Monday, August 28, 2017

IRELAND July 2018

This is the last call to join a small group of us visiting 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 9 - 18, 2018

  • Join Friends for meeting for worship in Cork  
  • West Cork: Clonakilty, Rosscarbery, Baltimore, Skibbereen and Bantry
  • Limerick, established by Vikings in 812 

Accommodation will be in hotels in Shannon, Kilkenny, Horse & Jockey, Waterford, Cork, Bantry and Tralee. 

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. 
Connections being made over tea at yearly meeting
Third part, July 22 - 30
When yearly meeting ends, we will head northeast, pausing to refuel at Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, Co. Offaly, crossing the border near Newry to Moyallon, near Portadown. We will visit: 
  • Belfast

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 in Derry, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo and Shannon, Co. Clare.

Getting there

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)
- 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.


Part 1 July 9-18 the south and southwest: $2,900 

Part 2 July 18-22 Ireland Yearly Meeting, Limerick: $520

Part 3 July 22-30 the north and west: $1,720

What's included

  • All accommodation 
  • Three meals each day
  • Travel within Ireland. Two 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(bring a traveling minute or letter of introduction from your Friends' 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 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.

I am currently serving as interim pastor of Reedwood Friends Church in Portland Oregon. Last year I was interim pastoral minister at West Richmond Friends, in Indiana. 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.

Last call to sign up

The hotel accommodation is now booked. However, we can squeeze one or two people into the vehicles, and I will do my best to get rooms for you if you would like to join. Please email me at margaret at or message me on Facebook. A non-refundable deposit will secure your place. You will be able to pay the balance by installments.