Fáilte go Conamara – Welcome to Connemara a region of Galway famous for its culture, heritage, language and people, not to mention its beauty!
Our tour of Connemara, which will be guided by Pádraic Ó Ráighne of Connemara Pub Tours, a local and a fluent Irish speaker, will take us west from Galway city on route to North Connemara and the village of Oughterard. Here we will visit Keogh’s Pub and Grocery in the heart of the village and a member of Irish Pubs Global, a beautifully restored pub owned by local man Justin Keogh, who has worked in the pub business all his life. Keogh’s is renowned for its cosy atmosphere, delicious home cooked food and its wide range of locally crafted and international beers.
Oughterard is also home to Wild Bat Beer and to McGeough’s Air Dried Meats. We will pair both products here, sampling three different beers alongside Air dried, lamb, pork and beef and introduced by both Butcher and Brewer all within the surroundings of a traditional Connemara Pub with blazing turf fires.
As we delve further into the mountains and valleys of Connemara, our next stop will be Keane’s Bar in Maam Valley as featured in the top rated movie “The Irish Pub”. Dating back to the 1800’s, the pub was originally a lodge and hosted everyone from Irish Rebels to British Royalty. Today the pub is famous for its award winning Irish Coffees and creamy pints of Guinness. The picturesque valley itself is home to just 200 people with the locals and their stories being the focal point of this unique and characteristic Connemara Pub.
Heading south to the Connemara Gaeltacht where the Irish language is the spoken word amongst locals, we will pass through the villages of Casla and Camus, near to Rosmuc where a newly built centre has opened in honour of the Irish leader of the 1916 rising Pádraig Pearse. His cottage, where he spent the years leading up to 1916 and where he penned most of his literature, forms part of the visitor’s experience alongside an insight into Connemara as it was and as it is now through various audio visual and interactive equipment.
As we continue our trip through the Gaeltacht, we will stop off at Tigh Darby in Beladanagan, in the heart of the Irish speaking region where a showcase of the culture and traditions of Connemara awaits. On the north tip of Greatman’s Bay, this pub lies at the entrance to the Islands region of Connemara where a series of narrow bridges and causeways allow you to island hop all the way to the most South Westerly point of Connemara. Seanós Dancing and singing will form part of the visit together with a buffet lunch of local seafood and meat put together by Margaret Sheppard Lee of Connemara Organic Seaweed and her nephew Aengus of Lee’s Pub and Restaurant .
Finally as we head east, passing the Irish language Radio and Television stations, we will stop off at the family run Tigh Chualáin Pub with its tropical beer garden and friendly atmosphere. Here we will sample another locally crafted beer together with the king of all spirits, Irish Poitín. Distilled locally by Pádraig Ó Griallais, the 6th generation of his family to do so, he will give everyone an insight into its history, the process of making it and its acceptance now as a trendy and unique choice of spirit. A local Bostonian and renowned traditional musician will entertain all before heading back for the bright lights of Galway City.
A Connemara Pub and Food Tour, where the emphasis is local and an experience that will stay with you forever.
For more information, see connemarapubtours.ie.