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Traveling People

Connemara’s charming Lough Inagh: More home than hotel

By Ed Forry, February 7, 2013


Would I ever steer you wrong about Ireland and all things Irish? No, I never, ever would.
So, I love it when I mention my favorite tourist attractions and accommodations and others agree. For instance, Ireland’s hospitality industry magazine, Hotel and Catering Review, recently chose my favorite hotel – Lough Inagh Lodge in Connemara – as the best country house for 2012. This was the second consecutive year that Lough Inagh won the Gold Medal, the top award. They were also runner-up another year. Read more

On the drawing board: Kylemore Abbey as ‘a new icon’

By Anonymous, January 7, 2013

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR

Since before 2010, when the Benedictine nuns closed their highly regarded school for girls at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, the most frequent question in the area has been: “What next?”

Would the picturesque castle, perched on a rise above Pollacappul Lake, become a tourist hotel? Would the property be transformed into a Celtic Magic Kingdom? Could developers build a casino or conference center in peaceful Connemara? Read more

Irish treasure: Harry Clarke’s stained-glass windows

By BIR News Room, November 30, 2012

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR

It’s hard to fully appreciate the amazing colors and complex details in the late artist Harry Clarke’s magnificent stained glass windows The Immaculate Conception window (1925) in St. Mary’s in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. (Judy Enright photo)It’s hard to fully appreciate the amazing colors and complex details in the late artist Harry Clarke’s magnificent stained glass windows The Immaculate Conception window (1925) in St. Mary’s in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. (Judy Enright photo)

It seems appropriate in this holiest of seasons to draw special attention to the incredibly detailed and brilliant stained glass windows designed and created by Irish artist Harry Clarke at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Clarke was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1889 on North Frederick Street, Dublin, where his father, Joshua, had a stained glass and ecclesiastical decorating business. The younger of two sons (brother Walter was exactly one year older), Harry left school at 14 to join the family business after his mother, Bridget, died. He took night classes in stained glass and won several scholarships, which ultimately led him to study the art in London and France. Read more

Pick a town, pick a time, and Ireland will delight you

By Anonymous, November 2, 2012

by Judy Enright Special to the BIR One of many things I love about Ireland is that each time you visit, you are likely to be surprised by something that you haven’t before seen or experienced. Each season and location brings its own set of special delights and events. LOUGH INAGH This fall, I visited Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel ( in Connemara – my favorite small hotel and a convenient jumping off spot for photographic forays into the stunningly beautiful surrounding area. The hotel has 13 double bedrooms, is comfortable and welcoming, and the food is delicious. Read more

When it comes to wind energy, the Irish know their stuff

By Ed Forry, October 2, 2012

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR
The Irish are a wind-loving lot – and why not when they are so often buffeted by the gales that swirl around the greenest island in the Atlantic? While some here complain that wind turbines block their vistas, the Irish have long embraced the concept of harnessing the wind’s energy and all its resulting benefits and you can see turbines atop many hills in the country. Read more

Kylemore Abbey has history, and much, much more

By Anonymous, August 31, 2012

Resplendent: Kylemore AbbeyResplendent: Kylemore Abbey

If you’ve traveled through the West of Ireland, you have almost certainly stopped to visit Kylemore Abbey, built in the 1800s by Mitchell Henry for his wife, Margaret. Kylemore is one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions for so many reasons—the fascinating history of the castle and the Henry family’s many contributions to life in Connemara, the wonderfully well-stocked gift shop, delicious meals and snacks in the Mitchell cafe and Tea House, the restored Victorian Walled Garden, beautiful Neo-Gothic Church, and the vast array of programs held on site during the height of the tourist season. Read more

The Irish and B&B offerings: Very successful combination

By Anonymous, August 2, 2012

Clonalis in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, the ancestral home of the O'Conor familyClonalis in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, the ancestral home of the O'Conor family
By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR
The Irish have totally mastered the art of bed and breakfast accommodation, offering many wonderful and welcoming B&Bs all across the country where you will experience so much more than just a bed for the night and breakfast. I enjoy staying in B&Bs of every sort and will choose that option over most hotels. Read more

Donegal in springtime: A traveler’s paradise

By Ed Forry, July 5, 2012

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR
A trip to Donegal this spring reminds me about how lovely and lively that county really is. Sadly, not many Americans travel so far north and that’s a great pity. Donegal is visually stunning and offers so much to satisfy the interests of any traveler, young or old. Read more

Hello, sheep lovers: Ireland is the place for ewe

By Ed Forry, June 4, 2012

By Judy Enright
Special to the BIR
The clerk in the upscale Connemara shop said, “Sheep sell. Items here with sheep on them fly out the door!”
She had seen me admiring a large display of ceramic mugs, coasters, magnets, cards, prints, and more – by Thomas Joseph, an artist in Co. Down, Northern Ireland. He has a lot of fun with the word “ewe” – using it in place of “you” (wish ewe were here, for instance) – and depicts sheep on surf boards, driving tractors, playing and doing other whimsical things that, of course, sheep don’t do. Read more

Gastronomically speaking, the Irish have the right stuff

By Anonymous, May 9, 2012

Let’s talk food – Irish food. In short, it’s great!

You may still be able to find a pub that serves dry, tasteless ham or cheese sandwiches on bland bread, but for the most part, food is fresh, locally sourced, and truly outstanding and not just in the high-end restaurants. Pubs have come into their own, too, and many serve fresh soups and stews, paninis, and other trendy sandwiches along with other pub fare. Read more