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McGuires to Lead Alum Trip to Ireland

Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014

This fall, Professor Emeritus of Economics Pat McGuire and his wife Sandy will lead a trip throughout the South and Southwest of Ireland titled "The Hidden Ireland II: Early Civilizations, Famine, Emigration, and Struggle for Independence." The trip takes place from Sept. 11 through 21 and includes lectures and guided tours of much of the unique urban and rural places that comprise the area. The trip is being coordinated by the Colleges' Alumni and Alumnae Relations offices.

The McGuires have extensive experience leading programs off-campus and abroad, creating transformative experiences for students and adult travelers. They have made many trips to Ireland over the years both personally and as leaders. Among these, they spent two semesters in Ireland leading the Colleges' Irish Studies program at the National University of Ireland at Galway. In the fall of 2012, they led the first HWS alumni/ae and parent trip to Ireland. They have also participated in the Colleges' off-campus programs in London and Central Europe, and spent a semester with Semester at Sea.

During his tenure at the Colleges, Pat co-founded, with Professor Emeritus of Political Science Joe DiGangi, the Colleges' public policy semester in Washington, D.C. and he has been faculty director 10 times during the past 28 years since the program's founding. Additionally, Pat and Professor of Sociology Jim Spates developed the Two Cities course, a bi-disciplinary course which has taken HWS students to both New York and Toronto for five days each as part of their regular coursework. The course has been taught every other year for the past 25 years.

Ireland has a rich and complex history that integrates politics, economics, poetry, literature and, at times, tragedy, pain and suffering. Through it all, the people have remained much the same while the country has undergone dramatic changes. The south and southwestern regions of Ireland reflect both change and stability. The people are warm, friendly and fun and the land is full of beautiful scenery. Participants will explore the history, past and present, of this part of Ireland.

The tour begins with two unique cities in the south: Waterford and Cork. Waterford is an old Viking city founded in 941 A.D., and current center of glass manufacturing. Cork is a city with a thriving economy and an interesting history, including a central role in the Irish rebellion and the struggle for independence. It was also the major point of departure for millions of Irish people who fled the famine of the 19th century and the economic decline of the 20th century.

Participants will also explore two areas of the Southwest of Ireland: the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula. The famous Ring of Kerry features mountains, lakes and coastal scenes to take your breath away. The Dingle Peninsula is a personal favorite of the McGuires, a beautiful and lesser known coastal region but an area with a long and rich history. Dingle is known for its ancient sites, for recognizing the importance of the Irish language in the literature, history and culture of Ireland (The Blasket Island Museum), and for historical evidence of a former strong and vibrant economy. What is left are remnants of its glorious past: beehive huts, ogham writing, abandoned island communities and miles and miles of some of the most incredible scenery in Ireland. Yet, there is a lack of population for an area that once was a dominant trading port in the 16th through 19th centuries. As a result of the Great Famine and the overall decline in the local economy, residents fled to America, England and Australia. Some evidence of the larger population still remain; there are 52 pubs on the sparsely populated Dingle Peninsula.

The Hidden Ireland II tour can accommodate a maximum of 26 people; prior trips have sold out within weeks. Alums and parents of HWS students and graduates, along with their guests, have priority in booking this trip. The cost is $2,100 per person for double occupancy and $2,295 per person for single occupancy.

More information and the registration form for the trip are available online.

 


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