In Honor of St. Patrick's Day .... Photos & Tales of Ireland

Home Stager with Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR

 In Honor of St. Patrick's Day .... Photos & Tales of IrelandKillurley West, Cahirciveen, County Kerry IrelandWilliam Clifford and Ellen McSherry Clifford

This idyllic spot is the actual home place of my grandfather, William Clifford, who was born in 1886 in Cahirciveen, a small and charming market town in County Kerry (not far from this spot is the Western-most land point in Europe, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean).  These sheep are on the family homestead, several acres with the original cottage still intact.  My grandfather later emigrated to San Francisco, and he was the kindest, most patient man that I ever knew.  Growing up hearing his tales of life in rural Ireland was such a treat for me ... and was the beginning of my love affair with Ireland and its people. In 1995 I obtained dual citizenship (which any American can do if you have an Irish grandparent) and the following year I moved to Ireland, fully enjoying Irish life there for eight years.

As often as I can, I love to return to Ireland, where my heart  feels happy, and where people smile and after five minutes of chatting, you feel like you've known them for years.  The Irish are very hospitable, and love to ask Americans where they're from.  If you say "Oregon," for example, they might reply "Oh, would you happen to know my cousin Thomas O'Callaghan in New York?"  :-))  Ireland is a small country, about the size of the state of Maine, so imagining the size of "America" is sometimes hard to grasp unless they've traveled outside of their country.

Besides walking the fields in the photo above, which my grandfather walked across to get to school each day, during my return visits to Ireland I like to take photos of the spectacularly beautiful scenery.  Here are a few to share with you ...

In 1996 I established a Bed & Breakfast in the ancient environs of Lough Gur, Co. Limerick, where stone circles as old as Stonehenge are part of the landscape, and where the locals recall seeing fairies on the lake in the "old days"

Lough Gur, County Limerick, Ireland

A friendly pub is never farther away than a stroll up a country lane

Guerin's Pub, Castleconnell, County Limerick

The pub above is 300 years old, and when my son Brendan & I return for a visit, we have the honor of "babysitting" it so that the owners can go on a short vacation -- what fun!

Moonlight over Guerin's PubPulling a Pint at Guerin's Pub in Castleconnell, Co. Limerick"Guinness is Good For You"

In Ireland, you can count on visiting the remains of old castles, churches & other amazing sites!

Desmond Castle in County Limerick

County Limerick church ruins

Daniel O'Connell Memorial Church, Cahirciveen Co. Kerry

former County Limerick strongholdOld church door in County LimerickErin Go Bragh! (Ireland Forever)

If you haven't yet visited Ireland, put it on your Bucket List ~ Afterwards, you'll be smiling whenever you think of it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and yours!

Related posts:

Ireland -- Where they're not Afraid of Paint Color

Home Staging in Ireland Looks Like This

Darby O'Gill Turns 15 and has a Guinness

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Room Solutions Staging offers expert home staging services in Portland, Oregon to homeowners, real estate agents, and builders. Our proven home staging techniques will help reduce your property's market time and maximize your equity. We'll prepare your property or listing to look appealing to your target buyer for the online photos as well as for in-person viewings. Our owner and principal stager Maureen Bray is a nationally-recognized home staging expert who enjoys sharing her passion for staging with others.  To schedule a Verbal Staging Consultation filled with our staging tips and advice, contact us @ 503-246-1800.

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Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX

Maureen - those are some great photos. Thanks from sharing. They are amazing.

Mar 16, 2012 06:27 AM #38
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

What a perfect way to honor this holiday in a blog! I loved your photos and the write up. I would love to visit Ireland myself. Thanks for getting me into the spirit of St. Patty's Day.


Mar 16, 2012 08:08 AM #39
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Maureen--Had to come back and say congratulations on that great Feature!~

Mar 16, 2012 12:49 PM #40
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Amazing photos Maureen. Thank you for sharing. Now...I did put Ireland on my Bucket list. Happy St. Patrick's Day to your family.

Mar 16, 2012 01:03 PM #41
Kevin O'Rourke - Keller Williams Miami Beach Realtor
Keller Williams Miami Beach Realty - Miami Beach, FL
CDPE Miami Short Sale Agent 305-520-9436

Hi Maureen, congrats on being featured and thanks for writing such nice words about my homeland. It was a treat to see your photos and be reminded of home. I am a native Kerryman (Ballybunion) and have lived in the USA for 25 years, including over 3 here in Miami. 

As you may know, living in Miami is almost like living in Latin America with the majority of the population speaking Spanish.  Yet one is never too far from an Irish pub, which surprisingly are often packed to the rafters. It is so cool to be in a pub, with all the paraphernalia of Ireland, but latin pop music in the background and the faces of young Latinos/Latinas, seeing the spirit of Ireland interwoven with the Latin culture.

Happy St Patrick's Day to you!

Mar 16, 2012 02:43 PM #42
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Maureen, my daughter-in-law is from Ireland. Her family lives in Donegal. I have never been but my husband and I hope to visit one day.

Mar 16, 2012 02:46 PM #43
Bonnie Vaughan
Scranton, PA
CNE SFR - Buyers/Sellers - Lackawanna & Surroundin

Maureen,  I loved your post.  My paternal grandparents came from County Clare.  My sister and I went over a few years ago.  I wish I had my photos on this computer.  We specifically went to Vaughan's Pub in Kilfenora.  Lots of Vaughan's in County Clare and most all are related some how.

When we went to the Aran Islands we saw Fairy Houses in some yards.  The coolest thing.  You are correct about the friendliness of the people. 

We were so enchanted we did not want to go back to the states.  You really want to stay forever.

Mar 16, 2012 03:04 PM #44
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Janet ~ I'm so glad that you had the chance to experience the wonder of Ireland!

Michelle ~ You are so welcome!  Glad that you could stop by.

Charita ~ Particularly the older generation would ask that question, not having a real grasp on how large the U.S. is!  Did you know that sheep outnumber humans in Ireland?

Kathy ~ you have a very Irish name!  I hope you'll visit Ireland before too long.

Cathy ~ Many Irish emigrated to the Canadian provinces ... but hey, I'm jealous that it's a national holiday for you!!  Hope you enjoy all the festivities!

Bruce and Sandy ~ Lots and lots of green pastures!  And old buildings? I'll share a little story with you ... when I lived in the rural countryside of County Limerick, driving along the road you could look up the hill and see the ruins of a tall castle.  Once while driving by with a local, I asked the name of the castle ... he replied, "Oh, who knows -- we don't even notice that old place!" Something so unique to us, is so everyday to them :-)

Ashley ~ I'd love to hear where you visited, and I'll bet you make it back there one day!

Mary ~ It's true that I really treasure my Irish heritage.  (By the way, I admire your name;  my name means "little Mary" in Irish;  I was born on my mother's birthday, and her name was Mary.)

Karen ~ Thanks for your kind words my friend ..... I'll think of you when you're enjoying that pint of Guinness -- Slainte! (pronounced Slon-cha --that's Irish for "Cheers!" :-)

Cindy ~ What a nice thing to say, thank you!  I hope that you can visit the Emerald Isle one day.


Mar 16, 2012 04:37 PM #45
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Happy Saint Patrick's Day Maureen and thanks for the lovely pictures.  I think everyone seems to be Irish today!

Mar 16, 2012 08:20 PM #46
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

I waited to read this so my husband, Mike, could see the photos with me.  He's very proud of his Irish heritage too!  We hope to get to Ireland one day!

Mar 17, 2012 12:45 AM #47
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Maureen, I love the pictures. Makes me want to go there. Happy St Patrick's Day!

Mar 17, 2012 12:45 AM #48
Ashley Connolly
Northeast Water Wells Inc - Jaffrey, NH

HI Maureen i traveled all of Southern Ireland the North was a little to roudy back then. I kissed the blarney visited the Cliffs saw many a castles owned by americans thanks to my Uncle who is a Native, Saw where the titanic was built , saw where U2 recorded went to many of irish pubs and shops. Established i was allergic to wool rather on the quick side. I cant wait to go back i miss it sooo ... no one does breakfast like the Irish and dont get me started on Baileys thanks for the great reminder of my Trip :)

Mar 17, 2012 02:36 AM #49
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Bryan ~ Isn't Ashford Castle an amazing hotel?  I've visited there too, and the locals still proudly tell you that when the movie The Quiet Man was filmed nearby years ago, the hotel was kept very busy.  And don't get me started on the roads in Ireland!  Driving on the "other" side of the road to begin with, but also the steering wheel is on the "other" side of the car ... and if you're driving a manual, you have to shift with your left hand -- it took me a while to get all that coordinated LOL!

Victor ~ glad you enjoyed it!

Bill ~ it's true, my heart will always hold a very special place for Ireland because of its wonderful people.

Debb ~ you'll want to visit the "old country" for sure!  The Laney name may be derived from "Lane" and the family origin is likely either County Cork or County Limerick.

Melissa ~ I hope you get there too!

Craig ~ I love your story!  How great that you and your wife share a great love for Eire.  My son is named Brendan too, and it will be fun for you to show your son this enchanting country.  When I worked at the University of Limerick, they had a world-class masters program for Irish dancing.  I met some of the students, who were from all over the world, and one visited me here in Portland about two weeks ago.  Enjoy the holiday! 

Mar 17, 2012 03:48 AM #50
Kevin A. Guttman-Author, ReverseMortgageSpecialist
NMLS #384936 - Colorado Springs, CO


Thanks for posting these lovely pictures!

Mar 17, 2012 04:26 AM #51
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Mary Elizabeth ~  You just can't trust those McNeals (of Scottish origin) LOL!  What a great story.

Mike ~ How great that you had the chance to visit Enniscorthy ... I've heard a song about that town. Hope you're enjoying St. Patrick's Day weekend!

Edward ~ it's true that the Irish economy has really fallen into a slump for many of the same reasons the U.S. has, mostly bad loans and falling real estate prices.  When I lived there, Ireland had the second-best economy of all the EU countries ... sadly, that's no longer the case.

Ginger ~ I've been thinking about your trip to Ireland with Jerry last St. Patrick's Day and am grateful that you have those memories of fun times in County Limerick.  While I'm not a big fan of the City of Limerick itself, I love the surrounding countryside. That photo above of me pulling a pint at Guerin's Pub was when I was learning to do it -- there's actually an art to it!  Quite a few get tossed down the bar sink if they're not "just right" because the Irish are very particular about how you pour their Guinness!  It's practically a national crime to do it too fast or to forget to top it off just so :-)

Tammy ~ I sent you a separate email ... your husband can indeed claim dual citizenship.  All one needs is an Irish parent or grandparent ... then you can apply for an Irish EU passport if you want to -- and work legally in any of the EU countries :-)

Richard ~ your post about linking St. Patrick's Day posts got me started, albeit I was a bit late :-)

Kristine ~ well I'm sure a bit of that goes on too ... but not necessarily because it's St. Patrick's Day LOL!  I learned a lot when I volunteered as a fill-in publican!

Maria ~ what fun to have an Irish mom!  My great-grandfather on my dad's side was from Dublin, too.  Did you claim dual Irish citizenship yet?  If not, it's easy enough to do ... you have to provide some documentation, but it's well worth the time spent gathering it.

Mike ~ You're most welcome -- glad you enjoyed the photos. (I have thousands more, of course, but not all of them are in a digital format YET.)

Mar 17, 2012 04:51 AM #52
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Gretchen ~ I hope you're able to visit the Emerald Isle some day.  You'd find it's green, just like Oregon, so you'd feel right at home :-)

Janet ~ Thanks for dropping by again -- always so nice to see you here my friend!

Anna ~ That is one visit you'd enjoy, Anna ... I promise!

Kevin ~ What a treat to hear from a real Kerryman!!  I love your story of living in Miami and see the melding of cultures there.  I hope you get back to the Old Country often :-)  Best wishes for a Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend!

Tammie ~ I hope that you and your husband make that trip.  (I have a great-grandparent from County Donegal, too ... all of my ancestors were Irish for quite a few generations back.)

Bonnie ~ The Vaughns are a dominant name in County Clare, that's true!  I love the stories of Irish fairies and have seen some fairy forts in special places, too!

Gabe ~ I've heard it said that everyone is a wee bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day! Why not, the Irish are such a friendly lot!

Julie ~ Oh, you and your husband really must visit Ireland ... it's only a 5-hr flight from NYC by the way.  The Maher name is from Meagher, meaning "kindly" and they were an important sept in Counties Offaly and Tipperary. 

Connie ~ Thanks for stopping by, and the same good  wishes to you!

Ashley ~ You saw many highlights of Ireland during your trip -- what fun!  Now, doesn't it just make you want to go back and see all that again, and more?  Thanks for sharing your story.

Kevin ~ With an Irish name like yours, you should think of visiting Ireland!  St Kevin was a famous Irish saint -- my older brother is also named Kevin.


Mar 17, 2012 06:18 AM #53
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Always wanted to see Ireland first hand.. may have to do that some day.

Apr 02, 2012 11:47 AM #54
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Judi ~ You really should see Ireland in person!  You'll want to return again though, I'm warning you!

Apr 02, 2012 12:20 PM #55
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

I am in Dublin now. It's raining, of course, but then it wouldn't be Ireland if it weren't. Let me know if there is "A MUST DO". Off to more castles and sightseeing in a few hours. I will be posting all about Ireland all week ;)

Sep 25, 2013 03:08 PM #56
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Hi Lauren ~ Great to hear from an AR member on vacation in Dublin!  Yes, there are "must do's" in Ireland .... Are you planning to visit the West of Ireland?  County Kerry, or Cork, or Clare?  I lived in Ireland for 8 years and have visited there many other times, and no matter where you go you will find warm, friendly people who love to chat, and beautiful scenery to take in.  You can't see it all, but everything you do see will stay with you for a long time.

One thing: Ireland isn't all about castles, although they're fun to see (some of that is just for tourists, if you must know the truth).  Go to any village, walk into a friendly pub and start a conversation with whoever's behind the bar, and anyone sitting near you.  Ask them questions about what THEY recommend you see in their area.  Sometimes the most fun I had in Ireland was when I got lost or didn't really know where I was going ... and had some great adventures.  Enjoy!!!  and I'll be looking forward to seeing your posts :-)

Sep 25, 2013 03:29 PM #57
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