Glamping Village in Enniscrone Gets its Own B767


A decommissioned B767 aircraft has arrived at Enniscrone, Co Sligo, after being moved by barge on the high seas in a mammoth 36-hour exercise from Shannon Airport. The aircraft was transferred to nearby Knockbeg Point, on the periphery of the airport complex, where it was loaded on to a barge at high tide, allowing the estuary and ocean journey to begin.

For the Co Sligo man behind the project, David McGowan, it was a case of many hands working together. “I have learned an awful lot about the power of people working together on this project. The community spirit has been fantastic. From the tremendous help I got from Shannon Airport, to the many, many people who turned out to see us off, makes it all worthwhile.

“We are making good progress, the barge with the aircraft is making her way up the Wild Atlantic Way. We got good news on the weather front, too, with expected swells now not materialising so we are in good shape to be in landing in Enniscrone tomorrow morning.”

Deirdre Whitney, Property Manager at Shannon Airport, said that Shannon has worked with all sorts of cargo over the years but never moved anything as unique as this or in this way. “We have worked on many, many different projects over the years but never anything quite like this. I don’t think we will be seeing its like again too soon, if ever.

“We have kept abreast of progress since the barge and aircraft left here and are delighted that it is sailing smoothly. It is really going to make a huge contribution to tourism in Enniscrone. No doubt we will have many people flying in here in one aircraft and travelling up the west coast to stay in another. It would certainly make for a unique holiday.”

The aircraft will be joined with other modes of transportation – such as buses, taxis and a train – in creating a unique glamping venture for visitors in the popular seaside resort.



New York Times and Yeats

TheLake_Isle_of_InnisfreeThe New York Times has arisen and gone to the Lake Isle of Innisfree, as the 150th anniversary of W.B. Yeats’s birth approaches.

The paper’s latest Emerald Isle adventure sees author Russell Shorto sojourn to Sligo and Leitrim in search of one of the most famous islands in poetry.

“Yeats named the poem after an actual place, an island in the middle of Lough Gill, a lake that spreads itself languidly across five miles of furiously green landscape in County Sligo in northwest Ireland,” he writes.

Despite the poem’s ubiquity, and the fact that the island’s name has been appropriated by cosmetics, B&Bs and a local tour boat, Shorto says it still retains the capacity to charm.
“When I reached the lakeshore, I found the opposite of a tourist site,” he continues. “I could barely make my way out to the water to get a view, so thick was the shoreline with trees and brush.”

2015 is the 150th anniversary of Yeats’s birth on June 13, 1865, with Yeats 2015 ( seeing a host of events, readings, plays and celebrations to mark the occasion.
Even so, this tiny island (you’d have a hard time fitting a clay and wattle cabin – let alone a bee-loud glade – on this quarter-acre hump) is remarkably undersold as an attraction… and perhaps the better for it.
Visitors can take a tour of Lough Gill on the Rose of Innisfree (, €15/€7.50pp), and local SUP (Stand-Up Paddling) operators SUPforall (, below) run regular tours, kicking off on the River Bonnet and proceeding to the lake.

On my last visit, the waters were glassy-calm around the tree-covered mound, the only sign of man in the shape of a small concrete pier.
I had to pull back branches and thorns to beat a path forward.
“It’s tiny, and looks like a bur, a bristling seed pod, almost angrily sprouting trees and brush from its humpy back,” as Shorto writes.
He goes on to laud the “craggy loveliness” of Yeats Country highlights, including Glencar waterfall, Ben Bulben (“like a natural acropolis”) and Slish Wood – places that seem “carved to suit his poetry, rather than the other way round.”

Glencar Waterfall, Co. Leitrim (1)(1)

Last Saturday, when the New York Times story appeared, a new walking trail was launched at Knocknarea. Queen Maeve’s Trail ( begins in Strandhill, following a new series of pathways, wooden steps and raised boardwalks to sweeping views over Sligo Bay.
The paper has a daily circulation of some 1.8 million.
Sligo itself is described in the piece as “an ancient and lively enough little center, dominated by its cathedral and ringed with pubs where there’s nonstop rugby and soccer on the telly and you can order not just Irish stew and Guinness, but also chicken curry and New Zealand sauvignon blanc.”

But Yeats Country itself makes the lasting impression.
“Yeats’s meditations weren’t urban, and neither was mine,” Shorto concludes.
You can read the full piece here.
NB: An earlier version of this story stated that Mr. Shorto described the isle as ‘five miles long’. He was of course referring to Lough Gill, and not Innisfree.



NYT article:

2015: Ireland celebrates Yeats’ 150th anniversary

The Irish government has allocated 500,000 euros to celebrate the work of poet and Nobel Laureate WB Yeats.

Next year has been designated Yeats 2015 by the Irish government.

It will be a year-long national and international celebration of the life and works of the poet.

Yeats was awarded his Nobel Prize in 1923, for his “always inspired poetry, which, in a highly artistic form, gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation”.

Yeats’ poetry ranged from lyrical to political, and some of his best-known poems can seem remarkably contemporary.

WB Yeats is buried in Drumcliff, County Sligo


Lines such as these from The Second Coming (1919) continue to have relevance today:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity

His poetry is regularly quoted in popular culture with references to some of his well-loved verses in films such as Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, and Steven Spielberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence.

Yeats’ lyrical poetry has also long been a favourite with musicians. In 2011 Scottish rock band, The Waterboys, released An Appointment with Mr Yeats, an album of his poems set to music.

The organisers behind Yeats 2015 expect to attract 85,000 extra visitors to Ireland, and hope it will generate renewed interest in Irish culture and literature.

Yeats 2015 is part of the decade of commemoration in the Republic of Ireland, which includes events to commemorate the Easter Rising and the Dublin Lockout.



Ireland’s Blue Book reveals four new members for 2015

Ireland’s Blue Book is adding four new properties to its elite collection of country houses, hotels and restaurants for 2015.

Joining the collection are Ghan House in Carlingford, Co. Louth; Campagne restaurant in Kilkenny and Restaurant Forty One in Dublin.

Sea View House, a four-bedroom hideaway set against the background of Ben Bulben in Co. Sligo, is also joining Ireland’s Blue Book as a private rental.

The additions bring to 47 the number of boutique hotels, restaurants and country houses in one of Europe’s premier collections – membership of which is notoriously difficult to achieve, and highly-prized as a result.

Campagne, Kilkenny

Garret Byrne and Bríd Hannon’s Kilkenny restaurant is now a firmly established star in the Irish foodie scene, winning a coveted Michelin star in 2013.

Opening in 2008 (Byrne previously worked in Dublin’s Chapter One), the emphasis has been on high quality seasonal produce with French influences. The chic, contemporary rooms are set beneath the old railway arches on Gas House Lane.


Ghan House, Carlingford

Ghan House Exterior 1600×700.jpgGhan House Exterior 1600×700.jpg
Dating from 1727, Ghan House (pictured above) is the standout accommodation in medieval Carlingford – a listed Georgian House set within three acres of walled gardens.

Located “a tree-length” from the characterful Louth resort, the country house hotel comes with 12 bedrooms (four in the main house, and eight garden rooms) and a 2 AA Rosette restaurant. The gourmet getaway is just an hour from Dublin and Belfast.


Restaurant Forty One, Dublin

Overlooking St. Stephen’s Green from the plush setting of private members’ club, Residence, Restaurant Forty One is one of the plushest dining destinations in Dublin.

Graham Neville was Food & Wine Magazine’s 2014 Chef of the Year, and he and his team work to create delicate, elegant dishes using the finest ingredients, including herbs and vegetables from their own garden in Kenah Hill, Killiney, Co. Dublin.

Restaurant 41

Sea View House, Co. Sligo

The Blue Book doesn’t just do hotels and country houses – it also has three properties available for private rental: Screebe House in Connemara, the Martello Tower in Sutton and, as of now, Sea View House in Rosses Point.

The new addition is a luxury hideaway overlooking Drumcliff and Ben Bulben, nestled in 14 acres of meadow, and with private access to a pebble beach.

It comes with four double bedrooms, and a two-bed apartment.

Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8 28AUG07


Wild Atlantic Way

Discover the Wild Atlantic Way!

The Wild Atlantic Way is set to be Ireland’s first long-distance touring route, stretching along the Atlantic coast from Donegal to West Cork. – The Wild Atlantic Way stretches for 2,500km along Ireland’s western seaboard. From Donegal in the north to Cork in the south, through regions like Connemara, The Burren, Galway Bay and Kerry, the route is the longest defined coastal drive in the world.

You could drive the whole route in one go but you don’t have to. Instead, you may want to slow down and dive in deep. For it’s out on these western extremities – drawn by the constant rhythm of the ocean’s roar and the consistent warmth of the people you’ll find the Ireland you’ve always imagined.