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August 19, 2005

Blair Aims To Defuse DUP Anger

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News about Ireland & the Irish

FT 08/19/05 Blair Aims To Defuse DUP Anger
IT 08/20/05 McDowell Awaiting Report On 'Colombia Three'
IT 08/20/05 DUP Calls For Men's Extradition
EX 08/19/05 State To Aid Bid To Extradite Colombia Three
IA 08/19/05 Colombia A U.S. Non-Story
IT 08/20/05 Omagh Bomb Accused Claim Denied
IT 08/20/05 Majority Want M3 Routed Outside Tara – Survey
IT 08/20/05 Surfers Blamed For West Coast Damage
IT 08/20/05 Roses In Tralee After Missing Belfast Mayor
IT 08/20/05 Benedict Cruises Into Affections Of Irish Women
JS 08/19/05 Editorial: Learning From The Irish
DT 08/19/05 Céad Míle Fáilte (100,000 Welcomes)


Blair Aims To Defuse DUP Anger At Paisley Meeting

By Christopher Adams

Published: August 19 2005 13:38 Last updated: August 19
2005 13:38

Tony Blair will seek to defuse Democratic Unionist party
anger about the withdrawal of troops from Northern Ireland
when he meets Ian Paisley today to discuss the next steps
in the peace process.

The prime minister, who will meet Mr Paisley and Gerry
Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, in separate meetings at Downing
Street today, will stress that he is not about to
compromise security in the province. A Downing Street
spokeswoman said the talks marked the start of a
consultation exercise with the political parties.

Mr Blair will want to test the appetite for starting talks
next month on the resumption of devolved power, assuming
the IRA keeps its word on ending paramilitary activity.

However, he is likely to encounter fierce resistance from
Mr Paisley. The DUP leader reacted angrily yesterday to the
proposed disbandment of the home battalions of the Royal
Irish Regiments following the IRA's decision last week to
end its 36-year armed struggle against British rule.

In talks with Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary,
Mr Paisley set out an uncompromising position on the
possible return of devolved power to the province, where
the regional assembly and executive at Stormont has been
suspended since October 2002.

The DUP warned in a document passed to the government
outlining sanctions the party could take that the return of
devolution could be delayed by two years. The DUP is
expected to tell Mr Blair that it does not want to take
part in the talks this autumn on reviving the Northern
Ireland power-sharing assembly.

Mr Paisley's stance is a setback for the prime minister,
who hailed as historic the IRA's announcement that it was
dumping arms and pursuing the democratic process through
peaceful means.

After their talks, Mr Hain acknowledged that the DUP leader
had expressed himself "extremely strongly and critically".
But he stressed there would be "no precipitous drawdown" of
British troops: "Nobody will take any risk with the
security and safety of any individual citizen in Northern

Mr Paisley said most people in the province were "angry"
about the decision.


McDowell Awaiting Report On 'Colombia Three'

Minister for Justice Michael McDowell is awaiting a Garda
report on the circumstances leading to the arrival of the
so-called Colombia Three at police stations on Thursday
amid growing PD frustration that the men remain at liberty.
Mark Brennock, Chief Political Correspondent, reports.

Gardaí yesterday continued to prepare a file to be sent to
the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in relation to
the matter. The DPP is likely to consider whether one of
the men, Niall Connolly, could face charges in relation to
allegedly obtaining a false passport some years ago. There
is no indication that any charges are being considered in
relation to James Monaghan and Martin McCauley at this

Mr McDowell's spokesman repeated yesterday that the
Minister had asked the Garda for a report "on the issues
involved" in the men's arrival at three separate stations
on Thursday. He would not elaborate on what these "issues"

However, after the Tánaiste and several of her party
colleagues had made repeated demands to the men to talk to
the Garda, there was deep PD frustration that they had done
so in a blaze of publicity only to walk free.

Fianna Fáil Ministers yesterday continued to distance the
Government from the decisions that have to be made in
relation to the three. The Minister for Foreign Affairs
Dermot Ahern said the fate of the men was now a matter for
the DPP.

"We have to stand back and allow the independent [
judicial] process to take its course," Mr Ahern told the
LM/FM radio station. "These are not matters within the
political realm."

Minister of State Conor Lenihan said yesterday that the
men's return from Colombia had been "unhelpful" to the
peace process and did "nothing to develop the trust and
confidence that is needed to collectively move forward".

He said the Government had no advance knowledge of their
return and that the issue had not arisen in any discussions
with Sinn Féin or anyone else. The Government would meet
its international legal obligations and had briefed the
British, US and Colombian authorities accordingly.

"The Garda Síochána and the Office of the Director of
Public Prosecutions will examine any question of a breach
of Irish law."

Mr McDowell's party colleague Senator John Minihan said
yesterday that "the Minister has to be kept informed" and
that "there are questions to be asked" about how the men
had gone to see the Garda.

Government sources said reports that Mr McDowell was
angered at the Garda handling of the affair were
"exaggerated" and that his irritation primarily concerned
the men's stage-managing of the events.

However, Sen Minihan's remarks suggest that the PDs believe
Mr McDowell should have been told earlier of the
politically sensitive fact of the men's appointments at
Garda stations.

Government sources said Mr McDowell was "not surprised and
not impressed" by the men's decision to make themselves
available to gardaí on Thursday.

Sen Minihan said again yesterday that there was in
existence an international arrest warrant in relation to
the men, and said that this "has to be explored in the

"For our reputation on the international stage it is
vitally important that we are seen to take this matter very
seriously and to do all we can."

© The Irish Times


DUP Calls For Men's Extradition

Gerry Moriarty

DUP MEP Jim Allister has said the Government could pass
legislation that would allow the extradition of the
"Colombia Three" and that in the meantime the men should be
prosecuted for alleged IRA membership.

He said the British Extradition Act demonstrated that the
existence of an extradition treaty with the requesting
country is not a prerequisite to handing over people to
another country.

"Legislation, as ours does, can provide for special
requests. Dublin could pass such legislation," he said.

"If the Republic had the will to act against these men it
is not without powers. I issue this challenge: do senior
garda believe these men to be members of the IRA? If so,
the Republic's legislation allows conviction of membership
on evidence from such senior officers," added Mr Allister.

© The Irish Times


State To Aid Bid To Extradite Colombia Three

Shaun Connolly, Political Correspondent

THE Government vowed last night to assist any bid to ship
the Colombia Three back to South America.

The comments by Foreign Minister of State Conor Lenihan
came as the trio remained at liberty while gardaí moved to
send files on them to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

But legal experts queried the Government's "grandstanding"
stance, pointing out there was no extradition treaty
between the Republic and Colombia and little confidence in
that country's legal system.

Mr Lenihan again pledged Ireland will "meet its
international obligations" in relation to the three
Irishmen convicted of training Marxist FARC rebels.

Mr Lenihan said the lack of a formal treaty means an
extradition request would be referred to the courts.

The remarks drew derision from Aisling Reidy of the Irish
Council for Civil Liberties. "I understand the Government
wants to look as if it is doing all it can, but the reality
is there is little confidence in the Colombian legal system
and I think it is very unlikely an Irish court would allow
extradition," she said. Sinn Féin rejected claims the
appearance of Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James
Monaghan at separate garda stations on Thursday was a
publicity stunt.

Connolly was questioned in connection with the use of a
false Irish passport but was released without charge at

Monaghan and McCauley, who travelled in Colombia on forged
British passports, were interviewed voluntarily and left
different garda stations after about six hours of

The three men fled Colombia last December after being
sentenced to 17 years each for training FARC rebels.


Colombia A U.S. Non-Story

Given the harsh headlines in Ireland and predictions that
the U.S. government was pressing the Irish government hard,
it is surprising how little attention the Colombia Three
episode has actually gotten in America.

With President Bush happily chopping wood on his Texas
ranch and Congress mostly already away on summer vacation,
there was precious little coverage in any of the media of
the return of the three men to Ireland.

Indeed, the only major coverage of Colombia in recent weeks
was a New York Times front page article on the rampant
political corruption and the role of right wing militias in
executing innocent civilians.

There has been a flood of stories in Ireland predicting
American wrath at the escape of the three men, but if the
truth is told, the main reaction has been a predictable
yawn. There was a deafening silence from the usual quarters
on Capitol Hill about the case.

Indeed, when Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was the focus
of a question and answer section in The New York Times
Magazine section last Sunday he was not even asked about
the case — a clear indication that it has failed to
register in any meaningful way over here.

Main Colombia Fallout

The main fallout for Sinn Fein due to the Colombia Three
will be that several right wing members of Congress will
re-examine their relationship with the party. However,
given the good news of the week before about the IRA
ceasefire, it is unlikely any will break off contact.

There is no question that representatives like Peter King
will be deeply resentful of what the Colombia Three got up
to, but it is unlikely that he will come right out and
attack Sinn Fein on the case. King has wavered quite a bit
in recent times while waiting for the IRA statement, but
once it came he was quickly back in the fold.

The main opponent of Sinn Fein on this issue has been John
Mackey, an influential staff member of the International
Relations Committee in the House of Representatives.
Mackey, a former Sinn Fein supporter, has been briefing
against the party again these days, but with little
apparent success.

Sinn Fein Ahead of the Posse

Once again Sinn Fein appears to be one step ahead of the

If the IRA had not made their announcement, the latest
episode of the Colombia Three saga might have resulted in
the party being banned again from the U.S. However, the
sequence of events was in the party's favour.

That seemed to be no coincidence. Indeed, one congressman
said privately that he believed the Colombia Three return
was deliberately engineered to happen before big acts of
decommissioning took all the media attention away from the
case over the next two weeks.

"It was a perfect time to deal with the issue and to put it
behind them," he said.

Irish Americans React

That it was the right time to put the matter behind them
would also be the opinion of a number of Irish American
leaders, none of whom expect the three to ever face trial
in Colombia.

"The worst thing the Irish government could do is to send
them back to Colombia. I think they should be left alone to
get on with their lives. I think the Irish government
should follow our tradition. We should shelter the
fugitives," said Frank Durkan, Manhattan civil rights
lawyer and Irish American leader.

The Irish American Unity Conference, in an equally tough
statement, said that sending the men back would be an
horrific injustice given the reality of the legal system in

There are other reasons why extradition seems very
unlikely. Just a few weeks ago an Irish court refused to
extradite an alleged paedophile priest in part because the
sheriff in Arizona where the offence allegedly happened is
in the habit of dressing up his prisoners in pink underwear
in order to humiliate them.

That seems pretty harmless in comparison to what has
happened in the jails of Colombia to hundreds of prisoners
who are tortured, murdered and otherwise made to disappear,
according to a New York Times article.

Whatever the men were doing there — and no one in the U.S.
believes they were up to any good — the broader issue of
whether they ever got a fair trial in Colombia seems to


Omagh Bomb Accused Claim Denied

An attempt to stop vital forensic evidence being given
against the man accused of murdering 29 people in the Omagh
bombing was rejected in court yesterday.

Seán Hoey (35), an electrician, from Molly Road,
Jonesborough, south Armagh, faces 61 terrorist and
explosives charges including the Real IRA bombing in Omagh
seven years ago.

A committal hearing is due to start in Belfast on August
30th, but at the Magistrates Court yesterday Mr Hoey's
solicitor Peter Corrigan applied to have the evidence of a
forensic scientist declared inadmissible.

Mr Corrigan said the extent of the scientist's evidence was
that he had found similarities between the Omagh bomb and
other devices with which Mr Hoey was charged.

"His evidence is that possibly the same person constructed
all the devices and that is not evidence," said Mr
Corrigan. "It is so blatantly prejudicial that it should
not be admitted at the committal hearing."

Crown counsel Ciarán Murphy submitted that the proper forum
to make such an application was the committal hearing when
the disputed evidence could be considered in the context of
all the evidence.

He added that a week had been set aside for the committal
hearing and the examining magistrate had been supplied with
a synopsis of all the evidence, including the forensic

Resident magistrate Philip Mateer ruled that the committal
hearing was proper place for the defence to make their
application and he remanded Mr Hoey in custody.

Yesterday's hearing was conducted by video link with
Maghaberry Prison, but the court was told that Mr Hoey
would be brought to court for the committal hearing.

Additional Reporting : PA

© The Irish Times


Majority Want M3 Routed Outside Tara, Survey Finds

A national survey has found 70 per cent of participants
want the M3 motorway rerouted away from the Hill of Tara.
Fiona Gartland reports.

The telephone survey, by RedCResearch found seven out of 10
people wanted the M3 to go ahead but outside the Tara-
Skryne Valley. A third of respondents said they believed
the Government gave enough consideration to alternative
solutions such as a Navan-Dublin rail link.

More than 1,000 adults responded to the survey carried out
in May for Tarawatch, a campaigning group set up to resist
Government plans to route the M3 through the Tara-Skryne

The group also brought forward an alternative route at a
meeting yesterday. The route, "Blue 2", chosen by the
National Roads Authority and approved by An Bord Pleanála,
passes east of the Hill of Tara and, according to
Tarawatch, will destroy national monuments and valuable

"Orange 1", its suggested alternative, passes west of the
hill and "saves the core monuments of Tara from
destruction, and is up to 3.5km shorter than the current
route, increasing profitability and efficiency

The group also held a protest at the M50 toll booth
yesterday. Toll bridge operator National Toll Roads was
named last week as the preferred bidder to build and
operate booths on the M3.

Green Party deputy Ciarán Cuffe said a good case had been
made for moving the road and he supported the campaign for
an alternative route. Sinn Féin deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh
also pledged his support.

Construction of the motorway depends on the outcome of
court action in October.

Environmental activist Vincent Salafia was given leave by
the High Court in July to bring proceedings to secure its
rerouting. The action, against the Minister for the
Environment, Meath County Council, the Attorney General and
the National Roads Authority, will challenge directions
given by Minister for the Environment Dick Roche regarding
the treatment of 38 known archaeological sites along a
stretch of the proposed motorway.

The result of October's High Court case could also be
significantly affected by a Supreme Court decision
concerning the routing of the Southern Cross motorway near
Carrickmines Castle.

An NRA spokesman said it had no doubt that most people
supported the Bord Pleanála-approved route.

"We put a lot of time and effort into coming up with this
route and the board approved it," he said. "We are now
anxious to get to the point where construction can start."

© The Irish Times .


Surfers Blamed For West Coast Damage

A Connemara archaeologist says that surfers, bikers and
other visitors are causing untold damage to fragile
archaeological deposits and protected dune systems on the
western coastline. Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent,

Michael Gibbons, an archaeologist and walking tour guide,
has reported his concerns to the National Parks and
Wildlife Service (NPWS), but says it is slow to act.

Many of the areas at risk are designated special areas of
conservation (SACs) and should be receiving the highest
form of protection from the State, he points out.

One area currently at risk, he says, is the SAC at Truska-
Doonloughan near Ballyconneely, Co Galway.

Very visible Bronze Age and early Christian sites are being
destroyed by surfing enthusiasts arriving in cars and four-
wheel drives, while quad and trail-bike users also frequent
the location, as do camper vans and other visitors.

"It is quite dangerous for swimmers, but the short, sharp
powerful waves make it good for surfers," Mr Gibbons says.
"It is overlooked by a whole range of archaeological sites,
and by a very fragile dune system."

The NPWS is committed to management and framework plans for
the SACs, but is "slow to roll them out", Mr Gibbons says.
"Meanwhile these very complex systems are being ripped up,
mostly through sheer ignorance and lack of awareness by
marine leisure enthusiasts."

Local farmers using the commonage are also suffering, and
Mr Gibbons says he has had to assist farmers who have had
sheep driven into the sea by loose dogs and vehicles
arriving at weekends. "Grasses are being trampled, and it
is nothing short of an invasion at times," he says.

The Department of the Environment said yesterday it was
aware of the damage being done to the dunes and the
archaeology in the area and was working with Galway County
Council and landowners to address the problem.

Doonloughan or the "fort on the small lake", may also
translate as "Dun na Lochlannaigh" or the "fort of the
Vikings", according to Mr Gibbons, in a paper published in
the recent Journal of the Galway Archaeological and
Historical Society.

An analysis of the origins of a Hiberno-Norse ringed pin
found by a North American visitor, Keith Kinyon, on the
last day of a field trip to Omey island may be further
proof of Scandinavian links with the west coast, the
archaeologist says in a paper written with Myles Gibbons
and Jim Higgins.

© The Irish Times


Roses In Tralee After Missed Meeting With Belfast Mayor

Anne Lucey

The 30 young women vying for the title of 2005 Rose of
Tralee arrived in Kerry yesterday.

They had completed the first visit to the North, missing an
appointment with Belfast's Lord Mayor on Thursday because
of what a spokesman said was time constraints during a
"packed" two days in the North.

"We simply could not get there in time," spokesman Ted
Keane said of the missed appointment with Wallace Browne.

The smart money in Tralee yesterday was on science

Mayo's Aoibhoinn Ní Shuilleabháin (22), who has a first-
class honours degree in theoretical physics, was still No 1
with the bookies. The native Irish speaker who loves
singing and piano was attracting odds of 5/1 in some

Gillian Doyle (22) from Kildare, an honours graduate in
experimental physics and an accomplished Irish dancer, was
also attracting attention. Photographer Fiona Stokes, the
Rose from Perth, Western Australia, was also high in the

Róisín Corry (25), a planning enforcement officer
representing northwest England, was also proving popular.

The Roses and their escorts met briefly last night before
the streets lit up, the marching bands signalled the
opening of the festival and each Rose accompanied by her
escort made a grand entrance at the glittering Rose ball,
the high point of Kerry's social calendar.

© The Irish Times


Benedict Cruises Into Affections Of Irish Women

Derek Scally in Cologne

GERMANY: Maria Rice from Salthill has a message from Pope
Benedict: he blesses the people of Ireland and thinks the
Taoiseach is a "very good man".

The 21-year-old was one of just a handful chosen from half
a million young people to meet Pope Benedict XVI as he
cruised into Cologne on Thursday for World Youth Day. "It
was an absolutely fantastic experience. He's the closest
thing you can get to heaven," said Maria last night.

Maria was part of a group of 30 Galwegians allowed onto the
papal boat. While the rest sat in the rear, Maria sat
directly at the Pope's feet, with a perfect view of his
holiness - and his red slippers - for most of the cruise
down the Rhine.

"I got emotional and cried when he came on the boat, but he
had an amazing calming and peaceful effect that kind of
rubbed off on the whole boat and soon everyone was
smiling," she said.

Then came the big moment, her private moment with the Pope.

"It was overwhelming. I couldn't really talk to him. I had
so much I wanted to say but I couldn't say anything," she
said. "Then he asked me in English where I was from and he
said he had met Bertie Ahern and thought he was a very good

"Then he blessed me and said through me he blessed the
people of Ireland," said Maria.

After their talk, she returned to her place at his feet, in
front of the television cameras.

She brought Pope Benedict a gift of a Celtic cross, but in
the rush to leave the boat the gift was left behind on the

"I hope I can give it to him at the open-air Mass on
Sunday," she said, saying she was still coming down from
the experience yesterday.

"I don't think it's hit me, perhaps when I go home."

Maria Ó hAodh, from outside Galway, was also on the boat.

"We were at the back, but he came round to see us. There
was a fantastic atmosphere," she said.

"He was very calm but even as we got closer to the
cathedral he seemed kind of overwhelmed and filled with
awe," she said. "He looked really well, very energetic."

Meanwhile, papal enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that
Pope Benedict's cap - the zucchetto - has been found.

Uwe Hoffmann, a 40-year-old airport worker, attached stairs
to the Alitalia aircraft on Thursday and was standing at
the bottom of them when a gust of wind whipped the
zucchetto off the Pope's head as he emerged.

"I don't know what happened but suddenly I had his cap in
my hand," he told Cologne's Express newspaper. Within two
minutes, however, a member of the papal staff retrieved
what could have overtaken pope lollipops, pope beer and
even pope underwear to become the ultimate Pope Benedict

© The Irish Times


Editorial: Learning From The Irish

Posted: Aug. 19, 2005

Those of our readers who have had the good fortune to visit
Ireland know that, even on its most beautiful days,
Milwaukee is not as green or lush as Ireland at its best.
But Milwaukee offers something else, which is the kind of
warm welcome that should be bestowed on Mary McAleese,
president of Ireland, who is visiting our city this weekend
to represent her country at Milwaukee's 25th annual Irish
Fest, which runs through Sunday.

Milwaukee and Wisconsin should do more than welcome
McAleese, however. Along with members of the Legislature
and others, the city should learn how Ireland has managed
to transform itself from a low-growth European backwater
into one of the world's most envied economies. Some
features of this transformation were reported Friday by the
Journal Sentinel's John Schmid.

No one in recent years, perhaps, has described Irish
poverty more poignantly than Frank McCourt did in "Angela's
Ashes," his 1996 memoir of growing up as a member of an
impoverished family in Ireland in the 1930s and '40s.

Even as late as the mid-1980s, Ireland was in the economic
doldrums. Employment was falling, and many of its best and
brightest college graduates were leaving Ireland in a
phenomenon recalling the brain drain that has afflicted
Milwaukee and Wisconsin in recent years. Among other gloomy
statistics is one noting that Ireland in the mid-'80s
ranked in the lowest third among the world's top 26
industrialized nations in educational performance.

That has changed dramatically in large part because, like
many governments in similar predicaments, Ireland took
drastic deficit-reduction measures. But, as Schmid noted,
these cutbacks never interfered with huge investments in
education and in government-sponsored university research
grants. In fact, the Irish university system lies at the
heart of Ireland's economic transformation. The payoff has
been huge. Ireland has tripled the size of its economy
since 1987, and its jobless rate has dropped to just over
4% from 17.5%, which was among the highest in Western
Europe at the time.

Northern Ireland has enjoyed a similar economic boom,
reports Nigel Hamilton, head of the civil service in
Northern Ireland. About 140 U.S. companies now operate
there, providing jobs for some 50,000 people. This economic
boom was made possible in large measure by a ceasefire that
the Irish Republican Army agreed to in 1996. In late July,
the foundations for peace were extended when the IRA
formally declared an end to its armed struggle and promised
instead to pursue its goals through "exclusively peaceful

Recognizing the possibility that some of Ireland's
educational innovations can be exported to Milwaukee and
transplanted here, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Chancellor Carlos Santiago proposes to build ties to the
Irish university system and learn how the universities are
structured and how they connect to the private sector.

In spite of scandals surrounding backup jobs given to
people who shouldn't have been given them, the UW System
deserves the continuing public support it seeks. The
relationship between investments in higher education and
economic performance is undeniable, as the Irish experience
shows. Thus, even as our city bestows a warm welcome on
Ireland's president, it should be learning a thing or two
from her.


Céad Míle Fáilte (One Hundred Thousand Welcomes)

Published: Friday, August 12, 2005
Ireland, Spring '04

When planning a trip to Ireland the most important thing to
remember is that Dublin is not Ireland. Dublin is certainly
well worth a visit but if you really want to see what the
land, culture and people are like you need to get out into
the countryside a bit.

The best way to get around is to hire a car; some of the
most spectacular areas are not near public transport.
However you can travel to all major towns and cities by
train or bus (see ) and local
companies often run bus tours to various beauty spots. If
you do drive, is a great site to help
you plan your route.

Most people come to Ireland to see green fields and
castles, to listen to music and to spend some time in the
pubs. Ireland is also a great place for golfing, hiking,
surfing, fishing, sailing, the arts, etc. July and August
are the best times to visit as the sunshine makes a brief
appearance and there are lots of festivals. The weather is
usually alright until about mid-October but after that be
prepared for chilly, damp weather until it lightens up a
bit at the end of May.

Ireland can be expensive but for those on a student budget
there are ways to cut your costs. Stay at B&Bs or hostels
rather than hotels ( is a good booking site).
Many pubs serve 'pub grub' such as fish dishes, Shepard's
pie and toasted sandwiches, much cheaper than a restaurant
and with more ambiance than McDonalds.

My own ideal tour of Ireland, perfected on my unsuspecting
visitors, is a circuit of the country taking 10 to 14 days.
Start off in Dublin for 3-4 days and hit the highlights -
Book of Kells in Trinity College, tour the Guinness
Brewery, have a picnic in St. Stephen's Green. Take the
late night ghost tour bus which brings you to a lot of
historic and creepy places around the city. Yes it is
touristy, but it is great fun and good way to see the city.

After Dublin drive up to Belfast and spend a day there.
From Belfast drive north for an hour and see the Giant's
Causeway. This is a spectacular area and the coast drive is
fabulous. If you can manage to get there and out early then
drive on to Letterkenny and there is more spectacular
scenery on the route. From Letterkenny head to Galway city
for a night or two. It's a bohemian city famous for its
arts and music. It is also a great base to visit Doolin and
the Aran Islands, where you can hear Irish spoken as the
daily language. The area around Doolin, called the Burren,
is bleakly beautiful, dotted with caves and home to arctic

From Galway, Killarney beckons - drive the 'Ring of Kerry'
before heading on to Dingle village to spend the night.
Dingle is famous for its pubs, traditional music and its
resident dolphin. Kinsale and Blarney in Country Cork are
also worth a visit. Blarney is quite touristy but a great
place to stock up on souvenirs and sweaters. You can of
course kiss the Blarney Stone in the castle but I wouldn't
advise it. You really don't want to know what the local
kids to do that stone at night.

On your way back to Dublin visit Powerscourt House in the
Wicklow Mountains (but only in late spring and summer for
the gardens) before heading back for your flight home.

This trip hits all the highlights but still leaves lots to
see on future trips and most people do return again and
again. I can't promise you sunny weather but the warm
welcome will more than make up for it.

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