Submitted by Patricia M. Hogan, Administrative Librarian, Poplar Creek Public Library District, Streamwood, Illinois
When ASCLA announced its plans for an October, 2012 trip to Ireland, I was thrilled that I would have a chance to return to the Emerald Isle and to travel to places like Dublin that I had missed in my first venture there years ago. There were many things that appealed, from the Long Room at Trinity College, Dublin, to the wonderful grounds of Adare and the landscapes of Powerscourt. But for me it was the chance to walk about in Youghal, to look out and try to imagine the tenders who came in to pick up people who were going to the Titanic on their way to America That truly gave me a thrill. And as we drove by bus down Seafield Road I realized that somewhere along the way was the house where my cousins had lived and from which they ventured out into the world.
When we stopped in Killarney there was a chance to walk the High Street, stop in a café (named Sceale Eile, or Another story!), and experience tea time. While I was out on one of my walks, I looked up to see a sign that pointed to Hogan’s Alley, sort of a side street. My dad had told me “Hogan” was a more common name in Ireland and here was proof. Further down the street I discovered a wonderful landscape photographer’s shop, Peter Cox Gallery, which provided wonderful views of Ireland, rural as well as times primitive or historic (Ross Castle).
The trip was just the right length. Our Irish guide, Mr. Moran, was both talkative and at times serious. The mix of people was quite interesting. We saw the country side, visited libraries, and found both the expected (Blarney Castle) and the unexpected ( a man playing a concertina with a variety of animals beside him, including a lamb and a doe, as well as a cat and a dog in the Dingle Peninsula.) It was a trip that made memories and provided different approaches to each of the travelers. Kudos to the planners and to ASCLA for making this possible. I would also like to thank those who not only traveled but also strongly support ASCLA to be part of this a adventure.