Get Lost! - A Madison Avenue Adman's Paean to Dungarvan
A few years ago Nora Fahey of Seaview Self Catering had an American advertising executive stay at Seaview. He got hopelessly lost wandering the back roads around Nora's place, and he's been returning regularly ever since. This is his prose poem and tribute to Dungarvan - a place where he lost his heart.
Get lost and every Irishman becomes your tour guide.
Lose your way most places and you get directions. Ask for directions in Ireland and you'll feel like you're making a friend. Tourists have reported Irishmen chasing down their car to tell them their brakes were smoking. Innkeepers taking hours to help visitors learn about their Irish ancestors. Or, you can meet people in a pub for the first time and part fast friends.
Take the time to get lost in Dungarvan.
Dungarvan is a seaside town in the center of County Waterford, on the southeast coast of Ireland. Chances are you haven't heard of it but that's the good news.
Dungarvan is a newly created blend of the old and new.
In about the third century BC a tribe called the Deise settled on the site where Dungarvan now stands. The name comes from the foundation here, by Saint Garvan, of a monastery in the 6th century. Norman Prince John came in 1185 and had fortifications built. Remains of Dungarvan Castle, much altered since then, stand beside the river Colligan. Today, this same waterfront area is the site of bustling development. A new hotel has been built along with seaside shops and restaurants. And all of it is happening without distrubing the age-old culture that's stood for centuries.
Dungarvan - You can get there from here.
Dungarvan may be out in the country, but's not in the middle of no-where. It's on the road from Waterford City and it's famous crystal factory to Cork, Ireland's second largest city. Both cities are less than an hour's drive from Dungarvan. One-half hour beyond Cork is Blarney with its famous castle and woolen mills. On the way back to Dungarvan from such a trip one might stop at the Jameson Irish whisky distillery and sample their wares, or visit Cobh's heritage center, the port from where many an Irishman sailed to America. Both the Lusitania and Titanic embarked from Cobh for their final voyages.
Closer to Dungarvan is Lismore and Lismore Castle. Built on a cliff over-hanging the Blackwater River, the present castle was the fantastic creation of the richest Duke in England during the early 1800's. Nearby Ardmore boasts what may be the finest round tower in Ireland with its 97 foot height and doorway set high above the ground for protection against Viking attacks. If all this wasn't enough, in addition there are the superb fishing areas of the Blackwater and Bride valleys, and the glacial lakes and waterfalls of the nearby Comeragh Mountains.
Throw in several mile long beaches in pristine condition and dozens of small sandy coves that break the towering seaside cliffs and there's enough exploring available to satisfy anyone.
Dungarvan - When you've done enough driving you can walk.
Check out a few of the local walks.
Dungarvan - When you've walked enough you can sail, cycle or ride a horse.
Dungarvan, being by the sea, has a strong martitime tradition and the facilities to get you afloat with a strong ocean breeze in your face. Or maybe you want to see the countryside, the Irish way, on a bicycle. If it's horseback you prefer there are numerous riding centers in the area. Once again, just ask at the tourist office.
Dungarvan - When your passion is golf.
As we said, Dungarvan is a blend of old and new. So, of course, there's golf. Three championship quality 18-hole courses and a golf range. There is the seaside course at Clonea, the hill hugging links at West Waterford Golf Course, and the huge fairways and water features of Dungarvan Golf Club. Find out more information about golf in West Waterford by visiting our golf page on this website.
Dungarvan - Irish hospitality southern style.
You'll find this Irish staple most everywhere - at the twenty restaurants (including a Michelin guide recommended spot!), 20 plus pubs, in the streets, backcountry lanes and walking paths. You'll spend a week or so doing something a lot of cultures have forgotten in this electronic world - having great conversations with friendly people.
What could be better? The sights of southern Ireland - both old and new, natural and historic - combined with world famous Irish charm and sociability. A great recipe for enjoying a trip abroad.
To have it all you just need to get to Dungarvan - and get lost.
It's the secret to having the time of your life in Ireland.