So I knew that a solemn quest would be to somewhat restore that pride. To express to the general populace the pride and glory of Ireland’s pre-colonisation millennia would not be easy. I didn’t know where to begin. Perhaps, I should start with ears that were not only open, but welcoming. Those that travel Ireland because they know that there’s so much culture and mystery here. I would have to tell them the stories and the journey. Their open minds would be fascinated by the Ireland I feel, and that would grow to pride/love. They would bring it back home and pass it to friends, family and people they met there. And eventually, a ‘Saint Patrick’ would come back to Ireland, to put us on the right path. The Irish would then one day, once again, truly embrace their land and culture with the pride that was stolen from them.
As a boy, the bottomless history of Ireland and its spiraling mysteries enticed my spirit to search for what is deeper, what is beyond our senses.
This was eventually to lead me studying Philosophy but not before that admiration/pride for my nations glories were nearly suffocated by eight years of increasingly unsurprisingly tragic history lessons/thought/tutelage.
From roughly the age of 9 until 18, Irish History class concerns its students with Ireland from the Norman Invasion of Ireland onwards. The blind patriotism and passion of a ten-year old changes to near-apathy as the ‘education’ completes. This I only realised when I became wholly present in 2005 during those inspiring lectures in Celtic Studies at Maynooth University. Finally an in-breath for the sunken foundations of history. I realised that the myths, legends, culture and life of old Gaelic Ireland were not fascinating, but essential. Essential to every person whose life is furnished in, and with, Ireland. I felt that most Irish people knew, somewhat unconsciously, that the modern Irish psyche lacked self-esteem. Few knew that what was termed ‘pride’, was merely a veneer. The substance has rotted away, slowing, but surely throughout the centuries; the core, empty.
“In the 80s, I was a young teenager who knew Dublin like the back of her hand. Now just “slightly” older, I was returning to my beloved city after being away for far too long and I knew that I would need a little help finding my way. After reading his glowing reviews, I knew that Garvan was my man. As we walked, Garvan and I talked of poetry and history or in other words, he provided food for my soul. Upon the conclusion of the tour, I am once able to rule the streets once more.”
Maureen, from Chicago, Illinois – July’15
“My wife and I recently relocated to Dublin, and we wanted to get our bearings and learn about our new home. So during October break we jumped on the DART with our two, somewhat reluctant teenagers and met Garvan in the City Center for a three-hour walking tour. What a great experience! Garvan is amazing. He is a knowledgable, passionate, and gifted storyteller who brought Dublin’s history to life for us. What’s more he won over our kids by engaging them directly and treating them like adults. By the time the tour was over we felt more at home in our adopted city, and we felt like we had made a friend. We would highly recommend the experience to anyone who wants the immersive experience of a tour without the large group dynamic. It was a great way to spend the day.”
Craig – November’21
“You will love this tour, as it is catered to the needs of your family! It was everything we hoped for and more. Garvan was a pleasure to work with and we loved every minute of our tour. He is very knowledgeable about history and culture. The best compliment I can give him is that he was like an old friend from the first moment we met. It felt so natural and just FUN!”
“Garvan is a true Irish treasure. His genuine passion for his country and its people comes through his insightful stories of history, struggle, emigration and resurgence. Funny, informed and personable, Garvan felt more like an old friend than a guide. Our 5 hours seemed to pass in a flash. Don’t miss out on Garvan’s Ireland!”
“A tour with Garvan was like visiting the city with an old friend; a very fun, knowledgeable, entertaining, friend at that. He is passionate about Ireland and enjoys sharing it with others. Our tour included everything from ancient to modern Irish history, legends and stories, even songs relating events from the Irish story. We loved every minute of the time we had and have already made plans to return next year with our daughter and her family. He is THAT good!!”
“Garvan’s tour was a high point of our trip. His energy is contagious and his knowledge incredible. He made Ireland’s sad history very entertaining. He earns extra points for coming out and doing a pub-crawl for us, despite the fact that he was not feeling well. I fully intend to call again when I am next in the area and recommend him highly to future travelers.”