The catch phrase we heard over and over again was “well you don’t come to Ireland for the weather”.
This was very true as we were visiting many cousins and showing Maurice’s son Craig and his wife Yuko the country and introducing them to the many cousins. It would have been nice however to have some warm weather which was seriously lacking for a summer. Even the inhabitants were complaining about their lack of summer weather but that didn’t stop them from swimming in the sea and picknicking outside which we wouldn’t contemplate at home.

We picked Craig and Yuko up from Cork airport after a cancelled flight into Dublin from Amsterdam and in the two weeks that they were with us we managed to cover a great deal of the island as well as having lots of family time which was really enjoyable and all the cousins made them very welcome.

In two weeks we drove from Dublin to Clonmel and to Cork where the McCarthys came from then back to Dublin then to Avoca. We zigzagged a bit so that we could catch up with some of the cousins and friends who were either on holiday from England where they live or to see cousins who were about to go on holiday.

We continued on to Wexford where Maurice’s paternal grandmother was born to Galway (an interesting city) and found where his great grandparents had lived and then via the cliffs of Moher and across many counties to Belfast on mostly bumpy narrow roads. Only Maurice had been to Belfast before and we found it a small but interesting city architecturally and culturally. We did a Black Cab tour around the former troubled areas of the city where tensions can still run high but are a far cry from what they were when the British military occupied the city.
What they call the ‘Peace Wall’ circles a part of the city dividing the catholic and protestant areas of Belfast. Interestingly part of the wall was taken down while we were there and luckily it caused no problems. We met up with Marcella, a friend we had not seen for ten years and it was lovely to catch up with her.

Maurice and Craig went to the Ulster Moto GP – the crazy motorbike road race – which they thoroughly enjoyed while Yuko and I were more sedate and went to the amazing Titanic exhibition which is a fixed one as the original Titanic was built there. We also managed a tour of city hall and some shopping.

We had our only two really warm and blue sky days on Craig and Yuko’s last day in Dublin and the day after.
The free walking tour of Dublin on the sunny day was most informative and James did a great job while giving us a few laughs along the way. We sampled some Irish food and also a lot of seafood and fish along the way.

People were friendly and helpful all over the country – north and south.

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