Michael and Patrician Crinion were instrumental in making this a wonderful trip. Our group presented them with a gift at our dinner Friday night.

Having people who have the local connections and know the lore added greatly to our tour. SDARL alumni are in the hands of Michael Crinion of Brookings on this delightful tour of Ireland. Mike is a member of Class 4 plus is a native of Ireland. His wife Patricia and their youngest daughter joined us for part of the tour. Each time we turned around, Michael knew someone or how to get to the best pub. 

As we have traveled across the country, Michael told us about the changes we saw in topography as well as political situations.  Brexit has the potential to upset many of the advances put in place in the Irish economy. Exports are a huge part of the economy. It will be a “wait and see” situation to see what will come of this action.

We were able to see the church in Trim where the Crinions were married.

Mike pointed out features such as the Burren and the mountain ranges and described the way farmers work with their land in rugged conditions. Wheat, barley and oat crops are phenomenal with the ideal rain. The increased moisture means more pests, which means several applications of fungicides are needed. One person told us they have 20 acres of experimental soybeans in a trial area. We enjoyed horse races and will cheer at a hurling match. During bus travel time, we watched the movie, “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne. Michael pointed out the bridge on our drive that is featured in this classic movie. The Crinions offered insider information and told tales along the way. We couldn’t ask for better guides!

At our final night in Limerick, we had special guests. Pat Fitzgerald, head of economic development for Limerick City and County stopped by to give a brief message. Councilor Gerard Mitchell, Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and County, enjoyed dining with the group and sharing his thoughts. Patrician Crinion’s brother, Enda McLoughlin, provided interesting comments about his homeland.

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