The Burren, Irish Tours and a countries soul…

Your letter from Ireland shorts from the 12th of September 2023.

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The Burren, Irish Tours and a countries soul…

Céad míle fáilte, welcome to your Letter from Ireland “Shorts”.  Each Tuesday we’ll bring you a quick-read of some of our favourite and interesting Irish things for this week.

The Burren, County Clare.
 The special landscape here is otherworldly and we were there at a time to see it in bloom in May earlier this year. Click here to see Carina chatting with a guide about this special place.

Our Irish surname of the week is Regan. This comes from the Irish O’Riagáin or O’Raogain. There were three main Irish septs. The first was in Counties Meath and Dublin, among the Four Tribes of Tara. The second descended from Riagan who was Brian Boru’s nephew, and ruled in Tuathmhumhan (Counties Clare, Limerick, and Tipperary). A third group, kin to the MacCarthy’s, were located in South West Cork. To see where the name appears in Ireland in the mid 1800s go to this page on

“Hereafter: The Telling Life of Ellen O’Hara” by Vona Groarke. Hereafter is another book enthusiastically recommended by one of our Green Room members. Ellen O’Hara was a young immigrant from Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century who made a life for herself in New York while financially supporting those at home. Hereafter is her story, told by Vona Groarke, her descendant. It’s a beautiful blend of poetry, prose, and history. See the book on Amazon here.


Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam

“A country without a language is a country without a soul”.

Click here to listen to how a fluent Irish speaker would say it

This one comes from the revolutionary Pádraig Pearse.

IRISH CRAFT/PRODUCT WE LOVE (not an advert – just things we like) 

CIE tours is one of the most well respected tour companies in Ireland and is partially owned by the Irish state itself. They still specialise in Ireland and I think they’re the go-to tour company if you want to make sure you’re going with a trusted brand. Click here for an overview of their upcoming Irish tours such as the following route – one that I wouldn’t mind going on myself!

cie tour map

That’s it for this week. Send us an email with any of your own favourites for inclusion in future emails, or if you’re a plus member leave a comment below.

Slán for now,
Mike & Carina.

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