Writer’s Workshop: Seven Reasons I’d Like To Visit Ireland

One of the prompts this week was “List 7 reasons why you would love to visit Ireland.” At this stage of my life, I probably never will, because it involves getting on an airplane, which I did enough of when I was working, and I have no desire to do that. Plus, Mary hates to fly. So, I doubt it’ll happen.

“Love” is maybe too strong a word for my feelings on visiting Ireland, so here are seven reasons I’d like to visit there.

  1. I’m Irish. This has been confirmed by two DNA tests, one through Ancestry.com and the other through 23andMe.com, both of which tell me I’m as Irish as Paddy’s pig. That came as a great surprise, because Holton is an English name, Welch (Grandma Holton’s maiden name) is Welsh, so you’d think at least one strand of my DNA would be English and Welsh, but no.
  2. I have friends and family who have close ties to Ireland. Either they were born there, lived there, and/or still have family there.
  3. I’ve been told it’s beautiful. Everyone I know who’s been there tells me it is.
  4. It sounds like a fun place. I occasionally turn on Galway Bay FM on TuneIn, and get a good feeling when I listen. Can’t understand a word they say, which might be the reason why.
  5. I’d be able to say “Yes, I have” when people ask “have you ever been to Ireland?” I used to get asked this a lot.
  6. It was the one thing Mom wanted to do and never did. Mom always talked about going there, but somehow never got her butt on a plane and went there. I talked to her lifelong best friend Peggy not long after Mom died, and she told me that they were making plans to go, but then Mom got sick. Peggy said she was going to chuck the idea, but her kids told her to go for my mother, and share the place with her memory. I hadn’t fallen apart over Mom’s death until I heard that.
  7. I like the music. Although, as I understand it, they like country music. My friend Will (Peggy’s son, as it happens) is a fantastic tin whistle player, taking it up not long after I started the bagpipes (I quit playing over thirty years ago, and no, there are no pictures of me in a kilt, so don’t bother asking), and he got me into it.

Notice, no mention of the pubs. In my youth, I enjoyed (maybe a little too much) a Guinness Extra Stout or a shot of Old Bushmill’s whiskey, but I stopped drinking when I started taking all this blood pressure medicine, because I didn’t think they’d mix that well.

So, there’s my seven reasons. How about you?

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

37 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Seven Reasons I’d Like To Visit Ireland”

  1. Did Peggy end up going to Ireland? Have you ever thought of doing your genealogy? I bet you won’t have to go far to find out your Irish roots traveled to the welsh countryside. I wouldn’t mind visiting Ireland for the famous green, the music, the history. My first name is, apparently, Celtic, which makes sense since the Celts travelled throughout Europe. I’d love to be in an Irish pub that the locals go to, not the tourists. I’d love to visit the castles and do some country walks because of all the fables and fairies that come from this land.

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    1. I’m not sure whether Peggy ever made it. I’m guessing she has, because all her kids have been there, and she was nowhere near the homebody Mom was.

      I’ve only gotten as far as the great-great grandparents, all of whom were born here. My aunt was doing Mom’s side of the family and has a lot of information on them, but again, only as far as her great-grandparents. If I had the money to check the international records, it might flesh things out a little, but how far back I could get is a good question. Lots of the records are kept in churches and the trick is finding the right one. Providing baptism, marriage, and burial information must be quite the cottage industry for the churches…

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  2. Would love to, just that. My tiny local airport started flights to Dublin. I was in the middle of planning the trip when they closed the airport – it’s a lame excuse for not going, but the other options are all just a little harder and further away. One day, soon, though…

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  3. I’d share a few of those reasons. I never used to think I had any Irish heritage until one of my aunts started doing a lot of research and traced my father’s side of the family back to Ireland in about 1756 when they came to America. Nothing found before that time though. I don’t think anyone made too much of an attempt to research further, but they did reach dead ends in Ireland itself because of lack of available records.

    Fixing corned beef and cabbage dinner for tonight with leftovers on St Pat’s Day. It’s become a yearly tradition because the meat is always on sale at this time and my wife and I both like corned beef.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I was able to go back on my father’s side (The Holtons and the Welches) only to about the great-great-grandparents, and hit a dead end. Maybe I should have gotten the international records as well. My aunt has been researching Mom’s side (the Connellys and Doyles) and gotten a little further, but hit about the same dead end. The churches kept pretty good records of baptisms, marriages, and deaths; the trick is finding the right ones.

      Was never much of a corned beef and cabbage guy. Too greasy, at least the way my mom made it.

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      1. The slightly more expensive flat cut of corned beef has far less fat and makes for some better eating. I cook mine all day in a crock pot so it turns out tender, tasty, and not what I would call greasy.

        Arlee Bird
        Tossing It Out

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  4. 1st word – beer.

    2nd word – ancestry. One of my ancestors, Revolutionary War Captain Audley Paul, came from County Armagh. His father was born in Couny Donegal. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a bit of a rabble-rouser.

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  5. Hi John – don’t think I have any Irish ancestry … but I have been to southern Ireland a few times and travelled around the west from Cork when I was a ‘kid’ (21) … and it was stunningly beautiful … and each time I go – it’s lovely … I hope you or someone close to you can make the trip and tell you about it … cheers Hilary

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    1. There have been quite a few people who have been there and told me about it, including several people who were born there. It sounds like a wonderful place, but getting there and being able to enjoy it is another story entirely, with my mobility issues. I guess I just have to take everyone’s word for it…

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    1. My brother Pat spent a semester in Italy at the Loyola University Rome Center, and had some pretty interesting stories, mostly about getting lost on the train. Sounded good…

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      1. There was nothing better than getting lost on Italian trains and exploring old Roman streets in even older Roman cities. 90% of my amazing experiences were created simply because of the lack of technology. Today, three clicks on Google and you’re never lost, have translated something, and are never surprised. So sad those days are gone.

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        1. Kip has a theory that “Seinfeld” would never make it today because of the cellphone. Now Jerry wouldn’t have to ask everyone “where’s Kramer?”, he’d just call him.

          You know, just because it exists doesn’t mean you have to use it…

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  6. I want to visit Ireland at some.point with my.nephew, Alex whose mom is Italian and Irish,while my nephew is Italian/Irish and African American. I think we’d both learn alot!

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    1. There is a lot of history to be seen all through Europe, and Ireland has probably done as good a job as any of preserving it. I’m sure you’d get a lot out of a trip there, as well as time with your nephew.

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  7. #6 choked me up, too, John, and I didn’t even know your mother.

    I’d love to go to Ireland. The UK is definitely the top of our must-see list. The Mister and I are a lil bit Irish, just tiny. I do believe it’s the only region we share. We’re mutts, and our kids are mutts, but they all have Gaelic names, lol!

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    1. We’ve been to England and Scotland, both of which are especially beautiful in their own way. We flew into Heathrow and took the train to Edinburgh (The Flying Scotsman), and got a good look at the English countryside, and took a bus trip through the Highlands to Oban, where we could see the Isle of Skye. Most of our time there, it was overcast and blustery, which in Scotland just makes the place more attractive. We didn’t get to Ireland, though…

      Knowing my mother, I think we’d have to go with her to make sure she got there.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Been to Ireland a few times. Loretta was born and raised in County Wexford, as you know. I can tell you that Peggy did make it to Ireland and had a bad experience. She fell and broke her foot or ankle walking up or down a hill. One thing I loved about Ireland was the fish!

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    1. I remember Loretta was from Wexford; she has a sister Monica that still lives there, right?

      I hadn’t heard about Peggy’s accident. I can just imagine Mom being beside herself over that.

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  9. As far as I am concerned, Ireland lives up to all your expectations listed above. I have visited there and love it for all those reasons. It is green and beautiful, magical, and friendly. I come from Ireland ancestry, as well. It has been fun tracing my family roots from Scotland and Ireland. Doing family history is very rewarding.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt I’ll make it there, but I have done some family history, at least as far back as the first members of the family who came here from Ireland. Maybe I should have sprung for the International records from Ancestry…

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  10. Despite my time in Italy and traveling Europe with no money and no map, I never made it to Ireland (or England.) It’s on our list for our first or second international trip now that the kids are old enough. The other choice is Poland to see the wife’s family which I did visit in 2002. As for Mom and Ireland, she talked about it a lot like it was going to happen but would have only gone if she was pushed to. She stalled several times and was never going to take the initiative to plan it herself. I’ve always been sad that she wasn’t able to do that trip before she died.

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    1. I agree: it would have taken all of us (including wives and kids) going with her to get her to Ireland. I think even if Peggy Cusick was going, it’d have been a stretch to see her go along. Mom wasn’t much for traveling, particularly by plane.

      It’d be good for the kids to meet their family in Poland. Maybe you could hit Poland and Ireland in the same trip…

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      1. A Poland/Ireland single trip has also been talked about, but is contingent on me being able to take that much time off.

        You’re right about Mom….I think not only was she a not a huge fan of planes, but also not a fan of unfamiliar things and places unless there was a support system for her. Family and where she came from was never far from her thoughts and anything that was outside of that was not of particular interest in my opinion. I, on the other hand, am approaching 1 million miles flown, 35 states visited, and not enough countries visited. So much to experience with my family, so little time. Both Mom’s and my dad’s deaths taught me that life is short….carpe diem!

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