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    Thanksgiving wishes from across the miles.

    Thanksgiving – a special time to express our gratitude to our friends, family and special visitors, near and far.

    Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend – Melody Beattie“.

    Where ever you are relaxing this Thanksgiving, we would like to show our gratitude, by sharing some of the beautiful sights and magical sounds of Ireland with all of you …

    However you might notice there is one special thing missing… It’s not the wonderful attractions, the breathtaking scenery, the narrow winding roads, the luxury transport, the handsome & entertaining driver guide, or hauntingly beautiful Irish music –

    it’s YOU!!!

    our special friends and visitors from across the globe – We’ve really missed you and we wish you were here!

    Arundó.

    A special thanks to the very talented musicians who played the beautiful piece in our video – John Byrne (of Arundó) on the Uilleann pipes and Tony Corbett on keyboards. Kevin Byrne also assisted with this wonderful musical performance.

    Arundó, who are based in County Cork, was founded by the Byrne brothers – John Byrne on Uilleann Pipes, Flute, Whistles, Panpipes and Quena, and Kevin Byrne on Guitars, Mandolin, and Bodhran. Arundó play an exciting mixture of traditional (original) and contemporary Irish Music (and also dabble with the haunting sounds of Andean music). The band’s sound revolves around the uilleann pipes, the flute, the guitar, the mandolin, and the bodhrán.

    The name “Arundó” is actually the term for a family of bamboo-like plants, one of which produces the cane from which Uilleann Pipes are usually made. The name, therefore, well reflects the group’s music, which is dominated by the mystical sounds of the Uilleann and Pan Pipes.

    Tony Corbett, also a Cork native, is an accomplished piano player, accordion player and singer. He teaches music at the University of County Cork and continues to perform on dance shows such as Celtic Steps, Siamsa Tire and the Liam O’Connor show.

    Arundó playing at Waterford Castle © Arundó.ie

    Specialized Travel Services & our 2020 staycation. 

    2020, the year of “the Staycation” and getting time to discover our special nation,

    the magic of Ireland is no surprise – We just needed 2020 to see it with fresh eyes! 

    We’ve had special time to reconnect, to ponder and reflect, 

    time for mini adventures, to stay still, take deep breaths & just chill. 

    We’ve sampled whiskey, and Guinness and explored local places, 

    and discovered Zoom to spend time with familiar faces! 

    We’ve climbed mountains and hills and jumped over Atlantic waves, 

    and kept a “social distance” down in the Ailwee caves. 

    We’ve explored the Burren and the Cliffs, and kayaked in the dark, 

    and took photos of the fallow deer living in the Phoenix Park. 

    A strange fondness for calm & relaxation has grown,

    but more than anything we’d love to have you all visit our home! 

    A special thank you, from all of the Specialized Travel Services team, 

    we have really missed you here in the land of 40 shades of green. 

     

    Some of the highlights awaiting you in the Emerald Isle

    Remember as the Irish poet W.B Yeats said “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met”.

    Picnic at Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny City.© Tourism Ireland
    Dining at Hook Lighthouse, Co. Wexford © Tourism Ireland
    Dancing & Irish music at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Co. Galway ©Failte Ireland & Fennell Photography
    Walking tour of Derry City © Christopher Hill Photographic
    Hiking in the Sperrin’s Co. Tyrone © Tourism Northern Ireland

     

    Guided tour of the House of Waterford Crystal, Waterford City © Failte Ireland

     

    Billy Scott’s Black Taxi Tour of Belfast City © Tourism Ireland
    Herd of deer in the Phoenix Park, Dublin City © Failte Ireland
    Whiskey tasting at Dingle Distillery, Co. Kerry ©Failte Ireland
    Dinner & entertainment at Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet, Co. Clare © Stephen Power

     

    Having a pint of the “Black Stuff” in the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse ©Failte Ireland & Rob Durston
    The Beacon of Hope, Thanksgiving Square, Belfast City © Tourism Ireland

    A Unique Irish Story Of Hope

    As John F. Kennedy said “as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them”.

    Philip Duffy, a wonderful driver guide with Cronins Coaches & Specialized Travel Services, tells the story of the Garden of Remembrance in Kinsale, County Cork, dedicated to the memory of Fr. Mychal Judge, Chaplain in the New York Fire Department and to the 343 brave fire fighters, who so courageously lost their lives in New York on September 11th 2001.

    The Kinsale Garden of Remembrance was initiated by Kathleen Murphy, a nurse in New York City. She was born in Ringfinnan, Kinsale and her family continue to reside here. The first tree planting ceremony took place in November 2001 and this was followed by an official dedication of the garden on 10th March 2002 by the then Minister for Agriculture & Food, Joe Walsh, T.D. The dedication ceremony was attended by Irish relatives of the deceased New York fire fighters. Many of the fire fighters were of Irish descent and the garden has been visited on a regular basis by United States visitors to Ireland. Attached to each tree is the name of each individual fireman.

    The “Gift of Ireland”

    Specialized Travel Services “Gift of Ireland” gift certificates are a perfect thank you gift – They are a passport to the rich culture, history and scenic landscapes of Ireland, and they are valid for 5 years from date of purchase. There is flexibility to use “the Gift of Ireland” for any of our travel services, including self-drive tours, escorted tours, private group tours and tailor made vacations.

    Full of amazing heritage sights, wild and wonderful landscapes, dramatic scenery, and friendly, welcoming people, Ireland is an absolute treat to visit, any time of the year.

    If you would like to experience the warm and welcoming atmosphere that surrounds the island of Ireland, when the time is right, you can contact Specialized Travel Services by filling in the Contact form Or by email: newyork@special-ireland.com. 

    We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Ireland! There are so many special places to go!

     

     

     

    Note: Featured image at the top of the blog is of a scenic road to Molls Gap – Photographer: Brian Morrison © Fáilte Ireland & Tourism Ireland


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      Photo Gallery

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      Kissing the Blarney Stone, Co. Cork © Tourism Ireland
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      Walking the Gobbins Cliff Path, County Antrim© Arthur Ward & Tourism Ireland
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      Drinking in a Galway Pub © Tourism Ireland
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      Discovering the Game of Thrones © Tourism Northern Ireland
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      Cheese tasting in Dingle, Co. Kerry © Failte Ireland
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      Hiking at the Slieve League Cliffs, County Donegal© Paul Lindsay / Chris Hill Photographic

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