If you’ve been following my Ireland journey you’ll know that some things didn’t go as planned. The breakdown: I met some of the most incredible people in County Waterford, but as explained in my article for Matador Network, it looks like I’ll never REALLY know where my family came from. I’m Canadian as Canadian can be.
I did all the research. Met all the right people. Was interviewed by radio stations and newspapers and tried to host my own Gathering in Dungarvan…but didn’t really find anything at all. The help of Waterford Gathering was monumental, and I appreciate every minute of it.
Instead, I got to know an area of Ireland that I would likely have never explored if I hadn’t been sent on this journey. And as you know, it’s all about the journey.
I cruised the Copper Coast on a brilliant sunny day. Had my share of pints at The Local, where I sat in on my first real trad session led by the most talented of musicians (including the pub’s owner, a famous bodhran player named Donnchadh Gough)…although it seems like everyone in Ireland is the most talented musician. Seriously, does anyone here NOT play an instrument? I stayed in the 700-year-old Lismore Castle, and had the entire Burlington Wing to myself. I collected a mass of stories that will take me at least a full year to tell here on this blog.
The journey was an emotional one. I felt like I had failed my first real journalistic mission, and I was humiliated about it. I was hurt. I mean, this was literally my DREAM writing trip. I knew there were people counting on me to deliver a story and I just couldn’t figure out what that story was. And then one day after crying about it in the car, Scott went to take photos of a castle and I sat down and wrote everything out on the back of a Dublin guide. I suppose the best stories are rarely ever the most successful ones.
The rest of my Ireland story is a much happier one. I’m currently in Sligo – I’ve been here for a week and amassed a group of friends that I’m devastated to leave behind – and heading up to Belfast tomorrow. But it’s been one hell of a ride, Ireland, and I doubt I’m done with you just yet.
Life. Interesting, innit?