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Category Archives: Ireland

Some old Irish Pubs

There are so many great pubs in the island of Ireland that we thought we would show you some of the older ones.  Just in time for St. Patrick’s day (please don’t say St. Patty’s day – it never was and never will be…).

THE BRAZEN HEAD, DUBLIN

brazenThe Brazen Head has been in operation as a tavern since 1178.

Among the famous names who have indulged in a tipple in this famous pub include Wolfe Tone, Michael Collins, James Joyce and Brendan Behan.

 

SEAN’S BAR, ATHLONE, WESTMEATH

seansIt is thought that Sean’s Bar dates back as far as 900 and even the Guinness Book of Records has decreed that it is the oldest pub in Ireland.

During renovations in 1970, the walls of the bar were found to be made of wattle and wicker dating back to the ninth century.  Old coins were also found and dated to this period and are now on display in the National Museum.

 

McHUGHS,BELFAST

mchughsDATING from 1711, this is the oldest pub in Belfast. 29-31/33 Queens Square was constructed at this time as part of the Hanover Quay development undertaken by Isaac MacCartney between 1710 and 1720 and given that ‘not even one standing wall of pre-1769 development was previously known to have survived anywhere in Belfast, it is particularly fortunate to find that this building (McHugh’s) is not only essentially intact, but also represents such an important part of the early town of Belfast.

 

THE OLD THATCH, KILLEAGH

old thatchThe present owners the Sweeney family can trace ownership of The Old Thatch as far back as the mid 1700’s.

At Castlemartyr Quarter sessions in 1867 the then owner of the premises, John Conway applied for a renewal of his licence. It was refused on the grounds that the premises were being used to harbour Fenians. He stated in his submission that his house had been licences for over two hundred years without complaint. Nevertheless, the presiding magistrate withheld the licence. The present owners the Sweeney family can trace ownership as far back as the mid 1700’s.

To see more unique venues for your next meeting or incentive in Ireland contact MICEport at inspireus@miceport.com or visit us at www.miceportdmc.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2016 in DMC, Ireland, MICEport, MICEport DMC

 

MICEport – “Meet the DMC” Series

Meet the DMC StampsAs part of MICEport’s continuing expansion, we have started a webinar series called “Meet the DMC“.

The goals of the webinars are:

  1. Create a personal touch –  So often, it is difficult to physically meet with the respected DMCs such as those within MICEport DMC due to the fact that they are in the 10 destinations throughout the world – this is a way to combat that;
  2. Quick – A quick 30 minute webinar presentation on the DMC and the overall possibilities of that particular destination;
  3. Convenient – MICEport has added these webinars to our website for “on-demand” convenience;
  4. Informative & Innovative – Our DMCs give great information about the destination while at the same time introducing buyers to new program ideas.

These webinars are an ideal way to Meet the DMCs and get to know your potential partner in Ireland, Scotland, France, Monaco, Italy, Germany, Austria, UAE, Oman and Morocco.  MICEport DMCs have on average 26 years in business and are all owner operated. We are proud to be their partner in North America and we know that their experience and creativity will be a winning combination for any incentive or meeting program.

All of the webinars will be posted on www.miceportdmc.com under the events and webinar section and also on this Blog.

You can contact MICEport in North America, either via phone (215-253-8924) email: inspireus@miceport.com or on the web at www.miceportdmc.com

 

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“Meet the DMC” MICEport’s DMC in Ireland

WTGMICEport’s DMC in Ireland is Wallace Travel Group.

Wallace Travel Group was founded in 1972 by Derek’s father in Westmoreland Street, Dublin, Ireland. They moved to their current location in 1982 from where they started to build a substantial business travel company.

In 1989 Derek and his wife, Colette, bought the business and began the long process of achieving the goal of a small specialist travel company dedicated to providing excellence in travel management services. There followed many years of exciting growth especially in corporate travel with a professional focus on travel management, creative incentive and motivational travel and meeting management.

DerekWallace Travel Group goal is to become the best, most creative and committed DMC to the MICE sector. Their dedicated specialist young team bring energy, dynamic creativity and great personal commitment to the design and delivery of exceptional Ireland Experiences. Our success is based on understanding client’s challenges, listening carefully to clients needs, and then drawing on our wealth of their experiences to bring you imaginative and cost effective solutions throughout the isle of Ireland. MICEport is proud to be Wallace Travel Group’s representative in North America.

To learn more about Wallace Travel Group and MICEport DMCs other partners click here

 

Ireland: Ashford Castle Glorious Restoration

Ashford

MICEport’s DMC in Ireland – Wallace Travel Group – suggested that we look at Ashford Castle and we are so glad that they did… Wallace Travel Group has worked with Ashford Castle for many years for incentives and meetings from North America.

Ashford 1An extensive restoration and enhancement program is underway at Ashford Castle in County Mayo to return this stunning, historic building to its former glory. Having acquired the castle in June 2013, Red Carnation Hotels a family-owned collection of 16 luxury award-winning hotels is meticulously working to preserve Ashford’s history and charm while enhancing its guest facilities and levels of luxury and comfort.  The program takes a three-phased approach and the first magnificent, all-new eight guestrooms have been completed and can now be revealed.

The eight rooms, in the Victorian and East Wings, include the grandest suites in the castle. The rooms have been lovingly furnished by a dynamic design team headed by Mrs. Beatrice Tollman, Founder and President of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and her daughter Toni Tollman. Each room is individually decorated and designed, featuring a luxurious mix of furnishings and original artwork, fit for any King or Queen. With carefully sourced antique furniture, exquisite fabrics, bespoke carpets and marble bathrooms, the luxurious rooms have been sensitively conceived to complement the ambiance and tradition of this iconic property.

Ashford 2The second stage of the refurbishment is now completed. This stage focused on the hotel’s existing public areas and 30 further guestrooms. In true Red Carnation style, no detail will be missed and meticulous attention is being brought to this important project.  Behind the scenes, the castle’s kitchens will be moved and completely rebuilt on a different level closer to the dining room, facilitating a more efficient and timely service for future diners.  The already stunning 350-acre sprawling estate will also receive tender love and care as required, from the walled and herb gardens, to the tennis courts, falconry center and stunning nine-hole golf course, the drainage of which will be completely overhauled to ensure that guests can enjoy it all year round.

The third and final phase of the renovation will take place from October 2014 – March 2015, during which the remaining guestrooms will be completed. Subject to planning permission approvals which are still pending, the subsequent renovation plans for phase three also include the installation of a 32-seat indoor cinema, a billiard room and a cigar terrace, as well as a children’s game room, further increasing the hotel’s appeal for all ages and seasons. These new facilities will help to ensure that the castle, with its array of enhanced outdoor activities including falconry, horse-riding, water sports, clay pigeon shooting, catch-and-release fishing, hiking, golf and tennis, is also a haven of indoor enjoyment and decadence for all ages.  The hope is, also subject to appropriate planning permission, that a magnificent, full service spa and large indoor heated pool will be part of the ambitious enhancement of the castle and will reinforce Ashford Castle as the most luxurious destination hotel in all of Ireland.

Ashford 3

To support the enhanced offerings at the hotel, the staff levels will be significantly increased, boosting employment within the local area. Remaining a constant throughout the entire refurbishment program will be Ashford’s award-winning General Manager Niall Rochford and his fantastic team. Mr. Rochford has presided at Ashford Castle for nearly 12 years and was recently awarded the prestigious “Hotel Manager of the Year 2013” by the Irish Hospitality Institute Founders.

Ashford Castle celebrates its 75th anniversary as a hotel in 2014, so it is timely that a significant part of the comprehensive restoration program will be complete for this auspicious landmark. The renovation will protect and enhance this iconic property for the next 75 years, and beyond.

For more information on Wallace Travel Group and all the opportunities that exist for groups, meetings and incentives in Ireland, contact MICEport in North America on (215) 253-8924 or inspireus@miceport.com www.miceportdmc.com

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in DMC, Ireland, Wallace Travel Group

 

IRELAND: Authentic Incentive Experiences – Ballyknocken Cookery School

Ballyknocken House and Cookery School

Catherine Fulvio is a TV chef, food writer and owner of the Ballyknocken CatherineHouse and Cookery School in County Wicklow, Ireland. I had the pleasure to first meet Catherine in Ireland in 2005, while I was working for Tourism Ireland in New York. Catherine introduced me to her cookery school and beautifully restored the Ballyknocken Guest House, which dates back to the 1700s. That tour of the property and culinary experience still resonates with me, as I have recommended it as a unique travel destination. Catherine’s expertise and hands-on insight on Irish cuisine, melded with the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside, is an impressive experience for any visitor to Ireland. Almost a decade since my introduction, Ballyknocken House and Cookery School remains a wonderful destination and overall experience for the North American MICE market.

Incentives and Meetings Ballyknocken House

teamMICEport’s DMC in Ireland, Wallace Travel Group, has worked to create wonderful fun-filled team building days at Ballyknocken for North American clients. Travel groups can experience the beautiful countryside of County Wicklow, ‘The Garden of Ireland’, (about 45 minutes from Dublin City Center) and participate in cooking classes in the converted Milking Parlour on the farm (pictured here). Ballyknocken offers a spacious setting for team building activities, such as bodhran (traditional Irish drums) workshops, tin whistle classes and Irish Dance demonstrations. These activities, coupled with the culinary world’s “Taste of Ireland”, illustrate a very real and authentic experience for groups.

Two Programs in One

Many incentive clients operating programs in the Dublin area sometimes seek a ‘town and country experience’, while remaining close to Dublin airport. Wicklow offers that freedom for the group. Some clients schedule three days in Dublin city, followed by two or three days in the countryside. There are some great properties in the Wicklow area for medium and large groups, such as the new Powerscourt Hotel, Autograph Collection and Druids Glen Resort, just to mention two.

Ballyknocken’s St. Patrick’s Day Gift ~ Luck of the Irish!

Brown Bread imageWith St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House was so gracious to send a little bit of Ireland to North America with her Great Grandmother’s Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe – Download Ballyknocken Soda Bread Recipe. How lucky are we to have such an authentic Irish culinary experience right in our own kitchens? Please send us a photo of your bakery delight to our Facebook page. Thank you Catherine!

More Information

For more information regarding incentives and meetings in Ireland, please contact MICEport at inspireus@miceport.comwww.miceportdmc.com or our USA office at Tel: (215) 253 8924.

 

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Ireland – Some Personal History

Well I hope you will indulge me today as it is my Dad’s 67th birthday today and I would like to share a few stories to kick off MICEport’s “Greening” for St. Patrick’s Day.

Both my parents are from Dublin and they were both brought up during an interesting time in Dublin. It may be seen as  a ‘new phenomenon’ that Ireland has been successful with some major brands but as my family history shows, Ireland was a very vibrant country in the past and still is to this day. 

Finlaters

Dublin and her people are full of great stories and characters. My Grandfather, shown above (Matthew ‘Mattie’ McElroy) was a ‘Senior Traveler’ for a wine Merchant called Finlaters and ultimately to the Board of Finlaters. Some of Finlaters most important wine customers at that time were the four leading hotels—the Russell, Hibernian, Shelbourne and Gresham, Jammets restaurant, the Dún Laoghaire yacht clubs, the Common Room in Trinity College Dublin and the city’s gentlemen’s clubs. Most notable for Finlaters was the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Some of these hotels and venues are now great destinations for incentive programs for North American groups.

My Dad Graduated from the Dental Hospital in University College Dublin, now based in Trinity College Dublinlibrary (founded in 1592).  Trinity now offers such a great destination for a final evening gala in Dublin as well as the famous Book of Kells and The Long Room.  Some of the notable graduates of Trinity College are Jonathan Swift, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde to mention just a few.

On my Mother’s side of the family, my Great grandfather worked for a gentleman in Rathmines, Dublin called Sir Howard Grubb (pictured below from my Grandfather’s collection).  The Grubb Telescope Company gained a great reputation for quality optical instruments. Grubb was also known for building accurate electrically driven clock drives for equatorial mounted telescopes. Some of the telescopes produced by Howard Grubb include the 27-inch refractor for the Vienna Observatory (1878), the 28-inch refractor at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich – the UK’s largest refractor (1893).

ESBDuring the First World War the Grubb factory was in demand for the production of telescopic gun-sights and during this time he was credited with perfecting a periscope design for Royal Navy submarines. During the Easter Uprising in Ireland Sir Howard Grubb left Ireland and moved to England.  My Great Grandfather then moved to work in Guinness and as was tradition in most Dublin families – if you got into Guinness then your Children moved into it also, as my Grandfather and brother did before he moved to the ESB (Electrical Supply Board).

Shelbourne

It is wonderful that history is brought to life now for international incentives and meetings The Guinness Storehouse has a fantastic exhibition, meeting space and The Gravity Bar (giving a 360 degree view of Dublin).  Following my mention of the Easter Uprising in 1916, The Shelbourne Hotel has a draft copy of the Irish Constitution in 1922 which was drawn up in the Shelbourne Hotel in room number 112, now known as the Constitution Room (pictured above).

For more information on Groups, Meetings or Incentives in Ireland, contact MICEport on inspireus@miceport.comlook at our website at www.miceportdmc.com and like us on  Facebook

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!

 

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IRELAND: Getting Ready for St. Patrick’s Day

Patrick's Day CardWith St Patrick’s day approaching, Tourism Ireland is once again undertaking the Global Greening initiative where monuments and tourist sites from Petra to Niagara Falls to Italy, Germany, Dubai and many more (Shameless plug… MICEport represent DMCs in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Dubai and Oman).

Ireland has been such a great destination for so many years for Meetings and Incentives.  As we all know Ireland is famous for its Guinness and the Craic (fun) but even more than that, Ireland has so many different sides to her from her people to her landscape.

The Irish are always welcoming and eager to show off their land and to that end I want to show off too!  Some people may think that Ireland may just be the ‘old quaint’ Ireland and yes it is that – but it is lot more than that two dimensional view – Ireland is a welcoming, unique, modern, progressive nation with a hunger for success.  Not only are we proud of where we come from but where we are going.  Here are some things that I feel that Ireland is proud to have given to the world, obviously the list is endless but I just wanted to give you a reminder:

  • Business: Over 380 USA & Canadian companies are based in Ireland;
  • Musicians: U2, The Chieftains, The Dubliners, The Coors, Christy Moore, Enya, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison;
  • Poets & Playwrights: WB Yeats, Oscar Wile, Thomas Moore, James Joyce, Austin Clarke, Seamus Heaney, Jonathan Swift;
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Brendan Gleeson, Gabriel Byrne, Peter O’Toole, Stephen Ray, Colm Meaney, Maureen O’Hara.
  • Iconic Drinks: Guinness, Jameson, Bushmills,
  • Films:  Michael Collins, The Van, The Tailor of Panama, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan, The Commitments, The Italian job to mention a few
  • World heritage sites Brú na Bóinne –(An archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne dating from 3800-2200 BC)  http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/659  Giants Causeway Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean on one side and a landscape of dramatic cliffs on the other, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it.

Irish breadOkay – I think that’s enough bragging so with St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, why not have an authentic experience and give this Irish soda bread recipe a go you can purchase it here in the USA from King Arthur Flour

Go on MICEport’s Pinterest page to see where some of the mentioned places are for your next meeting or incentive with MICEport’s great DMC in Ireland, Wallace Travel Group, which has been in business since 1972.

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This is Ireland

 

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Ireland – Druids Glen Resort Reinvestment and Refurbishment of almost €2 million

Druids

Druids Glen Resort is currently going through a substantial reinvestment and refurbishment plan of almost €2 million ($2.6 million) at the luxurious 5 star Wicklow property.  Wicklow is about 40 minutes south of Dublin Airport in the beautiful Wicklow countryside.

Druids Glen Resort focused on a significant technology upgrade across the Resort, from bedrooms to the sophisticated boardrooms and meeting rooms, as well as an elegant new look for all the hotel’s bedrooms, lobby area and meeting rooms designed by exciting Irish designer Ciara Ni Laoi of CLR Design.

New look Resort

Every aspect of the new look has been carefully considered, from the refurbishment of each individual bedroom to the bespoke, geometric design of the carpet in the freshly designed meeting rooms, reinforcing the Druids Glen Resort brand. The selected styles allow for greater flexibility of use and suit a wide variety of events including corporate meetings, incentives and events.

Investment in technology

From a technology point of view, the Wireless Bitbuzz service has now been upgraded to high speed internet 50Mbps upload and download speed, which can also be boosted to higher speeds if required. This is the equivalent to the fibre-optic capabilities available in any city centre location and means that Druids Glen Resort can ensure corporate and enterprise quality data connections at all times.

Implementation of in-room computing networks for working groups can also be managed and traffic can be separated from all other networks if necessary. Along with the upgrades to each individual meeting and boardroom, Druids Glen Resort is now capable of producing extremely high quality and state of the art events.

Take a look at Druids Glen Resort video below:

Druids Glen Resort is represented by MICEport LLC in North America for Groups, Meetings and Incentives. MICEport’s DMC in Ireland is Wallace Travel Group.  Take a look at www.miceport.com

 

Ireland: Pre Clearance of US Customs and Immigration for Groups.

Dublin and Shannon Airports are two of only a handful of airports that offer the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities outside of the USA.

So what does this mean for North American Groups?Picture1

  • Clear US Immigration and Customs in Dublin and Shannon;
  • Quicker transfer times in the US Airport;
  • Passengers arriving in the US are treated as domestic arrivals.

How does preclearance of US Immigration work?

  • When your clients get into Dublin or Shannon airports for their return to the USA (we would suggest 3 hours before take off), check-in as usual and then go through security.
  • Once they get through security, they can visit some of the fantastic Duty Free shops, restaurants, gift shops and VAT back office (we will be talking about this in another blog pretty soon);
  • Then your clients go to US Immigration and Customs hall. This is basically exactly the same as a US immigration and customs facility except that it is in Ireland.  The US Customs Border Security is run through The Department of Homeland Security and all of the updated information is there (www.cbp.gov)
  • Once your clients clear customs and immigration, the flight lands as a domestic flight, with all of the privileges. Clients do not have to go through immigration or customs once they arrive in the US, so it is quick and easy to get to their next flight or other transportation needs.

We did a podcast on this subject and you can listen to it here or subscribe to our iTunes channel.  We have also added the official Dublin Airport US Immigration preclearance video below:

MICEport’s DMC in Ireland is Wallace Travel Group and the Ireland Resort hotel is Druids Glen Resort. Check out www.miceport.com or email us at inspireus@miceport.com

 

MICEport Competition Answer 6/28/2013

Question: Where in the world is this castle?

Answer: Ireland

Competition Answer 

Photographer Anton Corbijn photographed Moydrum Castle for the cover of U2’s fourth studio album, 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire and gave it a sepia tone. The photograph, however, was a virtual copy of a picture on the cover of a 1980 book “In Ruins: The Once Great Houses of Ireland” by Simon Marsden, for which U2 had to pay compensation. It was taken from the same spot and used the same polarising filter technique, but with the addition of the four band members.

Moydrum Castle is a ruined castle situated in the locality of Moydrum (Magh Droma in Irish meaning, “plain of the ridge”), outside the town of Athlone County Westmeath, Ireland about an hour from Dublin city.  The lands of Moydrum were granted to the Handcock family in 1680.  The Baron decided to create an appropriate stately home on his lands at Moydrum, and therefore remodeled and enlarged an existing house and was completed in 1814.  On the night of July 3rd, 1921, a blaze completely destroyed the castle except for the façade that is present today.

See what else Ireland has to offer your Meetings or Incentives at www.miceport.com.

MICEport’s DMC in Ireland is Wallace Travel Group and our golf resort is Druids Glen Golf Resort, County Wicklow.  MICEport also has DMCs in Scotland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain.

 
 
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