Meet The Locals
Supporting Local Irish Enterprise on your travels...
Explore Ireland with the Locals...
Our tours not only should show you the best of the splendid sights and dramatic backdrops of Ireland but meeting the locals is what makes our trips that extra bit special.
"Our tours are designed so wherever you go you will meet the
personalities that make Ireland the land of storytellers."
Begin to understand Ireland from a local perspective, from the 'Sheepman of Connemara' - Joe Joyce to the 'Farmer at the Cliffs - Pat Sweeney, it's the personalties of Ireland that make visiting Ireland different and special. Below you will be introduced to but a few of the great personalities that you could meet on our tours.
Meet The Locals...
Local activities and Unique things to do in Ireland.
Eddie Joe Dooney
Heritage Farmer and Bog Expert
Eddie Joe Dooney was born into a farming family in the west of Ireland in a small village called Coollooney, County Roscommon. Eddie Joe has a deep knowledge of the land of his and his ancestors. He has rebuilt his old traditional farmhouse cottage and now takes small select groups of tourists on tours of his land and village. Learn the old traditions of rural Ireland from a local expert whilst spending the night in a boutique Irish farm cottage. You will try your hand at Turf-Cutting, Basket Weaving, Farming as well as meeting the locals, enjoying good food and breathing in the fresh Irish air on his village walking tours.
You can meet Eddie on our 8 Day Wild Atlantic Way Tour
Allison Fulham Gogan
Boyne Valley Wool Craft
Alison Fullam Gogan lives in the heart of the Boyne Valley Co.Meath, Ireland. She has a large flock of Jacob sheep which won second place in the recent All Ireland Flock assessments and she also was awarded Best Stock Ram in Ireland with the Jacob Breed.
Alison Hand spins all her own Jacob wool and crafts products with the finished yarn such as woven scarves, hand knit hats, socks, rugs, throws etc.
Also on the farm are a number of different breeds of sheep including Belclare, Zwarble, Kerry Hill, Teeswater and many more. Alison has converted the old farm house in the farm yard into a craft studio with on going demonstrations of this wonderful craft and all the yarn and products are for sale in the studio.
You can meet Allison on our Boyne Valley Day Tour
Master Craftsman of Dingle
Sean started as young apprentice in Waterford Crystal and studied for 15 years to become a master cutter. When Waterford Crystal decided to move their production overseas, Sean wanted to keep the tradition of crystal cutting alive in Ireland. Together with his wife Liz, Sean moved to Dingle, County Kerry, in 1998 and set up Dingle Crystal. Today, Dingle Crystal can be found in the homes of many families, celebrities and dignitaries all over the world.
You can meed Sean on our 7 Day South by West Explorer
You wil find Dingle Crystal's webpage here - https://www.dinglecrystal.ie/
Hurler of Kilkenny City
James Kavanagh hails from Freshford, a small picturesque town in North Kilkenny, (the real home of hurling). All he knew since he was 5 years old was hurling and playing the sport every day. Although he admits nothing compares to the thrill and excitement of playing, he gets a great feeling of satisfaction from teaching both the young and the old about Hurling. On James' tour participants are thought about the history, rules and fun facts about Hurling in the intense environment of a dressing room. Then participants try their hand at some basic skills of the ancient 3000 year old sport, on a Hurling field. All done in Kilkenny City, a 5 minute walk from Kilkenny Castle.
You can meet James on our 5 Day Wild West by Ancient East
Farmer & Healer on Ireland's Fairy Farm
Take a pair of wellies and join the larger than life Pat Noone on a walk across his farm & back through time. You will learn of the deep history of his land and be shown the many places of interest such as archaeological sites, healing stones, fertility stones, fairy forts and ancient trees. You will feel an energy from the land and you will have the opportunity of receiving energetic healing with his divining rods. It will be a visit you will never forget!
You can meet Pat on our 7 Day South by West Explorer
Guide of & Ancestry Expert on Malin Head
Teresa Doherty is one of a family of ten and grew up in Malin Head, near Ireland’s most northerly point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Teresa’s father was a sheep farmer and her mother runs the wee country shop attached to the farmhouse where Teresa works part-time. Teresa is chairperson of the Malin Head Heritage Group and painting the stunning local scenery is one of her hobbies. ‘Up here we are different.’ Stand on any of our headlands with the Atlantic waves crashing beneath you, see the small fields where generations have eked out a living and understand why many of their families left for America, next stop to the west! Teresa is passionate about her area and would be delighted to share its magnificent natural beauty, its history and its heritage with you.
You can meet Teresa on our 13 Day All Ireland Explorer
Sheepdog Farmer of Connemara
Joe Joyce is the third generation of his family to farm sheep in the Joyce Country area. Some 700 years ago, the rugged landscape of this area attracted a Welshman of Norman origins called Thomas Joyce who married a local girl and settled in the area which now bears his name. It is therefore fitting that Joe now farms this area together with his wife Mary Ann, who also happens to hail from the South Wales area. Mary Ann did not arrive at Joyce Country empty handed, she brought along a sheepdog with impressive bloodlines, named Roy. This led to further imports from Wales such as Sweep and Ben. The farm is nestled between the Maumturk and Partry Mountains. Joe is delighted to share his love of sheep farming and dog handling with visitors, young and old alike.
Sculptor of Ancient Bog Oak
Bog Oak Sculptures is run by Larry Harney and his son Lorcan in Clane, Co. Kildare. The boutique studio was established by Larry who has been working with this beautiful ancient wood for over 25 years. Larry first came across bog oak in Foxhall near Loughrea Co. Galway. Some ground was being reclaimed and these incredible pieces of ancient bog oak were unearthed, some dating over 5,000 years old. Larry and Lorcan work with the natural shapes in the wood rather than sculpting very definite outlines or figures. Their unique and artistic approach is to allow nature decide the shape of each sculpture following nature’s lead and fashion to what it has formed. Join Larry and Lorcan in their intimate gallery and learn of this unique Irish artform.
You can meet Larry on our 5 Day Ancient East by Wild West
Tasty Treats in West Cork
Grace O' Sullivan is from the heart of rural West Cork on the Beara Peninsula. She invites you to her home where she will share her recipe for traditional Irish Soda Bread with a recipe that dates back 4 generations in the family. She also prepares a delicious Irish coffee with real Irish Baileys or Whiskey. Once the demonstration is complete, Grace sits down and shares stories of growing up in rural Ireland and how she worked on the family farm at the age of 5. She also shares stories of working in the local Fish Factories. You will hear about the family connections in particular about her uncles who worked in the American Navy and fought in Battles such as Pearl Harbour. Grace also provides a tour of her garden she has built up over many years.
You can meet Grace on our 8 Day Wild Atlantic Way Adventure
Kinsale Historical Expert
Barry Moloney leads award winning walking tours of his home town Kinsale. Stroll with Barry to enjoy a colourful story of Kinsale down the ages from Medieval walled town to the sinking of the Lusitania. Strategic naval base during the conflict for New World treasure when a pound of cloves fetched two head of cattle and the island of Manhattan was once swapped for a tiny one of nutmeg! Beachhead for the last Spanish Armada leading to The Battle of Kinsale in 1601 and sailing port for Robinson Crusoe and such a hub for fleets as to lead one 17th c. observer to describe Kinsale as 'laying in the road of the Chieftest trade in all the Worlde'.
Join Barry on an historical stroll of his beloved Kinsale and you will fall in love with this south west coastal town...
You can meet Barry on our 8 Day Wild Atlantic Way Adventure
Derry City Historical Expert
Dermot McCloskey, a local of the Maiden City of Derry - has been unveiling the incredible history of his beloved city for years. Join him on an exploration of the historic Walled City and it’s rich maritime history. In the company of Dermot visitors will learn about his city’s complex history from medieval times through to the dark episode of the troubles and its dynamic future. Discover the lesser known gem of Derry with a historical expert.
You can meet Derek on our 7 Day North by West Explorer
Musical Maestro of Doolin Village
Christy Barry and his partner Sheila have entertained friends and musicians at their home for many years, sitting around the fire playing music and telling stories. They opened their atmospheric home to visitors so they can experience local Irish music in the relaxed surroundings of their home. Christy talks and discusses the history of traditional Irish music and plays great tunes. Visitors can enjoy the experience of visiting a local home, enjoying local company and listening to a good traditional music session around the fire. Visitors are served delicious canapés of smoked salmon and brown bread, a selection of Irish cheese and crackers with wine or sparkling/still water. Join Christy & Sheila in their home for an unforgettable musical experience.
You can meet Christy on our 13 Day All Ireland Explorer
Blacksmith of Carracastle Village
Learn of the ancient skills of the Irish Blacksmith in the rural surrounds of Carracastle Village in County Mayo. Pat will take you on a journey back in time to rediscover the old traditions surrounding the 9 Irons, an amulet or good luck charm from days past in Ireland. You will spend time in the forge watching, learning and participating in what was once the most reverred of the crafts in Ireland. A unique experience off the beaten path.
You can meet Pat on our 7 Day North by West Explorer
Sheepman of the Wicklow Mountains
Nestled in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, this is your chance to experience a taste of Irish Heritage. Michael Crowe, a renowned local Wicklow sheepdog handler offers you a memorable experience of seeing working border collies in action. Michael has been handling sheep since a young boy and has a deep knowledge and understanding of this ancient farming practice. Michael and his dogs are show their skills in the quaint village of Annamoe, Co. Wicklow, a beautiful area located in a secluded part of the world and surround by rolling Irish countryside.
You can meet Michael on our Wicklow Mountains Day Tour
You can find Irish Working Sheepdogg website here -www.irishworkingsheepdogs.com
Tom McNally & Brian Sands
Black Cab Taxi Guides in Belfast
Belfast City is a fascinating place that is a must see when you travel in Ireland. The only way to get to the heart of Belfast is to meet the locals and allow them take you on a journey of their home city. Tom & Brian grew up in the heart of Belfast City during very different times. They witnessed the beginning and end of a 29 year conflict locally referred to as 'The Troubles'. They drive the traditional black cabs which have a fascinating history all to themselves, being used as public transport during the darker times of the troubles. There is nobody else that can take your around Belfast City but the locals and Tom & Brian are two of the most experienced and knowledgable guys in the business. Join us on a tour of Northern Ireland and learn from the people that witnessed it all.
You can meet Tom or Brian on our Northern Ireland Day Tour
Farmer & Guide at the Cliffs of Moher
Pat Sweeney and his family have been farming in this area of Doolin for five generations. His other ability is to complete projects and his commitment to a major goal is particularly evident in his dedication to the Doolin Cliffs Walk. "This trail was a dream of mine for years, so it is sometimes possible for dreams to come true. I created a walking trail for people to come and see the sights that I can see every day from my farm." Pat helped negotiate with the 39 farmers whose lands the trail had to cross. His passion and knowledge of the locality can be translated into a guided walk, which will greatly enhance any walker’s experience at the new coastal walking trail.
You can meet Pat on our Walking & Driving Tours of Ireland
Chocolate Expert of the Burren
Deep within the heart of the dramatic rock landscape of The Burren in the west of Ireland you will find the boutique family owned Hazel Mountain chocolate factory. Meet local chocolate expert Miles for a tour of the factory where you will discover the secrets of Ireland's only bean to bar chocolatier. A must visit along the Wild Atlantic Way.
You can meet Miles on our Cliffs of Moher Day Tour
Sheep farmer of the Midlands
Eamonn is the 'go to man' for Irish sheep farmers all over the island. Working with sheep for over 50 years he has trained some of the top sheepdogs and sheepdog trainers in the country and is thrilled to share this ancient skill with visitors from all over the world. Join Eamonn on his family farm off the beaten path and see the skills of his border collies. You might also meet some of his beautiful Connemara ponies on this trip into the heart of rural Ireland, County Roscommon.
You can meet Eamonn on our Midlands Tour
Hill of Slane Community Team
In the Boyne Valley
The local community in the historic village of Slane in the Royal County Meath have got together to showcase one of the most important historic sites in Ireland. The Hill of Slane is associated with the beginnings of Christianity in Ireland as well as Norman invasions, druids and celtic mysticism. The locals of the area invite you on one of their fantastic tours of the area where they will bring the landscape alive and show you the hidden delights of this fascinating landscape.
You can meet the Hill of Slane team on our Boyne Valley Tour
Willy & Rory Daly
Matchmakers of Lisdoonvarna
Willie thinks he was born on 1 April 1943, though he can’t be sure because the priest who recorded the date was ‘very fond of the drink’. He has lived in Ballingaddy all of his life, and still lives next door to the 300-year-old cottage where he was born. He and his son Rory now take unwitting tourists on spectacular horse back rides around The Burren National Park. Be wary of Willies charming stories and tales.
You can meet Willy & Rory on our 8 Day Wld Atlantic Way Tour