Getaway to the West Coast
Dublin's global entrepreneurs spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week on an excursion to the western coast of Ireland. It was a great escape from the city life in Dubin and a chance to experience some of the more rural, coastal areas of this beautiful country.
On Wednesday, we departed from DCU (Dublin City University) and headed towards the coast. On our way, we stopped at Strokestown and Hennigan's Heritage Centre to learn a little more about how people in Ireland lived historically. These two historical sites showed the opposing lifestyles of the wealthy landowners and the common workers and provided us with more historical context about the potato famine and its effects on Irish society. We then ventured on to our hotel in Westport and spent the evening exploring this quaint, touristic town.
On Thursday morning, we woke bright and early to head out to Achill Island for some sight-seeing. We began the morning at Croagh Patrick, the mountain dedicated to St. Patrick. On our way out to Achill Island, we were able to stop at The Blue Bicycle, an independent coffee shop/ tea room, and meet the owners for some more insight into what it takes to run a successful small business. Achill Island is a beautiful tourist destination, but it is very remote, which makes it difficult for small businesses to succeed. We toured the gorgeous cliffs and beaches and even had to the chance to explore a pre-famine abandoned village. We also heard a presentation by the owner of Blackfield Surf School about his version of "survivor entrepreneurship" and what it means to have to constantly change his businesses seasonally to meet the demands of living in such a remote location. That evening we returned to Westport for dinner and some traditional Irish music.
On Friday, we had to say goodbye to Westport and made our way towards Galway, one of the bigger cities on the western coast of Ireland. Along the way, we stopped at Glen Keen Farm and learned about sheepherding dogs. Some of the students even tried out herding the sheep themselves by learning some simple voice commands for the dogs. We spent the afternoon shopping and exploring the streets of Galway and returned to DCU just in time for dinner and a Bohemians F.C. game. Although our team didn't win, we had a great time cheering on the Bohs and finishing research for our consulting project for the Bohemians team.