An Ecotour like no other
The Living Communities is a pioneering group of volunteers which looks to culture to underpin a healthy society. In this way, we celebrate the beauties of Irish, French and German culture, all linked in olden times.
You will join with us, through ecotourism. You travel by autobus and will visit people who guard the Celtic way of life. You see the real Ireland. It has not been swept away by glass, concrete and modernity.
On your first day, you will see the Book of Kells and the remains of Dublin’s Viking past. Then depart for the unspoiled northwest, to Co Mayo. Its history fascinates and its rich nature astounds. You will not just enjoy the experience. It will change you.
First you will see how country life was before the power of fossil fuels replaced handiwork. Craft workshops for wickerwork, spinning wheels and traditional clothing are popular. The life-sized blacksmith's forge is impressive. Next you visit an old railway station, built in 1894. You will be struck there by the records of social life after the Famine (1845-7 AD) and the upheavals which continued, and had to continue, at that time.
On the third day in North Mayo, you visit the delightful Enniscoe House, described as the last 'Great House', as houses of English landlords were called in darker times. It
overlooks Lough Conn, in rolling, sylvan surroundings. A boat-trip on the lake is memorable. Next, the high-point of your trip is a visit to an Irish-speaking community, which lives on Mayo’s vast bogland. Participate in eco-friendly farming ways. Irish-speaking people are keenly aware of Irish social history. Here they will wish to be able, in their own homes, to give a ‘Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ to French- and German-speaking people. You will spend the night with a true Gaelic family. Their culture has lived intact for 5,500 years and it has much to offer. You will not have this experience anywhere else in the world. By recalling your memories, you will spread our message of respect for your fellow-man and for our planet.
On the fourth day, you will travel to Croagh Patrick mountain, where a pilgrimage is held yearly, in honour of St Patrick, Ireland's patron saint. He fasted on the summit for forty days, in 441 AD. There is a Celtic hill fort around the summit. A dry-stone oratory, from c600, is Christian. There are truly spectacular views of Clew Bay. You will spend that night again with your new Gaelic friends.
On the last day, you will visit a humble cottage from which, in 1886, a family of nine was evicted by the agents of an English landlord, because they could not pay rent. It was the last eviction in the area. This was at a time when the Irish had long been without their noble class and suffered under an imposed, inimical legal system. Having seen the poor cottage of some great people, you will be taken back to Dublin for your last night on our Green Island.