|Quakers in the Dark Hedges|
Join me in Ireland in July 2018 - at the annual sessions of Ireland Yearly Meeting in Limerick, and before and after, exploring countryside, culture(s) and history.
The itinerary is in three parts: before, during and after yearly meeting. I hope that you will be able to join me for the whole time, but it's also possible to join for one or two parts.
First part: July 8 - 18, 2018
- Limerick, established by Vikings in 812.
- Cashel, Co. Tipperary, home of the Rock and of the fictional 7th century Sister Fidelma.
- Kilkenny: National Design and Craft Gallery, Kilkenny Design Centre.
- Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny: Nicholas Mosse Pottery.
- Mountmellick and Rosenallis, Co. Laois, and Ballitore, Co. Kildare, historic Quaker towns. Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
- Waterford, founded by Vikings in 914.
- The Copper Coast UNESCO Geopark, Co. Waterford.
- Historic Youghal, Midleton and Cobh, Co. Cork
- Join Friends for meeting for worship in Cork.
- West Cork: Clonakilty, Rosscarbery, Baltimore, Skibbereen and Bantry.The Ring of Kerry, including Portmagee, the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre, Valentia Island, home of the cable that began to link Europe with Newfoundland in 1866, Waterville and Killarney.
- The Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry: Dún Chaoin, the Blasket Centre, Louis Mulcahy pottery and Lisbeth Mulcahy, Weaver.
Accommodation will be in hotels.
Second part, Ireland Yearly Meeting, July 18 - 22
Ireland Yearly Meeting's annual sessions will be in Limerick, at Limerick Institute of Technology. As guests at the yearly meeting, we will spend time in worship and conversation with Irish Friends. It's an opportunity to appreciate the rich 350-year-old history of Friends in Ireland, and to enter into the spirituality of this diverse group.
Accommodation will be in a student village.
Third part, July 22 - 30
- When yearly meeting ends, we will head northeast pausing to refuel at Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, Co. Offaly.
- The Glens of Antrim and Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim.
- Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, Co. Londonderry.
- The County Down coast, the Mountains of Mourne, Downpatrick and Strangford Lough.
- The north Antrim coast: Ballycastle, the Giant's Causeway.
- Lough Erne, Belleek Pottery and Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh.
- The Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal and the City of Derry, Co. Londonderry.
- Sligo, Céide Fields prehistoric site and Westport, Co. Mayo.
- Connemara: The hunger trail from Louisburgh to Doolough and Killary Fjord, Co. Mayo.
- Letterfrack and Clifden, two small Co. Galway towns with Quaker connections.
Accommodation. For five nights we will stay in self-catering accommodation at Moyallon Centre, Co. Armagh, where we will have sole use of the facility. On the other nights we will be in hotels.
Because of the location of yearly meeting, all parts of this itinerary begin and end at Shannon Airport in the west of Ireland. There are currently direct flights to Shannon from:
- Boston (Aer Lingus)
- Chicago (United Airlines)
- New York JFK (Aer Lingus and Delta)
- Newark (United Airlines) and
- Philadelphia (American Airlines)
Look for a flight that connects through one of these cities.
Costs to follow - probably by the end of October.
- All accommodation. There may be minor changes to the itinerary owing to availability of accommodation, but this is the current plan.
- Three meals each day
- Travel within Ireland. Three of us who have years of experience driving manual (stick shift) cars on the left side of the road will be your volunteer drivers.
- Attendance at the residential sessions of Ireland Yearly Meeting
- Entrance fees, tips
- Advance reading materials.
What's not included
- Airfare to Shannon
- Travel insurance
- Some of the more popular tourist destinations. This is an opportunity to explore parts of Ireland that aren't easy to reach by public transportation or tour bus. So no Belfast, Blarney, Cliffs of Moher, Dublin or Glendalough. If you want to visit places not on this itinerary, consider doing so before or after we meet. I can advise you on how to get there to or from Shannon.
Is it for me?
As a Quaker, inevitably I see things through that lens, and that shapes our conversations. But you don't have to be a Quaker to join in! Maybe one of you loves to sit through business meetings and the other doesn't, and needs to escape for a few days. If so, here's a handy map to Bus Éireann's routes. Look for the 'Expressway Coach Service" lines radiating out of Limerick, to see where you might want to visit.
I have co-led Quaker pilgrimages for adults and Young Friends on two continents, and have organized several international visits to Ireland and Northern Ireland. I have an interest in landscape, architecture and art; in the ways in which some communities can live together in the midst of significant cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, while for others the stress is too great. Irish Quakers have a remarkable capacity to stay united despite the challenges of national border, theologies and history. I feel happily at home among Irish Friends and hope that my friends there will quickly become your friends.
The maximum capacity is likely to be 12.
To register for the waiting list - without obligation - please email me at margaret at goodnewsassoc.org or message me on Facebook.