Kerry makes group travel arrangements including hotels, guides, itineraries, meals, and sites with a keen understanding of the needs of me and my clients. Her work is punctual, she makes excellent suggestions, gives great value and is very detail oriented. I have been working with her for many years and I work with other suppliers around the world. She and Go West are the very best that I use. I wish she planned group travel in all of the 20 or so counties where I send my clients.
– Donna Tuten – Owner & Manager at Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries
Pilgrimage tours to Ireland with Go West including trips to Glendalough, Clonmacnoise, St. Patricks Cathedral, Knock, Lough Derg and much more.
Sample Pilgrimage & Religious Tours of Ireland
Day 1 – DEPART
Day 2 – DUBLIN, TRINITY COLLEGE & BOOK OF KELLS
On arrival to Ireland we will spend the day in Ireland’s capital, Dublin where we will visit Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1200 year old Book of Kells, the beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels, designed by monks in the 9th century. We continue on to the National Museum, housing a rich collection of Irish antiquities from the prehistoric times to the end of the medieval period. This afternoon we will visit Guinness Storehouse originally built in 1904 to house the Guinness fermentation process. The core of the Guinness Storehouse building is modeled on a giant pint glass, stretching up from reception on the ground floor to the Gravity Bar in the sky. If filled this giant pint would hold approximately 14.3 million pints of Guinness. At Guinness Storehouse you’ll discover all there is know about the world famous beer
Overnight Dublin DBB
Day 3 – SPIRITUAL JOURNEY THROUGH GLENDALOUGH
This morning we will visit Glendalough a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul. We will celebrate Mass in the beautiful Gods Cottage Church. Afterwards we will visit the Heritage Centre and Museum where we see a video entitled “Ireland of the Monasteries”.
We will meet Fr Michael Rodgers founder and Director of Tearmann Centre, Michael Rodgers returned to Ireland after twenty years missionary service to serve on his congregation’s leadership team. During this time he began to explore his own roots, a journey that led him eventually to mystical Glendalough. He spent much time exploring the valley and its story. People heard about him and began requesting accompanied walks. He found that as they walked together individual stories quite spontaneously emerged, and in the way of pilgrimage the listening ear they would receive and offer became an important part of the experience. It became apparent that there was a hunger in people for a more natural and soulful expression of spirituality, and for opportunities for the companionship of like-minded souls. Michael encourages an experiential approach that incorporates history, legend, spirituality, Christian tradition and awareness of nature and the environment. Michael is the co-author of the following books: A Celtic Pilgrimage. [Columba Press. 1996] and Glendalough, A Celtic Soul Journey. [Ciúnas Books. 2003]
He will bring you for a walk to St. Kevin’s Monastic City you will visit St. Kevin’s Church, Kevin’s Cross, the Cathedral, the Round Tower and St. Mary’s Church. We will come back to Dublin and get ready to transfer to the Merry Ploughboy Irish Music Pub for a Traditional Dinner and Irish Show. The two hour show is a highly entertaining, interactive and memorable concert of authentic Irish music and song and features our outstanding musicians and troupe of Irish dancers.
Overnight Dublin DBB.
DAY 4 – NEWGRANGE, HILL OF SLANE, MONASTERBOICE & MELLIFONT ABBEY
This morning we will attend Mass in the Pro Cathedral Dublin. After Mass we will travel to Northern Ireland. On the way we will visit the pre-Christian, megalithic site Newgrange a megalithic burial ground designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will see the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick lit a Paschal fire as a challenge to the pagan High King of Tara and visit Monasterboice to see Muiredach’s High Cross, the finest high cross in all of Ireland. Later we will visit Mellifont Abbey, founded in 1142 and the first Cistercian Abbey in Ireland. We will continue to Armagh for our overnight stay.
DAY 5 –ARMAGH, STANGFORD LOUGH, BELFAST
This morning we will tour the Roman Catholic Cathedral, learning about its impressive architecture and about the recent peace-building partnership between the two Cathedrals. We will follow in the footsteps of St Patrick, who through his creative interpretation of the Christian faith did much to ignite the flame of Christianity in Ireland. We will visit the beautiful area of Strangford Lough area, including the St Patrick’s Centre, Downpatrick Cathedral, and Saul Church, built in 1932, to commemorate
Saint Patrick’s first church in Ireland. We will continue to Belfast where we will visit the Titanic Centre
Overnight Belfast DBB
DAY 6 – Monday –THE NORTH COAST
This morning we will enjoy a guided tour of Belfast, we will see the Falls Road and the Peace Wall. We will enjoy a scenic drive to the Giant’s Causeway on the North Coast, one of the great natural wonders of Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After the visit we will continue our journey through beautiful Northern Ireland we will travel through county Donegal to Sligo town for our overnight stay.
Overnight Sligo DBB
DAY 7 – KNOCK SHRINE – LEADING MARIAN SHRINE AND BALLINTUBBER ABBEY
Today we will visit Knock Shrine, one of the world’s leading Marian shrines. On 21st August 1879, at about 8 o’clock, fifteen people; women, men and children, witnessed an Apparition. In 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine. We will visit the Basilica, the largest church in Ireland. We will attend Mass celebrate by The Most Rev. Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam.
We will also visit the Museum explaining history of the Apparition. We will continue to Ballintubber Abbey originally founded by St Patrick when he brought Christianity to Ireland in c.441AD. The present Abbey was founded in 1216 by King Cathal O’Conor. Ballintubber Abbey and its faith filled story offers a powerful and inspiring setting for us to step back from their often busy lives and reflect on relationships with family, friends and God. We will travel through beautiful Connemara to Clifden. After dinner we will meet Br. James Mungovan who will give a talk on the history of the Franciscan Monastery that was established in Roundstone in 1835.
Overnight Clifden Co Galway DBB
DAY 8 – CONNEMARA, KYLEMORE ABBEY
“Prayer is the very breath of our Benedictine life, from which everything else flows.
This morning we will travel to Roundstone to see the Bell Tower the remains of the Franciscan Monastery in the village. We will continue to Kylemore Abbey the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. The community of nuns, who have resided here since 1920, have a long history stretching back almost three hundred and forty years. We will attend Mass in the Abbey celebrated by Fr. Christopher Van Tassell T.O.R. President of St Francis University. We will visit the Gothic Church, the Victorian Walled Gardens, the Craft Shop, Pottery studio, Restaurant and Tea Rooms as well as the Lake and Woodland walks. A section of the Abbey (the enclosure) is retained strictly for the nuns’ use and is not open to the public; here the nuns devote themselves to their monastic life of prayer and work. We will continue to Galway where we will take a 90 minute cruise with Irish Coffee Demonstration on board the Corrib Princess. The Corrib Princess departs from the pier at Woodquay in city centre, passengers will enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the lake as we Cruise River & Lough Corrib. The trip takes you along the river and then out onto the expansive Lough (Lake) Corrib. You can sit up on the sun deck and take in the views; there is also an indoor area downstairs with comfortable seating and a bar. Roisin the current Irish coffee making World champion will give an Irish coffee demonstration giving the history of Irish whiskey and showing you the art of Irish coffee making. She will teach a number of people from the group the Siege of Ennis and Irish Dance.
Overnight Galway DBB
DAY 9 – ARAN ISLANDS
After breakfast we will travel to the ferry port Rossaveal where we will take a ferry to the Aran Islands on arrival we will walk to the Church on the Islands where we will attend Mass celebratedby Fr. Christopher Van Tassell T.O.R. After Mass we will tour by coach and visit Dun Aengus, the Iron Age fort built as four concentric stone walls. The fort has been called the “most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe”. We will visit Na Seacht dTeampaill, the Seven Churches which make up a monastic settlement dedicated to St. Brecan.
We will meet with Padraigin Clancy. Padraigin has lectured extensively and has facilitated retreats and seminars throughout Ireland, appearing frequently on Irish national radio and television. Originally drawn to the Island by her studies, she has made it her home since 1990. In that time she has documented an extensive collection of Irish folkloreand cultural history. We will return to the mainland and continue to Galway.
We will enjoy dinner in the hotel, after dinner we will attend a show in the hotel, Trad on the Prom. This is a contemporary Irish show featuring an electrifying mix of music, song and dance featuring. Mairín Fahy has been the featured soloist with Riverdance since the Company was set up in 1996. She has toured frequently with The Chieftains. She also has performed for a host of dignitaries including the late Princess Diana. The Royal Family of Monaco, They Royal Family of Japan, Bill Clinton and numerous others. Her show Trad on the Prom has entertained thousands of visitors to Galway during the summer. She will be joined by Chris Kelly on guitar; Gerard Fahy will also join them on stage Gerard who has been the musical director for Michael Flatley in Lord of the Dance and Feet of Flames. They will be joined by numerous other extremely talented musicians.
A troop of world class dancers will perform. They will be joined on stage by the well know Sean-Nós dancer (old style) Emma O’ Sullivan who hails from Connemara.
Seán Costello will be the singer on the night, Sean has appeared all over Ireland as a guest with many musical societies and for his efforts has received eight nominations for ‘Best Male Voice’ winning the prestigious award on five occasions, playing leading roles in the European Premier of ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’, Titanic, Chess and soon the World Amateur Premier of ‘The pirate Queen’
Overnight Galway DBB
DAY 10 Friday – CLIFFS OF MOHER, KILMACDUAGH & POULNABRONE
This morning before we depart Galway where we will attend Mass at the Abbey Church. After Mass we will enjoy some free time for shopping. we will enjoy a 90 minute cruise with Irish Coffee Demonstration on board the Corrib Princess. We will continue to the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are 214m high at the
highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O’Brien’s Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs.
From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. We will visit Poulnabrone one of the most famous Irish dolmens. The thin capstone sits on two high portal stones to create a chamber and a low cairn. This site dates back to about 2500 BC. We will continue on to our hotel in Limerick
Overnight Limerick DBB
Day 11 Saturday – GLENSTALL ABBEY BENEDICTINE MONASTERY, SOLAS BHRIDE & MAYNOOTH COLLEGE
Today we will visit Glenstall Abbey a Benedictine Monastery in County Limerick. The Abbey is the home to a community of about 40 monks. The community life of prayer is combined with running a boarding school for boys, a farm, a guesthouse and various other works. Situated on a 500 acre estate with streams, lakes and woodland paths, surrounds a castle built in the romantic Norman style. The monks assemble in Church four times a day for the Divine Office and the Mass. In the crypt of the church is a chapel with Orthodox icons, designed by the architect, Jeremy Williams. It is a unique sacred space reminding us that monasticism has its roots in the Christian east. In traditional Byzantine style, it takes the shape of a cross in a square with a central circle surmounted by a dome. We will enjoy a walk in the front and back avenues at our leisure. The lands have a wide variety of specimen trees and flowers and are a wildlife sanctuary. Part of the remains of Ireland’s primitive oak forest lies along the edge of the front avenue. We will meet one of the Br Padraig of Glenstal who will tell us the history of the Abbey.
We will continue to Solas Bhride. Solas Bhride means ‘Brigid’s light/flame’ is a small Christian Centre, which has as its focus St. Brigid and Celtic Spirituality. Here we will meet with one of the Sisters and we will “Walk in the footsteps of St. Brigid”, a pilgrim journey to the sites around Kildare town associated with St. Brigid. After our visit we will travel to Maynooth where will visit St Patrick’s College Maynooth, founded in 1795 as a seminary for the education of priests, and by 1850 had become the largest seminary in the world. Today Maynooth University is a university of international standing, a community of over 9,000 students and 800 staff, renowned for research and scholarship of global repute. We will celebrate Mass in the University Church. We will continue to Dublin where we will say goodbye to our guide.
Overnight Dublin DBB
DAY 12 – DAY OF DEPARTURE
We will take our coaches to Dublin Airport and say goodbye to our drivers before checking in for our flight home