We will be posting all kinds of messages and stories here in the coming months.
To start with, we asked George Hayhoe to write about his experiences of travel in Ireland. Hope you enjoy it.
By the way, if you attended the previous conference in Limerick, please send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) your stories, or submit comments on our blog posts.
Memories of Irish Bed and Breakfasts
by George Hayhoe
In September 2001, I spent 10 days touring most of the Republic of Ireland. I found the landscapes breathtaking and the history inspiring (especially since two of my ancestors emigrated to America during the Potato Famine). But what impressed me most were the people, whose warmth and helpfulness are legend to those who have visited there.
After arriving in Dublin, we drove to Kilkenny, the birthplace of a family friend, who recommended the city as a good place to begin our acquaintance with his native land. Our choice of a B&B on the outskirts of the city was pure coincidence, but it was a truly happy one.
Over breakfast the next morning, our host helped us plan our itinerary, suggesting places that we shouldn’t miss if we wanted to sample Irish culture. She also gave us names and telephone numbers of several of her friends who also ran B&Bs, and called ahead to book a room for us for that evening.
Our hosts on that second night were the O’Hallorans, and they invited us to tea in their sitting room, where they told us all about the history of the nearby town of Cashel, the seat of ancient Irish kings. The next morning at breakfast, we lingered over coffee with Mrs. O’Halloran, who talked about her children as we looked at pictures on the wall.
“That’s my daughter,” she said; “she’s a nurse in Dublin.”
“And is that your son?” I asked, pointing at another photo. “What does he do?”
“Ah, you’ll never have heard of it…. He’s a technical writer.”
I had to chuckle as I explained to her what I did for a living.
If you have the opportunity to spend some time in Ireland before or after ProComm 2015, plan to stay at B&Bs, where you will meet Irish people in their homes, share their warm hospitality, and absorb their culture.