September 2017, our founder & Managing Director Elizabeth Fahy passed away

November 2nd, 2022 by

Elizabeth founded Holiday Ireland in 1978 & since then the company has gone from strength to strength.

Her ambition & drive ensured that Holiday Ireland became one of Ireland’s best known hotel groups.

Elizabeth will be greatly missed by her fellow directors & staff. She leaves behind a legacy that shall continue for many years to come.

A hop, skip and a jump onto the Waterford Greenway

November 2nd, 2022 by

With all the nice sunny weather, my husband and I decided to try a cycle adventure in the South East of Ireland where as you can probably see from my recent blog posts, we are total obsessed.

The Waterford Greenway, Ireland’s longest “off-road” experience, is a spectacular 46km cycling or walking, (or for those really fit-enthusiasts running), trip along an old, disused railway line between the Viking city of Waterford and lovely Dungarvan.

How we started our tour was by driving to Waterford City from Dublin and parking the car and then hiring bikes to begin our expedition! We also brought our sambos and coffee for a small picnic along the way. There are so many things to see along the road along with fabulous views of the Comeragh mountains. One highlight I must mention is that for those who like gardens you can take a break and visit a world leading garden on the Mount Congreve estate that dates as far back as the 18th century! I adore gardening so this was a treat to be around such beautiful surroundings. I also managed to take some really novel ideas back home for my own garden! Then continuing on the Greenway once more, what was great to see was all the different types of people taking part, just enjoying the scenery. Some locals and some tourists, but everyone with a smile! Lucky for us there was no rain or wind, just glorious sunshine. I do believe Ireland is unique, and one of the reasons why it makes us such a popular destination for Europeans and Americans is our willingness to engage with anyone from all walks of life! There is a genuine warmth and openness that I just haven’t come across anywhere else in the world…and believe me, I have travelled extensively.

As we progressed to the end of the cycle and Dungarvan was in our sights we were simply exhausted! Now all we could think about was food! However with so many options on offer we had to narrow it down; we could have been very upmarket and dined in “The Tannery”, one of Dungarvan’s gourmet restaurants but since we were staying at Lawlors hotel we decided to dine there. Let me tell you, what a treat. First of all, it’s one of the few genuine Irish family run hotels still operating in Ireland that strives itself on not being your typical large impersonal hotel. Michael Burke, the owner, has constantly upgraded and extended the original small hotel and can often be found greeting and chatting guests as they arrive to check in! I chose the fresh poached salmon, seared scallops, seasonal vegetables and Dungarvan strawberries with a dash of cream. Simply delicious and very reasonably price too! My husband tried the fresh garlic crab claws and Dungarvan bay oysters, washed down with a pint of Guinness, he was obviously very satisfied!

Michael was very kind enough to also give me a recipe that’s one of his customer’s favourites, which I am going to report back on in my next blog. I will also make a trip to the County Wexford, visiting the opera house and some serious eating at some gorgeous local Wexford restaurants. After that, I shall give the Ancient East a rest for now and over the coming weeks I am going to wander around the west of Ireland and in particular Lisdoonvarna.

A Fresh Walk Through Time

November 2nd, 2022 by

In my first Blog I promised you that I would let you know about one of my favourite walks on the Hook Peninsula and the fantastic views and wildlife to see there.

I never tire of doing this walk as it has breathtaking views out over the sea and it is not too long – ideal for those looking to get fresh air, here it goes.

You park your car in the picturesque village of Slade, beside Slade Castle. This is a lovely preserved castle built by the Laffin Family in the late 15th century and well worth a photograph.

Then, moving down on to the actual harbour there is a little path leading on to a fabulous coastal walk across fields and rocks, amazing views of the sea. Don’t go too near the edge of the rocks though because there is the odd rogue wave that can just sweep you away!

After a good brisk walk, taking care of the cows,who are quite protective of their patch, you climb a few old stone walls and you come to Hook Lighthouse.

Oh my God! What a view, what a spectacular is awesome. I am not going to give you all the facts, you can find them out when you get here, suffice to say it is the oldest operating lighthouse in the world and has stood there in its present form for almost 800 years, incredible! Actually, it was described by an author writing a piece on the top ten flashiest lighthouses in the world, as the great granddaddy of lighthouses….and I agree.

Depending on how you feel after your walk, if you have the energy, the time and the nerve, climb up the 115 steps to the top of the tower and you will be well rewarded by the spectacular views of rocks and sea.

The rocks themselves also are phenomenon, older then the pyramids, they are full of fossils and it is great fun to just browse around trying to spot some of these fossils wedged deep in the rock surfaces; however these fossils are protected and it is against the law to collect any for personal use or gain now.

Anyway enough about that, this walk and scenery is a must on a visit to Ireland and to the Hook Peninsula.

Before the final section of my walk, I always love to have a short break with a cup of hot chocolate in the cosy cafe that also serves delicious snacks. This boosts my energy before I continue on down the road in a complete circle and end up beside the car again!

Drive back via Templers Inn, another fab pub and restaurant with views over the bay to Waterford. If you have a nice day sit outside and order the seafood chowder and a pint of Guinness, the world will be your oyster!

There is something truly Irish about this walk, it’s beautiful scenery, historic setting and natural wildlife, makes it a must when you are visiting the Southeast Coast of Ireland.
In my next blog I walk you through another beautiful walk that goes through the grounds of TINTERN ABBEY. As you probably see from my first blog, I am also a foodie, so we will be looking at my favourite pubs and restaurants along the way..


Tasting is believing!

November 2nd, 2022 by

I love good food. I love fresh fish and I love experimenting with recipes when I get some free time. I have been promoting Ireland for over forty years now and am passionate about our food, our music, our culture and the countryside that brings with it so many historical sites.

Ireland has so much to offer. What we lack in weather compared to our Mediterranean cousins, we make up for in spades with world-beating landscapes, coastal walks, historic sites, traditional tasty food and friendly people.

I want to share with you some real Irish secrets and hidden gems. When you visit Ireland I want people to take back their own real experiences and enjoy what I get to live each day. My blog will explore a variety of Irish treats over the next few months, including recipes from my favourite restaurants. I consider where you can drink the best pint of Guinness, the most wonderful local cuisine and many more. I want to encourage you to embrace your adventure in Ireland; hopefully as well as finding new places to visit you can try at home some of the recipes featured as well.

Let’s start with county Wexford located in the sunny south east of Ireland. I believe that the ancient east coast of Ireland has some hidden gems for people coming to Ireland yet to discover!

The Ring of Hook or the Hook Peninsula is a marvellous place to start my journey; focussing in on a small sea-side village called Fethard on Sea and the area around.

Right in the middle of the quaint village, is a very very old pub. Over 100 years old, “Nevilles” has expanded over the years with a large spacious lounge and eating area, but it has still retained THE SNUG… a lovely small little nook of a place and a perfect spot for enjoying a pint of Guinness and a chat with the locals. Everybody is very friendly. In the summer you can sit at the windows and watch the world go by but my favourite time in this pub, strangely enough…is the middle of the winter…when the lights are low and the chimney fire is blazing and people gather around to tell tales and share the exploits of the day. Agh…my favourite pub and the best pint of Guinness to be had…at least I think so.

Well worth a visit if exploring this area. A second gem not too far away from Fethard on Sea is another old pub called “THE HOLLOW”.

I firmly believe that some of the best fish to be tasted in Ireland can be had here. Mary the owner is so friendly and chatty and will endeavour to cook your fish exactly as you want it. Try the pan fried sole, simply divine; that with a few Wexford new potatoes and you wont be able to say a word as you will just be savouring the delights of the food. I guess the menu has other items on it such as steaks and pate etc. But for me and actually all of my friends, my family and anybody I have brought down there never sample anything except the fish; whether it be scallops or pan fried hake, or monkfish or scampi, all simply delicious. In my opinion that’s what we in Ireland have to offer and we should be shouting about it from the rooftops… wonderful secret little pubs… super fresh fish… friendly chatty owners and staff.

Simply perfect.
In my next blog I will be exploring the oldest operating lighthouse in the world, Hook Lighthouse. I think the most majestic and breath taking lighthouse in Ireland!