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The Quality of the People of Ireland in Four Short Stories

I just returned home from a couple of weeks in Ireland. I thought I’d share a few stories that show how fantastic the Irish people truly are.

Paddy Redican
So, I wasn’t exactly too organized for this trip. When I booked my flight to Ireland, I gave myself an extra day before attending the Navigate Media Bloghouse. The Bloghouse involved spending 3 full days living in a castle (tough life) and learning about blogging. I thought I’d give myself a day to acclimatize before the work started. Great idea, but then I forgot about it. When I arrived at the pickup point early, I waited a couple hours for the Navigate crew. After the pick up time passed, I remembered that I was a day early and no one was coming. The only other person at Limerick Junction was Paddy. Paddy is a cab driver. He told me it would cost 15 Euros to go to Bansha Castle where the Bloghouse was taking place. I thought I would go check it out. Again, I didn’t look at the castle online before arriving. I thought I would see if they had a room for the night and/or maybe other people from the Bloghouse had already arrived. They didn’t and they hadn’t. Paddy and I were in front of Bansha Castle and I asked him if he knew of a bed and breakfast close by. He got on his cell phone and made a call to Gerry in Tipperary. Sure enough, Gerry had room for me at his bed and breakfast. Tipperary was about a 10 to 15 minute drive from the Bansha Castle. I asked Paddy how much it would cost to go back to Gerry’s B&B. Paddy’s response, “Don’t worry about it, I’m going that way anyway”. Not exactly the response you’d expect from a cab driver. Paddy then drove into Tipperary, took me to Gerry’s door and made sure I was checked in. I tried to give him some extra money, but he wouldn’t accept it. We were both persistent (I am half Egyptian) with me trying to give him more money and him refusing. Eventually, he accepted half of the extra money I tried to give him. Paddy Redican, what a fantastic guy.

Gerry
Gerry is the owner operator of the Central House B&B in Tipperary. It was there where I spent my first night in Ireland. Gerry directed me to a local pub to watch the all Ireland Hurling final which was awesome. But that is a different story. The next day I had to make my way back to Bansha Castle for the beginning of the Bloghouse. Gerry asked me how I was going to get there and I told him I was going to take the bus. It wasn’t a big deal. Gerry said, “why don’t you wait a few minutes, I can give you a ride out there?” Again, it was about a 10 to 15 minute drive to the castle. Gerry had a number of other things to do that day as he was holding down the fort which had a few other guests. He was busy doing the cooking in the morning and still had to sort out the rooms. It didn’t look like there were other people around at the time to help him out, but he was pretty insistent on giving me a ride out to the castle. Again, what a fantastic guy.

Nellie
The town of Bansha is home to a classic Irish pub called Nellies. I say classic because it was exactly how I envisioned an Irish Pub to be. It was a small room with a large bar. The place was full of locals. Perfect. The first night of the Bloghouse, I ended up heading to the pub with Jo Fitzsimons. We had a few drinks and the next thing we knew, it was 1:00am and we were the only ones left at Nellies. Nellie came over to us and asked how we were getting back to the castle. We told her we were going to walk or take a cab (it was only a 5 to 10 minute walk). She said, “nope, I’m giving you a ride.” We told her not to worry, but she was already out the door going to get her car to take us back. It was 1:30am, Nellie was the only person working in the pub, I assume she still had to finish her closing up duties, and oh.. did I mention Nellie had to be in her 70s. What an amazing lady.

The Lovely Nellie - Unfortunately blurry photo

The Lovely Nellie – Unfortunately blurry photo

Maybe the best picture I've ever seen drawn by a 5 year old.

Maybe the best picture I’ve ever seen drawn by a 5 year old – on display at Nellies

John & Teresa
John and Teresa own and operate the Bansha Castle. We had just finished spending three nights in the castle and were heading to Dublin for an event at 4pm. It was about an hour and a half train to the city. Before leaving Nellies the night before, Nellie was persistent that I couldn’t leave Bansha without seeing the Glen of Aherlow. I promised her that I’d check out. Fellow Bloghouse participant Jac Seah and I thought we would try and sneak in a trip to see the Glen of Aherlow on our way back to the train station as it was only 11am. The train left every hour so we weren’t too concerned about missing one. We asked John how long it would take us to get to the view point, how much it would cost, and if he knew someone we could call to take us. He asked us when we needed to get to the station and we told him. He said, “well, I can take you up there and if we leave soon we should be able to get you to your train by noon”.

This is where he took us:

When John dropped us off at the train station, he told us that his daughter was getting married next summer at the castle. In what seemed to be typical Irish fashion, he invited us to come back for the wedding. Be careful what you wish for John, I’ve been known to take people up on those types of offers!

These small acts left quite an impression. They embody what I found to be the spirit of Ireland, and I like it… Great people and great times.

Comments

  1. I agree with you Andrew, the Irish are pretty awesome people and made a great trip even more special.

    Also, that drawing of the History of Bansha at Nellies is the cutest thing I’m sad I didn’t see it for myself!

    And I’m so glad we got to see the Glen of Aherlow with John’s help, I’m stealing your picture just so you know :)

  2. The Irish are amazing people and such gracious hosts. It was an amazing time and I can’t wait to go back to Ireland!

  3. Did I mention I was half Irish (pay attention to the surname)…ok, I can’t claim the same amount of amazingness as these lovely people you met (or any amazingness for that matter!), but it’s always something to aspire to. Ireland – where a bit of magic lives in everyone :)