What an incredible trip we had. I thought, from the get go, that the trip was great. Super food everyday, unbelievable ancient sites, tours led by a diverse group. From a Scotsman, with Irish blood, that was a hoot, to a Wandering Minstrel, to an Anthropologist/Storyteller, all were so informative and fun. They took you back in time, gave you a taste of the locality like no one else could. The pubs with locals playing Irish Music, the castles, Naturalist, Marine Archeologist, made this an experience that was magical. I also should mention that I got over 1,400 photos to use for future paintings and that whoever was driving never minded me saying, STOP, I need to take this shot. Michael Waugh, the co-owner of Wild West Irish Tours, gets the biggest Kudos though.His compassionate actions pushed this trip, for me, over the top.

I knew that my Great Grandmother, on my Mother’s side, Annie Shaughnessy came from Galway. Getting to Galway for me, was closure so to speak, as my mom had passed away 2 years ago. I wanted to see where my ancestors lived. Mike knew how much it meant to me . What a surprise it was, when Mike said, Monday morning, that on Tuesday we would be going to Galway! Okay, I admit it, I bawled! (Artists are so sensitive).

The next morning I found out that Mike had found a man named Rory O’Shaughnessy, who would be meeting us, in the town of Gort, where the O’Shaughnessy clan began! What an extraordinary account Rory gave of my ancestors being knighted, snubbing attackers by playing their bagpipes in their castle while under siege, ( all 40 of the castle’s inhabitants were killed in the end. Probably not my brightest relatives).

Rory contacted a farmer who on his land, was on of the O’Shaughnessy’s castles. We walked out through the fields and reached the Fiddaun Castle, owned by my O’Shaughnessy ancestors. The farmer had given me the “key to the castle”, and I got to literally unlock the castle door , climb the spiral stone staircase, and explore. I was able to ask a million questions, as Rory was an expert on anything “O’Shaughnessy.”

Wild West Irish Tours, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!!! This now,is on my top 5 events, of my life list! I should add too that my husband came home and said, ‘This was the best vacation that I have ever had.” (He and I are about as different as night and day as he is an Engineer) So, I guess you can say everyone, from every background, can have the best vacation ever with Wild West Irish Tours!“

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