Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Northern Lights - Music for Winter!

Just found this very interesting album featuring a blend of Irish and Scandinavian music from Lorcán Mac Mathúna and friends. Here's a bit from their website:

Like their landscapes, the music of Ireland and Scandinavia are spectacular, inspiring, and very different to each other. Northern Lights brings “Songs of the Fjord and Glen,” an exploration of Irish and Scandinavian traditional songs and dance music that connects a vast musical landscape. This performance evokes everything between the ice of the North sea and the warmth of Irish summer pastures, in search of a deeper understanding of the things that unite us all.

Northern Lights is a blending of Norse and Irish: sagas, stories, soundscapes, cultural flavours and perspectives, through a meeting of their music and songs. It is a project of Lorcán Mac Mathúna (voice, whistle), Raphael De Cock (voice, pipes, siberian harp, shrutti, hardanger fiddle, jews harp), and James Mahon (uillean pipes, whistle flutes). 

To find out a little more on the background and theme of the project visit the Northern Lights website.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Events for the end of 2012 and into 2013 so far...

Thanks so much to all the wonderful librarians and readers and book clubs who've invited me to come and speak recently! Here are the new dates for the end of this year and into next. There's a lot more in store for 2013, when THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN is published. Check the running list on my website!


December 2
Meeting with a local book club
December 6, 7:00 pm
The Liffey Irish Pub
175 7th Street West
Saint Paul, MN 55102
(651) 556-1420
Reading with Irish and Irish-American writers including Jim Rogers, David O'Sullivan, Siobhan Kierans, Patrick O'Donnell, and Tracie Loeffler Donaghy Sponsored by The Cracked Walnut Reading Company
December 10
Meeting with a local book club


January 10
Thursday Club Luncheon
Mendakota Country Club
January 22
AAUW Book Club
March 5
Location TBA
March 14, 7:00 pm
Litchfield Public Library
216 North Marshall Avenue
Litchfield, MN 55355
(320) 693-2483
March 17, 7:00 pm
CHULRUA IN CONCERT (that's my husband Paddy O'Brien and his band)
Phipps Center for the Arts
109 Locust Street
Hudson, WI 54016
(715) 386-8409 tickets
March 22, 5:00 pm
Warroad Public Library
202 North Main Avenue
Warroad, MN 56763
(218) 386-1283
March 23, 1:00 pm
Roseau Public Library
121 Center Street East, Suite 100
Roseau, MN 56751
(218) 463-2825
March 23, 4:00 pm
Greenbush Public Library
224 Main Street North
Greenbush, MN 56726
(218) 782-2218
March 28, 6:00 pm
Hallock City Hall (attached to Hallock Public Library)
163 3rd Street South
Hallock MN 56728
(218) 843-2401
March 29, 5:00 pm
Warren-Godel Memorial Library
314 East Johnson Avenue
Warren, MN 56762
(218) 745-8807
March 30, 1:00 pm
Thief River Falls Public Library
102 First Street East
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
(218) 681-4325
March 30, 4:00 pm
Red Lake Falls Public Library
105 Champagne Avenue
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750
(218) 253-2992

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Library Journal: Prepub Alert for March 2013

Thrilled to find THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN included in Library Journal's prepub alert, a listing called "What's Hot" for March 2013, with fellow crime writers Rhys Bowen and Paul Doherty, among others! And now I'm feeling like an awful tease, since it'll be another 3+ months until the book is out. I am so sorry. (Okay, not really.)

Here's a link to the full article at the magazine's website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Book of Killowen - Unveiled!

The crack design team at Scribner has put together a jacket for #4 in the Nora Gavin/Cormac Maguire series, THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, bringing together ancient manuscripts, ruined monasteries, and modern intrigue. It's a bit different from my previous covers—with those blood-red splashes, you can't mistake it for anything but a crime novel, which is probably a good thing.

Cover design is such a subjective art. So, let the chat begin—I'm so curious to know what all you readers think! What does this cover say to you about what's inside? How do you think it fits with the series so far? 

Some of you may already know what this book is about, but try not to let that influence your reaction... 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ireland Travel Tips

For anyone traveling with me on a Hart of Ireland tour, I thought it might be useful to share some of the travel tips I've been collecting over the years, things you might not think of when planning a trip to Ireland. If anybody else has suggestions, please share them!

  • Cash card:  It's cheaper to get Euros from a cashpoint than to bring currency for exchange. I just use my VISA debit card to withdraw cash from my checking account. Works like a charm.

  • Lithium batteries:  Longer-lasting for electronics (like your digital camera, if it runs on regular-sized batteries), and difficult to find most places in Ireland.

  • Artificial sweetener: If you're off sugar, but still need a little sweetness in your tea or coffee, you might want to tuck in some packets of Equal or Splenda or Sweet 'n' Low—many places in Ireland only have real sugar.
  • Good/waterproof walking shoes:  We'll visit some places where the ground is rather uneven, and might have to walk through a pasture or two, so it's good to have sturdy shoes with ankle and arch support. I often bring my wellingtons, because it's good to have waterproof footwear.
  • Outerwear/umbrella:  A lightweight waterproof coat is a great thing to have in Ireland; showers are usually light but frequent. And a travel umbrella will never go amiss.

  • Scarf/hat/shawl/pashmina/headband:  We'll be traveling through some windy places, and it's good to have something to cover your ears. Ireland is considerably cooler this time of year than Minnesota/US in general. (Avg temp is about 60-65 right now.)

  • A 'clootie': We'll be passing by Saint Kieran's Bush, a place where people tie ribbons and rags and mementoes of all kinds as offerings. I'll have some bits of ribbon with me, but if you'd like yours to be more personal, please bring it along.
  • Film:  If you've not gone digital, don't forget extra film for your camera. Film is almost impossible to find in Ireland these days (as everywhere, I suppose.) For those who have gone digital, it's also an excellent idea to have an extra memory card for your camera, just in case you can't stop taking pictures of sheep and run out of memory before a download opportunity...  ;-)
  • Washcloth:  Most of the hotels where we'll be staying cater to American tourists and provide washcloths, but I always carry my own, just in case.
  • A power adapter/converter:  If you're planning to plug anything in... Many items are already dual voltage (and have their own converters—check that blocky thing in the middle of your laptop plug for its voltage specs), but you'll need an adapter to plug them in to the wall in Ireland. Plugs in Ireland look like this:

    Here's some basic info from a discussion of "adapter vs. converter" from amazon.com:

    Laptops and cell phone chargers almost all come with a built-in voltage transformer. You can check on the cord or appliance to verify this (it will say range 110v-240) (laptops it says on the charger unit on the cord). America is 110, many other countries (e.g. all of europe, and I believe India etc) are 240. As for all other appliances, some have transformers but many do not, so check in the manual of the individual appliance.

    Adapter: Anything with this range (110-240) transformer built in, you will need only an adapter for so it fits into the wall. Any good electronic store can tell you which adapter to get for the country you are going to...and the adapter should list the countries it works for as well. You can buy adapters with either 3 prongs or 2 prongs on the 'American side.' I would buy one of each. The 3 prong adapter I need for my laptop plug (this works for 2 & 3 prongs) and I always keep it on. The 2 prong I use for my cell phone charger and always keep it on.

    Often, digital camera re-chargers, radios, mp3 chargers, and the like (electronic, motorized) are around 50 watt devices, and require a 50 watt transformer. Any electronic store should have a 50 watt transformer, and it will list the types of electronics it should be used for (they DO list digital camera re-chargers). 'Enercell' is a common brand you'll find in different watt capabilities.

    The voltage converters (/transformers) are also adapters.

    Devices that heat up, such as curlers, straighteners, blow dryers, irons, and lamps, usually require more watts, 1600-2000 watts. For these get a 1600 or 2000 watt voltage converter, either one works for all those kind of appliances. Those transformers are also easy to find at any electronic store, and the item will list what appliances to use them for.
Hope this helps anyone traveling to Ireland. Please join the discussion if you have experiences or ideas to share!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

BBC Documentary - "Open Country" - Ireland - Peat

Click to listen to a great documentary about the history and culture of Irish peatlands. Thanks to Dermot Kearney for finding this and passing it along.

Fred Kearney, one of the people interviewed, has been our guide at the Corlea Trackway Centre in Longford. Here's Fred as he began our tour:

And a few more pictures of the Corlea Trackway, a 2,000-year-old bog road that was excavated about 20 years ago, and the boardwalk outside the museum, showing what the trackway might have looked like centuries ago. 

Near the trackway centre, people are still cutting turf for fuel...

The documentary talks about the controversy surrounding turbary rights, that is, the right to cut turf on your own property. It's an issue that's more and more pressing as Ireland's peatlands continue to dwindle, mostly because of industrial-scale peat extraction by Bord na Móna, the Irish Turf Board.

In HAUNTED GROUND, Brendan McGann, one of the brothers who discovers the red-haired girl in the bog, is worried that he won't be allowed to cut turf on his own land for much longer. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Saint Mathias Celtic Festival - July 21 in Brainerd

Paddy and I will be speaking and signing books and CDs at the Saint Mathias Celtic Festival in Brainerd, MN on July 21.

The fourth annual Saint Mathias Celtic Festival will be held at The Farm on St. Mathias (7579 St. Mathias Road, Brainerd, MN 56401) on Saturday July 21, from 11 am - 6 pm.

I'm on at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm, talking about my books, all the research that goes into them, and I'll bring along images of bog people archaeological treasures, as well as samples of Irish turf—or peat, as it's usually called here.

Paddy will be speaking and playing a few tunes at 1:00 and 4:00 pm, about his compendium of 1,000 tunes, The Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection, and about all the older musicians he learned from, and how he happens to carry more than 3,000 Irish tunes in his head.

Besides our scheduled presentations, Paddy and I will both be on hand for the main part of the day, just to chat with people, and to sign books and CDs.

The Farm on Saint Mathias is proud to be partnering with Finnegans to support the Emergency Foodshelf Network’s Harvest for the Hungry program. Buy beer from Finnegan's truck at the festival and all proceeds will be donated to Harvest for the Hungry.

Live entertainment on the Main Stage will feature the Hounds of Finn, the Gunn Slingers, Rumgumption, and Center for Irish Music student musicians with Live Ireland's Singer of the Year Norah Rendell—all emceed by Welsh storyteller John Dingley. Check out the full schedule!

Traditional Celtic craft demonstrations will include sheep shearing, fiber spinning, dying and weaving. The festival will feature demonstrations by stonecutters, blacksmiths, metalsmiths, fiber spinners and the Blue Ox Brewers Society. Activities for children will include facepainting and a special music show.

Featured vendors will be selling Celtic clothing, soaps, music, and craft items. Vendors include: From the Ground Up Pottery, Fiber Creations by Tammy Severtson, Handcrafted soaps by Backwoods Bathing, Celtic Cottage, Reclaimation furniture, The Center for Irish Music and more. Food on site will be catered by Prairie Bay restaurant in Baxter!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: The Sailor’s Cravat – Sing Out! Magazine

Delighted to get this swell review of our recent recording THE SAILOR’S CRAVAT, from Sing Out! magazine, one of the most respected institutions in the traditional music world.

Off The Beaten Track / Sing Out! Magazine
Autumn 2011/Winter 2012 Issue
Volume 54, Number 4

Paddy O'Brien, button accordion
Tom Schaefer, fiddle
Paul Wehling, bouzouki
Erin Hart, vocals

Award-winning two-row button accordionist Paddy O’Brien, aside from being a much-admired virtuoso with a career spanning nearly four decades, is also a noted one-man repository of Irish traditional music, much of which was picked up from living masters during his travels. For the current outing, he has gathered tunes from a variety of sources, ranging from sprightly instrumental jigs, reels, polkas and hornpipes to unaccompanied sean-nos (ancient style) inflected vocal airs. He favors moderate tempos and lightly marked rhythms that allow the overly blithe melodies, most also graced by a melancholy tinge, to shine forth unimpeded. O’Brien is particularly well-partnered, with Tom Schaefer’s weightless yet unfailingly precise fiddle alternately doubling, following, or discreetly augmenting the themes in response to his lead, while Paul Wehling’s bouzouki provides them both with an ornate yet tastefully restrained launching pad. But Erin Hart’s singing is another soft revelation. Her dusky, ripely female voice nimbly negotiates dauntingly complex airs, like “The Flower of Magherally-O” and “Molly Bawn Or The Shooting of His Dear,” spinning out long-breathed ornamental phrases even as a formidable musical intelligence tells her when to leave well enough alone.

— Christina Roden

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Modesty Forbids Department - "Best of Minnesota"

Well, the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently published their "Best of Minnesota" supplement, in which they cull excellent reviews from past issues and crown the top restaurants, dance clubs, campgrounds, kid-friendly parks, etc.

Imagine my surprise when I opened it looking for a good restaurant recommendation and found this:

And was completely gobsmacked. And delighted. And just a little bit giddy. Thanks to the Star Tribune for the unexpected distinction. I'm thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as writers like John Sandford, Vince Flynn, and David Housewright. Heck, if this weren't Minnesota, a person might just get a big ol' swelled head.

Congratulations also to the "Best of Minnesota" bookstores, my friends at Magers & Quinn and Once Upon A Crime.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gold torc found in Fermanagh declared 'important treasure'

Flange-twisted gold torc (c.1300-1100 BC) 
People ask me all the time whether artifacts (or artefacts, as they spell it in Ireland) really turn up with such regularity as they do in my novels. All I can say is that I don't have to make anything up!

Take this piece, for instance, a 3,000-year-old gold torc discovered in 2009 near Corrard in County Fermanagh by metal-detecting enthusiast Ronnie Johnston. Mr. Johnston thought the piece was a vintage car spring, so he washed it and stuck it in the back of  a drawer. Only after seeing pictures of another gold torc did he realize that he might have found something extremely rare and valuable.

When Mr. Johnston discovered what he had, he showed it to his brother, who went to the Armagh County Museum, and a hearing was set up with the local coroner to determine the torc's status and fate. Analysis showed it was 87% gold and 11% silver, which meant it was officially classifiable as 'treasure' and subject to treasure trove laws of the United Kingdom. (Fermanagh is one of the six counties of the Irish province of Ulster that remain part of the UK.)  

So now the torc will go to the British Museum for valuation, and then the British Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure will have to secure funding to purchase the object from Mr. Johnston in order to put it on public display. 

There are a couple of interesting things about this case... Use of metal detectors near historic sites is against the law in the Republic of Ireland, but not in the United Kingdom. And the torc will go to the British Museum rather than the National Museum of Ireland for examination and valuation. The eventual hope is that it will be returned to Northern Ireland for display in a museum.

Read more about the find here:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17561882

Thanks to my friend, Fermanagh flute player Laurence Nugent, for the heads-up on this!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Preview of Gradam Ceoil 2012 Concert

Short interviews and documentary clips about the 2012 Gradam Ceoil Irish Traditional Music Award winners. The bit about Paddy begins around 10:40...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Comic Song Tradition in Ireland

The comic song is a longstanding tradition in Ireland, from the legendary days when poets could compose songs featuring satire that could kill—or was at least strong enough to strip paint! 

In recent years, great songs have been written to commemorate the rash of moving statues of the Virgin in County Cork, various outrages and sporting events.

Radio host Paula Carroll has put together a great documentary on the Irish comic song tradition. The program focuses on some of the best  contemporary comic songmakers in the traditional idiom, featuring the songs of Michael Marrinan, Sean Mone, Robbie McMahon, Tim Lyons, Con O'Drisceoil and Brian O'Rourke.

You can have a listen to it here:

Originally broadcast on Clare FM.

Produced by Paula Carroll with sound supervison by Tracy Maloney.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Paddy O'Brien Honored As Traditional Composer of the Year

I'm over the moon and so proud of my husband, Paddy O'Brien, who was honored as Ireland's 2012 Composer of the Year at the recent Gradam Ceoil Irish Traditional Music Awards in Limerick. The awards are sponsored by TG4, the Irish language television network (now part of RTE, the national broadcasting service).

Paddy joins a long list of Irish traditional music luminaries with this honor, including previous winners Paddy Fahy, Vincent Broderick, Charlie Lennon, Peadar Ó Riada, and Liz Carroll.

The broadcast kicked off with a bang: several of Paddy's compositions, SARAH'S DELIGHT, THE WOODEN CITY POLKAS, and THE SMALL HILLS OF OFFALY, as performed by the ensemble from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance! After a short interview, Paddy also performs a couple of his compositions, TINY THE TROOPER and THE TURF CUTTER, with accompaniment from guitarist Tommy O'Sullivan.

Here's some background on the awards from Paddy's website:

This year’s Gradam Ceoil recipients range over a wide spectrum of talents. Those honored in the various categories include a legendary Donegal fiddler who also spent most of his life in London, a US-based world-renowned composer and scholar originally from Offaly, an Armagh couple whose life has been spend teaching traditional music in that city and county and two young Gaeltacht musicians from Ring and Muskerry who, while still in their early twenties, have already achieved much in their chosen musical disciplines. The full list of TG4 Gradam Ceoil 2012 recipients is:
  • Gradam Ceoil (Musician) – Brian Rooney, fiddle
  • Ceoltóir Óg (Young Musician) – Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, uilleann pipes
  • Gradam Saoil (Hall of Fame) – Danny Meehan, fiddle
  • Cumadóir (Composer) – Paddy O’Brien, button accordion
  • Amhránaí (Singer) – Nell Ní Chróinín
  • Gradam Aitheantais (Contributions) – Eithne agus Brian Vallely, fiddle and pipes
Gradam Ceoil TG4 2012
This year’s awards were presented at the Gradam Ceoil 2012 Concert at University Concert Hall, Limerick on Saturday 24th March. Recipients were joined by a host of special guests in a concert hosted by Aoife Ní Thuairisg and Páidí Ó Lionáird that was also broadcast on TG4 on Easter Sunday, 8th April 2012. The program included performances from:
  • Brian Rooney, John Carty, James Carty & Brian McGrath
  • Nell ní Chróinín & Eoiní Ó Súilleabháin
  • Danny Meehan, Tommy Peoples, Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh & Dermot McLaughlin
  • Brian, Eithne & the Vallely Family
  • Paddy O’Brien & Tommy Sullivan
  • Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, Seán Ó Fearghail, Dónal Clancy & Tomás Ó Gealbhain
  • Ceoltóirí Dhámh Chruinne Éireann, Rince & Ceol, Luimneach

Past Winners of the TG4 Traditional Composer of the Year Award
Gradam Ceoil TG4 recognizes the importance of constantly adding to Ireland’s vibrant dance music repertoire by presenting Gradam an Chumadóra each year. Much of the work of these composers has already become a part of the tradition, regularly played at sessions and recorded by other artists.

Previous Winners
2001 – Paddy Fahy, Co. Galway
2002 – Brendan Tonra, Co. Mayo
2003 – Vincent Broderick, Co. Galway
2004 – Richie Dwyer, Co. Cork
2005 – Josephine Keegan, Co. Armagh
2006 – Charlie Lennon, Co. Leitrim
2007 – Jim McGrath, Co. Fermanagh
2008 – Peadar Ó Riada, Dublin
2009 – Con Fada Ó Drisceoil, Co. Cork
2010 – John & Finbarr Dwyer, Co. Cork
2010 – Liz Carroll, Chicago, IL  USA

For more information about the Gradam Ceoil TG4 2012, visit:  Gradam Ceoil TG4


Paddy O’Brien was born in Daingean, Co. Offaly in 1945. He took up the accordion as a youngster and travelled widely, seeking out older players, honing his craft and carefully building up his repertoire. His formative influences included Joe Delaney and Dan Cleary of Offaly, Galway fiddlers Paddy Fahy and Eddie Kelly, Donegal fiddler John Doherty, Frank Mc Collum of Antrim, Seán Ryan from Tipperary and Dublin’s Tommy Potts. Paddy moved to Dublin in 1969, where he often played with Clare fiddlers Joe Ryan and John Kelly. This experience provided a great learning ground where he continuously amassed a wealth of knowledge on tune settings and much anecdotal background information on repertoire and musicians. Given his penchant for collecting tunes, and his predilection towards unusual settings, it was natural, perhaps, that he would turn his hand to composition.

Paddy has been living in Minnesota since 1983, performing and teaching all over North America and Ireland, and was invited to perform in Moscow in 2008. Several of Paddy’s most popular compositions are ‘The Small Hills of Offaly,’ ‘The Antrim Rose,’ and ‘Sarah’s Delight’ which appeared on two classic 1970s LPs entitled ‘Is It Yourself?’ and ‘Spring in the Air,’ with Dublin-born fiddle maestro James Kelly (son of John Kelly, and TG4 Musician of the Year 2006), and Derry-born guitarist (and member of Altan) Dáithí Sproule. Both classic recordings were combined into a single CD entitled ‘Traditional Music of Ireland’ (Shanachie 34014), which continues to influence Irish musicians worldwide.

In September 1994, Paddy received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts that enabled him to record the 500 tunes that comprise The Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection – Volume One: A Personal Treasury of Irish Traditional Music, an impressive and a massive undertaking that has been acclaimed worldwide. Volume Two of this collection followed in 2011, with 150 double jigs, 120 hornpipes, 100 polkas,  100 reels,  and 30 slip jigs. This is a unique corpus, the output of a lifetime’s collection of unusual settings and versions, and some original compositions, with detailed notes.

Over the course of his long career, Paddy has composed approximately fifty tunes, spanning many dance forms within the tradition, including 24 reels, 4 marches, 4 polkas, 1 slide, 9 jigs, 4 airs, and 3 hornpipes. Some of these original pieces have appeared on his numerous recordings, and many were included as part of the Paddy O’Brien Tune Collection. Many of Paddy’s compositions have also been received into the tradition, and played in sessions and recorded by well-respected Irish traditional musical groups, including SolasTéadaDanúTríanNic GaviskeyThe Boys of the Lough, and Altan, among others.

As a musician, Paddy has played and recorded with a number of different céilí bands and groups since the 1960s: The Ballinamere Céilí BandThe Seán Ryan TrioThe Castle Céilí BandCeoltóirí LaigheanBowhandHill 16, and currently O’Rourke’s FeastChulrua, and The Doon Céilí Band. His just-released second solo CD, ‘Mixing the Punch,’ features Teresa Baker on piano and guest artist (and fellow Offalyman) Felim Egan on button accordion.

Paddy has a well-earned reputation as a walking encyclopedia of Irish music, and as a highly regarded scholar, composer, and source for tunes. It is estimated that he carries in his head more than 3,000 Irish melodies. His previous honors include a 2006 Artist Fellowship from the Bush Foundation of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and a Lifetime Achievement Honor from the Irish Music & Dance Association in 2010, for his contributions to Irish music and culture in Minnesota.


For more information, or to schedule an interview with Paddy,
please call + 1 651-698-2258 or e-mail paddyobrien@qwest.net.

PADDY'S WEBSITE:  http://www.paddyobrien.net

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


September 12-22, 2012

I know everyone’s been waiting for the news, and it’s now official! New Departures is taking reservations for a third Irish tour, this time called, “Erin Hart’s Ireland: ON HAUNTED GROUND.” The dates are September 12-22, 2012, and a full itinerary is now up at the New Departures website.

I’ll once again be leading an intrepid band of travelers to some of the mysterious and beautiful places that have inspired locations in my novels: The National Museum of Ireland, archaeological sites and castles, the bogs and lakes of the midlands, ruined medieval monasteries and haunted tower houses. And of course we’ll take in some traditional music sessions, too, along with a trip to the Guinness brewery and a whiskey distillery! (No such thing as too much research, I always say…)

We’re calling this trip after my first novel, ‘Erin Hart's Ireland: ON HAUNTED GROUND.’ The title of HAUNTED GROUND was actually inspired by a line from Byron: 'Where e'er we tread, 'tis haunted, holy ground.' I’ve always thought that line really captured the spirit of Ireland, a place where so many undiscovered layers of history remain perpetually underfoot. 

My good friend Kathy Sidla from New Departures has organized this tour down to the last detail, from lovely hotels and companionable dinners, to bogwalks and visits to ancient tombs and fairy forts where the little people dwell.

If you’ve always wanted to visit Ireland, but wanted something a little more off-the-beaten track, this is just the ticket. 

We'll have a little history, a little science, a little folklore, a little music and a bit of pub crawling—of course! If you're inspired to join us, please give Kathy a call at New Departures:  1-612-305-0025 or 1-800-853-1880.

September 12-22, 2012

A Brief Itinerary:

September 12:  Depart US for Dublin.

September 13-15: Dublin, Book of Kells, National Museum ('Kingship and Sacrifice' exhibit, ancient Irish gold, and the Faddan More Psalter), Guinness Brewery, Georgian House Museum, National Museum Collins Barracks,  An Góilín Singers' session, traditional Irish music session at Hughes's Pub, Chancery Street, overnight in Dublin.

September 16: Newgrange, Tullynally Castle and Gardens, Slane Castle, Corlea Trackaway Centre, overnight at Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon.

September 17-18:  Ceide Fields, Museum of Country Life, Westport, walking tour of Galway City, Ballynahinch Castle, coral beach at Carraroe, traditional music session at the Crane Bar, overnight in Galway.

September 19-20:  Portumna Castle, Clonony Castle Tower House, Leap Castle (most haunted place in Ireland), Kilbeggan Whiskey distillery, Clara Bog Visitor Centre, St. Manchan's shrine, Celtic Roots Studio (bog wood sculptures) at Ballinahown craft village, overnight in Tullamore, Co Offaly.

September 21:  Dysart O'Dea medieval monastery and Clare Archaeology Centre, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Corkscrew Hill, the Burren, fairy fort, Kilfenora, overnight in Ennis.

September 22:  Back home again!