Edited by James O’Reilly, Larry Habegger, and Sean O’Reilly

Including stories by Frank McCourt, Thomas Cahill, Rosemary Mahoney, Nuala O’Faolain, Colm Tóibín, Maeve Binchy, and many more

“Ireland has in it, in its soil and air and water and sun, something that for want of a better word is alchemical, that no other place on earth seems to have.”
—From the Introduction, by James O’Reilly

Steeped in legend and blessed with an incomparable landscape, Ireland beckons travelers with promises of tranquility, hospitality, a lively cultural scene, and a still-vibrant connection with its past. Much more than shamrock-laden souvenirs or a few rounds of Guinness at a pub, the true Irish travel experience is colored by Europe’s fastest growing economy which has reversed emigration for the first time in Irish history, and encounters with the island’s proudly idiosyncratic people, known for their often unconventional world view, lamentable history, and always wicked sense of humor.

Travelers’ Tales Ireland captures the real spirit of the Old Sod with over forty stories by gifted writers, present and past. From Dublin to the desolate wilds of County Mayo, these intrepid travelers—historians, novelists, journalists, musicians, and ordinary tourists—report on the sometimes unpredictable, often eccentric, but never humdrum adventures that define everyday life in Ireland.

“Ireland’s main attraction is her people,” writes Susan Hughes in “Mediterraneans of the North.” “In looking back on my stories of travel in Ireland, I see they’re mostly about Irish people.” Sharing facets of this singular Irish personality are some of the country’s most illustrious expatriates. Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank McCourt recalls the trepidation of his First Communion, novelist Brian More muses on a happy childhood spent in a Belfast long since lost to industrialization and violence, and Edna O’Brien contemplates the ineluctable imprint of an Irish upbringing.

Contemporary delights abound. Beguiled by Irish music, Thom Elkjer and Michael Sean Cain each share their personal odysseys to authentic pub seísiúns. For the sporting, Larry T. Jordan extols the great Irish golf tradition, Brian Wilson kayaks the island’s periphery, Tom Mullen cycles to Dun Aengus, and Alan Cowell discovers that angling in Ireland is a real treat, so long as you sharpen your storytelling skills in advance. In search of an offbeat experience, Jo Broyles Yohay rents a venerable Irish home, Gretchen Fletcher discovers a 5-star hotel with a little secret, and Nuala O’Faolain reassesses the lure of Killarney, no longer the predictable vacation haven of the unimaginative. The finer points of Celtic archaeology, fox hunting, Irish tinkers, ceili dancing, and the indisputable existence of fairies all blend to create an indelible literary portrait of the Emerald Isle.

About the editors

James O’Reilly, president and publisher of Travelers’ Tales, wrote mystery serials before becoming a travel writer in the early 1980s. He has visited more than forty countries and worked on all of the Travelers’ Tales books, winning many awards for excellence. James lives with his family in Palo Alto, CA.

Larry Habegger is the executive editor of Travelers’ Tales. As a series editor he has worked on virtually all of the Travelers’ Tales titles, winning many awards for excellence. He is co-author, with James O’Reilly, of “World Travel Watch,” a syndicated column that since 1985 has appeared in major newspapers in five countries. Larry lives in San Francisco, CA, with his family.

Sean O’Reilly, editor-at-large and director of special sales for Travelers’ Tales, is an editor of award-winning travel books, including The Road Within, The Ultimate Journey, Pilgrimage, and The Spiritual Gifts of Travel. He is also the author of the book How to Manage Your Dick: Redirect Sexual Energy and Discover Your More Enlightened, Evolved Self. He lives with his family in Arizona.

About Travelers’ Tales

Founded in 1993, Travelers’ Tales is celebrating its many years of excellence in travel publishing with the publication of Travelers’ Tales Ireland. By publishing the best travel writing from world-famous authors and new and emerging writers, the editors’ goal is to inspire and enlighten readers through true stories by travelers who have explored the depths of their experiences. The award-winning series includes: country and regional guides; books which explore the themes of women’s travel, spirituality, food, humor, and adventure; travel advice books; Footsteps: The Soul of Travel, a series of single-author travel narratives; and Travelers’ Tales Classics, a series which introduces out-of-print favorites of travel literature to a new audience.

Travelers’ Tales…the Power of a Good Story.

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Travelers’ Tales Ireland
Edited by James O’Reilly, Larry Habegger, and Sean O’Reilly
Travelers’ Tales, August 2003
$18.95 Trade Paperback, 352 pages, 5 1/8″ x 8″
ISBN: 1-885211-94-5