Donegal, is described as “untamed and utterly divine”.

glens of antrim

Glens of Antrim, Northern Ireland

“Ireland’s west coast is a dramatic procession of deserted beaches and towering cliffs where traditional music and ancient castles abound.”

“[It] is battered by Atlantic rollers, strewn with jagged cliffs and littered with wide beaches and coves. It’s a place where inky lakes shelter between mountains, sinewy stone walls clamber across hillsides and trees are frequently bent double by the wind.”

“The roads here are rather narrow and winding, grass often grows along a hump in their middle and a herd of sheep can easily scupper all plans,” it notes but says the driving is “easy”. Donegal’s beaches are described as “gloriously deserted”.

A loop of the Causeway Coastal Route, from Belfast to the north Antrim coast, is also listed in the book. This route includes the Giant’s Causeway and locations now famous as Game of Thrones filming locations, such as the Glens of Antrim, Cushendun and the Dark Hedges.


Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland | Credit: Tourism Northern Ireland

“Often overlooked, the lonely shores of Northern Ireland might just be the perfect day-tripping antidote to Belfast’s urban core.” according to Lonely Planet. “Road signs advertise the Dark Hedges up ahead – one of the many recesses now famous as a backdrop for Game of Thrones.”

Each entry in Epic Drives of the World includes a first-hand account with tips and advice for planning a short or long road trip.


Please contact us if you would like to arrange your private road trip experience or to create a Game of Thrones itinerary.

Thank You: Your Ireland Stories and Reviews

At Ireland Chauffeur Travel, we have been welcoming clients to Ireland for over a decade. From the start we have worked to create unforgettable vacations for everyone traveling with us – combining professional service with a friendly approach that shows Ireland at her finest.

Since we started our business in Cashel, a lot has changed in Ireland. We have seen a Celtic Tiger boom and the bust that followed – both of which changed the economic landscape of the land. Thankfully, the scenic landscape is as beautiful now as it was then. And one other thing that hasn’t changed is our approach – our clients’ experience of Ireland is at the heart of what we do. It always has been and it continues to be.

Our personalized touch starts in the office when you contact our team of Travel Advisors to plan your dream vacation to the Emerald Isle. Your Ireland Journey starts there and the excitement – for you and us – starts to build. When you touch down in Ireland, that personalization continues on the road with one of our Professional Driver Guides. Our team of Driver Guides make sure to learn what it is you really want to see and will bring you down the smallest boreen to ensure you find it.

Ireland Chauffeur Travel Testimonial Video

Thank you for 500 reviews!

Our clients come to Ireland for many reasons – scenery and craic that only Ireland can offer, genealogy, golf, the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ancient East, castle estates, beaches, mountains, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, wildlife and birdlife tours, breweries and distilleries, honeymoons, weddings and birthdays…the list goes on and many come just to relax.

Whatever their reason for coming to Ireland, they all leave with stories.

Last week, we reached over 500 testimonials on our website. We also got our TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2017 in the post (the actual post!). We wanted to say thank you to our clients for traveling with us and telling us your stories. So, we put together this short video of our client’s tales and testimonials.
We hope you enjoy the scenery.

Shane & All the Ireland Chauffeur Travel team

Bloomsday: Why James Joyce, Bloom and ‘Ulysses’ are celebrated today

Bloomsday is a celebration of the Dublin wanderings of James Joyce’s character Leopold Bloom in the novel Ulysses. Ulysses follows the life and thoughts of main character Leopold Bloom and a host of other characters – real and fictional – from 8am on June 16, 1904 into the early hours of the next morning. And so June 16th is celebrated by Joyceans as Bloomsday in Dublin and around the world.

If you are lucky – or organized – enough to be in the capital on June 16th, you’ll pass many a person dressed like a character from the book. The hallmark item of Bloomsday is the straw boater hat. Already today, I have passed a dozen and I have just made it into the city centre. Here, it is not only a day of celebrations but a week of readings, performances, breakfasts of liver and kidneys (blame Leopold) and animated walking trails around the city.

James Joyce Bloomsday
Bloomsday is a celebration of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Why 1904?

According to Joycean experts, we believe Joyce met Nora Barnacle, his future wife, for the first time on Friday June 10th, 1904 on Nassau Street, near Finn’s Hotel where Nora worked. They arranged to meet on Tuesday June 14th outside Sir William Wilde’s house on Merrion Square. Joyce turned up, but Nora did not. Joyce proceeded to write to her at the hotel asking if she would like to make another arrangement. According to Joyce’s biographer, they couple went walking together on June 16th and Joyce later told Nora “You made me a man”.

It was during this summer of 1904 that Joyce started to write the stories for Dubliners and, after spending almost a week living with Oliver Gogarty at the Martello Tower in Sandycove, Joyce made the decision to leave Ireland.
Some incidents from his summer became material for “Ulysses”. One such incident is when a drunken Joyce was thrown out of a National Theatre Society rehearsal in a hall on Camden Street. In the novel, this event is ascribed to Stephen.

Molly Bloom’s Soliloquy (Ulysses 18: Penelope) James Joyce

Past Celebrations

It was after Ulysses was published in 1922, that Joyce’s friends began to mark June 16th as Bloomsday. Though there were earlier celebrations in France, the first Bloomsday celebrated in Ireland was in 1954, the 50th anniversary. Writers Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien decided to re-enact Bloom’s journey across Dublin. They visited the Martello Tower at Sandycove, Davy Byrne’s pub, and 7 Eccles Street, reading parts of Ulysses and drinking a great deal as they went. Poet Anthony Cronin, who passed away this year, was also present representing Stephen Dedalus.

Favorite Quotes

Recently we read “Best-Loved Joyce written by James Joyce, Introduced by Bob Joyce and Edited by Jamie O’Connell. It is published by The O’Brien Press. Reading it reminded us of some of our favorite quotes from Joyce’s writing. Some will inspire you, we hope, to pour a cup of tea and pick up one of Joyce’s works. Others will inspire you to choose to travel to see us and experience Joyce’s Dublin in person!

To learn one must be humble. But life is the great teacher. Ulysses

A father, Stephen said, battling against hopelessness, is a necessary evil. Ulysses

She respected her husband in the same way as she respected the General Post Office, as something large, secure and fixed. A Mother, Dubliners

We were always loyal to lost causes, the professor said. Success for us is the dark of the intellect and of the imagination. Ulysses

One by one they were all becoming shades. Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age. The Dead, Dubliners

I resent violence or intolerance in any shape or form… It’s a patent absurdity on the face of it to hate people because they live around the corner or speak another vernacular, so to speak. Ulysses

Good Puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub. Ulysses

I wanted real adventure to happen to myself. But real adventues, I reflected, do not happen to people who remain at home: they must be sought abroad. An Encounter, Dubliners

James Joyce Bloomsday
Readings and events take place around Dublin to celebrate Bloomsday. Credit: Getty

If you are interested in a Joycean Tour Of Dublin or Literary Tour of Ireland, please contact us by email ( or submit an Enquiry Form.


Don’t miss “My Ireland” – a poetry insight into Ireland in 2017

This poem is phenomenal. Honestly, we are not exaggerating.

If you want to learn more about Ireland in 2017, watch or read this new work by Dublin poet and playwright Stephen James Smith. The poem was commissioned for the 2017 St Patrick’s Day Festival and it encapsulates the best – and worst – of Ireland.

It is a vibrant, passionate, angry and ultimately hopeful look at our country in 2017.

The poem spans Ireland’s historical and political highs and lows, our sights and viewpoints around the country. It encapsulates the “Children of Lirr, Tír na nÓg and a herd of deer”; Glendalough, the Blarney Stone and the Ring of Kerry. For the poet, his Ireland look from Mary Robinson to the Magdalene laundries; from The Quiet Man to Waterford Whispers. It included Roddy Doyle, the Eurovision, emojis and leaving the immersion on.

The poem is accompanied by a short film by director Myles O’Reilly, arranged and mixed by Conor O’Brien (Villagers) and music by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister), Eithne Ní Chatháin aka Inni-K and Ye Vagabonds, and the poet himself on the bodhrán.

Take a few minutes. Read it. Relish it. And tell us here at Ireland Chauffeur Travel – what is your “My Ireland”? Leave us comment here or on our Facebook page. You won’t regret spending time with one of the new voices of a generation in Ireland.


My Ireland by Stephen James Smith

My Ireland you are
the river rush,
always fluid in flux
in need of a little hush…

My Ireland is talking to itself
but so busy listening to Joe
it’s not hearing anything!
My Ireland is saying,
“gra go deo” agus “slainte Diageo”.

My Ireland is reeling in the years
and not watching what’s happening now.
While so many are reining in the tears
and trying to cope somehow…
My Ireland is terrified of leaving the immersion on
and lamenting not having won the Eurovision
in God only knows how long!
My Ireland loves laughing at Ó Briain and Norton.
My Ireland is sending gifs and emojis
while waiting for absolution.
My Ireland needs
a vision, an Aisling,
to move on from:
bacon & cabbage,
potatoes, leprechauns,
and jaysis Mrs Brown’s Boys!
My Ireland is checking itself
after a Queen’s Noble Call
and in Dublin Castle heard
“A Úachtaráin, agus a chairde”
from auld Lizzy.
My Ireland is dizzy from misinformation
and celebrations arising from The Proclamation.
My Ireland wonders if it’s a sovereign people
still under the shadow of a steeple?
My Ireland constantly asks:
“was it for this?”
“an bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas?”
My Ireland is Zig & Zag
and top shelf mags,
Pearse lonely as an old woman
defiant in defeat.
My Ireland is a white flag
and Elizabeth O’Farrell’s feet.
My Ireland is Savita needing agency,
The Magdalene Laundries.
My Ireland is hysterical
and in denial of being patriarchal.
My Ireland didn’t Wake The Feminists,
Queen Méabh was an early riser.
My Ireland you are:
Cumann na mBan
praying to St. Brigid,
Ireland playing frigid
Naysayers and Peig Sayers.
My Ireland is still Hailing Mary Mother of Grace,
And here’s to you Mrs Robinson thanks for the embrace.
My Ireland wishes Grace O’Malley our Pirate Queen
could’ve been out at Shell to Sea.
My Ireland is cherishing anything
from an Instagram snap of a
ham & cheese toasty
to finding the right filter
for taking that selfie.
My Ireland is rich land
dressed by Penney’s.
My Ireland is The Quiet Man
and Waterford Whispers,
shouting for us all.
My Ireland isn’t sure what to do about
the water charges
and needs someone to take the fall.

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland should learn from its rivers
and burst its banks
My Ireland needs to go back to the source,
the initial trickle, a spring
and tickle out its flow.
My Ireland needs to let go.
My Ireland saw Sinead rip up the Pope
and isn’t able to cope.
So we’ve:
Pieta House, Apollo House, Pelican House
for our new age Blood Sacrifice
and Ghost Estates.
My Ireland doesn’t know what a tracker mortgage is
and is hoping it’s not too late.
My Ireland sees goodness,
in the kindness
of its people everyday.
Which bonds us
just enough to get by,
My Ireland’s sense of community
isn’t ready to die!
My Ireland celebrates the underdog
who “Pull Like a Dog”.
“We’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over!”
My Ireland you are:
The Guildford Four,
Rossport Five,
Birmingham Six,
Travelling people,
and forgotten demographics…

My Ireland is a terrible beauty,
Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí.
My Ireland knows,
When All the Others were Away at Mass
there was The Meeting on the Turret Stairs.
My Ireland can let go of all its cares,
it has the arts.
We’ve The Salmon of Knowledge
and blistered hearts.
My Ireland has warriors like;
Damien Dempsey singing Colony
Katie Taylor knocking out misogyny!
My Ireland doesn’t forget to pour a sup for the fairies
and our women’s fairy tales sail to Holyhead.

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland can be hard to take,
asks, “Did St. Patrick banish all the snakes?”
My Ireland is the Children of Lirr, Tír na nÓg
a herd of deer and a Connacht brogue.
My Ireland is singing,
“Óró sé do bheatha abhaile”, while
the Eastern Europeans are coming,
the Africans are coming,
the Muslims are coming.
Can we all just come together?
My Ireland you are the National Stud.
My Ireland you are:
Four Green Fields
and a clover,
non defined,
yet to emerge,
fluid queers.
My Ireland may be drunk on 800 years!
My Ireland is the undocumented
and 40 million worldwide.
Failte them abhaile.
Open your arms.
Do you care about your diaspora?
My Ireland you are:
West Brits, Expats, immigrants,
Shane McGowan Tipp via London Town.
Ireland you are:
the Kilburn Road, Ellis Island,
Boston, To Hell or Connacht,
Dubai, Oz and Canada.
Skyping to your Da & Ma
My Ireland’s calling…
“Tiocfaidh ár lá!”

My Ireland is pulling the Aran wool over the Yankee eyes,
while thanking its bus drivers since 1916.
My Ireland is worried that,
Dustin the Turkey and The Rubberbandits
deserve more plaudits for speaking the truth.
My Ireland is fearful of the litigious.
My Ireland is a religious delirious crowd and Synging Playboys,
in a post-truth Western-World…
My Ireland is full of notions, revelations framed in song
and the constellations of a plough under which we all belong.
My Ireland is Gerard Donnelly resting in the Phoenix Park
as Wellington’s obelisk loom in the dark.
My Ireland is Glendalough, Lough Derg,
skirmishes, Skellig Islands and Star Wars.

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland, oh my,
you are Omagh!
Danny Boy in Loftus Road,
Good Friday, Bloody Sunday
An island in Trouble in shock
caught in the crosshairs of a Glock.
My Ireland is,
Tir gan teanga
Tir gan anam,
and hiding ammunition.
You are white in division,
all sides aiming for some Union…
My Ireland you are:
a Peace Bridge in StrokeCity,
a battle for some,
The Battle of Somme,
a Rising,
a Lily,
a Poppy,
a speech at Woodenbridge,
Others talkin’ of leaching on Jobsbridge.
Ireland “is feidir linn!”
Oh yes we can, oh no you can’t.
My Ireland’s a Gaiety panto.
My Ireland’s got the Fear.
Wondering why are we here?
Looking for a pot of gold under
The Cliffs of Moher.
My Ireland’s postmodern,
self aware, more than a list poem!
Wandering like Bloom through
the Slieve Bloom and Mourne Mountains.

My Ireland is
Carrickfergus, Carrickmines
the Ring of Kerry, Boyne Valley,
Bunclody, Enniscorthy.
My Ireland you are:
waterways, wildlife, curlew.
You are:
a Seanchaí lament,
a Celtic Phoenix,
perpetual hubris.
Ireland you’re not one to complain,
“Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin….”
My Ireland is,
taking the soup,
dropping the ‘O’,
Do you feel emancipated?
My Ireland you are:
Bosco knocking on a magic door
Zebo and the Haka in Thomond Park.
You are:
birdsong from a Lark,
Fenians, farmers, freemasons,
executions at Kilmainham Gaol,
you are UN peacekeeping
and speak of The Pale after
Kissing the Blarney Stone.
My Ireland wherever you roam,
you are always a Paddy a Biddy a Mick,
hailing from a Banana Republic.
My Ireland is getting the ride in Copper Face Jack’s
and made Big Jack an honorary Irishman.
My Ireland is Anglo Irish
and playing GAA for the parish.
My Ireland is Glenroe and Joanne O’Riordan.
My Ireland you are
and aren’t the Vitruvian male
and you’re up for sale
at the right price.
My Ireland is
the lovely girls at the Rose of Tralee,
Mount Rose and TV3.
My Ireland will gobble you up!
It’s obsessed with:
Clonakilty black pudding,
Superquinn sasuages,
bottom feeders,
Hunger Strikes,
1798 and pikes,
Black & Tans,
yips and yurts,
scapegoats, drive-bys,
fiscal crisis, Jesus, ISIS,
The Irish Elk, Ireland help!
Ireland, viral, Titanic, epidemic,
from Normans to Neither/Norism.
My Ireland is Archbishop Charles McQuaid,
enough said!

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over me…

My Ireland has erased
The Famine, The Great Hunger, The Emergency.
Let’s not write our epitaph until we’re all free.
My Ireland had a Centenary and got D.P..
My Ireland couldn’t look its signatories in the eye.
My Ireland’s:
ditties & songs,
sure we’ll all sing along,
while Louis Walsh looms
and wooden spoons
cause national trauma.
My Ireland is saying RIP Billo,
and knows Dunphy’s a spoofer.
My Ireland’s trying to survive on the dole
and livin’ off of chicken fillet rolls.
Ireland you are:
Happy Pears and Apple accounts.
Ireland you are still living in the past,
how long can this last?
Do you even understand Peadar Kearney’s words?
Ireland invented by Declan Kiberd,
revived by Lady Gregory,
wants a portrait from Colin Davidson
but is scared of what it’ll see…

Ireland you are:
Some woman’s yellow hair,
Marty Morrissey’s hair,
EU fishing quotas,
Bankers, bonuses,
Paddy Clarke HA HA, Enya,
Eircodes, uilleann pipes,
NAMA and the HSE,
a biscuit and stout industry,
Riverdance, The Walls of Limerick,
private islands, apologies,
Bog Poems, Blackberry-Picking, fermenting,
Wild Geese, Web Summits, Harps,
Jimmy X, All Kinds of Everything,
caught in a whirlpool spin.
You are part of the world,
look out
look within…

Mise Éire, Ireland, Hibernia,
you are all this
you are all this
and more!

My Ireland you are
trying to be all encompassing
and it’s an impossible task.
So I ask you,
“what’s your My Ireland?”
Ireland are you evolving,
Arising, an Aisling,
Ireland Arise!

Ireland from what I’ve heard
a great compassion
is calling you.
You have a teanga,
ao add your voice.
Ireland from what I know
a great courage
is in you.
So stand united rejoice.
Go back to the source, the flow,
forget mainstream.
Let out a roar,
I want to hear you scream:
“This Ireland is my land.
This Ireland is your land.
This island is our land.”

And know I love you.
And know I love you.
I love you.
Sin é!
I’m trying to listen,
so what have you to say?

My Ireland you are
The river rush of the
Corrib, Nore,
Foyle, Suir, Shannon,
Lagan, Lifey, Lee
And every tributary
Wash over me,
Wash over me,
Wash over you,
Wash over us…


Tell us about your “My Ireland” on our Facebook page –

Ireland’s best hotels . . . according to TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards


Harveys Point hotel, Donegal.
Harvey’s Point hotel, Donegal.

The TripAdvisor 2017 Travellers’ Choice top hotel votes have been counted and the results are in. The “Top 10 Irish hotels” list features some Ireland Chauffeur Travel favorites and is a great reminder of the quality hotels on offer around the country – from Donegal to Mayo, Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Laois and, well, back to Donegal! Harvey’s Point, a four-star hotel set among the Bluestack Mountains on the shores of Lough Eske in Donegal, grabs top spot on the Top Irish Hotels List as well as the “Best service” category.

The results cap an incredible start to 2017 for Donegal, which was ranked Number 1 on the “Cool List for 2017” by National Geographic Traveller UK. Donegal was also voted as “Ireland’s Hidden Gem” in the Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards.

Ireland Chauffeur Travel favorites feature in the “Top Luxury Hotels in Ireland” list, with the Killarney Park Hotel taking top spot. Ballyfin Demense – which was voted Best Hotel in the World by Condé Naste Readers – took second place, ahead of Dublin’s Merrion Hotel and Hayfield Manor in Cork.

TripAdvisor’s Top 10 Irish hotels:

  1. Harvey’s Point, Donegal
  2. Ashford Castle, Mayo
  3. The Merrion, Dublin
  4. The Killarney Park Hotel, Kerry
  5. Hayfield Manor, Cork
  6. Castle Durrow, Laois
  7. The Brehon, Killarney, Kerry
  8. The Dunloe, Kerry
  9. The River Lee Hotel, Cork
  10. Villa Rose Hotel, Ballybofey, Donegal

Top 15 luxury hotels in Ireland:

  1. Killarney Hotel, Kerry
  2. Ballyfin Demense, Laois
  3. Merrion Hotel, Dublin
  4. Hayfield Manor, Cork
  5. The Dunloe, Kerry
  6. Castle Leslie Estate, Monaghan
  7. The Marker Hotel, Dublin
  8. Dromoland Castle, Clare
  9. The Europe Hotel, Kerry
  10. Tankardstown, Meath
  11. Monart, Wexford
  12. Adare Manor, Limerick
  13. The Westbury, Dublin
  14. Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa, Kerry
  15. Druids Glen Hotel & Gold Resort, Wicklow

Read more about Ireland’s top hotels on our luxury accommodation page (

TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards are in their 15th year. They are determined based on “millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travellers worldwide,” says the online travel giant.

By Leonie Corcoran

Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney, Kerry.

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