A slice of Ireland – Ennis and Galway
I’d been to Ireland once before, many years back I spent a week working in Dublin and even back then it was a very ‘European’ city with the Temple Bar area being the main attraction for music and drinking. I wasn’t that much taken with the area truth be told and up until recently never had the inclination to go back.
It was my love of Irish music that drew me back to Ireland, but this time around I decided I would take a more traditional approach and headed in-country to the town of Ennis, in County Clare. Ennis is a small town (population around 32,000) but has a reputation for it’s traditional music scene and welcoming pubs (even though it was still a cold and wet early April).
I spent my evenings wandering around the town, checking out any bars that I heard live music coming from and I wasn’t disappointed. At that time of year, there were no crowds of tourists, just groups of locals that get together to play traditional Irish music and have a drink or two in convivial surroundings.
My days were spent exploring some of the beautiful scenery, a trip to Galway and the Bay Bunratty Castle and Parish and the city of Limerick.
Bunratty Castle lays claim to ‘the most complete and authentic castle in Ireland’, originally built in the 15th century on land that has been occupied for over a thousand years by Vikings, Normans, Irish Earls and Lords. The Parish also has a gift/tea shop where I managed to enjoy my favourite Clotted Cream Tea.
The city of Limerick was founded by Vikings in the 9th century where the River Shannon meets the Atlantic Ocean. Limerick is home to the Frank McCourt museum (converted from his old school building), the Pulitzer prize winner who wrote Angela’s Ashes, a book about his childhood growing up in Limerick (he was actually born in Brooklyn).
Ennis is a short drive from Shannon airport with regular cheap flights via Ryanair and Aer Lingus from London and Luton. I would certainly go back sometime and perhaps to take in the Ennis Trad Festival which for 2020 is held on 7th – 11th November.