We are Kate Mulgrew, Oonagh Madden and Roisin McAnespie.
We’re three old friends from County Antrim, Northern Ireland who decided to take a gap year around Ireland. We’re going to try to visit every county, North and South. This is our blog along the way.
Roisin here. This is our first blog entry. We have made it to Donegal. It’s a little wet. But sure, that’s to be expected. Kate is in the shop getting supplies whilst Oonagh’s chatting to a lad from America. Not sure where we’re staying tonight but I’m sure there’s a plan.
I don’t think I’ve packed enough socks. Maybe we’ll do a wee trip to Letterkenny, there’s a Penney’s there.
So far so good on the road. Kate’s Volvo is going well, I’m glad we took it and not Oonagh’s Cleo. It’d be like sitting inside a sewing machine, that one. We’ve been catching up mainly. It’s been such a long time we saw each other for longer than a coffee or a bite to eat. You’d think we’d have run out of all we had to say after two weeks but there’s still plenty of chat.
So far the aim seems to be to do a wee bit of culture, that keeps Kate happy, and then find the nice spots for coffee. We’re trying not to buy too much, maybe just a wee memento form each county. Haven’t found anything yet in Donegal. Apart from the Irish Tayto but to be honest I prefer our own. The red packet gives me awful indigestion.
I’m just enjoying all the scenery. We had an amazing trip to Slieve League. My God that’s some spot. And all the plants and shrubs were beautiful. Made me think of making more of an effort with the garden when we get back. I suppose we’ll see if I’m still inclined in 12 months time! Will keep you posted about where we end up for the next few days.
God bless Everyone, Roisin.
Ashford Castle- Mayo
Oonagh here. Oh my giddy aunt! We went to Ashford Castle yesterday, County Mayo technically but it’s on the Galway/Mayo border. What a place! It was originally built in 1228. It’s a huge grey castle with lots of different bits and pieces added on through the years. Oh Kate was delighted with herself, she had the phone out and was taking photos telling us all about who added which bit on when. I didn’t wholly listen but I do remember the Guinness family owned it for a while. You should see the grounds, the forests and Lake Corrib all around it. What a place! Heaven on earth I’d say. Of course we’re not staying, it’s a five-star hotel now and we couldn’t justify it so we’ve parked the van in the local camping spot around the corner. But we managed to get in and have a look. I don’t know how Roisin does it, she just has to smile and chat and then she gets exactly what she wants! The manager was delighted to talk to us. ‘Every county in Ireland!’ he kept saying. They’re all big Gaelic supporters here and there was some big match on and I don’t think Mayo did too well so they were all going around with the look of the broken-hearted. But here – the real news about it is this – guess who stayed there back in the day? Grace Kelly! Or Princess Grace of Monaco as she was then. There’s a photo of her in their wee photo room. Imagine the likes of me floating around a castle same as Grace Kelly?! The airs and graces of me. I’ll be coming back home with poise and aplomb, wait til you see! We’re heading into the village tonight for some food and drink. There’s a bar called Danagher’s that looks just our cup of tea. Will keep you all posted on the next stop.